Friday, October 31, 2008

Stephen Colbert Interviews Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Who Also Perform a New Song

(Wilco - "The Wilco Song" - Live on "The Colbert Report")

Jeff Tweedy, frontman of Wilco (who also performed) and self-described "really lousy capitalist"--what, he doesn't remember the car commercials--recently stopped by the set of the late night faux-punditry late night comedy powerhouse "The Colbert Report" to discuss the free giveaway song from their website, potential nom de rock's of Tweedy's, and the possibility of playing an Obama inauguration. To which Tweedy replies with a priceless anecdote about what Obama himself said when Wilco asked him that question.

Wilco also performed a new song called, um, "The Wilco Song", a new, exclusive track that starts out sounding like The Velvet Underground before entering more familiar alt-country territory. That video can be seen at the top (while you can see it, that is). Jeff Tweedy's interview is at the bottom of the post.

Wilco MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

Cross-published at MFR

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Video: Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - "Fix It" and "Cobwebs" (Live on Letterman)

(Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - "Fix It" - Live on "Late Show With David Letterman")

Not sure what was going down at Lenscrafters, but Letterman lets us know that all is apparently well. Even if it weren't, listeners could see that, unlike Lenscrafters Ryan Adams and The Cardinals only take 3:44 to "Fix It". That, my friends, is well under an hour. Indeed, one of two songs that the alt-country crooner and his band of merry men (perhaps I'm mistaken, but wasn't there a lady as well?) is the lead single from Pitchfork-smacked down Cardinology. Dave is clearly enthused by having the band there, and he informs viewers that after the band's televised performance, they can go to the "dubya dubya" to watch an exclusive, on-line performance. Naturally, that performance has leaked. You can watch the video for "Cobwebs", another jammy ballad, below.

(Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - "Cobwebs" - Live on "Late Show With David Letterman")

Cardinology is out now. Buy it here. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals play the Allstate Arena on December 12th.

Ryan Adams MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wilco recording new album, appearing on "The Colbert Report"

From Rolling Stone:

Wilco have already recorded demos for a new album and are heading into their Chicago studio, the Loft, this month to start rerecording and fleshing them out. “Sonically it’s going to be a much wilder, much more unexpected record,” says guitarist Nels Cline. “There’s going to be too much to choose from. Right now it’s an embarrassment of riches, for sure.”

and via Pitchfork:

Tip of the hat to Stephen Colbert for his choice of guests this Thursday. Chicago heroes Wilco will perform one song on the Comedy Central show "The Colbert Report" this Thursday, following in the footsteps of such previous Colbert musical guests as Feist, Nas, R.E.M., Apples in Stereo, the Roots, and, of course, those dastardly Decemberists

Read more here.

Video: The Cool Kids @ Sk8tique


Fucked Up's Father Damien Bares Soul, Ass, at Reggie's Rock Club

Download: Fucked Up - "Twice Born"
Download: Fucked Up - "No Epiphany"

Fucked Up
The Chemistry of Common Life (Matador, 2008)
Grade: A

There's been a lot of talk about common life these days, whether it's political campaigns talking about "Joe the Plumber", or economists talking about how the pure free-market has failed some 40 million Americans without health insurance (to be fair, some of them have undoubtedly made the choice on their own not to have it), or average folks simply discussing how hard it is to get by these days. The significance of a title like The Chemistry of Common Life to current events in 2008 is probably unintentional, but the record's startling contempt for the status quo, it's search for deeper solutions to life's problems, and it's reinvention of hardcore punk's sonic and musical vocabulary (flutes, bongos, multi-tracked guitars) all practically guarantee this album's relevance this year, next year, next decade...well, next century seems to be pushing it. But those listeners who want to be pushed, challenged, and thrilled by the Father Damian's John Brannon-esque roar, or the compositional diversity of his group, can look no further than Life

The Chemistry of Common Life retains all of the righteous fury of first-and-second-wave hardcore bands (and even second-wave emo on "Black Albino Bones") while at the same time introducing a multitude of ambitious ideas--I get a chill down my spine every time the serene, but fatalistically angry, "No Epiphany" comes on, as the track's layered guitars and angelic vocals unquestionably foreshadow a hardcore Loveless. That's not the only song with psychedelic aspirations though. "Royal Swan"'s neo-psychedelia stands up to anything that Black Mountain has released this year (and then some), and "Golden Seal" is the kind of instrumental segue track that would have Kevin Sheids envious. But before you can lull yourself in a droney haze, Fucked Up come back with hard-fisted hardcore, including "Twice Born" and the epic closing title track. Simply put, this is one of the best albums of the year.

Fucked Up recently played a show at Reggie's Rock Club, where they bared their souls by way of the philosophical lyrics, and where singer Father Damien bared his ass using more conventional methods. All photos by Jimmy Farabi. Check them out below:

(Father Damien)

For more, including the opening bands, go here.

(Jonathan Graef)

Photos by Jimmy Farabi

Office's Scott Masson dresses up as Roy Orbison


Read the rest of Miles Raymer's post about the last night in Office's residency at Schuba's here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Video: Russian Circles - Live in Russia

(Russian Circles - "Station")

(Russian Circles - "Carpe"


Day Dos of Kidz In The Hall Talks Murs Tour

Walking Bicycles Debut Five New Songs on MySpace

The Chicago-based indie-new-wave trio Walking Bicycles have debuted five new songs from their upcoming record ¿Go? on their MySpace Page. Check them out here. The album cover is at the top of the post.

Walking Bicycles MySpace Page

Video: Wheelchair Werewolf Trailer

One of the funniest faux trailers at this year's Music Box Massacre. Check it out.

Common announces Universal Mind Control release date, tracklist

01. Universal Mind Control
02. Punch Drunk Love (Feat. Kanye West)
03. Make My Day (Feat. Cee-Lo Green)
04. Sex 4 Sugar
05. Announcement (Feat. Pharrell Williams)
06. Gladiator
07. Changes
08. Inhale
09. What a World
10. Everywhere


Universal Mind Control sees release on Dec. 9th.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Video Flyer: Flosstradamus - "Witches Ain't Shit"

"Witches Aint Shit 3 Flyer" by Thunder Horse

New Kanye West - "Coldest Winter" and "Robocop"

(Kanye West - "Coldest Winter")

Download: Kanye West - "Coldest Winter"

(Kanye West - "Robocop")

Downloads via P4K and Nah Right

More and more material is being leaked from Kanye West's upcoming fourth record, 808s and Heartbreak (the supposed cover album for which can be found at the bottom of the post. H/T ) Over the weekend, two new songs appeared. First off is "Coldest Winter", which is driven by a Tears for Fears sample and is reportedly about the passing of Kanye's mother. That track continues the "expressing-emotion-wounds-through-autotune" vibe of "Love Lockdown", in addition to being a more straightforward modern R&B track.

"Lockdown"'s lyrics concerned West playing the obsessed aggressor in a unhealthy relationship, and its interesting to note that the lyrics from the second leaked track "Robocop" are from the opposite perspective. In other words, it's Kanye on the receiving end of a too jealous lover. Kanye poses the question "who knew that she was a drama queen/that'd turn my life into Stephen King?" before asking "when did you become a Robocop"? The vocals in this track are more spoken, but that doesn't necessarily make it rap. It's definitely a synth-driven song with a poppy chorus.

Listen to both songs at the top of the post.

Kanye West MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

Video: Smashing Pumpkins - Live on "Jimmy Kimmel"


Friday, October 24, 2008

Jennifer Hudson's relative slain

A relative of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson is believed to be one of two people found slain today in a South Side home, according to a police source.

According to public records, the home is owned by Darnell Donnerson, Jennifer Hudson's mother.

Julian-King.jpgA Chicago police spokeswoman also said a 7-year-old boy was reported missing. Police identified him as Julian King (right), but they would not say whether he is a relative of the actress. He is 5-foot tall, weighs 135 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. An Amber Alert has been issued for the missing boy.

Read more here.

Rhymefest and Rahzel @ CMJ

Spotted at Fake Shore Drive.

Ron Howard Endorses Barack Obama

Common talks about new record The Believer

Pitchfork Calls New Sea and Cake Record Its Best in 10 Years

I just interviewed Sam Prekop for the cover story of next month's Chicago Innerview. He no doubt would be quite excited that Pitchfork has called their latest release, Car Alarm, their best record in over a decade:

The problem with Oui and One Bedroom is hard to define since "coasting" isn't really a pejorative with this band; their M.O. is such that you want them to coast a little, to float along unencumbered by friction. Still, last year's Everybody showed what was missing from those records, serving as a reminder that melodic invention, a bit more drive, and quirky hooks had central roles on the best Sea and Cake albums. And all those qualities are present on Car Alarm to an even greater degree, making this their best album in over a decade.

Car Alarm is pretty great, but I'd hardly characterize Oui as lacking drive or quirky hooks. Read the rest of the review here.

(Sea and Cake - "Weekend")

Lucky you, you can stream the entire record at the band's MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tours: Chicago Afrobeat Project

Chicago AfroBeat Project

Fri 24 Middlebury Univ Middlebury, VT
Sat 25 The Shrine-Harlem NY, NY
Fri 31 SpookStock-Camp Zoe, Salem, MO

Fri 7 Rumba Cafe Columbus, OH
Sat 8 Windows on the Cumberland Nashville, TN
Sun 9 off
Mon 10 Barley's Taproom Knoxville, TN
Tue 11 Georgia Theatre Athens, GA
Wed 12 Bushwood Chattanooga, TN
Thu 13 LiveWire Music Hall Savannah, GA
Fri 14 The Loft Columbus, GA
Sat 15 Bear Creek Music and Art Fest Live Oak, FL
Sun 16 Bear Creek Music and Art Fest Live Oak, FL


Sat 27 Off Broadway St Louis, MO

No Chicago dates for the Chicago Afrobeat Project? What kind of ironic twist is that?
For those of who you can't wait to get their Afrobeat on, watch the video at the top of the post.

Chicago Afrobeat Project

Show announcement: Chandeliers @ Bottom Lounge

Jeff Magnum Performs "Engine" at Bottom Lounge

Spotted at Decider. And whoa.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kool Keith and Kutmasta Kurt on Freestyle 101

Spotted at Nah Right.

Tours: Tapes N Tapes

The Minneapolis-based indie-rockers embark on another tour leg in support of their sophomore LP, Walk It Off. Dates are below:

01-15 Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
01-17 Boulder, CO - Fox Theater
01-19 Boise, ID - Neurolux
01-20 Seattle, WA - Neumos
01-21 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
01-23 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
01-24 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theater
01-25 San Diego, CA - Casbah
01-29 Austin, TX - The Parish
01-30 Dallas, TX - Club Dada
02-02 Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Music Hall
02-03 Columbia, MO - Mojo's
02-04 Ames, IA - Maintenance Shop
02-06 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
02-20 Notre Dame, IN - Legends
02-21 Columbus, OH - The Basement
02-24 Boston, MA - Paradise
02-25 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
02-26 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
02-27 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
02-28 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
03-03 Atlanta, GA - The Earl
03-04 Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
03-05 Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
03-07 Chicago, IL - Metro

Watch an interview with the band conducted at the Bumbershoot festival:

Tapes N Tapes MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

Show Announcement: The Pussy Pirates @ Empty Bottle

Monday, October 20, 2008

Video: Kidz in the Hall - "Love Hangover" feat. Estelle

Parsley Flakes' Member Apartment Burns Down

Luckily, Jeff, from Chicago-based synth-punk trio Parsley Flakes is OK after an apartment fire late Saturday night. But that doesn't mean that he came away unscathed in the manner:

My apart​ment burne​d up late Satur​day night​.​ Lucki​ly I was out drink​ing while​ it went a blaze​ becau​se my room was prett​y much compl​etely​ ravag​ed by flame​ and then subse​quent​ly destr​oyed by the firem​en with axes and hoses​.​ I lost a lot of stuff​,​ but I was able to salva​ge my music​al equip​ment and my photo​graph​s...

I'm back in Cleve​land right​ now for a few days to unwin​d but I'll be back in Chica​go start​ing Monda​y.​ I'll be movin​g into my new place​,​ clean​ing the smoke​ and water​ off my belon​gings​ and slowl​y start​ing to rebui​ld my life.​ I didn'​t have rente​rs insur​ance (who does?​)​ so when I get back to Chica​go I'll be setti​ng up some kind of benef​it show/​dance​ party​ to try and ease the finan​cial pain that I'm going​ throu​gh right​ now.

No word on what caused the fire. Read the entire statement here

(Jonathan Graef)

Electric Touch Launch Breast Cancer Awareness Tour

Download: Electric Touch - "Love in our Hearts"

As you probably know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Austin-based power-pop group Electric Touch have decided to launch a special tour in order to raise money for breast cancer research. The tour, titled "Pinktober", will see all of its proceeds donated to breast cancer research and awareness organizations around the world. So even if you're not thrilled with the prospect of going to the Hard Rock, you can at least be sure that the money you spend will go to a most worthy cause. Tour dates are below:

10/23 Charlotte Radio Charlotte, NC
10/24 Hard Rock Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA
10/27 Piano's - New York, NY
10/28 Hard Rock Cafe - Philadelphia, PA *
10/30 Hard Rock Cafe - Washington, DC *
10/31 Hard Rock Cafe - Baltimore, MD
11/01 Hard Rock Cafe - Cleveland, OH*
11/03 Hard Rock Cafe - Atlantic City, NJ
11/04 Hard Rock Cafe - Foxwoods, CT
11/10 Hard Rock Cafe - Chicago, IL
11/13 Hard Rock Cafe - Minneapolis, MN
11/20 Hard Rock Cafe - New Orleans, LA
11/21 Hard Rock Cafe - Biloxi, MS
11/22 Hard Rock Cafe - Atlanta, GA

*Dates with Filter. Yes, that's right, Filter.

Electric Touch MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Kanye West - "Heartless" (Unmastered)

Download: Kanye West - "Heartless" (Unmastered) (via)

'Ye himself debuted this version of 808s and Heartbreak second single "Heartbreak", which features the vocoder heavily, but is more of a straight-ahead rap track, as compared to first track "Love Lockdown". Thematically, Kanye is treading similar dark emotional territory, but this time, 'Ye's playing victim rather than aggressor. Check it out at the top of the post.

Kanye West MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)
Cross-published on MFR.

Video: Rhymefest - "Thriller" (Live at the Hideout Block Party)

Top Ten Tracks on Reviewed in 50 Words or Less: 10/01/8--10/15/08

(The Legends)

1. The Legends - "Seconds Away"

Download: The Legends - "Seconds Away"

Swedish noise-pop group offers palatable fuzz and hummable, heavenly harmonies, but can't help but suffer in comparison to The Magnetic Fields chain of Distortion issued earlier this year.

Grade: B-

2. Vampire Weekend - "Ottoman"

Download: Vampire Weekend - "Ottoman"

From Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, a song that showcases both the meritable aspects of VW's songwriting (including a admittedly sophisticated sense of songcraft) and their risible tendencies (afro-pop affectation). The former wins, but barely.

Grade: C+

3. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

Download: Jenny Lewis - "Acid Tongue"

Jenny Lewis' poignant tale of a former drug user's quest for redemption still benefits massively from the juxtiposition created from the lush, multi-tracked harmonies and raw, analog production. Like a luminescent star in a pitch black sky, Lewis' voice and tasteful songwriting remain beautiful over multiple listens.

Grade: A-

4. Buffetlibre DJs - "Verbena no.5"

Download: Buffetlibre DJs - "Verbena no.5"

Another marathon dance mixtape from a credible source for the stuff.

Grade: B

5. Deerhoof - "Offend Maggie"

Download: Deerhoof - "Offend Maggie"

One of the more subdued tracks from Deerhoof's most rock-oriented album, "Offend Maggie" subtly shifts from Led Zepplin III acoustic mystery to merry, singsongy melodic journey in a yellow submarine; grows upon multiple listens.

Grade: B

6. Katy Perry - Electric Feel (MGMT Cover)

Download: Katy Perry - "Electric Feel" (MGMT Cover)

For someone so insistent on sensational, but utterly unremarkable, novelty, this cover is both sensational and novel, insofar as that it's actually listenable.

Grade: B

7. Britney Spears - "Womanizer"

Download: Britney Spears - "Womanizer"

In the most literal terms possible, an odd, electro-pop blend of "Toxic" and The Turtles' "Happy Together". Repeating a word over and over again does not constitute a chorus. For a comeback single, this doesn't even stand up to the best of Blackout.

Grade: C

8. Crystal Stilts - "Shattered Shine"

Download: Crystal Stilts - "Shattered Shine"

Another retro bit of dream-pop, taking its cues from The Ronettes and The Jesus and Mary Chain, albeit with an harmonica line straight out of Dylan's Route 66. Mumbly vocals and general indifference to distinctive songcraft elicits nothing more than a shrug from listeners.

Grade: C

9. Brett Dennen - "Make You Crazy" feat. Femi Kuti

Download: Brett Dennen - "Make You Crazy" feat. Femi Kuti

In the time it takes me to give this milquetoast frat-pop the panning it deserves, I could instead direct you to one of the many talented Kutis still making music today.

Grade for Brent Dennen: C
Grade for Femi Kuti: A-

10. Kanye West Vs. MGMT - "Electric Touch"

Download: Kanye West Vs. MGMT - "Electric Touch"

The mash-up between one of Kanye West's early hits, and up-and-comers MGMT latest hit, this is pretty much what you would expect. Still, I danced.

Grade: B-

(Jonathan Graef)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Pit Er Pat - "Evacuation Days"

Download: Pit Er Pat - "Evacuation Days"

Pitchfork just debuted this new tune from the Chicago art-rock trio, whose newest release, High Time, sees the light of day on October 21st. What do you think of the song?

Pit Er Pat MySpace Page

Video: Lupe Fiasco - Live in Toronto

Spotted at Nah Right

New Andrew Bird - "Masterswarm" and "Natural Disaster"

(Andrew Bird - "Masterswarm")

(Andrew Bird - "Natural Disaster")

These new songs come from Chicago musician Andrew Bird's recent show at the Hiro Ballroom in NYC. They are taking from his upcoming release, Noble Beast, which comes out next January, on the 21st. The videos are but two songs from the new record. Watch more here.

Andrew Bird MySpace Page

Monday, October 13, 2008

Smashing Pumpkins Documentary To Get Theatrical Release

Via NME:

A documentary filmed during Smashing Pumpkins’ 2007 residencies is set to get a release in movie theatres across the US next month.

"If All Goes Wrong" was shot when the band performed over 19 nights in Asheville, NC and San Francisco, CA last year and features interviews with the band’s own Billy Corgan, musicians such as The Who’s Pete Townshend and fans.

The movie will be shown in movie theatres for one day only on November 6 in 40 cities across the US, and will be released five days later on DVD. The DVD will include six new songs, recorded at the San Francisco shows.

No word on what cities those screenings will take place, but we suspect that Chicago will be one of them. Either that, or the movie will show at The Venue first, and then Chicago proper will get just half of the real film.

Smashing Pumpkins MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

M.I.A. is Coming Back With Baby, Baby (In Other Words, She's Preggers!)

(Pic via Pitchfork)

Download: M.I.A. - "Boys" (Remix feat. Wale)

At least, according to P4K, who don't exactly have a stellar relationship with the world-traveled, iTunes chart-topping star.

Peep the article:

In case the big lovely bump in her belly up there didn't clue you in, M.I.A. has some news for us. "I'm creating a baby," she revealed to Pitchfork's Jessica Suarez in an interview just prior to her performance at Diesel's ridonculous xXx party in NYC Saturday night. "I've got two kids, that's what it feels like.'

(T)he baby is the collaborative undertaking of M.I.A. and fiancé Ben Brewer, frontman for NYC rockers the Exit and son of Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr.

I think its fair to say that congratulations to the happy couple are due. Congrats!

(Jonathan Graef)

Monotonix on Chic-a-Go-Go

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Walking Bicycles Announce CD Release Show

Dec. 1st
Empty​ Bottl​e
Chica​go,​ IL
FREE/​ 21+

The new album is entitled "​GO?​"​.

Walking Bicycles MySpace Page

Video: Tegan and Sara - "Call It Off" (Live on "Late Night With David Letterman")

Tegan and Sara appear tonight at the Riviera

Tours: Beach House

10-10 Chicago, IL - Epiphany *#
10-13 Oberlin, OH - Oberlin College *#
10-15 Philadelphia, PA - Starlight Ballroom *#
10-17 New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge *#
10-22 New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge (CMJ)
11-12 Barcelona, Spain - [2] *
11-13 Castellón, Spain - Tanned Tin Festival *
11-14 Madrid, Spain - Moby Dick *
11-15 Portalegre, Portugal - CAEP *
11-16 Lisbon, Portugal - Cabaret Maxime *
11-17 Porto, Portugal - Passos Manuel *
11-20 Zurich, Switzerland - Rote Fabrik ^
11-21 Lausanne, Switzerland - Le Romandie *
11-22 Bologne, Italy - Covo *
11-23 Carpi, Italy - Mattatoio *
11-24 Cesena, Italy - RetroPop *
11-25 Rome, Italy - Circolo Degli Artisti *
11-26 Milan, Italy - Magnolia *
11-27 Dublin, Ireland - Whelan's *
11-28 Utrecht, Netherlands - Le Guess Who Festival *
11-29 Malmö, Sweden - KB *
11-30 Helsinki, Finland - Tavastia *
12-01 Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega *
12-02 London, England - Cargo *
12-10 Providence, RI - Club Hell %
12-11 Northampton, MA - Iron Horse %
12-13 Haverford, PA - Lunt Basement at Haverford College

(Beach House - "Gila")

* with Jana Hunter
# with Wzt Hearts, Nautical Almanac, Lexie Mountain Boys, Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez, Ed Schrader, Teeth Mountain, Santa Dads, Creepers
^ with Joan as Police Woman
% with Tickley Feather

Volcano Earn A 7.9 on Pitchfork

Via Pitchfork:

It may be easy to create an indie rock song that eschews structure for instrumental shock-and-awe, or reveals too much information in the lyrics, or pokes fun at messianic rock stars. Doing all of the above is rare, however-- as is making each stray verse or hiccup as arresting as the one before it-- but volcano! manage this on their second record, Paperwork, even better than they did on their debut, Beautiful Seizure.

Read more here.

Check out these videos of the band's release party at the Hideout:

("Africa Just Wants To Have Fun")

("Fairy Tale")

Watch more here.

Volcano MySpace Page

Video: Kanye West - "Love Lockdown" (Live on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pelican Robbed On Tour

From the band's MySpace Blog:

Two days ago we had a spare half hour to spend in Rome
before heading to the venue, so we decided to go see the Coliseum. We
parked nearby and went to take a brief twenty minute walk around the
area. When we returned to our van we found that it had been broken
into, despite being parked on a major street in broad daylight. Four
bags were stolen, the contents including computers, passports,
wallets, ipods, our soundguy's microphone collection, and, most
devastatingly, a number of personal journals and two portable
recording devices containing hours of song ideas that are now lost

Read more, including a new update on the band's condition, here.

Obama Benefit at Schuba's Canceled Due To My Morning Jacket Injury

Download: My Morning Jacket - "Evil Urges"

From P4K:

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James slipped and fell during a show in Iowa City last night (October 7). As a result, he sustained an injury that has forced him to cancel his appearance at an Obama benefit in Chicago tonight, according to a website update from Schubas, the venue where the benefit was scheduled to take place. Meanwhile, both My Morning Jacket shows at the Chicago Theatre this week have been postponed, according to promoter Jam Productions. These shows have not yet been rescheduled.

Read more about the incident here.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Video: New The Killers - "Spaceman" (Live on "SNL")

In contrast to the synthtastic, club-ready "Human", new song "Spaceman" fits more into The Killers brand of New Wave revivalist rock that made Hot Fuss such a big deal with listeners. Apparently, you can only mine Springsteen territory for one album. "Spaceman" is not as wonderfully melodramatic as "Mr. Brightside", but there's still a reasonable amount of anthemic charms to be heard; not a song to convert detractors, nor to rally the converted.

Watch the band perform the new track, presumably off of the upcoming Day and Age record, on late night stalwart Saturday Night Live at the top of the post. And watch it while you can. NBC is cracking down on YouTube vids.

Watch "Human" below as well:

The Killers MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

Cross-published on MFR

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Top Ten Songs On Elbo.Ws Reviewed In 50 Words or Less: 9/16/08--10/02/08

This is a few days late, so the tracks here mirror what's on right now. Apologies all around.

1. The Killers - "Human"

Download: The Killers - "Human"

If I'm going to listen to something this synthesized, I better be watching Cowboy Bebop on early Sunday morning while thinking that I'm about to transcend time itself.

Grade: C

2. Vampire Weekend - "Ottoman"

Download: Vampire Weekend - "Ottoman"

The Ivy-league afro-pop quartet take the opportunity to go into the night with Nick and Norah. The layering of arpeggios during the verses creates an intriguing ambiance, which makes it even more frustrating when the song builds to a totally unremarkable melody. What a waste of a perfectly good white boy crescendo.

Grade: C+

3. Jenny Lewis - "Acid Tongue"

Download: Jenny Lewis - "Acid Tongue"

The Rilo Kiley frontwoman's second solo effort is wholly indebted to the redemptive, soul-searching introspection of bell-bottomed folk-rockers. But any derivative narratives can be forgiven very easily when the tenderness in the multi-harmonized vocals makes listening instantly poignant.

Grade: A-

4. The Legends - "Seconds Away"

Download: The Legends - "Seconds Away"

Swedish noise-pop merchant(s?) writes swirling pop melodies under a considerable barrage of white noise. The production touches here are spot-on, and the chorus is appealingly anthemic (Airiel does something similar), but without a unique touch--say, a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor--the pleasure is related to appreciating a familiar sonic aesthetic.

Grade: B-

5. Katy Perry - "Electric Feel" (MGMT Cover)

Download: Katy Perry - Electric Feel (MGMT Cover)

Everyone's favorite lipstick lesbian covers a kid-tested, blogger approved electro-pop band by using more acoustic instrumentation. Whether or not that's because of, or in spite, low expectations set by her laughable debut, but this lounge-pop rendition is surprisingly listenable. Perhaps the girl she kissed was Feist?

Grade: B

6. The Piano Creeps - "Hey Love"

Download: The Piano Creeps - "Hey Love"

Comprised of veteran musicians, including members of Madder Rose and Saint Low, the New York-based trio craft a twinkling ballad, with an ethereal electric piano and acoustic guitar helping to create an atmosphere of resilience in the face of melancholy. "Hey love/you make me so damned sad". Yeah, but don't you feel much better now that you've sung about it?

Grade: B-

7. The Spinto Band - "Pumpkins and Paisley"

Download: The Spinto Band - "Pumpkins and Paisley"

I'm not entirely sure how a song can be drowning in indie-quirk (check out the wordless vocalizations and chromatic melody of the chorus) and energy can be so conservative in terms of song-structure, but here it is: every indie-pop song you've heard in the past five years.

Grade: C

8. Walter Meego - "Forever" (Van She Tech Remix)

Download: Walter Meego - "Forever" (Van She Tech Remix)

That song from that beer ad gets the remix treatment from Van She Tech who, in the process of trying to create something new, add some interesting polyrhthms and textures to the track. It's still very "remix-y", but Van Tech She succeeds on adding creative touches to a straightforward pop song.

Grade: B

9. Lambchop - "National Talk Like A Pirate Day"

Download: Lambchop - "National Talk Like A Pirate Day"

The labeled-described "Nashville's most fucked-up country band" uses Kurt Wagner's mordant sing-speak to create a song that sounds like twee as delivered by Stephen Merritt. The Dylan-esque song-structure helps create an appealing atmosphere that shares the whimsy nature of the titular holiday.

Grade: B+

10. Tobacco - "Truck Sweat"

Download:Tobacco - "Truck Sweat"

The solo effort of Black Moth Super Rainbow's Tobacco contains many of the synth flourishes and psychedelic instrumental touches that, while certainly nifty, are redolent of RATATAT and his own group. Still, not bad.

Grade: B-

(Jonathan Graef)

Cross-published on MFR.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tours: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone

Download: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - "Graceland" (Paul Simon Cover)
Download: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - "Young Shields"
Download: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - "Lonesome New Mexico Nights"

Midwest Tour Dates

10/03- Madison, WI @ The Annex #
10/09-Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews *
10/10- Northfield, MN @ Carleton College *
10/11- Iowa City, IA @ PS1 *
10/12- St Louis, MO @ Lemp Arts *
10/13- DeKalb, IL @ House Café *
10/14- Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle

# supporting Sunset Rubdown
* w/ Ill Ease

East Coast Tour

10/23- Medford, MA @ Oxfam Cafe (Tufts University) ^
10/24- Annandale-on-Hudson, NY @ SMOG (Bard College) ^
10/25- Ridgewood, Queens, NY @ Silent Barn (7pm show) ^ &
10/26- Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwells % +
10/27- Providence, RI @ Club Hell %
10/28- TBA %
10/29- Athens, OH @ Crystal Castle %
10/30- Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Tavern %
10/31- Louisville, KY @ Pour Haus %
11/01- Indianapolis, IN @ Locals Only %

^ w/ Pants Yell!
& w/ City Center
% w/ No Kids
+ w/ Katie Eastburn

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone

(Jonathan Graef)

Cross-published on MFR.

Lil' Wayne Namedrops Mikkey

The author gets the spelling wrong, but make no mistake about it. That's Chicago rapper Mikkey being namedropped by Lil' Wayne. The article was published at XXL Magazine. Read the excerpt at the top of the post.

(Jonathan Graef)