Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish all my family, friends, readers, and fellow bloggers a very Happy New Year! As they say in my hometown of Vienna: "Einen Guten Rutsch!"

While I'm not 100% sure what I'm exactly doing tonight... One thing is for certain, I'll be listening/dancing to the following 2 tunes at some point this New Years's Eve (or morning):

1) mp3: Johann Strauss - The Blue Danube
The best way to "waltz" in the new year...

2) mp3: New Order - Temptation
Because I like to dance to this one like a mad-man (which, arguably I am)...


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Pump up the volume

Ha ha neighbors, you're going to really hate me now! Suckers! I just picked up and installed the following in my living room last night:

The subwoofer and speakers replaced (and upgraded) some of my previous equipment, which was either blown-out or not working properly any more. I did some testing last night, and yeah, the full system is finally back up to First Avenue's 7th Street Entry standards again.

Cleveland, are you ready to rock?!!!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Holidays! See you next week...

So of course I didn't get my Holiday Newletter done on time! Well, look for that, along with my "Best of 2005" posts next week.

Here's the last Christmas tune I'm posting for the year... I think it summarizes myself and my blog quite well (I'm a lover not a fighter)...

mp3: The Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)

Enjoy the Holidays!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

No, I will not fix your computer

I need one of those shirts! And I know at least 3 other people who do...

I really thought I could get me Holiday Newsletter out today or tomorrow. It's not looking good... Instead, I spent hours trying to fix one of my co-worker's home PCs. Thou shallt not use AOL, ok! I cannot tell you how much AOL (and most other dial-up services) screw up your computer. If there's one request I have... please, please, everybody switch to a broadband connection! And get rid of your regular phone land-line too... old fashioned, don't you think?!!!

While I was working on 2 computers at the same time, I had music going on my main PC. Here's some cool stuff I like that came up during a random mix, and I'll explain why:

mp3: Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone (Jason Nevins Club mix)
I seriously didn't even know I had that one! One of the great "pop" tunes of the year though, so I figured I'd post it. You know I like good "pop" by now, right? I'm not Pitchfork, you know...

mp3: Kings of Leon - The Bucket
Damn (I mean "Fuck"), I missed these guys live twice this year! Absolutely love this song and their album Aha Shake Heartbreak.

mp3: Adam Green - What A Waster (The Libertines Cover)
If you've ever wondered what the lyrics are to this song... Now you can sing along.

mp3: The Go! Team - The Ice Storm
Once the vocals kick in, this song really takes off...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Christmas! Fröhliche Weihnachten!

Merry Christmas from Steve and Ringo!

Just in case I don't get to my "Holiday Newsletter"...

mp3: Vienna Boys Choir - Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht

Thanks for the great year everybody, I love you (and so does Ringo), you know who you are...

a.k.a. Stevie
a.k.a. Stefan
a.k.a. Rock 'n' Roll Star
a.k.a. Monkey Boy
a.k.a. That Guy

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Last Christmas

Ringo wishes you a very Merry Christmas!

Did you know I have a very special connection to the Wham! song "Last Christmas"?

Yes/No, it doesn't matter! Here's the greatest "pop" Christmas tune ever made:

mp3: Wham! - Last Christmas

And a couple of cover versions, that "try" to come close:

mp3: Jimmy Eat World - Last Christmas
mp3: Pas/Cal - Last Christmas

I'll be putting out my 2005 Christmas Holdiday Newletter on this site later on this week. For anybody who read my 2004 email, it will be somewhat similar. I'll summarize my 2005 life: private, work , music, lists, etc... In other words, it will be fairly shocking to most of you, trust me.

Bonus, just coz' the guy is amazing:

mp3: Louis Armstong - White Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Blues Power @ Middle-Of-Nowhere

It's time for a new report from the frontline of music here in Germany.

Yesterday we made a spontaneous trip to a gig of a band named BluesPower (German webpage). The gig was literally in the middle of nowhere close Brunswick, Germany.

Being in the middle of nowhere, I didn't really expect too much, it's not Chicago here, you know - but: Hell, I was wrong.

This was probably the best live-Chicago-Blues I ever listened to! Close your eyes and you think Jake and Elwood were around. Not only that those guys did make great music, they still had some "resources" available for a great show, playing with the crowd and fooling around.

Conclusion: Great show, great band. So blog comunity: Spread the news, I wanna see them on a U.S. tour!!!

For the time being, two songs I found on their webpage:
mp3: Can't be satisfied (live)
mp3: At your service

I try to get their CD's for more international sampling...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday... finally!

TGIF! We're gonna' celebrate!

Ahhhh, finally, it's Friday! I really don't have much more to add to this weeks' posts. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of new music; it just doesn't seem right to post it today. Great stuff to come next week...

This weekend should be pretty cool. I have my work-Christmas party later today, and then I'm heading out for the Vicious Vicious / Tapes 'n Tapes show Saturday @ 400 bar. Other than that, I'll be relaxing and watching the world go by... Perhaps I should start on my Christmas shopping?! Nahhhh, way to early!

Since it's Friday... I'm usually booked for DJ gigs around town on weekends (mainly in my house DJing for my dog), therefore, here's a track that ALWAYS gets people (and dogs) on the floor. Trust me...

mp3: Daft Punk - One More Time (Club Mix)

Yes, all 7 minutes, 45 seconds of it... you need this one for your next party!

Have a great weekend!

R.I.P. Veritas Lux Mea. We shall miss ya'...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Happy 35th Birthday First Avenue!

Click here to purchase the CD

Unfortunately I missed First Avenue's 35th Anniversary party yesterday. The event celebrated the CD Release of The Bootlegs Vol. 1 Celebrating 35 Years of First Avenue, and featured live performances by The Jayhawks, The Hold Steady, members of Golden Smog, Mike Watt, Curtiss A, and many more. Photos and multi-media presentations were also displayed.

Luckily the excellent crew from was there. I'm sure David and Andrea will have some reviews and photos up for you any second, so make sure you check them out...

The CD includes previously unreleased one-of-a-kind recordings live from First Avenue from a handful of the club’s most memorable performances.. Were you there for the Rev 105 Suburbs’ show in 1995? Were you there for the Guided By Voices’ sold-out show in the mainroom? How about when Throwing Muses’ Kristin Hersh wowed fans on her solo tour? Now, you can be!

CD Tracklisting:
  1. The Jay Hawks - Better Days (12-21-03)
  2. Guided By Voices - Queen of Cans and Jars (11-18-03)
  3. Ween - The Mollusk (05-13-00)
  4. Trip Shakespeare - Diane (11-26-91)
  5. Joe Jackson - Is She Really Going Out With Him? (03-29-03)
  6. Patti Smith - Redondo Beach (11-21-98)
  7. The Replacements - Love You Till Friday ('81)
  8. The Suburbs - Every Night's A Friday Night ('95)
  9. Hüsker Dü - Books About UFOs (08-28-85)
  10. Old 97's - Murder(Or a Heart Attack) (01-16-04)
  11. Atmosphere - The Woman With the Tatooed Hands (07-22-05)
  12. Bettie Serveert - What Friends (10-16-03)
  13. Mark Mallman - To Speak of the Animal (11-22-02)
  14. Richard Thompson - Cooksferry Queen (9-29-99)
  15. Jay Farrar w/Canyon - Windfall (9-24-03)
  16. Kristin Hersh - Your Ghost (9-3-99)

You can purchase the album directly from First Avenue here, or look for it at your local Music Retailer (even Best Buy carries it).

Obviously the sound quality on some of the older performances could be a bit better. But overall the CD is a nice collection of live performances.

Here's a couple of tracks from the CD for you:

mp3: The Replacements - Love You Till Friday ('81)
mp3: Hüsker Dü - Books About UFOs (08-28-85)
mp3: Atmosphere - The Woman With the Tatooed Hands (07-22-05)

For me personally, I can't even begin to tell you of how many great shows I've seen at First Avenue and 7th Street Entry. Over the years it's definitely been my favorite and most attended local music venue. Highlights for me include seeing Oasis there in 1994, Pulp in 1995, The Strokes in 2004, and just this year The Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Death Cab for Cutie, Constantines, The Go! Team, Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party... And so many others, I could go on and on...

One of the worst shows I've ever seen there: The Dandy Warhols in 2004. Absolutely brutal (and 2 1/2 hours of it)...

Happy Birthday First Ave!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Everything ends

Six Feet Under

OK, by far the best 2005 TV Soundtrack came from HBO's Six Feet Under.

Ahhh, how much I loved the show Six Feet Under; I can't even tell you. The last 3-4 episodes are the best TV you can ever watch. And yes, I almost cried during the last episode. I miss you Claire and Nate (listen to the "Sia" tune)!

So, without further a-do, here are (some) of my favorites tunes from the most-excellent soundtrack:

mp3: Nina Simone - Feeling Good
mp3: Phoenix - Everything Is Everything
mp3: Sia - Breathe Me
mp3: Interpol - Direction
mp3: The Arcade Fire - Cold Wind

Bonus mp3s:

Since I'm an HBO addict:

mp3: Alabama 3 - Woke Up This Morning (Theme from The Sopranos - Chosen One Mix)

And coz' I love the Jesus & Mary Chain:

mp3: The Jesus And Mary Chain - Snakedriver

I'm exhausted and going to bed. Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Weekend in review etc. / The Killers (?)

My life has been sooooo hectic since last Thursday, but I figured I'd give you an update anyway:

Friday. Hmmm, I hardly remember... I've been training one of my co-workers on new duties since Thursday, so by the time I got home Friday I was totally wiped. I had some dinner and crashed on my couch. All of a sudden, when I woke up, it was 2:30am. Exciting night, huh?

Saturday. My sister, Queenvick's, last night in town, before she headed back to sunny LA. Met up with some really good friends, namely Dawn, Nate, and Alicia, and had a great time @ BW2. I went over to Big 10 Bar after... not much has changed there. Molly, you're still my favorite waitress in Mpls/St. Paul, though!

Sunday. Chilled, watched some football (and I'm not even a football fan). Had some pizza with my parents and sister. I did deliver an early Christmas gift to my sister... 20 mp3 CDs with some of the music she had requested from my CD collection (in addition to some of my recommendations). Total, it came out to 230 albums... Crazy, huh???! I think she has enough new music for a while...

Yesterday was pretty hectic again; you could say it sucked... it's all good though.

Switching over to music stuff. Two of the bands I really used to like when they first came out: The Killers and The Bravery. God, these guys suck! I kind of dislike/hate them now (mainly because I dislike the lead singers and most of their music)... and that goes after I watched them before the became "famous" and played huge venues (The Killers opened for Stellastarr* at 7th Street Entry a while ago). Well, anyway, the "Limited Edition" version of Hot Fuss came out a while ago. Turns out I kinda' like the "Glamorous Indie Rock 'n Roll" tune; so, for all of you how don't own the "limited edition" I'll post the 3 tunes you're missing from the regular album:

mp3: The Killers - Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll
mp3: The Killers - The Ballad Of Michael Valentine
mp3: The Killers - Under The Gun

Enjoy... and that's my post on "bands who I used to like, but don't like any more 2005"...

np: Sigor Ros - Takk

Friday, December 09, 2005

Tapes 'n Tapes Tour Dates

Tapes 'n Tapes

Again, I "blanked" out a great local show last night. I missed Tapes 'n Tapes @ Turf Club. For some reason I thought the event was today... Oh well, I'll catch them on 12/17/05 @ 400 Bar instead...

A good thing to come out of my missed gig... I noticed Tapes 'n Tapes added quite a few new tour dates on their website. For those of you outside of Minnesota, you finally get a chance to check these guys out:

Dec 17 2005 8:00P 400 Bar Minneapolis, MN
Dec 22 2005 8:00P The Varsity Theater Minneapolis, MN
Jan 4 2006 8:00P King Club Madison, WI
Jan 5 2006 8:00P Quiet Storm Pittsburgh, PA
Jan 7 2006 8:00P The Delancey (NYC) New York, NY
Jan 8 2006 10:00P Pianos (NYC) New York, NY
Jan 9 2006 TBA
Jan 10 2006 8:00P The Fire Philadelphia, PA
Jan 11 2006 8:00P Talking Head Club Baltimore, MD
Jan 14 2006 8:00P Schubas (Tomorrow Never Knows Fest) Chicago, IL
Jan 20 2006 8:00P St. Olaf College (The Paws) Northfield, MN
Feb 3 2006 8:00P the Cave (Carleton College) Northfield, MN
Feb 4 2006 9:00P Terminal Bar Minneapolis, MN
Mar 10 2006 9:00P The Cavern Dallas, TX

Also just announced from Tapes 'n Tapes:

"in other news, those of you who are myspace savy may have noticed that the boys posted another song from the loon on their myspace page. if you didn't know, or you have yet to become myspace savy, head on over to, and check out just drums. according to 'n, "it's guaranteed to stimulate and titillate...but in a very G-rated way." hope y'all enjoy it."

mp3: Tapes 'n Tapes - Insistor (more mp3s available on their website)

You can purchase their excellent album The Loon here.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

We miss you John!

Love is real , real is love
Love is feeling , feeling love
Love is wanting to be loved

Love is touch, touch is love
Love is reaching, reaching love
Love is asking to be loved

Love is you
You and me
Love is knowing
we can be

Love is free, free is love
Love is living, living love
Love is needed to be loved

mp3: John Lennon - Love

Coldplay on Conan O'Brien 12/7/05 (take 2)

So for some reason my previous post on this topic got lost; may have had something to do with my PC crashing this morning...

Did you catch Coldplay on Conan O'Brien last night? Wow, I'm happy I stayed up to watch it. What a classic performance. The band performed "Talk" during which Chris Martin climbed into the audience. For their 2nd tune Chris Martin sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" solo on piano, with Conan himself joining in for the 2nd verse. Conan was singing in his "high voice" and was wearing this really cheesy Christmas sweater. At this point I was rolling on the floor laughing... One of the funniest live-music things I've seen since witnessing OK-Go's performance of "A Million Ways" when they opened up for Kaiser Chiefs.

Luckily I taped the whole performance... If you missed it, you can probably find a rip of it on somebody's blog really soon.

Update: See I told you! You can download the Coldplay performance here:

wmv: Coldplay - Talk (follow link)
wmv: Coldplay - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (follow link)

mp3: Coldplay - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (another link here)

Speaking of bands that are experiencing "indie backlash"... Are we liking the new leaked Strokes album "First Impressions of Earth"??? I think it's really good; "Ize of the World" is one of the best tunes they've ever done. Then again, I haven't really listened to it enough... more to come on the album in a later post.

Back to work...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hockey Night Pics / JWL / etc...

Hockey Night live @ Turf Club 12/6/05

All photos from the Hockey Night gig here. Slideshow here.

Instead of the usual crappy post about a band I saw, I figured I'd give you the pictures first. For once I'm not trying to quickly sum up a show by writing any of the following: "amazing", "brilliant", "fucking awesome", "totally blew me away", etc. You know what I'm getting at, right? Even though, they'd accurately sum up yet another gig. Instead, I'm trying to write a proper review of the gig for a change (to come soon)... Hopefully that's not one of my (yet again) empty blogger promises. In the meanwhile check out the HowWasTheShow review from March 26, 2004.

Tomorrow, 12/8/05, marks the the 25th anniversary of John Winston Lennon's life being taken... A very sad day in world history. "Imagine" what life would be like with him around. Here's a tune which I think properly describes his early years with The Beatles:

mp3: The Beatles - Slow Down

A proper John Lennon post to come tomorrow.

I'm tired... Hockey Night didn't come on-stage until 12:30am last night! I didn't go to bed until like 4am. I need to get some rest. Talk to you tomorrow!

P.S. Anybody have an extra Spoon ticket for me tomorrow??? Email me if you do. I'll be willing to part with some serious $$$ (not that serious, though) to attend...

P.P.S. I read a lot (and I mean a LOT) of music blogs. Quite a few have this at the end: "np" and then an album name and link... I finally figured out it stands for "now playing"... Yeah, I'm a dumbass like that; can't believe it took me this long to figure that out. So I think I'll publish what I was listening to when I wrote this...

np: The 88 - Over And Over

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Hockey Night

Hockey Night

As mentioned in my previous post, I'm checking out local band Hockey Night @ Turf Club tonight. Therefore, I figured I'd do a quick post on them.

This five-piece (featuring dual drummers) just finished a well publicized live trek through Europe with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The press from the tour has been very good to say the least. Here's a recent live review and more info on the band.

I've sampled a few of their tunes over the past couple of days. I really like what I've heard of them so far. I'll definitely be picking up their new album Keep Guessin' at the gig tonight.

Here are a few samples of their "ecclectic indie rock":

mp3: Hockey Night - For Guys' Eyes Only
mp3: Hockey Night - This Peaceful Year
mp3: Hockey Night - Cooperation

You can find more mp3s, videos, and other interesting things on their website.

Band Website:

You can purchase their new album Keep Guessin' for only $10 here.

If you're not convinced yet... Here's what Filter Magazine had to say about the band:

"The best thing to come out of Minneapolis since Prince."

Weekend in review

All photos from the weekend and wedding here.
Slideshow here.

Burrrrrr, I'm so cold! I've returned from the "hotspot" tourist destination of Fargo, North Dakota, only to find the the same freezing weather here in Minnesota. Enough of the complaining, here's what I was up-to the last few days:

  • Friday morning, bright and early, around 6am I picked up my sister Victoria at the airport, who arrived from LA. Welcome back to Minnesota Vick! She swears every time she visits is one of the coldest periods here in the state. Judging by the weather, she's absolutely correct.
  • After a period of rest we headed up to Fargo with my Mom & Dad. Speed limits were broken, and we arrived in 3.5 hours. We made good time!
  • We "chilled" (literally) that night. Getting ready for my cousin Melanie's wedding...
  • The wedding didn't start until Saturday ~ 5pm; so my Dad, sister, and I decided to go sight-seeing in Fargo. Did I mention it was damn (bloody) @#$% cold? Well, luckily, in Fargo, sight-seeing only involves 3 blocks... and we were somewhat happy about that. Most the time was spent at a local coffee shop, actually.
  • The Wedding. Excellent, very sweet ceremony. I actually enjoyed not being in the wedding party for a change! One duty I did get assigned... I was "Paparazzi" at the wedding reception as my cousin Abby (amateur photographer) was in the wedding party (and the other photographer was ill)... Ahhhh, I loved it! Shooting with a Canon Rebel XT was absolutely amazing! I wish I'd have something of that caliber for my live-shows... This is one of the reasons I don't really have a lot of pictures of the reception on my camera. Hope the shots I took for you Abby (like 300) turned out! They belong in a gallery near you!???
  • As with all weddings, the best part is seeing family and friends you haven't seen in a while. So I'd like to say "Hi!" to all of you who I hung out with (and maybe even gave this website address to). It was a pleasure and I'll miss you...
  • Congratulations again to Melanie & Tom, the happy couple! They're on a cruise of the Caribbean right now, so I'm pretty sure they have better things to do than to check my lonely ol' blog...
  • No offense to anybody, but the DJ at the wedding absolutely sucked! He played the a-typical wedding tunes... I did not even inquire to do my "guest DJ set"...
  • Sunday we headed back. As much as I enjoyed my 2nd trip to Fargo this year, I was happy to be back in Mpls/St. Paul. I missed my dog Ringo. Thanks Randy (my bro) and Jenn for taking care of all of our animals for the weekend!
  • You may be wondering... Did Mr. Rock 'n' roll star get lucky at the wedding??? Sorry, that's classified! I'm giving you way too much information on my private life already...

Bloggin' for the rest of the week will be sporadic as my sis is here. Hockey Night later today, though...

Friday, December 02, 2005

A lot of stuff to cover today...

Melanie & Tom

Folks, how are you? I have a lot of stuff to cover today, very little time, so let's get started:

I tell you this music blogging thing is absolutely crazy! It's changing the whole way the music industry is operating. You want proof? Go here. Big Record Companies ( Sony, Capitol, etc.), you better get with the times, 'cause the times they are changing!

Speaking of blogging... I'm finally trying to network a bit more with the other local bloggers! For example, see the new "local" bloggers section in the right-side-bar. Also, a message to all of the other local bloggers, should we have a "get-together" sometime? I think we should. Perhaps at local restaurant/pub? Let me know what ya'll think. Email me, or leave it in the comments. I'd love to meet the actual people behind some of these blogs sometime...

I actually have Friday off work! Very weird. The reasons for this are: 1) My sister Victoria is coming in from LA this @#$ morning @ 5:15am, and I'm picking her up at the airport; 2) After that we're heading up to Fargo (yes, Fargo) for my cousin Melanie's wedding.

Speaking of the wedding. (Early) Congratulations to Melanie and Tom! In their honor here's the most beautiful love song of all time:

mp3: Motley Crue - 10 Seconds To Love

OK, just kiddin'

Here's something more romantic for them:

mp3: Stars - Calendar Girl (one of my fav's 2005) (another link here)

I'm off to Fargo on Friday, so no post this evening. I'm planning a "short DJ set" (about 15 minutes) at the wedding (dependent on how drunk the regular DJ is, or I am). Can you say "Arctic Monkeys"... I know you can. Let's hope I don't get thrown out of the festivities...

Ya'll have a great weekend!

P.S. Yes, you'd look good on the dancefloor!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Frames / Sons and Daughters

Continuing with the "International theme" for the week, today it's music from the UK area. To be specific, two of my favorite countries, Scotland and Ireland. Both of these bands had a great year in 2005. Don't worry I won't give you any "2005 lists" anytime soon. I'm sick of lists as well...

The Frames

The Frames

This band is huge in their native Ireland and the rest of Europe! Sadly, like Robbie Williams, they're mostly unheard of in the USA. A crying shame in my humble opinion. They were one of the bands who really stood out (blew me away) @ Austin City Limits. Take a break from listening to the Pogues and U2, and check it out:

mp3: The Frames - Finally
mp3: The Frames - Fake


Sons and Daughters

Sons and Daughters

Luckily I've had a chance to catch this Scottish import live quite a few times over the past year and a half. They've really blown up since their latest album The Repulsion box hit the shelves, and deservedly so! For a change of pace from Travis and Franz Ferdinand, check these guys and gals out.

mp3: Sons And Daughters - Dance Me In
mp3: Sons And Daughters - Dance Me In (JD Twitch and The Truffle Club's Optimo Mix)


P.S. Maureen Dowd on Letterman Wednesday... priceless!

P.P.S. Don't forget, Jack & Meg are on TV Thursday and Friday... check your local listings!