Thursday, August 31, 2006

RnR Star Summer Mix 2006



First of all I'd like to thank my band-mates DJ Adidas1 and EngineerFred for their excellent summer mixes. Great stuff! Tough acts to follow...

I've zipped both of their mixes for you to download:

DJ Adidas1: Summer 2K6: It’s All Worldbeat To Me.zip
More info on the mix here.

EngineerFred: Look! A Shiny Thing!.zip
More info on the mix here.

I had a huge write-up ala Pitchfork prepared for my mix, but then totally changed my mind and decided to go "minimalist" with it. You know what I like by now, right? Well, here are the tunes that were rockin' my summer in 2 CD form. A couple of notes on the mixtapes:
  • All these artists I either saw live this year or they released (or will release) an album in the US in 2006. Trust me, some of these albums I've had for a long time (Cribs, Art Brut, etc).
  • Obviously most of these tunes have been posted all over the blogosphere. A lot of them I've even posted before. Then again, so what? I really wanted to give you my "honest" mix.
  • It was extremely difficult to narrow this mix down to 2 CDs.
  • I'm sure you'll find at least 2 songs on the mix you'll really love, and at least 2 which you'll really hate.
  • Every mix tape needs something funny on it. Again, I think you can see I've included a couple of these.
  • My favorite 2 tunes I could listen to over-and-over: 1) The Arctic Monkeys, and 2) Silversun Pickups.
  • By far the dirtiest song on the mix: "Bump" by Spank Rock.... It really takes off about 1 minute into the tune. It's definitely rated "NC17" kids! A+ song, though.
  • [ Insert you favorite "Art Brut... Top of the Pops" comment here ]
  • Birdmonster (a blogger favorite) rocks.
  • What "rocked" your summer? Let me know... if you've got a mix online leave a comment. I'd love to check it out and I'll amend this post with a link to your mix. Seriously.
  • I don't have pictures of Tom and Katie's baby, sorry.
  • I've got 2 local bands on this mix. They're both pretty obvious. I wanted to include more... sorry. Yes, I'm talking to you, White Light Riot.
  • As I'm typing this, I already want to change at least 2 tunes.
  • I've been "Lost In Boston" before...
  • Skateboarding is not a crime.
  • My second choice for the name of this mix: "Fuck, I hate mowing my lawn mix 2006".
  • Turn the songs up. The mix is best enjoyed at high volume.
  • And yeah... Jack White is a genius.



RnR Star Summer Mix 2006 CD 1
download full CD 1 as .zip

01: Youth Group - Forever Young
02: Art Brut - Formed A Band
03: Hot Chip - Boy From School
04: Phoenix - Long Distance Call
05: Ghostface Killah - Shakey Dog
06: The Alarmists - She Will Love Again (Hey Kid)
07: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cheated Hearts
08: The Walkmen - Lost In Boston
09: Sia - Breathe Me (Ulrich Schnauss Remix)
10: Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
11: Razorlight - America
12: Towers Of London - Fuck It Up
13: Regina Spektor - On The Radio
14: Birdmonster - 'Cause You Can
15: Husky Rescue - Summertime Cowboy
16: The Cribs - The Wrong Way To Be
17: Cansei De Ser Sexy - Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above
18: Radiohead - Everything In Its Right Place (Josh Wink Remix)

RnR Star Summer Mix 2006 CD 2
download full CD 2 as .zip

01: Sound Team: Movie Monster
02: Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
03: Prototypes - Danse Sur La Merde
04: Lupe Fiasco - Kick Push
05: Lily Allen - Smile
06: The Knife - Heartbeats (Rex The Dog Remix)
07: The Raconteurs - Steady, As She Goes
08: Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch
09: Band Of Horses - The Funeral
10: The Strokes - Heart In A Cage
11: We Are Scientists - Can't Lose
12: Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
13: Primal Scream - Country Girl
14: Pet Shop Boys feat. Elton John - In Private (Stuart Crichton Club Mix)
15: The Rakes - 22 Grand Job
16: Spank Rock - Bump
17: Dirty Pretty Things - Deadwood
18: Tapes 'n Tapes - Jakov's Suite
19: Arctic Monkeys - A Certain Romance

As always, if you like the artists, please support them: Buy the CDs and go to the shows. I do. Thanks for reading my blog.

Note: I have one more very personal and emotional post coming up before I leave for Europe. I haven't done one of these in quite a while... Stay tuned.

- Steve

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

(Almost) Free Built To Spill Tickets - First Avenue 9/12 or 9/13/06

Built To Spill

I have 2 pairs of $1.00 Admission tickets to the upcoming Built To Spill shows at First Avenue. They can be used for either the 9/12/06 (21+) or 9/13/06 (All Ages) shows.

First two people who email me with a German swear-word in the subject line get 'em. Good luck.

Congrats to the two winners, Erik and Pete! Enjoy the show.

- Steve

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pick Six

Check out Brian (DJ Adidas1) in The Sunday Star Tribune: Pick Six

- Steve

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Spotlight: Twin Town High CD Release Party

Locals, if you're not busy tonight and in the mood for some live rock 'n' roll, may I suggest:

Twin Town High CD Release Party 8/25/06

Friday 8/25/06 - Turf Club
Twin Town High CD Release Party featuring:

Building Better Bombs
These Modern Socks
Middlepicker
Big Quarters
Beight

9:00pm - $5 - 21+

Your $5.00 admission even gets you the "Twin Town High Vol 8" CD for free. Great deal if you ask me. Andrea has more info over at Pulse of Twin Cities.

Maybe I'll see you there. Have a nice evening.

- Steve

The Flaming Lips / Sonic Youth / The Magic Numbers live @ The MN State Fair 8/24/06

The Flaming Lips live @ MN State Fair 8/24/06
(Photo courtesy of s4xton, check out his blog)

OK, so this is another one of those nights and shows that's really tough to summarize... especially at 2:25AM.

Here's my favorite tune from the gig:

mp3: The Flaming Lips - The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song

Update: Others have done the summarizing of this unforgettable night for me:
- Steve

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Look! A Shiny Thing!

Hello all. The Rock'n'Roll Star has asked me, as a fellow band member, to contribute a summer mix for your listening pleasure. I have to say it is way intimidating to follow the most EXCELLENT mix by Adidas1, but I'll give it a whirl.

So The Rock'n'Roll Star is the new music expert. Adidas1 is the Worldbeat and Hip-Hop master. What do I know? Well, give a listen and leave a comment, because I have no idea. I think I like driving guitars and shiny pop, but it's still pretty much a mystery to me. The songs below are a cross-section of what I've been listening to all summer.

A few miscellaneous bits:
  • The Horrors (track 2) are the most excellent (now unfortunately defunct) garage-esque band from Iowa, not the current NME whores of the same name who are no talent ass clowns whose music sucks (yes, I have an opinion on them).
  • Pick up the disc by South, "Adventures In The Underground Journey To The Stars". It is quite good.
  • I don't know why Earl Brutus never got any love, but I find them to be top shelf.
  • I know they are now simply "The Hopefuls". My cd cover says "Olympic" and I'm sticking to it. Dear USOC, "Up Yours".
  • Yes, I like some bubblegum. I understand and accept all mockery directed toward me at the inclusion of The Primitives and Bunnygrunt. I have no defense.
Happy listening!

Engineerfred

01 - The Stands, "Soon Come"
02 - The Horrors, "Briar Patch"
03 - The High Fidelity, "Addicted To A TV"
04 - The Primitives, "Dizzy Heights"
05 - Oxford Collapse, "Prop Cars"
06 - Olympic Hopefuls, "Holiday"
07 - Apples In Stereo, "Do You Understand?"
08 - The Duke Spirit, "Stubborn Stitches"
09 - Blue Van, "Product of DK"
10 - The Librarians, "Too Fat To Frug"
11 - Bunnygrunt, "Superstar 666"
12 - Buzzcocks, "Ever Fallen In Love"
13 - Donovan, "Barabajagel"
14 - Chapterhouse, "Don't Look Now"
15 - Earl Brutus, "Midland Red"
16 - The Sun, "Valentine"
17 - South, "A Place In Displacement"
18 - Kings Of Leon, "The Bucket"
19 - Dirty Pretty Things, "Last Of The Small Town Playboys"
20 - Drugstore, "Say Hello"
21 - Mike Doughty, "Looks"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Time to pack

I'm back from house and pet-sitting. Guess what? I just booked my trip to Europe. "What trip to Europe?" you ask. Stay tuned. Lots of updates and I think even some "music stuff" to come...

- Steve

Friday, August 18, 2006

Weekend Spotlight: Ghostland Observatory



Rock Insider turned me onto this duo from Austin, Texas, last week. Ghostland Observatory consists of vocalist/guitarist Aaron Behrens and producer/beat-maker Thomas Turner. Musically they mix electronica, rock, and funk reminiscent of such artists as Daft Punk or Prince.

mp3: Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City
mp3: Ghostland Observatory - Piano Man

The band will be in town this weekend for a couple of gigs:

Friday, 8/18/06 - Varsity Theater
Woody McBride with Dance Band,TV Crush, and a surprise band from Austin, TX
8:30pm, 18+, $8/$10
(Ghostland Observatory is the "surprise band")

Saturday 8/19/06 - The Soap Factory
Sound Unseen Dance Party
9:00pm, 21+, $15.00 (includes complimentary drinks)

They'll also be performing in-studio on the Current this afternoon.

Ghostland Observatory Website
Ghostland Observatory MySpace

Loads more great events happening this weekend; check the HowWasTheShow Calendar for more info.

Enough of my ranting and raving for the week. I'm off to pick up my sister from the aiport. Also, I get to house and doggie-sit over at my Mom's house the next few days.

My roommate told me earlier today "Dude, you gotta' post this!" OK, here you go:

mp3: Paul Oakenfold Feat. Brittany Murphy - Faster Kill Pussycat (2006 Club Mix)

I'm outta' here, have a great weekend!

- Steve

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Paris Hilton loves me

Blender Magazine

The September edition of Blender Magazine is out. I guess Paris really likes me (check picture above), and what Paris wants, Paris gets. Well, kind of:

mp3: Cansei De Ser Sexy - Meeting Paris Hilton

CSS Website
CSS MySpace

In non-poor Photoshop skills news today:

> Do check out this week's main story "Wave of the future" in Pulse Magazine. Congratulations to Greg at Perfect Porridge for the mention! He runs a great local blog I visit every day. Do check it out.

> NYT: Paris Hilton Seeking Fame As Singer.

> OK, Paris gets what Paris wants:
YouTube: Paris Hilton - Stars Are Blind

> Via Donewaiting.com: Brand-new and bloody fookin' great. Bady Drawn Boy "Born in the UK":



> YouTube: Badly Drawn Boy - Silent Sigh

> For those of you who don't like Badly Drawn Boy, everybody likes Fergie, right?
YouTube: Black Eyed Peas - My Humps (djsohbash remix)

Have a nice Thursday,
- Steve

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Danse, danse, danse

Prototypes

You know I love Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy". The following is quickly becoming my other favorite "danse" tune of the summer:

mp3: Prototypes - Danse Sur La Merde A+

Do check out more tunes from Prototypes (yes, they're French):

Protypes Website
Protoypes MySpace
Their US Label: Minty Fresh Website
Their US Label: Minty Fresh MySpace

Other stuff I found interesting:

> Mark these local shows down on your calendar:

Kasabian - 10/5/06 Fine Line Music Cafe
YouTube: Kasabian - "Empire"

Amy Millan (Stars, BSS) - 9/29/06 Turf Club
YouTube: Amy Millan - "Baby I"

> Borat's MySpace
"I want meet nice western girlies for chitchat and sexytime - preference lady with yellow hairs, with plough experience and little or no history of retardation in family. I would like to meet you and make romance inside you."
> I wish Razorlight would tour with Kasabian. Come on, Razorlight & Keane on tour... that's just plain wrong.

mp3: Razorlight - America
YouTube: Razorlight - "In The Morning"

> Create fake concert tickets.

> Perhaps the City Pages' new music editor can tell me what happened to my "Picked to Click" ballot?!

> MP3 bloggers and peeps involved in the music-biz should check out the Elbo.ws Music Blogger Community.

> Silversun Pickups played an amazing gig here with the Alarmists recently, and:

On The Current
On WOXY 8/9/06 (So Much Silence)
Live in Chicago
An Ode To Silversun Pickups

> Stop whispering, start crunking.

> Dirty Pretty Things were on David Letterman last night, and:

live in NYC
live in Chicago
YouTube: Dirty Pretty Things - I Get Along - Bowery Ballroom
YouTube: More Dirty Pretty Things live

> David Letterman on Monday: "Danger Mouse, always a pleasure!" made my roommate and I laugh out loud.

> "Summer 2K6: It’s All Worldbeat To Me (compiled by DJ Adidas1)" is still up. Do check it out...

> And coz' I totally agree with Jax:



Have a nice day, I'm done.

Je m'entends...
- Steve

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Raconteurs live mp3s


(Photo courtesy of Lollapalooza)

I'm excited, I can actually help out a reader who emailed me last week:

Hey man-

Just saw your site and couldn't agree with you more concerning the Raconteurs show at 1st Ave in Minneapolis...BEST. THING. EVER. Absolutely loved it. My ears were still ringing Friday night!!!!

Anyways, do you have any idea how to get a live copy of that show??? I would LOVE to have one and can't find anything on the internet. I'd love to buy one, but I doubt they're doing that ala Pearl Jam.

Let me know if you know how to get a decent quality recording from this show. It was an instant classic.

Thanks!
Drew

Well Drew, while I haven't found a recording of the First Avenue performance, I did find a recording of their 8/4/06 Lollapalooza set.

The whole thing is available for download as individual mp3s on the excellent Minneapolis-based music blog Culture Bully. I just discovered the site myself and really dig it. Chris also has a review of the First Avenue show and lots of other goodies. Do check it out...

Enjoy,
- Steve

Monday, August 14, 2006

Silversun Pickups / The Alarmists / Fiasco & Wyatt live 8/12/06

Hope everybody had a nice weekend. Mine was pretty nice and mellow. Saturday kinda' rocked:

I started out the night with dinner @ Champps downtown hanging out with some friends to celebrate my buddy Matt's birthday. We had a great time. Loads of bachelorette parties dropping by there... good scenery to say the least.


(The Alarmists) Flickr photos / slideshow

After Champps we all had seperate plans. I headed over to 7th Street Entry around 10:15pm and got there just in time to watch The Alarmists. I missed the opening band Shoveldance, but they were kind enough to give me their EP so I'll definitely check them out again soon. The Alarmists seemed a bit nervous before starting their set, but by the middle of their first song were back to regular excellent form.


(Silversun Pickups) Flickr photos / slideshow

7th Street Entry had a great crowd and was almost sold-out. Seems that Shoveldance and The Alarmists had brought in quite a few fans. Silversun Pickups started punctually right around 11:30pm and opened with "Melatonin". They continued to race through their excellent debut album. My personal favorites were "Little Lover's So Polite" and "Lazy Eye".

As predicted, the volume was extremely high. Didn't help I practially stood on the stage. The band and audience really fed off each other. Guitarist/singer Brian Aubert has a lot of charisma and kept the audience amused by dropping "Purple Rain" references in-between songs. The energy was definitely there. Talking with the band afterwards they even told me that they felt this was one of their best shows on tour. Great stuff, check them out a venue near you soon.


(Silversun Pickups)

After hanging with The Alarmists and friends for a little while I decided I better go check out the Johnny Fiasco and Marques Wyatt DJ gig @ Foundation. I got there pretty late, around 1am, but I still managed to catch Johnny Fiasco on the turntables. I was pretty amazed by how tight his set was. The crowd was dancing up a storm. He even mixed in Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy". I don't go to a whole lot of electronica events, so I think I stood out there a little bit. Who else wears earplugs in a club? Yeah, I'm a dork... then again, I do like my hearing.


(Marques Wyatt, Johnny Fiasco, and Myself)
Flickr photos / slideshow

I met a really nice guy at the DJ gig who snapped some pictures and emailed them to me. All the Fiasco / Wyatt shots come courtesy of him, www.myspace.com/zoogarocha. Thanks again, buddy! Also, for all things DJ, and coming events check out MNVibe.


(Johnny Fiasco)

That about sums it up. Bar-close at 2AM downtown Minneapolis is still fucking insane. Fights, alcohol overdoses, people exposing themselves, etc... Entertaining to say the least, in a Girls Gone Wild or The Real World kind of way.

Slow week ahead for live-shows, I don't think I have any on the calendar. Kind of nice for a change, actually.

2 more things:

1) I met a really nice fellow music lover, Kate, at 7th Street Entry. She also has some great pictures of the Alarmists and Silversun Pickups.

2) I snapped some photos with David's camera for HowWasTheShow.com. Hope they turned out ok. I'm not used to working with actual decent equipment. Look for them on the site at some point soon.

Have a nice Monday.

- Steve

Friday, August 11, 2006

Summer 2K6: It’s All Worldbeat To Me (compiled by DJ Adidas1)


(Photo courtesy of sosidesc)

You know my roommate Brian, aka DJ Adidas1 by now, no? He's the guy keeping me up-to-date on all things Electronica, DJ, Hip-Hop, and World Beat. Trust me, he knows his stuff. Just ask the guys at the Electric Fetus sometime...

I hear all sorts of crazy shit coming out of his bedroom at all hours of the night. So while I was working on my "Summer Mix" (yet to be completed), I asked him to make one. He did, and here it is. He told me: "Steve, let the music do the talking", so I think that's what we'll do:

Summer 2K6: It’s All Worldbeat To Me (compiled by DJ Adidas1)

mp3: 01 Solu Music Feat. Kimblee - Fade (Solid State Kandi Mix)
mp3: 02 Bob Sinclar - Amora Amore
mp3: 03 M1 - 'Til We Get There
mp3: 04 Henrik Schwarz, Dixon & Ame Feat. Derrick - Where We At
mp3: 05 Buju Banton - Me Too Bad
mp3: 06 Naked Music NYC - It's Love (Joshua's Mo Musiq Mix)
mp3: 07 Tony Allen - Moyege
mp3: 08 Lil' Wayne - Oh No
mp3: 09 Cheb I Sabbah - Esh 'Dani, Alash Mshit (The Constantine Remix)
mp3: 10 Hanna Hais - (Je ne veux plus ĂȘtre) Ta Reine (Mikael Delta's Brazilian Break Mix)
mp3: 11 Quantic - Ticket To Know Where feat. Ohmega Watts
mp3: 12 T.I. Feat. UGK - Front Back
mp3: 13 Ghostface Killah Feat. Ne-Yo - Back Like That

Total running time: 1 hour

Leave Brian a comment if you like it.

Now I'm really outta' here for the weekend...

- Steve

Wu Tang Clan First Ave Friday Night any Women Takers - $1

I swear I didn't post this on Craigslist. Roomie, is this your doing?

- Steve

Weekend Spotlight: Silversun Pickups / The Alarmists etc...

Lots of good live music events happening in the Twin Cities this weekend:

Saturday 8/12/06 - First Avenue 7th Street Entry
Silversun Pickups / The Alarmists
$7.00 21+
The Alarmists are on @ 10:30pm

Silversun Pickups



LA's finest shoegazers have been getting rave live reviews on their current tour. Their debut album "Carnavas" just came out a couple of weeks ago and I really like it. Musically the band has been compared to everything from My Bloody Valentine to The Pixies to Smashing Pumpkins.

They feature big amps and big distorted guitars, so make sure you bring ear plugs kids!

mp3: Silversun Pickups - Melatonin
mp3: Silversun Pickups - Little Lover's So Polite
mp3: Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye

Silversun Pickups Website
Silversun Pickups MySpace

The Alarmists



I've posted on my favorite local boys before. Numerous times. They're currently in the studio recording the follow-up to their excellent debut "A Detail Of Soldiers". Easily one of my favorite CDs of 2006. They really shine in their live performances, so come check them out.

If you have plans Saturday, they're also playing at The Hexagon Bar tonight with Ouija Radio, and The Debut. Even better, there's no cover.

mp3: The Alarmists - Some Things Never Stop
mp3: The Alarmists - She Will Love Again (Hey Kid)

The Alarmists Website
The Alarmists MySpace

Other cool stuff this weekend:

> Low Lustre is playing their final Minneapolis gig before moving to NYC:



Saturday 8/12/06 - 400 Bar
Low Lustre / White Elephant / Michael Morris
$7.00 - 21+
8:00pm

We'll miss them. Best of luck in the big apple boys!

mp3: Low Lustre - Dancing Blind

> For all you electronica/DJ fans out there:



Saturday 8/12/06 - Foundation
OM 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Marques Wyatt & Johnny Fiasco
Free before 11pm, $5.00 after 11pm 21+

Easily my roommate Brian's favorite DJ label. Speaking of my roommate, he gave me his "Summer 2K6" mixtape to post. Look for it later today or in the next couple of days. I've sampled it, and wow, it will blow your mind...

mp3: Uneaq - Only U (Johnny Fiasco Dub)

> And of course, can't forget about this:



Friday 8/11/06 - First Avenue
Wu-Tang Clan / I-Self Devine
$35.00 18+

mp3: Ghostface Killah Feat. Wu-Tang Clan - 069 Milli Bros.

Check the HowWasTheShow calendar for more great events.

I don't care what anybody says, but I like these girls.

I'm outta' here. Happy birthday Matt! Have a great weekend!

- Steve

Brazilian Girls - Jique (Live in NYC)



Their new album "Talk to La Bomb" drops 9/12/06.

"Jique" is the first single and you can download the mp3 here.

Brazilian Girls Website
Brazilian Girls MySpace

- Steve

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Don't Hassel The Hoff



New video "Jump In My Car". KITT even makes an appearance.

- Steve

Recap: Wolf Parade live @ First Avenue 8/9/06

IMG_0103

As you can probably guess I was pretty tired at work today. Doesn't help that the office suite next to where I work is being remodeled. Lots of hammering and drilling, but worst of all, the construction crew had cheesy @#$% classic rock turned up on their "ghetto blaster". Grrrrr...

Here's the Wolf Parade review: They rocked. Hard. Loved the new stuff they played. End of review. Do check them out at a venue near you sometime and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Related: Wolf Parade at The Metro-Chicago

Wolf Parade Website
Wolf Parade MySpace

- Steve

P.S. It was definitely a full moon type of night...

Wolf Parade live @ First Avenue 8/9/06


Flickr photos / slideshow

Get this... I got home @ 3:30 AM. I hung out with everybody in Wolf Parade (including Spencer), Frog Eyes (including the hot drummer), and even Of Montreal.

I could explain further, but I'm way too tired. Check this shitty video out:



More to come when it's not 4:45am,

- Steve

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Jigga... the Bono of Hip-Hop?



Jay-Z Helps U.N. Focus on Water Crisis

Related: Jigga What? Jigga Who?

- Steve

In Memoriam

Sorry to break in on all the new music buzz, but I have to give a few moments and a few words to one that helped pave the way.

Tony Ogden, founder and primary songwriter for the Madchester-era band World Of Twist has died at the age of 44.

Famously reclusive after disbanding WOT in 1992, he was nonetheless celebrated for his contributions to pop music in the early 90's and remained influential, if not prolific, throughout the later stages of his career.

Who were World Of Twist and why do I care? Self-described as "a sort of Roxy Music meets Velvet Underground meets Northern Soul meets Joe Meek meets Human League" they didn't exactly have self-esteem problems. Quite simply, they were a brilliant little pop band that put out only one full length recording and a handful of singles. Quality Street, their only long player, is a beautiful snapshot of 1991 with shiny retro sounds on top of pulsing dance beats and synthesized accents. They even had the cheek to cover The Rolling Stones' She's A Rainbow.

I'm always a little sad when a musical light dims or goes out, and today my world is a bit darker with no Tony Ogden in it.

mp3: World Of Twist - Jellybaby
mp3: World Of Twist - The Storm
mp3: World Of Twist - Lose My Way
mp3: World Of Twist - She's A Rainbow

I now return you to your regularly scheduled music.

-Ryan

Agent Sparks live @ First Avenue 8/1/06



My friend Sarah recommended these guys to me. To be honest, I don't really know much about them. I guess we'll learn together today...

LA's Agent Sparks were in town last Tuesday as they opened up for Blue October. Luckily, Sarah checked them out and here's what she had to say about the gig:

Apparently the band was having a string of bad luck before they arrived in Minneapolis:

1) Their van blew a tire on the way to the show.
2) George Purviance (drummer) broke his foot in the accident.

After finding out about this, I was a little nervous about how their set might go, but to my delight (and I’m sure the band's as well) it turned out to be a rockin' show!



Agent Sparks really got the crowd involved in their music. At any given time there were people bouncing and dancing, clapping, and giving praise to the band. The songs “Pollyanne” and “Face the Day” got the audience roaring.



I think my favorite moment of the evening was when Ben (Vocals/Guitar) and Stephanie (Vocals/Keys) got the people on the floor to bunch together for some crowd-surfing. The people in the audience managed to get a girl and a guy up for a few minutes during the song “It’s not my Time”.



I would have to say, for a band that was having some pretty bad luck, this show turned out to be perfect! George was super-fantastic on the drums even though he had a broken foot; if anything, this actually shows how truly great the band is.

This is one of the most exciting and heartfelt bands I've seen in a while.

Agent Sparks

Thanks Sarah! Here are a couple of tunes:

mp3: Agent Sparks - Pollyanne
mp3: Agent Sparks - Mr. Insecurity

Agent Sparks Website
Agent Sparks MySpace

Have a nice Wednesday. I have to mentally prepare myself now for what lies ahead tonight...

- Steve

Monday, August 07, 2006

Albert!


A few misc links for you to check out:

> Domino Records (one of my favorite labels) posted a bunch of new videos on YouTube:

Arctic Monkeys - Leave Before The Lights Come On
Clearlake - It's Getting Light Outside
Franz Ferdinand - Wine In The Afternoon

> Do we all know that Albert Hammond, Jr. from The Strokes has a solo record "Yours To Keep" coming out in the UK on October 9th? No wonder he was hanging out with U2 recently... Sample some new tunes:

Albert MySpace

> www.myspace.com/mandata. I love Amanda! Thanks Amy for the link.

> I watched some of Lollapalooza online. Here's one of my favorite performances. Lizzy got a picture with them.

- Steve

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Brendan & I



Thanks to the ab-fab Jaime for taking and emailing me the photo above!

Raconteurs played a pretty cool cover of this tune Thursday:

mp3: Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

In other news... Have you see the new Dears video "Ticket To Immortality" yet? Here it is:



Have a nice weekend,

- Steve

Friday, August 04, 2006

Raconteurs live @ First Avenue 8/3/06

Raconteurs live @ First Avenue 8/3/06

Flickr photos / slideshow

You know, I try not to swear too much on my ole' blog, but tonight's show was fucking unbelievably great. Jack White is a genius. Period. Brendan Benson is way underrated. I go to a lot of shows; this was easily one of the best. Make no mistake, this is Jack's band. However, Brendan & Jack traded off vocals and guitar solos quite a bit. The Greenhornes' guys were pretty awesome themselves... loved the bass, loved the drums.

A few random observations from the show (I posted a few of these on the HWTS Forum, so I'll copy and paste. Yeah, I'm lazy, I know):

1) The gig was extremely crowded. I mean "Arcade Fire" kind-of-crowded.
2) By the end of the show it was at least 95-100 degrees on the main floor.
3) The volume level was at least 100+ decibels.
4) Jack White is a genius.
5) Brendan Benson is way underrated.
6) Jack White is a genius, and this is his band.
7) The first encore, Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" was fucking amazing. I was surprised of how many people didn't know the tune. I didn't weep. Rather, I jumped and danced like a "crazy" person. So did the girl next to me.
8) I met Brendan after the gig. Very cool guy...
9) I didn't meet Jack after the gig. He was hiding in the tour-bus...
10) Raconteurs are unbelievable live. The record is not even close.
11) Jack's plaid pants were awesome.
12) My Flickr pictures are up
13) This guy got way better pictures than I did. Didn't help that my camera/memory card died during "Crazy". Fuck.
14) I have a pretty cool video of the show... no, not "Crazy". Unfortunately YouTube is doing maintenance right now and I can't upload it... That figures... (See update below)
15) Their album already sounds 1000% percent better, now that I've seen them live.

Yes, it's that great:

mp3: Raconteurs - Crazy (Gnarls Barkley Cover - live 7/23/06 San Francisco)

Did I mention Jack is a genius? Ha ha...

Have a great Friday. This was one of my favorite live tunes they played:

mp3: The Raconteurs - Call It A Day

- Steve

Update: YouTube is working now... Let's illustrate the difference between the "album" version of the song and the "live" version:

1) mp3: The Raconteurs - Yellow Sun

2) The Raconteurs - "Yellow Sun" live @ First Ave:



I think you get my point, right?!

Sorry the audio/video sync is screwy... YouTube (or I) is having some problems.

I'll leave you with this little video recorded in San Francisco (we've covered why I don't have footage of this):

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Husky Rescue / Elanors / Sugoi live @ Turf Club 8/2/06

Had my dentists appointment today. I'm happy to report that the feeling on the left side of my face has returned. Oh how I love you Novocaine...

Last night's show was excellent. Local boys Sugoi opened around 10pm and were ok. I liked the music but the vocals were only so-so. The were followed by Chicago's Elanors. They were really good, sounding like a mixture between Radiohead and Rufus Wainwright. Great stuff... I bought both of their CDs so I'll post a couple of sample tunes here soon. Husky Rescue went on around midnight and sounded just as spectacular live as they do on record. Really amazing how they produce that type of sound with real instruments.

I had a great time hanging out with the members of Elanors, Husky Rescue, and Beth from Minty Fresh. Such nice people...

Related Sites:

Husky Rescue Website / MySpace
Elanors Website / MySpace
Sugoi MySpace
Minty Fresh Website / MySpace

And here are a few photos and Flickr links:

Husky Rescue: Flickr photos / slideshow









Elanors: Flickr photos / slideshow







Sugoi: Flickr photos / slideshow



Gotta' cruise... Off to Raconteurs I go.

mp3: Eels - Novocaine For The Soul

- Steve

Husky Rescue / Elanors

I'll let you guess if last night's show was great or not:



More to come on that subject later. In the meanwhile, Gnarls & Raconteurs were hanging out last night in the same place.

Via Stereogum, if Raconteurs play this tonight I may just go "crazy":

mp3: Raconteurs - Crazy (Gnarls Barkley Cover - live 7/23/06 San Francisco)

It's really late and I have a dentist appointment later. I better go to bed. See you at the Jack/Brendan/Greenhornes gig tonight.

- Steve

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Husky Rescue

Husky Rescue

Lots of good bands from all over the world in town this week. Tonight we have Gnarls Barkley @ First Avenue and Husky Rescue @ Turf Club. I don't have a ticket to Gnarls so we'll focus on the latter.

The Minty Fresh label has been on a roll lately, having introduced many great new artists this year. I'm really liking Klee, Prototypes, Bettie Serveert, and The Living Blue to name a few. Just today my friend Amy turned me onto another Minty Fresh band: Husky Rescue. The 5-piece hails from Helsinki, Finland, and features sensual vocalist Reeta-Leena Korhola. The band has a very atmospheric, ambient, relaxed, electronica, pop-type sound. In my opinion, perfect for work or to chill out to anytime. Give these tunes a spin and see what you think.

mp3: Husky Rescue - Summertime Cowboy
mp3: Husky Rescue - Sweet Little Kitten
mp3: Husky Rescue - New Light Of Tomorrow

YouTube: Husky Rescue - Summertime Cowboy
YouTube: Husky Rescue - New Light Of Tomorrow

I just downloaded their album "Country Falls" via Emusic today and really love it. I knew I had heard "New Light Of Tomorrow" somewhere before... turns out it was featured in The Sopranos epsiode # 73 from last season called "Johnny Cakes".

Husky Rescue Website
Husky Rescue MySpace
Minty Fresh Website
Minty Fresh MySpace

Other related links:

The band is scheduled to stop in the Current's studio this afternoon @ 4:00 pm CST. Check out the in-studio archive, they just added Smoosh and The Futureheads.

Husky Rescue is playing Lollapalooza this weekend.

Minty Fresh is offering a free download of "Hell = Other People" from the upcoming Bettie Serveert album "Bare Stripped Naked" in the stimuli section. Check it out.

Klee's new album "Zwischen Himmel und Erde" drops 8/4/06 in Deutschland. Album title translated: "Between Heaven and Earth". Hopefully Minty Fresh will release it here in the US soon as well...

See ya @ Turf,
- Steve

P.S. I'd imagine Husky Rescue's album could also come in handy for those "romantic moments" with your special someone...