Sonic Cathedral is a cool place to play and it feels right for the Ponys further onslaught across this city. The ceiling is crowded with yellow balloons with silver strings dangling onto the audiences heads. Nat who runs the club is DJing and shows some fine rocking selections. So do the Ponys. This band kick proverbial ass. They delve into "rocks rich tapestry" ( (c)Julie Burchill circa 1979) but come up weaving their own distinct and visceral sound. There is the sweeping grandeur of "1209 Seminary" and the stately beauty of "Shine" balanced by the punchy future rock classic "Double Vision". The gig ended ends in a rock and roll maelstrom and yes indeed they "rock like a hurricane" ( (c) Sharon O'Connell circa 2007). As they leave the stage Nat cues Television, a fitting salute to The Ponys' power and pedigree.
Once again, The Times' Sunday Styles section is brutally scooped.
YouTube link courtesy Miwa Okumura.
(foreground, l-r, Kim Burke, Jonathan Meiburg, Howard Draper. 2nd row, Thor Harris, Will Sheff)
On April 10, we'll be releasing a new, double-disc (CD and LP) verison of Shearwater's 4th album, 'Palo Santo'. One of 2006's most critically acclaimed long-players is not merely being reissued, but is in fact, reimagined, with 5 re-recorded versions done in December 2006, along with all new art and remastering of the original tracks. This expanded edition comes with an extra disc containing 8 tracks, some are demos of Palo Santo songs, some are previously unknown compositions, all adding up to a stunning companion piece to the album.
Disc one includes newly recorded versions of "La Dame et la Licorne", "Red Sea, Black Sea", "Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five", "Johnny Viola", and "Hail, Mary".
The album art has been given the deluxe treatment as well, and perhaps we'll even have a jpg to share later today. Impatient types can check out the new version of "Red Sea, Black Sea" (mp3) today.
upcoming live activity :
03-15 Austin, TX - Central Presbyterian Church, 7:30pm (SXSW)
03-16 Austin, TX - Mohawk, 5pm
03-29 Austin, TX - Emo's *
03-30 Baton Rouge, LA - Red Star Bar *
03-31 Birmingham, AL - BottleTree Cafe *
04-01 Murfreesboro, TN - Casa Burrito *
04-02 Durham, NC - Duke Coffee House *
04-03 Wilmington, NC - Bella Festa *
04-04 Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel *
04-05 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar *
04-06 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church *
04-07 Cambridge, MA - T.T. the Bear's Place *
04-08 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
(* with Xiu Xiu)
Should you wish, you can see The Jam, with new vocalist Russell Hastings, performing in May. The venues they're playing are some way off Wembley - their appearance at The High Rocks, Tunbridge Wells, represents something of a departure for a venue best-known for its Wednesday afternoon tea dance ("ballroom dancing with Peter Harvey, tea and cake, £6"). Nevertheless, it's clearly a step up for Rick Buckler, who last year was to be found drumming in a Jam tribute act called The Gift (from whence Russell Hastings has also sprung): "you could say that Paul Weller is a tribute band because he plays The Jam's songs live," he suggested at the time.
That seems a bit of a hopeful argument, but perhaps the kind of high-minded principles that Weller espouses are a luxury that a multi-millionaire rock star can afford, but his less successful former cohorts can't.You could argue that - ahem - this is the modern world, and that The Jam touring without Paul Weller fits with the current vogue for musical nostalgia, in which trifling matters like the absence or death of a key member aren't allowed to get in the way of making some cash or, apparently, audience enjoyment: after all, plenty of people are willing to go and see Queen live without Freddie Mercury, so why not The Jam without Weller.
Then again, twenty-five years ago, anyone who publicly suggested that The Jam had anything in common with Queen would have swiftly been kicked to the floor by several pairs of bowling shoes. After all, die hard fans will tell you that what made The Jam special was the fact that were about more than just the music. They were about fashion and politics and, yup, our old friend principles which, with the best will in the world, isn't something that anyone's going to claim of Queen.
With all due respect to Mr. Petridis, I'll happily suggest the Jam and Queen have all sorts of things in common. Vox amplifiers for one, the crazed nostalgia addiction of their fans for another.
What nobody told me is how loud they are live. Seriously, they are fucking loud. And I spend most of my time at noise shows.
The Ponys took the stage a little late but promised to 'keep making noise til they pull the plug on us', which was still nowhere near long enough for me. Concentrating mostly on material from 'Turn The Lights Out', songs collided into each other, a blur of feedback, furious riffing, and psychedelic bizness that I don't know the correct term for. And then in the middle of all that, they drop in a jaunty keyboard tune, and before you've even finished scratching your head, they're back to the hard stuff, pummeling you with all sorts of garage-rock goodness. I was beaming from burst eardrum to burst eardrum.
Lavender Diamond - "Open Your Heart" (stream), from the forthcoming CD/LP 'Imagine Our Love' (in stores, May 8, 2007)
(NOTE : We've taken down the MP3 of "Open Your Heart" and now opted for a quicktime stream of the song at the request of Lavender Diamond's UK label, Rough Trade. We apologize for any inconvenience...and we're looking forward to charging you real money for the physical goods!)
This was the scene on Wednesday night at the glittering Brit Awards, the UK's equivalent of the Grammys. Cat Power was given the accolade of being nominated as Best International Female and both Chan Marshall and co-emperor of Matador Records Chris Lombardi are seen taking it all in. Held at Earls Court (surely the worlds biggest hanger?) home to the Ideal Home Show and various superstar triumphs and disasters over the years, thousands of media industry types and even more pop loving civilians witnessed a roll call of the great and the good (it says here). OK it wasn't the "carnival of mayhem" Russell Brand promised us and we all secretly wished for but there was enough going on to keep us amused and appalled all night. Compere Mr Brand's opening salvo at David Cameron raised him a notch or two to my mind and although he managed the usual percentage of own goal jokes ("Queens vagina" anyone ? I mean anyone?) he carried off the night with ease.Unfortunately Cat Power didn't walk away with the award she so justly deserved but since when has true and authentic quality, style and genuine talent won out against production teams, song doctors and corporate back scratching at such events. (OK a couple of times). But we weren't the only ones that wuz robbed Justin Timberlake over Bob Dylan, don't get me started.
Rumours of strange fluctuations in the telephone voting I am sure are just that. Of course Orson deserved that award - fair and square. And to my mind their acceptance speech was one of the low highlights of the evening that makes the Brits such a memorable entertainment in the pop firmament.
The Arctic Monkeys didn't accept their awards in person but their filmed acceptance speeches first dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz (great cowardly lion by the way) and then as the Village People really did show their humorous side.
I also learnt that British people LOVE Take That. I mean everybody or at least 99% of them and the other 1% are probably in comas. They have obviously transcended every hurdle to become the sort of icon that is unimpeachable (at least until the next tabloid revelation - build em up and shoot them down).
And we finished up with only one staff member missing in action the next day.
(pic swiped from nebulagirl's Flikr page)
Mar 8 - the Tower Cleveland, Ohio
Mar 9 - Schuba's, Chicago, Illinois
Mar 10 - Downtown Records Lafayette, Indiana
Mar 11 - The Ground Floor, Belleville, Illinois
Mar 14 J & J Pizza, Denton, Texas
Mar 16 - venue TBA, SXSW, Austin, TX
Mar 17 - Sound on Sound, Austin, Texas
Mar 18 -Circle Bar, New Orleans, Louisiana
Mar 21 - Murphy's, Memphis, Tennessee
Mar 22 - The Funhouse, Nashville, Tennessee
Mar 24 - Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
all dates with Clockcleaner, shows in Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Louisville, TBA.
Yes! A third installment of Matador's Buy Early Get Now pre-order promotion and this time The Pony's were generous enough to give us some fantastic bonus material exclusively for customers that pre-order their new full length album, and Matador debut, "Turn the Lights Out."
When you preorder the album, you'll get the following:
- Stream of the album
- Exclusive b-side
- Exclusive live EP download (recorded live at Schubas on 1/12/07)
- An Exclusive poster designed by Melissa Elias. (SUPPLIES LIMITED)
Here's how it works: When you pre-order "Turn the Lights Out," you'll receive information and a unique code via email to download the b-side and the exclusive live EP, and then when release date (3/20) rolls around the posters will ship with the album or you can pick them up at participating retailers.
The b-side and show tracks will be revealed 2/15 on buyearlygetnow.com, the official home of this and all future Matador preorders. As usual, this offer is available through a wide selection of music retailers, as well as through the Matador Store. The complete list of participating stores can be found at buyearlygetnow.com
Still not sold? Sample the goods! Here's a link to listen to a track off of the rockeriffic 'Turn The Lights Out', "Double Vision"
Jennifer O'Connor is currently on the road winning hearts and minds (you can find out where HERE), but even with her heroically busy schedule she may not be coming to a town near you. If that's the case, what better way to get to know this criminally overlooked practioner of the singing and songwriting arts than through her Matador debut, "Over The Mountain, Across The Valley and Back To The Stars"? Especially when Matador HQ is throwing in a free download of her recent digital ep, "Another Side of Jennifer O'Connor." This four song ep starts off with a great cover of Bob Dylan's "To Ramona" and moves on to 3 originals, including the unexpectedly rocking (and expectedly awesome) "(Take Me On A Ride Around The) Sun."
Just order "Over The Mountain, Across The Valley and Back To The Stars," and within 24 hours, we'll email you a unique code to access the EP!
Admittedly I don't really know the dude from a hole in the ground, but: If Doug Aitken had any balls whatsoever he'd take down those Konica/Minolta commercials he made for MOMA (I'm standing in the freezing cold with Richard Hell's daughter and 7 kids from Bard for THIS SHIT? Thank god Prime Burger is up the street) and project a real piece of art like this here. Step it up a notch, guy. You only live once.
[coolplayer width="360" height="280" autoplay="0" loop="0" charset="GBK" download="1" mediatype=""]http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=679120070[/coolplayer]
Yay folks, we're as excited as some excitable people - The Ponys are doing three shows in London. This marks the first time I'll have ever seen them live, which by all accounts is quite the experience.
The dates are:
February 20th: Camden Barfly
February 22nd: 'Sonic Cathedral' @ The Legion
February 23rd: 'Dirty Water Club' @ The Boston Arms
You can get tickets here.
I have a feeling this is going to be one of those 'Oh, The Ponys? Yeah, I saw them in 07 supporting Troubles at Sonic Cathedral. I was there' -type deals, so get your skates on.
I do hope this isn't a hoax (much as I wish the City Of Boston would actually learn how to define "hoax").
Can you spot the celebrity in this video?
(YouTube vid swiped from MerrySwankster)
(December poster art by Tim Clark)
(link swiped from Boing Boing.net)
When I use the term "post-punk", you know what I mean, and I therefore apologize for being too lazy to come up with a more accurate tag, but maybe one simply does not exist....for all the right reasons. The easy-on-the-peepers Love of Diagrams have opened their EP with a song that's like having sex on a camping trip: Fucking In Tents!! That one only works verbally....at an odd hour. Drunk. They pulled the old Bob Welch "Ebony Eyes" trick on this one: Seven or eight big hooks in one song that could have easily been utilized to make seven or eight good songs. Why did I mention the usage of the neutered genre classification of post-punk? Because I have listened to this song the exact number of times that I've listened to my other favorite first-wave example, Nightingales' "Idiot Strength." And by "exact number", I mean 782 times within the past two weeks. And though residing on what feels like the other side of the Earth from Athens, GA, I must, as a Southerner, give it up for the Pylon cover.
C'mon Time-Warner, bail this guy out, already.
To the elected officials of Boston and Massachusetts who are knocking themselves out with their crazed grandstanding, I can only hope that none of you are ever placed in Frylock's Cloner.
(UPDATE : A nice way to cash in on the lunacy, though I would hope some of the dough could go towards the defense fund of the poor schnook the Boston Police have made a scapegoat out of. )