Archive | January, 2011

Tours and New Albums and Tours: Bob Seger, Bright Eyes, The Mountain Goats

31 Jan

Bob Seger Turns the Page Quickly

Back Touring

In a Rolling Stone exclusive, writer Andy Greene outlines the process of Bob Seger’s decision to tour this Spring. Last year his staff quietly scheduled 40-50 concerts which Seger declined initially. But, he turned the page on the book of no and randomly alerted his staff this month that he actually wants to tour. Seger put his staff in a large predicament. It takes months to schedule a U.S. wide tour. To say they have scrambled to get everything together is an understatement.

But it has been announced that Seger will embark on a two-and-a-half month tour beginning in March, so I guess they did a good job. A few dates will be announced next week as the staff continues to iron out the tour details.

The tour will be classic Seger mixed with some new tracks off of his upcoming 17th studio album set to be released sometime this summer, according to Seger.

I saw Bob Seger back in 2006/2007 when he toured last. He rocked MSG to the tune of a packed crowd. I expect the very same this time around.



Bright Eyes’ Bright New Album

Bright Eyes has released several albums displaying their indie/folk style and lead singer/songwriter Conor Oberst’s melancholic and fluid lyric. In an exclusive NPR first listen, writer Robin Hilton boldly declares that their new album The People’s Key is the zenith of Bright Eyes’ success. Keep in mind Bright Eyes released I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning which is widely regarded as one of the best album’s of the last decade.

In the review, Hilton describes Oberst as, “older and wiser and more sure of himself. His voice is stronger, the sonic palette is richer and the poetry is more compelling.”

And on first listen I actually agree. Oberst and Bright Eyes explore a wide spectrum of music on this album. They move from straight folk into odd experimental tracks. There is no better example than the first track “Firewall” (below) which features Oberst’s friend Denny Brewer, who is the guitarist for the band Refried Icecream, talk about his esoteric views on existence. Esoteric because I don’t want to call them utterly nonsensical and chimerical. The song that follows continues in that vein both musically and lyrically. The album is a huge success and is available for listening on NPR through the link provided. The album comes out for purchase on Feb. 15.

Exclusive First Listen:


All Eternals Deck Continues Mountain Goats’ Awesomeness

I have posted so many pictures of this band on the blog I am running out of picture choices.

The Mountain Goats are coming back to the Eastern United States to promote their new album All Eternals Deck, which is set to be released March 29. How do I respond to this news?


That is somewhat suitable. They are coming to Ithaca on April 2 and I am going to see them for my second time. I just bought tickets. The Mountain Goats are one of my favorite bands and John Darnielle is a lyrical deity.

The new album will most likely be fantastic. I will lean on the first song leaked from the album entitled “Damn Those Vampires.” Take a listen.

Below is the track list from the album and the concert schedule.

All Eternals Deck tracklist:
1. Damn These Vampires
2. Birth of Serpents
3. Estate Sale Sign
4. Age of Kings
5. The Autopsy Garland
6. Beautiful Gas Mask
7. High Hawk Season
8. Prowl Great Cain
9. Sourdoire Valley Song
10. Outer Scorpion Squadron
11. For Charles Bronson
12. Never Quite Free
13. Liza Forever Minnelli

The Mountain Goats – 2011 Tour Dates
3/24 Richmond, VA @ The National
3/25 Washington DC @ 930 Club
3/26 York, PA @ Strand-Capitol PAC
3/28 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
3/29 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
4/01 Boston, MA @ Paradise
4/02 Ithaca, NY @ Castaways
4/03 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
4/05 Chicago, IL @ The Vic
4/06 Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
4/07 Atlanta GA @ Variety Playhouse
4/08 Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
4/10 Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
4/11 Columbus, OH @ Wexner Center
4/12 Pittsburgh PA @ Mr Smalls
4/15 Philadelphia PA@ Theater of Living Arts


The Best Back To School Song: “Be True To Your School” by The Beach Boys

28 Jan



Hey! Put that surfboard away!

“When some loud braggart tries to put me down
And says his school is great
I tell him right away
“Now what’s the matter buddy
Ain’t you heard of my school
It’s number one in the state”

The Beach Boys win purely on their ability to use braggart in their lyric. End of story. But seriously, “Be True to Your School” won the poll for best back to school song and this title is well deserved. Their overly corny, early 60’s, nauseating school pride anthem is so utterly ensconced in the education system that it might as well be sung after the pledge of allegiance. I pledge allegiance to Brian Wilson and the plaid shirt wearing members of his surf music band.


Don't these look like law abiding citizens

This 1963 ode to pep rallies and Hawthorne High School, the Wilson’s school in California, is cheery and so supremely hokey it kind of needed to win. Seriously, the song is so early 60’s Beach Boys mouthwash that it practically is most of their other songs in the same key. Not much ingenuity there. But the harmonies are great and the lyric is class.

It wins because of these reasons. That are not many songs that can inspire someone to want to go back to school. Most inspire young people to long for school’s end. The Beach Boys try to get you in the classroom with the lure of pride. So get your letterman jacket on and be true to your school.

Landfall – Please Remember Me Mr. Postman – Green Hornet Opera

27 Jan

Jimmy Buffett Has a Few Too Many Margaritavilles

Jimmy Buffett © David Atlas

Jimmy Buffett did not play his famous song “Landfall” during last night’s concert in Sydney, Australia. If he did it would have just been cruel irony. Buffett was released today from an Australian hospital after taking a sober plummet off the stage during his show Wednesday.

“Jimmy has been released from the hospital and is doing well,” read a statement on

The concrete floor did not provide much padding for Buffett’s head and the collision caused him to temporarily lose consciousness. Buffett is a trooper though and he has yet to cancel his next concert on the 29th. Get well soon Buffett. We need our only vacation troubadour to continue lecturing us on the importance of relaxation.


Gladys Horton Dies

Gladys Horton, who co-founded Motown’s Marvelettes, died Wednesday night in Los Angeles. She was 66

The Marvelettes hit it big with their 1961 song “Please Mr. Postman” that characterized classic Motown style in both beat and dance. Horton sang lead in the band at only 15 years old

The song reached #1 on the pop charts and was an inspiration to later Motown super girl groups like The Supremes.

My condolences go out to her family. May she rest in peace.

Check out this old recording:


Wait Kato Can Sing

Seth Rogen and Jay Chou star in the remake

Many reading this remember the old TV version of the Green Hornet where Bruce Lee played the ace kong-fu master, Kato. In the movie remake of the classic 60’s show, which is currently playing in national theaters, Kato is played by Taiwan’s Jay Chou, a 32-year-old rap and R&B star from Taiwan, where he is most known.

Chou, who has appeared in numerous Chinese films, added a music to Kato’s character, unlike Lee’s straight kong-fu approach.

“I hope to show Western audiences that Asians don’t just do kung fu, but also sing, write songs and play the piano,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press. “So I put the musical element into my Kato.”

Chou plays piano in the film and it ends with a Mandarin language song called “The Nunchucks” that he wrote 10 years ago, inspired by the weapon that his idol Lee made famous years ago.

“When I got a chance to play a hero, I told myself I couldn’t give up,” he said.

The movie has already spawned a promised sequel and Chou will stay on for the production of it, but afterwards he will return to what he loves, music.

School Day, School Day

25 Jan

Nothing like crayons to welcome students back to universities after winter break. Who doesn’t like variegated symbols of joy and youthfulness? How this has anything to do with college, I don’t know, but aren’t you now happy? This post is already so colorful. Let’s keep it that way.

As some of you know, I have just started the spring semester of my senior year at Binghamton University. In May, I will walk across the stage of my school’s events center to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstances,” (which I just found at today was originally written to profile young men dying in war. A quick shout out to the article). I’m not Van Wilder-ing my college experience. But there may be graduate school in my future, so I guess more college can be on its way.

Anyway, all this school talk had me thinking. What are some of the best songs to listen to when you are going back to school after a break? So I have taken the time to compile a list tonight of my top five school songs. The list encompasses school pride created by the Beach Boys and school…uh…indifference from Animal Collective. It takes elementary school and college and mashes it together into this amalgamation of pencils, chalk and locker room effluvium. So, in my best Mr. Mackey, “school is good, mmkay.”

Check out the posted songs and vote. Plus – this is the best part – if you think I’m an idiot and another song deserves a spot on our list, you can vote other and comment on why your song should be on the list.

The Songs:

“I’ll Wait” 27 years – Talkin’ New York – Django Jazz

24 Jan

David Lee Roth Back in Studio with Van Halen?

It has been 27 years since the release of 1984, the zenith of Van Halen’s success. It has also been 27 years since David Lee Roth was kicked out of the band. 1984 was not only a tremendous success, but it was the boiling point. Van Halen did not release an album as good as 1984 in their band history. 1984 featured hits like “Hot for Teacher,” “Jump,” “Panama,” and “I’ll Wait.” The album only came up short to Thriller on the charts and, I mean, Thriller is pretty damn good.

2011 (MMXI – embedded Halen joke) may see an in-studio reunion between Roth and his former bandmates, the first since 1984 was recorded. There are no guarantees that smoking cherubs will be seen again, but this is good news for Halen fans. According to Stereogum, the album has started being recorded. No release date has been revealed yet.



Dylan Comes to New York (50 YEARS AGO!)

I know, let that sink in. While not even Bob Dylan can confirm that January 24, 1961 is the exact date of his arrival to New York, most believe that the traveling, tremendous, troubadour first came to the big apple on this day 50 years ago. He was 19 years old and hit the streets of New York during one of the most brutally cold winters in its history.

Nice article profiling Dylan’s first days in New York in the Rolling Stone today.


So hey Mr. Tambourine Man play a song for me.


Django’s “J’Attendrai Swing”

Fark Gem Alert. Credit to Fark for including Django Reinhardt on their happy birthday link list. Django would have been celebrating his 101’st birthday yesterday if he did not die back in 1953. Who was Django Reinhardt? He was a little known jazz guitarist who is known for his development of the “hot” jazz style of guitar playing. Little known to most people. To jazz guitar aficionados, that’s another story.  He created this style with two good fingers. After a caravan fire, his third and fourth digits were partially paralyzed but Django didn’t need them. Listen to this old-time jazz classic.

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