Guess it was time for Dave to find a new day job, since his previous one wasn't really taking up too much of his time, huh?
While a few are obvious choices—Deicide, Metallica, Neil Diamond, Barney, the Meow Mix ad—we don't really understand the inclusion of most of the other songs. Different strokes and all that, right? Hmm...
Nirvana's Kurt Cobain (The Melvins)
Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson (The Clash)
Oasis leader Noel Gallagher (Inspiral Carpets)
Hawkwind/Motorhead bassist Lemmy Kilmister (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd (Nirvana)
"T4" is said to be the first in a three-movie arc. Filming starts in New Mexico in May.
Regarding Renfro, spokespersons for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences stated "It was really an editing decision because we can’t fit everyone in...there was no specific reason...it is simply not possible to include everyone in that segment." That's a pretty lame excuse. No word on why they dissed Whoopi. (Or fellow Oscars host Steve Martin, for that matter.) The ladies at The View must've had a fit.
Somebody's really trying to cash-in on that Sex and the City movie, huh?
BIG STAR / THE POSIES
The Howlin’ Wolf
New Orleans, LA
Funny how things turn out. While they won’t be giving the teenybopper bands and rap-metal clones a run for their money any time soon, Big Star's presence on the musical landscape is stronger these days than it ever was in their '70s heyday, before eventually breaking up some 20-odd years ago. But what was once practically inconceivable has become a relatively common occurrence: after years of refusing to perform with the band, Alex Chilton has brought the influential underground power pop deity out of retirement and to a town near you. Well, almost.
Performing in Chilton's current hometown on an unseasonably chilly New Orleans night for the first time since 1972, Big Star (Chilton on guitar and vocals; original drummer Jody Stephens; and Posies frontmen Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow on guitar and bass, respectively) took the stage before a packed house of mostly 30-something faithfuls shortly before midnight. They were not disappointed.
Opening with "In The Street"--a new version of which is the theme song to Fox's popular sitcom That '70s Show--the band ran through one classic would-be hit after another. Rockers "Back Of A Car" and "When My Baby's Beside Me" as well as the soaring "September Gurls" and a moving version of late founding member Chris Bell's "I Am The Cosmos"--sung by Auer--were among the highlights.
A full band version of the gorgeous acoustic ballad "Thirteen" made time stand still. And that wasn't the only surprise of the evening: dapper in a dark suit and tie, the usually mercurial Mr. Chilton warmed up to the adoring audience early, going as far as performing "Auld Lang Syne" at the stroke of midnight and later stopping the show to tell some jokes while graciously acknowledging the fervent applause garnered during this stellar outing. As the house lights went up, The Replacements' "Alex Chilton" came over the PA and filled the room with its reminder to "never travel far / without a little Big Star." For those that a guiding Star brought from as far as Nashville, Athens and even New York, that was a lesson already well learned in advance.
Openers Auer and Stringfellow started off the evening by playing an abbreviated version of the set they have been performing since late summer on their acoustic tour as The Posies.
While the set was brief, the boys were in a decidedly playful and festive mood-–bringing audience members onstage for sing-a-longs and requesting drinks by way of playing "Tequila"--and managed to include such favorites as "Throwaway," "Flavor Of The Month" and "Suddenly Mary", before making way for the night's main attraction.
Here's the complete lineup:
The Flaming Lips
Death Cab For Cutie
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Flight of the Conchords
the New Pornographers
Tegan & Sara
Built To Spill
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Cold War Kids
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
Mates Of State
the Cave Singers
the Little Ones
Thao Nguyen & the Get Down Stay Down
the Heavenly States
Vince Mira with the Roy Kay Trio
Throw Me The Statue
the Shaky Hands
ERYKAH BADU New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War (Universal/Motown)
THE CARDIGANS The Best Of [limited edition] (Polydor)
COWBOY JUNKIES Trinity Revisited [bonus DVD] (Zoe) *
GOLDFRAPP Seventh Tree (Mute) *
JANET JACKSON Discipline (Island)
* Linked titles have free, full album streams until March 2nd.
- Host Jon Stewart’s subtle bit about the ridiculousness of watching Lawrence of Arabia on an iPod/iPhone was on the mark. Pretty cool. Meanwhile, the Dame Judy Densch/Halle Berry joke by Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill was quite unfunny and went on too long. A double whammy, indeed.
- Amy Adams is adorable.
- Denzel Washington looked like he had something better to do. Or maybe he was upset that Ms. Ruby Dee didn’t win Best Supporting Actress for American Gangster. Can't say we blame him. Especially since it was Tilda Swinton (really?) who won.
- We called it: No Country for Old Men. Too bad we didn’t bet. (And aren't Joel and Ethan Coen among the most awkward dudes you've ever seen? Tommy Lee Jones tried to congratulate them and they just...didn't...know...what...to..do...)
- When we first heard the name we thought it was a dude, for devils have gender in Spanish, so Diabla would’ve been the correct nomenclature. And when we heard the lady in question had been a stripper, we weren’t surprised. What no one expected was this first time screenwriter to to win an Oscar®. So, Ms. Cody congratulations on winning for Juno. Oh, and please, don’t pull a Hilary Swank and get rid of your long-standing hubby now that you’ve captured Hollywood’s coveted golden statuette. What’s that? Too late? Anyway…
- That song from Once is a cutesy bit of chick-flick pap. Sorry...
1. DOVETAIL JOINT “Beautiful” 001
2. JUMBO “Uno de Estos Dias” Superficie
3. TONIGHT AT NOON "It's About That Time" MySpace track
4. BATIMCO “Kings Highway” Batimco
5. BEN FOLDS FIVE “Army” The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
6. BLINKER THE STAR “I Am A Fraction” August Everywhere
7. BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE “Love and Mathematics” Feel Good Lost
8. THE CARDIGANS “Losers” First Band on the Moon
9. CHEAP TRICK “Bontosaurus” CD single
10. THE DISMEMBERMENT PLAN "Tonight We Mean It" The Dismemberment Plan is Terrified
But wait, it gets worse. They aren't even the main offenders (and they're not a music mag either): chucklehead soft, soft porn bible Maxim published a David Peisner review of The Black Crowes' latest album, Wairpaint (Silver Arrow) who, as it turns out hadn't even heard it!
The band called them on it and according to their website, "when approached for an explanation, the magazine described the review as 'an educated guess preview'." Classic.
[Warpaint will be released on March 4th.]
The Bedlam in Goliath
We’ve read a review or two of The Bedlam in Goliath out there that complain about The Mars Volta’s allegedly recent fixation with elements of funk, which supposedly rubbed off from touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. First of all, the musical kitchen sink that is the Volta’s 21st century schizoid prog-rock has never wanted for groove, and secondly, the Chili Peppers wouldn’t know what to do with the funk these days if it woke them in the middle of the night from their mediocre slumber of the last 15 years or so.
The Bedlam in Goliath is another relentless, powerhouse of a record by an outfit hungry to explore and with the chops and songwriting ability to further expand on the musical premise that began with their debut De-Loused in the Comatorium. (Kudos to new drummer Thomas Pridgen for his jaw-dropping playing throughout.) Once again, the band offers up a concept album, this time about the might of the occult, which according to reports reared its ugly head with all kinds of mishaps and delays during the making of the record. It was absolutely worth the grief endured by the band, that’s for sure.
Quite simply, The Mars Volta are the most consistently exciting, experimental, and fearless band of this decade making music on a mainstream platform. And this album is further proof of their immense talents and unwavering spirit.
Highlights: “Aberinkula”, “Ilyena”, first single “Wax Simulacra”, “Goliath”, “Ouroboros”, “Conjugal Burns”.
Including the tail end of Husker Du’s recorded output and his first two solo albums, Bob Mould has not spent much time on a major label. Yet, District Line would be the kind of disc the big recording conglomerates would’ve killed for a chance to put out 10 years ago. And we mean it as a compliment, for this is an incredibly accessible album with tons of commercial potential that handily delivers in terms of cohesiveness, songwriting and production. It also unites three main currents in Mould’s music: the roaring guitar rock he made his calling card with both the aforementioned Du and the short-lived Sugar (“Stupid Now”, "Who Needs to Dream", “Return to Dust”, “The Silence Between Us”); acoustic-based balladry (“Again and Again”, “Old Highs, New Lows”, “Walls in Time”); and his post-Sugar flirtation with elements of electronica (“Shelter Me”), all in a convincing and effortless manner.
There’s a lot to recommend on District Line but more importantly, it’s great to hear a veteran alt/punk rocker pushing 50 (!) making some of the most vital and faultless music of his long career.
Here are the currently confirmed dates:
19 Fallsview Casino, Niagara Falls, ON
20 Fallsview Casino, Niagra Falls, ON
21 Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
22 Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
24 Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY
25 Bank of America Pavilion, Boston, MA
27 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
28 Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Atlantic City, NJ
29 North Fork Theatre at Westbury, Westbury, NY
2 Greek Theater, Los Angeles, CA
AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB The Golden Age (Merge)
THE BIG SLEEP Sleep Forever (French Kiss)
RAY DAVIES Working Man's Cafe (New West)
MIKE DOUGHTY Golden Delicious (ATO)
KULA SHAKER Strange Folk (Cooking Vinyl)
* Linked titles have free, full album streams until February 24th.
[Molly Ringwald in 1985's The Breakfast Club. Photo courtesy A&M Films.]
The writer/director of the classic coming of age comedies Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, Mr. John Hughes (58); and his muse, the undisputed teen queen of the ‘80s, card carrying member of the "Brat Pack" and star of the latter three films, Ms. Molly Ringwald (40); both on February 18th.
Friday, April 25
Buckwheat Zydeco, Sheryl Crow, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Burning Spear, Ozomatli with Chali 2na, Lizz Wright, Tab Benoit, Anders Osborne, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Terence Simien & Zydeco Experience, Leo Nocentelli’s “Rare Gathering” feat. Bernie Worrell, Doug Wimbish & Will Calhoun, Doyle Bramhall with C.C. Adcock & the Lafayette Marquis, Ellis Marsalis
Saturday, April 26
Dr. John, Billy Joel, Keyshia Cole, O.A.R., The Count Basie Orchestra
feat. Patti Austin, Cowboy Mouth, Cupid, James Cotton, Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Trinitee 5:7, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters, Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, The Imagination Movers, Ponderossa Stomp Revue feat. Tammy Lynn, Archie Bell, Roy Head, and Dennis Binder, Big Jay McNeely, Warren Storm w/ Willie Tee & the Cypress Band, NewBirth Brass Band
Sunday, April 27
Irma Thomas, Tim McGraw, Al Green, Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint, Cassandra Wilson, Delbert McClinton, Del McCoury, Pete Fountain, Byron Cage with Kim Burrell, Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, Jeremy Davenport, Rockin’ Dopsie & the Zydeco Twisters, Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue, Hot 8 Brass Band, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles, Roy Young, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, Tim Laughlin, Jo “Cool” Davis, Mamadou Diabate of Mali.
Thursday, May 1
Randy Newman, Widespread Panic, Tower of Power, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Bettye LaVette, Gene “Duke of Earl” Chandler, Deacon John, Donald Harrison, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ruby Wilson, Luther Kent & Trickbag, Porter- Batiste-Stoltz, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Creole Zydeco Farmers, Music Makers’ Relief Foundation’s Blues Review featuring Boo Hanks, Macavine Hayes and Eddie Kirkland, Hot Club of New Orleans, Topsy Chapman’s Tribute to Dinah Washington, John Ellis feat. Jason Marsalis,
Friday, May 2
Art Neville, Stevie Wonder, John Prine, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Richard Thompson, John Butler Trio, John Hammond, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave., Marva Wright & the BMWs, Terence Blanchard & the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Papa Grows Funk, Sunpie’s Tribute to Clifton Chenier, Zigaboo Modeliste, The Jackson Southernaires, The Lee Boys, Bonerama, The Bad Plus
Saturday, May 3
Marcia Ball, Jimmy Buffett, Diana Krall, Steel Pulse, The Roots, Bobby McFerrin and Chick Corea, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr. & the Greater St. Stephens Mass Choir, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Henry Butler, Aaron Neville’s Gospel Soul, John Mooney & Bluesiana, the subdudes
Sunday, May 4
The Neville Brothers, Santana, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, The Raconteurs, Dianne Reeves, Galactic, The Radiators, The Derek Trucks Band, Keb’ Mo’, Rebirth Brass Band, Sonny Landreth, Snooks Eaglin, John P. Kee & the New Life Community Choir, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tribute to Mahalia Jackson feat. Irma Thomas, Marva Wright and Rachelle Richard, Vernel Bagneris: Jelly Roll & Me, Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, DJ Captain Charles, Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet feat. Bela Fleck
Also, the Electro-Voice audio company will hold a charity auction to benefit the above, featuring two Les Paul guitars signed by Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wyle, a Dean bass signed by all members of Megadeth, a custom Dick Dale flame guitar, and an Ibanez guitar signed by Steve Vai.
"Fearless Records has announced the track listing for the seventh installment of their 'Punk Goes' series. Punk Goes Crunk will be released on April 4 and will feature Set Your Goals, Hot Rod Circuit, New Found Glory and more covering the likes of Ol' Dirty Bastard, Dr. Dre, Notorious B.I.G. and others. "
Tracklisting for Punk Goes Crunk (original artist in parentheses):
1. Put Yo Hood Up (Lil John) - Set Your Goals
2. Got Your Money (Ol' Dirty Bastard) - Say Anything
3. I Wish (Skee-Lo) - The Secret Handshake
4. Men in Black (Will Smith) - Forever the Sickest Kids
5. California Love (2PAC) - My American Heart
6. I Wanna Love You (Akon) - The Maine
7. Kryptonite (Purple Ribbon All-Stars) - Emanuel
8. The Seed (The Roots) - Person L
9. Still Fly (Big Tymers) -The Devil Wears Prada
10. Umbrella (Rihanna) - All Time Low
11. Notorious Thugs (Notorious BIG) - Scary Kids Scaring Kids
12. Nothin' But A "G" Thang (Dr. Dre) - The Escape Frame
13. Gin and Juice (Snoop Dogg) - Hot Rod Circuit
14. Hey Ya! (OutKast) - Lorene Drive
15. Tennessee (Arrested Development) - New Found Glory
Garcia anonymously took up a job at an undisclosed restaurant as a cashier and janitor in an effort to "get back in touch" with his audience. Garcia was so good at his temporary occupation and "they liked me so much they asked me to join their management team." He did come clean with his employer and co-workers at the end of his stint when he turned in his uniform and promised them it was not some stunt or exposé but just something he wanted to do. (That and give a $10, 000 check to a fellow employee he befriended.) "After we spoke, they felt good about the whole thing. And so did I."
As expected, support for the Democrats among musicians is more prevalent. Sen. Hillary Clinton's got Madonna, 50 Cent, Carly Simon, Tony Bennett, Jon Bon Jovi, Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, Elvis Costello, Melissa Etheridge and Carole King in her corner, while The Arcade Fire, Joanna Newsom, Will Smith, Babyface, Harry Connick Jr., Macy Gray, Stevie Wonder, will.i.am, Ne-Yo, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, and the surviving members of the Grateful Dead support Sen. Barack Obama.
Among the Republicans, Arizona senator John McCain can count on songwriting legend Burt Bacharach and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee's got rowdy rocker Ted Nugent--and of course, Chuck Norris'--vote.
Finally, in the surprising-but-not-really category, Krist Novoselic is endorsing Republican hopeful Ron Paul, whose strong libertarian stripe surely caught the attention of the one-time political activist and former Nirvana bassist.
St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn will host a concert protesting the Iraq war called SPEAK UP!: A Benefit Concert for Peace in Iraq & Justice at Home on March 18th, featuring performannces by Lou Reed, David Byrne, Antony, Laurie Anderson, Blonde Redhead, Scissor Sisters, Damien Rice, Moby, Bill T. Jones, and Norah Jones, as well as a variety of speakers not from the world of music and/or entertainment.
The Raconteurs--or as the Australians call them, The Saboteurs--are in Nashville's Blackbird Studios working on their sophomore album. No release date has been given but late spring or early summer look tentative. Can't wait.
"Complete Control" (From "The Essential Clash")
"I Fought the Law" (Jan. 1979, London Lyceum)
"Police & Thieves" (Jan. 1980, Aylesbury Friars)
"What's My Name" (Nov. 1977, Manchester Elizabethan Suite)
"Capitol Radio One" (Nov. 1977, Manchester Elizabethan Suite)
"White Riot" (April 1977, Beaconsfield Studios)
"I'm So Bored With the U.S.A." (Nov. 1978, Manchester Apollo)
"London's Burning" (April 1978 London Victory Park)
"1977" (April 1977, Beaconsfield Studios)
"(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais" (July 1978 Glasgow Apollo)
"Tommy Gun" (1978)
"Safe European Home" (July 1978, London Music Machine)
"London Calling" (June 1981, New York Bonds International Casino)
"Clampdown" (Feb. 1980, Lewisham Odeon)
"The Guns of Brixton" (April 1980, "Fridays")
"Train in Vain" (Feb. 1980, Lewisham Odeon)
"This Is Radio Clash" (June 1981, "The Tomorrow Show")
"The Magnificent Seven" (June 1981, "The Tomorrow Show")
"Brand New Cadillac" (Feb. 1982, Tokyo Sun Plaza)
"Should I Stay or Should I Go" (Oct. 1982, New York Shea Stadium)
"Know Your Rights" (May 1983, US Festival)
"Career Opportunities" (Oct. 1982, New York Shea Stadium)
[Frances Bean Cobain does Evita. Photo courtesy of Harper's Bazaar.]
Frances Bean Cobain, the 15 year-old—yikes!—daughter of Courtney “the Black Widow” Love and the late Kurt Cobain is interviewed and poses for the cameras in the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar and reveals herself to be a pretty level-headed, normal teenager. The Los Angeles native is smitten with New York City, but also loves musicals, Sex and the City, and Fashion Week, so she’s obviously far from perfect. Heh, heh. But the most interesting thing about Ms. Cobain is her seemingly solid grasp on the fame that shadows her.
"I'm famous by default. I came out of the womb and people wanted to know who I was because of my parents. If you're a big Nirvana fan, a big Hole fan, then I understand why you would want to get to know me, but I'm not my parents. People need to wait until I've done something valid with my life."
Althouh she hasn’t decided what professional path to pursue—photography, journalism and music are in the running—Ms. Cobain wants to possibly intern at Rolling Stone. Courtney, do you still have that t-shirt her daddy used to wear that said “Corporate Magazines Still Suck”? Dig it out for her, please.
And speaking of Nirvana-related teenagers, remember the baby on the cover of Nevermind?
His name is Spencer Elden and he's 16 years old. Break out the walking canes, people.
May 5: West Palm Beach, FL
May 6: Tampa, FL
May 8: Atlanta
May 9: Charlotte, NC
May 11: Bristow, VA
May 14: Maryland Heights, MO
May 17: Houston
May 18: Dallas
The second leg of the tour includes Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara (CA), Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver. No exact dates or venues for these cities have been announced.
Rhino will also reissue the rest of the band’s catalog—Tim (1985), Pleased to Meet Me (1987), Don’t Tell a Soul (1989), and All Shook Down (1990)—later in the year. A box set is also in the works.
But we heard that the great Herbie Hancock's album of Joni Mitchell covers, River: The Joni Letters, won Album of the Year. And that it was the first time in 43 years that a jazz album had been awarded this distinction. (Wow, something good actually got a Grammy. Saints be praised, Mary Margaret.)
Oh, and Obama beat Clinton: the senator from Illinois won over both ex-presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in the Best Spoken Word Album category for the audio version of his book The Audacity Of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream.
Here's a wrap-up by Billboard, and Stereogum has video.
In any event, yes, there are some classics on there as well as a few worth (re)discovering, so at the very least your Netflix queue should be getting a workout.
The US State Dept and the US Emabassy in London have no comment but it is speculated that Winehouse was turned down for a visa due to her very public drug use and/or her boyfriend (husband?) being incarcerated for witness tampering in the UK. Pete Doherty you are really screwed now.
In other Winehouse news, she is rumored to be singing the theme to the next Bond flick. No one is saying anything yet.
OK. Aside from the novelty aspect--and Verizon aligning themselves with a big-time hitmaker--what's the point? When the gimmick wears off and you're left with a crappy sounding album, then what? Sheesh...
"No One's Gonna Love You" from the album Cease to Begin (SubPop)
"Metal Heart" from the album Jukebox (Matador)
"The Invisible Man" from the album Rain (Rykodisc)
"See These Bones" from the album Lucky (Barsuk)
"Supernatural Superserious" (courtesy of Pitchfork) from the upcoming album Accelerate (Warner Bros.)
and a little bonus treat:
THE NOTORIOUS DLR "Hypnotize the Devil" [mash-up]
Tickets for Joel's concert, billed as "The Last Play at Shea, From the Beatles to Billy", go on sale Feb. 16th. Sid Bernstein is not scheduled to appear.
"Frontman Ezra Koenig appears on stage and in photo shoots like an L.L. Bean model ca. 1985, it’s all docksiders and duckboots, crisp polo shirts and crisper Levis 501s, lovingly and traditionally cuffed. His full head of thick, dark hair should appear in a Pantene commercial, and his skin is as clear as a ten-year-old’s. He’s like an indie rock porcelain doll, and certainly none of it is an accident. Their New England Prep-school aesthetic is carefully executed, from their show flyers to their album art, instantly appealing to everyone who complains about the humdrum, regular-Joe look of most indie rock bands. Rolling out of bed and walking onstage looking just like your friend with the bad temp job is, after all, as 1996 as it gets — a sentiment that’s illustrated brilliantly at the end of ‘One (Blake’s Got a New Face)’ when Koenig sings, 'All your collegiate grief has left you dowdy in sweatshirts; absolute horror.'"
- from Mike Conklin's review of the band's album--which he named best of 2007--in L magazine
See what we mean?
Vampire Weekend are basically a bunch of pretentious, preppy, bookish nerds who stumbled upon a nice little gimmick and have run with it. Nothing wrong with that. If you're Talking Heads, that is. These guys don't come even close.
They do like to amp up that silly pretentiousness factor with song titles like "Oxford Comma" (yes, it's about punctuation) and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" (really?), but "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance" had us wishing it was a prophetic ditty about themselves. Alas...
Oh, so lame.
IRON & WINE The Shepherd's Dog (Sub Pop)
THE MARS VOLTA The Bedlam in Goliath (Universal/Island)
RADIOHEAD Hail to the Thief (Parlophone)
RADIOHEAD In Rainbows (TBD)
SAN FRANCISCO JAZZ COLLECTIVE self-titled (Nonesuch) *
SPOON Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)
CHRIS WALLA Field Manual (Barsuk)
* [This was a Christmas gift from a "Mom and Pop" record store owner for my continued patronage of his establishment. Man... ]
Speaking of The Mars Volta, after recently having the deplorable Bruce "The Return of Bruno" Willis sit in with Paul Shaffer and the band, a palette cleansing was indeed in order: here they are performing "Wax Simulacra" on Letterman. (Dude, that drummer is out of control!)
Restaurant (BMG US Latin-1999)
D.D. Y Ponle Play (BMG US Latin-2001)
Teleparque (BMG US Latin-2003)
Gran Panorámico (BMG US Latin-2005)
In the late ‘90s right thru the early years of the current decade, Monterrey, Mexico became a hotbed of music; a veritable rock and roll epicenter, with a host of bands briefly stealing the spotlight from their Mexico City counterparts and attracting international attention. (Hence the "Monterrock" nickname.) Generally more traditional sounding and less experimental than those in the capital—perhaps due to Monterrey’s close proximity to the US and the city’s relatively elevated economic status—this new scene spawned the likes of Plastilina Mosh, Kinky, Volován, Zurdok, and Jumbo, among others. While we love the late Zurdok’s output—especially their widely-lauded second album Hombre Sintetizador (Universal Latino-2000)—the latter are favorites very near and dear to us.
Not sure if they were a modern, melodic pop/rock band (“Fotografía”, “Alienados Para Siempre”) or Local H’s Mexican cousins (just about everything else), Jumbo’s 1999 debut Restaurant is understandably a tentative affair. But the seeds of their musical future were on that album’s “Siento Que”, a powerful anthem of longing and love on its last sighs that would subsequently come to define their sound, and is arguably their single best song. Restaurant got the band plenty of exposure within and beyond the borders of their native country and set the stage for their first true international hit.
The exact opposite of what is commonly known as a sophomore slump, D.D. y Ponle Play is quite a spirited affair. Chock full of soaring choruses, great playing and held together by a finely tuned production approach that gives the proceedings its underlying fluidity, D.D. Y Ponle Play is a rousing rock and roll record from start (“Rockstar”, “Audiorama”, “Después”) to finish (the timeless tracks “Desaparecer” and “Hoy”). Fans of Sloan and Teenage Fanclub will surely find a lot to like in a record that would kick-ass in any language with even the most cursory of listens. (D.D. y Ponle Play actually includes two songs in English: "Happy High" and "Far Out".)
The life expectancy for a Latin American rock band is short, which is why they routinely sign major labels deals for 3 albums, as opposed to the 7 their Anglo counterparts are indebted for. Jumbo’s final release for BMG was Teleparque, a solid but unremarkable set that found the band in transition and sporting a bit more of a harder edge (“Bajo Control”, “Repetición”, “Yeah”) than on Play. The ‘70s mid-tempo groove of “15 Horas” is a highlight.
In 2005 BMG released Gran Panorámico, a best-of culled from the 3 previous albums with the added bonus of two new songs (the late period Beatles homage “Caminando Hacia Atrás” and "Hasta Que el Sol se Apague"), a couple of live tracks (“Superactriz” and a cover of famed Mexican crooner José José’s “Lo Dudo”) and a DVD with 13 video clips.
Now on an indie label but still enamored of the widescreen, hard-edged sound that had become their calling card, Jumbo released in 2007 what may be their best album yet, Superficie, a collection of songs that brings to the fore many of the elements that has characterized their work to date: Beatlesque pomp (“Un Millon de Vueltas”), retro/futuristic ballads (“No Me Hagas Caso”), catchy guitar pop (“Uno de Estos Dias”) crunchy garage rock (“Veo”) and straight up, mid-tempo rock (“Una Isla y el Mar”).
It’s always a wonderful thing to witness a band not only keep their relationship with the muse on solid ground after music biz upheavals, but to maintain intact their predilection and means to obtain that great panoramic sound we’ve come to enjoy.
Unfortunately, only his truly devoted, cult-like followers—present company included—know much about the man. (A rather erratic recorded output hasn't helped. But as a songwriter, however, he's had numerous hits with covers of his songs, most notably among them "Si He De Morir" by Marc Anthony on his debut salsa disc, Otra Nota and the perennial seasonal favorite "Carnaval" aka "Baila en la Calle" by iconic merenguero Fernandito Villalona.) Now, after years of a few lovingly constructed but notably flawed fansites being the only web-based source of information on the man, Dias has a newly designed website that is quite impressive and worth checking out. (The discography has a few gaps—where are Areito No.1 and Merenrock?—but we're sure they'll get it together soon enough. We hope.)
[Thanks to occasional Dias sideman and "5"er Jorge Suberví for the heads up.]
Performed by Massive Internal Complications, we set out, to no avail, to gather some info on the group and the song. As it turns out, other than the names of the song's writers--Salvadore Poe (aka Paul DiBartolo) and Adam Flax--there seems to be nothing else out there by these guys.
So, if any of you own The Basketball Diaries soundtrack and could somehow get us a copy of the aforementioned song we'd be very appreciative.