Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The One AM Radio - Live, and on the radio

So last Wednesday I was lucky enough to be able to see The One AM Radio play and at this point I fell like I'm sending a belated birthday card by writing about it. But you know what they say: better late than never.

So, back to the story at hand. On Wednesday I was able to see Hrishikesh Hirway (A.K.A. The One AM Radio) perform at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Boston, MA, the night after his latest album, This Too Will Pass, was released to the general public. For those of you who haven't been to the Coolidge Theatre, it's history is rich: it's been around since 1933 and walking inside reveals a completely retro atmosphere that transports you back in time. The theatre primarily shows movies of all types (art films, popular films, independent films, first-runs, local filmmaker showcases, children's matinees, etc...) but on this evening it hosted Hrishikesh and his 3 backing musicians (an upright bass and two tenor saxophonists).

The opening act was a one man band, Animal Hospital, A.K.A. Kevin Micka. Kevin was situated on stage in the middle of a drum kit, a guitar, and a whole bunch of electronic doo-hickies and gizmos, with a camcorder focused on him and enlarged on a screen behind the stage. Using looping, Kevin used his instruments to build up and down, back and forth, with one continuous thread weaving through the 30 minutes or so he was onstage. If techno / industrial / ambient music is your thing, check out this track and head over to his website to listen to some more of his handy work.

Visit his website, his label Mister Records, and become his friend on Myspace.

Following Kevin was The One AM Radio, who put on an enjoyable, if short, performance. Besides the three backing musicians, Hrishikesh used a laptop to provide backing beats to keep the music in time. Although this kept the songs true to the album and easily recognizable, it also meant that improvisation was limited. About half the set was taken from the newest album (Read about the album here), with the other half coming from previous releases (get them from eMusic here). The supporting saxophones and upright bass sounded wonderful in person and were thankfully not drowned out by the laptop or Hrishikesh's guitar.

The One AM Radio - Buried Below (live) : Live on KFJC 6-10-06 (studio version on A Name Writ in Water)

I would recommend seeing him one of the following dates if he's coming to a town near you:

01 Atlanta, GA - Tea House
04 Orlando, FL - Stardust Coffee
05 Pensacola, FL - The Javeline Joint
06 New Orleans, LA - Eldon's House
07 Houston, TX - Notsuoh
08 Austin, TX - Progress Coffee House
10 Prescott, AZ - The Raven
11 Phoenix, AZ - Stinkweeds Records
12 La Jolla, CA - UC San Diego Che Cafe
16 Berkeley, CA - Fort Oregon [w/ Golden Birds]
18 Portland, OR - Towne Lounge
20 Boise, ID - Yosada House
23 Wichita, KS - Electric Snake
24 Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews
25 Chicago, IL - South Union Arts
27 Ann Arbor, MI - Lee's House

Visit Hrishikesh's website, his label Dangerbird Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Brit band imposter: The Hourly Radio

I originally gave this album a spin without knowing anything about The Hourly Radio, and I could have swore at first that it was a British band paying homage to the 80's New Wave sound (Modern English's I Melt With You came to mind). Boy was I wrong.

The Hourly Radio is a foursome hailing from Dallas, TX (not too far from London, right?!?) which formed back in 2003. Their first release was the self produced Lure of the Underground EP back in January of 2005, and their first full length album, History Will Never Hold Me, came out last September.

The album opens with an instrumental track that instantly made me think of Radiohead's Subterranean Homesick Alien (reason number one I assumed they were Brits). Delving deeper into the album reveals tracks that feel like they have a close kinship to 80's British new wave music but add their own updated spin to the sound. Heck, they even refer to a vacation as holiday in track 4, Please Forget.

The Hourly Radio - Crime Does Pay : History Will Never Hold Me

The Hourly Radio - Not A Victim : History Will Never Hold Me

and a bonus cover of a classic Brit band...

The Hourly Radio - Say Something (James Cover) : original version on the classic James' album Laid

Visit their website, their label Kirtland Records, and become their friend on MySpace.

The band just kicked off their tour Wednesday in Boston. (I would have loved to attend, but I already had plans that night to see The One AM Radio, who just released their latest - review coming soon) See The Hourly Radio at one of these shows:

02/24 Brooklyn, NY - Luna Lounge
02/26 Washington, DC - Black Cat
02/27 Pittsburgh, PA - Garfield Artworks
03/01 Cleveland, OH - Peabody's Downunder
03/02 Cincinnati, OH - Mad Hatter
03/03 Nashville, TN - 12th Porter *
03/04 Atlanta, GA
- TBA *
03/05 Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits *
03/08 Miami, FL - Studio A *
03/09 Orlando, FL
- The Social *
03/10 Tampa, FL - The Orpheum *
03/12 Mobile, AL - TBA *
03/13 Jackson, MS - W.C. Don's *
03/14 Austin, TX - SXSW
03/15 Austin, TX - SXSW
03/16 Austin, TX - SXSW
03/20 Little Rock, AR - Juanita's

* = shows with Plane Jane Automobile


Modern English - I Melt With You : Life In The Gladhouse (1980-1984) the best of Modern English

Jason Mraz - I Melt With You : 50 First Dates Soundtrack

Nouvelle Vague - I Melt With You
: I Melt With You / Teenage Kicks

Radiohead - Subterranean Homesick Alien (live) : Live, Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC, 12-19-97 (studio version on OK Computer)

Friday, February 23, 2007

N N I N (New Nine Inch Nails)

Coming fairly quickly after the release of With Teeth in 2005, Trent Reznor is planning on releasing a pair of new concept albums sometime in April, the first entitled Year Zero. There are a few teasers floating around out there; if you haven't heard them yet, check over at Culture Bully.

Also being released in the next few days is the DVD Beside You In Time, which contains live footage from the With Teeth tour.

While I unfortunately don't have an advanced copy to check out of either (I'd love to get one sent my way), I do have some old gems to dust off and share:

Nine Inch Nails - Head Like A Hole (live in Vienna '91)

Nine Inch Nails - Dead Souls : The Crow Soundtrack

Nine Inch Nails - The Perfect Drug (The Orb)
: The Perfect Drug Single

Josh Wink (w/Trent Reznor vocals) - Black Bomb [Jerry In The Bag]
: Herehear

Buy more NIN to your heart's content

Visit Trent's website, his label Interscope Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Solo Stroke?: Albert Hammond Jr.

Have no fear, the Strokes are still intact, but while you're waiting for their next album, try Albert Hammond Jr.'s solo album, Yours To Keep, scheduled to be released March 6th.

While you can pick out hints here and there of Strokes influence, Hammond's album loses a little of the heavier, faster overtones and adds some more melodious tinges, making the whole affair a little more poppier feeling. Musicians helping him out with guest appearances include Ben Kweller, Sean Lennon, and Strokes' frontman Julian Casablancas.

Albert Hammond Jr. - In Transit : Yours To Keep

Albert Hammond Jr. - Everyone Gets A Star : Yours To Keep

The Strokes - Walk on the Wild Side (live Lou Reed cover) : Live (original Lou Reed version on Transformer)

Visit his label New Line Records and become his friend on MySpace.

Check him out on tour next month:

2 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile Cafe #
3 - Portland, OR - Roseland Grill #
5 - Solana Beach, CA - Crocodile Cafe #
6 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre #
8 - San Francisco, CA - Popscene #
10 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theatre #
13 - Dallas, TX - Gypsy Tea Room #
14 - Houston, TX - Meridian #
15 - Austin, TX - SXSW - New Line Showcase
17 - Atlanta, GA - Roxy Theatre #
18 - Nashville, TN - Exit Inn #
23 - Chicago, IL - Congress Theatre ^
24 - Detroit, MI - Royal Oak Theatre ^
25 - Toronto, ONT - Koolhaus ^
27 - Montreal, QUE - Metropolis ^
28 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre ^
30 - New York, NY - United Palace Theatre ^
31 - New York, NY - United Palace Theatre ^

# Headlining w/ The Mooney Suzuki as support
^ Supporting Bloc Party

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Music for the Road: The Western States Motel

What's wrong with going by your own name now a days? It worked for Vanilla Ice. OK, maybe that's a bad example. A couple of weeks ago it was The One AM Radio, this week it's another one man band: The Western States Motel.

Hailing from Monterey, CA, Carl Jordan is the musical mastermind behind this self-titled debut album that was written and recorded while Carl was roving around homeless and jobless over the course of about a year. That becomes evident as one listens to the album: it's got that traveling road trip spirit in it. Carl put down all of the various layers involving a multitude of instruments including one of his favorites: a 15-dollar nylon string acoustic bought at Ikea.

Check out his handywork on the following two tracks. Cheap Speakers is a jaunty little number about exaclty that: those cheap speakers you used to sport in the back of your '87 Escort GT. Magic Trick has got the catchiest little hook in it that is so simple that even I might be able to play it if Carl was around to give me some lessons and there was an Ikea near me.

The Western States Motel - Cheap Speakers : The Western States Motel

The Western States Motel - Magic Trick : The Western States Motel

Visit Carl's website and become his friend on MySpace.

Catch him on tour next month:
Mar 9 20079:00P
MERCURY LOUNGEsanta barbara, California
Mar 17 20073:30P
Mar 18 20078:00P
MODIFIED ARTSphoenix, Arizona
Mar 19 200710:00P
INDIE 103.1 PRESENTS AT THE VIPER ROOMlos angeles, California
Mar 20 20079:00P
THE MAKEOUT ROOMsan francisco, California
Mar 22 20076:00P
MUSIC MILLENNIUMportland, Oregon
Mar 23 20079:00P
MARS BARseattle, Washington
Mar 24 20079:00P
FOX AND GOOSEsacramento, California


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Manic Music

Manic's debut EP Floor Boards hits hard and it hits fast. The opening track, Chemicals For Criminals (available below), sets the tempo for the 5 track release: raging guitars, angst filled lyrics delivered one step below overload, and an arena rocking sound.

Visit their website, their label Suretone, and become their friend on MySpace.


The Bangles - Manic Monday : Totally 80's

Manic Street Preachers - Suicide is Painless (Theme from MASH) : Suicide Is Painless single

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Jammin' with K Dub

Although I've listened to a Phish album or two, I would hardly classify myself as a jam band aficionado. Fortunately, that's not required when listening to Keller Williams' new album Dreams, which was released earlier this month.

Keller, also known as K Dub, is commonly known as a one man band on the jam band scene. Although the acoustic guitar is his primary instrument, Keller uses looping techniques to build up his compositions. On his latest album though, he has chosen to recruit some well known help (including Victor Wooten, The String Cheese Incident, Martin Sexton, and Bela Fleck) to add some musical muscle.

Keller Williams - Play This : Dream

Keller Williams - Sing For My Dinner : Dream

Keller Williams - Love Handles : Live From Bonnaroo 2003

Bela Fleck & the Flecktones - Amazing Grace - Live Art

Visit his website, his label SCI Fidelity, and become his friend on MySpace.
You can also listen to and purchase individual songs from Keller HERE.

Also, check him out live at one of the following dates:
(more on his website)

2-15 Humblodt State University, Arcata, CA
2-16 Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA
2-17 Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA
2-18 Montbleu Resort, Lake Tahoe, NV
2-22 Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY
2-23 Hart Theater, Albany, NY
2-24 Webster Theater, Hartford, CT
2-25 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence, RI
2-28 Higher Ground, Burlington, VT

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Hoot on the Mezzanine Owls

The Mezzanine Owls' debut production, Slingshot Echoes, was an album several years in the making. Written primarily in 2005, recorded in Athens, GA in 2006, and released in September of last year, this record clearly was crafted with care. What's more impressive is the fact that this was all done without a label providing support from them.

Coincidentally, or maybe not since the album was recorded with Andy LeMaster (who's worked with Bright Eyes), the vocals on the album often hint at tones like Connor Oberst's, with a backing sound which seems to draw upon 90's brit rock sound.

Mezzanine Owls - Moving Ground
: Slingshot Echoes

Mezzanine Owls - Wake Up
: Slingshot Echoes

Visit their website and become their friend on MySpace.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Charity Bunnies

So right off the bat, I'll say straight out that I don't subscribe to, read, or peruse Playboy (not even for the articles - although on a tangent, I did find out recently that Martin Luther King Jr. conducted an interview that was published in Playboy back in 1968).

That being said, I'll share the following with you:
Set to hit the streets February ninth, Playboy magazine is expanding its musical reach in 2007 with a unique mix of rock, hip-hop, art and fashion packaged in a sex page fashion feature, Rock the Rabbit

Fusing music and fashion, Playboy had Rock the Rabbit musicians design a custom line of limited edition T-shirts, where these artists placed their own personal stamp on the Playboy brand and logo.

Rock the Rabbit fashions will be available at the Playboy Concept Boutique at the Forum Shops, the Playboy Boutique at the Palms, both in Las Vegas, as well as on line at www.shopthebunny.com, with other leading retail partners to be announced.

Then, in fall 2007, Playboy will auction off the original prototype Ts with proceeds going to LIFEbeat: The Music Industry Fights AIDS (www.lifebeat.org).
The last bit is really why I devoted this space to advertising a marketing campaign for someone who really doesn't necessarily need free marketing. I'm not sure if a percentage of the price of each and every T-shirt from the line will go to LIFEbeat (which I hope), or just the final auction of the prototypes, but it's a noble cause either way. Involved artists include:
Mick Rock, The Flaming Lips, The Thievery Corporation, Kasabian, Metric, Whitestarr, Rhymefest, Lil Jon, Soulwax, Dean & Britta, stellastarr*, Monsters Are Waiting, Tahiti 80, Johnossi, Illinois, Oh No! Oh My!, Your Vegas, Home, Trainwreck Riders, The Bronx
The Flaming Lips - A Spoonful Weighs A Ton : Live From Bonnaroo 2003

stellastarr* - Love And Longing : Harmonies For The Haunted

Tahiti 80 - Big Day : Fosbury

Johnossi - Man Must Dance : Johnossi

Illinois - Screen Door : What The Hell Do I Know?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Music Clubs

Maybe I'm dating myself here, but I can remember signing up for the Columbia House CD club a good while back and ecstatically ripping open the box with my 12 free CDs in it. (a clue as to how long ago that was - one of the CDs was Tesla's Five Man Acoustical Jam)

The WestYorkshire group Tiny Dancers have decided to start the modern day equivilant - they're starting up a mp3 club where they'll be giving away free tunes (including new and exclusive material) to members. Head over to their download club to sign up and start listening to your first free download - Moonsong.

The Tiny Dancers - 20 to 9 : Lions And Tigers And Lions

Visit their website, their label Parlophone, and become their friends on MySpace.


50 Cent - In Da Club : Get Rich Or Die Tryin

Tesla - Signs (Five Man Electrical Band cover) : Five Man Acoustical Jam

Friday, February 09, 2007

Rockin' Out with Brett Dennen

Tuesday night I was fortunate enough to catch Brett Dennen play in Northampton, MA (thanks John!). You my have read my blurb about his sophomore album, So Much More, back in October of last year. If not, check it out now.

Opening for Brett on this particular evening was Sara Bareilles, a singer I wasn't familiar with before this night. She played a fairly short (40 minutes) but full set and what impressed me the most about her was her voice: loud enough to fill the room, but retaining its clarity and beauty. All too often female vocalist's voices get overrun by the music which is supposedly providing harmonious support for them; this was not the case with Sara.

Just as I had been surprised by Brett's cherubic face in all of the pictures I had seen of him, his stage presence impressed me this evening as well. I had expected a youthful entertainer taking center stage with strong musical presentation but some first date awkwardness between. Just as I found a worldly wisdom in his music, so too did I find it in Brett's give and take with the crowd. He clearly felt comfortable and at home with all eyes on him, and his bluesy folkish soul was only made more clear in person. The evening's setlist highlighted tracks from his latest release (Ain't No Reason, Darlin' Do Not Fear, and So Long Sweet Misery - which he opened with), but also included some older tunes from his self-titled debut (he ended the evening with Desert Sunrise).

Brett Dennen - Desert Sunrise : Brett Dennen

Brett Dennen - Darlin' Do Not Fear (live) : Live from the Canal Room (studio version on So Much More)

Visit Brett's website, his label Dualtone Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

See him yourself at one of these upcoming dates (and check out his MySpace page for more)

Feb 11 2007 7:00P
Crocodile Rock Cafe Allentown, Pennsylvania
Feb 12 2007 7:00P
Club Cafe Live Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Feb 13 2007 9:00P
Horseshoe Tavern - EDGE 102 NU MUSIC NIGHT Toronto, Ontario
Feb 14 2007 9:00P
Blind Pig Ann Arbor, Michigan
Feb 15 2007 7:00P
The Lime Spider Akron, Ohio
Feb 16 2007 8:00P
The Basement Columbus, Ohio
Feb 19 2007 8:00P
The Dame Lexington, Kentucky
Feb 21 2007 8:30P
Birdy's Indianapolis, Indiana

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The One AM Radio - Maybe radio isn't dead

Much like Nine Inch Nails is Trent Reznor, The One AM Radio is Hrishikesh Hirway. Though unlike Nine Inch Nails, which is a sonic assault of anger, pain and despair that attempts to pull you down into the lowest depths, The One AM Radio's music is a soothing force of lyrical and instrumental honey that picks you up and carries you along on a gentle audio wave.

Hrishikesh's newest album, This Too Will Pass, is due out on February 20th, and is his third full length release (although he has put out plenty of EPs and Splits with other artists, including Ted Leo). You can expect a well crafted album with a wide range of traditional and electronic instrumentation. Lyrics are muted, but unlike some performers whose voice is submerged in the music, Hrishikesh's voice melds with the music without loosing its importance or understandability.

While you are waiting for its release, head over to eMusic to check out TOAR's back catalog if you're not familiar with it already.

The One AM Radio - Mercury : This Too Will Pass
(I love the oboe (or similar wood instrument!) on this track)

The One AM Radio - Cast Away
: This Too Will Pass

Visit Hrishikesh's website, his label Dangerbird Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

Also, check out The One AM Radio on tour:

18 Durham, NH - University of New Hampshire
19 Peterborough, NH - Petersborough Community Theatre
21 Boston, MA - Coolidge Corner Theatre [CD release] <-----Look for me at this show
24 Philadelphia, PA - Haverford College Lunt Basement [w/ Akron/Family]
25 Washington, DC - Warehouse Next Door
26 Harrisonburg, VA - James Madison University
27 Asheville, NC - Static Age Records

01 Atlanta, GA - Tea House
04 Orlando, FL - Stardust Cofee
05 Pensacola, FL - The Javeline Joint
06 New Orleans, LA - Eldon's House
07 Houston, TX - Notsuoh
08 Austin, TX - Progress Coffee House
10 Prescott, AZ - The Raven
11 Phoenix, AZ - Stinkweeds Records
12 La Jolla, CA - UC San Diego Che Cafe
16 Berkeley, CA - Fort Oregon [w/ Golden Birds]
18 Portland, OR - Towne Lounge
20 Boise, ID - Yosada House
23 Wichita, KS - Electric Snake
24 Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews
25 Chicago, IL - South Union Arts
27 Ann Arbor, MI - Lee's House

Friday, February 02, 2007

What About Your Share?

"I hold one share in the corporate earth and am uneasy about the management."
-E.B. White

According to this article, global warming is "very likely" man-made. Gee, you think?