Monday, July 27, 2009

A Brief Hiatus

Phase 3 of my summer begins tomorrow. I left New York City yesterday in what should have been a simple one hour plane ride to Toronto. That one hour plane ride turned into a twelve hour nightmare that I will spare my readers of. I just wanted to let everyone know that August will be a write off for me. I will be venturing into the great outdoors to lead canoe trips, a stark contrast to the insanity of New York City. I've already got some stuff lined up for September, October and November in terms of show reviews, and of course the site will be regularly updated with news, cd reviews and hopefully some killer interviews! Thanks everyone for sticking with me thus far, and although I won't be "Back In 15 Minutes", I will certainly be back in about 25 days! Ya, I know that was lame.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monsters of Folk International Tour

Monsters of Folk, the collaborative group featuring My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis and singer/songwriter M. Ward, will hit the road this fall in support of its self-titled debut album. The four members will switch instruments and trade roles throughout each show, in an attempt to “maintain the freewheeling and highly collaborative spirit of their work together thus far.”

The tour will kick off at Vancouver, BC’s Orpheum on October 13 and make stops in Portland, OR (10/14), Seattle (10/15), Oakland (10/17), Los Angeles (10/18), San Diego (10/20), Phoenix, AZ (10/21), Santa Barbara, CA (10/22), Omaha, NE (10/28), Minneapolis, MN (10/29), Chicago (10/30), Louisville, KY (10/31), Toronto (11/2), Boston (11/3), New York (11/6, 8) and Philadelphia (11/9). The quartet will then head overseas for performances in Stockholm (11/12), Berlin (11/14), Copenhagen (11/15), London (11/17), Paris (11/18), Koln, DE (11/19), The Hague, NL (11/21) and Antwerp, BE (11/22).

Monsters of Folk will hit stores September 22. The band will be donating $1 from every ticket sold on the tour to local non-profits.

Jay-Z To Replace Beastie Boys

In light of the Beastie Boys no longer appearing at the All Points West festival, a replacement has been found. Jay-Z will now headline the stellar festival marking this as his first festival appearance in North American this summer. All Points West organizers will only offer refunds for those who purchased single day tickets for Friday, not for those who purchased a three-day pass.

Phish Festival To Be Held In California

For those of you eagerly keeping up with the Phish festival mystery location, the final state has finally been chosen. California remains on the map as of this morning, and the festival itself will be held on the Coachella campsite in Indio from October 30 - November 1.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 25th Anniversary Concerts

As quoted from

Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, CSN & Friends, Simon & Garfunkel, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon and Others Confirmed for the Rock Hall's 25th

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will celebrate its 25th anniversary with two mammoth concerts at New York’s Madison Square this October. Rock all of Famers Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Stevie Wonder, Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills & Nash will perform on October 29, while u2, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton and Metallica will play the Garden on October 30. In addition, Paul Simon will play a solo set October 29 and a number of unconfirmed “friends” are expected to collaborate with CSN. A handful of acts will be added in the coming months. All net proceeds from this event will go to create a permanent endowment for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs To Replace Beastie Boys At Lollapalooza

After the news regarding Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch and his recently diagnosed cancer, the Beastie's had to cancel all up-coming shows. Their Lollapalooza performance will be replaced with a set by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Friday night on the Budweiser Stage.

Phish New Album Cover Art For Joy

The new album art for Phish's upcoming release, Joy has been posted on but you can check it out here. While the albums release date was quietly pushed back, the record is expected to hit stores not too long after the end of July.
For those of you who weren't able to make it to any Phish shows, here is a video of "Ocelot", a new song which will be featured on Joy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys Has Cancer

The Beastie Boys issued this statement today:
Adam "MCA" Yauch of Beastie Boys was diagnosed last week as having a cancerous tumor in his left parotid (salivary) gland. Luckily it was caught early and is localized in one area, and as such is considered very treatable. It will however require surgery and several weeks of additional treatment. Fortunately the cancer is not in a location that will affect Yauch's vocal chords. Beastie Boys have canceled all upcoming concert appearances to allow time for Yauch's surgery and recovery. The release of the band's forthcoming album Hot Sauce Committee Part 1 will also be pushed back.

Monsters of Folk: Free mp3

Head over to for a free mp3 of the song "Say Please" off the Monsters Of Folk up-coming release. M.O.F. is comprised of Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis (both of Bright Eyes), Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) and M.Ward. Word of this album has been around since the foursome toured together in 2004 and will finally hit shelves on September 22.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Shameless Self-Promotion & My Reflection On The Importance Of Print Media

I've finally made the big transition from online media to the tangible timeless form of print media. Two articles I wrote for Relix Magazine during my on-going internship have now been published in Relix's August/September 2009 issue which features the Woodstock 40th Anniversary as well as The Avett Brothers, Wilco and much more. You can read my news blurb titled "Ropeadope Turns 10" on page 23 and my Woodstock book review blurb titled "Woodstock Vision: The Spirit of a Generation" on page 62. I strongly encourage everyone to read/subscribe to Relix Magazine for a number of reasons. Firstly, Relix is live music institution that has been around since 1974 and in these tumultuous times, if people don't read/subscribe it could fall by the way side. Secondly, if you read this blog, chances are, actually I guarantee that you will enjoy the content in Relix. The writing is honest yet sophisticated and the artists covered are fantastic. Finally, keeping print media alive is undeniably important. In this throw-a-way culture we often do not take the time to sit down and read. Remember when people used to read during their lunch breaks, or on the bus, or even in the library? Well it seems print has been replaced by iPods, e-books and Kindles, but let's recognize the importance of collecting the tangible, of passing on a great book or magazine to a friend. I can't encourage everyone out there enough to take a few minutes, relax and pick up something to read that does not require an electrical outlet. After working the Relix booth at festivals and hearing how many people were not interested in purchasing a subscription or a single issue because they "do not read" or "do not have the time to read" I really fear for not just the older generation and my generation (which seems to have an attention span that can only be measured in fucking nano-seconds) but I fear for the younger generation who is being raised on Facebook and the seemingly-retarded Twitter. So I will re-iterate this one last time. Take ten minutes to yourself and read, I promise it will not be time wasted! Hey, you might find yourself surprisingly entertained, not too mention you'll probably learn a little bit too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

MGMT: Album Review - Time To Pretend EP (Re-Mastered)

Consisting of early MGMT takes, the re-mastered re-release of the group’s 2005 Time To Pretend EP offers a glimpse at what the duo was up to during their Wesleyan University days—foreshadowing last year’s lush full-length landscape of sounds dubbed Oracular Spectacular.
Only two songs—“Time To Pretend” and “Kids”—from the EP overlap with the 2008 effort. Though most of Oracular Spectacular’s songs are dominated by Andrew VanWyngarden’s vocals, bandmate Ben Goldwasser’s voice is higher in the mix on these early recordings (though both musicians’ voices at times sound thinner). VanWyngarden’s impressive guitar skills also play a more dominant role than on Oracular Spectacular.
The band fully embraces new-wave and Bowie-inspired glam-rock on “Indie Rokkers,” while “Destrokk” barrages listeners with synthesizers and noise but lacks a true melody. Things slow down on the drum-heavy “Love Always Remains,” where the duo relies on vocal overdubs as well as auto-tune in order to create a roundabout effect, leaving the infectious chorus lingering in listeners’ heads. Video game sounds are featured throughout “Boogie Down".
So, while MGMT is in the process of recording a new album and road-testing fresh material, this re-release will tide over diehards still recovering from the band’s late-night Bonnaroo performance—at least until they come down.

This review can also be found at

Phish Hampton 3 Camera Video

This is simply too good not to post. There were tons of video bootlegs after the Hampton run but all of them (that I saw at least) were lacking multi-cam. Thankfully I discovered this 3 cam shoot of the last two songs from night 3 of hampton. Enjoy this great closer of Bug > Tweezer Reprise.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wilco: Show Review - Keyspan Park Monday July 13, 2009

Wilco displayed why they may just be the most popular band in music today during their Monday night show at Keyspan Park baseball stadium in Coney Island. Not only did the crowd show them much love during the slinky, guitar-driven opener “Wilco (The Song)”, the band reassured its adoring fans that the feeling was completely mutual as they sang the words back to us, “Wilco, Wilco, Wilco will love you baby”. As Lead singer Jeff Tweedy kept stressing how good-looking an audience we all were, its no wonder the band is as popular as they are. The love fest really never stopped as the group moved through a wonderfully updated version of “I’m Always In Love” which now features a prominent guitar riff instead of the usual standout keyboard work. Wilco nodded to the sweet smell in the air and the smiles on everyone’s faces as they sang “The way things get, you get so high. Funny how we make new friends” during the classic “Can’t Stand It”. Lead guitarist Nels Cline reminded us why he is one of the best guitarists in rock and roll as he ripped through the solo section of “Impossible Germany”, straying far away from the recorded version from 2008s Sky Blue Sky. The band brought out some of the industry’s hottest stars during their extended eight song encore. First came Leslie Feist to lend her sweet vocals to the new duet “You and I” from the band’s latest release Wilco (The Album). She remained on stage as another popular friend emerged, this time it was Ed Droste from the indie rock group Grizzly Bear. Both guests lent vocals and percussion to the classic sing-a-long “California Stars” as well as the Lennon-esque “You Never Know”. As Feist and Droste exited the stage, things appeared to be winding down that is until all of Yo La Tengo appeared for the extended guitar-rocker “Spiders (Kidsmoke)”. Tonight was clearly a night for love and friends as Feist and Droste reemerged for the appropriate closer of “Hoodoo Voodoo”, penned just down the street on Mermaid Ave. by the legendary Woody Guthrie.

This review can also be seen over at,_Keyspan_Park,_Brooklyn,_NY_7%1013%1009_200907214066.html

01 “Wilco (The Song)”
02 “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”
03 “Shot in the Arm”
04 “At Least That’s What You Said”
05 “Bull Black Nova”
06 “You Are My Face”
07 “One Wing”
08 “Handshake Drugs”
09 “Deeper Down”
10 “Impossible Germany”
11 “Jesus Etc.”
12 “Sonny Feeling”
13 “I’m Always in Love”
14 “Can’t Stand It”
15 “Hate it Here”
16 “Walken”
17 “I’m the Man Who Loves You”
18 “Hummingbird”
19 “Heavy Metal Drummer”
20 “You And I” with Feist
21 “California Stars” with Feist and Ed of Grizzly Bear
22 “You Never Know” with Feist and Ed of Grizzly Bear
23 “Misunderstood”
24 “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” with Yo La Tengo
25 “The Late Greats”
26 “Hoodoo Voodoo” with Feist and Ed of Grizzly Bear

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Umphrey's McGee: Show Review - Central Park Summerstage July 9, 2009

Thursday night was my third time seeing Umphrey's McGee within one week. Before any of these shows I can honestly say I didn't truly "get it". Sure, I dabbled into their music and even really enjoyed a handful of songs. Like many other casual listeners, I basically felt Umphrey's was too crunchy. They do play a lot of muted notes and they really do take their time to ease into a jam that isn't driven by their progressive and metal influences. Well, it wasn't until I rode the rails (front row,center) of the Central Park show that I truly understood Umphrey's McGee. First off, they are definitely the tightest and most technical live band out there today (in the jam scene at least). Umphrey's started the show off with "Professor Wormbog" a quirky, older tune that pleased a lot of the hardcore Umphreaks in the crowd. The band really got my attention with the next tune, "Cemetery Walk" off of 2009s Mantis. Channeling Pink Floyd in the introduction, "Cemetery Walk" evolves into a Steely Dan piano driver rocker. The piano riff is so memorable that I've been humming it since the show ended. The boys explored some prog-rock territory in the "Jimmy Stewart" section of crowd-favourite "Nemo" before dipping deep into their huge catalog and pulling out another oldschool song, "Mulche's Odyssey". Sooner than later a playful "Got Your Milk" segued into the techno-dance-remix-reprise of "Cemetery Walk II" which featured guitarist Brendan Bayliss joining Joel Cummins on keyboards. The boys jammed this one out hard and proved the Umphrey's can play dance music better than any of the current jam-tronica acts out there. Sorry Disco Biscuits. The final song of the night was a spirited take on the Beatles' Abbey Road classic "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", a dark, bluesy and not to mention lengthily song that stayed pretty true to the original with the exception of some colourful guitar licks by Cinninger.
The man simply cannot help but rip apart every guitar part he plays, be it solo, lick or riff. While I now consider this my first true Umphrey's McGee show, its safe to say it won't be my last. Thankfully for fans and newbies out there, Umphrey's tours just about 365 days of the year. Thanks for a wonderful night in the park guys.

Professor Wormbog, Cemetery Walk, Nemo, Walletsworth, Mulche's Odyssey, Higgins, Turn & Run, Got Your Milk (Right Here) > Cemetery Walk II, I Want You (She's So Heavy)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Blitzen Trapper - Black River Killer Music Video

This is probably the coolest music video I've seen in quite some time. It's more like a mini-movie which is completely appropriate because "Black River Killer" is really more of a story set to music than a song. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rothbury Festival 2009

Rather than attempt to re-create the festival in writing, I've decided to post some of the better pictures I took instead. Hopefully they will be a gateway into what Rothbury was all about, music, music, music, people having a great time, and of course, some more music. Enjoy. Black Crowes Black Crowes Broken Social Scene Broken Social Scene Disco Biscuits Femi Kuti Femi Kuti Phil Lesh (The Dead) The Dead Davey Knowles (Back Door Slam) Nas & Damien Marley Nas & Damien Marley The Hold Steady Giant Panda Guerrila Dub Squad Giant Panda Guerrila Dub Squad Umphrey's McGee & Pretty Lights Umphrey's McGee Sherwood Forest Decorations