Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Album Review: MGMT - Congratulations

It’s hard for me to listen to the new MGMT album Congratulations and not think of it as a giant “fuck you” to the music industry’s “powers that be”. I think in that sense, the album is a complete success. Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden were thrust into indie-rock superstardom for their fantastic debut release Oracular Spectacular. The album was shockingly good for a debut, but to say their live show was sub-par is perhaps giving them too much credit. Their highly anticipated sophomore release Congratulations is pretty much a mess. They say “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but it’s hard not to with a cover as ridiculous as this one. Moving on, the album opens up with “It’s Working”, one of the few decent songs. It’s heavily layered with strings and a vocal workout that I really picture VanWyngarden pulling off live. That being said, it is quite catchy and the shifts in tempo give it a nice complexity. “Someone’s Missing” finds the boys singing a weird accented whisper which for the life of me, I can not place. The accent is so absurd that it renders the song practically un-listenable. MGMT continues on with their strange obsession with un-placeable accents on “Flash Delirium”. Luckily, the incorporation of so many different musical styles saves this song. MGMT travel from synth-heavy pop, to new wave chanting, to trippy ‘70s style psychedelia (thanks to a quick flute interlude), all with surprising success. The boys ironically nod to the king of ambient music on “Brian Eno”, a song that never attempts to embody anything the man came to represent musically. Congratulations does finish strong with its title track “Congratulations”, perhaps the only serious attempt at writing a good song. The lyrics basically describe the band’s super-fast foray into success over strummed acoustic guitars. I’m still under the impression that MGMT released this album as a statement more than anything. They probably know it blows, but they also know that it will get good reviews regardless. It’s the Dave Chappelle situation all over again. The comedian could have written the shittiest jokes ever and his producers would have laughed. While Chappelle opted to run rather than compromise his integrity, MGMT has chosen the other path. It takes serious talent to make an album as ridiculous as Congratulations, and for that, I applaud them.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Take Away Some Wilco

Perhaps you've seen some of La Blogotheque's gorgeously shot "Take Away Shows". Maybe you've seen some on this website and thought "these videos are great, but they really on shoot the in-style indie bands of the week". Well, you wouldn't be totally wrong to think that, but I think La Blogotheque's latest release pretty much validates them as one of the best live music video companies/websites out there today. La Blogotheque caught up with an all around shaggy looking Wilco when they were in Montreal and shot a fantastic video of the group playing the beautifully mellow "Country Disappeared".

Wilco - Country Disappeared - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Phish in 3D on 4.20

As if 4.20 couldn't get any headier, Phish will be releasing their first 3D movie ever. They're all the rage these days, and it just so happens that they filmed Festival 8 with fully capable 3D cameras. The first screenings of the film will begin on April 30 but on April 20 special advance preview screenings will be held in nine cities across the country, from Massachusetts to California. For those of you lucky enough to grab tickets, you will also be treated to a free 3D poster as well! Tickets for these screenings will go on sale tomorrow. Head to Phish3DMovie.com for more details.

Phish 3d Advance Screening Locations

Los Angeles, CA—Rave Motion Pictures 18
Aurora, CO—Aurora Movie Tavern 10
Rosemont, IL—Rosemont Theatre
Revere, MA—National Amusements Revere
Durham, NC—Wynnsong 15
Brooklyn, NY—Pavilion Theatre
Houston, TX—Studio Movie Grill
Fairfax, VA—Fairfax Corner 14
Williston, VT—Majestic 10

PHISH 3D - IN THEATERS APRIL 30TH from Phish on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Osheaga Music & Arts Festival 2010 Lineup Announced

This years Montreal based Osheaga Music & Arts Festival has some serious heavy hitters. The festival will take place the weekend of July 31-August 1 and features the return of the Arcade Fire, recently re-united indie-rockers Pavement, The Black Keys and many more.

Arcade Fire
The National
The Cat Empire
The Black Keys
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Jimmy Cliff
The Gaslight Anthem
Charlie Winston
Beach House
Jamie Lidell
Sarah Harmer
Frank Turner
Blitzen Trapper
Avi Buffalo
Amanda Mabro
Ian Kelley

Phoenix Release Free Live Album

French poppers Phoenix just did a wonderful thing for the listening public. If you head over to the band's website, you'll find that they've released a live album titled Live In Sydney for all of us to download absolutely free.

1. 1901
2. Armistice
3. Fences
4. Girlfriend
5. Lasso
6. Lisztomania
7. Love Like A Sunset
8. Rome

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Furthur Festival: Initial Lineup

Sorry, I'm a bit behind on this one, but better late than never. The initial lineup has been announced for the inaugural Furthur Festival @ Mountain Aire which will take place May 28-30 at Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp, CA. Also, the band is now down to one drummer, Sir Joe Russo as Jay Lane has returned to Primus. Don't worry folks, Russo is more than capable of handling things all by himself. I personally always preferred the Grateful Dead with only Billy behind the skins anyways.

Here is the initial lineup
Furthur (headling two nights)
Electric Hot Tuna
Jackie Greene
Larry Campbell & Theresa Williams
Mark Karan & Jemimah Puddleduck
The Mother Hips
The Waybacks
Common Rotation with Dan Bern
Maiden Lane
Blue Light River

Camping opens at noon on Friday, May 28. Weekend tickets include camping. GDTSTOO mail order 3/20-3/25 (first postmark 3/20). Online preorder 3/22, 9 AM, PST. Public onsale is 3/26, 10 AM, PST, through Ticketmaster.

Hear New Broken Social Scene Songs

I relish any chance I can get to represent amazing Toronto talent. Broken Social Scene obviously dominates my fair city's rock and roll scene. A few weeks ago, the collective dropped the wonderful tune "World Sick" on us and today they blessed us with two more new songs. "Forced to Love" and "All to All", from the up-coming Forgiveness Rock Record can now be heard over on the band's website. The album is being released on May 4 on Arts & Crafts. Full track listing below.

01 World Sick
02 Chase Scene
03 Texico Bitches
04 Forced to Love
05 All to All
06 Art House Director
07 Highway Slipper Jam
08 Ungrateful Little Father
09 Meet Me in the Basement
10 Sentimental X's
11 Sweetest Kill
12 Romance to the Grave
13 Water in Hell
14 Me and My Hand

This Movie Is Broken also debuted at SXSW this past weekend and I've only read awesome things. While I expect that the film will be released soon, in the meantime you can check out 7/4 Shoreline from the free show BSS played last year. The free show is central to the movie's plot line.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fleet Foxes In Austin

Remember the Fleet Foxes? They put out that excellent album in 2008 that sounded as though CSNY renounced their possessions, ran out to the woods and started singing about the forest and the creatures and all that freaky shit. Well lucky for us, the good folks over at Pitchfork hit the road with the Foxes in Austin and got some pretty sweet footage out of it. Watch as the band plays a few numbers, talks about the road and discusses their thoughts on singing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Phish Summer Tour 2010

Last night Trey Anastasio inducted Genesis into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Phish also covered two Genesis songs, "Watcher of the Skies" and "No Reply At All", the latter of which I expect to be covered again some point in the near future. And by the near future I mean on Phish's up-coming SUMMER TOUR which was just announced no more than a few minutes ago. That's right, everybody's favourite jamband will be gearing up for a solid 29 show summer tour which will kick off in Chicago and end in New York City. Check out the awesome video announcement too!

PHISH SUMMER TOUR 2010 from Phish on Vimeo.

June 11 Chicago, IL Toyota Park
June 12 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blossom Music Center
June 13 Hershey, PA Hersheypark Stadium
June 15 Portsmouth, VA nTelos Pavilion at Harbor Center
June 17 Hartford, CT Comcast Theatre
June 18 Hartford, CT Comcast Theatre
June 19 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
June 20 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
June 22 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center
June 24 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
June 25 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
June 26 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion
June 27 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion
June 29 Canandaigua, NY CMAC
July 1 Raleigh, NC Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion
July 2 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
July 3 Alpharetta, GA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park
July 4 Alpharetta, GA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park
August 5 Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre
August 6 Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre
August 7 Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre
August 9 Telluride, CO Telluride Town Park
August 10 Telluride, CO Telluride Town Park
August 12 Noblesville, IN Verizon Wireless Music Center
August 13 Noblesville, IN Verizon Wireless Music Center
August 14 East Troy, WI Alpine Valley Music Theatre
August 15 East Troy, WI Alpine Valley Music Theatre
August 17 Wantagh, NY Nikon Theater at Jones Beach
August 18 Wantagh, NY Nikon Theater at Jones Beach

Monday, March 15, 2010

Album Review: Broken Bells

Danger Mouse has a real knack for picking out just the right artist to elevate to the next level. The Black Keys and Mark Linkous both got the Mouse treatment and now its James Mercer’s turn. Mercer is best known as the front man for the offbeat, indie-rock group The Shins. Lead away from his often-depressing songwriting tendencies, Mercer and Danger Mouse combined to make Broken Bells, a collaboration which embraces left-of-center funk on “The Ghost Inside” and some beautifully tweaked-out, digitized synthesizer on opening track “The High Road”. The group channels Jerry Garcia’s memorable guitar sounds on “Your Head Is On Fire” and mixes them with Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s era psychedelia with beautiful results. The majority of the album does tend to follow a similar pattern however. Swooping backdrops and mid-tempo rock with lots of synthesized sounds. Mercer also rarely leaves his vocal comfort zone, which is unfortunately quite limited. While no doubt a very solid effort, the album plays best when picking out a few choice tracks, rather than listening to it from start-to-finish.

Phish to Perform Genesis Classics at Rock Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

This is a dream come true for me. Seeing one of my favorite bands cover another favorite will be quite a treat. I’ve been waiting for this moment a long time, and have quite a bit to say about the Phish-Genesis connection. We’ll get to that in the coming days…

For now, here’s the scoop on tonight’s performance ceremony from our friends over at Hidden Track:

The members of Phish will take the stage tonight for the first time in 2010 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City where they will open this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. As previously announced, Phish guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio will induct Genesis which will be followed by Phish performing a couple of Genesis classics.

Tonight’s ceremony – including Phish’s performance – will be broadcast live on Fuse starting at 8:30PM EDT. The 2010 Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame inductees are ABBA, Genesis, Jimmy Cliff, The Hollies, The Stooges, David Geffen, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry, Jesse Stone, Mort Shuman and Otis Blackwell. Other musicians due to perform include solo star and J. Geils Band singer Peter Wolf, Pat Monahan, and Fefe Dobson. (from our good friends over at Dog Gone Blog & Glide Magazine's "Hidden Track")

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Canadian Artists Sing "Wavin' Flag" for Haiti

Since the devastation in Haiti, many charitable organizations have been enacted in order to help send money to the cause. Celebrities are always organized to get on board, and as I'm sure everyone has seen, Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" was revisited by today's biggest celebrities in order to raise awareness. K'naan, one of Canada's biggest hip-hop artists recently dropped his track "Wavin' Flag". Needless to say, it's been a smash hit, and it may even be used for the World Cup soccer tournament. The song is wildly inspirational, and as a result, young Canadian artists have banded together ala "Earth Song" to perform "Wavin' Flag" in order to raise money for Haiti. The video features tons of Canada's finest including K'naan, Avril Lavigne, Drake, Nikki Yanofsky, Sam Roberts, members of Broken Social Scene and Metric plus many more. Watch the video below and head to the Young Artists for Haiti Facebook page to donate and for more information. Thanks.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Judges Rule In Favor of Pink Floyd

Remember when bands still cared about full albums and not just selling singles and individual tracks? Pink Floyd, the band that pops into your head when you think of the full album is fighting for the right to not sell their songs individually online. In fact, judges ruled in favor of the band and declared that EMI Group Ltd. can only sell the band’s music in the full album format. The question before the court was whether a contract provision that limited EMI’s ability to issue the band’s recordings beyond the album form only applies to “physical product” (CDs, albums, etc.) or also relates to potential online sales. Justice Andrew Morritt issued a preliminary ruling which looks back at the band’s record contract and concludes, “There is nothing in the terms ‘album’ or ‘record’ to suggest they apply to the physical product only.” This for the immediate future Dark Side of The Moon, The Wall and all of the group’s work only will be sold in their original complete form. (from jambands.com)

Furthur Festival at Mountain Aire Memorial Day Weekend

It looks like Furthur will be starting its own festival this spring. The group will play over Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30. That's all the info for now, stay tuned for more sure to come soon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pearl Jam Announces 11-Date Midwest & East Coast Tour

Today, pivtol Seattle grunge-rockers Pearl Jam announced a somewhat mini-tour consisting of only 11 dates. Band of Horses, who are releasing a new album called Infinite Arms will be opening every show except for Madison Square Garden on May 20. This show will be opened by the Black Keys who are also releasing a new album titled Brothers.

Public tickets go on sale Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20. (Check local concert listings.)

05.03 - Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center
05.04 - St. Louis, MO - Scottrade Center
05.06 - Columbus, OH - Nationwide Arena
05.07 - Noblesville, IN - Verizon Wireless Music Center
05.09 - Cleveland, OH - Quicken Loans Arena
05.10 - Buffalo, NY - HSBC Arena
05.13 - Bristow, VA - Jiffy Lube Live
05.15 - Hartford, CT - XL Center
05.17 - Boston, MA - TD Garden
05.18 - TBD - TBD
05.20 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
05.21 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden

The National Debut "Terrible Love" on Jimmy Fallon

The National dropped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon the other night to play the new single off their up-coming album High Violet. The album is being released on May 11 via 4AD. The song, "Terrible Love" really reminded me of the Velvet Underground's song, "Pale Blue Eyes" at first. A really fuzzed out version with clean guitar licks. As the song progressed, the horns kicked in and the tempo sped up big time, morphing the track into a serious rocker, one much happier than the V.U.'s somewhat depressing tune. It's also a nice change to hear Matt Berninger sing in not such a broody manner as he did on Boxer. I'm really looking forward to the new record.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Exclusive Interview: Nathan Moore of Surprise Me Mr. Davis

Surprise Me Mr. Davis is not your average rock and roll band. Their journey has been long, longer than you might think. Nathan Moore was the singer and guitarist for ThaMuseMeant when he met brothers Brad and Andrew Barr and Marc Freidman of The Slip. That was over ten years ago now. Their natural connection and amazement with one another’s music would ultimately act as the catalysts for an amalgamation of sounds. Just last year, Davis picked up another musician, longtime friend and collaborator, Marco Benevento, propelling the band into “super-group” territory. I had the amazing opportunity to chat with Nathan, the humble wordsmith, over the weekend. We discussed Surprise Me Mr. Davis’ new, long-awaited record, the frustrations, as well as the uniqueness of having your fellow band members scattered across the globe, and the band’s game plan for 2010.

Let’s talk about the new album titled "That Man Eats Morning For Breakfast" which is being released on April 13. It seems like it’s been a long time coming, five years to be exact. The last Surprise Me Mr. Davis release was an EP in 2005. Tell me about the recording process and the new record.

NM: The new record is really still just our demo. It’s a little embarrassing in that respect although… that was really our intention from the beginning when we set out to make it. I can’t even remember when that was now, time moves so much faster than it used to. I was on my way with Marc Freidman to go to Montreal, we were going up there to record in Brad and Andrew Barr’s new studio and I got turned away at the border so we found ourselves back in Burlington, Vermont drinking in a bar. We ended up talking to Brett Hughes, a local musician there and he was like “just come into my barn studio and do it”. So Brad and Andrew came down this way and we ended up recording there all week at Brett’s house. We got all these tracks done and then we went back into another studio and tried to work them up even bigger but that’s when we started to feel that we were exceeding our initial ideas and trying to make them too big and ended up reverting back to the original demos. They had the raw spirit and energy we were trying to capture. So now it is finally seeing the light of day. I don’t want to downplay it or diminish it; there are a lot of practical aspects as to why it exists.

With so many songs in the Davis cannon, why release an EP? Is an LP on the way?

NM: When we signed with Kevin Calabro, in order to manage us he needed some representation of us, and we had the demo and he liked it quite a bit and he was like “I would love to just work with this for now” as opposed to hurrying and trying to get us back into the studio to make something else. We just polished the EP up and came up with a nice cover for it. A lot of it is real practical for Kevin to have something to work with while he is out there pitching us. I still don’t feel like Davis has made “its album”. We’ve had a couple of moments in the studio but we’ve yet to find the opportunity to create a fully realized work of art that is worthy of the potential of the band.

Marco Benevento has been collaborating with the band and its members for years. How did you and Marco first meet?

NM: I think the first time I met Marco was, my band ThaMuseMeant was playing at the Enchanted Broccoli Forest, I don’t even remember now where that was. Some college out west that had some building or something that was called the Enchanted Broccoli Forest and The Slip was on the road and ThaMuseMeant was playing that night, and The Slip had the night off and they showed up and they had Marco in tow. I believe that was the first time I met him. That was probably ’98 or ’99. The second time I met him was the High Sierra following that and I knew I was going to like him. He always sort of reminded me a little of myself, something in his eyes. Then he was running around High Sierra making these cards float around, a magic trick his dad had taught him and I knew right then we were going to get along just fine.

At arguably the busiest point in his career, why has Marco now officially decided to join the band? Has there been a shift in the band’s dynamic now that he has been added?

NM: That is still yet to be seen too. We haven’t really done a lot of shows with Marco but the shift is huge, when it opens up. We’ve really only had a few nights that I think have pointed to the stars. One night somewhere in New York State and we were playing this gig with hardly anybody there and that freed us up to experiment a bit more. That night lives on in my mind as just how amazing this band is and the potential that lies there. With Marco, for one it gives Brad somebody to communicate with on that more melodic level. It’s almost too overwhelming to talk about, the potential sounds we have now. There’s so many chapters to the book and we haven’t even read the first sentence yet. I get a little boggled when I try to describe how the dynamic shifts with Marco. Just from bawdy piano pieces to psychedelic organ pieces, I mean its mind-boggling.

How has The Slip influenced the sound of Surprise Me Mr. Davis?

NM: Going back to the early days, and the first experiences we had was really my limited experiences with playing with a rock and roll band like that and it was more like The Slip getting behind Nathan Moore songs and giving them a big push. Back then it felt like flying, I never felt a feeling like that in my life. To take these songs that I had written and then to all the sudden be playing them with them it was really the difference between walking and flying. All the sudden they lifted the stuff up so high. It just made my universe so much bigger. I think that that spirit and excitement and that smile they put on my face right away is to this day what I think about when I think of Davis.

You and Brad are the core songwriters for the band. Can you talk a bit about your relationship and approach to songwriting?

NM: There is a certain chemistry that you find with certain people in life. It’s hard to explain but it’s just real comfortable and I’m sure everybody has had the experience of starting to talk with somebody and their sense of humor and things like that are just right there at the tip of their tongue. I had somebody describe once that eloquence is not when one person is graceful communicating with another but where two things join together. Actually the root of the word eloquence is an old word for joint, where two things meet. Brad and I always just sort of found a certain eloquence, it was always really easy with each other. There was this sort of effortlessness to it. In terms of our writing, we were both so fascinated by each other and we both immediately saw something in the other that we wanted in ourselves. I think that’s one of the reasons that made the relationship so symbiotic was that we were both young and hungry and wanted to get better and saw something in each other that we wanted to incorporate in our own thing. For me with Brad it was his incredible sense of melody and being able to follow a line where it wants to go even if it’s somewhere you didn’t think you could go. For him with me it was probably a certain simplicity.

Does Brad bring you a piece of music and together you put lyrics to it? What’s your approach in that sense?

NM: We’ve sort of done it all. I’ve brought him words that he has put music to and he’s brought me music that I’ve put words to. And we’ve sat around with guitars and written together. We’ve finished each other’s lines and added little parts. Sometimes I’ve brought a finished song to him and he’s added to it or re-worked the music. We don’t have a set method, but we’ve employed almost all the approaches you could imagine.

With the members of the band scattered across North America, has it been difficult to get together, record, practice?

NM: We’ve found it close to impossible. On one hand that’s sort of the ultimate bane of Davis and the curse and the frustration is that we’re in all these other places so there’s so many phases that we go through personally and stuff like that that we don’t get to share with each other and aren’t effected by each other. On the other hand it’s sort of the blessing of Davis. It has always felt like a vacation for us when we get together. So in that sense it always maintains this special thing, and the camaraderie is so strong that whenever we do get together it still to this day feels like a rare opportunity and enables us to enjoy ourselves even more. A lot of the tensions and troubles and struggles that regular bands have we don’t have the luxury of such things.

When the band does tour, it seems to be in short chunks, often with lots of time in between. Scheduling wise, has it just not worked out for you guys to do the whole long-winded tour?

NM: Yah, I think that is definitely part of it. We aren’t as young as we used to be. That factors in there a little bit. We’re all busy in other ways. The long-winded tour, I still hope some day to be able to do that with these guys, it’s just not in the books yet.

Is there any chance of Davis making it into Canada in the future, where The Slip has a strong following and thus Davis would likely too?

NM: I wish. That’s more of a legal situation I still have to try to jump through all the hoops to see if something can pan out. I got arrested for mushrooms going into High Sierra in 2004 or something like that. According to Canada that’s enough to keep me out. I know that I could go to the consulate in D.C. and try to get some kind of proof of rehabilitation or something like that but every time I’ve researched it, it just seems a little overwhelming. It makes me wish I had enough money to hire a lawyer to take care of it for me. If it weren’t for that we would probably be in a very different situation right now. They built a studio out there in Montreal and we really could be spending a lot more quality time in Canada than we have been. It’s really frustrating.

When the band has toured recently, you’ve tended to hit the road with more indie-rockers such as The Low Anthem and Land of Talk. Is the band trying to push itself away from being associated with jam scene, which some people might argue were the roots of the band’s beginnings?

NM: There has always been that curiosity of how other scenes would accept us or how well we would do in other places. I think at this point there is no concerted effort to redefine ourselves or to step out of the comfort zone too much. The jam world is definitely not something we are afraid of. It’s always been really good to us and they seem to “get it” on a fundamental level. It’s also really fun to insert ourselves into other scenes and see how they respond to it. I think at this point because we aren’t touring full time we’re really just trying to focus on the places we can have the most fun and play to the most people, wherever that is.

You mentioned High Sierra Music Festival early on in the conversation. What’s so special about High Sierra, as the band doesn’t seem to play any other music festivals during the summer?

NM: Well that’s where I met those guys. That’s where it all happened. I met The Slip at High Sierra and I forget when it was but we both caught each others' sets and met there. And then High Sierra was really the first Davis performance. Without even talking to us about it they sort of noticed we were starting to hang out a bit and scheduled a late night show with me and The Slip and that was some kind of vision on their part. That was really the first time officially I played on stage with those guys. They’ve always been incredibly supportive and are entangled in the roots of our origin. They just get that family nod at this point.

One of the new songs “Sissyfuss” has been recorded for the popular video game “Rock Band”. Can you talk a bit about the company “The Authority” who authored the song, and your thoughts on the video game medium as a perhaps a new flourishing channel of dissemination for music?

NM: I know that Marc is involved in The Authority and that might be a better question for him. I don’t know a lot about that stuff. I just thought it was pretty cool watching the video on YouTube. I thought it looked just like us (laughs)!

You’ve announced on a few occasions during shows that 2010 is the year of the Davis. What’s different about the band’s game plan this time around?

NM: I think it is sort of hearkening back to the question you asked before about the jamband scene and things like that. I think for a while we were really curious as to whether or not other approaches would be more appropriate and successful and sort of dabbled with experimenting with that. I think we’ve now just gone back to “let’s take the known variables and embrace them and try to use that to lift us”. In that sense, if there was a moment of wondering whether or not the jamband scene was for us we are no longer really thinking that way and now we’re just trying to capitalize on all the work we have done in the past and really focus on our strengths, and where we are known and trying to lift the known variables rather than exploring.

Here Davis plays their classic "When A Woman"

You can visit the new Surprise Me Mr. Davis website as well as Nathan Moore's website

Surprise Me Mr. Davis Tour Dates:
April 13 | Club Passim | Boston, MA
April 14 | Firehouse 13 | Providence, RI
April 15 | Red Square | Albany, NY
April 16 | Union Hall | Brooklyn, NY
April 17 | Mercury Lounge | New York, NY*
April 24 | Tipitina's French Quarter | New Orleans, LA**
April 30 | Hi Ho Lounge | New Orleans, LA
June 24 | Tractor Tavern | Seattle, WA***
June 25 | Doug Fir Lounge | Portland, OR***
June 26 | Axe & Fiddle | Cottage Grove, OR***
July 1 | High Sierra Music Festival | Quincy, CA
July 4 | High Sierra Music Festival | Quincy, CA

*w/ Yellowbirds
**w/ The Slip & Marco Benevento Trio
***w/ Marco Benevento Trio

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mike Gordon Rehearsal

Ever wanted to peak into the mind of Mike Gordon? I'm too nervous too, but that's ok because he's letting us peak into his rehearsal sessions and the man plays a mean bass and makes some damn fine music. According to Mr. Gordon's website: Mike and his band spent last week in rehearsals in the mountains of Vermont for their upcoming 8-date March run, which begins with a sold out show this Friday, March 5th in Troy, NY. Wanting to give fans a unique glimpse into the practice space, we're releasing a track that grew out of the session.

Mike Gordon explains: "On the first day of practices, we decided to come to the studio and invite the muse to control us for a day. I led a guided meditation in which we imagined tapping into universal energy that connects from the spheres, through us, and into the center of the Earth, and then we imagined being on stage as the music played the band and the coolest sound we could imagine came out. Each band member then described his aural vision, directing the others to create it. And this little sampling is Craig Myers' vision, entitled 'Birth Of The Universe.' He described ambience wallowing from nothingness, and then mouthed out a rhythm that Todd could then interpret, helping to kick the thing into rock-ass gear. Nice work, Craig."


p.s. how bizarre is that picture?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Album Review: Big Light - Animals In Bloom

The name of the album is subtly understated. Big Light could have called it Animals Fully Bloomed. Seriously, this album knocked my socks off upon first listen. The infectiously catchy tune of the opening track “Good Time of the Year” will linger in your head for days, while the group proves they have the balls to pair poppy “scooby-dooby” lyrics with waves of heavy noise on “Monster”. Big Light jumps playfully into a sea of distorted guitar solos on the hook-heavy “Superfuzz Fine”, illustrating that they have the musical chops to defend their uber-poppy songwriting skills. The band practically begs you to bust out your headphones for the sonic backdrops heard on “Caution” before ending the album with a bang on the 7 minute + “Bonebreaker”. Animals In Bloom is simply an outstanding debut album for a band that has grown at a remarkable pace. Did I mention Big Light played their first official show as a band in 2009? Yah that's right, prepare yourself people, this light is sure to shine bright in 2010.

The Black Keys Announce New Album

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, the members of The Black Keys have been extremely busy as of late. Dan and Patrick both released solo albums, as well as a hip-hop album called BlakRoc which featured some of the biggest superstars in the rap game. Word on the street is, they've already begun recording another BlakRoc album, but before that will be released, the Key's are putting out another album on May 18 via Nonesuch Records. Brothers will be the sixth Black Keys album and will feature 15 songs, one of which is produced by Danger Mouse. This summer the guys will be playing Bonnaroo and Central Park Summerstage. Expect more tour dates to be announced as the summer approaches.


01 Everlasting Light
02 Next Girl
03 Tighten Up
04 Howlin' for You
05 She's Long Gone
06 Black Mud
07 The Only One
08 Too Afraid to Love You
09 Ten Cent Pistol
10 Sinister Kid
11 The Go Getter
12 I'm Not the One
13 Unknown Brother
14 Never Gonna Give You Up
15 These Days

Monday, March 1, 2010

Plants and Animals - The Mama Papa

Plants and Animals, the rockers from Montreal have just dropped a new video on the Internet browsing public. The video is for their first single called "The Mama Papa" and it features the boys in a posh restaurant, having dinner and enjoying a show. It's beautifully shot in high quality black and white and the song ain't too shabby either. Give it a look-see. Hopefully it will satisfy your appetite until La La Land drops on the oh so heady 4/20 release date