Friday, April 21, 2006

My Suicide Note: I Will Never Be Eef Barzelay

That's all the note would say if today I choose to die. He played Minneapolis last night. I think in the process that he possibly earned his sainthood. I counted at least 2 miracles, but I wouldn't be surprised if a third was performed backstage. 1) the notoriously HUGE RIP-OFF called the 400-bar was offering $2 PBRs (trumpets!) 2) He played Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd and it was beautiful (HALLELUJAH) and for his encore he played Christina Aguileras Beautiful, and segued it into two-headed boy and then a very short NMH medley (ANGELS, LIGHTNING, !!!!!!).

I enjoyed me some PBR, I enjoyed me some Eef. I ran into several Jesus Freaks that I knew and I called them Jesus Freaks without even thinking about the fact that they might not be privy to the word on the street. I did not consider that they may not be enlightened about the situation and my mentioning of the term Jesus Freak. My friend Corey (who is now a youth pastor I come to find out) asked me about the term and I explained to him that I didn't mean it as derogatory or spiteful -- I meant it as complimentary and love-filled. It's also incredibly descriptive. Also, for one reason or another I have many friends that are playing for Jesus' team.

So today I'm a little hung over after $2 PBRs and some strangers shots -- but I'm alert and with it enough to post some Clem Snide. You can never have enough folks.

Oh -- and to all of you kids that decided to spend $100/ticket to see Death Cab in a DAMN auditorium last night when you could have seen Clem Snide for $10: you suck.
Also -- I have a dog for pretty much one reason: to meet girls. Since flesh has become obsolete, the dog thing isn't working out so well. If you're a girl and you'd like to meet a cute dog and then have me bother you -- check out his MySpace page. Yes, his name is Cowboy Dan and yes, he has great taste in music.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The 50 States: Maryland

Back, yet again, with the next in my ongoing series of a musical journey through the 50-states.

Maryland, daughter of the east. I'm sure you had quite a place in the American Revolution, and I toast to you. I've enjoyed every visit I've ever made to you and for that I'm thankful. Baltimore proved to have plenty of songs about it, but I can't help but feel I didn't give the rest of the state a very fair shake. I've also completely forgotten to include songs about oysters or crabs -- but as editor of this I had to make a decision and even though you, sweet Maryland, contribute a lot of those things, it seems like you're not believable as the ONLY producer/supplier/deliverer of these things. Don't hate me too much, such is life. Suffer thee as well, Maryland.

Maryland, you have given us such great contributions as the US Naval Academy, the first catholic cathedral in the united states, the first school in the united states, first DENTAL school in the us, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken Jr, Billy Ripken, some other baseball guys, Francis Scott Key, The Star Spangled Banner, the National Aquarium, the first hot-air balloon launch, the telegraph pole, recipient of the first telegraph message, workmens comp, Greenbelt, the methodist church of america, more miles of shoreline than any other state (4400miles!), Spiro Agnew, John Wilkes Booth, James Cain, Frederick Douglas, Philip Glass, Billie Holiday, Johns Hopkins, Thurgood Marshall, HL Mencken, Upton Sinclair, Harriet Tubman, Frank Zappa, John Waters, 2Pac.

We love you, Maryland.

Thanks to all of the thoughtful contributors. After I typed up this whole list, I went back and read the comments and realized that I missed quite a few good songs. If anyone would like to continue in the vein of baltimore/maryland -- check my maine post comments for some more songs. You guys are wonderful. Leave me some love in the comments about Massachusets and I'll try to not be so inconsiderate. I love all of you.

Live from the Current: Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos

Well this crew does more than just keep their hipster hairstylist busy. They play some super tight and melodic indie rock, man. I'm very impressed by this performance. It sounds good -- that's pretty easy seeing that the current has about $10 billion or so worth of equipment -- but this band PLAYS so damn well together. I'm bummed that I missed this show, because it would have been fantastic. Sure, the Varsity Theater doesn't have the best sound in the world -- but I think these kids may have overcome.

Plus, there is eight of them and it's not just a schtick. They understand what they're doing and it comes off wonderfully.

This Current stuff is like shooting fish in a barrel. Way easier than trying to get songs for all of the 50-states!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Live from the Current: Josh Rouse

Happy Tuesday Morning to you kids. Hope you had a good weekend, because I did. Oh wait -- I ended up with 2 black eyes and a broken nose, sigh. It was still a fantastic weekend and I'm sure that besides that, Mrs. Kennedy did enjoy the trip to Dallas.

My Hometown Hero left me a comment politely making a request -- something that I'm sure my fans know I will always do my best to acoomodate.
Your Hometown Hero said...

Hey, I hope you convert the recently added in studio session of Josh Ritter...

6:32 PM

So then I obviously scratched my head because Josh Ritter hasn't played in-studio. Ever. I mean, I can do my best to accomodate such loyal fans requests, but that would be just too much. I mean, cmon Your Hometown Hero, I'm not THAT big of a magic man. I have limits. I tried waving my magic headphones around my head and wishing for Josh Ritter for about 30 seconds and nothing appeared. Luckily, you came back through as a good little fan.

Your Hometown Hero said...

I'm sorry, I mean Josh Rouse

6:45 PM

Now, alright, that is a name that I can work with. POOF! It was done.

Enough about the blogging type of nonsense. Here's another in the untapped well of live music from MPR Station, The Current.
I'm also collecting the songs from Maryland as we speak. Should be a great state!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Live from the Current: Trevor Hall

Another in my series of live posts copped from the pages of MPR station 89.3 The Current. Trevor Hall stopped by last week and turned me on to the guy that spent the last few months opening for Matisyahu.

I have this passing infatuation with the idea of soul. It's a concept that can't necessarily be defined or fenced in. It's a drive-by abstraction -- a subjective manifestation of capricity. (I'm not sure that capricity is a word, really.) Soul cannot be outlined using the tools of temper, tone, cadence, and weight. It cannot be linked to a physiological interaction.

You have to just hear it, and you'll get it. White guys are rare to find with soul, but I'm pretty sure that Trevor Hall has it.

And that, my fans -- is the next big thing.

The 50 States: Maine

Welcome back to our next installment of our tour of the 50-states! Maine has a decent helping of hipster indie tracks about it, so that's sort of a nice change of pace.

Maine gives us such great things as the eastern most city in the United States, lobsters, blueberries, the York that preceeded New York, toothpicks, Steven King, Dubya's summer home, LL Bean, Lighthouses, nations first sawmill, nations first incorporated city, the first american ship, the first naval battle in the us, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and this beautiful collection of songs.

Big Ups to all my fans. If you have any ideas about songs from Maryland -- let me know in the comments.

Monday, April 10, 2006

New to You: The Umbrella Sequence

Happy Monday, loyal fans! I'm back in action after a weekend of hardcore, nonstop, unbridled awesomeness. I've brought with me today some grey-market mp3s from a local band that i'm a tad ooooooh ahhhh over. See, they are grey market because they are posted on their website in mp3 form, but it takes a little cunning trickery to actually get them from-ah them to-ah yous. I will guide you past the smoke and mirrors and I will set this music free. They wanted it to be liberated but I'm sure some record label somewhere convinced them it would be a better idea to make them difficult to obtain and obscure the beauty with the frosted glaze of an embedded windows media player, sigh.

The Umbrella Sequence played one of it's first shows at the YMCA blocks from my house in the middle of an incredibly suburban st. paul suburb. See -- I say I'm from minneapolis, but I'm actually not quite there. (Ahem, shut your mouth, minneappleheads -- I'm damn well close enough by my estimations.) Alas, I did not make it to this show because I wasn't 13 and it was "teen-night" at above-mentioned YMCA. I did, by chance, catch them as they opened for Kid Dakota several weeks later at the Uptowner. Now, I've seen The Kid umpteen times and his opening bands are usually snoozers. Umbrella Sequence just absolutely brought it that night, however. They sold me their cd. They could have sold me 10 copies. I was so fricken' impressed.

These kids are young, melodious, synthalogue tweaking geniuses. Oh yeah, and they write a decent song on top of it.

I've heard they now tour nationally since they were signed to OHEV Records (Kind of Like Spitting, Hot Hot Heat, some other bands you probably adore) but on their website it just lists a handful of local upcomings:

04.22.2006 - University of Wisconsin with TBA
05.05.2006 - The Triple Rock with TBA
05.06.2006 - Big V's with The Nina, The Pinta and Heros and Liars
05.26.2006 - The Uptown with Colonial Vipers Attack and Story of the Sea
07.07.2006 - The Triple Rock with TBA

Look for me at a show near well uhh.... me. I'll be the one utilizing the fake mustache in an attempt to obscure my blogebrity. I realize dear reader that the above vignette about the YMCA and my love for the Umbrella Sequence has told you very little about their actual music. There's sort of an idea behind that -- you'll find that I don't actually discuss too much music on this site. Music is for listening. So give it a listen. Move past Sufjan. If I post about it on this site, I am offering my personal GUARANTEE that you'll like it or I will proudly offer you eight times your money back.

Fellow music bloggers -- let's keep the incestous love-fest going. Let me know if you're going to post about the Umbrella Sequence and I'll throw be sure to give you a mention in an upcoming post.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Covered Sound

Yet another installment in my sort of completely random and without any sort of repeated schedule edition of covered songs! I could use this area to write a bunch of nonsense about several bands that you already know, doing several versions of songs by more bands that you already know -- but guess what? I respect you more than that, dear reader. I know that you've got Google and if you were wanting to do further research on whether Elliott was assassinated by people with great interest in whether or not he did a better version of Willie than Willie can do or not, then you can dig it up. You don't need my watchful hand to steer you towards everything on this ever-revolving huge blue rock, now do ya? No -- you just need me to lend a hand here and there on important matters of taste. Do I dictate excellence? Not really, but as long as I can keep you slightly interested while you're stealing music "discovering" new bands, then I must be doing an alright job.

In other news, I was called an Emo-Boy by a girl with a fake british accent last night while accidently attending the strangest "salsa" night that I've ever been to. Lucky for you ladies, I can count the number of salsa nights I've been tricked into attending on one hand, but I can still slay a damn MERENGUE while I count em! Yaaaaaaaah, take that to the bank. The girl with the fake british accent dropped me her digits, but I'm only going to use them to tease her about her accent. Or maybe take her out for some well deserved face-to-face riddlin'.

Yow -- this is starting to sound like a blog. Maybe I am an emo-boy? If I am then I'm one with some fancy feet on the salsa-beats.
In the interest of full disclosure, I know that at least one of the songs above came from a great blog, Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands. Stop by there if you are interested in reading about music or dancing about architecture.

Also, stay tuned for Maine in our great journey through the 'fiddy, kids.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Live at the Current: Ben Harper

Hey folks. I'm lucky that in this great Twin Cities area we have a fairly new and totally rad radio station. 89.3 The Current is a station from Minnesota Public Radio that plays music that you like. They also have a huge catalogue of live music on their website that you can listen to -- but you can't download it.

I've decided to start a new series of posts that will be enjoyable guests from the Current in mp3 downloadable form. If you want to listen to the interviews, I recommend you check out their stream -- I'm only going to offer the tracks, because I love live music and I know you do too.

First up is Ben Harper from yesterday. You all know who he is, riggggght?

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