An overdo clearing of the shit that's been piling up on my desk:
- Listen to the Dirty Projectors' marvelous live set at SXSW via NPR. They're simply getting better and better. Upcoming album is going to be huge, and these are all songs from it I believe. Find a way to download this and burn a CD or iPod it or something—it's most certainly worth repeat listens.
- "Listening to finer music and attending concerts on a consistent basis makes your real age about four years younger," says Dr. Michael F. Roizen. But apparently punk rock shows don't count. Neither does twee (sorry Rob). By "finer" music Roizen means classical. So does the classically trained Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors count? (Even if this is true, it's probably not enough to get me listening to Loch Lomond...)
- The Beatles put out limited edition singles. My Chemical Romance is releasing a live album on a bullet-shaped USB drive, attached to a vest like the ones they wear on tour. What's next, a Jack Johnson pooka-shell necklace? Courtney Love's clit ring? And people wonder why so many Lester Bangs-type weirdo record collectors prefer living in the past...
You wanted the best music journalism of the last several weeks. Instead, you got raccoons. Well, I'm here to take care of both problems for you. After the jump, peruse a selection of bookmarks presently cluttering my End Hits folder. Each link is matched with its very own Ramones embed. Pests begone!
I guess we fell asleep inside the local music pillow fort, because we were totally clueless that Starfucker has a new album on the way. For reals!
It's called Jupiter and will hit the streets—and soundtrack countless basement dance parties—on the 5th of May, courtesy of Badman Recording Company. The first single is below. Now back to sleep, this fort is so comfortable.
Starfucker - "Medicine"
OMG VIVA VOCE @ WOXY SXSW!
Oh sorry, my CAPS LOCK key was stuck. While down in Texas for the annual SXSW rodeo and domesticated animal state fair, Viva Voce rolled tape on a few live songs for the excellent WOXY. In addition to "Devotion" the first single from the forthcoming Rose City, the band also performed another new one, "Octavio."
I'm fairly confident this song is either about Mexican poet Octavio Paz, or Spider-Man's archnemesis Dr. Otto Gunther Octavius. Probably both.
Viva Voce - "Octavio" (live on WOXY)
Thursday at Holocene is going to be one heck of a show: Calgary musician Chad VanGaalen is headlining a bill that also includes fellow Calgarians (that is a word, I hope?) Women. And VanGaalen assisted with Women's self-titled debut record, and a member of Women also performs in VanGaalen's band. And incidentally, the photo of VanGaalen above was taken by Marc Rimmer, who also performs in another Calgary band, Azeda Booth, whose ranks once included some members of Women, and....
Uh, where was I? Oh yeah. Anyway, Thursday is going to be a phenomenal show. I honestly don't think there is a better singer/songwriter—if that's what you can call him—working today than VanGaalen, who's also crazy talented as a visual artist and just a damn funny guy. And there's no band as creative as Women. But why am I preaching to the choir? You're dying to go to this show anyway! And here's your chance to win two free tickets!
Just leave a comment here as to why you should be the one to win the pair of free tickets. We'll choose either the most deserving, or the most entertaining, or we may just throw a dart at the computer monitor. Contest closes at 12 midnight tomorrow (Tuesday) and the winner will be chosen Wednesday morning.
Chad VanGaalen - "Willow Tree"
Now get commenting!
In the wake of the sudden—and damn depressing—closure of Touch and Go's distribution wing comes the news that local label Kill Rock Stars has found a new distro home with North Carolina's Redeye Distribution. Huzzah!
This is much better news than that one time we wrote about the entire Kill Rock Stars staff getting pinkeye. That was so gross.
Full press release after the jump...
The Cherry City Music Festival takes place on April 9-11 (that's next weekend!) in Salem, just a mere 50 miles south of Portland, and their lineup is shaping up nicely, with 140 different bands playing on various stages in our state's capital. Local favorites like the Thermals, Viva Voce, Portland Cello Project, Horse Feathers, and Boy Eats Drum Machine will be cranking out the tunes, as well as dozens of Salem bands. You can get an all-access three-day wristband for a mere $30 at the Tender Loving Empire store here in Portland (1720 NW Lovejoy #109). There's also a ton of free shit scheduled for the weekend, too, in case you're stone broke. This is definitely going to be worth the trip down I-5.
Full press release and complete lineup after the jump!
We're saddened to report that "Quality" Dan Baldwin, a member of local band Power of County, was killed this weeked after being struck by a drunk driver. From the band's site:
Early Saturday morning, "Quality" Dan Baldwin was struck and killed by a drunk driver running a red light in SE Portland.
Daniel Warren Baldwin, 43, was a staple member of Power of County regionally, playing a variety of percussion instruments including the washboard and spoons.
Dan was on his motorcycle when he was hit by the driver of an SUV, and speculation is that he died instantly.
The suspect has been apprehended and is now in jail awaiting trial for at least three felony charges including manslaughter, hit and run, reckless driving, and DUI.
We have no information at this time about a service, but will be sure to post information as it becomes available.
Our condolences go out to Baldwin's family and friends.
It would seem that Stephen Malkmus has finally put down his fantasy sports guidebooks and picked up the axe to record a session for our pals at Daytrotter. Backed by the Jicks, Malkmus performs an intro, something from both Pig Lib and Real Emotional Trash, and that one James Gang song ("Funk 49") that Kenny Loggins ripped-off for "Foot Loose."
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - "Funk 49"
Good news for people who love A Weather news. According to an update from Sarah Winchester, the whispering (shhhhh-core?) bedroom pop band has recently wrapped up recording the basic tracks for album number two, the follow-up to last year's Cove. No word on when this record will see the light of day, but we'll keep you updated.
In other Winchester news, the A Weather singer—and occasional maker of merch table teddy bears—spent her winter recording a little solo EP entitled The Northeast Kingdom Demos. Similar to the quiet music of her other band, Winchester's solo songs are very intimate, as she explains:
...I am pleased to announce, I finally made something I'm calling Northeast Kingdom Demos. This winter has been long, as winters tend to be. I think recording made it go by a lot faster for me. I'm calling the collection a "demo" because I just used Garage Band and the internal microphone on (the wonderful) Aaron (Gerber)'s computer, so the demo label fits. You can hear a lot of clicks and bleeps and dogs and low-flying airplanes.
However, as far as recording goes, I consider this an achievement. I have always struggled with recording my own songs, and somehow, it finally happened. The timing was right.
The Northeast Kingdom is the nickname for the northeastern corner of Vermont, the state I am proud to say i hail from. The NEK has been listed as one of the "1,000 Places to See Before You Die", which is fitting because it's an extremely majestic and wooded area, but unearthly and eerie as well. The songs spring from this description; family and woods and love and death.
The best part, is that the EP is all yours, for free (just get an account—also free—at the Team-Love download library). And since you are not paying for this music, you can now afford that trip to Vermont. Have fun on the Ben & Jerry's factory tour.
Sarah Winchester - "Northeast Kingdom"
Holy crap, it's the greatest concert ever!
So great that they can't even tell us what it is!
So great that the invite is a RSVP and "non-transferrable"!
So great that will be serving refreshments!
So, who do you think it is? U2? Travis Tritt? Limp Bizkit? Smashmouth?
The better question is, how many artists can still sell out an arena in a market this size? Even Lil Wayne—with his big 'ole pile of cash, Grammy's, and magazine covers—has not been able to sell out his Rose Garden concert next Thursday (there are still 100 Level seats available for that show).
Maybe this big announcement will save the arena concert world as we know it. If that's the case, we all know who it's going to be: Miley Cyrus.
That's right—this is EXCLUSIVE video produced just for End Hits. It's what I hope to be the first of many (and as far as that goes, I'll try and use better mics in the future than the piece of shit built into the Flip camcorder I captured this one on, because dammit, I have them).
Without further ado or excuses, from one week ago today:
NURSES - LIVE @ HOUSE NEAR ALBERTA, 3/20/09
I'm not going to lie: when Thursday's Full Collapse came out, I thought it was one the greatest things I had ever heard. I'm a little bit older and a little bit wiser these days, but eff it: I still really love Thursday, even if they—along with Dashboard Confessional—destroyed emo as we knew it and loved it. But that is clearly a drunken conversation for later that only a few people (I'm looking at you, Ezra) could get behind.
Still, I am going to stand firmly behind Thursday. From their battle leaving Victory to their cred-solidifying split with Envy on Temporary Residence to their legitimately good, most recent Epitaph release Common Existence, the band has been around block more than a few times and come out consistently on the up and up. I am excited for tonight, and excited to pretend like I'm nineteen again and headed off to the Plea For Peace tour.
Thursday play tonight at the Roseland with a bunch of bands. Show at 7 so we can all make our curfew. Tell mom to fire up the minivan!
My personal theory about why Will Oldham gets so much press is that he is quite easy to write about: There are the countless aliases (Palace Brothers/Songs/Music, and tonight he'll wear the Bonnie 'Prince' Billy hat), the weird Baby Jessica movie, that fucking beard to end all beards (with all respect to Daniel Higgs), oh, and the music.
Over the past 16 years or so, Oldham's catalog has barely had a misstep (the jury is still out on Sings Greatest Palace Music), and he's entered the legacy stage of his career where he can't really do anything wrong. Sort of like a Kentuckian Nick Cave, but far less sexy. His latest is Beware, a dirge-heavy, dark folk... please, you can finish this sentence for me. You know what to expect. I'm unsure how a voice so quiet will translate to a crowded Crystal Ballroom, but I guess we'll find out tonight.
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - "Afraid Ain't Me"
Photo: Jesse Fischler
We have a raccoon at our house. A big, scary, raccoon not afraid of a damn thing in this world. Oh, and it's now residing in our crawlspace, eating our garden, and totally not contributing to our hippie chore wheel. So being the wuss that I am, I have hired a crawlspace specialist (who knew such a career exists?) to rummage deep below our house and help us stop this evil creature from living beneath us. Seems fair.
But what I did not know is that—according to the very entertaining man we hired—raccoons hate the Ramones. Much like Miss Evelyn Togar, raccoons dislike rock and roll, and in his expert opinion nothing will flush this creature out like the Ramones.
And it's not just anything in the Ramones catalog, it's one song in particular...
The Ramones - "Blitzkrieg Bop"
I swear to God I am not making this up. I'll let you know if it works...
Tip for End Hits?
Email them here.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!