Thursday, March 31, 2005

Oasis' "Lyla" is well....average

Oasis' new single "Lyla" is just ok. The standard verse/chorus/verse/middle 8 guitar solo/chorus. It sounds a lot like "Street Fighting Man" by the Stones. Liam's vocals are ok, but the drumming is really weak. Torr may still have a link to the single here.

And of course Noel says that he's prouder of this album than any album since Definitely Maybe. Um, from the songs I've heard, I wouldn't be. (And Standing on the Shoulders of Giants was pretty good.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Give me back my eyeliner! Brandon vs. Sam.

As blogged about everywhere, Brandon Flowers of the Killers calls out The Bravery, with such gems as: "I can see The Strokes play or Franz Ferdinand play and it's real, and I haven't gotten that from The Bravery. I think people will see through them." Wow. He even brings up Skabba the Hut. And just recently, Sam said that he had no problems with the Killers (courtesy of Arjan Writes): "There is no rivalry between us and the Killers. It is frustrating for us and for them that we are compared all the time. We never even heard of the Killers until our album was almost done. And I'm sure they never heard of us. We're not part of the same scene and totally independent of each other."

Calling the Bravery out for not being original. Somewhere, Simon LeBon is expecting a royalty check.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The holy weekend

So I kicked off this holiest of weekends by seeing Kaiser Chiefs at the Bowery on Friday. It was the same high-energy show that they did at NorthSix. I thought "I Predict A Riot" was the best tune of the night. I wasn't really in the mood to see a show, so I just stood in the back and quietly left when it was over.

On Saturday I picked up a promo copy Maximo Park's debut album and it's friggin' phenomenal. I know I missed this boat by about two weeks (their Mercury Lounge show and SXSW pep rally show thrown by the Tarts of Pleasure were two weeks ago), but I'm eagerly anticipating Maximo Park's return to NYC. Their music is great - they (at the risk of making comparisons) sound like a rockier Franz without all the pomp and circumstance. It's just good British rock and roll. I highly suggest you pick this album up.

And for the day of Resurrection, I participated in the third annual Easter Liquid Brunch - a group of Catholic friends and I went to mass in the village, then hit up Essex for brunch. Brunch at Essex is incredible - really good food and free-flowing mimosas for $15! After liquid brunch, the posse (about 21 at this point) hit Iggy's for some beers, and followed that up by going to someone's loft in the Village to play a massive 10 on 10 game of flip cup. Love that game! Ended up pretty hammered, but drinking games are so much fun. After a full day like that, I'm thankful that the Lord only rises once a year though.

Here's a pic of the 10 on 10 flip cup tourney.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Forgive me if I'm out of line

So the industry-sponsored The Bravery show at Rothko last night was average, probably the worst show of their's that I've seen. This was most likely due to the fact that Sam had the flu, as announced halfway through the set, and because the sound wasn't up as loud as it should have been - especially on the vocals. The usual suspects were in the setlist, "Unconditional," "No Brakes," "Swollen Summer," "P.S.A.," "Honest Mistake," but the gem was the closer - a cover of INXS' "Don't Change." A pretty good job on that one. Interesting crowd though - there were definitely some K-Rock contest winners in the audience. And a whole bunch of dudes doing the I Love You Sign with their fingers. Coming to an arena near you...The Bravery! (Actually, they'll be playing Irving Plaza on May 16 and you can hit up the pre-sale here.)

These guys are gonna be touring their asses off for the next couple of months. Island Records must really want that advance back. They are playing almost every day from now until May. And even though the show last night was sub-par, I'm still a fan. Danceable electro-rock gets me every time. And for extra credit, check out Nora's post on why people think it's not cool to like The Bravery anymore.

Last night really started on a weird note though. As I walked down Ludlow to hit up Local 138 for some pre-Bravery beers, the street was blocked off by trucks and lighting machines. Apparently a movie was being filmed right in front of Local 138, Iggy's and the Creperie. Even more interesting was the fact that they were shooting a storm scene, so they brought in this massive rain machine thing that brought legit stormy rain down on that one part of the block. Definitely one of the cooler things I've seen in the past 4 days. The shooting was supposed to be for a Lindsay Lohan film, but sad to say, there were no Lohan sightings for me.

And boy, pre-Bravery beers at Local 138 and post-Bravery shots at Iggy's (with Iggy himself) makes for a pleasurable Holy Thursday and painful Good Friday.

The Office

So the American version of The Office debuted last night. It was pretty good, but won't ever be as good as the original British version (remakes rarely are). Steve Carell was a good choice for the lead because his comedy is deadpan humor, which fits right in to the mockumentary here. What the American version did do well was capturing the sound of the office - the buzz of the fluorescent lights, the phones, the fax machine, etc. That's a necessary ingredient if you are making a show on cubicle life. I think NBC's The Office will pan out, especially because they will be writing new scripts instead of just miming the British ones.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

My week involves...

...going to see The Bravery at Rothko on Thursday and the Kaiser Chiefs at the Bowery on Friday. I'm sure the Bravery show will sound just like all the other ones I've seen, but this time it will be at the always interesting Rothko. And I hope the Kaiser Chiefs show lives up to the expectations I have after seeing their Northsix show. A great live band, although their music is just ok.

Also, tonight Mylo will be playing at Rothko and then dj'ing at Hiro. The new GBH party at Hiro, Any Suggestions?, will also feature Audrey Melody Nelson's impeccable musical tastes.

Details on the new Oasis album(!)

I love how the British music press has been slowly giving the world details on the upcoming Oasis album. Each week we can read about the track titles or the album title or the number of songs Liam has written, etc.. But does it really matter? Is the world that starved for Oasis information? Today, XFM gives us further details on the album Don't Believe the Truth, which at least dicusses the music and has Noel giving a heads-up on what each track sounds like. Don't Believe the Truth comes out on May 30 in the UK.

Monday, March 21, 2005

My two cents...

I've had New Order's Waiting for the Siren's Call and Bloc Party's Silent Alarm for a couple of weeks now. And now that I've had the proper time to get a feel for both, here are my two cents on the releases.

I spent a three and a half hour train ride last weekend listening to Waiting for the Siren's Call, and although I was put off a little by "Krafty" when I first heard it (and still am), I think that this is a really strong album. The rockier tracks are ok, but the dancier ones are better. Nevertheless, it kinda sounds like a band that wants to sound like New Order.

"Who's Joe" is a great lead-off track for New Order because it first hits with a sweeping string section, throws in some bass synth sounds, and then storms into the track - a good build-up before the song really starts. The title track is very Technique-esque - in both the lyrics and instrumentation. "I Told You So" has an interesting reggae beat to it (slightly reminiscent of the early cover "Turn the Heater On"). "Morning Night and Day" is a standard New Order dance track. And although I've read bad reviews of this track, "Jetstream" with Ana Matronic is not too bad - interesting dual vocals. My favorite track is "Guilt Is a Useless Emotion" - the perfect dance track, something other bands/dj's try to emulate but can't. It has a hard synth on top of a driving beat and the right amount of female harmonizing. I cannot wait to see New Order on May 5th, which sadly will be the first time for me.

And now for Kele and co.: Bloc Party's Silent Alarm is an amazing album. Much more polished than their great EP. It's full of staccato punk rhythms and sharp lyrics with pounding beats. "Like Eating Glass" is a perfect opener - slowly building up to the hard end. "Helicopter" and "Banquet" are both good floor-stompers, both of which I play when dj'ing. "She's Hearing Voices" and "Price of Gasoline" are both dark, edgy songs - and are amazing live.

I've had the pleasure of seeing them at the Motherfucker President's Day Freak-Out, and am looking forward to their Bowery shows.

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Hype Machine going awry?

Although the British press is going crazy over them, XFM gave The Bravery's debut album a so-so review. While praising the singles "Unconditional" and "An Honest Mistake" and noting that the album should sell really well, they hint that the album lacks substance. I like the album a lot, even though I agree that it isn't really deep. I'm a fan of electro-rock and this fits the bill really well. However, there isn't too much depth and because The Bravery have been hyped up so much, the band may never live up to record companies' or mass consumers' expectations since they haven't had much time to hone their sound (other than their 12 or 13 songs in their rotation). Nevertheless, I'll still rock out this album.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The stupidity of "Freebird"

There's a great article in the Wall Street Journal this morning about "the oldest joke" in rock - yelling "Freebird" at a concert. The article tries to ascertain where the phenomenon originated and why the request is still echoed today, usually by people who probably don't even listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I hate when people yell "Freebird" at a show. It's not funny, and in actuality, is kind of lame. As noted in the article, comedian Bill Hicks summed it up nicely during a show of his: "Please stop yelling that. It's not funny, it's not clever - it's stupid." I couldn't agree more. I hate when some moron near me decides to yell that. Who is he trying to amuse? I will say though, I haven't heard "Freebird" in a while, although the article begins by noting the chant was yelled at the Crimea show at the Bowery two weeks ago - a show I wasn't at, but a venue that I frequently haunt.

Mike Doughty came up with a suggestion to stop the request - whenever anyone calls for "Freebird," play it in its entirety - and if someone calls for it again, play it again. I'm sure that would stop the request for the evening, unless the crowd really likes southern fried rock.

Although I've heard "Freebird" yelled at numerous shows, the musicians never really acknowledge it. One of my hallmates from college, however, heard a musician acknowledge the lame request: when Oasis first toured America, they stopped at Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill. As usual, some jackass yells "Freebird." Liam just looks at him, then points with his finger and says "yourrrrrrr'e so fuckin' stooopid." Exactly.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Drown....with me....into the sea....

It was one of those shows that you left feeling exhilarated, speechless. Doves put on a great show at the Bowery, even though Jimi claimed to have a bit of a cold. They are just amazing musicians and really put on a command performance. I last saw them in 2000 at the 9:30 Club and was completely blown away. I wouldn't go as far as saying that this time, but it was an incredible performance. The Bowery is a great venue for their music, as it really fills the space.

Jez Williams

"Sea Song," "The Last Broadcast," and "Almost Forgot Myself" were highlights of the show. And "Black and White Town" sounds great live. I wish they would have played more from Lost Souls, but the mix of the three albums (with more of a focus on Some Cities) was good.

If you missed them last night, they are playing Webster Hall (ugh) on May 18th and 19th. Tickets go on sale today at 10am here. I hate Webster Hall but as they are one of my favorite bands, I will have to see them again.

Jimi Goodwin

Monday, March 14, 2005


Thanks to all that came out to Foxbase Alpha! at Magnetic Field. I had a great time, and I hope you enjoyed all the Brit tunes. And I'd really like to thank those who were still around at 3:45am making requests for obscure Smiths songs.

Here is the playlist from Saturday night:
- Oasis - Fuckin' in the Bushes
- Ash - A Life Less Ordinary
- Razorlight - Golden Touch
- Doves - Black and White Town
- Kula Shaker - Taatva
- Lush - Hypocrite
- Blur - Trouble in the Message Centre
- Catatonia - Road Rage
- Cast - Fine Time
- Belle and Sebastian - Legalman
- Edwyn Collins - A Girl Like You
- Morrissey - Irish Blood, English Heart
- Stone Roses - I Am the Resurrection (request)
- The Pastels - Nothing to Be Done
- Shed Seven - Speak Easy
- Stereophonics - Last of the Big Time Drinkers
- Radiohead - The Bends
- Sleeper - Inbetweener
- Elastica - Waking Up
- Doves - Catch the Sun (request)
- Suede - Starcrazy
- Pulp - Lipgloss
- Coldplay - Talk
- Battle - Tendency
- Bloc Party - Tulips
- The Libertines - Don't Look Back into the Sun
- Oasis - Go Let It Out
- Pulp - Common People (request)
- Echobelly - Great Things
- Placebo - English Summer Rain
- Paul Weller - Wild Wood (vs. Portishead)
- Lush - Mannequin
- Chapterhouse - Pearl
- Manic Street Preachers - Prologue to History
- The Music - Breakin'
- The Charlatans - Weirdo
- Blur - There's No Other Way
- Primal Scream - Rocks
- The Farm - Groovy Train
- Kasabian - Processed Beats
- Stone Roses - Fool's Gold
- The Verve - This Time
- Happy Mondays - Step On
- Franz Ferdinand - Come on Home
- Swervedriver - Feels So Real
- Stereolab - Ping Pong
- Saint Etienne - Nothing Can Stop Us
- Pulp - Disco 2000
- Blur - Girls & Boys
- Supergrass - Cheapskate
- Charlatans - The Only one I Know
- Happy Mondays - Hallelujah! (club mix)
- Franz Ferdinand - This Fire (Playgroup remix)
- Primal Scream - Slip Inside This House
- Ian Brown - Can't See Me
- Saint Etienne - Only Love Can Break Your Heart
- Pulp - hidden track from His 'N Hers (request)
- The Futureheads - Hounds of Love
- Menswe@r - Daydreamer
- Elastica - Connection
- Lush - Ladykillers (request)
- Bloc Party - Banquet
- Blur - Country House (request)
- Kasabian - L.S.F.
- Ocean Colour Scene - You've Got it Bad
- Kula Shaker - Hush
- The Charlatans - How High
- Suede - Whipsnade
- Ride - Vapour Trail
- Oasis - Let's All Make Believe
- Coldplay - Crest of Waves
- The Smiths - There is a Light (request by Julia Petho)
- The Smiths - You Just Haven't Earned It Yet (request)
- The Verve - On My Own
- Doves - Almost Forgot Myself
- Stone Roses - I Wanna Be Adored (request)
- Blur - No Distance Left to Run
- The Smiths - Unloveable (request)
- Richard Ashcroft - Brave New World
- Sleeper - Sale of the Century
- Radiohead - Where I End and Where You Begin

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Foxbase Alpha! at Magnetic Field, this Saturday!

Foxbase Alpha! (Tube with new text)

Just a reminder - I now have a DJ night called "Foxbase Alpha!" at Magnetic Field in Brooklyn Heights. The inaugural evening will be Saturday, March 12th from 10pm to 4am. I will be spinning classic Britpop (Pulp, Oasis, Blur, Verve, Suede, Sleeper, St. Etienne, Primal Scream, etc.) and new Brit (Franz, Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, Kasabian, etc.). If you care and are in the area, I hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Between Us and Them

Checked out Moving Units last night at Irving Plaza. They opened for Secret Machines, whom I think everyone was there to see as it was a sold out show. The last time I saw Moving Units they were at the Bowery and put on a good show. Similar here at Irving, although the larger space required a heavier sound. "Anyone" and "Between Us and Them" were the best tracks from their set. And like the Bowery show, they didn't play "Available" - a great song to get down to. I thought they were very good - but the crowd (of mostly teenagers, which means Secret Machines must have a video on MTV) didn't really get into them.

I only stayed for a couple of Secret Machines songs, which were good psych-rock. I was tired and really needed a burrito from Cosmic Cantina. Also, Autolux, the first opener of the night, put on a good set. As I've said before, I'm a fan of the shoegaze sound and they provided that. The drummer though, really reigned the sound in and she did a great job on vocals.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Tears set to release album

The Tears (Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler) have confirmed that they will be releasing a (poorly named) album - Here Come the Tears. It will be released on May 2 in the UK and a single - "Refugees" - will be out on April 18. While it's great to see these two writing together again, the single is just average - it sounds like a watered-down Suede song. Hopefully animosity will creep in, and these two will write a couple of good songs.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Breathe deeper...daydreamer

In preparation for Foxbase Alpha!, I've been going through all of my Britpop cd's. We're pulling out everything over here - Cast, Mansun, Menswe@r, Kula Shaker, Supergrass, among others. And as I've been listening to Nuisance, I've gotta say that I actually like some of Menswe@r's stuff. Clearly something is wrong with me.