Thursday, October 30, 2008

Political Playlist

This Tuesday the most important US Presidential election will take place. At this point I do not think I need to stress how important it is for you to go out and vote. With that in mind, here is a soundtrack of songs I have compiled that reflect government issues, world issues and politics as a whole...

Coldplay - "Politik"
The National - "Mr. November"
Rage Against the Machine - "Wake Up"
Bruce Springsteen - "Johnny 99"
Bob Dylan - "Blowin in the Wind"
Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Fortunate Son"
Bright Eyes - "When the President Talks to God"
U2 - "Love and Peace or Else"
Pearl Jam - "Bushleaguer"
The Clash - "Know Your Rights"
Chris Cornell and Maynard James Keenan - "What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding"
Bouncing Souls - "Letters from Iraq"
Billy Bragg - "Waiting for the Great Leap Forward"
Bjork - "Declare Independence"
Green Day - "American Idiot"
MC5 - "Kick out the Jams"
John Lennon - "Gimme Some Truth"
Radiohead - "House of Cards"
REM - "Welcome to the Occupation"
Bob Marley - "Get Up! Stand Up!"
Pink - "Dear, Mr. President"
Woodie Guthrie - "This Land is Your Land"
Muse - "Map of the Problematic"
Marvin Gaye - "What's Goin On?"
Against Me! - "Stop!"
Rise Against - "Swing Life Away"
System of a Down - "War"


Every once in a while I have to give this blog (and myself) some credit. It is great to have people read this site from all over the Globe. Thanks to the beauty of the Internet a slew of people in the UK have been following the site and e-mailing me with some great things. Just wanted to say thanks! Also, speaking of UK readers, someone in Manchester, England saw my review of Coldplay at Hammerstein and posted it on the biggest Coldplay fan site in the world. The site featured it on their site as well as their message board. Check out the message board posting HERE

Another cool thing is the message I received from Stellastarr*'s Arthur Kremer about the site. Kremer mentioned "Hey I like the layout of your site...good job!" Some nice words of encouragement from a really awesome guy! Thanks Arthur!

And finally I am patting myself on the back for this...Who is one of the first people in the US to be writing and even interviewing Glasvegas? Oh me - that's who! Who has the free featured single of the week on Itunes this week as well as an upcoming taping of Letterman in January--Glasvegas! I told you they were going to be huge! You herd it first here on this side of the pond!

Sorry for my nerdiness but I just needed to let it out.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


At some point during this decade, bloggers (like myself) had begun to dictate which bands were cool and what people should be listening to. Artists such as The Arcade Fire, The Shins (Pre-Garden State), The Decemberists had begun to build a reputation in the blogosphere before labels and radio took notice. One band in particular New York City's Stellastarr* was one of those bands that caught the attention of bloggers, however, Stellastarr* were much more crafty than online writers led on. Propelled by catchy hooks, clever lyrics and fantastic live shows, Stellastarr* were poised to become the next big thing from the city that never sleeps. After reaching much success with two albums, 2003's self titled debut and 2005's Harmonies for the Haunted, Stellastarr* are set to release their third album in 2009. I had the opportunity to chat with drummer Arthur Kremer about the new record, New York and touring the world. Check out my exclusive interview with Kremer...

1- How is the progress on the new record?
It's coming along slowly and un-surely. We are pretty much finished with it. It's recorded and mixed and now we're fussing about with the details such as mastering, album name and just how the hell to release it.

2- How do you think fans will react to the new album?
I hope they either really hate it or really love it.

3- You were one of the first bands to break out of the neo-New York scene this past decade. What has role has New York City played in your music? What role does music play in New York City?
New York is very much intertwined with us and the music we make. I wouldn't even know how to separate it out. I don't think stellastarr* could have been born in Tallahassee or Cleveland or any other town.

4- You were also one of the first bands to take the 80's synth sound and bring it back to the mainstream in such effective way around the world. Do you think that type of dance-rock, that you helped reusher in, makes it easier to reach a global audience than other generes?
I don't know how to answer this...Partially because we don't really use any synths and especially didn't when we first started out. We also never intended to "usher in" any particular genre of music. We just got together to make music that we wanted to make...and what came out, came out.

5- Has touring the world and having your music reach out to so many people changed you as musicians?
Absolutely. In some ways it made us better musicians, more professional and savvy. But with the good there always is the bad. I am sure we've lost a great deal of innocents and naiveté which I very much revel in. I am sure we are more jaded and perhaps more cynical as musicians and as people.

6- The sound Stellastarr* produces sounds more British than American. Has Brit-pop been a strong influence on the band?
For sure...I mean Brit pop in general is a huge influence on all music and all musicians. So many incredible musicians came out of that little place it's baffling to me. Maybe they're crappy cuisine had made them strive for something more fulfilling...well that's my theory anyway. However I will say that I think our sound is more New York than British or American. New York is a unique place that's is in my mind culturally a perfect blend of the American and European ideals. I think and hope we helped to usher in a New York sound...I guess this answer can be applicable to question 3 and 4.

7- You have placed the demo of "Warchild," up on myspace. Does this song and title reflect our current times? Will the band be getting more political / social on the new record?
We'll be getting more.

Above: Stellastarr* on Last Call with Carson Daly / Below: Video for "Sweet Troubled Soul"

Glasvegas XMas Tracklisting

As I mentioned last week, Glasvegas are set to release a Christmas album this Holiday season. The album entitled A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss), will be out December 1. After reviewing the track listing, it seems to be more of a Holiday EP, but I am still looking forward to it. Here is the track listing:

'Please Come Back Home'
'Cruel Moon'
'Careful What You Wish For'
'Fuck You, It's Over'
'A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss)'
'Silent Night / Noapte De Vis'

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Live Review-Coldplay @ Hammerstein Ballroom

In a up close and personal, exclusive invitation only concert, one of the biggest bands in the world played to one of their smallest audiences in years. 500 lucky fans, industry executives, and friends of Coldplay including Jay-Z and Beyonce had a chance to see the London four piece in a intimate setting. Being one of the lucky ones to get in, it was rather amazing to see Coldplay perform to such a small crowd gathered at Hammerstein Ballroom, a venue that can hold close to 4,000. The concert was a taping for a Nissan / Yahoo live series that will be broadcast on the web December 1. Opening with "Life in Technicolor," then going into a semi-acoustic version of "Violet Hill;" I could hear the feedback coming off speakers, the hands of Chris Martin, Guy Berryman and Johnny Buckland sliding up and down the fret boards of their guitars, Chris' fingers pounding his piano. While feeling the air coming from Will Champion's drums, I knew I was in for something special. Playing for an hour, featuring a heavy Viva La Vida or Death and all His Friends set, they managed to sneak in fan favorites like "Clocks," and "Yellow." The biggest moment of the night was during "Viva La Vida," when the small crowd just went absolutely nuts, it is one of those songs that people need to experience live at least once before they die. In between songs Martin would lend his smug commentary from everything to life on the road, the upcoming US Election and his admiration for touring mate Duffy. It was during these little moments in between songs that I realized after seeing them five times (including last night), in every size venue possible, this is the most I have ever herd Chris Martin speak to his audience. Fame has seem to really grab a hold of the singer, his ego and confidence on stage has soared beyond measure. However, he has his band mates to keep him grounded as they really provide the soundtrack to an amazing event, night after night. Last night also proved that size does not matter for Coldplay. You can stick them in Madison Square Garden or Hammerstein Ballroom in front of 500 people and they will give one of the greatest live performances you will ever see and only leaving you wanting more.

Coldplay setlist 10/22/08 Hammerstein Ballroom:
Life In Technicolor
Violet Hill
Chinese Sleep Chant
Strawberry Swing
Viva La Vida
Lovers In Japan
Death And All His Friends

New Verve Video

Check out the latest video from The Verve, for the song "Rather Be," off the band's comeback record Forth. The video was directed by singer Richard Ashcroft marking his directorial debut!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quick News

Ever wanted to see what U2 have been up to in their Dublin Studio? Then head on over to the band's website and see rehearsal footage as well as Edge playing around.

Glasvegas are currently in a Transylvania church recording their Christmas album. The 10 song record will feature nine originals as well as a cover of the Holiday staple "Silent Night."

The Bouncing Souls are gearing up for their 20th anniversary next year and are expected to deliver big things. The band is working on their latest record to have out at some point in 09, as well as a huge tour. Yet for now you can catch the Souls in New Jersey during the Holiday season as they are set to play Asbury Park for their annual Christmas / New Year shows.

It is hard to think that a year ago Radiohead unleashed the biggest experiment and shock to the music industry as the pay-as-you-want In Rainbows, the bands seventh studio album was released. After being available as a download and gift set via the band's website for a few months, then getting physical releases on both CD and Vinyl. The band have revealed how successful the experiment was. Check out the figures and stats HERE via

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kanye West Live on Kimmel

Kanye West was on Live with Jimmy Kimmel this week and gave a great performance of his latest single "Love Lockdown." Check it out and West's latest 808's and Heartbreak drops November 25.

1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die

NPR program All Songs Considered has just release a list of the definitive "1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die." It is a very big and eclectic list and certainly worth checking out. see the list and give your opinion HERE

Beck Live on Letterman

Beck gave a rousing performance of "Gamma Ray," on Letterman a few weeks ago. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Album Covers!

Check out the covers to Coldplay's Prospekt's March EP and The Killer's Day and Age LP. Both albums arrive on November 25.

Chaka Khan and Hot Chip!

What a way to celebrate a birthday party, European clothing company Diesel celebrated their founding in Brooklyn this past weekend with an all star line up that included MIA, Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand, NERD, and TI. Many mash ups and surprises came out of the night but nothing like Chaka Khan joining Hot Chip to belt out her classic "I'm Every Woman."

Quick News

My favorite electro rockers Depeche Mode are currently in the studio working on their latest record. This will be the band's first album since 2005's brilliant Playing the Angel, the currently untitled disc is slated to come out in April.

Metal monsters Mastodon are also currently in the studio working on their latest disc. The band has been inspired by Brent Hinds head injury he endured at last years MTV VMA's in Las Vegas. The album is being produced by Brendan O'Brien (Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam) and for more info on the recording of Mastodon's latest check out Rolling Stone's exclusive inside look HERE

In other album news, Garbage singer turned Terminator actress Shirley Manson gave away that band member and Against Me!, Nirvana producer Butch Vig is working with Green Day on their new album. Green Day and Vig are currently in California working on the band's follow up to 2004's mega successful American Idiot.

Another Bloc Party @ Roseland Video

Just last month I caught the English band as they gave a free show at Roseland Ballroom. Here is another video of the band's great performance, this is of "Hunting for Witches." Read my review and see the band play their latest single "Talons," HERE

Thursday, October 9, 2008


What a year 2008 has been for the Glasgow band Glasvegas. After finishing the recording to their debut record, playing sold out shows all across Europe and almost beating Metallica to the top of the UK Charts. Glasvegas are poised to become one of the biggest bands in the world. Certainly 2008 best new artist, Glasvegas know hard times, struggle and the fight to the top and are ready to stay there. They recently just wrapped a small tour of the U.S. (their first U.S. tour too, I might add) I recently had a chance to speak with the band about beginnings, New York City and the idea of a new wave of a British Invasion. Here is what they had to say in one of their very first American interviews.

1) Most bands start off in their late teens and / or early twenties. You seem to have started later than that. Doe you think your age and experience effects your songwriting?
GV:It certainly gives you more life experience and this gives you more depth when writing songs

2) Recently Glasvegas battled Metallica in the UK for the top of the charts. How does that make you feel that you were competing against legends and were very close to beating them?
GV:We made the album we wanted and went through so many highs and lows getting there and came out on the other side with an album we were happy with...charts are for record companies to be concerned about but it was interesting to read that Metallica brought their release forward

3) Your sound is very cinematic and unique. Describe your songwriting process and how each song gets to be what the audience hears.
GV: We can't ...something so creative has no process...although we do concede that first demos my differ slightly from final version

4) Why did you choose to record your album in Brooklyn?
GV: To people on the other side of the world...Brooklyn sounds otherworldly and exotic and we wanted to be inspired and Brooklyn was a magical place in a magical time

5) Did Brooklyn and New York City inspire your work?
GV: yes it did...they are such inspirational places

6) With bands such as Coldplay, The Fratellis, Bloc Party and now Glasvegas, do you think we are on the brink of the third British invasion?
GV: The days of waving at the airport are long gone.

7) Is making it in the U.S. still a big deal to a European musician?
GV: It is a different market with its own challenges but i believe every musician would like to be a success in the USA

Thanks again to Glasvegas for this interview. Their self titled debut is available now on Itunes, physical releases will be out in January.

Above Glasvegas on Jools Holland performing "Daddy's Gone," Below "Geraldine"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Coldplay Prospekt's March EP Tracklisting

Coldplay have announced the Official Track listing to Prospekt's March E.P. The E.P will be out November 25 as a digital download, E.P. CD or in a bundle with Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends.

Here is the listing

'Life In Technicolor II'
'Postcards From Far Away'
'Glass Of Water''Rainy Day'
'Prospekts March'/'Poppyfields'
'Lost +'
'Lovers In Japan (Osaka Sun mix)'
'Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground'

Politics, Lil Jon Style

At a backstage interview between Gym Class Hero's Travis Macoy and Lil Jon at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors. Lil Jon went off about this years political campaign. Check out what he had to say in this hilarious video (also please not Travis' reaction through the whole thing). Watch the video HERE

Indy Watch

With the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to DVD next week, the press is gearing up for another round of interviews with the cast and crew. The one thing that keeps popping up is whether or not there will be an Indy 5. According to the LA Times George Lucas in in "think mode." Not sure if that means...Hey I am thinking of a new idea OR let's do another one. For more info check out what had posted HERE

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Favorite Album Covers Part 2

With Oasis set to release Dig Out Your Soul this week, its facinating cover just catches my eye and makes me fall in love with it. Just as I did a few months back when seeing the new sleeves to Coldplay and The Verve's latest records, I once again feel we are in a album cover rennisance. Here are a few more of my favorite album covers. To look at my first group click HERE

The Killers Tracklisting

The Killers have announced the tracklisting to their anticipated third record Day and Age. The album is out late November, here are the songs:

'Losing Touch'
'A Dustland Fairytale'
'This Is Your Life'
'I Can't Stay'
'Neon Tiger'
'The World We Live In'
'Goodnight, Travel Well'

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Little Britain USA

It is leud, crude, and rude...and the funniest new show this fall.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kings of Leon Live on Letterman

Kings of Leon returned to the Ed Sullivan Theater last week to perform "Sex on Fire," from their latest Only by the Night. Check it out, it is one hell of a song and a great performance.

Rising Artist-The Hollow Sound

When you are passionate about something and looking for it to bring you to new heights and willing to do almost anything for it, success will come to you. Success is starting to come to the Boston band The Hollow Sound and take note, they are a force to be reckoned with. Fronted by the beautiful and talented Maddie Herec and backed by a band of talented musicians (including my friend Evan Brock), The Hollow Sound are making a name for themselves all over. Just getting off this summers Warped Tour and playing the CMJ Music Marathon the past few years, The Hollow Sound have also found themselves playing with the likes of As Tall As Lions, Nightmare of You and Protest the Hero, to name a few. For this band it is not just about making music it is about making art. As they put it "Armed with only the instruments on our backs and the words in our hearts, The Hollow Sound has always been about looking forward since the earliest months of 2005. This band is the driving force in our lives; it is what keeps us going--whether that be through writing, performing, or recording." Over the years they have delivered EP's and are currently working on their debut full length LP. Give this band a listen and I am sure you will enjoy what you hear.

Movie of the Month - 28 Days Later

October marks two things in my mind; the return of fall and Halloween. Halloween marks the memories of dressing up and trick or treating, now as a twentysomething it is about dressing up and getting drunk (true story). But no matter what age or way you celebrate the day, it always reverts back to wanting to get the shit scared out of you and the easiest way to do so is in a film. Here is one film that will not only make your jump out of your skin, it will also make you realize every other zombie movie you ever saw was nothing compared to 28 Days Later. Directed by Danny Boyle, a personal favorite and a man who I believe is the greatest director for hire. He can do any type of film and it is still amazing, 28 Days Later was his first and only horror film to date and his most successful outing since Trainspotting. This 2002 film starring Cillian Murphy, it depicts how society has been beaten after being hit with the Rage virus turning humans into zombies. Now you maybe saying to yourself, "zombie movies are never any good." For any naysayer, this is not your typical zombie film. It is a study in the breakdown of humanity and that maybe the scariest element of the film and the looming thought of "what would I do if this was me?" Filmed in a very interesting way with Digital video camera's and forcing to block off some of London's most bustling sections for minutes at a time in the early morning, the look and feel of 28 Days Later is an achievement all its own. Spawning the successful sequel 28 Weeks Later in 2007, this film has already become an instant classic.

Underated Classic-Incubus "S.C.I.E.N.C.E"

Being such a big fan of Incubus it is hard to imagine that 11 years has passed since the release of the SoCal band's debut LP. 1997 was a very interesting year to be an American band, the British sound of the mid 90's had pretty much taken over the airwaves and MTV. Aside from that sound or style, the only thing left in America was pure hard rock. We saw the return of Metallica, Korn were on the rise to being superstars and punk was very skate oriented and less political like it once was. Then a band from the West Coast came and decided to fuse all the musical genres they could into one musical orgy. That was Incubus and the album was S.C.I.E.N.C.E. It is not surprising that they hailed from California, because only California bands have been successful at making a hybrid of sounds, look at Rage Against the Machine, Faith No More and Red Hot Chili Peppers. After touring up and down the West Coast and linking up with the likes of the then popular Deftones, 311 and landing a spot on Korn's first "Family Values Tour," Incubus made a name for themselves. Mixing thrash, punk, new wave, metal, funk and jazz they appealed to the masses. Fronted by the charismatic and poetic Brandon Boyd, success was written in the stars for them. Recorded in six weeks, S.C.I.E.N.C.E is a cosmic induced punch to the face with songs such as "A Certain Shade of Green," "Vitamin," and "New Skin," Incubus were ready to make their mark. Fast forward to today 11 years later, they are still one of America's premiere touring bands and still making records of epic hybrid proportions. Wipe the dust off this record and it will bring back a million memories or for those that have never experienced S.C.I.E.N.C.E. do so now and enjoy.

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