Wednesday, February 25, 2009

U2 Mania!!!

Next week is a big week for my favorite living band. U2 are set to release their 12th studio album, No Line on the Horizon and invade New York City (as they normally do when their records come out). While making special appearances on Late Show with David Letterman and Good Morning America, the band will be rocking and rolling the charts as the record is released. I have been able to listen to No Line on the Horizon and I must say, it is a hell of an album. It takes a few spins to really sink into, but once you do, its a delight.

As being such a big fan, and constantly getting the same questions; "What is your favorite U2 album?" or "favorite U2 song?" I have decided to show my love and admiration and answer the questions all at once. Here are my a list of my 10 favorite U2 songs, top five favorite albums and top five favorite videos. Enjoy!

Top 10 Favorite U2 Songs:
1- "Where the Streets Have No Name"
2- "Beautiful Day"
3- "God Part II"
4- "Bad"
5- "City of Blinding Lights"
6- "Whoes Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses"
7- "Gloria"
8- "Last Night on Earth"
9- "So Cruel"
10 "40"

Top 5 Favorite U2 Albums:
1- Achtung Baby
2- Joshua Tree
3- How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
4- Rattle and Hum
5 - Pop

Top 5 Favorite U2 Videos:

"Where the Streets Have No Name"

"Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me"

"Mysterious Ways"

"Even Better Than The Real Thing"



Here is a playlist of songs to spin! Check them out!

- BJork - "Nattura"
- UNKLE feat. Richard Ashcroft - "Lonely Soul"
- Bob Dylan - "Make You Feel My Love"
- Snow Patrol - "Crack the Shutters"
- Kings of Leon - "The Bucket"
- Bruce Springsteen - "Outlaw Pete"
- Late of the Pier - "The Bears are Coming"
- The Sugarcubes - "Birthday"
- Adele - "Chasing Pavements"
- Elbow - "An Audience with the Pope"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quick News

Punkers Patent Pending are officially readying their new album. The untitled album will finally be released after a few legal issues here and there, the band seems super pumped for the new record. The band's last album 2006's Save Each Other, The Whales Are Doing Fine received much acclaim as one of the best punk albums of that year.
Dave Matthews Band have pushed the release of their untitled upcoming album. The album, which was supposed to come in April has been pushed to June.

Nine Inch Nails and the newly reunited Jane's Addiction are set to tour this summer. The bigger news seems to be that this maybe Trent Reznor's final bow to his fans. As he mentions on the band's website "In NIN world, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of our first releases. I've been thinking for some time now it's time to make NIN disappear for a while. Last year's 'Lights In The Sky' tour was something I'm quite proud of, and seems like the culmination of what I could pull off in terms of an elaborate production. It was also quite difficult to pull off technically and physically night after night, and left us all a bit dazed. After some thought, we decided to book a last run of shows across the globe this year." The dates should be arriving soon, yet in the mean time it is rumored that Reznor is producing the new Jane's album, the band's first since 2003's Strays.

Depeche Mode have issued the cover to their latest, Sounds of the Universe. Check out the cover below:

Yeah Yeah Yeah's have also issued the cover to their new album It's Blitz! Check out the cover below, both Depeche Mode and It's Blitz! arrive in stores in April.

Monday, February 23, 2009

(D) It Was Written.....

If you are a faithful follower of this blog you will know my love and admiration for Director Danny Boyle. Boyle ranks in the top five of my favorite Directors of all time; his vision is all his own, his style is just telling a great story, it is his passion that makes him succeed. Last night after a long hard road in the business that is film making, Boyles dedication and perseverance paid off as he was crowned Best Director for his work on this years Best Picture Slumdog Millionaire. Slumdog taking home eight out of the ten awards it was up for proved to Hollywood and fans around the world you do not need a name cast, big budget, and special effects to tell a great story. You just simply need a director with a vision, solid talent and of course a great story. This is the formula Boyle has used his entire career, always backed by an amazing soundtrack, everything Boyle has ever done was laying the ground work for his success in Slumdog Millionaire.

Aside from being extremely delighted to see my favorite film of last year win, it was a bittersweet night as Heath Ledger would win for the role he will be most remembered. Heath has now transformed the idea that a comic book / action film can be just as artistic as anything else in the Hollywood system. I miss him dearly and only would have loved to have seen what more he would have done.

Big wins of the night also went to a much deserving Kate Winslet for The Reader, Penelope Cruz in her scene stealing performance in Vicky Christina Barcelona and Sean Penn for his brilliant acting in Milk. I would have loved to have seen Mickey Rourke take the statue, but this certainly was the hardest category of the night.

Congratulations to all the winners! Now we press on for next year!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

White Stripes on Final Conan

"That meant the world to me, Thank You.." A few words from legendary late night talk show host Conan O'Brien whispering to the ear of Jack White after a tearful and heartfelt version of "We Are Going to be Friends." The White Stripes played on stage together for the first time since summer of 2007 to bid farewell to Late Night with Conan O'Brien in New York. Conan is en route to LA to take over the Tonight Show this summer, while Jimmy Fallon will take Conan's spot next week.

Live Review - Paper and Sand @ Crash Mansion

An open bar in these tough times is very hard to come by, especially in New York City. Yet, when you couple an open bar with a solid band's album release, it becomes a full out party of thirsty 20-somethings and curious ears. New York based Paper and Sand, a band I featured last April in my Rising Artist's section (Click Here To Read The Article!), officially released their sophomore album Thick as Thieves. Last night at the Crash Mansion, the band debuted new songs to a packed audience and left them in awe. Wil Farr, former Fireflies guitarist and now Paper and Sand front man, has emerged from the shadows of his last band in being a backing vocalist and guitarist for an art rock band, now rip roars center stage as the leader of a post grunge act. Farr, displayed what he can do in the lime light and showed this was more than just a side project before the split of the Fireflies, this is his new passion. His playing and singing backed by his band mates just created a audio punch to the crowd with how loud and tight they were playing. The bands new songs sound like a cross between an aggressive Kings of Leon meets The Raconteurs. Good old fashion loud rock and roll. As the band preps to hit the road in support of their latest endeavour, I suggest you check them out. It is a party you do not want to miss!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Road to the Oscars 09

With this Sunday's telecast of the Oscars just around the corner, I am really excited. It is just a great time to honor a year in art, performance, film and above all else creativity. This year, unlike years past, has been the closest race of any Oscar's I can think of. After viewing all the films nominated, and others from the year, here are my picks for the 10 Best Films of 2008 as well as my picks in the top 10 categories. The Hugh Jackman hosted Academy Awards will be this Sunday at 7 on ABC.

10 BEST FILMS OF 2008:

1- Slumdog Millionaire
2- Miracle At Saint Anna
3- The Dark Knight
4- The Wrestler
5- Frost / Nixon
7- In Bruges
8-Revolutionary Road
9-The Duchess

My Oscar Picks for 10 Catergories:
Best Picture-
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actor-
Mickey Rourke (Though this really could go to Sean Penn or Frank Langella)

Best Actress-
Kate Winslet (Though this could go to Meryl Streep)

Best Supporting Actor-
Heath Ledger

Best Supporting Actress-
Penelope Cruz

Best Director-
Danny Boyle

Best Screenplay (Original)-
Milk (Though this really should go to In Bruges, unfortunatly it wont win)

Best Screenplay (Adapted)-
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Cinematography-
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Song-
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN! Ok, I know he was not nominated, but honestly he had the best original song from any film this year. Being serious, the winner should be...
AR Rahman for "Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire

So those are just a taste of my picks, we have to wait till Sunday to see who takes home what!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quick News

Add Santogold to the list of artists changing their name during the high point of their career. Unfortunately, the breakout artist of 2008 is not doing it to be creative, she is doing it because she has to. Santogold will now forever be known at Santigold, similar, but no cigar. Santi comes from her actual name, Santi White. So why the change? Apparently there is another Santogold in the universe who does not like the artist using his name, because he too is in the entertainment industry and has filed a law suit against the Brooklyn singer.

The White Stripes will be the band to close out Conan O'Brien's last night on Late Night with Conan O'Brien before he makes the big move to LA to replace Jay Leno on the Tonight Show. Jimmy Fallon is taking over for Conan in the spring. Conan's last night with the White Stripes is Feb 20.

As mentioned a few months back that Australian mega-trio Wolfmother had split up. Well front man and main member Andrew Stockdale has regrouped the band with an additional guitarist, a new bassist and drummer. No word yet on whether Rick Rubin, who was supposed to produce Wolfmother's new record will helm this project. Wolfmother have select dates all spring and summer in Australia.

Just a few days ago I reported Green Day have announced some details about their new album. They have officially released the album cover to 21st Century Breakdown, take a look below:

Gallows Tracklisting!

UK's metal militia Gallows have unleashed the track listing for their forthcoming album, Grey Britain. Take a look below, the album comes out in the spring.

1. The Riverbank
2. London Is The Reason
3. Leeches
4. Black Eyes
5. I Dread The Night
6. Death Voices
7. The Vulture (Acts I & II)
8. The Riverbed
9. The Great Forgiver
10. Graves
11. Queensberry Rules
12. Misery
13. Crucifucks

Monday, February 9, 2009


Enough Said...."Get On Your Boots"

Quick News

A source very close to Muse has confirmed the band is looking to release their latest disc in September. No word on a title or what it will sound like, but in November bassist Chris Wolstenholme told fans, via the bands website; "It is more important for us to make the best album we have made to date." Really looking forward to this one.

In related news, Green Day has confirmed that May will be when they release their latest album. The record entitled 21st Century Breakdown, will be the follow up to the bands 2004 mega successful American Idiot. The epic, 21st Century Breakdown will feature three acts, the acts entitled ''Heroes And Cons'', ''Charlatans And Saints'' and ''Horseshoes And Hand grenades.''

In early April, The Hold Steady will release their first ever live album and DVD. The combo entitled Positive Rage, features behind the scenes footage of the band's first tour in England as well as footage of the band going back to their roots in Minneapolis. The documentary was shot while the band was on the road supporting 2006's Boys and Girls in America. The live album portion is from a concert fall 2007 concert in Chicago. Take a look at the cover below:

The Video Breaking Kanye's Heart

Personally Oasis never disappoint. Ever. The band's latest video has been caching a ton of buzz from critics and fans with some calling it the band's best. The video for "Falling Down," off the band's acclaimed Dig Out Your Soul, depicts a young austere and dignified woman going on drug binges, sleeping around and only to find out she is sister of Prince's William and Harry (fictitiously of course). The WIZ directed video, even has Kanye West saying "Sometimes I see videos and it breaks my heart that there are so few outlets for vids these days..." Take a look at the beautifully crafted video above.

Grammy Recap

With a line up of performers to die for the 51st Grammy awards took place last night in LA. A interesting evening to say the least, full of emotional highs and sound quality lows. Maybe its the power of live music, it should not be projected through a TV no matter how powerful your set up is. However, is it me or did most of the performers sound drowned out? Coldplay and U2, two of my all time favorite bands looked bored on stage and sounded awful. Yet, with a few sound mishaps, came a few memorable moments.

From Jennifer Hudson's emotional acceptance speech and performance to Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl paying tribute to The Beatles performing on Ed Sullivan, to the Hip-Hop summit featuring Jay-Z, TI, Kanye, Lil Wayne and a very pregnant MIA, it was a packed night. In some cases it was not even winners, nominees, performers that stole the show and gave surprises; SoCal pop-punkers Blink 182 announced they are back together! According to reports after the ceremony, the band is planning a full tour this summer.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss landed five awards including Album of the Year, Coldplay took home three including Best Rock Album, Adele was named Best New Artist. Not televised were the trophy winnings of Kings of Leon, Metallica, Duffy, Radiohead and Daft Punk. Aside from the performances, a few awards were given out. I wished we saw more people actually win, but congratulations to all of the winners. For a full list of winners Click HERE

With all of this the true highlight and headliner of the night was the most anticipated performance of the evening. In their first live US televised performance in nine years, Radiohead along with the USC Trojan marching band blew the roof off the joint with a fantastic version of "15 Step." Easily the best performance of the entire night! Check out the video below:

TV on the Radio on SNL!

The hippiest of Brooklyn rockers TV on the Radio rocked 30 Rockefeller Center on Saturday Night Live this weekend with "Golden Age." Check out the clip above!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


For many bands being around for just a little over a decade may not qualify you as legend, yet for New Jersey post-hardcore heroes, Thursday, that is indeed what they are. A band that has broken every boundary and risked it all in a thankless genre only to come out on top. From intensely memorable live shows, full of fun and scary moments to heartfelt and painful songs, Thursday knows how to keep a fans attention. Passion, curiosity and society are what drive these six men to do what they do. That formula has lead to success but rocky roads as well. With famously going in and out of record labels, non stop touring, the band always knows what is important to them; the music and the fans. As the band readies their fifth album, Common Existence, due it stores the 17. I had the privilege and honor to speak to guitarist Steve Pedulla to discuss the bands longevity, latest record, and influences. Take a look at my interview below.
1) What can you tell us about the new album?We recorded the new album up at Tarbox Studios with Dave Fridmann and it comes out on 2-17-09. We’re really proud of the record and excited for everyone to hear it.
2) How does Common Existence differ from previous Thursday records?
Every time we make a new Thursday record we’re always trying to progress and bring the songs some place new. Common Existence was no different in that regard. However we realized that along the way there were certain aspects to our songwriting that we had abandoned. On this record we revisited some of those ideas and tried to re-invent them.
3) Thursday has seemed to have had homes at so many different record labels. By jumping around from label to label does it take a toll on you as artists, and style and sound?
I don’t know that it really affected our style and sound all that much, but the moving process can definitely be frustrating. When you are busy trying to find a new home it takes time and energy away from really being able to concentrate on the songs.
4) How is the new home at Epitaph?
Epitaph has been awesome. Everyone there seems to be on the same page as us. We’ve always respected them as a label and we’re excited to be working with them now.
5) You recently did a split with Envy. Tell us how the idea came about to work and release a split with a heavy Japanese band.
Well we’ve all been fans of Envy for a while now. I’m not sure of the specifics of how it all came together to be honest. I just remember Geoff mentioning the idea and we were so excited that we forgot to ask about the details. I think Geoff met Jeremy from Temporary Residence at a show in New York and they started kicking around the idea. All I know is that we were honored that both Temporary Residence and Envy wanted to work with us. Like I said we’ve been fans for a while.
6) Thursday have never held anything back about society, politics and action. This past year saw a tremendous change in America, has the new change in America changed Thursday?
Wow that’s a tricky question. I guess it depends on what changes you are referring too. Some of the changes seem very promising and some of them are very disappointing. But it seems like that’s always the case. We’ve always been a band that believes in hope and compassion, but we’ve also always been aware and outspoken about the things that stand in the way of compassion. We still believe in a lot of the same things so in that regard we haven’t changed but we’re constantly influenced by what is happening around us. But I think that’s the case for everyone whether they realize it or not.
7) Common Existence was produced by David Fridmann (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, MGMT), someone who generally works with lighter sounding and more experimental artists. What was it like working with him? What was it like being the heaviest sounding band he has worked with?
Working with Dave is great. He creates a great environment to work in. While we are all stressing out wondering if we are making the right choices he is the guy that is calming us down. I’m not sure being a “heavier band” than he usually works with really changed much about his process. But then again I don’t really have another experience to compare it too.
8) One thing that has made Thursday a legendary band is the intense live shows you put on. What is your favorite song to play live?
Playing new songs live is always the most fun for me. Lately I have been having fun playing Resuscitation of a Dead Man and As He Climbed the Dark Mountain. But I’m looking forward to playing more new stuff on our upcoming tours.
9) What is your favorite on stage moment?
I guess it would have to be anytime we are on stage and really feel a connection with the crowd. I just love playing live so its hard to pinpoint it to anything more specific than that.
10) Is there anyone you would love to tour with? Past or Present.
It would have been fun to tour with Fugazi or Quicksand, or Sunny Day Real Estate, or Jawbox or... I really could go on forever with that question!
11) Many bands from the Post-Hardcore era have fizzled out, yet you guys keep going. What is your staying power?
We just keep making the music we want to make. We don’t really have control over much outside of that. So I really don’t know.

Special thanks to Steve for the interview! Common Existence out Feb 17!!!

Above: Thursday with Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance performing "Jet Black New Year" live at Hellfest 2003. / Below: Banned from MTV version of "War All the Time"

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gaslight Anthem Live on Letterman

While another fellow New Jersey native rocked the Superbowl this weekend, Springsteen protegees the Gaslight Anthem blew the roof off the Ed Sullivan Theater with a rousing performance of "The 59 Sound."

Rising Artist-Late of the Pier

This time last year fellow bloggers, like myself, were all up in arms for a little band called MGMT. Now, I feel the music bloggers of the world have found a new psychedelic / funk / electro rock band to geek out about, Nottingham, UK's Late of the Pier. The bands blend of cleaver lyrics, and goofy beats will have you moving for hours on end. Think Does it Offend You, Yeah? meets MGMT meets the Klaxons with 80's synth. The band's debut Fantasy Black Channel was finally released in the US last month after being out in the UK and Europe since the summer. I suggest it is one of the first records you buy this year, I promise it is one that will not disappoint and one that you will really enjoy listening to! With electronica getting bigger and bigger each year, I think this is one band that will be at the front of the pack.

Movie of the Month-Great Expectations

Now I know it is February and I am aware of a certain Hallmark holiday going on the 14th of the month. However, I could not resist discuss what I believe to be one of the sexiest films of the modern era. 1998's update of Charles Dickens classic Great Expectations, is one thrilling film going experience. Directed by Latin director Alfanso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men), this visually stunning and provocative look at a classic tale is a brilliant and tasteful update. With an all star cast featuring Ethan Hawke, Robert DeNiro, Anne Bancroft, Chris Cooper, Hank Azaria and in her most desirable performance to date, Gwyneth Paltrow. The film is about a young Florida artist named Finn (Hawke) who as a boy helped save the life of an escaped convict (DeNiro), while in the meantime befriends an old money widow (Bancroft), Finn later falls in love with the widows granddaughter (Paltrow). As his love for the granddaughter grows as they age, she up and leaves him to travel the world. Their lives intersect accidentally in New York City as Finn is commissioned from an unknown financier to show his work in gallery. Backed by one of the greatest film soundtracks ever, featuring rare songs from Pulp, Mono, Tori Amos, Chris Cornell, Scott Wieland and Iggy Pop. This is certainly one to see, enjoy and indulge.

Underated Classic-Red Hot Chili Peppers "Mothers Milk"

Every band at one point or many in their career will reach a turning point. For the legendary California music hybrid that is Red Hot Chili Peppers, one of the many turning points of the troubled band would come at the end of 80's. The band whose original lineup included singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons hit a cross roads after the overdoes and passing of Slovak. Kiedis and Flea were forced to bury their best friend, while Jack Irons left to join a band called Mookie Blaylock, which would later become Pearl Jam. With half the band gone, Kiedis and Flea regrouped, and re energized with drummer Chad Smith and guitarist John Fruscante. The lineup of the Chili Peppers the general public would be more familiar with in later years and the lineup that would pull them from the California sun and into the global musical universe. With the new Chili Peppers in tact, the group got together with producer Michael Beinhorn to create one of the funkiest and free form records of the 80's. Mother's Milk was released in 1989, it would receive very mixed critical praise, while it would be the bands more successful record to date. Scoring a few hits with a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground," and the single "Knock me Down." The record would later become certified Gold, but for the Chili Peppers it was a big stepping stone to fame. Mother's Milk would later be forgotten in the mix of RHCP albums, as its successor Blood Sugar Sex Magik would go on to make the band instant legends.

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