Friday, April 24, 2009

Depeche Mode On Kimmel!

The English electro legends rocked a record person crowd and shut down major streets in LA for their taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live. Check out Depeche Mode performing "Wrong," and "Personal Jesus" below. ABC only aired these two songs from the bands 45 minute set.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Generally a sound a band chooses to make reflects the location from where the band hails from or resides. Coming from a place like Kentucky, one does not associate it with dance-punk, electro or French house, but for VHS or Beta they are making the middle American state shake it with their unique sound. I first came to listen to VHS or Beta when their full length Night on Fire was released in the fall of 2004. I loved the name of the band and album and decided to give it a listen and was very impressed, from there on in I was hooked. Night on Fire became the soundtrack to my nightlife. The band's follow up 2007's Bring on the Comets was a more commercial record but very fun to listen to. I have seen the band twice, once opening for Scissor Sisters and then DJing last year at Lollapalooza and both sets were not only impressive but just the styles and passion they put into what they do emulates on stage and behind turntables. As the band works on the follow up to Bring on the Comets, I had the chance to speak with bassist Mark Palgy about the band's hometown, new album and how popular the band's post show DJ gigs have become. Check out my interview below...

1) How does a sound that is very New York City, very LA, very European come from Kentucky?

Mark Palgy: We've always loved a wide variety of music from around the world. Kentucky isn't as backward as many people think. We have great local record shops here that cater to every genre imaginable. So things like french house singles were available as well as indie rock and other underground things.

2) What were your biggest inspirations in wanting to create such a diverse style of music being where you are from?

MP: We didn't consider where we came from to be such a huge factor. We just discovered music together that we thought was very exciting and decided to pursue it full time.

3) It has always seemed that DJing plays a big role in the band during downtime or when you are on the road. Why is this?

MP: We began DJing in wherehouse parties. After many years we began getting national and international interest in our DJing (when the band started to have a strong buzz). We feel that the night doesn't have to end once the band stops. In fact, most kids need to take the partying even later into the night. If they want to hear us DJ, then that is a compliment as well.

4) I have read that VHS or Beta have been in the studio, what can you tell us about the new material?

MP: We are recording singles for release by the summer. All I can say is that it will be very electronic, fun, and aimed DIRECTLY for the dancefloor.

5) All of your albums; Le Funk, Night on Fire and Bring on the Comets are all unique in their own way, yet so similar. How do you decide what to change and what to keep when recording in order to have the music and material as a whole be different, yet still sticking to the formula that is truly yours?

MP: We like what we like. If it ends up being what you described above, then it's just from sticking to what we love.

6) In the beginning you used to tour with The Scissor Sisters. Did you ever pick up anything from them and their fans while on the road?

MP: Their fans were wonderful. The band was wonderful. We picked up many amazing memories and friends.

Thanks to Mark for the interview! I look forward to the new album!

(Above: Video for "You Got Me," from Night on Fire / Below: Video for "Can't Believe a Single Word," from Bring on the Comets)

Quick News

Wolfmother front man Andrew Stockdale has reveled to that the bands latest record is almost near completion. The album, entitled Cosmic Egg, is a follow up to the band's breakthrough 2006 self titled debut. It also has Stockdale fronting a new arraignment of players after his original band mates parted ways with the singer last year. The Australian band is currently in the studio in LA and hopes to have the album out by September.

Fans of the dance-electro band Hot Chip get ready for the floor again in 2010! Band member Joe Goddard spoke to the BBC recently saying that this will feature "end of night tunes" on this album and hinting a much more mellow approach to their music than their last two albums, the mega successful (and of 2008's best) Made in the Dark and 2006's The Warning. Goddard said that "They'll be club tunes but not the really banging ones. We just felt like we wanted to focus on trying to write some really strong pop songs, rather than making hard, aggressive dance floor tracks that have bits of songs bolted onto them." Whatever it maybe, new Hot Chip is new Hot Chip, its going to be great.

Yesterday was nothing short of Christmas in April, the lineup for my favorite American music festival, Lollapalooza was announced this year and as always did not disappoint. Depeche Mode, Beastie Boys, Tool, Kings of Leon, Jane's Addiction and the Killers are headlining the three day event in Chicago's Grant Park and runs August 7-9. The under card is equally impressive with acts such as Rise Against, TV on the Radio, Langhorn Slim, The Airborne Toxic Event, Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg, Coheed and Cambria, The Knux, Arctic Monkeys, GLASVEGAS, The Gaslight Anthem, and 100+ more. For more info go to I covered the festival last year for the blog and it is looking like I shall be doing some more reporting from the windy city about the amazing festival this year!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

25 Favorite Songs

Today officially marks my 25 years on this planet and the introduction to my quarter life crisis. With that said, I could not think of a better way to be nostalgic and reflect on these amazing years than through song. So here is my official list of my 25 Favorite Songs of All Time. These songs have significant meaning or take me back to places and times I don't ever want to forget..Enjoy!

1) U2-"Where the Streets Have No Name"
2) Coldplay - "Viva La Vida"
3) Radiohead - "Fake Plastic Trees"
4) The Beatles - "Yesterday"
5) Social Distortion - "Story of my Life"
6) Bouncing Souls - "Gone"
7) The Verve - "Sonnet"
8) Incubus - "Privilege"
9) Oasis - "Don't Go Away"
10) Pink Floyd - "Wish You Were Here"
11) Rolling Stones - "Gimme Shelter"
12) The Clash - "London Calling"
13) The Killers - "When You Were Young"
14) Bruce Springsteen - "Johnny 99"
15) John Lennon - "Instant Karma!"
16) Bloc Party - "Banquet"
17) Primitive Radio Gods - "Standing Outside A Broken Telephone Booth With Money in my Hand"
18) Pearl Jam - "Corduroy"
19) Beastie Boys - "An Open Letter to NYC"
20) Billy Bragg - "A New England"
21) Jimi Hendrix - "All Along the Watchtower"
22) The Hold Steady - "Constructive Summer"
23) The Doors - "The End"
24) Arcade Fire - "Keep the Car Running"
25) Gratitude - "Last"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Airborne Toxic Event on Leno

Check out the Airborne Toxic Event on The Tonight Show as they put the audience in awe with "Sometime Around Midnight."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quick News

My favorite Swedish rockers The Sounds have emerged from the studio to give some new details on their forthcoming album. The bands latest Crossing The Rubicon will be out June 2 in the UK and June 3 in the States. Check out the band's latest single "No One Sleeps When I'm Awake," on their Myspace page HERE .

Stellastarr* have also given new details about their much anticipated new album. The band's third record Civilized will be out in the States on July 7. In the meantime check out the new single "Graffiti Eyes," on their Myspace page HERE. For more information about the making of the new record, check out my exclusive interview with Stellastarr* drummer Arthur Kremer from last fall HERE.

The Editors have posted a very cryptic video of the making of their new album with legendary producer Flood (U2, Brian Eno). Check out the video below.

DMB Cover and Tracklisting

Dave Matthews Band has announced the track listing and cover to the bands ambitious sounding and titled Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. This is the band's first album since 2005's Stand Up and the first since the passing of multi-instrumentalist Leri Moore. The cover was hand drawn by Matthews himself and says on the bands website "I like to draw, but I haven’t done anything that ambitious. I’m more of a scribbler on the tablecloth. I had hopes that I might spend my life doing it, at one point. I probably would have practiced a little more if I was doing it as my life focus. But it’s got some playful references to the album."
Take a look at the track listing below..
01 Grux
02 Shake Me Like A Monkey
03 Funny The Way It Is
04 Lying In The Hands Of God
05 Why I Am
06 Dive In
07 Spaceman
08 Squirm
09 Alligator Pie (Cockadile)
10 Seven
11 Time Bomb
12 My Baby Blue
13 You And Me

APW Festival

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Hailing from a place like Long Island, New York and being in a band is no easy task. People around you and the world over are expecting some sort of Billy Joel influenced sound or "screamo" style music. Yet, for Long Islands ambitious As Tall As Lions, who have broken down the conventions of what a "Long Island artist" is supposed to sound like, they have taken the world by storm and are looking to sink further into the hearts of fans and new listeners around the globe. Much like a beautiful crashing wave hitting the shores of their home place, the bands sound is as unique and powerful as Mother Nature's force hitting the sand. As the band readies its much anticipated third album, You Can't Take It With You, I had the opportunity to speak to drummer Cliff Sarcona about the latest record, the bands recent trip to South by Southwest and the difficulties in coming from a place like Long Island. Take a look at my interview below...

1) What can you tell us about the new record?

I can tell you that its different, new, and will be fresh to everyone's ears. Do you remember how different our Self-Titled was in comparison to Lafcadio? Think it in terms of that, a total improvement on what we had, taken to the next level. It's a maturation - it will be easy to recognize the music right away as As Tall As Lions, all of the elements that people love about our band are there, they are just even more apparent this time.

2) Sessions for the new record began in Long Island then ended in California. Has the change of atmosphere effected the new album?

But the atmosphere definitely helped us keep a positive attitude when things were getting rough. Staying happy through the process is harder than you might think, even when we have the best/dreamlike job in the entire world. There are a lot of picky people in this band to keep happy! In the end it absolutely helped. We are the type of people who don't like to feel stuck in one place, and removing us from NY helped us there.

3) The title of the new album is called "You Can't Take It With You." Does this have any significance to the overall theme of the album or anything that has gone on personally that made an impact to the music?

The title does refer to an underlying theme in the lyrics that relates to the overall picture of our lives or anyone's for that matter: We need to focus on what's important. Life is too short to become obsessed with things that are fickle, that will absolutely mean nothing in the end. We tried to take that wisdom in several different directions lyrically - and the result are a bunch of songs with a bit of wisdom beyond their years. That's important to us!

4) Many people have compared As Tall As Lions to Jeff Buckley fronting Coldplay. How do you respond to such high comparison?

Being in the band, hearing that comparison definitely gets old and a bit frustrating, especially since we don't even listen to Coldplay. And while Jeff Buckley is definitely one of the best artists of our time, we by no means obsess over 'ripping him off' or trying to repeat a sound that he has. It just turns out that its what people see in our music. We try to write from our hearts and it just ends up translating that way onto record. It's a huge compliment but we also know deep down that our music is unlike either of those artists so its hard to relate sometimes.

5) You just got back South By Southwest, tell us about that experience?

SXSW is always an amazing experience for us - the shows are usually crazy with people and the festival itself is such a positive vibe altogether. You get to hang with a bunch of bands you are friends with and meet new ones - everyone is such good people. When you are all in the same boat together at that point, its nothing but being about brainstorming and inspiring each other - and that goes a long way!

6) You hail from Long Island, but you clearly do not sound or fit into the traditional Long Island mold of bands that sound like Billy Joel or screamo bands. Was it difficult being the odd band out?

It definitely has been difficult being the odd band out there - long island lacks that eclectic mix of music that you see coming from say Brooklyn or Manhattan, and there are absolutely no venues to play shows. We feel bad making some of our biggest fans travel to NYC to see us play but there is such a lack of music venues in Long Island (generally) that it makes it impossible to connect with other unique bands like us. Funny part is that I know that there is an incredibly strong music scene on long island, and its a shame that nobody has taken a big step forward in trying to bring it out into the open. DIY shows are all we've got.

7) After the success of your last record, do you feel a lot of pressure on the new album?

We made sure we placed no real pressure on ourselves there- because no matter how good you think your last record is, there is always ways for you to improve, whether you sold 50k records or 500k records. It's a matter of perspective. Any type of success, big or small can go to your head very easily, but why let it? You started creating music for your passion in what you do, why should any other outside factors effect your craft? A true musician knows what he wants out of his music, and that should never change based on success. Easier said than done, I suppose.

8) Where would you like the new album to take the band?

England, Europe and Japan. I believe we are going to conquer the first of those three this June. Very excited to continue to travel and share our music with the world. There is something about seeing your music connect with people from other countries that is definitely exciting, it just makes us happy that we can musically break down any barriers that are needed to reach a 'universal' audience. Requirement: you are a human being. It's a beautiful thing.

"Stab City," Live from Highline Ballroom Summer 2007 (Above) / "Break Blossom" Live from Long Island December 2008 (Below)

Special thanks to Cliff for the interview! Look forward to the new album!

Metallica Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The metal Gods were inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past weekend. In case you missed it, catch the video about with special inductees former bassist Jason Newsted and the parents of original bassist Cliff Burton.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

La Roux & Riceboy Sleeps Tracklistings

My March pick for Rising Artist La Roux has released the track listing to her self titled debut album which is due in stores at the end of June. Check out the track listing for a new lady that will make the world go gaga...

'In For The Kill'
'Colourless Colour'
'I’m Not Your Toy'
'Cover My Eyes'
'As If By Magic'
'Reflections Are Protections'
'Armour Love''Growing Pains' (UK Bonus Track)

Taking a break from the melodic and gorgeous sounds of Sigur Ros, front man Jón Þór Birgisson is getting ready to ready the debut of his side band Riceboy Sleeps. While the band has been playing for a few years under the secret name, the cat is out of the bag as a full LP of songs are on their way. From my understanding the album will be in the bands native tongue as well as some songs in English. Check out the track listing below..

'Atlas Song'
'Indian Summer'
'Boy 1904'
'All The Big Trees'
'Daníell In The Sea'
'Sleeping Giant'

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

White Lies on Letterman

UK buzz band White Lies live up to the hype and deliver a great performance on their US television debut on the Late Show.

Does It Offend You, March On...

As one of 2008's break out bands, the UK's Does It Offend You, Yeah? place the finishing touches on the follow up to their acclaimed debut, You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into, the English electro outfit is going through some changes. Just announced yesterday, guitarist and hype man Morgan Quaintance has left the band to pursue his other band Plugs full time. Morgan was one of the essential elements to the bands live set, as witnessing the band last year at Lollapalooza, they stormed through an amazing performance with Morgan as one of the key pieces to the puzzle. Morgan tells that "Plugs is my band and Does it Offend You, Yeah? was never really my sort of band aesthetically. I didn't really have much choice, I just sort of had to go along with a lot of the stuff that was happening, whereas in it's like we write the music, we produce it, we do the artwork, we've directed our own video - it just like feels like a creative outlet for me more than Does It Offend You, Yeah."

Yet never fear fans of the band, the rest of the crew is marching on. The band plans to do many shows around the world with new members to replace Morgan and add to the atmosphere of the new direction of the band. The details on the latest Does It Offend You album is very quiet, but the band promises some great guest appearances and that it is finishing up strongly. As more details emerge, keep it locked here!

Monday, April 6, 2009


The Parisan DJ's have done it again, this time remixing the biggest band on the planet. Check out Justice reworking "Get on Your Boots." Click HERE for the download.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Glasvegas Live on Fallon

Just before taking the stage at Webster Hall Monday night, Glasvegas ripped through "Geraldine," on Jimmy Fallon.

Rising Artist- Playdoe

Hailing from South Africa, the funky duo known as Playdoe is making the world shake one song at a time. Self described as "NEOLECTRO AFROBOTIC ETHNOTECHNO MAMAS BOYS," Playdoe are a hybrid of beats, poetry and creativity all rolled into one. The duo are looking to make light and have fun from a country more famous for its brutal political history than music. Playdoe are a cross between NERD meets Spank Rock, bringing their party to Europe many times in the last year was where the duo found recognition and acclaim. Being given the opportunity to play with the likes of Buzzcocks, Dizzee Rascal and many other, Playdoe are bound to break the mold of music and emerge from openers to headliners. Having just released and EP and working on a full length, keep these guys in mind as the year will get a little more hip when they come out in full force.

Movie of the Month-Cinema Paradiso

It is so hard for me to pin point a favorite film of all time, but when I think of the idea over and over again, Cinema Paradiso comes to mind every time. The classic Italian film from Director Guiesseppe Tornatore, tells the coming of age story of Toto, a young boy growing up in war torn Sicily. Told in flashback as a grown Toto goes back home for the first time in decades as a hot shot filmmaker, we encounter Toto's past as a child. As a young child Toto's father is shipped off to fight the war, he finds guidance through films and a father figure in the town's local film projectionist, Alfredo. Both Alfredo and Toto would learn from each other about life and love inside the movie theater. Cinema Paradiso is one of the greatest achievements in film making and a crowd pleasing delight. Winner of Best Foreign Language Oscar in 1989, Cinema Paradiso was an instant hit and the film that is credited for reviving Italy's struggling film industry at the time. In 2003 Tornatori released the extended directors cut that clocks in over three hours, in this new cut entitled Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, Tornatori explores a long lost love of Toto's and what could have been. Both versions applauded the world over, Cinema Paradiso is film that will have you crying, laughing and smiling all at once.

Underated Classic-David Bowie "Aladdin Sane"

How does an artist rewrite the rules of convention after they had already done so? Aladdin Sane is the answer, following the massive success of his breakthrough art-rock album, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David Bowie changed the shape of his sound as a true rock and roll star. Still keeping the glam, Bowie left his audience and critics mixed with Aladdin Sane. Released in 1973 it was a record about the death of his alter ego Ziggy Stardust, the title a pun off the phrase "A Lad Insane," Bowie would say the album was about his infatuation and disgust for America after hitting the road in '72 to support Ziggy Stardust. Though it may have been a commercial success by peaking at #17 on the Billboard charts, Aladdin Sane is the record about a man on the break of his own fame. Boasting the single "Jean Genie," it would become a radio staple of the Thin White Duke's for decades to come. Bowie displayed the duality of fame and fortune, mixed with his drug addiction and sexuality, Bowie pushed the envelope once more on this overlooked gem of music. Aladdin Sane still remains one of the most creative and perplexing albums ever recorded.

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