Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quick News

Coldplay member Guy Berryman's side project Apparatjick, which also boats members of Mew and A-Ha, will release their debut February 1 in Europe. It will be released to the rest of the world the following day.

Franz Nicolay has explained his decision to leave The Hold Steady. Speaking exclusively to Paste Magazine, the mustached piano/keyboard/accordion player says "In the Hold Steady, I was kind of a fox in a hedgehog band. The Isaiah Berlin thing about the hedgehogs who have one defining idea and the foxes who have a lot of different ideas. So this is going to let me indulge a lot of those different ideas." Nicolay also expressed that he had begun work on a new Hold Steady record, and since his departure in November the band has redone his sessions with another keyboard player.

Sigur Ros has scrapped their nearly completed sixth album so that band members can take care of their families and pursue solo ventures. Sigur Ros front man Jonsí Birgisson will release his solo album in March.

Former Jam front man Paul Weller has given details about his forthcoming record. Wake Up the Nation, will be out April 12 in UK and the follow day in the rest of the world. Weller describes the politically charged album on his website by stating "We've got to reclaim our heritage and our culture. Claim it back from the fucking politicians and the establishment."

California surf-punk band The Soft Pack set a record and played a marathon 10 shows in the same day in the LA area on Saturday in support of their debut album which is released Tuesday. I have listened to the album, and I must say it is great. A review will be up later this week, certainly one to check out!

Liam Gallagher has vowed that his first post-Oasis album, featuring everyone in Oasis but older brother Noel will be out in July.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


My special road correspondent and drummer to Ingrid Michaelson, Elliot Jacobson needs your help! He has been nominated in Modern Drummer magazine's Reader's Poll. Please vote for Elliot, I cant think of a better guy that deserves this more than him! Here are the rules, via

Vote for Elliot in Modern Drummer Poll

My favorite magazine, Modern Drummer, is doing their annual Reader’s Poll again. I’ve been told that I may have a shot at winning this time around, so I am calling upon you, the good people of earth, to help me.

All you have to do follow these simple steps:

1. Go to:

2. Fill in your name, address and email address.

3. Fill in my name, Elliot Jacobson, under ROCK and UP & COMING. (I mean, you can vote for me in the METAL category, but I ALREADY know I’m the best metal drummer ever!)

4. Click Submit.

5. Tell your friends! Twit, Blog, Facebook, Email, command your soldiers to help. We need a lot of people behind this for it to work. Your help is appreciated more than you know.

6. If I win, I will do something nice to thank you for voting. And I’m going to make it DAMN good, too.

*****The deadline is Feb 15, 2010.

Thanks for your help. =)

The Cribs on Fallon

The Jarmin fraternity and Johnny Marr hit up Jimmy Fallon last week to perform "We Share the Same Skies," take a look at this brilliant British band in action!

Quick News

The National have announced that their new, still untitled record will be out in May. This is the band's follow up to 2007's acclaimed Boxer.

According to an interview with, Manchester Orchestra drummer Jeremiah Edmond has left the band. Edmond tells the music site, "Basically, there were several things building up to it. The most important one on a personal level would be that I was getting burnt out from being on tour constantly. I've been married for two years, and I've spent a majority of those two years away from home. [I'm] ready to finally build a life with my wife at home. Support her more than I have been. She would never ask me to [leave] the band and has always been supportive, but for me on a personal level, it was being ready to be home." I wish Jeremiah all the best of luck, we will miss him dearly in the band.

She & Him, the indie collaboration between M.Ward and (500) Days of Summer and Mrs. Ben Gibbard, Zooey Deschanel have announced the track listing and info on their latest record. Volume 2, will be out March 23 in the US and April 5 in the UK. Here is the track listing below:

2."In the Sun" (featuring Tilly and the Wall)
3."Don't Look Back"
4."Ridin' in My Car" (NRBQ cover)
5."Lingering Still"
6."Me and You"
7."Gonna Get Along without You Now" (Skeeter Davis cover)
9."I'm Gonna Make It Better"
11."Over It Over Again"
12."Brand New Shoes"
13."If You Can't Sleep"

Saturday, January 23, 2010


In this day and age anyone can be an A&R person, either for a label or just for personal gain. With the internet you can find anything you are looking for, or sometimes, it finds you. That was the case with Blue Knives and I. A band from England that got in touch with me, a guy from New York City. We discussed our love for acts like Editors and then I took a listen to their music and was just hooked. I had interviewed bassist Nathan Bayley in December 2008 as the band was about to begin recording their debut. Without any money, and just banking on a dream, Blue Knives debut, Clothed with the Sun arrived in September 2009 and it sounds like an expensive production that displays the English trio's talents. In a unconventional follow up, I sent over questions to the band and they read them off in the studio and answered them for the site. Take a listen to all of Blue Knives. singer Dan Solly, drummer Rich Cornish and Nathan discussing the making of their album and where they go from here.

Read my FIRST Interview with Blue Knives HERE.

Brian Fallon Covers Bouncing Souls

Gaslight Anthem front man Brian Fallon just finished a small solo acoustic tour with Loved Ones singer Dave Hause. During a stop in DC, Fallon and Hause did a great acoustic cover of Bouncing Souls "Gone," take a look!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

VINTAGE CLIP! Elliot Smith on Conan

Since the late night wars started I have been searching the net for many Conan Clips. A few in particular I could not find, Radiohead from 1993 on their first US TV appearance, Dillinger Escape Plan's intence and epic performance from 2008, and though I do not listen to them, Slipknot gave a memorable performance in 1999.

One in particular I was able to get and it was this special clip, Elliot Smith performing his Oscar nominated song "Miss Misery," on Conan from 1998. Long live Elliot and long live Conan on Late Night!

Live Review - Hurrah! A Bolt of Light / Nightmare River Band @ Crash Mansion

Words by Bill Reese. Photos by Peter Butler.

There were no cowboy hats or bulky belt buckles at Crash Mansion in Nolita last weekend, but Nightmare River Band and Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! put on a rodeo of country-punk and alt-country.

Some people familiar with singer/guitarist Wil Farr’s past ventures might be caught off-guard by Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! Opening with the soft piano introduction to “All Quiet Now,” it was clear that this was a different kind of group, a six-piece unit of complimentary pieces. Farr no longer murders his strings, as he so often did in Paper and Sand. Joined He struck the wires of the Rickenbacker with a graceful ease as the lush arrangements of the surrounding instruments made it unnecessary for the guitar to dominate the group. Even with the new arrangements, Farr remained as fiery and passionate about his craft as he’s ever been. As the band dropped into the bridge of “We Will Always Be,” Farr lost himself in the lyrics. Joined by HABOL secondary vocalist Bridget Buscemi, his eyes widened and his neck veins popped out as he sang. “Take my heart love, you can have my heart love, and we will always be…”

Though they are still a relatively new inception, the band stayed tight throughout, acting as a true ensemble, as opposed to the backup band supporting their leader. Keyboardist Jacob Pleakis played the piano and organ, like a Roy Bittan/Danny Federici doppelganger, especially his “Glory Days”-style licks on the poppy “I Could Be the One.” Their showstopper was the banjo-driven shit-kicker “Devil on My Shoulder,” which got the crowd pogoing and clapping along to the chorus.

Nightmare River Band were up next, kicking off their latest U.S. tour properly by dropping into “To the Sea” as the crowd held their beers aloft to toast the group. Frontman Matt Krahula grasped the mic and bobbed to the bouncing bass line provided by “Tall Andy” Tekverk, howling the chorus’ lyrics before the song broke down, only to rise back moments later with twice the force.

NRB’s set was brisk, energetic and filled with more drinking songs then a Jimmy Buffet gig, minus the Hawaiian shirts. At just about every chorus, dozens of bottles, cans and glasses were lofted high above the crowd, several of which splattered all over those in the front row. Nowhere was this more evident than in the anthemic “Jeffrey Dahmer,” with Krahula turning the lyric “Can you tell that I’ve been drinking?” into a call-and-response chant that sounded less like “Can you,” and more like “How can you not?”

Wil Farr did double duty for the night, leading NRB on eclectic guitar and backing up Krahula on vocals. Still promoting last spring’s Call the Cops!, NRB showcased several new tracks, including the country-rocker “Mary,” the swinging “Coral Aquarium,” and the heartbreaking ballad “Why Don’t You Love Me?”

NRB brought up old friend Dan Romer to play accordion on several tracks, including the story-within-a-song gem “Mrs. Myers,” and the soft, Waits-esque intro to “Call the Cops.” After “Call the Cops” dropped into its punky B-section, Krahula jumped down into the audience with a megaphone and danced with the crowd, somehow managing not to get doused with beer. After the bittersweet ballad “Where Do We Go?” the band closed the set a cover, doing justice to Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold” with a rousing country-punk rendition.

VINTAGE CLIP! White Stripes on Conan.

In support of Get Behind Me Satan in 2005 Jack and Meg spent a week on Late Night. Here is one of those nights, take a look!

Quick News

Not sure if this qualifies as news, but MGMT have announced that their latest record, Congratulations will include no singles. The band encourages fans to take the album in as a whole and not just in singular parts.

Vampire Weekend has become the first independent artist in history of Billboard SoundScan charts to reach number 1 without ever signing to a major. The band's sophomore release, Contra, topped the charts last week.

Paul McCartney was almost a Crooked Vulture. That is right, Macca almost linked up with Them Crooked Vultures, the side project of Dave Grohl featuring Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme and Led Zepplin's John Paul Jones. Sir Paul tells UK's Daily Mail that “We went out for a bite to eat…and Dave [Grohl] told me he was starting this band with Josh [Homme]. I asked him who was playing bass and he rather sheepishly told me he’d approached John [Paul Jones]." What a different band that would have turned out to be.

After their current tour of Australia, Vegas rockers The Killers will go on indefinite hiatus. No they are not breaking up, just taking a break.

In a recent interview with, Shins frontman James Mercer told the magazine/website that he formed his latest project, Broken Bells with Danger Mouse, because The Shins "got too heavy." He tells "As things started to wind down for me I wanted to try something totally different," It'd had started to feel heavy [in The Shins]. I didn't know what I wanted to do, maybe a solo thing or a new band. And Brian [Danger Mouse] happened to be having the same kind of ideas." Broken Bells debut, The High Road, is out March 9.

Sad news, Franz Nicolay has left The Hold Steady. The handsomely mustached keyboard playing, wine guzzling, live spectacle member sang his last "Whoa!" with the Brooklyn rockers on Thanksgiving. Franz posted on his website today, “You should know: I’ve left The Hold Steady. I told the band I’d be leaving in early September, played my last show with them in Minneapolis around Thanksgiving, and dotted the t’s and crossed the i’s this week." He thanks everyone for the experience. Nicolay released his debut solo record, Major General last year. Take a look at my interview with Franz from October HERE.

VINTAGE CLIP! David Bowie on Conan

In celebration of Conan O'Brien's tenure at NBC, here is another musical treasure from Late Night. In support of Earthling, David Bowie came onto Conan's show for a special acoustic set in 1997.

Gorillaz Tracklisting and Cover!

Damon Abarn's Animated band has unleashed more info for their latest record due in stores March 8 in UK / Europe and the following day in US. Take a look at the track listing, which plays like a musical guest list of "whose who" for Plastic Beach. The latest single "Stylo" which features Mos Def and Bobby Womack was released yesterday. Please take note punk legends Lou Reed and The Clash's Mick Jones and Paul Simonon appear on the record! Wow! This is going to be amazing!!!

'Orchestral Intro'
'Welcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach' (feat. Snoop Dogg)
'White Flag (feat. Kano & Bashy)
'Rhinestone Eyes'
'Stylo' (feat. Bobby Womack and Mos Def)
'Superfast Jellyfish' (feat. Gruff Rhys and De La Soul)
'Empire Ants' (feat. Little Dragon)
'Glitter Freeze' (feat. Mark E Smith)
'Some Kind Of Nature' (feat. Lou Reed)
'On Melancholy Hill'
'Sweepstakes' (feat. Mos Def & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
'Plastic Beach' (feat. Mick Jones & Paul Simonon)
'To Binge' (feat. Little Dragon)
'Cloud Of Unknowing' (feat. Bobby Womack)
'Pirate Jet'

Vintage Clip! Sigur Ros on Conan

No one on network TV would dare to bring Icelandic symphonic rockers Sigur Ros on American TV. Guess what - CONAN DID! Take a look at the beautiful band on Late Night circa 2005.


Here is the first playlist for the new year and decade!

- Editors - "In This Light and On This Evening"
- Silversun Pickups - "There's No Secrets This Year"
- Stone Roses - "Waterfall"
- The Smiths - "Panic"
- Portugal The Man - "Chicago"
- Julian Casablancas - "Out of the Blue"
- Metallica - "Battery"
- Carbon / Silicon - "Disunited Kingdom"
- The Cribs - "Hey Sceansters"
- Richard Hell - "Blank Generation"
- Airborne Toxic Event - "Gasoline"
- The Verve - "A New Decade"
- Morrissey - "Last of the Famous International Playboys"
- Vampire Weekend - "Cousins"
- Miike Snow - "Animal"
- Manic Street Preachers - "She Bathed Herself in a Bath of Bleach"
- The Gossip - "Dime store Diamond"
- Minor Threat - "Minor Threat"
- Nick Cave and the Badseeds - "From Her to Eternity"
- Matisyahu - "One Day"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

EXCLUSIVE! Asteroids Galaxy Tour INTV!

Fun and carefree, this Danish duo is taking the world by storm with their international appeal and interesting craft. The Asteroids Galaxy Tour is a band we are all familiar with, having their song "Around the Bend," featuring in an Ipod commercial and some of their music featured on shows like Gossip Girl and films like The September Issue. After opening for Amy Winehouse and touring this past summer with Katy Perry, the Asteroids Galaxy Tour came to America for a brief stint this fall in support of their latest, Fruit. While they were in New York, I had the opportunity to speak to their main woman, Mette Lindeberg. The spunky front-woman and I spoke about being an international band, having their music herd in other outlets and their latest record that they are already working on. Take a listen to my interview with Mette below..

Video for "The Sun Ain't Shining No More"

Special thanks to Mette, Debbie Pressman and everyone at Girlie Action. Extra thanks to Eric Seiden and Jenna Campagnia for their technical assistance.


One of my favorite acts is finally releasing their stellar third album officially in the US on Tuesday. Editors will release, In This Light and On This Evening, the electro-heavy record which I named as one of the 10 Best of last year, will finally be available in physical formant this TUESDAY!

It has already been released via Itunes and Amazon, or you could have been like me and imported the disc. However, it is getting its CD and vinyl release Stateside on Tuesday. I suggest you grab it! It is one hell of an album. The band will across the US starting in February with The Antlers to support In This Light, I will be at the NYC concert and I suggest you get out and see them while they are here. Brilliant live act!

VINTAGE CLIP! Deftones on Conan!

As I mentioned in the last post, since Conan will be leaving NBC and rightfully so. I will be posting vintage performances from Late Night. Here is Deftones circa 2001 with "Back to School."

Thursday, January 14, 2010


So it seems Conan O'Brien will be leaving his post on Tonight Show for good on January 22. To celebrate Conan's TV legacy, I will be surfing the net to bring vintage performances from Late Night onto the site.

To start off, here is Arcade Fire in 2004 in support of Funeral making their appearance with everyone's favorite late night host.

Artists of the Decade

This past weekend I unveiled my list for the "100 Greatest Albums of the Decade," granted I got a ton of hate mail and some praise for my list, creating it and going back to those albums was worth it. In tandem with that list, I have compiled my list for the 10 Artists of the Decade. Now, before everyone gets upset and goes after me again, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! These artists were picked because their careers as individuals were born between 2000 and 2009, so for instance, Radiohead, who I love and respect was out of the running because they formed in 1992. However, someone like Beyonce and Justin Timberlake who came from other groups and established themselves as solo artists within the last decade, and very good ones at that, can rank. So with that said, here is my list for the Artists of the Decade...

1) Coldplay
2) Kanye West
3) Beyonce
4) The Strokes
5) Justin Timberlake
6) Jack White
7) Arcade Fire
8) Pharell Williams
9) Amy Winehouse
10) Bright Eyes

Quick News

Sad news to report, Brooklyn grunge rocker Jay Reatard passed away Wednesday night in his Brooklyn apartment. Police are now investigating his death to be homicide.

Johnny Cash will release his second posthumous album, American VI: Ain't No Grave, next month. These were the final recordings he had done with Rick Rubin and will finish out his American series.

Former Verve front man Richard Ashcroft has given some info about his new solo material. Aschcroft has formed the new band, United Nations of Sound and their debut Redemption will be out at the end of March. With Richard being one of my favorite songwriters of all time, this is one I am very amped for.

Elbow are in the studio working very hard on the follow up to their 2008 international smash, The Seldom Seen Kid. Drummer Richard Jupp told NME that "I'd love to get the album finished and get it out on the road [before 2010 ends]."

Blood Red Shoes Tracklisting

UK duo Blood Red Shoes are set to release their second album, Fire Like This in March. Take a look at the track listing for the record below and stay tuned as I have something special in line with the band around the time of the records release.

'Don't Ask'
'Light It Up'
'It Is Happening Again'
'When We Wake'
'Keeping It Close'
'Count Me Out'
'Follow The Lines'
'One More Empty Chair'
'Colours Fade'

Sunday, January 10, 2010

100 Best Albums of The Decade

A decade ago we were freaking out, on the verge of a social nervous breakdown with the dawn of the Millennium. “Y2K is going to change everything,” they said, little did they know what would happen a short while after. We all rested well when the internet didn’t break down and anarchy didn’t run in every city on every street. It was the dawning of a new age, one that would see and hear cultural revolutions that will echo from here to eternity. Looking back at the soundtrack of the beginning of the decade, I just cringe, music was still waging a war over Napster and recovering from the effects of what happened at Woodstock 99. It was hate filled nu metal anthems and songs brought on by the ignorant tongues of acts like Limp Bizkit, Creed, and Juvanile. In 10 years music has managed to shift in what seems to be all the right places. After Radiohead had already starting bending my mind and the musical landscape, they had released Kid A, a record that would foreshadow what we would hear in the dawning of the new Millennium. Later on in the first year of the Millennium a small British band from Oxford would change my world. I will still remember when I first herd “Yellow” from Coldplay. That song, that record and that band was a breath of fresh air for me and many others who wanted something new that wasn’t full of angst or rubbish lyrics. It was the beginning of a new door being open in the music world.

In the early fall of 2001, 9/11 happened and the world changed forever. No one knew what to do or where to go, but we came together, we came together as New Yorkers, as American’s and as citizens of the World. Whatever those terrorists were hoping to achieve that day failed, we rose up more resilient and better than ever. We wrapped our arms around each other and said, “We will be ok, we will get through this,” and we did. As that fall came on and the effects of what just happened, a band from New York who came with the fury of The Ramones, the mysteriousness of Lou Reed and the cool of Television, The Strokes shaped the sound of what was to come. Just a short while after them, we were introduced to Jack White, a guy who within this decade has already established himself a legend. The Bush Administration reigned for most of the decade, giving us an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression, an unjust war and a criminal still at large. America saw the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the triumph of the election of its first black President and the idea and hope that with a dream, anyone can do anything.

Through the years of what is called “the noughties” this decade gave us so much in music. Hip-Hop was given three Blueprints from the Frank Sinatra of the genre; it found a new voice and genius through the mind and work of Kanye West. Pop was still cranking out radio garbage, but in some cases it became creative, it went Back to Black and we went “Crazy in Love” over Gaga. New Wave came back in a big way, neo-new wave acts like The Killers, The Bravery, Scissor Sisters and VHS or Beta gave a dance beat to rock like the great acts of the 80’s did. The British changed my world again. As the great Brit bands to emerge each decade, the British invaded my stereo and made me fall in love with music even more, acts like Coldplay, Bloc Party, Editors, Muse, Glasvegas and countless others. It was a decade that started off with a garage sound and scene then went emo then electronica then indie and lo-fi. Music moved very fasted and if you were not paying attention, you may have missed a buzz band that was here today and gone tomorrow. Technology changed our way of getting music; yes the internet of course revolutionized the way we buy things now, however, the iPod made us cram millions of songs in a tiny device. Radiohead created music’s first digital tip jar, while shoving a middle finger to the industry, allowing fans to pay what they wanted for their 2007 release, In Rainbows. Facebook, Myspace, Purevolume, Youtube, introduced us to the next big thing. If not for the buzz created on these sites we would have never found out about Arctic Monkeys. We were blessed with talented songwriters in every genre, from Lupe Fiasco to Win Butler to Bright Eyes to Craig Finn, thank God for Craig Finn. As Seattle had its scene in the 90’s, Brooklyn had its own; The Hold Steady, TV on the Radio, MGMT, The National and hundreds of other bands made music cool again, made us feel something. This was the defining decade we just went through, it happened as we turned off the radio and turned on our tastes to something new.

Here is a look back at the 100 greatest albums, in my opinion, that defined the decade. I began this list in the spring of 2007, with research of going through magazines, speaking to other music lovers, fans, friends and artists, this is how I look at the decade that was.

1 A Rush of Blood to the Head Coldplay 2002
2 American Idiot Green Day 2004
3 Kid A Radiohead 2000
4 The Rising Bruce Springsteen 2002
5 The Black Album Jay-Z 2003
6 Relationship of Command At the Drive-In 2001
7 Is This It? The Strokes 2001
8 Graduation Kanye West 2007
9 Boys and Girls in America The Hold Steady 2006
10 Deja Entendu Brand New 2003
11 Phrenology The Roots 2003
12 In Search Of.. NERD 2002
13 Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends Coldplay 2008
14 All That You Can't Leave Behind U2 2000
15 Parachutes Coldplay 2001
16 Elephant The White Stripes 2003
17 Speakerboxx/The Love Below OutKast 2003
18 Accelerate REM 2008
19 Hot Fuss The Killers 2004
20 Neon Bible Arcade Fire 2007
21 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb U2 2004
22 White Pony Deftones 2000
23 Silent Alarm Bloc Party 2005
24 In Rainbows Radiohead 2007
25 American IV: The Man Comes Around Johnny Cash 2002
26 I'm Wide Awake Its Morning Bright Eyes 2005
27 College Dropout Kanye West 2007
28 St. Elsewhere Gnarls Barkley 2006
29 The Blueprint Jay-Z 2002
30 To The 5 Boroughs Beastie Boys 2004
31 War All The Time Thursday 2003
32 In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3 Coheed and Cambria 2003
33 Amnesiac Radiohead 2000
34 Final Straw Snow Patrol 2004
35 Stankonia OutKast 2000
36 By The Way Red Hot Chili Peppers 2002
37 Bleed American Jimmy Eat World 2001
38 Morning View Incubus 2001
39 Transatlantasism Death Cab for Cutie 2003
40 ( ) Sigur Ros 2002
41 Illinois Sufjan Stevens 2004
42 Glasvegas Glasvegas 2008
43 Lateralus Tool 2002
44 Back to Black Amy Winehouse 2007
45 Whatever People Say I Am Is What I Am Not Arctic Monkeys 2006
46 Hours Funeral For A Friend 2005
47 Pearl Jam Pearl Jam 2006
48 Volta Bjork 2007
49 A Weekend in the City Bloc Party 2007
50 Playing The Angel Depeche Mode 2005
51 Late Registration Kanye West 2005
52 The Bravery The Bravery 2004
53 Full Collapse Thursday 2001
54 Green Album Weezer 2001
55 White Blood Cells White Stripes 2001
56 Lord Willin' Clipse 2002
57 Decadance Head Automatica 2003
58 Don't Believe the Truth Oasis 2005
59 Funeral Arcade Fire 2004
60 Costello Music The Fratellis 2007
61 As Tall As Lions As Tall As Lions 2006
62 Porcelain Sparta 2004
63 Made in the Dark Hot Chip 2008
64 Gratitude Gratitude 2004
65 Gravity Our Lady Peace 2002
66 In Your Honour Foo Fighters 2005
67 Demon Days Gorillaz 2005
68 Some Devil Dave Matthews 2003
69 Dear Science TV on the Radio 2008
70 Contraband Velvet Revolver 2004
71 Francis the Mute Mars Volta 2004
72 Devils and Dust Bruce Springsteen 2005
73 Songs in A Minor Alica Keys 2001
74 Guerreo Beck 2004
75 Room on Fire The Strokes 2003
76 Warship and Tribute Glassjaw 2002
77 Black Holes and Revelations Muse 2006
78 Oh, Inverted World The Shins 2001
79 Gold Ryan Adams 2001
80 Hopes and Fears Keane 2004
81 Songs for the Deaf Queens of the Stone Age 2003
82 Hybrid Theory Linkin Park 2000
83 Stay What You Are Saves the Day 2002
84 Tell All Your Friends Taking Back Sunday 2002
85 Wolfmother Wolfmother 2006
86 Justified Justin Timberlake 2003
87 Boxer The National 2007
88 Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge My Chemical Romance 2004
89 Tipping Point The Roots 2005
90 Behind the Music The Soundtrack of Our Lives 2002
91 Third Portishead 2008
92 Talkie Walkie Air 2004
93 Santogold Santogold 2008
94 Up The Bracket The Libertines 2002
95 Sea Change Beck 2002
96 Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots The Flaming Lips 2003
97 Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Wilco 2001
98 Return to Cookie Mountain TV on the Radio 2006
99 Only By The Night Kings of Leon 2008
100 Food and Liquor Lupe Fiasco 2006

EXCLUSIVE! Living Things INTV!

It has been an interesting ride for the lads of Living Things. The St. Louis band has had their singer shot at, stabbed, protested against, they were the buzz band of 2005 and as things began to peak in their career, they slowed down a bit to collect themselves. In 2009 they released the album Habeas Corpus and hit the road with The Bravery. With their outspoken singer, Lillian Berlin, the band has charged on against the Bush administration and calling his generation "The Blackout Generation," now in an exclusive interview with Lillian's brother and Living Things bassist, Eve Berlin, I spoke to him about the band's career, his brother and what is to come of Living Things. Take a look at my interview with Eve below..

You released your latest record Habeas Corpus this past year. What was the recording of that record like?

EB: It was an eye opening experience. It was great spending time experimenting with different types of music. We wrote tons of songs for that record.

You recorded Habeas Corpus in Berlin. Why did you choose Germany to record?

EB: Well, it was the home of the studio and producer we wanted to work with. Hansa Tonstudios we have always wanted to work there. It's where a lot of the best Bowie solo stuff was done at as well as Iggy Pop and U2. Our Producer MIchael Ilbert worked outta there so it seemed like a perfect environment.

There was a four year gap in between Ahead of the Lions and Habeas Corpus, what caused the long pause?

EB: It wasn't as long as it looked. We toured for two years after the release of our first album Ahead of the Loins. Then took a year to write and record. The record came out three months after we finished it. So time fly’s, I guess?!

Was it hard to get back into the limelight after being gone a bit? Where you nervous?


You recently were on the road with The Bravery, what was that experience like?

EB: The Bravery was great. The 45 minutes we where onstage every night was priceless. But, all of our gear, van and trailer got stolen in Philly from our hotel, so it quickly turned into HELL. We had to cancel 10 shows.

Aside from making music, the band has been largely involved in activism. With our Nations current state, how do you feel about things today?

EB: It can only get better, right?

After recording in Berlin, when you returned to America after being away for a bit, did you feel a change in the country, not just with Obama but people’s attitudes?

EB: Yeah, people seemed amped up to work together; fix the shit that’s wrong, and that’s really where it's at. We the people are the ones that really make the "CHANGE."

Lillian has been shot at, stabbed and ridiculed for his beliefs and still manages to come back stronger and louder than before. Even still jumping into the audience during shows, where most of his altercations occurred. How do you respond to this?

EB: He is a true fighter and not backin' down.

Are you ever nervous for him?


Video for "Bom, Bom, Bom" (Above) / Video for "Let it Rain" (Below)

Special thanks to Eve and Heather Losik for the interview!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Live Review Violent SoHo @ Studio @ Webster Hall

It was an interesting array of musical tastes and types last night at The Studio at Webster Hall. The tiny music venue on the bottom floor of the legendary venue caused a big stir when the three acts of the evening showcased their talents. Australian grunge rockers and now current New York residents, Violent SoHo headlined a one off show with surf-style rockers Right on Dynamite and rockabilly friends of the site,The Royal Chains. They were three acts that had no common musical ground, yet showed the idea that music is truly universal and each act meshed with one another.

Starting the night off was The Royal Chains, an act I have been keeping a close eye on since the summer and keep suggesting you do the same. The duo, which consists of guitarist Dan Lawley and drummer/singer Adam Roddick took to the stage and grabbed the attention of everyone in the room, including the eyes and ears of both bands they were playing with. The Royal Chains are a great live act, think The White Stripes meets the blues aspect of The Rolling Stones, its a fun style and just so simple and it works so damn well. The Chains lifted off right away and had the crowd really into in and managed to slip in the Duran Duran cover "Ordinary World," into their set. A nice touch and a great way to kick off the night. This was the band's first gig of the new year and as they have just been signed to Mike Dirt of The Bravery's new label, Merrifield Records, I am saying it now, watch out for these two in 2010, they will make your head spin in a good direction.

Next was Right on Dynamite, an act I was unfamiliar with but quickly got into. The three piece has a cleaver surf rock vibe to them, a cross between Weezer meets Pavement style of playing. Fun and energetic, the only band really to fit along well, musically that is, with The Royal Chains.

After two great openers came the main event. Australian grunge rockers Violent SoHo, an act that has been causing a stir in New York since they arrived this fall. I covered the band when they opened for Built to Spill at the main theater in Webster Hall, from there they have gone on to tour with Dinosaur Jr. and were personally asked by Jack White to open for Dead Weather in Brooklyn. As the band sticks around New York prepping their major label debut, out in March, Violent SoHo has been gigging relentlessly around the city. Their style and sound may seem hard and evil, but after speaking with them before and after the show, they are probably some of the nicest people I have ever met. Violent SoHo came on stage like a cracking whip and broke into a set that would have made Kurt Cobain proud. Songs like "Jesus Stole my Girlfriend," and "Bombs over Broadway," had the crowd begging for more. It is a sound and style each person in the room grew up on and that we have not embraced in a while, now with the reunion of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam still kicking out some of their best stuff since their incarnation, I am hoping the textbook style of grunge Violent SoHo displays gains them support slots with those bands. A fun and great night and regardless of the genre of rock and roll these bands may have displayed, all that matters is that the bands can work a room, and all three did, no matter what style of playing it maybe.

Violent SoHo

The Royal Chains

Quick News

Coldplay could be working on a much more acoustic and stripped down album, to follow their mega international smash, Viva La Vida or Death and All of His Friends. According to the UK magazine The Sun,"Frontman Chris Martin is concerned the band are being seen as a huge stadium act and totally inaccessible for their loyal fans. So he has devised a plan with rock deity Eno and band mates Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman, and Will Champion to record a stripped-down, more acoustic collection in the eerie church." No word on a title or date when the record will be released.

After months in seclusion, Kanye West has emerged this past week with a statement to the public, via his infamous blog. On, West states ""I'm so happy to be back in the studio making new music. I will bring you the best I have to offer with the same dedication that Kobe has on the court." He then went on to say he has been inspired by true poets, Maya Angelou, Gill Scott-Heron and Nina Simone.

After guitarist John Frusciante confirmed he has left Red Hot Chilli Peppers to pursue a solo career, RHCP touring guitarist Josh Klinghoffer has confirmed he is the bands new axe-man.

While recording her own music, Santigold has found time to produce the latest Devo record. Santigold told Paste Magazine "They’re just, like, my band idols. Them and The Smiths. But DEVO, I made them pull out the red hats and pose for a picture."

Pavement are set to release a Best Of record this March to coincide with their reunion. The album Quarantine the Past: The Best of Pavement, will be out March 8.

Amanda Palmer w/ Boston Pops "Hurt"

As I mentioned in my interview with Amanda Palmer last month, she would be spending New Year's Eve performing with Boston Pops. From the reviews I read, I have been hearing it was a fantastic show, here is Amanda performing and covering the Nine Inch Nails classic "Hurt," take a look.

In case you missed it, read my Interview with Amanda Palmer HERE.

Sharon Jones Cover & Tracklisting

Soulful and funky Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings will release their latest record in May. The album, I Learned the Hard Way will be her fourth album. Take a look at the cover above and the track listing below...

01 The Game Gets Old
02 I Learned the Hard Way
03 Better Things
04 Give It Back
05 Money
06 The Reason
07 Window Shopping
08 She Ain't a Child No More
09 I'll Still Be True
10 Without a Heart
11 If You Call
12 Mama Don't Like My Man

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Julian Casablancas on Letterman

Julian Casablancas went down to Ed Sullivan Theater last night to play on Letterman for the first time as a solo artist. Take a look at Julian do his finest!

Dillinger Escape Plan Tracklisting

Hardcore heavy weights Dillinger Escape Plan is set to release their latest, Option Paralysis in the coming months. Take a look at the track listing below..

1. Farewell, Mona Lisa
2. Good Neighbor
3. Gold Teeth On A Bum
4. Crystal Morning
5. Endless Endings
6. Widower
7. Room Full Of Eyes
8. Chinese Whispers
9. I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t
10. Parasitic Twins

Clipse / The Roots on Fallon

Clipse dropped by Jimmy Fallon last night to jam out with The Roots and promote their latest, Till the Casket Drops. Take a look!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Live Review - David Gray @ Broad Street Ballroom

Just a few days into the New Year and I had the opportunity to catch one of the world's favorite singers in a private and intimate performance. In a taping for the syndicated show Live from the Artists Den, UK singer-songwriter David Gray played to a crowd of 200 at New York's Broad Street Ballroom on Wall Street. The venue, which looks like a Roman Cathedral was draped in wall to wall sound, with its perfect acoustics, Gray sounded better live than he has on any album. Performing a majority of songs off his latest, Draw the Line, Gray and his band of dapper gents, which look just like him, elevated emotion and hearts on a blistering cold night. In a two hour set, pulling out all the stops from lighting to performance, Gray showed why his massive world tour has been so successful. Indeed he writes a great song, but how into his music he gets is the experience. The intricate noises and sounds he brings forth onto wax from the studio are all articulated with sheer perfection live. In between songs David would talk to the audience and his British charm would come out as well as his shyness, you can tell he has a much better time expressing himself in song than speaking in front of a crowd of strange faces. David Gray Live from the Artists Den will air in the spring, be sure to check it out.

Vampire Weekend on Letterman

A week before their latest, Contra is due, Vampire Weekend hit up Letterman last night and did a great job playing "Cousins." Can't wait for next week and the new album!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


When I first learned that the ex wife of one of my all time favorite front men was writing a book, I was a bit skeptic. Was this going to be a tell all, TMZ-esq book of who was doing what drug in the 90's? Was this going to be a story about Scott Weiland's addiction that I didn't already know? What I got was the most honest and human story about going to hell and back. Mary Forsberg Weiland, better known as Mary Weiland, accounts her life battling addiction, mental illness with love and heartbreak. This was never a book about gossip or what people had made her do, rather a book about an adult accepting responsibility for her actions. Fall to Pieces tells Mary Weiland's life story from childhood to her days as a teenage model to going on the road and being married to Rock and Roll's wild man, Scott Weiland. With the support of her famous friends and family, Mary wrote about accounts of clout with so much clarity. Broken down in regular terms and leaving the medical jargon at the door, Weiland discloses horrific tales in great detail and tales of great triumph. Yet, Weiland's biggest triumph was coming clean and honest with Fall to Pieces, which is one of the best reads I had last year. Take a look at my exclusive interview with Mary Weiland as we discussed the writing of the book, her addiction and where she goes now.

What prompted you to write “Fall to Pieces?”

MFW: The positive response I’ve received from people who’ve been able to connect with my story... that was my dream in wanting to write “Fall to Pieces.” People are hungry for honesty and I wanted to open a conversation on the topics of addiction and mental illness. I think everyone is carrying a little sadness inside and making a connection with another person can relieve some of that pain... and maybe even bring some sunlight into what was once a very dark place. It was a freeing thing to write with that objective in mind. Hopefully I got close!

Do you feel vindicated that the book has been written and is out?

MFW: I felt an obligation to write something inspiring, but in a way it was also a gift to my children. Plus I wanted them to be able to Google mommy and daddy and get the whole picture! Any life needs a couple different perspectives to make sense.

After reading your story, I could not help but notice that the motifs of escape played a big role in your life. Escaping with your mother from your father when you were a child. Drugs. Music. Food. Escaping to the beach when you would visit your father as a young teen and watch the socialites. Do you think you have stopped escaping and start accepting what has been given to you? Have you found what you may have been looking for?

MFW: Finally having an answer for why I felt the need to escape has made it a lot easier to stay in the moment. I’m human and when life becomes overwhelming something as simple as a trip to the mall can restore a feeling of wholeness. The major difference is the escape is brief and without negative consequences. I was always looking for calm and peace and I do feel like I finally found that place.

Since you were a teen you have been battling depression or a form of it. This has consumed most, if not all of your life. What advice do you give someone today who is battling the same demons you have?

MFW: Accepting depression as a part of your life is the first step in recovery. Looking to other people who have struggled and made it out can be inspirational. Everyone has the potential to heal if they are willing to do the work. At times I felt hopeless, but I never completely gave up. If I had, it would have been a short book...

At every turning point or bench mark in your life, music has marked a specific moment (I can easily relate). Did music ever help get you out of what you were battling?

MFW: Music was and sometimes still is the most glorious way to avoid life’s crushing moments. Losing myself in someone else’s art and poetry and sometimes even pain was a reminder that I wasn’t alone. Movies can do that too. Disappearing into another world, a world that inspires you... it’s one of the great journeys we get to take as a fan.

What music defines your proudest moments?

MFW: Songs that fall under the “guilty pleasure” category have played a roll in putting a smile on my face. Often music was the only thing that could pull me out from under the black cloud. Sometimes it’s silly, sometimes its profound... my only credo is this -- turn it up!

What defines your worst?

MFW: Guns and Roses “Its So Easy” always had me running straight for trouble. Listening to it now is a reminder of how far I’ve come.

On Scott’s song “Barbarella,” from his solo record, 12 Bar Blues, he sings the line “Grab a scale and guess the weight of all the pain I have given with my name. I am a selfish piece of shit.” Do you ever blame Scott for your downward spiral into drugs?

MFW: Never. I was an adult when I made the choices that I did. I was born with the potential to be an addict and I could have hit bottom with anyone or on my own. Good song, though.

Throughout your years of using and turmoil with Scott, you kept going back to him. Why?

MFW: Our love for each other was almost unnatural. There were times when we couldn’t function on our own. I give us credit for trying to make it work. Hollywood promotes giving up. Eighteen years and nine years of marriage with all that we’ve been through in my opinion is a success.

What are your hopes and aspirations for your children now that you and Scott are on a clear path of recovery?

MFW: I hope they find success and happiness based on their own hard work. Our past struggles will most likely follow them, but because they were so young during our difficult times my hope is that it won’t consume them.

Sex Pistol Steve Jones and Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Keidis aided you throughout your road to sobriety. Where there stories and battles enough to make you want to kick the habit?

MFW: You’d think another persons crippling experience would have been enough to discourage me, but I was sick and not ready to get well. The part they played was simply just being available when I was ready to change my life. I wanted to tip my hat their way in the book. Their friendship still means the world to me.

What is next for Mary Forsberg Weiland now?

MFW: I should be starting back to school in February. I’m studying for my certificate in drug and alcohol counseling with a focus on Co-occurring Disorders. I hope my experience and knowledge can help others. Giving back is a part of my continued recovery.

Fall to Pieces is in stores now!

Special thanks to Mary, Jennifer Slattery, Harper Collins and extra thanks to Candace Greene for her assistance.

What's Coming in 2010!

Here is a look at the road ahead, some of the most anticipated releases of the year! Take a look at what 2010 will bring, it already looks a hell of a lot better than last year!

Vampire Weekend - Contra
Due: January 12

The follow up to the New York band's immensely popular self-titled debut will kick start the year in high gear. After slowly leaking some songs online, I can already tell this record is going to blow their last one out of the water. Recorded in California and combining Afro-punk with Latin fury, Contra is a record that will stay with us all year.

MGMT - Congratulations
Due: February
The follow up to the Brooklyn duo's global smash Oracular Spectacular, is poised to be one of the biggest records of the year. Not releasing much info about the album aside from the band hoping that people hate it, this will be one of the years more interesting releases.

Hot Chip - One Life Stand
Due: February
The English Electro act return with the follow up to 2008's Made in the Dark. The fourth record of these lads will be a sure fire smash across the dance floor and on the turn tables of DJ's around the globe. Described as an "end of the night record," One Life Stand is one I am looking out for.

Klaxons - Title Not Available
Due: February / March
This record was intended to come out last year, however, the label told the English band to re-record some of the record. Instead, the band scrapped the entire project and started from scratch. The psychedelic art rockers will deliver their new work early this year and we will see what the UK favorites have in store.

Broken Bells - The High Road
Due: March
The combination of The Shins James Mercer and producer Danger Mouse is already giving me chills. Releasing only the albums title track, it was one of the most beautiful things I have herd in a while. I am waiting on the edge of my seat for this album and I just hope it delivers.

U2 - Songs of Ascent
Due: Spring
Since the legendary Irish rockers recorded between 50-60 songs for No Line on the Horizon, they will release an immediate follow up and play these songs on the next legs of their massive 360o tour this summer.

Far - Title Unknown
Due: March
After a decade long hiatus, the most underrated band of the 90's is set to fire back with an album of new material. After touring this fall with Thursday and Midnight Masses and doing small one-off shows, Jonah Matranga and the boys of Far will be back with their first album since their brilliant send off, Water and Solutions. If you never herd of this band start listening, if you have herd of this band, start anticipating!

Social Distortion - Title Unknown
Due: Spring
The legendary LA punkers are still cranking and on fire as they have always been. The follow up to 2006's Sex, Love and Rock N Roll, apparently will see the band dabble in some folk roots much like Mike Ness' solo work. Whatever it maybe, new Social D always brings a smile to my face.

Arcade Fire - Title Unknown
Due: May
One of the most critically acclaimed bands to emerge in the 2000's is back at it again. The follow up to 2007's brilliant Neon Bible, will see the band create what could be the years most anticipated release. They are also to hit the road again and if anyone, like myself, who has seen this band in concert knows they are in for one of the greatest nights of their life.

Radiohead / Thom Yorke solo
Due: Unknown
Radiohead are set to hit the studio again this month after taking the fall off, no word on what or how the record will be made, but one thing is for sure, producer Nigel Goodrich is behind the wheel and we can expect something great. As for singer Thom Yorke, he used the band's downtime to craft another solo disc to follow up his 2006 solo debut, The Eraser, word on the street is that Yorke's disc will be out before the bands.

NERD - Instant Gratification
Due: Summer
Adding a female to the misogynistic band, NERD are set to fire back into your speaker with another record of party and summer jams.

Stone Temple Pilots - Title Unknown
Due: Summer
The first Stone Temple Pilots record since 2002's unlistenable Shangri-La-De-Da and the first new recordings since the band got back together in summer 2007. I am very eager to hear what Scott Weiland and boys have in store now after a few years on the road and being back together.

Dr. Dog - Title Unknown
Due: Spring / Summer
The Philly indie/jam/psychedelic band are gearing up for a tour and placing the finishing touches on their latest. They have been in the studio since the summer, leaving fans and critics in much anticipation as to what these guys will bring. Whatever it maybe, it will be gorgeous.

The National - Title Unknown
Due: Spring / Summer
To say 2009 was a quiet year for The National would be a farce. The band has been playing special shows around New York and crafting side projects while working on the follow up to 2007's amazing release, Boxer. What these Brooklyn boys will bring next we shall wait and see.

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Due: Summer
The world's first animated band is set to ignite radio airwaves and music videos again with their third record. The Damon Albarn side project will feature guest vocals from De La Soul, Mos Def, Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, and Barry Gibb (yes, Barry Gibb of the BeeGee's). The will likely be the most eclectic record of the year.

Glasvegas - Title Unknown
Due: Summer / Fall
After wrapping up a whirl wind year of touring with everyone from U2 to Kings of Leon to every major festival world wide, Glasvegas hit the studio this fall in California with Rick Rubin to record the follow up to their phenomenal 2008 debut. This is one record I am waiting with baited-breath for.

Oasis 2.o / Noel Gallagher solo
Due: Summer
After the devastating break up of Britain's most beloved band of brothers, Oasis is set to go forth in two directions. One part as the current Oasis line-up sans Noel Gallagher and the other is Noel solo. Noel, who had intentions of releasing solo material in 2010 before leaving the band, will put out his music this year. Noel will also compete with Liam and the boys with their new release as they have been in the studio working on a new record.

Also Due in 2010!

- Interpol - (February)
- Los Campesinos! - Romance is Boring (February)
- The Roots - How I Got Over (February)
- Massive Attack - Heligoland (February)
- Iron and Wine (March)
- Ben Folds (March)
- Violent Soho (March)
- Broken Social Scene (March)
- Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Don't Say We Didnt Warn You (March)
- Portugal. The Man - American Ghetto (March)
- Gogol Bordello (Possible Spring Release)
- Santigold (Spring)
- Gaslight Anthem (Possible Spring Release)
- Lupe Fiasco - LASERS (Spring)
- LCD Soundsystem - (Spring)
- Tokyo Police Club (Spring)
- Fleet Foxes (Spring)
- The Wombats (Spring / Summer)
- Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part 1 (Spring/Summer)
- Richard Ashcroft (Late Summer/Fall)
- Nine Inch Nails (Possible Summer Release)
- Kings of Leon (Fall)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Rising Artist - London Souls

Fresh from the streets of New York City comes a bad with British attitude and Mod Style, The London Souls. A band that started gaining notoriety from their formation in 2008, gigging all around New York City and creating a residency at venues like Pianos, The London Souls just rang in the New Year with NYE show at La Passion Rouge on Bleecker. The band who's style combines afro-punk (think Vampire Weekend) with garage (think The Strokes). The band just finished recording their debut in the world's most famous studio, Abbey Road in London and are set to release it this year. Once this record comes out, be prepared to hear about the Souls on every radio around the world.

Quick News

Happy New Year already...SOUNDGARDEN ARE SET TO REUNITE!!! For the first time in 12 years the band has broken their hiatus and will perform in 2010! After much speculation in all of 2009 and Chris Cornell's disastrous sounding and selling album, Scream, fans and critics were wondering if it would happen. Well, ringing in the New Year, fans and critics got their wish with Cornell writing on his Twitter page "The 12 year break is over and school is back in session." Members of the band have played together in various forms through the years, but Cornell was the one who still had the spotlight on him. Pursuing a solo career as soon as the band split in 1997, Cornell released three solo records (Euphoria Morning, Carry On, Scream) and in 2002 formed Audioslave with members of Rage Against the Machine (sans Zach DeLa Rocha), Audioslave also released three solo records (Audioslave, Out of Exile, Revelations). No word on yet if this will be a tour or a releasing new material, as for now, just bask in the glory of one of the greatest grunge bands are back!

In related 90's rock news, Trent Reznor promises new music from Nine Inch Nails and other goodies to come from him in the year. Reznor who has been enjoying life off the road after having a series of "Wave Goodbye," concerts this past summer, has always said he will continue to make music, yet never tour again. Reznor wrote on the Nine Inch Nails website,“2010 has a number of things planned including new material from Nine Inch Nails and something else that isn’t Nine Inch Nails, I am in a state of rediscovery and reinvention that feels unfamiliar, unsure and exactly what I need.” As for something that is not Nine Inch Nails, it was rumored singer Gary Numan was going to work with Reznor on his next record, maybe Trent is producing an artist we have never herd before. Whatever it may be, I am excited and keep it locked hear as news rolls on in!

Spike Lee - Michael Jackson "This Is It"

Michael Jackson - This Is It - Directed by Spike Lee from 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks on Vimeo.

We lost one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived last year. Filmmaker Spike Lee also lost a close friend. The death of Michael Jackson was one of the most talked about stories of 2009 and in a touching tribute, Lee, who famously directed the King of Pop's "They Don't Care About Us" video, has directed Michael's final music video for "This Is It." Take a look.

Movie of the Month - Donnie Brasco

One of the best gangster pictures and one of the best films about the mob, ever. 1997's Donnie Brasco is based off the true story of FBI agent Joe Pistone who went undercover in the New York mob in the 70's and created one of the most successful operations in infiltrating the mafia in history. Pistone, portrayed brilliantly by Johnny Depp, is shown as family man who transforms into a criminal and ruthless individual. Leading the ultimate double life and a life that could get him at any time. Pistone links up with "Lefty," an old school mafioso, who in the film is played by Al Pacino in a stunning performance. Yet the most surprising achievement in the film may not be the actors or the story, but the director. Directed by English filmmaker Mike Newell, a name more synonymous with comedies such as Four Weddings and Funeral. Newell would later go on to direct Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Love in the Time of Cholera and opening later this year, Prince of Persia. Though Newell's first major break in Hollywood may have been that 1994 romantic comedy with Hugh Grant, yet it was Donnie Brasco that showcased his versatility and storytelling. Brasco received much critical praise on its release and earned an Oscar Nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Certainly a film worth watching over and over again and never fuggetaboutit!

Underated Classic - Beck "Sea Change"

When you think of Beck, you sometimes think this goofy rock and roller than cranks out extremely creative and fun music. You also think of Beck as a musical force pushing the limits of his career and sound. Yet, you never really think of Beck as this soft and tender person, we forget than rock stars are humans too. In the fall of 2002, Beck released Sea Change, a soft and mellow record about the recent bad breakup of a long time lover. The title was a reflection of Beck as both musician and person, changing his usual upbeat and distorted style for acoustics, orchestras and micro-beats. Produced by Nigel Goodrich, the man behind Radiohead's immensely popular works from OK Computer to present day. Goodrich brought his computer generated influence to what is a benchmark in the Beck catalogue. Regarded as one of the best albums of 2002 and hailing Beck as a mature artist, it only peaked at #20 on the US Billboard charts. Beck however, has never let chart position effect him, he has always been for the music and art of it. Sea Change showed the tender side of one of music's favorite sons. Songs like "The Golden Age," "Guess I'm Doing Fine," and "Lonesome Tears," are some of Beck's best songs and with the combination of Goodrich's production, it is also one of his best records. In the coming weeks, I will showcase my 100 Albums of the Decade, you can bet your life that Sea Change is on that list.