Sunday, August 29, 2010


Dark, mysterious and down right dirty. That is after all what New York City is all about, but it is also a way to describe the members and sound of the cities latest breakthrough act, Living Days. Living Days hail from Brooklyn however have such a Lower East Side attitude from them that they relate more to the devious Bowery than any section across the river. The band combines 80's new wave, electro with a touch of goth and industrial. The members of the band have been gigging around for years playing with the likes of Lee "Scratch" Perry, Matisyahu and Cocoa Rosie. Yet, they all found their nitche and musical desires forming Living Days. I had the opportunity to speak with beat make Stephonik Youth just ahead of the release of their debut LP, Make Out Room, which will arrive next month. Take a look at my interview with Stephonik below..

The band has nice 80’s beats mixed over catchy ambient sounds,
what influences your songs and band when making music?

Everything influences us. The other day we played and watched a dog
walk by and i wrote lyrics by listening to what i wish he was saying
to the world really loud.

How did the idea to form a New Wave inspire you to come together as band?

New waves are new. New is cool. Who doesn't like new ?

The members of the band come from other acts – Matisyahu, Lee
“Scratch” Perry and CoCoa Rosie. Where did you all meet and find time
to make Living Days happen?

The universe matchmaker made us. We don't find time. It finds us.

Living Days considers yourselves to be “Love Terrorists,” what
exactly does this mean? Who came up with the tag line?

It came up with itself. We crash your party with the good vibes.

How would you describe your debut?

I wanted to make a record I would have liked when I was fourteen. I
got a little bit close.

What was it like making this record?

My sex and my drugs and my rock and roll is all my brain and body needs ..

Being a band from New York and have such a grit to your sound,
has the city that never sleeps inspired you and your work?

Duh Doi.

Over the past few years we have seen a surge of neo-New Wave
acts emerge; The Killers, The Bravery, VHS or Beta, Scissor Sisters,
Editors and your band to name a few. Do you think this genre is on the
comeback trail? Or just a fun fad?

Fads are the genre on the comeback trail . I just want to keep rocking
in the free world.

Your concerts have been generating a ton of buzz. For those that
have never seen you before, what can you describe your live sets to be

The ones of the past are erased. Nothing is set. I love you. Make me better.

Where does Living Days go from here?

Perma-tour! Party time excellent.

EXCLUSIVE! Standard Fare INTV!

Standard Q&A with Standard Fare
by Bill Reese

Sheffield, UK's Standard Fare are earning a reputation across the pond for their bittersweet indie-pop licks that counter-act the implied dullness of the group's moniker. Co-led by singer/bassist Emma Kupa and singer/guitarist Danny How, the power trio just concluded a stateside tour, including a stop in one of the birthplaces of indie, at Popfest in Athens, GA.The English trio's lead single is titled after an American city. The choppy-poppy "Philadelphia" is one of several sleek, catchy tunes on the group's debut LP The Noyelle Beat.Before gigging at Don Hill's in Manhattan's Soho district, Emma and Danny and drummer Andy Bez talked to about their new album and their American mini-tour.

A lot of American rock journalists are consistently impressed with the new crop of indie-pop groups hailing from the U.K. Do you feel that you're part of a bigger upswell of young, talented bands-both in Sheffield and in England as a whole?

Dan: Not particularly, there seems to be a little community of indie-pop bands and people around the UK and although it feels like a really great thing to be a part of, I don't think people involved in other types of music see it as a big deal. There's definitely bags of talent and potential in some of the bands we play with, and there's something intriguing about hearing their upbeat songs often with an underlying sense of heart ache.

I'm also glad to see more "power-trios" make a comeback. Did you always envision yourselves as a three-piece, or did you resist the urge to add a second guitarist or keyboard player?

Dan: In the early days there were 4 of us but we never all practiced together, the other guy was my best friend on lead guitar but he went away to Uni before we ever played a gig. It felt weird to replace him and I think we found more 'room' in the music as a three piece.

Emma: As a bass player I felt like a second guitarist would make the sound muddier and not add anything to it. Our sound felt a bit thin to start with but either we got used to it or we grew to fill it - I'm not sure.

Dan: I don't think we'd change it now, plus we get friends up to help us at gigs now and again if we fancy playing something slightly different.

How do you decide who takes lead vocals on a particular song? Do Emma and Danny each bring in their own songs to share with the group, or does it happen spontaneously?

Andy: Emma and Dan both come to practise with song ideas they've sometimes just written on the way from home in the car or train, or ideas they've been working on for weeks. One of them will show their idea singly and the other will automatically start humming harmonies down the microphone.

Emma: Generally whoever writes the vocal part sings it, but Dan wrote 'Nuit avec une amie' for us both to sing and we'd like to play around with writing vocal parts for each other in future.

"Philadelphia" mixes 2-3 different styles within the same song. I especially love how all four guitar chords in the chorus are strummed with varying force and rhythm. The whole album is a mix of differing styles. Do you make it a point to mix in varying styles and sounds to each song?

Dan: Emma originally wrote 'Philadelphia' and brought it to the band, I'm not sure the chorus was intended to be quite so punk-rock but I thought the chords fit well and the natural reaction we all had was to just rock it up a bit.

Emma: I think we try and keep every song different somehow especially as I find myself using the same chord sequences in some songs!

"Philadelphia" is also one of the poppiest "long distance relationship" songs I've ever heard, (I grew up listening to Taking Back Sunday's "Something to write home about," which was an album full of songs like that.) Do you find that that's a theme that a lot of your fans relate to?

Emma: It's hard to tell what people relate to about our songs. I think it's possibly that they're quite direct and honest.

Dan: I guess a lot of our experiences, especially with relationships, are kind of common with young people and to sing about them pretty straight up can put people back in that place - just with an upbeat melody in the background.

When you're stateside, are there any cities or venues that you're fond of playing?

Andy: When we were in the states in March, we had great audiences! Each gig we played had a different feel to it, some gigs people were jumping, dancing and cheering and others where people seemed to be reserved just watching what we did, listening contently maybe hopefully? I think my favourite venue we played was a warehouse in Philadelphia, there were lotsa indie kids going crazy and there was a real great atmosphere about the place! But I enjoyed every place we played at!

Emma: This tour will have a lot of new venues and cities, which we're pretty excited about!

Are your set-lists sticking exclusively to the new album, or are you mixing in some new songs and covers too?

Emma: Covers are really hard!

Dan: yeh definitely! We like to keep things a bit exciting, as much for ourselves as the people who are listening, so we try out new songs and occasionally revive some old songs too.

So, is "Fifteen" based on a true story? I kind of hope it is, personally-as someone who lusted over musicians as a kid and was always left broken hearted.

Emma: It is yes I wrote it a few months after a brief experience of a few hour crush on someone much younger. I knew I shouldn't have been feeling anything and I'm glad I did nothing about it except write the song!

Johnny Marr played on a Cribs album, Paul McCartney wants to produce the new Wombats record-So, which one of your idols would you most like to develop a sudden interest in joining the group-and would you let them?

Dan: They say "never meet your idols", but I guess if they had heard of us, I know Andy will like this, I wouldn't mind Graham Coxon or Damon Albarn giving us a bit of advice.

Emma: That's a tricky question as there's bands and albums I love so deeply like Fleetwood Mac and the Cardigans but I don't know what I'd like from the artists or their producers. I think I'd prefer someone also starting out to help produce or work with us as if it was someone big they'd always be comparing us to the amazing artists they'd worked with.

If you guys don't have Sam Cooke's "One Night Only: At the Harlem Square Club, 1963" on your iPods, I highly recommend it for those long journeys between shows. What kind of music are you listening to while driving from gig to gig?

Dan: cool, I'll have to check it out. When we're in the van we normally have Andy's iPod and I reckon it has pretty much every mood of music - we rapped along to Kanye West not long ago. Recently though, we were listening to the Scottish band 'Kid Canaveral', their songs have a really great feel to them and he has an incredible voice.

Emma: Sometimes we try to choose music linked to the places we're going or leaving so we were listening to Tom Jones on the way back from Cardiff in Wales. Or we'll listen to some of our favourite contemporaries such as Allo Darlin' and Nat Johnson and the Figureheads.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

LIVE PIX! Brandon Flowers Live in Las Vegas!

On August 14 Killers front man Brandon Flowers made his live solo debut in his hometown of Las Vegas at Surrender Nightclub. Our corresponding photographer THE CREATURE was there to capture all the action and attention. Take a look at Flowers and his new band in action!

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Quick News

The newly reunited Libertines have been storming the UK all week and now headlining Reading and Leeds this weekend, the band said they will decide the future of The Libertines after this weekend. Speaking to NME, drummer Gary Powell said "I think that decision will actually come at that point of time," adding "would love to continue doing this", if the shows go to plan."

Editors are ready to hit the studio again after spending pretty much all of 2010 on the road in support of their 2009 release, In This Light and On This Evening. Speaking to BBC6 Music drummer Edward Lay says "We want to get involved in writing new music as soon as possible and get into an environment that we all enjoy." New Editors is fine by me!

So the talk that This is Happening, LCD Soundsystem's latest sonic escapade maybe their last recording, may not be true at all. Main man James Murphy told ""We'll still make some music but playing together is such an Herculean thing because everyone lives in different parts of the world and has lives. But we'll still be making LCD Soundsystem music and stuff; we just need to go back and have it be a part of our lives rather than our whole lives." He added, "We'll do some 12-inch records and things like that. I just need to get away from it being a big thing."

Pearl Jam are set to celebrate their 20th anniversary this fall with a two day headlining slot at Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit. The grunge icons have headlined the annual charity gig which proceeds go to autism research in 2003.

Brooklyn duo Matt and Kim will release their latest record, Sidewalks on November 2.

New York artist Joseph Arthur, George Harrison's son and Newno2 singer Dhani Harrison and Ben Harper have formed a band together. The trio call themselves Fistful of Mercy. The idea of the band is that its three singers, three microphones and three acoustic guitars. Their nine song album, As I Call You Down will be released sometime this fall.

The Boss is going to release The Promise. A 21 track compilation of rarities, B-sides and demos from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions. The Promise comes in companion to the massive reissue Springsteen is doing for the iconic record. It comes out in October.

Live PIX! More of Lollapalooza 2010

Our coverage of Lollapalooza got us worldwide attention and to oblige our audience and fans a bit more, here are photos from corresponding photographer and premiere NYC DJ Rich D Smoov from various points of the great weekend. Take a look!

Peanut Butter Wolf with The Cool Kids


The Strokes


Perry and Chris Cox

Empire of the Sun
Porno for Pyro's Reunite!

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It's the end of the month, which means it's playlist time. Take a look at these tracks we have been blasting..

- Scissor Sisters - "Invisible Light"
- Cee-Lo - "Fuck You"
- Bright Eyes - "Lua"
- Belle & Sebastian - "Another Sunny Day"
- Blur - "Fools Day"
- Two Door Cinema Club - "Cigarettes in the Theater"
- New Order - "World In Motion"
- BLK JKS - "Zol!"
- Gin Wigmore - "Dying Day"
- Rolling Stones - "Plounder My Soul"
- Kate Nash - "Kiss that Girl"
- One Night Only - "You and Me"
- Living Days - "Let's Kiss"
- Deftones - "Sextape"
- Stereophonics - "Live and Love"
- Jet - "Seventeen"
- The Fall - "Hot Cake"
- Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Wet Sand"
- Kele - "Tenderoni"
- Mars Volta - "With Twilight as my Guide"
- Joy Division - "New Dawn Fades"

The Specials on Letterman

Legendary British two tone Ska legends, The Specials hit up Letterman this week to perform "Nite Klubbing!" Take a look!

Sufjan Stevens Cover & Track Listing

Aside from just delivering a very awesome EP (review coming soon), Sufjan Stevens is releasing his latest record, The Age of Adz on October 12. Take a look at the cover and track listing below...

01 Futile Devices
02 Too Much
03 Age of Adz
04 I Walked
05 Now That I'm Older
06 Get Real Get Right
07 Bad Communication
08 Vesuvius
09 All for Myself
10 I Want To Be Well
11 Impossible Soul

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark Cover & Tracklisting!

British electro vets, Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD) will release their 11th studio album and their first since 1996! OMD will deliver History of Modern on October 4. Take a look at the cover, track listing and EPK below.

01 New Babies: New Toys
02 If You Want It
03 History of Modern (Part I)
04 History of Modern (Part II)
05 Sometimes
07 New Holy Ground
08 The Future, the Past, and Forever After
09 Sister Mary Says
10 Pulse
11 Green
12 Bondage of Fate
13 The Right Side


Kanye West is set to give away a new free track each Friday via twitter (follow him @kanyewest). Starting this Friday 8/27 through Christmas, fans will get a free download from Mr. West. His latest untitled record will drop in November.

Pink Floyd's David Gilmour is set to make a rare vocal contribution to The Orb's latest, Metallic Spheres. The album is due October 4.

Ladies and gentlemen it is now official! After six longs years - THE LIBERTINES ARE BACK! Pete, Carl and the boys played their first official reunion gig last night in London at an HMV in preparation for this weekends headlining slots at Reading and Leeds festival. Carl Barat said to NME after the gig, "It's been six years of stasis, but then you get back in the room and it's like the six years haven't happened," he explained. You remember all these different facets of your friends, the good and the bad, but I've mainly forgotten the good. It's pretty electric the chemistry it hasn't really changed a bit. It's exciting." We hope it sticks!

Franz Nicolay released the track listing to his latest record, Luck and Courage due October 12. Nicolay enlists help from members of Dresden Dolls, his former band World/Inferno Friendship Society and was produced by Jim Keller (Willie Nelson, Franz Ferdinand). Take a look at the track listing below.
01. Felix And Adelita
02. This Is Not A Pipe
03. Have Mercy
04. My Criminal Uncle
05. Z For Zachariah
06. Job 35:10
07. James Ensor Redeemed
08. Anchorage (New Moon Baby)
09. The Last Words Of Gene Autry
10. Luck And Courage

Big Boi on Letterman

Big Boi hit up Letterman this week with Vonnegutt and got everyone in the crowd (and at home) moving! Take a look!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


When you see Nico Vega at first you think they are just some Yeah Yeah Yeah's rip off. After you hear them, you also think they are from New York, the truth of the matter is that they are neither. Nico Vega is a trio from LA that are making waves in the business right now. Just because they are fronted by a woman, Aja Volkman and play a combo of garage meets punk meets electro does not make them a new Yeah Yeah Yeah's. What makes Nico Vega are their extremely fun and intense live shows and their thirst for success and it will be quenched, soon enough. The band has been on the road all year in support of their 2009 self-titled debut and have been opening for bands such as The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Semi Precious Weapons and Metric and gaining fans at each and every show. I had the opportunity to speak with the band's fun and carefree frontwoman Aja, as we discussed the band's roots, touring and who the hell Nico Vega really is?! Take a look at my interview with Aja below..

Where does the name Nico Vega come from? Is it a real person like Lynyrd Skynyrd?

Yes, actually it is. She was a our original drummer's mother. She carried a sort of legacy that has truly effected all of us in the band. She died from the side effects of prescription anti depressants. I used to take prescription antidepressants for years. It seemed that everyone was quick to diagnose, and prescribe, but as soon as I decided I wanted to get off of them, and address my issues with a more holistic approach, no doctors would help me get off. It was a liability for them. That felt irresponsible to me. I finally found an amazing alternative healthcare practitioner that was willing to help me.
In Nico Vega, we believe that part of what makes us beautiful are the differences between us. Prescription drugs when abused, and over prescribed can be a tool for conformity. They really took away my artistic edge, and motivation after a few years, and coming off of them always made me unstable until they were completely out of my system. Sometimes we view things as medicine, when they are in fact dangerous drugs. Don't underestimate the long term effects.

Being from LA, what influence has the city had on your style and sound?

Well, the sun has played into our music quite a bit I believe. And just being outside all the time in the warmth. We tend to wear very little at times as well. Anytime you are in a big city, it effects your style. When I go back home to Oregon, I feel overdressed always. We tend to only shop second hand. I am a firm believer in recycling clothes, and its fun to create your own style that way.

You hail from LA, but you sound like a New York band mixed with British flavor. Who are some of your influences?

We love everything. Country creeps in, funk creeps in, blues, metal, indie. I guess our Ideal tour would be either The White stripes, Dead Weather, Kings of Leon, QOTSA, Radiohead, Muse, The Killers, really any amazing big rock act. But our influences are all over the place. Mostly old music.

Prior to releasing your debut, you had done a string of EPs. Will you be doing the same before the next record? Or will it just be all new material on a new album?

I think we just want to make a record, but you never know. We have one unreleased EP right now.

On your debut you worked with the legendary Linda Perry, what was that experience like?

She is Amazing. A really powerful personality, and artist. It was life changing.

You released your debut last year, what is it like now that the album has been out for a bit and constant touring? Is the fan base growing?

The fan base is growing a lot. We have really been behind this record since day one, and everyone involved has been behind it too. We are ready to make new music, but this record cycle doesn't feel done yet.

There have been many comparisons to Nico Vega as being a mix between The White Stripes and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. How do you respond to such comparisons?

Love it. We respect and adore both those bands. Its inevitable to be compared to someone. Thank god its those great bands.

I was first introduced to you when you opened for Soundtrack of Our Lives at Irving Plaza in New York City. What was it like touring with those guys? The crowd and Soundtrack of Our Lives had such high praise for you, what is it like getting such high remarks?

We fell in love with them, Ebbot (TSoOL Singer) is really something special. I think we would have done a world tour with them if it was lined up. Pure love between us.

You toured all summer with Semi-Precious Weapons when they were not on the road with Lady Gaga. This proved to be the craziest club tour of the summer. How are they and what has it been like?

We have been friends with them for about 2 years. THey are undeniably the greatest live band we have ever seen, and Justin Trentor is the brightest star I know. We would do anything for them. They have been great to us, and you are right....touring with them is wild.

What is next for Nico Vega once the summer ends?

Lets make a new effing record!! Its our favorite thing to do!!!

On The Road w/ Elliot Vol 6 - LILITH FAIR EDITION

Our corresponding road blogger, Elliot Jacobson has had one hell of a busy summer. He just got off the road with Ingrid Michaelson as she was on tour with Keane, but right before that he was on the road with Ingrid for Lilith Fair. The return of the female empowerment festival hit a few speed bumps this summer in poor ticket prices and bad promotion, but Elliot gives and amazing insider's look as to how the tour went down and how much fun and how great it really was for everyone involved. Take a look! Be sure to follow Elliot and his happenings on and up to the minute feeds on Twitter @elliotjacobson.

I've been a Sarah McLachlan fan for many years so being invited to play at her Lilith Fair festival 2010 was exciting. My first impression of Sarah did not disappoint. She's down to earth and incredibly nice. She was cool enough to play hacky sack with crew members backstage in Denver.

Before our first performance, I walked around the village area of the festival and checked out my friend Anya Marina play on the ABC stage. There were two stages outside in the village and the third stage was the Amphitheater itself. At around 5:30 we all started getting ready for our show in the Amphitheater. We all took note of Sarah McLachlan and Emmylou Harris watching our set from the side of the stage. We sweat a lot and our objective being to win fans and have a blast.

After our set, we indulged in fantastic catering provided by a company that uses local farms. (The tour was "green", using corn plastic cups and providing recycling bins around every corner.) We had the perk of watching all of the other acts side stage. Metric went on after us and rocked harder than anyone that day. Emmylou Harris followed. I especially enjoyed watching her band. All of the musicians were older brilliant Nashville players who had clearly been performing and recording for their entire lives. Finally Sarah McLachlan closed the show. I was truly blown away by the band and her powerful vocal performance. It was clear why she's had such a successful career and was able to come back to fans after such a long absence.

The days finale consisted of Sarah inviting some of the days artists on stage with her to sing "Because the Night". Ingrid was chosen to sing and we came up to support her. Although Ingrid was rushed to the emergency room after our performance with a migraine, she STILL made it back to the festival for the big event. It was definitely one of the high points of my career to share the stage with such incredible artists and musicians. I played some percussion and sang with the rest of our band.

After a day off, our next Lilith show was in Kansas City, MO in the Capitol Federal Park @ Sandstone. The set up was similar, with a total of three stages including the main stage. Once again, the food was stellar. On the main stage, Metric was first this time, and we played right after. Before our set, we got to catch some of our friend Erin McCarley's set on the ABC stage. The Court Yard Hounds, featuring two out of three of the Dixie Chicks, performed that day on the main stage and absolutely killed with their pop bluegrass sound and elaborate hair and makeup. Emmylou and her band, again, sounded so good. My favorite performance of the night was Heart. One of the loudest and most energetic shows I have ever seen. And the Wilson sisters are pushing 60! I was especially blown away by the musicianship and showmanship of Nancy Wilson.

Once again, the night ended with "Because the Night" after Sarah's set. Ingrid was asked to sing the bridge of the song, so we all joined her onstage. This time, I stood behind the mighty Matt Chamberlain, along with all the other drummers from the main stage bands, and played percussion. If you don't know who he is, look him up! Matt is a living drum legend.

The next day we played (what we thought would be) our final Lilith Fair set in at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, MO. By this time, all of us in the Ingrid band had made new friends, bonded with the other musicians and crew, and were already sad knowing it would be our last day hanging with these amazing people. But the day was once again filled with top notch music and food. I'll never forget that catering OR the great people I met.

The highlight of this day was watching "the queen of hip hop soul", Mary J. Blige, and her band. EVERYONE was side stage for this one. Mary J. covered "One" by U2 AND "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. I wasn't sure how Sarah would follow this time, but she did beautifully. Finale was bittersweet, but just as amazing as the other two nights.

After the show, numbers were exchanged, iPhones were bumped and lots of hugs went around. Chris set up his trademark flavored tobacco hookah and we had members of Sarah's band and Metric join us for some much deserved decompressing.

Several days later we got the word that Lilith wanted us back to perform in Hartford, CT on August 1st at the Comcast Theatre. This was especially exciting because our good friends Sara Bareilles and her band were also performing. I had never seen Cat Power perform before, but I enjoyed her set, watching from side stage. Her band created a dark, jazzy sonic background for her vocals. Sara and her band followed with super tight vocal harmonies (sung live by her all dude band). I watched from the crowd perspective with Ingrid and Allie. Later that evening, the legendary Indigo Girls performed to a very energetic and appreciative audience. It seemed like everyone knew every word. They performed acoustically, with only a backup vocalist/multi-instrumentalist. Emily invited Sara, Ingrid and Sarah to come out and sing "Closer To Fine." It was very moving to watch, knowing that the Indigo Girls helped pave the way for all three ladies.

After finale, we were invited to the end of tour party. We learned that Sarah organizes this type of thing at the end of every tour to celebrate and recognize the hard work and contributions of everyone who works in productions and on the crew. It started with a video montage projected onto the side of the theatre outside, highlighting each of the members of her team. Then a timelapse video of an entire single festival day followed, starting from the set up of the stage and ending with the crew tearing down and cleaning up.

Sarah and her band dressed up as either roadies or groupies while Sarah's crew put on a performance of their own. The whole "concert" was held in a tent in the back of the theatre. The crew band went by the name of Ragweed Nightcap and played mostly classic rock covers while the guys in Sarah's band "teched" for them, and the ladies danced around. I had the pleasure of playing tambourine alongside Matt (who was playing some kind of hand drum being hit with a Barbie doll) for "Ticket to Ride". After the live music was over, it turned into an all out dance party, DJ included.

Of course, we busted out the hookah. This one was so good, even Sarah herself had to try it. "I'll use my Yoga breathing", she said.

What Ingrid Michaelson and her band had to say:

"I really loved the feeling of acceptance and support. It did not
matter what stage you were playing on, everyone was treated without he
same respect. I felt like part of something much bigger than me. And
I got to see Sarah McLachlan dance around at an after party."
- Ingrid Michaelson (Follow INGRID on TWITTER @ingridmusic)

"Each night, everyone was invited on stage for a big finale rendition of "Because The Night". I would normally stand off to the side a little but Sarah McLachlan would lovingly usher everyone towards her. One night this happened and before I knew I was center stage and was singing with one arm around Emmylou Harris and the other around Nancy Wilson. Needless to say I almost peed my pants."
- Bess Rogers (Follow BESS on TWITTER @bessrogers)

"A memorable moment for me was bonding with one of MJ's background singers about our love of the same Essie nail color (Haute as Hello), then watching them all take the stage and give the most amazing, moving live performance I've seen in a long while."
- Allie Moss (Follow ALLIE on TWITTER @alliemoss)

"Being a part of Lilith Fair was like joining a big extended family where everyone was genuinely enjoying each others' company and sharing in the joy of making and watching music. It was one of the most positive environments that I've ever experienced.
- Chris Kuffner (Follow CHRIS on TWITTER @chriskuffner)

Thanks to Sarah, all of the crews, the artists, the musicians and especially the thousands of people who came to see these shows for your generosity, love, and positive energy. Follow me on Twitter (...and of course - FOLLOW ELLIOT ON TWITTER @elliotjacobson) for even more news from the road on our October headlining tour!

Some photos taken by Elliot:

Sarah Set List
***Elliot Jacobson is a corresponding writer for Officially A Yuppie, he drums for Ingrid Michaelson, Bess Rodgers and many more. Keep up to date with Elliot on Twitter by following him @elliotjacobson and stay on top of his happenings on


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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Live Review - Javelin @ SoHo Grand

On a picture perfect Friday night in Soho, what better way to end the hard work week than a little dancing? An eclectic group of hipsters crammed into the final “Summer Hummer” concert series taking place at the SoHo Grand, for the grand finale it was headlined by Brooklyn beat makers Javelin. The “Summer Hummer” series featured acts like Tom Tom Club, Class Actress, XXXChange and Holy Fuck, Javelin and JD Samson were the final act. In an area past the normal swanky clientele of the infamous hotel, the “Summer Hummer” series takes place off the patio bar and in a section that looks more like a block party than a section of SoHo Grand.
Javelin, a duo that plays in front of colorful boom boxes, wires sprawling around the stage like snakes and various drum machines, samplers, moog’s and mixers. The group consists of Tom van Buskirk and George Langford, they have been cranking out beats and hip-hop inspired records since 2007, yet this past year they have barnstormed across the US and have really gotten attention from fans around the country. The band’s live shows have been the talk of New York City for a little over a year and finally have a chance to see them; they really know how to get a party started and going. With songs like “Moscow 1980,” “Lindsay Lohan,” and “Susie Cues,” they enjoy poking fun at pop culture and have a great time doing it. Managing to throw a dance heavy remix of fellow electro act, Health and a few samples and covers from Beastie Boys, Mariah Carey and Chaka Khan, it elevates the enjoyment to the max. Performing just under an hour, the short set would take fans through the night as they continued on for DJ JD Samson. Javelin are one of those acts in the vein of Hot Chip, Devo, Girl Talk and LCD Soundsystem where their quirks and energy are what make them tick and what makes the audience wanting more.

Norah Jones Cover & Track Listing

Norah Jones is set to release her last record on Nov 2 via EMI imprint Bluenote. Jones' latest, ...Featuring is a record and compilation of collaborations Jones has done through her illustrious career. ...Featuring features Foo Fighters, OutKast, Ray Charles, Ryan Adams, Belle & Sebastian and others. Take a look at the cover and track listing below.

1. Love Me – The Little Willies
2. Virginia Moon – The Foo Fighters featuring Norah Jones
3. Turn Them – Sean Bones featuring Norah Jones
4. Baby It's Cold Outside – Willie Nelson featuring Norah Jones
5. Bull Rider – Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson
6. Ruler Of My Heart – Dirty Dozen Brass Band featuring Norah Jones
7. The Best Part – El Madmo
8. Take Off Your Cool – OutKast featuring Norah Jones
9. Life Is Better – Q-Tip featuring Norah Jones
10. Soon The New Day – Talib Kweli featuring Norah Jones
11. Little Lou, Prophet Jack, Ugly John – Belle & Sebastian featuring Norah Jones
12. Here We Go Again – Ray Charles featuring Norah Jones
13. Loretta – Norah Jones featuring Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
14. Dear John – Ryan Adams featuring Norah Jones
15. Creepin' In – Norah Jones featuring Dolly Parton
16. Court & Spark – Herbie Hancock featuring Norah Jones
17. More Than This – Charlie Hunter featuring Norah Jones
18. Blue Bayou – Norah Jones featuring M. Ward

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Rescues Live at the Troubador

I had the honor of interviewing these cats ealier this year and they went on to sell out The Troubador. The Rescues are a band you need to keep on your radar and this video proves why. In case you missed the interview, take a listen below...

Elvis Costello Cover & Tracklisting

Elvis Costello will release his latest record, National Ransom in November. Produced by the legendary T. Bone Burnett, it is triggered to be a bluegrass / Americana record. Take a look at the cover and track listing below.

01 “National Ransom”
02 “Jimmie Standing in the Rain”
03 “Stations of the Cross”
04 “A Slow Drag With Josephine”
05 “Five Small Words”
06 “Church Underground”
07 “You Hung the Moon”
08 “Bullets for the New-Born King”
09 “I Lost You”
10 “Dr Watson, I Presume”
11 “One Bell Ringing”
12 “The Spell That You Cast”
13 “That’s Not The Part of Him You’re Leaving”
14 “My Lovely Jezebel”
15 “All These Strangers”


Via his Youtube account Pete Doherty put up this fantastic video of The Libertines rehearsing for their big reunion gigs at the forthcoming Reading and Leeds festivals in UK. Intercut with footage from an early 2003 performance, this reunion gets me very stoked!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

EXCLUSIVE! Codeine Velvet Club INTV!

Side projects can sometimes be the downfall of an acts main band. For The Fratellis and their fans, when their main man Jon Fratelli decided to pursue a side/solo project along with fellow Glasgow native Lou Hickey, they formed Codeine Velvet Club. The band, which is a combination of The Fratellis garage sound mixed with cabaret and vaudeville style, Codeine Velvet Club are one of most catchy bands around. Fratelli, who like Johnny Rotten when he left the Sex Pistols and formed Public Image Ltd., dropped his stage name and adopted his birth name. Fratelli, who is now going by Jon Lawler seems to be very excited about this project and as I had a chance to speak with him, you will see why. Though The Fratellis maybe no more, Codeine Velvet Club are just as fun. Take a look at my interview with Lawler below.

How has it been working with the new band?

Playing guitar, drinking tea and talking nonsense with your friends is the way life should be...

How has the road and fans been treating you with the new material?

In the US we feel like the reaction from fans couldn't have been better, we hope we're giving fans the musical equivalent of Maker's Mark as opposed to the usual Wild Turkey.

For those that do not know, what is the major difference between Codeine Velvet Club and The Fratellis?

It's way more expensive to tour I guess..... Codeine Velvet Club is quite a stylized idea so the songs are of a different theme, we probably smell a little bit better after gigs, maybe....

How is your relationship with Lou? How did you two meet and decide to jam?

Lou and I met by accident, wrote some songs to fill the time in between waking and sleeping and started a band to escape the Glasgow drizzle...

The original name of the band was Codeine Breakfast Club, why the name change? In fact, what does the name actually signify?

Velvet suited us better I think, it really isn't meant to signify anything, I do have a friend who enjoys Codeine in the morning before he has his cornflakes.

NME Magazine has been giving you a ton of support since day one with your new project. How does it feel to have one of the most respected music magazines in your corner supporting your work?

I hadn't realised that we did, it's better than them disliking you I guess, I'm shallow enough to enjoy the odd compliment..

The Fratellis has a garage sound whereas Codeine has a bit of glam to it. Who were some of yours and Lou's influences when creating this music and band?

I really wouldn't describe The Fratellis as garage though I'm not sure how a band would sound playing in a garage but may give it a go, speaking for myself I wasn't influenced by anything that I haven't been influenced by before, my influences have always been general, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Springsteen will always be there.

You have stated that your sophomore Codeine record is already in the works. When can we expect this? How different will it be from the debut?

I said we would do one if there was reason to do it, I say a lot of things, way too much, I had a lot of fun making this record though and love playing it live so it wouldn't be a chore to make some more.

Since you have arrived on the music scene, Scotland has had a spotlight on it with musical acts like Glasvegas, Franz Ferdinand and We Were Promised Jetpacks to name a few. Do you feel Scotland is the next musical mecca where fresh talent will come from and cause a global stir like Britpop did at the end of 90's?

I'm not sure that kind of thing is actually healthy for a city's music scene, the best music is usually made outwith a scene, ask The Fratellis and Glasvegas and they'll both tell you that they were desperate to exist outside the Glasgow scene, we played together to 10 or 11 people some nights but knew we were on the right road.

BURNING QUESTION: Celtic or Rangers?

The Mighty Celtic Football Club!


From surfing the coasts of Australia to surfing the road in the US. The beach inspired jam/folk duo of Tamarama have taken their relaxing sounds from Down Under and brought them across the world right here to the US. From coast to coast, Tamarama has spent most of the year touring surfing communities, beach bars and festivals such as Mountain Jam and Bonnaroo and getting their music out to the American masses. While promoting their self-titled debut, which was released in the Spring, Tamarama are hoping to find a place in the soundtrack for your end of summer mixtape and beyond. Take a look at my interview with one half of the Aussie duo as I spoke with Jay Lyon about the band's beginnings, growing up in Australia and the massive Australian music explosion we are seeing and hearing now. Take a listen to my interview with Jay below..

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Crash Kings on Kimmel

Hot new LA trio Crash Kings hit up Jimmy Kimmel Live recently with their single "You Got Me," take a look and remember these fella's big things are about to happen for them!

VV Brown The Superhero?

With Scott Pilgram Vs The World hitting theaters this weekend and Kick-Ass kicking ass on DVD, our love for new comic's and ideas is much more prominent than ever before. Now behold City of Abacus, the comic book created by British singer VV Brown. Set in a futuristic world where the MX-41 is the key to the new era of Abacus where Virusos is Queen. To try and explain the backstory will only make you more confused but City of Abacus is an interesting read and very well detailed in both story and artwork.
VV Brown has entered a new medium and one can only hope that other artists are willing to risk the idea of jumping into a new platform and trying things such as comics out for bit. Take a look at the UK launch of the comic when it premiered in London this past Spring.

Arcade Fire on Daily Show

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Arcade Fire - Ready to Start
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Arcade Fire - Month of May
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

The #1 band in North America and in the UK took to Daily Show this week and proved why they are the best in the business right now! Watch Canadian sensations Arcade Fire perform "Ready to Start" and "Month of May" and see how tall Win Butler is as he towers over Jon Stewart.


Music is clearly my passion on this site, but as you can tell from the top corners as is charity. When I hear of a great cause I have to let the masses know and iB-LIEVE is one of them. This is a charity competition run by Pepsi for non-profits to start off on. Take a look below and PLEASE VOTE and help this organization out!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Airborne Toxic Event - "All I Ever Wanted"

Take a look at the DVD trailer for Airborne Toxic Event's upcoming DVD - Airborne Toxic Event: All I Ever Wanted Live at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Quick News

Kanye West has said that his latest record will come out "sometime in November," the rapper tells his fans while speaking from UStream in Korea. The album's original title, Good Ass Job has been scrapped and no word on what it will be called now.

Arcade Fire's latest, The Suburbs debuted #1 on the Billboard charts this week. Congrats to the band on a well deserved #1 spot!

Kings of Leon are set to release their latest, Come Around Sundown on October 19. This is the band's fifth record and the follow up to 2008's enormously successful Only by the Night.

U2 returned to the stage this weekend in Torino, Italy. This is the band's return to the stage after Bono's emergency spine surgery earlier this summer. The band debuted three brand new songs, including the track "Glastonbury," which they originally wrote for their headlining slot at this year's Glasto festival that they had to unfortunately abandon due to Bono's surgery.

Kill Rock Stars label is set to release An Introduction to...Elliot Smith on November 2. The album will be a 14 song compilation of the late singer's work.

For their first album in five year's Belle and Sebastian have released the cover art to their latest, Belle and Sebastian Write About Love. No word on when the record will be released but take a look at the cover below:

Menomina on Fallon

Portland's Menomina made their TV debut this week on Fallon! Take a look and remember this band, they are going places!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Live Review - Lollapalooza Day 3

This was it, the final day to a top weekend. It started off very cold and wet in Chicago and the outlook for the rest of the day was predicting rain and wind. With the impeccable weather we had the two days before, we could not complain, but had to prepare last minute.

Just before heading to Grant Park I had the opportunity to speak with legendary Smith's and current Cribs guitarist Johnny Marr as he was heading to the park. Marr mentioned "Let's hope the weather clears up, its going to be a great fucking day," Marr would be one of the greatest ways to start off anyone's day and The Cribs would be the best band to kickstart the final stretch. Opening with "Hey Sceansters!" the brothers Jarmin along with Marr cracked like a whip. The Cribs as usual would not let up, with "Under the Same Skies" and deep cuts from EP's and records unreleased in America, they were just amazing. As the skies cleared for their set, Ryan James Jarmin said "This maybe the first festival we ever played and its not raining!" The set the tone for the rest of the day and we were ready to rock and roll.

From The Cribs I went on over to Mumford and Sons. The English folk rock band I have kept on my radar for a while, but I have been hearing how amazing their live sets were. The stage was so packed that I could not even see the band! It was remarkable! However, Mumford and Sons proved one of the most important things about music, if it is good, you do not need to see it but feel it. You could feel the power, intensity and vulnerability of this band through their powerful music. This band is destined for great things and I hope to see them again.

After Mumford I ran on over to catch Hockey. The Portland band had a great set in front of a handful of people last year but were cut short due to sound problems. This year in front of a couple thousand, Hockey really are a fantastic party starter. So much fun to see them, they even snuck in a few new songs, I can only assume we may have a new record from them sometime soon. After Hockey it was a mad dash to Violent Soho. The Australian grunge outfit and I have gotten close through the year as I was one of the first bloggers to cover them on their arrival to the States last fall. Speaking with drummer Michael Richards before their gig, Richards said "Lollapalooza is great and it has been a great weekend, one of the few festivals we are playing that we can see so many great bands and stick around all weekend." The band seemed to be enjoying every second of their 45 minute set. Like a bomb exploding they went off and the crowd turned into an all out mosh pit and the band played harder and faster than anyone all weekend. Singer Luke Bordem mentioned "We are Violent Soho and we are the only hard rock band here...aside from Against Me, AFI and Soundgarden," as the crowd laughed they just ripped it into high gear. Violent Soho officially made Chicago their bitch in less than an hour.

While I was covering Violent Soho, corresponding writer Rich D Smoov was over at Perry's Kids tent waiting for Perry Farrell and his special surprise guest. Rich D Smoov said "Don't ever count out the kid's tent, especially when Perry will be there, you never know what is going to happen." Rich was correct as Porno for Pyros made an impromptu reunion on the Kids stage. The children had no idea what they were witnessing but their parents loved every second of it. Porno for Pyros closed their small set with the Lou Reed cover of "Sweet Jane," creating a memory that parents only hope their kids will remember.

Right after that we reconnected at Mexican Institute of Sound at Perry's DJ tent. Mexican Institute of Sound were a fun act to catch mid afternoon, combining traditional Mexican music with heavy beats, it was something to be admired. After a small break it was on to see the legendary Erykah Badu. One of the few females and R&B acts at the festival this year, Badu was beautiful in both style and sound. Dressed as an Egyptian Goddess with a yellow mohawk, Badu found a way for the crowd to mellow out just a bit before the heavy hitters of the night would come on.

As Badu was in her final notes, Wolfmother started their set. The Australian act led by singer Andrew Stockdale just simply destroyed the audience from first note to last. In 60 minutes, bodies with broken limbs were carried out of the pit and rushed to the nearby ER. It was a crazy, loud, fast and rambunctious set that was heavy on the band's latest Cosmic Egg and played the heavy hitters such as "Woman" and "Joker and the Thief," from their debut. Wolfmother was easily the most impressive act of the day. I did not expect them to be very good or I should say as great as they were, my jaw was on the floor with how great they truly were.

Once Wolfmother wrapped I ran on over to see The National. One of my favorite live acts and like Mumford and Sons earlier in the day packed the stage and if you were caught in the back your vantage point was minimal. However, in true National fashion singer Matt Berninger spent most of the final parts of the set away from the stage and in the crowd screaming the words to "Abel" and "Mr November," while the two sets of brothers jammed on stage. For a number of songs, the band was joined by longtime friend and Arcade Fire member, Richard Reed Perry joined them on guitar for some of the new songs from The National's latest, High Violet. The National are getting to the point in their career that they can easily start headlining festivals such as this and after seeing them so many times, I know they are capable of doing it.

While I was at The National, Rich D Smoov was covering Cypress Hill. The legendary smoke fest hip-hop group had a combination of latin congas, live DJ scratching, and a three foot bong. The band's set would dip into classic cuts like "Hits from the Bong," "Insane in the Membrane," "How I Could Just Kill a Man," and new songs from their latest Rise Up. The biggest surprise from their set came when Erykah Badu closed out Cypress' set by rapping the face of the crowd and not letting go.

As the night would be split among the old and the new, I had to split the headliners and it killed me. It really was the hardest decision all weekend to cut the phenomenal Arcade Fire and reunited Soundgarden short, however it had to be done to cover all bases and really drive the final day home. Starting off with the ever amazing Arcade Fire, the beginning of their set was exactly how their gigs at Madison Square Garden started off and their was no problem at all to it. Only staying for a short amount of time, I knew what lied ahead as they were just warming up. I am glad I had the chance to see this band three times this week (Both Garden gigs and tonight), or else it would have been even more painful to leave them as the fire was starting. However, I knew Soundgarden awaited me, so much so that Soundgarden may go down as the loudest band in the history of Lollapalooza as Chris Cornell's voice and Ben Shepard's bass overpowered Arcade Fire at points. It was time to go.

It was onto Soundgarden, who after 14 years are finally back together. A band some critics poised to be the next Led Zeppelin are hopefully going to see this reunion through. As I got to their side, they were just kicking into "Burden in my Hand," and the rest of the night was a blast off. According to Rich D Smoov, Soundgarden also played "Jesus Christ Pose," "Rusty Cage" and "Spoonman" earlier in their set. By the time I was their it was heavy deep cuts and rarities that hardcore fans of the band had been waiting for. The biggest applause would come from "Black Hole Sun," which should come as no surprise to anyone. However, I would have never envisioned the band to be as loud and ferocious as they were. They were essential hard rock and it pulsated through the eyes and chest of the audience. Cornell, who I will always say is one of the greatest voices in rock history, has not lost his touch. Guitarist Kim Thayil shredded like a machine, Shepard's bass was pounding and drummer Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam) just proved why he was the best in the business, now in two band's Cameron is going to have a busy few years ahead of him. It may have been over a decade since these guys have played together, but you would never know. They were tight and just that good, but that is what happens when you have chemistry and are a seasoned musician. It is going to be fantastic to see what happens next with them and if this reunion really lasts.

Pics from the Day!
The Cribs

Violent Soho
Erykah Bady
The National
Arcade Fire

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