Bri Blahg… Them Crooked Vultures To Drop Album, Lil Wayne To Drop Trow. Music News Round Up 10/22/09

22 10 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)

Them Crooked Vultures Ready To Drop Record

A single comes next week, the album on November 17th. This entire process has been handled perfectly. The band has avoided empty hype and just played shows.

There’s No Cough Syrup In Prison

In New York City they don’t fuck around when it comes to guns. Ask Plaxico Burress about that. Looking at hard time for his weapons rap it appears Lil Wayne is ready to plea out and do eight months. It’ll help his career I’m sure. If I were the prosecutor I would make a deal forcing Wayne to agree never to release “Rebirth.”

What, Bruce Wasn’t Available?

For opening the new Jets/Giants stadium the wish list of performers was probably two deep. Since Bruce couldn’t do it, it has to be¬† Bon Jovi. Stupid Jersey people.

Bonus Coverage. Best band from New Jersey that’s not Bruce? Smithereens!

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Bri Blahg… No Duh, Courtney Cashed Kobain Guitar Hero Check. Music News Round Up 9/18/09

18 09 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)

Pearl Jam Streaming “Backspacer”

It’s on their Myspace. I’m going to check it out this weekend. The parts I’ve heard are really solid. Of course we have that whole pesky controversy about Pearl Jam doing the deal with Target… I don’t know, I guess I’m numb at this point. This stuff doesn’t really get me riled up like it used to. If you want to begin foaming at the mouth over it great, but compared to other stuff, it ain’t that big a deal to me.

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Bonnaroo day four: “Captain Planet,” the Doggfather, finally a hot shower

15 06 2009

by Jill Menze (@JillMenze)

DSC_2505Bonnaroo day three’s all-nighter has made today a little rough, so apologies in advance if the following sounds somewhat incoherent (but you should keep reading regardless). The fourth and final day in Manchester, Tenn., started off cloudy and cool — a welcomed shift in temperature from the hot and burning sun (which is still preferable to any sort of rain/storm/drizzle).

The afternoon saw a double dose of hilarity, first from a chat with Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter, who discussed their upcoming Comedy Central show “Michael and Michael Have Issues,” followed by the best “Captain Planet” rant I’ve ever heard courtesy of the wondeful dudes in Cage the Elephant.

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Bri Blahg Bonnaroo Saturday And Sunday

8 05 2009

It’s part two of our two part peek at The Bonnaroo 2009 schedule.


If Alejandro Escovedo plays “2am Pissed Off” I’ll be ecstatic. It’s perhaps the most harrowing song about substance abuse ever written. It knocks me over every time I hear it. Escovedo starts my day at That Tent Saturday. We saw Elvis Perkins two years ago jamming in the press tent with Cold War Kids. I’ll never forget it. I hope to catch at least the end of his set in This Tent early afternoon. Robyn Hitchock and The Venus 3 follow Perkins. Officially The Venus 3 includes R.E.M.’s Peter Buck. Will he be in the band that day? We’ll see. Regardless I’ve never seen Hitchcock do a bad show. Many will crowd This Tent late afternoon for Of Montreal, but I can’t resist the charms of Jenny Lewis over at That Tent. Choices must be made.

My evening will commence with Wilco on the giant What Stage before ducking out to see Elvis Costello. The bespectled one has played the ‘Roo before, but never alone. He will in That Tent Saturday. The Decemberists and Mars Volta will pull me apart in geographic and stylistic directions. The evening ends with Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band playing their historic first ever Bonnaroo set. Much like Metallica last year, they’ll be playing for a lot of people who aren’t their hardcore fans. I’m sure The Boss will be up for the challenge.


By noon on Sunday exhaustion will start to set in. I’ll be long and hopelessly caked in ‘Roo grit (unless it rains, then it’ll be ‘Roo mud). Thank God for Ted Leo and The Pharmicists. That’s the band to get me going again at 1:30 in The Other Tent. Hopefully we’ll be interviewing Jessica Lea Mayfield sometime Sunday. We keep getting turned down. We’ll be nice Jessica, we’re fans! Whatever happens I am not missing her after Ted Leo at Cafe Where. Between three and six I’ll be all over the map. A bit of Erykah Badu on What Stage, a dash of Andrew Bird, on Which Stage, a smidgen of Okkervil River back in The Other Tent, and I can’t miss outlaw legend Merle Haggard who takes over This Tent at 5pm.

Most likely we’ll hit the road before Phish’s second show, but not before the spine tingling Band Of Horses and the devastating Neko Case at This Tent.

I hope you can join us, but if not we’ll be all over this thing.

Lollapalooza Lineup Revealed.

21 04 2009

You know there is hope for our economic future. If the dollars are there to pay this lineup then God Bless us all. It’s quite monster yes sir. Lollapalooza announced their 2009 lineup this morning. Depeche Mode, Tool, The Killers, Jane’s Addiction (who are recording with Trent Reznor and may or may not be ready to kill one and other) Beastie Boys and Kings of Leon are your headliners. I can tell that by their font size on Lollapalooza’s official site. With slightly smaller lettering we have Lou Reed, Ben Harper, Snoop Dogg, Andrew Bird, Rise Against, TV On The Radio, and Thievery Corporation.

Some others highlights…. Decemberists, Neko Case, Band Of Horses, Of Montreal, Gomez, Bat For Lashes, Manchester Orchestra, and The Low Anthem. That’s just a sampling. Very strong and eclectic lineup.

Lollapalooza Lineup 2009 from C3 Presents Video on Vimeo.

A whimsical overload with Andrew Bird @ Stubb’s, 3/19

21 03 2009

Is it just me, or was the Wednesday line-up at Stubb’s a brow-furrowing mish-mash of well-known acts within slightly unrelated genres (uh, Meat Puppets and Andrew Bird on the same bill)? Although the show had the potential to polarize show-goers for its lack of cohesion, Stubb’s was packed regardless. My M.O. for the night was to experience Andrew Bird in all his splendor, and I ended up catching English indie rockers Gomez, who played in the 10 p.m. slot before Bird, in the process.

photo by Jillian Mapes

I had only heard of Gomez in peripheral contexts¬† before coming to SXSW, and suddenly the buzz of parties and fliers pushed the band into my line of vision. At first I was not exactly sure of how to capture the band’s rock sound because Gomez seemed to mix many genres (electronic elements, blues, even alt-country and slightly jam-y), and fans seemed to enjoy their song-to-song variation and positive energy at Wednesday’s show.

photo Jillian Mapes

Next up was Bird himself, for which I pushed my way through the photo pit to get a few decent shots. Bird and his full band (yes, you heard me) appeared clearly flustered by technical difficulties as they began the set. Fans’ fears of a problematic set melted away after he eased his way into the first several songs until the track “Skin Is,” when technical complications arose yet again. But Bird chugged onward, eventually conducting an audience singalong with drum mallet in hand (please note: Andrew Bird does not play drums).

Jillian Mapes

As a barefoot Bird delved into old favorites, such as “Imitosis” and “Tables and Chairs,” he seemed less careful and perfectly plucky. Bird took his damn sweet time making his way around these tracks, equipped with hints of fuzzy feedback and slower tempos as his tools. These changes allowed Bird’s well-known tunes to take on a refreshed demeanor (much like myself, after I sleep more than five hours a night post-SXSW). Overall, the performance moved beyond “intimate,” a word many use to describe Andrew Bird gigs. I’d say this one was a bit fired up as well. — Jillian Mapes

SXSW Thursday: From The Kitchen To The Rooftop

20 03 2009

Wracked with guilt I report that I actually got some sleep last night… Like seven hours. I’m sorry I know I should have been at a secret Janes Addiction show or something (actually they headlined The Playboy party… figures.) Man I was beat though. I think I had the vapors. I’m not sure what that is, but women in the 19th century always had the vapors. Feel free to compare me to a corset crushed Victorian woman if you must, but I needed to sleep. Now refreshed I am ready to take on the second half of South By Southwest.

Best I can I’ll piece together Thursday. It was busy, and time to watch March Madness was fleeting. Started the morning talking to newly minted Universal signees Paper Route. Nice lads who stood up straight and tall. They looked like a 15th seed. Maybe Belmont from their hometown of Nashville. Five honkys with a bit of heighth, but not enough hops to play for Memphis. Their music is a generous helping of modern pop. Look for their first full length at the end of April.

I hunkered down at The Omni lobby next. I stole glances at Texas A&M ignoring my bracket and beating BYU. The fog of defeat lifted quickly though as I chatted up Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards. The woman is an ace singer and guitar player, but in keeping with her Ohio roots, is as humble as they come. Don’t miss their latest record.

Theresa Andersson took Erika’s seat next. I can’t tell you how impressive The Swedish ex-pat is. Andersson recorded her entire latest album in her kitchen using pop bottles and wine glasses as instruments. Her story about Allen Toussaint playing keys on a track…. in her kitchen no less…. is priceless. I can’t wait to see her set at Antone’s tonight.

Caught part of R&B saviors Black Joe Lewis & The Honey Bears at The Cedar Street Courtyard. When I say R&B I don’t mean Luther Vandross style makin’ sweet love music. I’m talking horn section, funky, groove pounding James Brown sweaty sex music. Don’t miss em when they come your way.

Austin institution Waterloo Records is known for an endless selection and friendly staff… They’re also known for placing a keg of local brew Shiner Bock in the aisle next to the Merle Haggard records (ok I’m not sure about that, but it sounds good) and drawing up complimentary cups for the people. I was there to see Howe Gelb of Giant Sand doing an in store. I could have done without the free beer, but that would be crazy, it’s free beer. Gelb was just as I imagined him. Laid back, gracious, and a hell of a picker.

Kuroma was next at Opal Divine’s. The band is Hank Sullivant’s brainchild. Sullivant was in The Whigs and MGMT. In high school he was in a jam band with MGMT member Andrew VanWyngarden. Sullivant is happy to talk about the band, unlike Vanwyngarden who has disowned any connection.

Leeds, England singer/songwriter Paul Marshall was next on my calendar. I found Paul quite randomly while looking for artists to cover. Marshall almost quit music 18 months ago in frustration. After you hear him sing you’ll wonder why he’s not already a star. It’s only a matter of time. He has one of those voices that make the world stop spinning. Flat out brilliant. He’s a hell of a guitar player too. Remember that name, Paul Marshall.

Wandering east again I was able to catch just a whisp of whistling man of the people Andrew Bird. Duty called however. One of my favorite bands Lucero was showcasing at The Dirty Dog. Anyone who misses The Replacements would be well served to see Lucero. All their albums are great too. Just signed to Universal, lets hope their first major label album is as great as The Mats debut for Sire “Tim.”

Today…. A chat with The Flaming Lips road crew turned band Star Death & The White Dwarf. I’ll catch up with fellow Port Angeles, Washington escapees The Lonely H (I would be a fan even if they weren’t from my Godforsaken hometown.) Rapper Sage Francis and whoever he can round up from his essential Strange Famous label roster. The Spin Party and Echo & the Bunnymen part 2. Then it’s Star Death Live, Theresa Andersson, and Devo! (By the way I saw Devo wandering the halls at The Convention Center in their jumpsuits and red plastic hats yesterday. Yay!