Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sure Juror @ Sin-e | Smut For Sale

The first band that played at Sin-e last Saturday was none other than blog band du jour Sure Juror. They didn't show any signs of nerves, but if I were them I would have felt the pressure in the room. After just a four song set during CMJ and a hell of a lot of blog posts about them in the last year, they had a lot to live up to. Hearing "Harry Reems & The Bill Of Rights" during sound check, I knew I was in for something special.

As I expected, they did not disappoint.

Sure Juror

I keep trying to put this band into different categories that just do not fit. I want to say they sound like this band or that band, but what makes Sure Juror so gosh darn special is that they really define the word unique. And it keeps getting better. The inclusion of a violin player may be the cool thing to do these days, but it actually gave the band a nice edge. And this band has fun on stage; they don't keep that hidden. Sure Juror looks and sounds like a 24 hour party, complete with drunken sing alongs and snarky sexual advances.

Sure Juror

Watch out for this band. If a packed room as the first band on Saturday means anything, I see bright things in their future. Don't forget, the band is kicking off a two-week residency (is it a residency with only two weeks? who knows) at Pianos this Saturday. This week is hosted by Miss Nora and next week is hosted by Mr. Dany (I had to).

See! I told you they were the blog band du jour.

In other news, you can now purchase their second album Smut on iTunes or eMusic. Their first album is available for free on their website.

Song Of The Week: Grace Kelly | Mika

Okay. I had an internal debate on whether or not to call this the song of the week, let along post it in the first place. There are some people I know that vehemently dislike this song. And there are others (okay me) that have listened to this song at least 100 times in the past 24 hours. I've come to the conclusion that most lie in the middle, and so therefore I'm allowed to post, without getting eggs thrown at me.

Right?

I missed out on seeing Mika when he came to NYC a couple weeks ago, and for probably good measure. Yes, this is another flash in a pan with maybe a one-hit wonder. And so no, I don't love every song I've heard by him. But I do love "Grace Kelly."

Yes, it's ridiculous. Yes, it's totally fun. Yes, it sounds like Freddy Mercury. Yes, it could have been a forgotten song from Hedwig & The Angry Inch. And for all those reasons, I seriously am addicted to this song.

  • Mika - Grace Kelly
  • Square Wave Punch @ BTR Live

    Ahh. It's been such a crazy week, and it's only Wednesday. My goodness. Life is about to change pretty drastically in the next couple weeks, so let me apologize in advance if I seem a bit scatterbrained. I'll let you in on some good news soon, but until then let's get down to business.

    Square Wave Punch came into the BTR Studios for a live set that was nothing short of fantastic. Seriously, this band is what Tyra Banks calls fierce (and I mean that in the best of ways). I keep getting blown away from their songs each time I hear them, and their live set is just as good as the recordings.

    Check out the 40 minute set for FREE over at BreakThru Radio (click on Square Wave Punch - Live Studio)

    Square Wave Punch will be playing Ace of Clubs next Saturday (February 10). Rumor is they are also playing a Battering Room show in the near future as well.

    Tuesday, January 30, 2007

    Getting Better Mix 2007

    Well, I'm still battling this sickness, but things are looking better -- in all aspects of life. Lots of news coming up soon, but until then, I'd like to give you a little insight on my daily routine. As I said before, I'm really good at routine and as much as I like to break myself of certain habits, it's hard. Every morning while getting ready for work I tend to listen to the same playlist on my iTunes. It puts me in the right mindset. Even though I have been ridiculed for this mix in the past, I think there are a good number of people out there that can enjoy it as much as I do. Give it a shot tomorrow morning, you'll find your day is that much better.

  • Cat Stevens - Wild World
  • Primitive Radio Gods - Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand
  • The Cure - Pictures Of You
  • Blur - Tender
  • Morrissey - Everyday Is Like Sunday
  • Chicago - If You Leave Me Now
  • Sparrow House in NYC

    Sorry for the sporadic postings. I'll be back to usual blabbering soon. Jared of Voxtrot fame will coming to New York City with his side project Sparrow House. That EP really deserves its own post, it's fabulous.

    But in the meantime, a message from Jared...

    hi everyone,

    sorry for the last-minute notice, but i'm going to be playing at Union Hall in Park Slope on thursday night with Adem and Luke Temple. tickets are $8 and are almost sold out. you can buy them here.

    i'm also playing on tuesday, february 13th, at mercury lounge with andrew kenny (from the american analog set). tickets are $10.

    hope to be seeing you soon,

    jared

  • Sparrow House - When I Am Gone
  • Monday, January 29, 2007

    Music is the Best Medicine

    Just in case you want to know, I'd risk my life (and this awful sickness i'm experiencing) to see Peter Bjorn & John either tonight or tomorrow. So if you have an extra ticket and you've been wondering what you'd like to do with it...I'm your girl.

    Come on, help this sick child out. I could use a little cheering up.

    Pictures are up from Saturday night right here. Thanks to Abbey for some awesome shots. I'm going to write separate posts on each band this coming week, so stayed tuned.

    Sunday, January 28, 2007

    Thank you

    Thank you to everyone who came out last night to Sin-e. It was definitely our biggest turnout to date, with five bands that all had completely packed crowds rocking along. I must give a huge thank you to the bands, which all put on such amazing sets. And to Sin-e. We'll miss you :(

    Sadly I couldn't enjoy last night as much as I would like, as I was battling a pretty nasty virus. I decided to stick it out for the whole show, as I couldn't and wouldn't miss any of the bands. So while I sipped on my water and spent most of the night coughing, I still was so impressed at how everything turned out.

    However my personal after party was a bit different. I tried to be a rock star and head to 87 but by the time I got there, it wasn't working out so well. So I ended up at the emergency room at St. Vincents at about 4 AM, with a bunch of crazy drunkies, waiting to be treated. A couple hours and some medication later, I said goodbye to my own McDreamy and finally got to bed.

    hospital bracelet

    All in all, a pretty crazy night. They say it's not a good party unless someone ends up in the ER, so I was willing to step up to the plate. Once I feel a little bit better, I'll get up all the pictures and do a little recap.

    Until then, just another huge thanks to everyone. You all rock.

    Friday, January 26, 2007

    Underrated Presents: Liam and Me

    I was expressing my concern to Nora last night over the fact that I have booked Liam and Me last on Saturday night, taking the stage at midnight. You see, this band has a certain affect on me. I can't stand still. And I find the need to boogie in the most embarrassing fashion. And after about four hours of drinking PBR, this could get messy.

    And I couldn't be more excited.

    I specificially the first time I saw this band. I was stuck at the back of Fat Baby (blech) but I knew that I had just semi-witnessed something pretty extraordinary. I gave them another shot at The Annex (blech) and again, I was sold. If a band can play venues I hate and still leave me completely wowed, well then...they’ve got something going for sure.

    Liam and Me is downright fun, and is sure to seriously pump you up after you belly is full of PBR from the four bands previous. I'm not kidding when I say I will be guaranteed to be dancing around like my converse are on fire. I've listened to their album so many times I think I've memorized everything right down to the bleeps and bloops. And I like to sing along. And loud.

    If you haven't checked out the band live yet, you are in for a treat. With some of the most dedicated fans I've seen, they've got the hand motions and songs down to a T. It's a pretty remarkable thing to witness. Just don't get distracted by the crowd and miss some of the greatest pop songs I've heard in a long time.

  • Liam and Me - There's A Difference
  • Liam and Me - Say It Out Loud

    Tickets are now available online for our January 27th show at Sin-e. Click here to order. FREE PBR starting at 8 PM!!

    This show will change your life.

  • The Undisputed Heavyweights @ Joe's Pub (take two)

    The Undisputed Heavyweights @ Joe's Pub

    I will always remember seeing The Undisputed Heavyweights for the very first time. I had no idea what to expect, and then I heard Casey Shea tell the crowd a song was dedicated to me because I had just been fired from my job. He made the crowd scream, "Damn the man." I was flabbergasted, and in awe. This band has that thing called the it factor. I knew it then, and I know it now. After countless shows and repeated blog postings, I still find myself falling for this band more and more each time.

    And I will never forget last night's show at Joe's Pub.

    Like I said, I've seen this band at least 15 times by now. I know the whole routine. But never had I been serenaded before. During my favorite song (and a top 25 of 2006) "Lost (On An Island)" or as they are calling it now "Girl Like You," Mr. Shea took my hand and crooned away. I think a little piece of my heart melted in that instant. Albeit being completely embarrassed, I know it's one of those times that I'll remember with a great big smile.

    And the rest of the show? Brilliant. Spectacular. Surreal. (Insert more adjectives here)

    I just cannot tell you enough how great this band is. You won't believe me until you experience it yourself. They are the ideal balance between talent and show, with each moment above and beyond the last. If I had my way, I'd see this band play every night of the week, no joke.

    One of my regrets last time they played this venue was that they didn't bring back "Casey" an extraordinary number in which Mr. Shea laments to himself over a glass of red wine. It providing the highlight of the evening this time around, with Casey down on his hands and knees in a magical moment that the crowd just couldn't get enough of.

    Look out for a live EP coming your way by the time of their next show, February 22 at Mercury Lounge. Seriously, if you're looking for an escape from the hohumdum of what's being called indie rock these days, check this band out. I personally guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

    The Undisputed Heavyweights @ Joe's Pub


    The Undisputed Heavyweights @ Joe's Pub


    The Undisputed Heavyweights @ Joe's Pub

    Mason Proper @ Pianos


    [pic via bethanythanks]

    Despite battling a pretty nasty headcold, I have managed to have a pretty crazy week. While walking over to Pianos with Katie on Wednesday night, I told her that I had been in a bit of a musical rut lately. I go through phases when every show I go to I'm blown away, and other times when nothing catches my fancy. Lately I've been listening and seeing the same bands I have known and loved for ages. I needed something new to latch on to. I was hoping Mason Proper just might be one of them.

    From the little I knew about this band, they held high on my list of bands to check out. I had been told I'd like them by multiple sources, and their plays on WOXY alone sealed the deal. A signee to Dovecote Records, they are in the right hands. But I expected the worst, and hoped for the best. You never really know these days.

    Their show at Pianos was very much like the first time I saw Aberdeen City on the same stage. I was, for lack of a better word, wowed. It's nice to see bands these days who actually have a tight and concise set. Katie and I played the "this band meets that band meets another band" for who they sounded like, but I’ll spare you from the lame comparisons. I hate matching bands to others.

    All you need to know is this band puts on a roaring live set with an array of instruments, fronted by a charming boy in glasses that likes to flail his arms about while singing. Their sound is universally approachable, while still refreshingly simple. Forget all those silly experimental indie bands that make songs sound like pure noise. Mason Proper has found a way to incorporate noise into catchy little tunes.

    Their album There Is A Moth In Your Chest will be available nationwide on March 13. You can pre-order the album right now and receive a 7-inch picture disc with a B-side entitled 'Traveling Man." Head on over to Dovecote Records for more info or check out the band on myspace.

    I'm assuming/hoping the band will be down in Austin for SXSW to play some shows and promote the new album. I need to see them at least five more times.

  • Mason Proper - My My (Bad Fruit)
  • One Last Call For Alcohol

    Just in case you haven't realized it yet, but tomorrow night is our big bash over at Sin-e. Doors open at 8 PM, and we will be having a PBR open bar until 9:30 PM. First band takes the stage a little after 8, so don't be late!

    Afterparty at 87 (Ludlow between Delancey & Broome).

    It's going to be an awesome night full of great music. Come say hi!

    Buy your tickets here.

    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    YAY!

    Congrats to my hottie of the week Ilan for making it into the final two on Top Chef!

    Think what you want, but I think he deserves it. Marcel? Eh. I think it should have been Ilan and Sam in the end for the battle of all battles - which hottie can cook the best? (I watch this show for all the right reasons.)

    My equally obsessed fellow blogger Miss Modernage is shocked by the results. Understandable. But she also does her creative detective work and points us to Ilan's myspace where Marcel is in his top 8. Tricky.

    Oh and she also links to a picture of Ilan and his girlfriend. But we choose not to click. Ignorance is bliss.

    Can't wait for next week. Go Ilan!

    [Update: Looks like Ilan quit his job at Casa Mono, which means two things: I will not be able to stalk him now, but looks like he may have won. Hm.]

    Underrated Presents: The GoStation

    The GoStation is no stranger to Underrated shows. In fact they played my 21st birthday celebration, way back when, at the now defunct Tribeca Rock Club. There's been a lot of changes since, and The GoStation has grown into a solid live act that is bound to go beyond a local scene. The band will take the stage fourth on Saturday, at 11 PM.

    The GoStation @ Shindig

    I've seen this band play so many times, but each time I remember why it was I loved them in the first place. It's a classic sound, harboring on the great Brit Pop of the early 90's combined with New York's garage rock of late. Each time their set is just a notch above the last, which is why I like going to see bands play so many times. If they keep getting better, I'd be silly not to catch them each time.

    From donning the cover of Underrated, to landing a record deal, I've seen this band evolve and accomplish everything they've set out to do. With a new album out this year, it's going to be about time that you hear what they've been up to. Or you can come check them out Saturday night. It's sure to be amazing.

  • The GoStation - All Together Now
  • The GoStation - Wandering Away

    While I've got your attention, I'd like to announce there will be free PBR starting at 8 PM. Thanks to our friends, we'll have a couple cases to give out free beer so you can be super hipster and write home to tell about it. Get there early because it's going to go fast!

    Tickets are now available online for our January 27th show at Sin-e. Click here to order.

    This show will change your life.

  • BLOG SHOW #16

    Another super special Blog Show on BreakThru Radio. This time around we had some fun guests stop by (thanks in large part to the fact that I now have a couch!) Rob from the band Morning Theft came by to premiere super exclusive new tracks from their upcoming record. The band is also playing Mercury Lounge tonight, and Nora said drinks are on her if you come by. Success!

    To celebrate this pretty cool show I have coming up on Saturday, Seth Kallen stopped by and played a couple tracks, including an amazing solo version of "Strange Man." It was so good, in fact, that I made it into an mp3 for all you.

  • Seth Kallen - Strange Man (live acoustic)

    SPEAKING OF AMAZING LIVE SONGS. If you haven't listened to Undisputed Heavyweights live session on BreakThru Radio, you must do so immediately. I gushed about the set on Tuesday and now I got my favorite song of the set, "Bitches Be Trippin'" in which Casey was top notch. The best I've ever heard this song.

  • The Undisputed Heavyweights - Bitches Be Trippin' (live on BTR)

    But all in all, you must check out the Blog Show this week. It's a good one. Here's a direct link to listen.

    PLAYLIST!

    Sidewalk Chalk - The A-Sides
    Park Avenue - The A-Sides
    Here or There - The A-Sides

    The Fall - Rob Holmes of Morning Theft (live)
    Limb from Limb - Morning Theft
    Every Promise - Morning Theft

    Wicked Ride - Melody Gardot
    Goodnite - Meldoy Gardot
    My Sweet Darling - Seth Kallen (featuring Melody Gardot)

    Shiver - Seth Kallen (live)
    Ryan's Song - Seth Kallen (live)
    Strange Man - Seth Kallen (live)

    The Plot - White Rabbits

    Oh! And come to The Skinny tonight! Nora and I will be there with bells on, perhaps jingle bells if this whole snow rumor is true. We'll keep you warm by dancing up a storm all night, I promise.

    Ok, that's all.

  • Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    Underrated Presents: White Rabbits

    I'm not one to play favorites, especially at my own show, but I have to say that I am so frickin excited to see White Rabbits play on Saturday. I've been yapping this band up to so many people, and I have no doubt in my mind they will be impressed. White Rabbits take the stage third on Saturday, at 10 PM.

    White Rabbits @ Mercury Lounge

    It's been a love affair with this band since the start. On a co-workers suggestion, I checked them out and it took only about 3 minutes, 1 song to fall completely head over the heels. Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't just at the sight of six cute boys on stage. No no, it was the music. I swear. Ever since, I've caught every show I possibly could and begged and pleaded for a rough cut of their album (which I have now memorized every word in preparation).

    I stated before that White Rabbits were to be my band of 2007. It's only January, I know, but I can tell already. With a bunch of very buzzed shows coming and an album that will become a playlist staple, I can't wait to see all the craziness take place. Let it be known that it all begins Saturday night at Sin-e. Just wait until you see how wonderful this band is. And if you have seen them live already, you totally know.

    Since their two shows next week with Peter Bjorn and John are already sold out, Saturday will be your chance to catch them before the ridiculousness sets in. You can say you knew them when (just remember to buy me a drink to say thanks).

    (Note: I apologize in advance if you see me dancing and singing around like an idiot during their set. They cast a spell, I swear.)

  • White Rabbits - The Plot
  • White Rabbits - Kid On My Shoulders

    Tickets are now available online for our January 27th show at Sin-e. Click here to order.

    This show will change your life.

  • Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    Underrated Presents: Seth Kallen + The Reaction

    After Sure Juror on Saturday is New York/Philly's own Seth Kallen + The Reaction. They will be going on second, at 9 PM.

    Seth Kallen & The Reaction @ Bowery Poetry Club

    I've known Seth for some time now, and yet still so amazed at how talented he is. I can remember getting his first album in the mail even before he came to New York for school, and being blown away. Two years later, he just released his second album Exhibit A, touring all over the east coast, and he's not even legal to drink! (Don't tell Sin-e.) Incredible songwriting, and all in all charming performer, Seth will be sure to keep your head bopping around.

    Every time I see Seth and his band perform I begin to notice that I know every word to all of the songs. I begin to feel embarrassed but then I realize there’s a reason I know these songs so well. As soon as you hear them, you instantly like them and can't help but want to sing along. And then I look around and notice his very dedicated fan base singing along just as loud as me. Then I have to sing louder. I've never been one to hide from competition.

    Combined with a group of talented musicians, Seth Kallen + The Reaction is an ever-evolving project that is sure to see some serious success in the future. Check out the band at their myspace and tune into The Blog Show this Thursday, as Seth will be one of our special guests. Oh and make sure you see them on Saturday too. I'll be the one up front singing too loudly.

  • Seth Kallen + The Reaction - No Ace
  • Seth Kallen + The Reaction - Strange Man

    Tickets are now available online for our January 27th show at Sin-e. Click here to order.

    This show will change your life.

  • The Undisputed Heavyweights live on BTR

    So I'm not sure if you've been able to tell by now, but I happen to write about the same bands over and over, basically shoving their music down your throats because, well, it's fantastic and deserves to be heard. One of those lucky bands has been The Undisputed Heavyweights who I've declared as my favorite band to see live in NYC with no hesitation, watched their hysterical podcasts over and over again, reviewed every show (from Philly and back), and gushed, gushed gushed.

    I can't help myself. They really are that good.

    Undisputed Heavyweights @ BTR

    With that said, here's yet another opportunity to hear what I babble about on a regular basis. Last week we asked the band to record a live session for BreakThru Radio. It was a truly once in a lifetime experience that I know I'll remember fondly for a long time. Being as they are one of my favorite bands ever, I know their songs and live set like the back of my hand. But something was special in that room that night. Perhaps it was the inclusion of bringing in some of their die-hard fans to witness the event, but there for some reason I have never heard the band sound better. Casey's voice was the perfect balance between rasp and soul, and I couldn't stop from running around the room and asking others if it was just me. Nope, it wasn't.

    Absolutely amazing.

    You can check out the live session (FOR FREE) here. I'll have the session in an mp3 format for all of you by week's end. You must listen.

    Sadly as impressed as you will be, you will not be able to make it to their Joe's Pub show this Thursday because it is sold out. I am so so so so so so (insert a million more so's) excited to see this band in this setting for a second time around. And the band just got reviewed by The New Yorker, which is huge. And it was nothing but praise.

    "The local favorites in the Undisputed Heavyweights come armed with lounge-ready shtick, but they are more than just tongue-in-cheek hipsters. Brandishing acoustic guitars and a horn section, the Heavyweights deliver an accomplished rock/blues/soul hybrid, and their endearingly uninhibited front man, Casey Shea, puts them right in the tradition of vaudevillian showmanship. With the singer-songwriter Matt Singer."

    Now that's what I'm talking about.

    More pictures from the session here.

    Movies that Rock: Inland Empire

    Last night, I chuckled over the fact that outside the IFC Film Center there was an ad stating that if you watched David Lynch's latest flick Inland Empire nine times....the tenth was free. Who in their right mind would watch a film that clocked in just under three hours ten times in the theater? Well after just watching it just once, I can see why someone would.

    Although the movie was extremely long (especially at 10 PM, a latte was needed), it's easily the most confusing and mind altering films of Lynch's I've seen thus far. I'd consider myself a fan of Lynch, but clearly not anywhere near some other people I know, or have read about. I can't even tell you what Inland Empire is about, although I did quite enjoy it. With the expected awkward dialogues and freaky imagry, it's completely worth viewing. Just bring some coffee. And an open mind.

    Here's the trailer.

    What I've always loved about David Lynch's projects is his obsession with music. I wrote a blog entry about Twin Peaks back in May and Inland Empire was no different. Again, Lynch contributed much of the score himself, including that track in the trailer. There are some very peculiar moments that I wont ruin for you (one features The Locomotion, that’s all I’ll say), but perhaps my favorite choice was Beck’s "Black Tambourine." I was surprised to hear it, but it worked beautifully.

    If you are a Lynch fan, you'll like this movie. Otherwise, be prepared for something quite odd. Laura Dern usually bothers me, but she put on one hell of a performance. And Justin Theroux is yummy. Check out the official site for the film here. Once you've seen it a couple times (at least three times, I'm thinking) you can start to check out the message boards over there for discussions on theories.

  • Beck - Black Tambourine
  • Monday, January 22, 2007

    Underrated Presents: Sure Juror

    In case you aren't aware, I'm throwing a bit of a soiree this Saturday night at Sin-e. I could tell you that it will be the best night of your life, that there is a 99% chance you will be drunk off your socks by the time you leave, and will have had to endure my overly excited babble on more than one occasion throughout the night. Whilst all this is true, I feel the need to give you a bit of a sober rundown of these bands beforehand. Because let's face it, both you and I will experience excruciating amounts of awe come Saturday night that all we will be able to mutter is profanities. Just me? Okay, we'll see.

    The first band up on Saturday night is Jersey's own Sure Juror. They go on at 8 PM.

    sure juror @ pianos

    So it's quite genius, really when you think about it. A band that has been hyped up on a good number of the blogs finally books a show in New York City, during CMJ. And yet we only get to hear four songs. Even if it was completely unintentional, I can assure you everyone in that room wanted to hear more. So what if it took them almost three months? Better late than never.

    I'm completely thrilled to have this band open up the night, as I found them most intriguing over the past year or so. Their two albums have crept up the ranks on my iTunes, and each time I listen to them I find something else I like about them. And with how intricate their recordings are, you'd think they wouldn't be able to pull this off live. Well, four songs and I was convinced. Who knows what more will bring.

    Rumor is they have added some new members to their band and it's bound to be quite the performance. If I were you I'd get there early to check it out. And if not? Well you have a couple more chances to check this band out live over the next month: February 3 and 10 at Pianos, and February 16 at Union Hall for Battering Room's next show.

    But if I were you, I'd check out them all, starting with this one here. And in preparation, check out their myspace and purchase their music (where their first album is available for FREE - so no excuses, really).

    My my, I'm quite demanding aren't I?

    While I'm at it...download these too.

  • Sure Juror - The Once-Great Gender Debate (Live from West Chester, PA 3.24.06)
  • Sure Juror - Christmas Shopping
  • Sure Juror - The Drive Will Do You Good
  • Podcasts: Grammar, Vocab, and something more?

    Today was the first day I walked past the two Starbucks on my way to work and did not go in. And while I'm still craving my soy latte, this is part of a revamping of my daily routine that has become quite expensive, and well...boring. I've never like routine, but I am quite good at it. I'm an addictive person by nature, so once I get comfortable, it's hard to break me. So no Starbucks was my first decision. It took me a couple weeks to actually garner the strength to do so.

    What's a much more interesting change is my daily listening habits on my way to and from work. I've decided that I listen to enough music while at work, all day, consistently that my mourning commute soundtrack should be a little bit different. After realizing that I listen to either Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" or my Motown #1s album far too many times (it's a good wake up, though), I decided to search through iTunes for more educational choices.

    I never thought I'd say this, but I miss school. I hated it and took it for granted while I was there, but now I feel as though I dumb myself down on a daily basis and I'm not happy about it. I miss learning. (gasp!) So I decided that since I am somewhat of a writer (who says?), I might as well learn some tricks through free podcasts that will improve the constant type strokes.

    My favorite (and get ready to make fun of me here) is Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Sounds so nerdy, I know but it's actually quite fun. I've enjoyed riveting discussions (and songs) about apostrophes and a whole episode on how to politely correct other people's grammar (with guest star Mr. Manners!) You can check out my new favorite girl's website over at grammar.qdnow.com for more information. Call me dorky, but I love me some grammar.

    I also subscribed to Webster's Word Of The Day (today's word: cadge, meaning to beg) and The Princeton Review's Vocabulary Minute (although they don't update as frequently as I'd like).

    But here's my plea to ask if any of you listen to some really cool podcasts (besides Lostcasts, that is) that would be fun to listen to on a daily basis. Any suggestions?

    Are You On The List?

    Every Monday night, my roommate shuts her door to my usual crazy talk as I run around our (very) small apartment chanting "Save The Cheerleader! Save The World!" I was a little late on the Heroes fanfare, but once I started watching (and catching up obsessively) it has taken over my life. This is quite reminiscent of Lost during its first season. Let's all hope that Heroes doesn't take the same beating our island friends have as of late. I'm still watching, yes, but with a quite skeptical eye.

    Anyways, Heroes returns tonight and I couldn't be more excited. Instead of running around chanting about the cheerleader, I now get to ask everyone if they are on the list.

    Are you?

    My favorite pop culture blogger chimes in on her obsession as well.

    OH! And you can watch all the episodes SO far right here. Amazing. Catch up before 9 PM tonight!

  • David Bowie - Heroes
  • Saturday, January 20, 2007

    Annuals on Conan

    You know I love Annuals, but I was a bit underwhelmed by their performance on Conan. I dvr'd it and watched it the next morning, and was like with a big "eh." Perhaps it is a direct result of being so blown away by Cold War Kids on Letterman last week, but regardless, making your television debut is always a hit-or-miss. It may have been the song choice. They should have sung "Complete Or Completing." And Adam should not have cut his hair. And he should have been wearing a poncho or choir robe of sorts.

    Okay, enough with my advice. Just watch for yourself.


    Friday, January 19, 2007

    Middle Distance Runner's Gear Stolen in Brooklyn

    Last time we checked in with Middle Distance Runner, they were our Band Of The Week. They played a show last night at Arlene's Grocery, and sadly their equipment was stolen in Brooklyn. This happens way too often, but if you have any information, do let them know.

    Well we just played Arlene's Grocery last night, and before the show, someone broke into our van and stole a bunch of our stuff while it was parked in Brooklyn ACROSS THE STREET FROM AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!!!! if you know anyone that frequents pawn shops, please let them know that we're looking for the following items to show up:
  • Fender Jazzmaster 1962 re-issue (sunburst w/ tortoise pick guard)
  • Fender American Telecaster (sunburst w/ white pick guard)
  • Fender 5-string Jazz Bass, HM model (white w/ paint chipping off near pickups)
  • People stink.

    The Upwelling @ Mercury Lounge

    When I started this strange musical adventure, the first band that I really became attached to was The Upwelling. Three years has passed and a lot has changed. I've found myself making a living chasing after indie bands, writing about them, and each day I become less embarrassed over that fact. The first time I ever saw The Upwelling, I was too young to get into Mercury Lounge and had to coerce the bouncer to let me in. I told him I was a legit journalist. Ah, the humanity.

    So I was a bit nostalgic walking back into Mercury Lounge last night, legally and comfortably, a place I've spent countless nights seeing too many bands. And while I myself have changed a lot over the past three years, The Upwelling takes the cake.

    Their set last night was a non-stop showcase of what The Upwelling has come to be -- real performers. I give a lot of flak to bands with a shtick, warning them against becoming known as a novelty act. With a blackened stage and an odd recorded introduction, I was nervous that my once-loved local band had jumped the shark. Now donning much longer hair and interesting fashion choices, The Upwelling is far from the band I once knew. But I wouldn't let my preconceived judgments get in the way. What I loved first and foremost about this band was their music, so with ears wide open I gave them an honest chance.

    Like their self-titled EP of yesteryear, their live show does not allow for a break. I loved that. To a packed crowd at Mercury last night, each song melded seamlessly into the next, keeping the crowd interested and intrigued at just where they might go next. The old favorites that I have come to know so well were brought to a whole new level, with Ari wailing his guitar like a true hero. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what their sound has evolved into. The stylings of Pink Floyd have become more prevalent, while there's a certain dark 80's electropop mixed in there as well. Last night they opted for more upbeat numbers. While I'll always prefer their romantic ballads, I understood the choice.

    When it comes down to it, you have to let bands change and discover their sound. Us lonely bloggers/journalists can't really do much about the directions they choose. You can either sit in your apartment behind a blank computer screen and pout until the pint is empty, or you can understand the reasoning and accept change. Because when it comes down to it, especially in The Upwelling's case, there is undeniable talent and drive. They have something. I can't wait to see what another three years will bring.

    Here's a newbie that was played last night that I'm liking more each time I hear it. Check out more tracks on their myspace.

  • The Upwelling - Love Is Dead
  • Thursday, January 18, 2007

    Blog Show #15

    I know I say this every week but this episode of The Blog Show just might be my favorite. Maybe it was the girl scout cookies combined with Trader Joe's wine that made us so fun. Who knows! I think it's the music though. We premiere some new songs from our friends Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, plus awesome tracks from Kevin Devine, The Wrens, and Oh No! Oh My! .

    Oh! And blogger of the week goes out to Dave over at Slap You In Public. Pants off dance off!

    Check it out here if you know what's good for you.

    Playlist!

    Brooklyn Boy - Kevin Devine
    You'll Only End Of Joining Them - Kevin Devine
    Just Stay - Kevin Devine

    Love Song No. 7 - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    Emily Jean Stock - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    Satan Said Dance - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

    Walk In The Park - Oh No! Oh My!
    I Love You All The Time - Oh No! Oh My!
    I Have No Sister - Oh No! Oh My!

    Everyone Chooses Sides - The Wrens
    Happy - The Wrens
    She Sends Kisses - The Wrens

    Justice vs. Simian - We Are Your Friends

    Checkin' in with Colin | I'm From Rolling Stone Episode 2

    I may be the only person really watching I'm From Rolling Stone, but whatever. I've taken it upon myself to comment on this, we'll see if this becomes a weekly effort. I was watching this week's episode (I'm late, whatever) and I couldn't help but (once again) feel for my little hipster boy Colin. He had the task of interviewing We Are Scientists (who, I had to laugh when they called "indie"). If you remember, I interviewed the band last year, about this same time, and understood his frustration. The boys in the band are undeniably nice gentlemen, but I have to say it was one of the hardest interviews I've conducted. And for someone like little Colin, who really has no experience whatsoever, I could tell this was going to be a task.

    See, the band likes to be sarcastic. But when you need an angle and have to write an article -- there's only so much sarcasm you can take. Like Colin said, they take control of the interview with is one big no-no in journalism. You always have to be in control. And when your staring at the hottie that is Keith Murray, well that's much harder than it seems. (Maybe not for Colin, but go with me here)

    Anyways, it looks like Russell is the main man and a shoe-in to win. He's got the edge and understands the process and what's needed to get a story out of someone. Whatshername, Miss Hip/Hop is already a pain in my ass and if I were El-P, I would have smacked her in the face. I'm glad her piece didn't get published. I bet it was all about her.

    No update on Colin's website which is annoying. I was looking forward to some behind-the-scenes info on a weekly basis.

    Anyone else watching?

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    The Day Of The Couch

    My roommate and I have been living in this apartment since mid-July. It is almost February. And today, my friends….we finally got a couch.

    To any of those who know me outside of this blog, or who have the absolute pleasure of spending time at our apartment....you are quite aware of the drastic nature of this issue. For the past seven months we've been sitting on a broken camper chair, or a suck-you-in disc chair, or on the floor. Gatherings have been difficult. I am proud to say that is no longer a cause of concern. We have a couch. And it is comfortable. And I am happy.

    So as I sit here, working from home, and trying to get into the new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album, I feel as though a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders. But we are a civilization of need, correct? So, if that is true...I'd like a puppy next.

  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Emily Jean Stock

  • Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Top 10 Film Soundtracks

    I won!

    Yep, that's right. This little blogger just won her Golden Globes pool, taking home a whopping $10 and the right to gloat in front of a bunch of film students. I managed to pick 17 of the 25 categories correctly, shocking most (including myself) straight to victory. Sasha Baron Cohen stole the evening and little America won all our hearts (even if I don't think that show is that great, definitely not better than The Office). But the biggest upset? My Heroes losing to Grey's. I love both shows, but come on! Heroes is pure genius.

    We won't get into the details from the night. I should have live blogged the commentary from the party I attended. Twas hilarious.

    Speaking of films, I just wrote a piece for BreakThru Radio about my favorite film soundtracks.

    It’s award season time in the land of Hollywood and we decided it was about time someone gave chops to the tricky act of making the perfect film soundtrack. Think about your favorite movies and more often than not they have a classic soundtrack to go alongside. Remember that part in Say Anything when John Cusak held up the boombox and blasted Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes?” Yep. We loved that part too. And from Cameron Crowe to Wes Anderson, these directors are bringing indie and classic music back into popular culture. And for that, we thank them.

    Amongst the top 10? Empire Records, High Fidelity, Almost Famous, Royal Tenenbaums, 24 Hour Party People, Blow, etc. Read the whole thing over at BreakThru Radio (click on "articles").

    Pssst.

    Tickets are now available online for our January 27th show at Sin-e. Click here to order.

    This show will change your life.

    The DL - Ear Test: White Rabbits

    In case you missed it.


    Song Of The Week: Outrageous | Matt Singer

    Last week, I found myself hanging out at Cross Pollination (my favorite weekly show in the city, by far), watching New York's own Matt Singer perform. I had met Matt a couple weeks prior, or maybe months (who knows these days) and he had given me a copy of his debut All Us Heathens. It found its way on to my iTunes soon after, and every time a song came on I realized how much I liked him, but for some reason or another, never got around to posting that thought.

    So here we are. After he performed the comical and clever "Outrageous" at Pianos that Tuesday night, I promised myself I would get it up on the blog as soon as possible. Yes, I'm a little slow these days, but promises are always kept.

    "Outrageous" was met to a roaring applause with just the opening guitar hook, and I knew I was in for something special. Performed live, you appreciate the personable execution of a very catchy and crafty tune. The lyrics alone are performed as if it is a therapy session of sorts, with Matt expressing his thoughts on everything from being the fat kid, to snorting lines with unrequited loves, to having a hairy back. I kid you not. Everyone will find their favorite part, but the jury is still out on me -- I can't pick just one moment. It's all so good.

    Matt Singer will be opening for The Undisputed Heavyweights at Joe's Pub NEXT WEEK (January 25). You must be there. And Matt must sing this song. You can buy tickets here. Don't delay, it's sure to sell out.

  • Matt Singer - Outrageous
  • Cold War Kids on Letterman

    I keep hearing the expected backlash towards Cold War Kids floating around New York City and around the blogosphere (a scary place, mind you). Whatever, I could care less. But I do care about live performances. And when I heard that the last few times friends and acquaintances had seen these LA boys that they were less than impressed, I was worried. I'd still be 100% sure of myself to say that seeing Cold War Kids at Mercury lounge back in July was one of my favorite live experiences. These guys know how to put on a show.

    Now, when these indie/blogger/buzz bands get signed, and as a result get on those late night talk shows, more often than not, they suck. Their first televised performances are stale and awkward. They look way too nervous and there's just zero energy. I feared this would happen to Cold War Kids when they performed on David Letterman recently. I didn't catch the original, but just found the youtube (thanks Music Sluts) and was so happy to see these guys completely let loose. It's a fantastic fantastic performance of "Hang Me Up To Dry" with all the soul, energy, and craziness that they should and will hopefully be known for. If I didn't know anything about this band, and saw this, shit...I'd be sold.

    Check it out.


    Monday, January 15, 2007

    Happy Golden Globes Day!

    I love me some Golden Globes. As great as my obsession with new indie rock music (of the certain floppy hair kind), I'm equally as indebted to my pop culture affair with movies and television. I just don't voice that love on a daily basis to the mass, instead opt to keep it to close friends and random strangers waiting in line for popcorn. So with that said, The Golden Globes are easily my favorite awards show of the bunch. Not only do they combine both TV and movies, but they are less political than the others and actually go after new shows and rising stars.

    Oh yes, and all the celebrities get drunk during the show and make asses of themselves.

    I've been a bit out of the loop this movie going season, partly because movies are becoming so gosh darn expensive ($11?!?!) and that I usually don’t have time to spare. But in preparation of the awards show tonight, I saw three (yes three) movies this weekend, all of which were completely enjoyable. My favorite of the bunch? The Queen. Helen Mirren is a complete acting God, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whimsical nature of a static and dramatic story. They could have easily made the film a complete love affair for Diana, but instead Mirren portrayed a character that you both love to hate and respect by films end.

    As a huge fan of everything Kate Winslet has done (yes, even Titanic) I was excited to see Little Childen. She put on another amazing performance, although definitely not her best. The film as a whole was oddly entertaining, and perfectly paced. If you enjoyed We Don't Live Here Anymore you'll like this one. It's a little less dark, and yet still is successful in breathing fresh air into the old story of suburban life. The subplot in this one is quite interesting, and although the narrator of the film got on my nerves at the beginning, by film's end I appreciated the choice.

    And yes, I saw Dreamgirls. And yes, it's good...but not as great as everyone is making it out to be. I'm not the hugest fan of musicals in general, but when they are brought to film, I'm expecting the director to do something worthwhile. Take Chicago as a perfect example of when this works. Take The Producers as a perfect example of when this does not. Dreamgirls was a fast and furious movie that didn't give you too much time to ponder, except in those slow and often unmemorable musical moments. But yes, Jennifer Hudson is completely deserving of all the praise. Just goes to show you that American Idol is not all a load of crap and that there are some real talents that are put on that show. Too bad they don't always win. Even so, she put on a hell of a performance with a hell of a voice. I'm glad she is stealing the spotlight from Beyonce. I can't stand that girl.

    Anyways. Every year I enter into a GG pool and usually end up close to the top. Oscars? Forget it. But this I can sort of predict. The Hollywood Foreign Press is a clever bunch. And most of the time, if not all of the time, I respect their decisions.

    Find my picks below. Am I completely off on any of them? Do tell.

    Picture - Drama

  • What should win? The Departed.
  • What will win? Babel

    Picture - Musical Or Comedy

  • What should win? Little Miss Sunshine
  • What will win? Dreamgirls

    Animated Film

  • What should win? Cars
  • What will win? Cars

    Actor In A Leading Role - Drama

  • Who should win? Leonardo DiCaprio in The Departed
  • Who will win? Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland

    Actor In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy

  • Who should win? Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat
  • Who will win? Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat

    Actress In A Leading Role - Drama

  • Who should win? Helen Mirren in The Queen
  • Who will win? Helen Mirren in The Queen

    Actress In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy

  • Who should win? Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada / Toni Collette in LIttle Miss Sunshine
  • Who will win? Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada

    Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Who should win? Jack Nicholson in The Departed
  • Who will win? Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls

    Actress In A Supporting Role

  • Who should win? Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls
  • Who will win? Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls

    Director

  • Who whould win? Martin Scorsese for The Departed
  • Who will win? Martin Scorsese for The Departed

    Screenplay

  • Who should win? Patrick Marber for The Queen
  • Who will win? William Monahan for The Departed

    Original Score

  • Who should win? Gustavo Santaolalla for Babel
  • Who will win? Gustavo Santaolalla for Babel

    Original Song

  • Who should win? "The Song Of The Heart" from Happy Feet by Prince
  • Who will win? "Listen" from Dreamgirls by Scott Cutler, Beyonce Knowles, et al

    Foreign Film

  • Who should win? Apocalypto
  • Who will win? Pan's Labyrinth

    Television Series - Drama

  • Who should win? Heroes
  • Who will win? 24

    Television Series - Musical Or Comedy

  • Who should win? The Office
  • Who will win? The Office

    Mini-Series Or Television Movie

  • Who should win? I have no idea
  • Who will win? Elizabeth I

    Actor In A Leading Role - Drama Series

  • Who should win? Hugh Laurie in House / Michael C. Hall in Dexter
  • Who will win? Michael C. Hall in Dexter

    Actor In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy Series

  • Who should win? Steve Carrell in The Office
  • Who will win? Steve Carrell in The Office

    Actor In A Leading Role - Mini-Series Or Television Movie

  • Who should win? Again, no idea.
  • Who will win? Bill Nighy in Gideon's Daughter

    Actress In A Leading Role - Drama Series

  • Who should win? Edie Falco in The Sopranos
  • Who will win? Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer

    Actress In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy Series

  • Who should win? Mary-Louise Parker in Weeds
  • Who will win? America Ferrera in Ugly Betty

    Actress In A Leading Role - Mini-Series Or Television Movie

  • Who should win? Helen Mirren in Elizabeth I
  • Who will win? Sophie Okonedo in Tsunami: The Aftermath

    Actor In A Supporting Role - Series, Mini-Series Or Television Movie

  • Who should win? Jeremy Piven in Entourage / Masi Oka in Heroes / Justin Kirk in Weeds
  • Who will win? Jeremy Piven in Entourage

    Actress In A Supporting Role - Series, Mini-Series Or Television Movie

  • Who should win? Elizabeth Perkins in Weeds
  • Who will win? Emily Blunt in Gideon's Daughter
  • Sunday, January 14, 2007

    Avenue Q Reviews White Rabbits

    This is amazing.

    The puppets of Avenue Q reviewed White Rabbits' track "Kid On My Shoulders." Click Here to watch the video.

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    A Million Miles | Beat Radio

    I'm so tired. Like beyond tired. I think I fell asleep while walking to work this morning.

    After some much needed R&R tonight, tomorrow I am heading out to Brooklyn (gasp!) for Chris and Pat's new showcase at Matchless. It's been far too long since I've seen Beat Radio, and I'm ready to sing along to all the songs on their debut album. Also on the bill is Mistakes, Life in Bed, and The Lisps.

  • Beat Radio - A Million Miles
  • Beat Radio - Ancient As The Stars No. 2

    Also on Saturday night is the monthly Crackers United Friction showcase at Sin-e. Hopefully I'll make it there on the way home from Brooklyn (it's really far from my apartment). Check out their post on the show for all the details.

  • Thursday, January 11, 2007

    Tally Hall to play SXSW

    Oh baby. According to Tally Hall's myspace, the band will be down in Austin for this years SXSW. Horray! And even though I haven't booked lodging, or transportation, or can afford a badge....I'll be there. With bells on.

    Yesterday Austinist posted an (un)official list of who will appear at this year's festival. According to them, there's a 98% chance you'll see all these acts.

    Amy Millan
    Architecture In Helsinki
    Badly Drawn Boy
    Bloc Party
    Cold War Kids
    Emmylou Harris
    Every Move a Picture
    George Byrne
    Ghostland Observatory
    Girl Talk
    I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness
    Interpol
    Les Savy Fav
    Lily Allen
    Malajube
    Margot and the Nuclear So And Sos
    Mates Of State
    Matt & Kim
    Menomena
    Morrissey
    Okkervil River
    Pete Townshend
    Peter & the Wolf
    RJD2
    Rahim
    Rocky Votolato
    Say Hi To Your Mom
    Scissor Sisters
    Snowden
    Tall Firs
    Tally Hall
    The Big Sleep
    The Frames
    The Fratellis
    The Walkmen
    The Young Knives
    Thunderbirds Are Now!
    Thurston Moore
    Voxtrot
    Yip-Yip
    Youth Group

    The whole un(official) list is here. Who's pumped? Who's going? And who has a couch for me to stay on?

    Blog Show # 14!!

    We've gotten so good at this that Nora has lost count on our actual shows. That's just how we roll.

    So you can expect the same digressing (we kick it off with a major tangent right from the beginning), the usual babbling and banter, and the always enjoyable music selection. But I do NOT speak French (which is a good thing.) Oh yes, and we play "Ruby" and you can hear how crazy Nora is.

    Success!

    Playlist...

    Fine Dining With The Future - Foreign Islands
    We Know You Know It - Foreign Islands
    That's How This Goes Down - Foreign Islands

    Icicles - Let's Go Sailing
    Sideways - Let's Go Sailing
    All I Want From You Is Love - Let's Go Sailing

    Animal - Saints + Lovers
    Kiss It Goodbye - Saints + Lovers
    To Pieces - Saints + Lovers

    Wraith Pinned To The Mist And Other Games - Of Montreal
    Suffer For Fashion - Of Montreal
    She's A Rejector - Of Montreal

    Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs

    Tune in at www.breakthruradio.com and click on "The Blog Show."

    Who's From Rolling Stone?

    Every time I tell someone I like the new reality series on MTV, I'm From Rolling Stone, they say one of two things. Either they tell me I am hypocritical and am ruining any chance of true music journalism coming back to the forefront...or they tell me that I should have been on the show. Frankly, it's been my parents or my roommate telling me I should have been part of it, so don't think I'm tooting any horns.

    In fact, I actually considered applying when I first heard of the show over a year ago. The opportunity sounded fabulous. But never would I imagine being on television, let alone a reality show on MTV. I still am embarrassed just having a radio show. See, there's a reason people strive to become journalists. It's not to get on TV, it's to hide behind their byline.

    Like most things pop culture, I find the show fascinating. There has only been one episode that's aired, but already I've found myself scouring the internet for reviews, backstories, etc. I'm still in the very early stages of a music journalism career, but the more I can see and learn from -- the better. Sure, the experience these six people will have at Rolling Stone is far from realistic. But I'm still going to sit in front of my TV screen each week, with my curiosity heightened.

    Given my new obsession, I have found Colin Stutz's personal website. I liked him off the bat once I started watching the first episode, for his indie band posters in the background and his carelessness in speech and appearance. He's got the hipster hair. The stoner personna. Basically he's a typecast of MTV's idea of what is underground. While he's not my frontrunner to win the entire competition, I think I'll end up having a respect for him by the show's end.

    With that said, his website as it stands now is just a letter with "What was it like?" as its jumping off point. He's got a good head on his shoulders, this kid. Not taking the show too seriously, but instead using it as what it should be -- a learning experience.

    So honestly, what was it like? It was incredible. I got to live out a reality that so many others have only dreamt of. But the truth is that the experience was tainted because I knew damn well that I was not there on my own accord, that I had not earned this chance the way I had always planned on earning it. I was there because of the cameras; I was there because of what I despised. And often this made me-and continues to make me-sick. So consider this as an apology to all you friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers out there, if you see me and ask me what it was like to be a part of "I'm From Rolling Stone" and I respond with a tone of indifference, it is not because your interest is an unappreciated burden, it is because I'm kind of embarrassed. How do you describe something that was at times so euphoric, but still made you sick? How do you give an explanation that tore you apart like this did to me? Maybe "bizarre" doesn't say it all, but I guess it does the job.

    The site will document (as much as he is legally allowed to) the experience of the show each week as it runs. I'm curious of his insight as things progress. He says: "think of it as less of an ego trip, and more of a social commentary and we'll be just fine."

    Will do. Stay tuned.

    Oh and in case you haven't heard of the show? Watch this.


    My Heart Is Broken | Ryan Adams

    Well, I am watching last night's episode of Top Chef and turns out my hottie of the week Ilan has a girlfriend.

    Her name is not Rachael.

    Sigh.

  • Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - My Heart Is Broken
  • Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Underrated Presents: January 27 @ Sin-e

    I keep saying I'm going to stop doing these shows, but I can't help myself. I want to see all these bands, and if I can do it all in one night with all my friends, well then let's go for it. This show has been my biggest accomplishment to date....with five (yes FIVE) bands. It's a Saturday night, so get on your dancing shoes and get ready for some fabulous music. I've decided to hand over all dj duties to Miss Nora K so I won't be running around like a chicken with its head cut off. But don't worry...there will be an afterparty.

    A huge thanks to Carolyn for yet another fabulous flyer.

    More details, mp3s, and info on each band to come in the next two weeks. Here's the lineup...

    Sure Juror (8 PM)
    Seth Kallen + The Reaction (9 PM)
    White Rabbits (10 PM)
    The GoStation (11 PM)
    Liam & Me (12 AM)

    Get ready!

    Kevin Devine CONTEST! Woo!

    [photo by the amazing wes]

    Okay, you know by now I have a bit of a musical crush on Kevin Devine. Here's my chance to share the love. All you gotta do is email underratedmagazine (at) gmail (dot) com with "Kevin Devine Contest" in the subject and at the end of next week I will randomly choose a winner. And what does that winner receive? Why thanks for asking.

  • 1 autographed 7" vinyl copy of "Just Stay" + "Me and My Friends"
  • 1 poster
  • Copy of Kevin's new album Put Your Ghost To Rest

    Speaking of Kevin Devine, he just announced yesterday that he is touring with Brand New. If you remember, I posted some videos of Kevin and Jesse Lacey performing earlier in the week. Should be a pretty sweet tour. Dates below.

    Good luck!

    Mar 15 2007 7:00P @ Town Ballroom, Buffalo, New York
    Mar 16 2007 7:00P @ Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio
    Mar 17 2007 7:30P @ Royal Oak, Royal Oak, Michigan
    Mar 18 2007 7:00P @ House of Blues Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
    Mar 20 2007 6:30P @ House of Blues Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
    Mar 21 2007 6:30P @ The Vic Theatre, Chicago, Illinois
    Mar 22 2007 6:00P @ First Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Mar 23 2007 7:30P @ The Rave, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Mar 24 2007 7:00P @ Beaumont Club, Kansas City, Missouri
    Mar 25 2007 7:00P @ Ogden Theatre, Denver, Colorado
    Mar 27 2007 7:00P @ In The Venue, Salt Lake City, Utah
    Mar 29 2007 7:30P @ The Fenix, Seattle, Washington
    Mar 30 2007 8:00P @ Roseland, Portland, Oregon
    Mar 31 2007 8:00P @ Warfield, San Francisco, California
    Apr 3 2007 7:00P @ Avalon Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
    Apr 4 2007 7:00P @ Avalon Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
    Apr 5 2007 6:30P @ House of Blues Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
    Apr 6 2007 8:00P @ SOMA, San Diego, California
    Apr 7 2007 8:00P @ Marquee Theatre, Tempe, Arizona
    Apr 9 2007 7:00P @ Ridglea Theatre, Fort Worth, Texas
    Apr 10 2007 7:15P @ Stubb's, Austin, Texas
    Apr 11 2007 7:30P @ Warehouse Live, Houston, Texas
    Apr 12 2007 7:00P @ House of Blues New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana
    Apr 13 2007 8:30P @ House of Blues Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
    Apr 14 2007 7:00P @ Revolution, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Apr 16 2007 7:00P @ Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, Florida
    Apr 17 2007 8:00P @ Center Stage, Atlanta, Georgia
    Apr 19 2007 7:30P @ House of Blues Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    Apr 20 2007 8:00P @ The NorVa, Norfolk, Virginia
    Apr 21 2007 8:00P @ Ram's Head Live, Baltimore, Maryland
    Apr 22 2007 7:00P @ Irving Plaza, New York, New York
    Apr 24 2007 7:00P @ Avalon Ballroom, Boston, Massachusetts
    Apr 25 2007 8:00P @ Electric Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Tuesday, January 9, 2007

    People Are Strange | Echo & The Bunnymen

    Today has been a very, very strange day. Perhaps it's the after effects of yesterday's gas leak (?) that blanketed Manhattan. I was a bit loopy most of the day, perhaps it was all in my mind -- that kind of paranoia always exposes the worst of me. And then this morning our internet went down at work which convinced me the end of the world was looming over us. Perhaps that would just be the end of my world, that is, if there were no internet. I think I'm sleeping too much.

    In between discussing important world news events, such as when emo boys attack, yelling at gmail, and fawning over the new iPhone (holy crap), I was forced to go home and work the rest of the day from the comfort of my living area (which, I am proud to announce will finally have a couch after almost six months sitting in chairs). On my subway ride home I was so caught up in my book (the latest from the great Augusten Burroughs) that I managed to miss the seat completely. All of a sudden a man with calloused hands was helping me up and my cheeks heated up from embarrassment. The man was nice to pick up my book for me (without losing my place) and quite simply stated: it all moves too quickly sometimes.

    Which it does, the subway, and everything else. I found myself repeating that phrase over and over in my head and realizing that it's all of a sudden 2007, I've finished school and have way too many bills to pay. The book I was so transfixed reading just seconds earlier now was backseat to too many questions in my head. I stood up for my stop and thanked the man again. He didn't acknowledge me whatsoever and proceeded to close his eyes. I left, bewildered, and made sure to watch my step.

    People are strange.

  • Echo & The Bunnymen - People Are Strange

    P.S. - I watched the first episode of I'm From Rolling Stone last night and I'm totally hooked. Anyone else watching? I'm gunning for the ex-con from San Fran...he seems to be the only one with any writing chops. (Seriously, chick...journalism is not poetry). I should have tried out, except something tells me if I had actually made it I would be drinking with the Aussie every night instead of writing my articles. Hmm.

  • Monday, January 8, 2007

    Cold War Kids Bi-Costal Residency

    I admit I like the idea of residencies. If there's a band I love and they put together a residency, you can guarantee I'll be there for all shows. I'm just like that. I like routine, and god help me if I can ever get enough live shows under my belt. I wonder if there's a record for how many live shows one human being has seen. Hmm, I should look into that...

    However I can't help but express my concern for Cold War Kids. They have taken it upon themselves to embark in a bi-costal residency, switching back and forth from dates in LA and NYC. Talk about jetlag. My only hope is that they have managed to fly first class and have a lot of Ambien. I know I couldn't deal with all that traveling. Good luck my friends.

    I hopefully will be attending one of these shows. If my roommate finds out they are here and I couldn't get her a ticket, she's going to be pissed. I've created a monster.

    All dates below..

    01/10/07 New York, NY @ Pianos
    01/12/07 Los Angeles, CA @ The Fold in Silverlake Lounge
    01/17/07 New York, NY @ Union Hall
    01/19/07 Los Angeles, CA @ The Fold in Silverlake Lounge
    01/24/07 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
    01/26/07 Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland
    02/20/07 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
    02/22/07 West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour
    02/23/07 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
    02/24/07 Santa Cruz @ The Attic
    03/02/07 Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
    03/03/07 Omaha, NE @ Sokol Underground
    03/04/07 Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
    03/06/07 Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
    03/07/07 Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave at the Eagles Club
    03/08/07 Madison, WI @ The Annex
    03/09/07 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
    03/10/07 Columbia, MI @ Mojo's
    03/12/07 Little Rock, AR @ Juanita's
    03/14/07 Dallas, TX @ Gypsy Tea Room & Ballroom
    03/19/07 New Orleans, LA @ The Republic
    03/20/07 Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder
    03/21/07 Orlando, FL @ The Social
    03/22/07 St. Augustine, FL @ Cafe 11
    03/23/07 Atlanta, GA @ Vinyl
    03/24/07 Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
    03/26/07 Mt. Pleasant, SC @ Village Tavern
    03/27/07 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
    03/28/07 Washington D.C. @ Nightclub 9:30
    03/29/07 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
    03/30/07 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Downstairs
    03/31/07 Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street Night Club
    04/02/07 Montreal, Quebec @ La Sala Rossa
    04/03/07 Ottawa, Ontario @ Zaphod Beeblebrox
    04/04/07 Toronto, Ontario @ The Mod Club
    04/06/07 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
    04/07/07 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom

    Sunday, January 7, 2007

    Band Of The Week: Let's Go Sailing

    I've made a valiant effort to go out less, stay in more for 2007. No, this is not a new year's resolution. I won't give it that kind of label. Instead it's just an idea, an attempt...we'll see how long it stays. Regardless, after coming back from Philly and being completely exhausted, I took an early night and woke up invigorated. Not only did I clean my entire apartment, but I decided it was time to tackle that ever-growing pile of cds that I receive in the mail. Look for many new band posts in the coming weeks, but I must immediately point you towards the best I've heard so far: Let's Go Sailing.

    JAX has been talking about this band for sometime now. I should pay more attention. Hailing from LA, the band is headed by Shana Levy (previously of the band Irving) who brought a bunch of songs to four friends in hopes of recording a demo. They teamed up with Chris Chandler (Flaming Lips) and Rod Cervera (Rentals/Weezer) and finished a collection, but that wasn't enough. Levy worked on her own to produce a full-length debut, the impressive The Chaos In Order.

    I listened to the album while cleaning my apartment but had to put down the vacuum cleaner to really give it the attention it deserves. Shana's dreamlike vocals combined with sweet indie pop would make this album an enjoyable listen, but far from rare. You can point out a million albums that are warranted of that description. But what sets Let's Go Sailing apart is that sound, combined with thoughtful, simple lyrics.

    It's become more rare these days to find impressive lyricists, and (although I hate to say it) much harder with female vocalists. Very few can sound sincere. Even fewer can match music and words in a way that is unexpected and brilliant. Off the top of my head, I can only think of The Boy Least Likely To and Rilo Kiley who have been able to do this successfully in contemporary music.

    For example: you take a song like "Icicles" which is painfully sweet in sound, with Shana oohing and cooing her way around the playful accompaniment. And then I almost gasped when she says "Truth be told, I'm better off dead," without a skip or hesitation in her voice. It's that lack of fear and a mischievousness in Shana that helps her personality shine through the music. And even when she says "all I want from you is love" in the song by the same name, when she sings that one line over a bouncing piano...you can't help but believe her.

    The Chaos In Order is an incredible listen from beginning to end, the kind of easy listening indie pop that you know I love with a sophisticated execution. I highly recommend you pick up this debut by Let's Go Sailing and to do so you can clickity click right here. (Oh and PS - their shirts are adorable as well)

  • Let's Go Sailing - Icicles
  • Let's Go Sailing - All I Want From You Is Love
  • Saturday, January 6, 2007

    A Night Out in Philly

    Even if it's just for one night, it's quite nice to get out of the city. And it's even nicer when you have a friend who is willing to drive to Philly during rush hour. Katie and I sat in excruciating traffic on the way down, while we chain-smoked and listened to tunes. She played me the new Brand New. I played her the new Shins. We both danced to Panic! At The Disco and discussed future projects. Too bad by the time we made it to Philly we had missed half of The Undisputed Heavyweights' set. Wes didn't take my text messages seriously for Casey to stall until we got there. I was bummed because I really wanted Katie to get the full experience, but we'll make sure we get to Joe's Pub bright and early.

    I wish my camera actually worked because not only would I have fabulous shots of all the bands, but I could show you how beautiful World Cafe Live in Philly is. I felt like I had walked into an old dinner theater. Seth compared it to a larger Joe's Pub, and I must say the acoustics and ambiance are definitely worthy of a rival. There was a great crowd, super energy, and all for a worthy cause.

    Some may say I'm crazy for driving to different cities to see bands I've seen more times than should be shared. I call it my civic duty.

    Anyways.

    After The Heavyweights was a young kid named Jon Check who could easily be head of the John Mayer class of rock. This isn't an insult, as I do happen to think Mr. Mayer is quite talented (when he's not sucking face with Jessica Simpson). Jon Check has a certain ease to him in performance, and a hell of a voice. Teamed up with a band and an impressive female vocalist, he incorporated jazz and rock into a solid set. His debut album can be purchased here.

    The man of the hour, and the one who put together the entire night, Mr. Seth Kallen took the stage next, backed by his ever growing band The Reaction. Now with two lead guitarists, Katie and I were both worried that a fight might break out between to two over parts. No dice, they played a tight set, without any blood. Miss Melody Gardot joined Seth on stage for "My Sweet Darling" which is always a treat, and they ended with "No Ace" that was pure rock and soul. I think the entire crowd was left quite impressed.

    Katie and I had now been drinking consistently since we arrived and the vodka tonics were catching up to us. We bummed around backstage with The Heavyweights before they caught their train back to the city, and Katie and I were off to...well, another bar. We met up with my older brother outside the city and became ridiculously ecstatic upon realizing their vodka/tonics were only $3! Now that is what I'm talking about. I'm pretty sure I exclaimed numerous times that evening my newfound love for Philadelphia, and I stand by that even the next day. Not only for it's cheap drinks -- all in all, it sure showed me a good time.

    Like I said, it's always nice to get out of the city.

    Friday, January 5, 2007

    No Cars Go

    Always hated waiting rooms. Hated them just a little bit more today.

    i always hated waiting rooms

    No luck getting Arcade Fire tickets. Now I'm sad. Did anyone have any luck?

    Sigh.

    [Update: This is ridiculous.]

    Thursday, January 4, 2007

    Seth Kallen & The Reaction, The Undisputed Heavyweights to play charity show in Philly

    DJ Eko takes over

    Tomorrow I am jetting out of good old New York to head over to Philly to see Seth Kallen & The Reaction and The Undisputed Heavyweights play at World Cafe Live. Part of the proceeds from this show will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation as well as the Sowbackya Illam Children's Home in India. There will also be a charity raffle for the event as well as grab bags at the door full of independent music and artist merchandise.

    Tickets are only $9 if you buy them in advance or $12 at the door. If you live in Philly, you should definitely come...and if not...Katie is driving, so free ride! Also on the bill is Jon Check and Funky Butter.

    The Undisputed Heavyweights will be returning to Joe's Pub on January 25, which I couldn't be more excited for. Seth Kallen will be playing the next "Underrated Presents" at Sin-e on January 27. Full lineup to be announced next week!

    Blog Show 13!

    This week is the international show! Listen in for two Canadians, a couple Scots and a Brit....and my HORRIFIC attempt at speaking french.

    All in all? A good time. Check it out at www.breakthruradio.com. Click on "the blog show".

    PLAYLIST!
    Be Good - Tokyo Police Club
    Citizens Of Tomorrow - Tokyo Police Club
    Nature Of The Experiment - Tokyo Police Club

    Jenny Don't Be Hasty - Paolo Nutini
    Last Request - Paolo Nutini
    Rewind - Paolo Nutini

    La Monogamie - Malajube
    Ton Plat Favori - Malajube
    Montreal - 40ÂșC - Malajube

    Ice Cream - New Young Pony Club
    Get Dancey - New Young Pony Club
    Descend - New Young Pony Club

    Wasted Little DJs - The View

    Hottie Of The Week: Ilan D Hall, Top Chef

    Okay, I know this is not music related, but I can't help myself. I love Top Chef. It's a fantastic show. I just finished watching last night's episode and I literally had my heart beating in fear that my lover dover Ilan might get voted off. That’s when I realized this crush had gotten a little bit out of hand. (I should have realized it when I dragged my friend to the restaurant he works at only to be too nervous to go inside). I won't ruin it for those who haven't had a chance to catch last night's episode yet. But I'm happy to say that my hottie is safe and sound.

    Ilan happens to work at one of my favorite restaurants in New York City that I used to frequent on a regular basis. I was in love with him then, but am even more so in love with him now. Even when he makes fun of that little squirmy Marcel. Anyways, here's a toast to Ilan: let's hope he wins. But if he doesn't....let's hope he stays at my restaurant so that I can get up the confidence to go back in there and say hi.

    I think it's the glasses.

    Name: Ilan D Hall
    Age: 24
    Hometown: Great Neck, New York; Currently resides in New York City, New York
    Profession: Line Cook
    Education: Lorenzo de Medici Apicus Program and Culinary Institute of America

    We're totally getting married.

  • The Walkmen - All Hands And The Cook
  • Wednesday, January 3, 2007

    The View @ Mercury Lounge

    [Pic stolen from Nora]

    Last night, in spite of feeling crummy and tired I ventured over to Mercury to catch the latest NME sensations The View at their early showcase for all those whatsitcalls in the industry (seriously, who were all the old dudes?) Nora and I gave it a 50/50 shot that we'd like them. We really weren't expecting much at all, to be honest. In fact we were both so tired that we took a seat to the left of the stage, and contemplated taking a nap.

    And then they came on stage. And I saw the floppy hair. So I stood up and began to bob my head. (I'm easily persuaded)

    I ended up liking the band, nothing of a lifelong love though. Everyone's calling them the Scottish Arctic Monkeys, however I don't think their songs are as memorable. It was loud, jangly brit rock with a bit of a classic Scottish traditional edge to it. Sing-song? Sure. Fun? Of course. Just nothing mind-blowing.

    We should come to expect this from NME bands, but I still enjoy most of their picks. The View are four young (seriously is one of them 12?) band that jumped around the stage and spouted a lot of babble that I don't think anyone in the crowd understood. Twas a short but sweet set that satisfied my needs, and frankly exceeded my expectations. Perhaps there is more to show from this burgeoning band. We shall see.

  • The View - Same Jeans
  • The View - Wasted Little DJs
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