Thursday, March 30, 2006

Oh, she sure could sing...

Gram Parsons had it right when he sang that line. There's something indescribably beautiful about a talented woman singing with passion. This week I got to see two such women, Brandi Carlile and Kathleen Edwards.

Ms. Carlile played at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia (photo on the left) opening up for Jamie Cullum. For those of you unfamiliar with Philly, the Kimmel Center is the venue where the Philadelphia Orchestra does its thing. In other words, it's no ordinary rock venue. The building is beautiful and the acoustics are top notch. Brandi and her band took the stage to a rousing round of applause from an adoring Philly crowd, and they proceeded to knock out tunes from her debut album with the confidence of a veteran act. Most of her band left the stage so she could do a duet with her cellist, and then the cellist left and Brandi was all alone to finish her set (which, due to a tragic "senior moment", I cannot remember). To close things off she started strumming the delicate appregios of "Halleluiah", the haunting, lovely Leonard Cohen ballad. Her version was so compelling it gave me shivers down my spine. As other fans have noted, she clearly is channeling the spirit of the Jeff Buckley version of the song when she sings it. Outstanding way to end her all-too-brief set. Can't wait to see her when she comes back to headline the TLA in May.

On the "Ohmygawdcanyoubelieveit?!" front, I got to meet her and her band afterwards, which was totally cool. Also, she dueted with Jamie Cullum during his set on Elton John's "Rocket Man". Cullum closed his set with an interesting version of Radiohead's "High And Dry". Not sure about that one, but it was fun to hear.

The next night I had the pleasure of seeing Kathleen Edwards play at the Tin Angel. Her latest, Back To Me, was one of my favorite albums of 2005. I saw her play live in 2005 with her band when she opened for My Morning Jacket at the TLA. I must say, though MMJ is great live, Edwards and her band kicked their ass at that show. So I was really psyched to see her do an acoustic gig at the Tin Angel this week.

She played with Jim Bryson, the mutil-instrumentalist from her touring band, and the show was outstanding from the first note. She opened with "Old Time Sake", my second favorite from Back To Me, and her rendition gave me goosebumps. She played a couple of new songs, which were great, along with a bunch of tracks from her two studio albums, and she ended the show with a cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart", joined onstage by opener Joel Plaskett.

For those of you that don't know Kathleen Edwards, I suppose I'd describe her music as americana-style rock 'n' roll a la Tom Petty, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams or Bruce Springsteen. The rockin' edge in her singer/songwriter vibe likely stems from her love of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and Neil Young's Crazy Horse. Her voice is buttery smooth, reminiscent of a less whiskey-worn Lucinda.

I was struck throughout the show by the smoldering intensity with which Edwards sings. Even when delivering the most delicate of lines, it is clear that there's a fire inside her that fuels her music. It is a powerful thing to watch, for sure, so it was a treat to get to say hi to her after the gig and thank her for a great show. Here's the set:

Old Time Sake
In State
Hockey Skates
One More Song The Radio Won't Like
New Song (says "Solo" on the setlist)
Westby (w/ "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" [U2] tease)
Six O'Clock News
What Are You Waiting For
Pink Emerson Radio
Somewhere Else
Back To Me
New Song #2 (not on setlist)
Only Love Can Break Your Heart [Neil Young] (w/ Joel Plaskett)

"Copied Keys", my favortite, was on the original setlist but she didn't play it, so I've decided to post a version of it from her show in DC on 10-10-05, which was broadcast by WXPN here in Philly.

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Copied Keys (live)

If anyone out there has some acoustic Kathleen Edwards I'd love to hear it. In the meantime, go buy Edwards' records and help support an amazing talent.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Band Practice

Haven't you ever wanted to see your favorite bands rehearse in their own practice space? See a little of what it takes to get that album or that live show up to speed? Pearl Jam let us see some of that in Single Video Theory, and Wilco let us have a glimpse of their inner workings in I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. Now there's a website that puts up cameras and mics in bands' rehearsal spaces and records the results for our viewing pleasure. I stumbled across www.rehearsals.com through Rob Dickinson's website. He's a featured artist on the site, and I must say it was super cool to see him working out his live show with a full band. I only wish he'd bring the whole group on tour here in the US soon...


Music News Roundup

I was away for a week in Florida on vacation, so here's a few tidbits I found upon my return to the world of high speed internet.

Juliana Hatfield has 31 unreleased tracks available for download on her website. That's right, 31 songs! These tunes were available on the site previously when she ran an experiment asking fans to make donations through paypal on an "honor system" for each song they downloaded.

The original experiment was a resounding success so she decided to do it again. Here's the list of tunes available for download - a goldmine for Juliana fans.

Stupid Thing
Better Than Nothing
Now That I Have Found You
Never Coming Out
I'm Shy
Trick Baby
Say My Name
I Didn't Know
Wanna Be The One You Want
Fool Money
Perfect Stranger
Made It
Bad Dream
Ordinary Guy
She's Out
Beautiful Creature
Saving Myself
Going Nowhere
Break My Heart
If I Could
Baby It's Alright
Number One
Because We Love You (demo)
The Only One
For The Lonely Ones
5th of July

In other news from the Hatfield front, Some Girls, Juliana's side project with Freda Love (Blake Babies, Mysteries of Life, Lola) and Heidi Gluck (the Pieces), has a new album coming out July 11th on Koch records.

Snow Patrol has a new album, Eyes Open, set for a US release on May 9th. The first single, "You're All I Have" is streaming on their website, where you can also view the video. The band's MySpace page has clips of both the single and another new track, "Hands Open". The two songs are rocking, so I'm really looking forward hearing the full album.

The boys in Stereophonics are releasing a live album, "Live From Dakota", on April 18th in the US. The full album is streaming on their MySpace page for this week only. Here's a sample of The Bartender And The Thief from the record.

Tool's new album, 10,000 Days, is set for release on May 1st. I'm sure it'll be fantastic just like all of their releases. Here's the tracklist:
Wings For Marie (Pt 1)
10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2)
The Pot
Lipan Conjuring
Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)
Rosetta Stoned
Right In Two
Viginti Tres

Gomez is streaming the first single, "How We Operate", from the forthcoming album of the same name on their website. But I captured the stream and now you can have your very own mp3 of the song for yourself. The album is set for a May 2nd release.

Feeder will release Feeder The Singles on May 15th. They recorded a new track, "Lost And Found", for the album and I have a clip of the song here. It's quite the rocker, kinda like old-school Feeder from the Swim days.

Lots of news from the Idlewild camp. Though they've parted ways with their record label, Parlophone/EMI, they're working on songs for a follow up to last year's phenomenal Warnings/Promises. Also, singer Roddy Woomble is working on two other projects. The first, a solo "folk venture" according to the band's website, will be released in July on Pure Records. The second is a joint effort with Inara George, which will likely see a Fall release.

Though it's not really new news, I still wanted to mention that Matt Nathanson is releasing his live At The Point on April 4th. You can preorder the album here from Awarestore. He's a one-of-a-kind performer, so this solo-acoustic live release has been a long time comin' for his fans. I generally don't get into many male singer/songwriters, but if you like that sort of thing Matt is someone you must check out. He's certainly the exception for me.

From greenplastic.com:
Radiohead will be touring the UK/EU in May, playing a short series of theatre shows before heading off on an American and Canadian tour in June (dates TBC). They'll then play some European festival dates before headlining the V Festival in Chelmsford and Stafford in August.

The tour will be the first opportunity to hear a selection of brand new material that the band has been working on in the studio.

Doves will release the download-only Some Cities Live EP on April 10th, tentatively. The EP contains live recordings from their 2005 tours supporting Some Cities. The tracklist is:
1. Black And White Town
(recorded at the Music Factory, Carlow on 20/12/05)
2. Almost Forgot Myself
(recorded at the Academy, Newcastle on 11/12/05)
3. Snowden
(recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo, London on 7/21/05)
4. Ambition
(recorded at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin on 21/12/05)
5. Where We're Calling From / Pounding
(recorded at Warsaw, Brooklyn, New York on 14/9/05)
Details are available on their website, where it appears that the EP will be exclusively on sale.

Elbow will do a brief US tour in April supporting last year's fantastic Leaders of the Free World. The closest gig to me is in NYC so I may have to make a roadtrip...
USA / Canada Tour - April 2006
Saturday, April 08, 2006 los angeles avalon
Sunday, April 09, 2006 san francisco the independent
Tuesday, April 11, 2006 seattle showbox
Wednesday, April 12, 2006 portland dougs fur lounge
Saturday, April 15, 2006 minneapolis the ascot room
Sunday, April 16, 2006 chicago double door
Monday, April 17, 2006 detroit magic stick
Tuesday, April 18, 2006 toronto opera house
Thursday, April 20, 2006 new york webster hall

Embrace released their follow up to 2005's Out Of Nothing, one of my favorite records of last year, on Monday. This New Day is available only in the UK right now, but through the magic of the internet you can have it delivered via post right to your door. Here's the tracklist:
01. No Use Crying
02. Nature's Law
03. Target
04. Sainted
05. I Can't Come Down
06. Celebrate
07. Exploding Machines
08. Even Smaller Stones
09. The End Is Near
10. This New Day

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Live Concert Post #1: Black Crowes VH1 Storytellers

I've decided to post a full live show once and a while, as frequently as I can. Because they're one of my favorite bands of all time and they're about to embark on their first acoustic tour, I thought it was appropriate that the inaugural concert post should be a Crowes acoustic gig. This is the Crowes performing for VH1's Storytellers on 08-27-1996 at The Bottom Line in New York.

From the era when the Crowes were at the peak of their live powers, the show began with only the brothers Robinson on stage, gradually joined by the rest of the band. Hope you enjoy this great moment in Black Crowes concert history.

Good Friday*
Under A Mountain**
Story 1
Thorn In My Pride**
Jealous Again
Story 2
Wiser Time
Story 3
She Talks To Angels
Story 4
Hard To Handle
Story 5
Ballad In Urgency
Story 6
Story 7
- encore -
Story 8
She (Gram Parsons cover)
Torn And Frayed (Rolling Stones cover)
  • Chris & Rich only *
  • Chris, Rich, Steve & Eddie only **
  • The rest was played by the entire band except Johnny.

  • Labels:

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    "Mission Accomplished"

    It's been three years now since we invaded Iraq based on a slew of lies and doctored intelligence. I still remember vividly that day in March of 2003. I was on vacation in Florida and ended up spending most of my time there glued to the TV, watching CNN and other news networks for updates on the US invasion. The sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as the TV covered the fireworks of the "shock and awe" campaign hasn't subsided, but it's been joined over the past three years by burning frustration and shame. My government is responsible for the atrocities in Iraq, and therefore I am responsible too.

    The end is nowhere in sight and the country of Iraq is slipping further and further into oblivion with each passing day of the US occupation. Conservative estimates on the casualties suffered by US forces and the Iraqi people are given below. When are we as Americans going to stand up and demand that our government end this disastrous endeavor? When will the cost, both human and financial, finally be too much?

    Here are some of the things that appeared in the press today, noting another anniversary of this tragic chapter in US history.

    From the AP:
    Beginning the fourth year of an unpopular war, President Bush defended his Iraq record on Monday against skeptical questioning. He said he could "understand people being disheartened" but appealed to Americans to look beyond the bloodshed and see signs of progress.
    Hmm. It's a tricky thing, progress...

    From the New York Times:
    "It is unfortunate that we are in civil war," said Mr. [Ayad] Allawi, who served as prime minister after the American invasion and now leads a 25-seat secular alliance of representatives in Iraq's 275-seat National Assembly. "We are losing each day, as an average, 50 to 60 people through the country, if not more."

    "If this is not civil war," he said, "then God knows what civil war is."

    ...Mr. Allawi's assessment was contradicted by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the senior American commander in Iraq, who said on the CNN program "Late Edition" on Sunday that "We're a long way from civil war."

    The war has taken more than 2,300 American lives, and those of 33,000 to 37,000 Iraqis, according to the estimates of the Iraq Body Count Project, an independent group that monitors the news media.
    And from the NYT Editorial Page on Sunday:
    Three years ago, the United States invaded Iraq. We can all run the story through our minds: Shock and Awe, Coalition of the Willing, Mission Accomplished, looting, "Stuff happens," no W.M.D., suicide bombers, purple fingers, blasted shrine.

    Many who supported the invasion have taken this anniversary to argue that it all would have been worthwhile if things had been run better. They argue that if the coalition forces had been large enough to actually secure the country, to keep insurgents from raiding Saddam Hussein's ammunition depots, to give the people a sense of safety, the country might well be on the road to a hopeful future.

    We doubt it. The last three years have shown how little our national leaders understood Iraq, and have reminded us how badly attempts at liberation from the outside have gone in the past. Given where we are now, the question of whether a botched invasion created a lost opportunity might be moot, except for one thing. The man who did the botching, Donald Rumsfeld, is still the secretary of defense.
    From The Independent/UK, this article entitled " Iraq Occupation: Three Years On and Still They're Lying to Us":
    Mr Bush faces a difficult balancing act between downplaying difficulties in Iraq and raising expectations of a pullout of American forces. In his weekly radio address yesterday he urged Americans to resist the temptation to retreat from Iraq. Despite "horrific" images, he said, progress was being made on the political and military fronts.

    "These past three years have tested our resolve. We've seen hard days and setbacks," Mr Bush said. But his administration was "fixing what has not worked". With the President reduced to appealing to Iraqi leaders to achieve a consensus, however, the limits on his ability to influence events were clear.
    From AlterNet:
    At the end of last year, Iraqis had 11 percent less electricity and 36 percent less potable water than before the 2003 invasion. The number of Iraqis with sewer access has fallen by 90 percent, and oil output is down by more than 20 percent. A poll in mid-2004 found that seven out of 10 Iraqis see the United States as "occupiers," not "liberators." A more recent survey (PDF) showed that almost half of all Iraqis support armed attacks on U.S. troops. And this weekend, former Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi told the BBC that Iraq was smack in the middle of a civil war.

    That is the essential truth of what we have wrought in Iraq.

    That's the reality 35 months after the president stood before a banner reading "Mission Accomplished" and thanked "all of the citizens of Iraq who welcomed our troops and joined in the liberation of their own country."

    For three long and disastrous years, the administration has continued to put that sunny spin on the havoc it has wrought. As long as that obstinate state of denial persists, we have little reason to hope for anything better before we face the war's fourth anniversary.
    From The Guardian:
    The US commander in Iraq, General George Casey, said that the troop withdrawals he had forecast for this spring or summer might have to wait until the end of the year or even 2007. And Paul Eaton, a former American army general in charge of training Iraqi forces until 2004, marked the anniversary with a furious attack on Mr Rumsfeld, saying he was "not competent to lead our armed forces".

    Since the invasion of Iraq three years ago, the US military has lost more than 2,300 troops in combat, roadside explosions, insurgent attacks and friendly fire. But that figure is dwarfed by estimates for the number of Iraqis killed, which range from a conservative 30,000 to a more speculative 100,000. As many as 50 people are killed every day. Britain has lost 103 soldiers in Iraq, while other nations together have lost 94 troops. But the cost of war has not just been measured in human terms. There is the financial cost. The US is still spending $6bn (£3.5bn) a month in Iraq, primarily on the 130,000 troops it still maintains in the country.
    From the BBC:
    The third anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq earns scornful press comment across the Middle East, with many papers angry at what they see as the gap between President Bush's rhetoric and the Iraqi reality.

    There is outrage at the conditions on the ground, with one paper asking "is the daily discovery of bodies the freedom President Bush says Iraqis are living in?"

    There is also widespread disbelief at President Bush's continued assertion that the ousting of Saddam Hussein has made the world a safer place.
    More from the BBC:
    Coalition officials assured us that the elections in January and December last year would result in a down-turn in the number of killings and bombings. They were wrong, too. Today the situation in Iraq is worse than at any time since the fall of Saddam.
    It's hard to maintain a sense of optimism in the face of this distaster, but I like the sentiment of this piece published on Common Dreams today. It gives a constructive focus to the outrage that many of us feel.
    Almost 40 years ago Martin Luther King talked about what he called "the madness of militarism." And it's with us, here and now; it's with us in the United States every time a child is malnourished, every time people need medical care and don't get it and suffer and sometimes lose their lives, while the military budgets of this country -- over half a trillion dollars a year -- are spent not on defense but on military expenditures, which dwarf anything that could be accurately described as defense. The madness of militarism that Dr. King talked about is expressed every day by the likes of Senator Feinstein, who demands "competence" in war and says that it must be done right.

    We need a peace effort, not a war effort, from the United States. Instead of doing a better job of killing, there's a movement around this country to compel what is said to be our own government to do a much much much better job of sustaining life -- instead of taking it.

    The problem isn't that this war may not be winnable. The problem is the war was and is and always will be wrong, and must be stopped.

    At every demonstration for peace and social justice, why are we here? Because those are values we want to live for.

    And why are we here on this earth? Why are any of us here? Not an easy question to answer. But activism is a way of insisting that we're not here to be part of war machinery. We're not here to be part of the killing, we're not here to aid and abet or enable those like George W. Bush who lead the charge to slaughter in the name of freedom to serve profit. We're here with a very different mission.
    Here are some resources for folks that want to help take action:

    Bring Them Home Now
    Military Families Speak Out
    United For Peace And Justice
    Amnesty International
    True Majority Action
    Move On

    Saturday, March 18, 2006

    Ain't We The Lucky Ones

    I've been reeling ever since I left the Mercury Lounge in New York Tuesday night. Irish singer/rocker/songwriter Gemma Hayes did a one-off show there before heading off to Texas for the SXSW festival, and I've got to admit it - I'm head over heels in love. Hayes has the voice of an angel and the songs to back it up, and it certainly doesn't hurt that she is drop dead gorgeous either. A little background on my latest rock 'n' roll crush...

    Hayes released her debut album, Night On My Side in 2002 in the UK (2003 in the US), and it was critically acclaimed on both shores. She released her second record, The Roads Don't Love You last year in the UK only. According to her label, there are no current plans to release the new record Stateside.

    Her sound ranges from introspective folk rock to uptempo pop rock to full-on, ear-splitting noise rock a la My Bloody Valentine. A few singles from the first album, such as "Ran For Miles", "Back Of My Hand", "Hanging Around" and "Let A Good Thing Go", did well in the UK. I first heard her when a friend, who knows I'm a sucker for a talented female rocker and who also knows Juliana Hatfield is one of my all-time favorite artists, sent me a link to check out the video for "Let A Good Thing Go".

    Let A Good Thing Go (video) - Real Audio Media

    I was hooked immediately and proceeded to buy her album and all its singles from amazon.co.uk before the video faded to black.

    My favorite song on Night On My Side is "Lucky One (Bird of Cassadaga)".

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    Lucky One (mp3)

    It's only got two lines in it - "Ain't you the lucky one/ Never needing more than this" - repeated like a mantra as Gemma strums disonant chords on her guitar. Slowly the band builds up to a screaming crescendo, with distorted guitars, drums and fuzzed-out bass crashing down in a swirling mess of noise before fading out so that only Gemma's guitar and voice are left to bring the song to a close.

    To give you glimpse of the less noisy side of her music, I've posted mp3s of "Ran For Miles" and "November".

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    Ran For Miles (mp3)
    November (mp3)

    Her latest is a little less noise-rock and a little more pop rock than Night On My Side, but still contains enough tempo changes and disonant guitars to appease fans of the debut. In fact, The Roads Don't Love You is the kind of record that grows on a listener after repeated listens.

    Hopefully I've made it clear that Gemma Hayes is a talent to be reckoned with. She can soothe you, seduce you, rock you, serenade you and kick your ass many times over during the course of a live set, and Tuesday night's Mercury Lounge gig was no exception. She unasumingly sauntered onto the stage with her band, and after a brief intro to the first song in her lovely Irish lilt, won over the 3/4 full room with one knockout performance after another.

    Her band, which was fantastic, played the songs at slower tempos than the studio versions. This made the uptempo songs rock a little harder and the slower songs have a greater emotional impact. Gemma's voice was clear as a bell thanks to a great job by the sound engineer. "Lucky One" was sooooo good live that it gave me chills from the first chord.

    Here's the setlist:

    Happy Sad
    Another For The Darkness
    Hanging Around
    Easy On The Eye
    Back Of My Hand
    Two Step
    Lucky One
    Whole Wide World (Wreckless Eric cover)
    Nothing Can
    Something In My Way (Gemma solo acoustic)
    Evening Sun (Gemma solo acoustic)
    Let A Good Thing Go

    I took a little video during the show, so here are some clips for your enjoyment.

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    Gemma Live 1 (avi)
    Gemma Live 2 (avi)

    One of my favorite b-sides of hers is "Stop The Wheel", which totally rocks out live. Here's a version from the 2002 Witness Festival.

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    Stop The Wheel (live)

    Buy Gemma's records here.

    For more info check out her official site or her MySpace page.


    Monday, March 13, 2006

    Too Much Is Never Enough

    I've been reminiscing about the Rob Dickinson show I saw a couple of weeks ago at the North Star Bar downtown. Absolutely phenomenal show. I read an online review of another solo gig of his that said something like "the ghost of Catherine Wheel was alive and well during Dickinson's set." So true! His new material, which I think is fantastic, fit right in with the slew of Catherine Wheel tunes he played. In fact, I couldn't believe the number of CW tunes he included.

    (If you're reading this wondering who Catherine Wheel is, you need to do a little homework. They are, in my opinion, one of the most tragically underrated and abundantly talented bands of the 90s. Dickinson was the primary songwriter in the band. Check out their MySpace page for a little background. I'm sure I'll post more about Catherine Wheel in the future.)

    Anyway, back to Dickinson's show at the North Star... He opened with the CW tune "Heal", one of my faves. In this setting, only Rob and an acoustic guitar with a few effects, the song was even more emotionally compelling than the original. Without the electric guitars and full-band bombast of the studio track, Dickinson's voice took center stage. He didn't have to belt out the lyrics to be heard over the usual cacophony of his former band, so he was able to showcase the subtlety and nuance in his gifted vocal chords. Makes me wish CW had released a full acoustic album back in the day...

    The set continued with stellar performance after stellar performance. "All of That"!? "Little Muscle" acoustic?! "Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuck"?!!! I couldn't believe it. The highlight from his solo material had to be "Towering And Flowering", the final track on Fresh Wine For The Horses and the last new tune he played at the show. Rob really stretches out melodically on this one. Good stuff.

    After "Towering...", the craziness really kicked in. Someone had been screaming out Catherine Wheel requests throughout the night, and in particular this guy really wanted to hear "Delicious". Well, Rob didn't disappoint. He kicked into the sweet opening riff from that song, which turned out to be the start of a string of Catherine Wheel songs that I never dreamed I'd get to hear. Sometime during the evening Rob intimated that Catherine Wheel might still get back together at some point. Now that's what I'm talking about! Thank you Mr. Dickinson for one of my favorite concert experiences in a long time!

    Full Set:

    The Storm
    All Of That
    My Name Is Love
    Bathe Away
    Little Muscle
    Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuck
    Intelligent People
    Towering And Flowering
    The Nude
    Black Metallic
    Future Boy

    There's an audience recording of one of Rob's solo gigs here. The sound quality isn't bad at all.

    Check out these Rob Dickinson live tracks from a set he did for KEXP in Seattle.

    Future Boy
    The Night
    The Storm

    Download the songs here.

    Go buy Rob's solo record, Fresh Wine For The Horses, here.

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    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    Live Action Simpsons

    This is too funny.

    Live Action Simpsons Video

    Brandi Carlile

    I posted earlier about how I'd missed this talented artist's debut album when it was released in 2005. Only through the advice of a student of mine did I check out her self-titled album, and I was immediately blown away by Ms. Carlile's subtle yet powerful voice. Her songs are well crafted and full of hooks. In other words, she's got the goods with which to enjoy a long, successful career in music.

    I was inspired by Heather's recent post on her blog, I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, so I decided to post some Brandi for your listening pleasure. Can't wait to see her live when she comes to Philly at the end of March. Enjoy, and if she suits your fancy help support an emerging talent by buying her debut album.

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    Throw It All Away (acoustic)
    Eye Of The Needle (acoustic)
    Fall Apart Again (acoustic)
    Hiding My Heart (live)
    What Can I Say (live)
    My Song (live)


    He Watches The Watchmen

    The Vendetta Behind 'V for Vendetta'

    Published: March 12, 2006

    THE most vivid characters in Alan Moore's graphic novels are antiheroes of ambiguous morality and identity: costumed avengers like Rorschach, the disturbed street vigilante of "Watchmen," or the crusader known only by the letter V, who commits catastrophic acts of terrorism in the dystopian tale "V For Vendetta."

    Read more.

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Signs of the End Times

    2006: New Guns N' Roses album released, Alice In Chains touring... what does it all mean?

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    BRMC Release Howl Sessions EP

    From Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's website:
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are proud to announce the release of the Howl Sessions EP. This 6 track CD comprises of songs recorded at the same time as Howl.
    The CD is available now on the current US tour and will be available to buy online soon.

    The tracklist is as follows:
    1. Grind My Bones
    2. Mercy
    3. Wishing Well
    4. Steal A Ride
    5. Feel It Now
    6. Pretend

    This exclusive, limited edition item will be be rubber banded to Howl at independent record stores across the US. A list of stores will be announced soon.
    Glad I've only shelled out for one import single so far. I wish more bands would do this kinda thing while they're supporting a current release. I mean, Pearl Jam's Lost Dogs was great because of the unreleased b-sides it contained. But it was a total drag when they first released all their formerly import-only singles domestically years after collectors like me had spent a lot of moeny helping the British and Japanese economies while we culled the band's non-album/rare tracks. Kudos to BRMC for following up their best album yet with a treat for their fans.

    Here's a live session recorded for NPR's World Cafe:

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    01 - Weight Of The World
    02 - Complicated Situation
    03 - Devil's Waitin'
    04 - Fault Line