Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Radiohead Album "In Rainbows" Breaks 10/10

Well, the news is all over at this point, but in case you missed it: the new Radiohead album "In Rainbows" drops on October 10th, and the band is allowing listeners to pay as they see fit for the digital download. Leave it to Radiohead to break ground not just musically, but with their business model as well. Should be interesting to see how it turns out.

The options include a digital download, or a fancy-shmancy "discbox" with lots of vinyl goodness, and a bonus CD:

Album Name: In Rainbows
Available In: Download or Discbox
Release Date: Download: October 10 Discbox: December 3
Prices: Download: Whatever you want it to be Discbox: £40 (roughly $80)
CD 1: (digital download and discbox)


CD 2: (discbox only)

MK 1
MK 2

Preorder the download at

Saturday, September 29, 2007

"The Jerry Springer of Indie Rock": The National Hits Up The Grand Ballroom

Tonight current New Yorkers (and former Cincinnatians) The National took the stage at the Regency Grand Ballroom to play to a sold out crowd. Throughout the set, the band firmly avoided their first two records, and before "Daughters of The Soho Riots" lead singer Matt Berninger even stated "This is off our first album, which is actually our third.". So, needless to say, the band's position on old material seemed clear.

The set was a tight, well orchestrated demonstration of the song structure that defines much of The National's sound: steadily building energy based around Berninger's vocals, ending in a chaotic frenzy of instrumentation. The mellower moments were fewer and further between. However, the slower, more quiet moments really gave the band a chance to shine.

The subtle interplay between the band members, and the clarity of the arrangements, really allows one to see how much consideration is given to these arrangements. Moreover, even when the band rocks out, it has a distinct feel of being controlled chaos.

I would have liked to have seen more actual chaos, and Berninger seemed to be doing his damnedest to make it happen. At times it almost seemed like there was a struggle interior to the band as to which way the show would go. Ultimately it fell somewhere in between: The band delivered solid, well conceived performances, while Berninger destroyed mic stands and screamed his lungs out.

For the encore, opener St. Vincent joined the band for an (unfortunately) quiet vocal contribution to "Green Gloves". The band then launched into an extreme and rowdy "Mr. November", which saw Berninger climbing the PA stacks, over the crowd barriers, and ultimately ending the show in the middle of the crowd. With a flourish he was back on stage, and the band was out the door.

Start A War
Mistaken For Strangers
Secret Meeting
Baby, We'll Be Fine
Slow Show
Lit Up
Squalor Victoria
All The Wine
Racing Like A Pro
Apartment Story
Daughters Of The Soho Riots
Fake Empire
About Today
Green Gloves (feat. St. Vincent)
Mr. November

More photos available at the h.a.d flickr feed

The National "Boxer" Video Site

Friday, September 28, 2007

Yo La Tengo To Play Palace Of Fine Arts

It looks like indie-kid favorites Yo La Tengo will be making a fall return to our city of fog. The trio will be playing as "The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo", and the show is described as:

A little bit Storytellers, a little bit Unplugged, with a soupcon of their famously varied Hanukkah shows, it will feature the band playing an almost-acoustic set of songs from their entire catalog, with stories about their life as a band, and an encouraged back-and-forth with the audience.

Sounds like it should be a fun show, especially since the band has been pretty rockin' their last few stops in the city.

The show will be at the Palace Of The Fine Arts theater on November 1st. Ticket information is still listed as "TBA" on the Yo La Tengo site, but the POTFA site says this Sunday (the 30th) at 10 AM via ticketmaster. In the meantime, these mp3's from the freewheeling tour should give you a taste of the vibe.

mp3: Yo La Tengo - The Summer (Live On KEXP, Freewheeling Yo La Tengo tour)
mp3: Yo La Tengo - I Feel Like Going Home (Live On KCMP, Freewheeling Yo La Tengo tour)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Coming To Slim's: Caribou

Over the past few years, Merge Records has had an exceptionally good track record of signing some awesome artists: Spoon, M. Ward, Magnetic Fields, Neutral Milk Hotel, the list goes on and on. Their recent signing Caribou is no exception: the band's sound is extremely hard to place, but at the same time oddly familiar. Their are elements of the vocals and experimentalism that seem to draw from the same school as Animal Collective, but then at times the sound is polished enough to recall the Beach Boys. Needless to say, it's interesting stuff.

Even more interesting is the fact that on October 27th, Caribou will be at Slim's. I'm extremely curious to see how their album sound will translate to the live format, and which elements of their sound they choose to embrace. See you there?

mp3: Caribou - Irene
mp3: Caribou - Eli

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gigs This Week: Lots Of 'Em

Well, if you're looking for something to do this week, you picked a good one. In no particular order:

Morrissey @ The Fillmore
Maps @ Bottom Of The Hill
Bad Brains @ Slim's

Chk Chk Chk @ Mezzanine
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ The Independent
Voxtrot @ Bimbo's
Low @ GAMH

Morrissey @ The Fillmore
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ The Independent
Low @ GAMH

Morrissey @ The Fillmore
Jason Collett & Josh Rouse @ The Independent
Arctic Monkeys @ The Warfield (moved from Bill Graham Civic Center), also DJing PopScene afterwards....
Midlake @ GAMH

Klaxons @ The Fillmore
Chemical Brothers @ The Concourse

The National and St. Vincent @ The Regency Ballroom
Ladytron @ Mezzanine
Girl Talk @ The Fillmore

So, yeah - if you're at a loss as to where to be, join the club.

Japancakes To Cover Loveless In Its Entirety

Last Friday news came down the wire that Japancakes intends to cover My Bloody Valentine's classic Loveless in its entirety. I just got a chance to listen to the leaked "Only Shallow", and while it's decent, it doesn't seem to really merit much hype. Loveless is such a standout, timeless album: do we really need a cover of it, even if it is a competent one? Moreover, the cover is just too clean: all those bendy synths and guitars are missing. Have a listen:

mp3: Japancakes - Only Shallow

The 'Fork Was At Morrissey Last Night

If you've got a jonesin' for some pics from last night's Morrissey show, well, we didn't happen to make it over - but Pitchfork did! For those who missed it, there's three more nights of Moz to come...

Pitchfork: Morrissey @ The Fillmore

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mercury Prize Winners Klaxons Playing The Fillmore 9/28

If you ever get the feeling that there are musical trends going on in Europe that we seem to be missing out on, well, you're probably right. However, next Friday you will have chance to remedy said problem. English sensation, and recent Mercury Prize winners, Klaxons will be playing the Fillmore on Friday the 28th. The band seems to avoid categorization, but has been described as everything from "acid-rave sci-fi punk-funk" to "Nu Rave". Maybe H.A.D. readers can come up with another, even more apt classification. Until then, listen up to some mp3's, and get yourself a ticket to the gig. It's time to get Euro-conscious.

mp3: Klaxons - Golden Skans
mp3: Klaxons - It's Not Over Yet

Next Week: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Playing 2 Nights At The Independent

Following their afternoon gig at Treasure Island Festival last weekend, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have decided to come back through town for a two night stand next Tuesday and Wednesday at The Independent. I'm hoping this headliner slot will give them a chance to work out a few more sonic jams similar to the "Satan Said Dance" awesomeness from TI, as well as give the second album a bit more face time. Tickets are $15 and are still available for both shows - go to the Independent box office to avoid pesky service fees. Elvis Perkins opens both nights.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pink Nasty @ Rickshaw Stop

I gave fair warning, but those who couldn't make it tonight will be excused. You still have two chances: tomorrow night at Hotel Utah, and Friday at Sweetwater Saloon. Tonight, Pink Nasty (aka Sara Beck) played a fantastic set at the Rickshaw Stop.

Backed by her accompanying guitarist, Pink Nasty managed to successfully toe the line between singer-songwriter, and full on rock musician. Some of the songs had kick and some were ballady, but all managed to deliver on Ms. Beck's amazing voice. Moreover, the two guitar interplay managed to transcend the absence of a full band and work hammer out a thoroughly enjoyable performance.

On to tomorrow night!

More photos at the H.A.D. flickr feed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Okkervil River Show From September 5th Available For Download!

Some kind soul was good enough to tape September 5th's fantastic Okkervil River show, and it's now up for download at fan site Down The Oubliette! It is definitely an audience recording, but in general the quality is fantastic. Enjoy!

Click To Download: Okkervil River 09-05-2007

If you need help with the flac file format: FLAC homepage

Lemonheads, Walkmen, On-Sale This Sunday

Adding to yesterday's news of Feist and Fiona Apple On-Sales, Sunday will also feature on-sales for the previously mentioned Walkmen show, as well as a newly announced Lemonheads show. The Walkmen will be playing the Independent on November 13th, while the Lemonheads will be in attendance at Slim's on November 30th.

Remember kids: winter means shows!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Girl Rawk: Feist @ Nob Hill Masonic Center, Fiona Apple @ Warfield

Whether you like your lady rockers spunky and upbeat, or if you like 'em morose and dramatic, the loverly city of San Francisco has something for everyone!

Poppy, romantic, and Canadian
: Feist will be returning to the city on November 9th to do a show at The Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium.

Dramatic, tumultuous, and angry
: Fiona Apple will be at the Warfield October 25th.

I'd say the Feist show has a pretty good chance at being amazing, while the Fiona Apple show has a bit more of a gamble to it. Take your pick - tickets for both shows go on sale this Sunday, September 23rd, at 10 AM.

09-17-2007: Animal Collective @ The Fillmore

If it's difficult to describe an Animal Collective record, then it's ten times harder to describe an Animal Collective concert. In the live environment, the band's already fragmented melodies and structures are further deconstructed into swirling masses of sound. Boundaries of songs are unclear, and at times the vocal layers of Avey Tare and Panda Bear made their voices indistinguishable.

The feel of the concert was a surprise for me: it was an odd conglomeration of hipsters, stoners and music nerds. The band's performance was similarly unable to be categorized, and jumped back and forth from being catchy, to noisy, to almost dub-like.

Throughout the show, the crowd was rather docile, with bursts of energy coming when a recognizable song structure appeared. The most notable of these bursts came (surprisingly) with the new track "Peacebone". Throughout the song, the crowd was bouncing and dancing, and the floor of the Fillmore moved with them...

I'm still reeling from the experience of tonight's show: trying to digest it, understand what I heard, and figure out how it related to the band's recorded material. One thing I can say with certainty is that the same things that are making Animal Collective's records compelling also applies to the live experience. The band manages to create a unique soundscape that challenges the listener, draws them in for more, and ultimately leaves them questioning the boundries of music.

More photos available at the H.A.D. flickr feed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hype Alert: Pink Nasty

Current indie rock "it girl" Pink Nasty will be making the rounds solo-style in the Bay Area this week: Wednesday she's at Rickshaw Stop, Thursday at Hotel Utah, and Friday at the Sweetwater Saloon in Mill Valley. Should give you ample chance to catch the tunes, which I must say, are good.

Mother Hips (acoustic) are the headliner on both Thursday and Friday.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Here's To Next Year: Treasure Island Festival A Huge Success

The event planners over at Another Planet Entertainment and Noise Pop must be congratulating themselves, and if they're not, they should be. Today's Treasure Island Festival went off without a hitch: the weather was beautiful, the bands were great, the sets were on time, the port a potties were ample, and the transportation was no fuss. It must have been a real hassle to get all of these potentially nightmarish variables in line with each other, but boy were we glad they did! Here at H.A.D., we set up by the front of the Bridge Stage (ie. "big bands" stage) to bring you the best we could offer in concert reporting!

Au Revoir Simone:
The first band of the day was a pleasant surprise. A trio of women from Brooklyn rockin' it out on a bunch of analog synths. This has the potential to be irritating and typical, but they managed to pull it off with originality and flair. There were some hiccups (tuning the synths and general nervousness, mainly), but in the end it wound up being a great opener to a day that would otherwise be filled with guitar driven rock.

Two Gallants:
The last time I saw Two Gallants, they were opening for Bloc Party at the Greek Theater. I don't know if it's the passage of time, a different crowd, or just my perspective, but I enjoyed today a lot more. Obviously, the formula hasn't changed: they're still a two piece guitar and drum band, but today their music seemed more dynamic and spacious. They seem to be exploring new sonic and songwriting avenues, and they result is a much stronger performance.

M. Ward:
I happen to love M. Ward, so it's difficult to evaluate his set without doting on him quite a bit. It was great seeing him with a full band (two drum kits!) after the solo show at Bimbo's this spring. Basically, the man just comes out and owns the stage. He tore it up on electric guitar, he rocked out on the piano, he got sweet and quiet on "Post War".

The set, sadly, did not include "Transfiguration of Vincent", one of my faves. The latest disc Post War was very well represented, along with a track or two from each of the other discs: "Flaming Heart", "Helicopter", "Regeneration #1" were all played.

The first half of the set was completely exemplary, but the second half (while enjoyable) got a little bit loose. I don't know if the band just wasn't in practice, or if there was miscommunication, but it wasn't anything you could point out directly. Nonetheless, M. Ward and band managed to keep it together and deliver a thoroughly pleasing set.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah:
Almost all of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's set indicated that they are still touring largely on the strength of their awesome first album. All the positive crowd response (which was completely justified) was centered around the older songs, and the band seemed to know it, and frankly, to be a bit annoyed about it. Many of the songs would end semi-abruptly, and lead singer Alec Ounsworth seemed to clip lines of lyrics at the end of a number of songs.

The positive vision I found of the "new" CYHSYA was a completely killer distorted noise fest on "Satan Said Dance". It represented a complex and interesting new direction that I really think could represent the band well. All of the tunes were fun, and the band was tight, but I think they need to take a break from touring and decide where the live show is going in regard to supporting old material, and digging into the new.

Built To Spill:
I know I'll offend a lot of die-hards if I express my ambivalence to the B2S set, so I'll leave it at this: The band is extremely tight instrumentally, and has their live show down pat. It just doesn't reel me in personally, and as such I don't even really think I feel comfortable commenting on the quality of their performance, as I found it falling in my lap with a resounding "eh".

If I'm being completely honest, I will simply say that this is the show I came to the TI Festival for. Every time I've seen Britt Daniel and Co. since I first did so in 2003, I have been consistently impressed. Their live show is a rock and roll tour de force, that kicks the album tracks up to a new level. tonight was no exception.

After Britt Daniel's greeting of the crowd with an event appropriate "Argh", the music began. The set started out slow with "Black Like Me" and "Anything You Want", and gradually gained momentum from there. A few tracks from Gimme Fiction, along with "Don't Make Me A Target", led into a somewhat troublesome version of "The Ghost Of You Lingers". Evidently it was hindered by keyboard technical difficulties. Still, the band kept it together, and delivered a decent version.

A rocking rendition of "The Beast And Dragon Adored" followed, and opened the flood gates for the rest of the show. The band flew through the new songs "The Underdog", "Don't You Evah", and "You've Got Yr Cherry Bomb", and culminated with an absolutely electrifying version of "My Mathematical Mind".

In perhaps what was one of the fan-centric moments of the show, as Spoon's set came to a close, some girls shouted "Please, please, play 'Japanese Cigarette Case'". Britt Daniel turned to the band and said "Guys, let's do Japanese Cigarette Case". After blazing through the new tune, the band shifted gears into the old skool "Quincy Punk Episode", and made a hasty exit. The hour went by in a flash, and we were left wanting more.

Modest Mouse:
For many, the festival's main event was the Modest Mouse closer. For me, I wasn't sure what to expect: I enjoy the band on record, but had never seen them live.

Their 1:15+ set focused mainly on the two most recent albums, and much of it was the less subtle side of the Modest Mouse sound. That is to say, driven less by songwriting, and more by Isaac Brock's aggressive vocals. For some, this might seem like the point of Modest Mouse. After all, it is Brock's brainchild. To me, this is the less exciting side of Modest Mouse. I prefer the subtle emphasis of layering and instrumentation paired with Brock's lyrical gift that is a hallmark on every album.

I was impressed by a lot of the performance, and the strongest tracks seemed to be those that had been co-written by new band guitarist Johnny Marr. "We've Got Everything", "Missed The Boat" and "Fire It Up" all sounded fantastic. Marr's input has taken the band in a direction that I find much more desirable, and the live show demonstrated as much. However, I left feeling like Brock's aggressive vocals and guitar overshadowed what could have been a fantastic closer to the festival.

In Conclusion
Despite any subjective opinions of the performances, I think it's indisputable that the Treasure Island Festival was a resounding success. See you next year!

MANY more photos available over at the H.A.D. flick feed.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Weekend You've Been Waiting For: Treasure Island Is Here

The view from the TI Festival site.

Depending on your perspective, the Treasure Island Festival (which takes place this weekend) is either another corporate gathering of carefully selected marketable musicians, or it's San Francisco's first outdoor, weekend spanning, indie fest by local promoters Another Planet Entertainment. I guess the reality is that it's a bit of both. If the beautiful weather holds up, it should stand to be an awesome weekend out of doors with some fantastic music.

The action kicks off tonight with a pre-party show by Kid Koala. Tomorrow is the first official day of the festival, featuring more dance-oriented and electronica acts. HEadliners include Thievery Corporation, Gotan Project, DJ Shadow, and M.I.A. Saturday night sees Grizzly Bear playing an after-show at Mezzanine. Sunday is the more "rock" day of the festival, with appearances by Modest Mouse, Spoon, M. Ward, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and others. The weekend closes out with a show by Built To Spill at the Independent. H.A.D. will be in attendance at Grizzly Bear and the Sunday festival, so expect pics and reviews to come down the wire!

Full Festival Schedule:
Tickets for the festival are still available on-line.

Walkmen @ The Independent On November 13th

It's not up on the official schedule yet, but H.A.D. has gotten word that the Walkmen will be playing the Independent on November 13th - Yes! It's been more than a year since their awesome two night stand at GAMH, and with a new record on the way, well - this should be good. Details to follow...

Spoon Live On Leno Last Night

In preparation for the weekend's main event, I figured I'd start us off with this video of Spoon doing Black Like Me last night on Leno. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Last Night: Dirty Projectors @ Bottom Of The Hill

Three surprises for me at tonight's Dirty Projectors show:

1) The band rocks live. Yes, there's enthusiasm on the record, but the live experience surpasses it tenfold.

2) The vocals on the record are not overdubs. Seriously. I was shocked - the band nails complex three part harmonies consistently over the course of the entire set.

3) Dave Longstreth != Dirty Projectors. (that's "not equal" for all you non-nerds) From the reviews you would think that his introverted genius fueled a group of session musicians - not so. The rest of the band contributed endless amounts of inspiration to create the full effect.

At tonight's show I felt like I was watching the emergence of a genre, or the discovery of something as of yet undefined. There were times when the crowd didn't quite seem to "get it", yet undeniably loved it. The Dirty Projectors performance was a mix of all things that are good about live performance: technical proficiency, random creativity, and unbridled charisma.

The comparison I would most immediately make for Dave Longstreth is an early-days David Byrne. I don't know if he was purposefully aping Byrne's moves, but the vibe was there. He managed to rock out in a frenetic and vibrant way that at once created chaos, and at the same time imbued his guitar with a mathematical abruptness and sterility.

Perhaps the most compelling part about the set was how unlike the album it was. Despite being an amazing performance, it departed from the records on so many levels that it almost begged for a return examination of the source material. I know that over the next few days I'll be listening with the hope of a piece of what I heard tonight.

The band closed with an amazing version of "Police Story", and despite my previous post, it was anything but a comical delivery. The band nailed it, and sent everyone home wanting more.

More photos (and higher res) at the H.A.D. flickr feed.