Friday, November 30, 2007

Ryan Adams Coming To The Bay Area In Late January

After this past summer's stellar set of performances, we can't help but be a bit excited that Ryan Adams will be returning to the Bay Area so soon! On January 23rd, Adams will be playing the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, and on the 28th he'll be playing Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley. Moreover, it looks like there are quite a few as-of-yet-free days in the tour schedule, so here's hoping he makes a stop in the city proper!

Both events go on sale this Sunday via Ticketmaster.

Field Trip: Sondre Lerche @ The Paradise In Boston

So, like many of you, we here at H.A.D. tend to travel around the holidays. When we do, we try to keep our eyes open for shows at those foreign locales: Seeing bands in different venues can really mix up the feel, and give you a nice change of pace in a new city. After missing Sondre Lerche in SF a few weeks back, we were determined to check out his set at the Paradise while we were in Boston. The Paradise is a favorite venue in our former city of residence. It's not dissimilar to the independent, but it's even smaller. All seats in the house are great, and it always serves to make for a high quality, intimate show.

Sondre Lerche was in fine form on this particular evening, and brought a very warm crowd a completely awesome set of tunes. He played a lot of new stuff off of Phantom Punch, as well as songs from the Lerche-penned (unbeknownst to us!) soundtrack to "Dan In Real Life". Lerche played both acoustic and electric, and did a great job at keeping the set moving. There were a couple spots where it slowed down significantly, but it always kicked back into gear in short time.

It was nice to see Lerche focus on so much new material: his older albums are great, but they had a certain uniformity to them that seems to be disappearing in the newer releases. The new songs have much more distinct character. In short, Sondre's songwriting is improving. Not such a surprise when your first album comes out when you're what...17?

As we mentioned before, Sondre Lerche never seems to disappoint, and even solo his show was riveting start to finish. If you haven't seen him, keep your eyes open for next time: this is too good to pass up!

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

Monday, November 26, 2007

Spoon Live @ The Treasure Island Festival

It's no secret that we here at H.A.D. are big fans of the live music selection over at Unfortunately, the scope of the available recordings means that sometimes things can slip through the cracks. This weekend, we were overjoyed to discover that some kind soul has uploaded a Soundboard/Audience matrix of Spoon's show at the Treasure Island festival this past September! It's an awesome set, and for us was the highlight of the show. Enjoy!

1. Black Like Me
2. Anything You Want
3. Don't Make Me a Target
4. They Never Got You
5. I Summon You
6. The Ghost of You Lingers
7. Don't You Evah
8. I Turn My Camera On
9. The Beast And Dragon, Adored
10. The Underdog
11. You Got That Cherry Bomb
12. My Mathematical Mind
13. My Little Japanese Cigarette Case
14. Quincy Punk Episode

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ths Yrz Recordz: The Sea and Cake - Everybody

We here at H.A.D. really started digging the latest Sea and Cake release Everybody this past July: Driving around in San Diego county, going to the beach, enjoying the light melodies layered on top of some serious musical talent. It was the perfect set of start to finish chill out jamz for our little SoCal holiday. Well, this past week we managed to pick up a vinyl copy of the record, and we realized it's not just a summer jam, it works just as well in cold, sad, November.

For those of you that haven't heard it, the record seems to have a bit more of pop structure and sensibility than earlier S&C releases. The songs sort of meld together to form one gigantic entity: it's tough to not listen to the record all the way through. At times it's reminiscent of Steely Dan, at other's there's a distinct Yo La Tengo vibe. Over all, it seems to maintain an accessible pop mentality, but at the same time throw in just the right dose of musicianship and experimentation. In short: awesome.

mp3: The Sea and Cake - Up On Crutches

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Super Furry Animals Playing GAMH In February

The Welsh sonic pioneers Super Furry Animals will be making a US trip this winter, and lucky for all of you they'll be stopping in our own fair city! The band will be on tour promoting their latest album "Hey Venus!", and will no doubt blow our collective sonic minds. The show is Februrary 9th at the Great American, and tickets go on sale this Sunday, November 25th at

mp3: Super Furry Animals - Show Your Hand

Old Show Report: Boz Scaggs At Great American 10-04-2007

Back in October, just before we went on hiatus, we managed to catch Boz Scaggs with his Blue Velvet Band at the Great American. The show was a warmup for their Hardly Strictly set, and was billed as a blues-centric set. For those not familiar, Scaggs is a San Francisco music mainstay: he started out with the Steve Miller Band in the 60's, went on to have a formidable solo career in the 70's, and is now the founder and owner of Slim's. Scaggs has always been something of a genre-hopper, ranging from straight up rock, to zydeco, to jazz, to blues. Given this, it was no surprise that Scaggs had put together a Country/Blues band for the Hardly Strictly.

While the band was something of a "heavy hitters" list, including Buddy Miller, Jon Cleary, Ricky Fatar, Dennis Crouch and Greg Leese, the show ultimately seemed to come up short. We here at H.A.D. have seen Boz out on a few of his non-rock tours, and this show simply didn't measure up. The set was a bit loose around the edges, and it never really climaxed to that "amazing" level we've come to know him for. Moreover, one of this big pluses of Boz's "other" shows is that they tend to include genre-specific reworkings of some of his hits. Granted, this isn't necessary, but it does serve to bring together his work in an enjoyable, unifying way.

Obviously this band is full of some fantastic musicians, and to say the set "came up short" is a relative one. The set was a fun mix of country and blues standards, and it was great to hear Boz singing some old Hank Williams tunes. Ultimately, it just seemed that the band was hastily organized, and that showed on stage. Given that this was a warmup for Hardly Stricty, we'd be curious to hear how that show sounded. In the meantime, we've gotta maintain the love for Boz: he's a musician's musician. Not afraid to genre hop, experiment, and get out there on a consistent basis. Moreover, as the owner of one of the city's few non-ClearChannel venues, he's doing a lot for the scene. Keep it up!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Testament To Greatness: Ryan Adams At The Catalyst

Back in July, before we at H.A.D. had even gotten this little blog started, we caught Ryan Adams and The Cardinals down at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz. The band was playing two shows in the Bay Area, but we took the gamble that those shows (with assigned seating) had a good chance of being "Blue Cave", while the Santa Cruz (GA in a small club) had a much better chance of being "Red Cave". For those not in the know, Ryan Adams has been designating his recent shows as Blue Cave (sit down, quiet acoustic) and Red Cave (noisy, stand up, rock and roll).

Well, the bet paid off in full. The man wore plaid pants, and Adams and crew doled out a massive three hour set that traverses the range of most of their recent material. There's rocked out versions of "I See Monsters" and "Bartering Lines", some great unreleased tunes ("Trouble On Wheels", "Arkham Asylum"), and perhaps the highlight for us here at H.A.D.: A fuzzed out rock version of "I Taught Myself To Grow Old". Needless to say, it brought the house down.

So here, for your listening pleasure, hosted courtesy of, is a soundboard recording of that very show. These are the mp3s. You can get it in lossless flac compression here. Enjoy. Happy Friday.

Ryan Adams and The Cardinals
The Catalyst
Santa Cruz, California

Disc 1 (76:15)
Set 1
1. What Sin
2. Please Don't Let Me Go
3. Dear Chicago
4. Goodnight Rose
5. Cold Roses
6. Mockingbird >
7. Beautiful Sorta
8. Bartering Lines
9. Magnolia Mountain

Set 2
10. Pearls On A String
11. Peaceful Valley
12. Trouble On Wheels
13. Arkham Asylum

Disc 2 (69:12)
14. I See Monsters
15. Games
16. A Kiss Before I Go
17. Oh My God, Whatever, Etc
18. Dear John
19. The End
20. Blue Hotel
21. Wild Flowers
22. Band Introductions
23. Let It Ride
24. Easy Plateau >
25. I Taught Myself How To Grow Old

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Must See Movie: Control

Last Sunday night, we here at H.A.D. ducked into the late night showing of Control over at the Clay Theatre, and boy are we glad we did! For those not in the know, the film is a biographical piece about Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division. It tracks the rise of the band, and Curtis' ultimate demise. The film is shot all in black and white, and directed by noted rock photographer Anton Corbijn.

The photography is certainly one of the film's strong suits: the stark black and white imagery is utterly appropriate for the film's location and circumstances. Morevover, a killer performance by Sam Riley as Ian Curtis really kicks the emotional component up a notch. The viewer is completely in tune with Curtis' plight, and the reasons for his distress.

Perhaps the most welcome aspect of the film was it's ability to increase the meaning of Joy Division's troubled melancholy. We here at H.A.D. had never really caught the Joy Division bug, but after seeing the film, it became clear that Curtis' lyrics are more than just a self indulgent mope fest. We've been listening all week, and digging every moment.

Control is still at the Clay Theater this week. Get there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Don't Forget Me: The Walkmen Play The Independent

Let there be no doubt that The Walkmen have a new record in the can. Last night at the Independent the band chose sparingly from their back catalog, and instead treated the crowd to a slew of new tracks. What did come from the back catalog was by no means a selection of "hits" - "The Rat" and "We've Been Had" were both notably absent from the set. However, the crowd was treated to awesome renditions of "Louisiana", "Good For You's Good For Me", "Thinking Of A Dream I Had" and "No Christmas While I'm Talking", to name a few. The band closed with an amazing rendition of "Wake Up".

The emphasis on new material was not a case for disappointment: the new songs are aggressive, tight, and full of the heart-on-sleeve vocals that have given Hamilton Leithauser much of his noteriety. Standouts from where we were sitting were "Blue Root" and "I Lost You" (see the video below), while others included "Around And Around", another tune left untitled (see video below).

All in all the show was a rousing reminder of what makes The Walkmen so great: uncompromising musicianship, unbridled enthusiasm, and an ability to make sheer walls of sonic imagery. To all who were in attendance, it was an affirmation for the faithful. For those who weren't in attendance: you missed the boat. See you next time.

HAD Exclusive Video: I Lost You

HAD Exclusive Video: Untitled New Song

Many more photos at the H.A.D. flickr feed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tonight At The Independent: The Walkmen

Over the past two years, critical praise of The Walkmen has been lukewarm, and considerably less complimentary then it was for their first few releases. The band's last album of original material, "A Hundred Miles Off", was received as slightly too poppy and less sonically adventurous than the band's previous releases. The followup with a cover-album of "Harry Nilsson's Pussy Cats" was further hailed as a bit self indulgent, albeit diligently worshipful, of the band's collective favorite album. Since then the band has released a sporadic deluge of one offs: a cover of "There Goes My Baby", "Red River" on the "Spider Man 3" soundtrack, and an instrumental called "Lemon Hill".

All of this brings us to where we are today: The Walkmen apparently have another record in the can, and are out and about touring before it's release. We here at H.A.D. are happy to say that we're still among the faithful, and will gladly be ponying up the $18 to get into the Indpendent this evening. Judging by the awesome two night stand at the GAMH in 2006 this show should be a complete blast, not to mention there's the chance to hear some new material. We'll see you there.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tonight At The Swedish American: Sondre Lerche

As previously mentioned, Sondre Lerche will be playing an all-acoustic set at the Swedish American Music Hall this evening. While we'll be BBQing and catching the Joy Division biopic Control, we can say without a doubt that the little Norwegian delivers a stellar live performance. We saw him at TT the Bear's back on his first American tour, and good times were had by all. If you find yourself wanting for music this evening, this is a safe bet. If you're just looking for some good on-line entertainment, we recommend Lerche's blog. Hilare.

Band Of Horses Moved To Fillmore

If you're planning on attending the Band Of Horses day-after-Thanksgiving show, heads up that it's been moved from the Mezzanine to the Fillmore. Depending on your perspective this could be a bad or a good thing, but we think it looks pretty good from where we're sitting. The Fillmore is San Francisco's classic venue, not to mention that bands go on before midnight, which is always a plus. We'll be cross-continent, but for those sticking around - hey, free poster!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Flashbax: A Series Of Sneaks

In the past year or so, Spoon has managed to become one of the bigger indie bands on the block. They're latest, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, managed to debut in the Billboard Top 10, and they're playing bigger and bigger venues all over the US. This week, we at H.A.D have been reminiscing about simpler times. Times when Spoon would play tiny basement bars, and people were squeezed in so tight that it was a sweaty mess of rock and roll. More importantly, they were times when the setlist was chock full of gems from the band's second album, A Series Of Sneaks.

With all the recent greatness the band's produced, these songs have been slowly creeping off of the setlist, and are now more the exception than the rule. This makes us sad - The album is a raw, garagey masterpiece. Moreover, the "surprising" developments of new material like "The Ghost Of You Lingers" isn't really all that surprising if you give this disc a good listen. The "experimental" aspect of the band's sound has been there since day one. If you haven't heard the disc, it's been reissued by Merge in the last couple of years and should be pretty widely available. If you already have the disc, we encourage you to break it out: guarantee it'll make your day.

mp3: Spoon - Car Radio

BSS Love: New Jason Collett On Tap For February

Apparently while Jason Collett was out on the road this past year, he also managed to find time to record a new album, which is good news for everyone of us! Here's To Being Here is out February 5th on Arts and Crafts. We've mentioned his two previous efforts before, but if you haven't heard them, you should(unfortunately, they're no longer streaming on his newly revamped website). Collett consistently offers a steady dose of kickass songwriting, and perhaps a slightly more straightforward approach to sonic experimentation than when he's on board with the BSS crew. In terms of the new album, two tracks have been posted to Collett's site (yay - mp3s!), and they leave us wanting's to February!

mp3: Jason Collett - Out Of Time
mp3: Jason Collett - Charlyn, Angel Of Kensington

Friday, November 9, 2007

You Have An Hour: Magnetic Fields On-Sale

We meant to post this last night, but obviously dropped the ball. Sorry kids. In one hour, at 10 AM, the Magnetic Fields on-sale begins. The indie war-horse that is Stephen Merritt and friends will be playing two nights at the Herbst Theatre in on February 28th and 29th (it's a leap year!). As you know, the venue's seated, so tickets matter. May as well head over to Ticketmaster and get your clicking finger ready!

Ticketmaster - Magnetic Fields On-Sale

Magnetic Fields - Take Ecstacy With Me

Thursday, November 8, 2007

This Friday: Get Feisty

If there's one member of Broken Social Scene who doesn't need any gratuitous promotion, it's probably the progressively more ubiquitous Feist. From your local Starbucks, to Saturday Night Live, to UPS commercials, the Canadian singer has been popping up everywhere lately. Now, just because she's everywhere doesn't mean you wouldn't want to know when she's here, and tonight she will be here indeed. At 8 PM Feist will be playing the Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium: the show is already sold out, but tickets can be had through the usual sources. If you're feeling especially industrious, the singer is also playing a double bill with Spoon in LA on Monday - should be a blowout. Finally, if you're short on cash, you can at least visit the new Feist web site which sports videos and other funtimes excitement. Or you can just download this mp3.

Feist - I Feel It All

Free Show This Saturday at Mezzanine

Looks like this Saturday Sonic Living and The Owl Mag will be hosting a free show of local music at Mezzanine. The bands being showcased are:

Magic Bullets
The May Fire
Music For Animals

The Ian Fays

You can RSVP here, and why not? It's kind of a no-brainer: free show on a Saturday night at the club with probably the best sound system in San Francisco.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Streets Cover Elton John

This is maybe old news for some of you (it's been out for a few weeks), but we thought that it had sufficient novelty to merit a mention. UK hip-hop act The Streets have put together a cover of the Elton John classic "Your Song" for a charity compilation. The song is streaming over on myspace, and as a fan of both artists it was tough to pass up. It's a nice cover in that it doesn't shamelessly ape samples, but rather is an earnest heart-on-sleeve cover version. If you're a fan of some of the "sweeter" Mike Skinner moments, a la "Too Late", then you'll probably enjoy.

The Streets - Your Song
Elton John - Your Song

Ryan Adams And The Cardinals On David Letterman

This post precedes what has been a looming "to do" in the H.A.D. backlog - namely, to idolize Ryan Adams and post cohesive, local evidence of his greatness. However, in the meantime we'll have to make do with greatness-via-NYC, where Adams and the Cardinals appeared on Letterman last week. While the stand-up version of "How To Keep Love Alive" (complete with Ryan in Misfits gear) is fantastic, even better is the sit-down, chill out version of "Pearls On A String" that's tagged onto the end. Enjoy!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Last Minute: Peaches DJing Tonight At Rickshaw Stop

If you're one of the many disciples of the Teaches Of Peaches, then make your way over to the Rickshaw Stop this evening: the venerable Ms. Peaches herself will be playing a just-announced DJ Set. Word.

New Malkmus Gets Its Title

Soooo....that new Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks disc that has been in the works for close to a year has now gotten a tentative title. From the song of the same title, it looks like Real Emotional Trash is in the mixing stage and on its way. You can hear a live version of the title track below, and the band's official site has some pics from the mixing sessions. As previously mentioned, Malkmus is at the Great American in December. Yes, we're kind of obsessed.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Real Emotional Trash (live)

The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo

Last night at the Palace Of Fine Arts, conditions were not ideal for photography. Luckily, they were more than ideal for sound, and those in attendance got a fantastic show. In what could almost be considered a double bill, Jonathan Richman opened for Yo La Tengo. Both sets were good humored, fantastically entertaining, and musically rewarding.

Richman's set was ultimately a unique blend of singer-songwriter melodies, social commentary, and comedy act. It was vastly different from his output with the Modern Lovers, but pretty much a "par for the course" performance for thos familiar with his more recent work. "Par for the course" in this case was no mean feat, and Richman delivered a great set of sweet tunes. His performance was compelling enough that it even demanded an encore, which is unusual for an opener, to say the least.

When Yo La Tengo took the stage at 9:15, the crowd was more than ready for the show to start. The band opened with a great rendition of "Madeline", and then led the way through a two hour set of covers, conversation, and Q&A. The "freewheeling" format of the tour consists of the band answering questions between songs, and taking requests as well. The Q&A sessions were wildly entertaining, and a ton of fun. Ira Kaplan and James McNew were both extremely funny, and there were some great anecdotes as well.

Musically, the set stayed largely in chill out acoustic regions, with a few rocking jams here and there. There were a bunch of treats though, driven largely by request: The band played the Daniel Johnston tune "Speeding Motorcycle", as well as an impromptu version of Prince's "When You Were Mine". There were tons of old favorites in place as well, notably "Autumn Sweater". The band also continues to focus on their new album quite a bit, for which you'll hear no complaints here. "Mr. Tough" and "Black Flowers" were standouts.

Overall, the show was a blast, and a bit more personal than the Fillmore show of earlier this year. While it's great to see the band rock out in performance mode, it was also great to see this intimate show where they could be more irreverant and really let their personalities drive the show. Next stop: trying to locate James McNew's Prince covers record....!

Prince - When You Were Mine
James McNew (Of Yo La Tengo, Playing as Dump) - When You Were Mine (cover)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tonight In The City

Tonight there are a number of funtime options out there, so don't find yourself sitting at home twiddling your thumbs! Check It Out:

We here at H.A.D. managed to snag a nice front and center ticket for the Richman/Yo La Tengo show, so maybe we'll see you there! Happy November kiddies...