Thursday, July 31, 2008

Spoon: Live At Liberty Lunch

Old Skool Britt Daniel Photo Courtesy Of Consolation Champs

We are consistently amazed at the awesomeness and breadth of the content over at This time the source of our amazement is a super early Spoon show From Liberty Lunch in Austin. Granted, it's sourced from a tape cassette, but that's about our only complaint. The show is an awesome recording of a now-established band right at the start of their career. Enjoy.

Spoon At Liberty Lunch (Links are VBR mp3s. Click link above for lossless.)
01 - Cvantez
02 - Take a walk
03 - if you say so
04 - irrigation man
05 - not turning off
06 - melted pat
07 - don't buy the realistic
08 - nefarious
09 - wanted to be your
10 - party up (studio version) (unexpurgated - straight from the master)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Walkmen Available Via Charity Donation

At the risk of turning H.A.D into a "hot cheap music of the day" blog, we'd like to kindly recommend that you head to and download the Walkmen's latest, You and Me, for a $5 charity donation. Frankly, it's a great record, and the donation goes to cancer research. Can you really argue?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Got 49 Cents? Westerberg Your World.

Paul Westerberg, he of The Replacements and a buffet of solo albums, has taken a trick from the Radiohead/NIN hat, and released his latest record for 49 cents. Westerberg didn't go quite as "indie", and decided instead to wrap his release in a nice little wrapper, and what more, the record's one big mp3 with no song boundries. Still, for 49 cents, you can't really argue with the price. As with NIN and Radiohead before him, you may as well take the plunge!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Slow Food Rocks In August

Just in case you thought there weren't already enough festivals in the area this summer, the same folks who brought you a public garden outside of City Hall have got a treat for you. Slow Food Rocks takes place the last weekend in August, and will feature Gnarls Barkley, Ozomatli, The New Pornographers, Medeski Martin and Wood,Phil Lesh & Friends, G Love & Special Sauce and John Butler Trio. Seems like an odd mix of indie and hippie crowds to us, but hey kids - everyone loves slow food! Tickets are $60 a day. Yes, you read that correctly. We don't mean to be snarky (wait, actually, we do), but couldn't a festival that's all about food focus on exactly that? Argh.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Damon Albarn's Monkey Journey To The West

Yes, at times it can seem like Damon Albarn takes this a bit too far. Whether it be an limited vinyl release of demos, or a Gorillaz autobiography, some of his offerings can be questionable at best. That being said, this latest one has us pretty excited. Albarn has created an album of instrumental and vocal tracks based in traditional Chinese music. It was originally conceived as an opera, and is now being released as an album. If this seems like a shot out of left field, you should check out Albarn's 2002 record Mali Music, where he collaborated with a bunch of Malian musicians. The disc is fantastic, and if it's any sort of an indicator, Monkey Journey To The West will be something to look forward to.

Stream: Monkey Journey To The West

The Walkmen's You & Me Limited Vinyl

We've been sort of staying under the radar in regard to the Walkmen's upcoming release You and Me: Given the band's recent claims that some of their more recent live offerings don't sound like the album, it seemed sensible to avoid mention until we got to hear it ourselves. However, the more we put it off, the more we get psyched to hear the new disc. Stereogum hyping it with a prerelease review didn't help to calm us down either. Well, today we got an email from Insound saying that they'll be the exclusive purveyors of the vinyl edition of the record, pressed on 180 gram red vinyl. Being the vinyl fetishists that we are (and colored at that!), we figured it was worth a mention. The preorder gets you the vinyl, plus mp3s: awesome.

Iron And Wine Presale Today At Noon

Iron and Wine will be playing Bimbo's 365 Club on October 5th as a special one-off benefit for Cynthia Noonan. Also on the bill are local act Sholi, who recently got some national recognition from the Believer Music Issue. This should be a great show, and an unusual chance to see Sam Beam in a small venue. Tickets go on sale here at noon. The password is "sonicloving".

Monday, July 21, 2008

Feist Played The Greek

On Saturday night we made our way over to the Greek Theater in Berekely for some beautiful weather, and a show from Feist. The sometimes-Broken Social Scener delivered a set that was full of selections from both Let It Die and The Reminder. While the night was full of great moments, it didn't do a lot to depart from the source material, and left us wishing there was a bit more of the excitement that is present when the whole BSS crew is in attendance.

The set started out on an upbeat note, and we were really loving the overall vibe. It was a pretty devout crowd, and the performances were pretty by-the-numbers, but that's not necessarily a bad thing: this was Feist being Feist. One extreme oddity was that the keyboard/guitar player on the right hand side of the stage was some sort of Kevin Drew impersonator. Maybe Feist is just sad to be touring solo, but it seems a little odd to have one of your band members play dressup as your beau.

As the set continued, it progressed to a "solo set" vibe, with the primary attraction being Leslie Feist's voice. While there's no doubt that she's got some great vocals, we started to feel like this section of the set dragged a bit. Despite the awesome overhead-projected visuals, we started feeling a real "okay, let's get going!" instinct as the solo portion came to a close.

Smartly, the set wrapped back to some more upbeat numbers, and the show's most rocking moments were in the last 30 minutes. After she had returned for the encore, Feist delivered a breathtaking rendition of "Let It Die" that was a nice resolution to the night. A good time was had by all, but we'd be lying if we said we wouldn't like to see her back on the BSS stage sometime soon.

More pics over at the H.A.D. Archive.
Gussifer also has some nice pics at flickr.

The Long Winters Played The Independent

On Thursday night we made our way out to the Independent to catch a fair dose of rock and roll, as delivered by Seattle band The Long Winters. The show was a relatively raucous affair, and the band delivered a set that a had a strong 70's power-pop vibe. The set was confident, well constructed, and well received by the fans.

By all accounts, lead singer John Roderick was sporting quite a different look both physically and stylistically. In his own words, he is going through a "space hippie" phase, which apparently involves him flipping over his amp backwards during the first song. And here we thought hippies were dead.

Despite Roderick's early over-enthusiasm (and repartee involving heroin addicted girlfriends - ick), the Winters pulled it together to deliver an encore-free show of fantastic rock music. The crowd was enthralled, requests were taken, and the band delivered a spot-on show. While we weren't blown away by any one particular moment, we will say that Roderick's got some pipes, and the band has a rock solid barroom appeal that is easily worth the price of admission.

Many more photos available over at the H.A.D. Archive.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ariel Pink At Cellspace Tonight

We here at H.A.D. will be heading over to the Greek to see Feist, but if you've decided to forgo the Download fest and you're in the city, Ariel Pink will be over at Cellspace as part of the Mission Creek Music Fest. Pink, an Animal Collective labelmate, delivers a pretty compelling dose of droney psychpop that we here at H.A.D. highly recommend. Check it out.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Scissors For Lefty To Play Rickshaw Stop

We were psyched to see that H.A.D. favorites Scissors For Lefty will be playing The Rickshaw Stop on August 30th. The last time we saw the band was over at GAMH last fall. For a band with this much energy and charisma to play a room like the Rickshaw is a fantastic treat. Don't miss it. Tickets are on sale now.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Talking Heads: Blind

The first time we saw David Byrne live was at The Avalon in Boston in the days following September 11th. The show was a unique one, in that the tension on the East coast (and all over, for that matter) at that time was palpable. Attending any public events, having a good time, or even being carefree was somewhat questionable, and many were still figuring out how to react to the tragic events in New York. To go see David Byrne in these conditions is an odd thing indeed: his shows are unquestionably joyful affairs. They get everyone dancing, and inspire you songs you do know, as well as those you don't.

So, how did Byrne handle this paradox? First off, by delivering an awesome show, that showed us that it was okay to be happy and enjoy both life and music. But second, and perhaps more importantly, he demonstrated that fear and self doubt were not in order as he dove into a perfect version of Life During Wartime. The song ironically jabs at exactly the sensitivities that people were feeling at the time, with its lyrics of:

"This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
this ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain't got time for that now"

Byrne's hypothetical paranoia of 20 years earlier had now become a subconscious reality for everyone in the room, but his ability perform a fearless delivery in the face of all that had happened left everyone in the room feeling just a little bit better.

Fast forward seven years: we're still dealing with the aftermath of September 11th, only much has changed. The problems today involve energy crises, wars and conflict on the other side of the globe, and an economy that is in a questionable state. Moreover, the president's disapproval rating has reached a fever pitch, and the number of suspected "terrorists" on watch lists has crossed a million. It seems that maybe today a more applicable lyric might come from the lead track "Blind" off the band's swan song Naked:

"Dogs start to run in,
Hungry for some food
Dogs start a-twitching
And they're looking at you
It was light
By five
Torn all apart
All in the name of democracy"

mp3: Talking Heads - Life During Wartime (click through, yousendit link)
stream: Talking Heads - Blind (

The Long Winters Tonight @ The Independent

We admit we hadn't really given The Long Winters a listen until today, but we like what we're hearing. A friend pointed us towards tonight's show at The Independent, so we figured we'd give it a try. The band has a certain vocal intimacy that reminds us a bit of Okkervil River, but the instrumentation has less of a folk vibe, and singer John Roderick's voice has a touch more sandpaper grit. It enticed us enough to check out tonight's show, so...see you there!

mp3: The Long Winters - Fire Island, AK

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Feist On Sesame Street

Sure it's cutesy, but given that we love us some Muppets, and that Feist will be at the Greek Theater on Saturday, well, we couldn't resist.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Free Birdmonster Show Next Tuesday

Noise Pop will be curating a special acoustic show by local boys Birdmonster next Tuesday at the Gray Area Gallery. It's a free deal, but by RSVP only, so sign up while you can. See you there.

Conor Oberst Coming To The Warfield

If you were unlucky enough to miss out on Conor Oberst tickets for the Bottom of The Hill, all is not lost. While it is a considerably less intimate venue, you can catch Oberst and his Mystic Valley Band at The Warfield on October 24th. We'll let you know how the Bottom Of The Hill shows go, and you can decide for yourself.

Tickets are on sale now.

Girls Played Hotel Utah

On the Saturday after the 4th of July, San Francisco band Girls played a release show for their new seven inch "Lust For Life". They were backed by LA band Soft Boiled Eggies, and played the show to a packed house of eager listeners and (unfortunately) apparent "groupies" from a hastily constructed "scene".

Soft Boiled Eggies opened the show with a decent dose of droney synth pop. While it didn't do anything to grab us, it didn't do anything to offend our ears either. The video backdrops did a good job at setting the stage vibe, and the band was on top of things technically.

Girls followed up with the headlining set for the launch of their seven inch. Figuring out what that means to us is still difficult even now, a week later. Let's start out with the good: The band played a tight set to an adoring crowd. The instrumentation was great, frontman Christopher Owens' voice was in good shape, and despite the addition of new band members everything seemed to fall into place. We stand behind Girls as one of our local picks: mark our words, these guys are going somewhere.

Now, here's the other side of the coin: the band appears to have signed on to be a part of some sort of manufactured "scene". "Their guy" took over from the Utah sound guy (always a bad sign), there were scores of pushy girls up front, and moreover despite it being a release show, no one seemed to be able to sell us a slab of vinyl. Now, we know bands just starting out need to be given there fair share of leeway, but come on guys - get it together....please?

Girls' next San Francisco show is at Cafe Du Nord on August 27th.

More pics over at the H.A.D. Archive.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Albert Hammond Jr. Out Today

Despite the fact that there hasn't been a new Strokes record on the street in about two and a half years, that hasn't stopped Albert Hammond Jr. from keeping busy. One of the band's two guitarists, Hammond is a songwriter in his own right, and released a solo record (Yours To Keep) in the second half of 2006. The album was heavy on 70's rock influences, and on many fronts played out like a "soft" Strokes record. The signature guitar riffs were all there, but the vocals were smoother, and the production more fine tuned.

Fast forward two years, still no Strokes output, and Hammond has another record in the bins. Released today, Como Te Llama? is Hammond's latest. While the album still features Hammond's smooth vocals, the rest of the sound has drifted more towards Strokes-ville. The production is edgier and more guitar driven, and riffage is even more dominant. The songs are great, and there's no denying that Hammond is a huge contributor to the Strokes sound. That being said, we can't help but admit we wish Julian Casablancas was singing some of these tunes, instead of making shoe commercials with Pharell and Santogold. Ahem.

mp3: Albert Hammond Jr. - GfC
stream: Albert Hammond Jr. - Como Te Llama? (Complete Album, MySpace)