Friday, August 27, 2010

Jarvis Cocker: "Further Complications" (Video)

As we sat here on a Friday morning, waiting for our flight to depart out of Laguardia, we stumbled into some free wifi, and subsequently started browsing YouTube. The result was the above video, which we somehow missed last fall, but which is utterly and unquestionably worth watching. If you're obsessed with Jarvis (as we are) then you'll no doubt find the video for "Further Complications" the best thing you've seen in quite some time. xoxo.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The 22-20s Played The Rickshaw Stop: Pictures, Review

Last Thursday night we stopped in at Rickshaw Stop for another visit with The 22-20s, and we weren't disappointed. Much like the last time we caught up with them, the British band delivered an exquisite set of no bullshit rock and roll, and left the crowd thoroughly satisfied.

The set consisted of a mix of older and newer material, and the band seemed more comfortable with their newer stuff, perhaps due to the album having seen wide release since the last show. The band's on stage persona was completely enjoyable, and their onstage interplay, both instrumental and vocal, was a real treat.

The 22-20s manage the rare feat of sounding like 100 bands at once, but at the same time holding on soundly to their own sound. Their garage-y, melodic, guitar driven sound manages to land somewhere squarely between 60's and 90's Britain, somehow yielding the former's authenticity and the latter's modern appeal.

After a long absence, the band is unquestionably on the road back to success. Their new record is fantastic, their live show is magnetic, and they offer up an emotional take on rock music that's a true rarity these days. Currently in the midst of a US tour, we're going to advise you now: don't miss these guys.

The 22-20's play The Bowery Ballroom on September 7th

Photos By Rick Audet
Many more photos at the HAD Archive

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Das Pop: "Underground"

Two weeks ago, slightly damp from the Jelly Pool Party and unsuccessful in our bid to obtain a bootleg Lobster Roll, we stumbled into a friend's car and made our way to our local Bodega to snag some beers and snacks. As we drove through the streets of Brooklyn, we listened to a no-track-breaks mix one of us had made, and up popped this little pop gem from Das Pop.

Culled from the heart of Belgium, "Underground" was originally released as a single. The tune is awash with disco influenced strings, a killer beat (that you can certainly dance to), crunchy guitars, and a fiercely memorable vocal. More importantly, the record does exactly what a single must: implicitly demands that you listen to it over and over again.

Later, the song made its way onto the band's 2009 eponymous album, and we have to say: it fits perfectly. The rest of the record is equally poppy and delightful, loaded with hooks, melodies, and arrangements that all delve into the very best that pop music has to offer. In an age where the internet is always fixated on the latest and greatest, we're glad that we managed to avoid having Das Pop pass us by.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New EELS Record Drops Today, Streaming On MySpace

We've been getting pumped about the latest EELS disc, Tomorrow Morning, for quite some time. Well now the day has finally come - the album hits record stores today, just in time for the band to start a fall tour. But that's not all: the band isn't taking for granted that you'll buy into their latest musical endeavor, and so the disc is streaming at the band's myspace page.

Considering the number of records the band has dropped in the past year or two, we can see how you might roll your eyes at the prospect of another disc being available already. That being said, we have to say: give this one a listen. Not only is it the most "EELS-y" record from the band in a while.

At points the record latches onto the orchestral side of Daisies Of The Galaxy, while at others it yields the most sonic experimentation we've heard from the band since their first record. In all cases, it sounds like the most invested Mr. E has been in a record in a while, and we like it.

Spoon To Play Music Hall Of Williamsburg On September 13th

Britt Daniel of Spoon at Boston's House Of Blues, from the HAD Archive

While we have yet to see official confirmation, rumors appear to be cropping up that Spoon is playing the Music Hall Of Williamsburg birthday party on September 13th. There's no word of an on sale date yet, but given that the band will be in New Jersey the day prior, it seems entirely feasible.

While there's some griping about ticket price ($33, apparently), we have to say that it's well worth it. Not only are Spoon at their very best in a close packed room, but it'll be much more up close and personal than the band's recent dates at Madison Square Garden. We. Are. Psyched.

Outside Lands 2010: The Festival

For the past few days we've been bringing you the highlights of all the fantastic music at Outside Lands, but that was just one piece of the pie. This year the festival continued its awesome community-centric take on art and food, and managed to thumb its nose in the face of some gloomy weather by providing tons of entertaining between-show options.

This year's festival offered up some organizational changes, all of which went off without a hitch. To start with, the festival was shortened to a more manageable two days. The main entrance was also moved to the center of the festival, which was nice for navigation and entry. Also, the repositioning of the Sutro stage, and careful planning of set times, meant we were never hearing two bands at the same time.

On top of that, the show's logistics were perfect: shows were painstakingly on time, food was outstanding, and the festival site was kept immaculately clean. In short, it was exactly what you would want out of a festival, and made for one of the most fun weekends of the summer.

Check out the shots below for some perspectives on Outside Lands 2010!

Photos By
Rick Audet
Many more photos at the HAD Archive

Friday, August 20, 2010

Outside Lands 2010: Day 2 Part 2

The closing of the second day of Outside Lands 2010 brought us a whole lot of awesomeness. Not only did we get to see three killer bands, but the sun also made an appearance for the first time all weekend. Enjoying the weather, and the shows, here's a glimpse of our last day out in the park!


It's no secret that we here at HAD are totally in love with the boys in Phoenix, so it wasn't exactly a shocker that they were one of the most fun, original bands we saw all weekend. We've seen the band live enough times to know we'd have fun, but frankly, we didn't realize just how giddy we'd be for another dose of French rock and roll.

Like a good omen, the sun came out just as they started to play, and stayed out for the rest of the day. The festival was packed, and Sunday was definitely more crowded than Saturday. While we can't say for sure, we have a feeling Phoenix had a lot to do with that. This was their last US show for a while and Thomas Mars was ready to bring it.

Keeping that in mind, he jumped into the crowd right off the bat. He said the band was there to have a good time: mission accomplished. The move got the crowd rolling, and it was a pretty sweet way to start the show.

As has been the case as of late, the set featured Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix heavily, and that's certainly never something to complain about. The band opened up with a killer version of "Lisztomania" and then closed out the set with the record's other big hit, "1901". The show was fantastic, and we'll just say this: our opinion has not changed.

Social Distortion

As expected, the audience for Social Distortion was definitely a little older and there were a lot of guys all in black with dark glasses and lots of tattoos. We thought it seemed like a weird place for the band to play but they had a decent sized crowd that was super stoked on seeing them.

The stage was littered with lots of miscellaneous objects: a traffic light, toy truck, various signs saying things like "inmates stand here," "no drinking", Everlast boxing gloves, a crucifix, and an old license plate. We're not exactly sure what the aesthetic goal was, but there you have it.

In short, they sounded good. The crowd seemed happy they played "Bad Luck" and "Born to Lose". The lead singer said "It's great to be on the west god damn coast. Doesn't it seem like people on the east coast just don't get it?" We're not sure what to think of that, exactly, but it seems more likely it's the people in question, not where they're located.

Kings of Leon

Make no mistake about it: Kings Of Leon are completely huge. They've come a long, long, way since we saw them at Axis in Boston on their first tour, and it seemed like everyone at the entire festival was there to see them.

Many screaming ladies, high school kids, and dudes chanting 'K.O.L.!' filled the field for them. In short, they have become a band that it so ubiquitous that their crowd becomes like some sort of amalgam of mainstream society. In return, the band busted out some stage antics, including plumes of magenta smoke.

As always, they definitely delivered with a solid set (complete with screaming into the guitar pickups, above) and a great show. Kings Of Leon are one of those bands who, whatever your opinions might be about them musically, it's impossible to deny that they've put in the time to become a completely killer live act. It was fitting, then, that they were chosen to close out an unparalleled weekend of rock and roll.

Pictures By Rick Audet

Sam Prekop: Old Punch Card, Sea and Cake Tour Dates

It's no secret that we're huge fans of The Sea and Cake here at HAD: not only does the band deliver a killer live show, but they've been making fantastic records for going on 20 years. As such, it's not exactly a surprise that we've dug on the solo work of the band's frontman Sam Prekop.

Prekop's first two solo records unquestionably draw upon The Sea and Cake's sound, notably in the arrangements and his distinctive voice. While the arrangements are at times more jazzy or mellow, for fans of the band, the two releases are definitely easy to digest. When we got wind that Prekop had a new record (Old Punch Card, cover above) on tap for this fall, we were expecting more of the same.

We couldn't have been more off base: Old Punch Card is a quirky, experimental, electronic adventure. Utilizing a diversified musical palette, Prekop takes highly abstract sounds, and unifies them in a way that somehow manages to have his distinctive fingerprints all over the place. No, you won't find yourself singing along to a catchy melody or hook, but at the same time you won't be put to sleep by unnecessary noise. The record is carefully calculated, artfully delivered, and unquestionably composed.

While Prekop won't be touring directly in support of the record, The Sea and Cake will be on tour this fall - and we're psyched! The band is joining Broken Social Scene for their North American dates, including a stop at Rumsey Playfield in New York, and the Treasure Island festival in San Francisco. We don't really feel like a Sea and Cake/Broken Social Scene double bill is a hard sell, but just in case you were in doubt: it's got our unquestionable seal of approval.

The Sea And Cake Fall Tour (All Dates With Broken Social Scene)
Sep 13 Washington, DC Warner Theatre
Sep 14 Philadelphia, PA Theater of Living Arts
Sep 17 Boston, MA House of Blues
Sep 18 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield
Sep 20 New Haven, CT Toads Place
Sep 21 Northampton, MA Calvin Theatre
Sep 22 South Burlington, VT Higher Ground
Sep 24 Ithaca, NY Historic Ithaca State Theatre
Sep 25 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom
Oct 2 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre
Oct 3 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theatre
Oct 4 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
Oct 6 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings Theatre
Oct 7 Saskatoon, SK The Odeon Events Centre
Oct 8 Calgary, AB Macewan Hall
Oct 9 Edmonton, AB Winspear Centre
Oct 10 Kelowna, BC Kelowna Community Theatre
Oct 12 Victoria, BC Element Nightclub
Oct 13 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
Oct 14 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
Oct 15 Seattle, WA Paramount Ballroom
Oct 16 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
Oct 17 San Francisco, CA Treasure Islands Music Festival
Oct 19 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern Theatre

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Outside Lands 2010: Day 2 Part 1

With Day 1 of Outside Lands 2010 behind us, we arose on Sunday psyched to catch some more rock and roll. Granted, the weather was still being a bit disagreeable, but that didn't change the fact that there was a killer bunch of bands awaiting us in the park. With that in mind, we snagged the camera, and headed out for the day!

The Soft Pack

The Soft Pack looked sleepy and cold as they took to the stage. It has to be hard playing one of the main stages at 1pm on a Sunday, also the last day of Outside Lands.

The crowd was a bit thinner, and everyone seemed a tad groggy from the night before. Moreover, the band was on a larger stage that seemed to artificially reduce the crowd size. Nevertheless, the band delivered a totally solid set.

The crowd that was there was dancing and having a blast. Moreover, the excitement really ramped up when the band dove into "C'Mon", and the set was a thoroughly enjoyable way to start our day.

The Temper Trap

We overheard whisperings in the press tent of those who had never heard of The Temper Trap, but we thought this Aussie band put on a great show. They were full of energy and it was nice to see the singer switch it up and play keyboard as well as guitar.

And even though their big hit "Sweet Disposition" reminds us a little too much of U2, their other songs are totally original, and we dig the heavy drums and harmonies that make for a good electropop sound.

We noticed the bass player's favorite move was the same one as that of bass player Juan Croucier from Ratt -- a move sometimes referred to as "The Dive Bomber" -- and he did it a lot. Can you really argue with a band that is one, Australian, and two, can simultaneously ape from both Ratt and U2? We thought not.

Al Green

Let's not mince words: Al Green is one of the greats, and we were psyched to hear him. It didn't exactly hurt that his new material is pretty killer as well. Before Green took to the stage, a small group of people in the audience was chanting "We want Al!" The crowd was stoked to see him, and he definitely brought together the random mix of hipsters and hippies at Outside Lands: everyone was familiar with his music.

During the set, we overheard this tidbit: "He really works the crowd, It's like he's hitting on every woman out there all at once. Look at them!" We're inclined to agree: The ladies definitely seemed charmed by him, especially when he came out on stage and started throwing long stem roses to the women in the crowd.

The set consisted of a lot of covers, and his jacket finally came off when he sang "Pretty Woman". Green introduced the three backup singers as his daughters and told the audience they had all just come from Lisbon, Portugal and that he was happy to be in California. He was totally charming and fun to watch.

The Reverend delivered a sweet version of "Amazing Grace", but then followed it up with a weird medley of Motown songs -- we wished he had at least sung all of "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay", but he only gave us about a minute or so of each song. The crowd went crazy for "Let's Stay Together," and more roses came out for that one.

Green's killer set was interspersed with some lovely one liners from the man, notably:

"You keep messing with me I'll make you jump that fence and come up here"

"I'm a bad mother fucker"

Make sure and swing by tomorrow, when we wrap up our Outside Lands 2010 coverage with Day 2, Part 2!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Outside Lands 2010: Day 1 Part 2

Yesterday we eased you into Day 1 of Outside Lands 2010, and now here we are, back with more! The second half of Saturday offered some killer performances, and the weather held up well enough to let the fans seriously enjoy some rock and roll awesomeness. Also, we're not going to lie: THE STROKES!!!! Just sayin'. Check out all the coverage below, and come back tomorrow for Day 2!

My Morning Jacket

It had been quite a while since we'd seen My Morning Jacket live, and we certainly weren't disappointed with their Outside Lands set. Ramping up for some dates opening for Tom Petty, the band delivered a set that was definitely a winner. A massive crowd gathered at the Lands End stage to see them play, and the scene was pretty crazy.

There was something about lead singer Jim James that seemed sort of majestic -- maybe it was his big hair, flowy scarf, and long coat -- whatever it was, he was fun to watch. Considering how much the band has played recently it was refreshing to see how stoked they all seemed to be on stage.

These guys are great performers and the crowd loved them. We've always been pretty surprised at how much energy and noise MMJ make on stage. For such a mellow band on record, they really rocked. Of course we were happy to hear some of our old favorites including 'I'm Amazed' and 'Golden'.


Outside Lands definitely does a good job at bringing a dose of musical diversity, and Wolfmother delivered one of the heaviest sets of the festival. Yielding a classic blues rock sound that landed the band somewhere between Zeppelin and Sabbath, the band really got into their show.

In fact, they got so into it that this stage was one of the few where we caught a glimpse of some real, true to life, crowd surfing. Ah, the nineties are no longer, but maybe the spirit's still there?!?!?

Regardless, they delivered a set that was unquestionably solid rock and roll. Their performance and stage presence, combined with a wild crowd, made for one of the most aggressive and balls-to-the-wall sets of the entire festival.

Cat Power

Poor Chan Marshall: no one seemed too excited to see Cat Power play Outside Lands, and while we're old fans of hers, we were sort of surprised to see her on the line-up. There wasn't much of a crowd, which surprised us, and her mellow, quiet music just didn't really inspire the drunken crowd.

To add to the difficulties, it was cold when she got up there, and it was obvious people were killing time waiting to see The Strokes. We overheard someone later say "Could Cat Power have played any longer? That set went on way too long." Sadly, we kind of agreed.

She opened the set with 'Good Woman' which we were excited about, but her quiet covers after the first song bored us. Now that Cat Power can get through an entire set without freaking out, we think she's best seen at a smaller, more intimate venue, not a big outdoor festival like Outside Lands.

Wild Beasts

Outside Lands was the last night of Wild Beasts' US tour. While we were lucky enough to catch them in New York last week, some SF fans who didn't make it to Golden Gate Park this past weekend were (understandably) a little disappointed the band didn't play another venue in the city before heading back to England.

The band played to a much drunker and colder crowd who were clearly ready to dance. Maybe we were getting tired at this point in the night, or maybe it was the festival vibe, but (unlike New York) their performance at Outside Lands didn't really hold a candle to their studio records.

We were clearly in the minority. Similar to the New York show, the crowd was filled with adoring, painfully enthusiastic fans. Maybe we're just getting old, but when the sound of the band is overwhelmed by the idiots next to you, we always get a little frustrated. Nonetheless, it was monster show for the band to close out their tour with, and we're happy to see them riding the wave of success.

The Strokes

It seemed like everyone at Outside Lands was there to see The Strokes on Saturday night, and frankly, we were with them. For a band that hasn't had an album in 6 years, and just started touring again, we weren't sure what to expect. We should have known better: The Strokes were just as awesome as ever.

Featuring a notably close-trimmed-yet-bearded Albert Hammond Jr., the band were rock solid and bulletproof in their live incarnation as always. We were impressed with how complex their music sounded, and the intricacy of the later material really shown through. They've definitely come a long way from the Petty-aping chug of "Is This It".

They opened up with "New York City Cops" and gave the crowd a pretty solid set complete with a monstrous 6 encores. Julian Casablancas said he appreciated all of the love and then commented that "maybe it wasn't love, so much as drunken excitement, but he would take that too".

After the gray day it was really fun to see a show as epic as The Strokes, with a crowd that was ready to eat it up. It seemed like it was probably the biggest production of the day, although we didn't bother to see what was undoubtedly a pretty trippy light show happening for Further on the other side of the park.

The crowd seemed pleased with what The Strokes had brought to the show, and with good reason. The band is a charismatic on-stage unit, who only truly shine when they're all together. Sure, we love a lot of their solo work, but at the end of the day, this show at Outside Lands demonstrated perfectly why The Strokes are (and should continue to be) here to stay.