Friday, May 27, 2011

David Byrne Drops Video Documentary Of 2008-2009 Tour

You may recall that we enjoyed David Byrne's 2008-2009 concert tour in support of Everything That Happens Will Happen Today that we saw both of its iterations in San Francisco. Given that it's been a couple of years since we've seen Byrne live, we were stoked to hear the news that Rise, Ride, Roar will be coming to DVD in the very near future.

The film is a combination of interviews, live footage, and behind the scenes takes that hopefully does a great job at documenting what was a truly amazing stage show. While we haven't seen the complete film yet, the preview below and this full clip at Pitchfork are giving us high hopes that it will do a fair bit to recreate the concert experience. Stoked!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Talking Heads - "Cities" (Alternate Version)

When the Talking Heads reissued their entire catalog a few years back, there was a lot to take in. Not only were all the records released in 5.1 surround sound, but they were remastered and included a whole slew of bonus tracks. We were so enamored with the 5.1 remasters (which didn't include the bonus tracks), that we only just started digesting all the awesome bonus material that's on the stereo sides of these discs.

Case in point: an alternate take on "Cities", from Fear Of Music. While the take on the song is, on the surface, very similar, it actually has a dynamic and feel that is vastly differentiated. Notably, the bass line is turned WAY up in the mix, synths are ricocheting all over the place, and Byrne's vocals are even more aggressive than in the freaked out original. Combine that with the fact that the track ends on a resolve, rather than fading out, and you have yourself a wholly different piece of music.

It seems as though all great bands spend a lot of time iterating on their work, to find the sweet spot where everything truly clicks. Obviously this is true with the Talking Heads, and the alternate take on "Cities" illustrates just how much the subtleties of mix and production can contribute to the feel of a final record. Having that insight not only makes the band a more dynamic entity, but also illustrates exactly why they are noted by so many admirers as explorers of the new.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bowie Exhibit Coming To Museum Of Arts And Design

One of the nice things about being in New York is that you're a short train ride from some of the best muesums in the country, and when they have weirdo rock and roll exhibits, you don't have to contemplate a plane ride to check them out. Case in point: The Museum of Arts And Design will be hosting a show called David Bowie, Artist. In their words:

This summer, the Museum of Arts and Design is proud to present David Bowie, Artist, a multi-platform retrospective re-framing Bowie’s daring, multi-discipline career as that of an artist working primarily in performance. From his roots in such performance-based practices as cabaret, mime, and avant-garde theater, to Ziggy Stardust, his revolutionary tour that synthesized theater, music, and contemporary art into a rock spectacle, as well as his innovative video collaborations, and his work in cinema and theater, David Bowie, Artist presents Bowie as one of the most iconoclastic cultural producers of the 20th century.

Presented as a multiplatform retrospective— including cinema series and interactive kiosks —David Bowie, Artist will presents a layered and shifting body of work that has continually innovated practices throughout a multitude of cultural spheres.

We can't make any guarantees as to how insightful it will be, especially for super fans. That being said, you can be damned sure we're going to check it out.

Monday Video Awesomeness: Ryan Adams

These two videos were filmed 7 years apart, but that doesn't keep either one from being intensely representative of the live powerhouse that Ryan Adams can be when he puts his mind to it. His upcoming European shows may be solo, but that doesn't change anything. If you're on the east side of the Atlantic, get out there and see the man in his environment.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sam Roberts Band Drops "Latitude", Featuring Lizzie Powell of Land Of Talk

We don't know a ton about Sam Roberts Band, but apparently they're quite the to-do in Quebec, and we really should be better educated. That being said, we do know that we love us some Land Of Talk. So, when it came to our attention that Lizzie Powell had decided to lend vocals to a track from the band's new record Collider, we decided to check it out.

In our minds, Lizzie can do no wrong, so we weren't exactly surprised when "Longitude" turned out to be a killer rock track, not so far divorced from Land of Talk or Broken Social Scene. Driven by a straight ahead drum beat, the track is a duet through and through, with nice atmospheric layering of synths underpinning a classic guitar rock sound.

The track (which you can check below) is pretty damn engaging, enough so that we're psyched to hear what the rest of the record has to offer. What's more, the band is on tour, and will be making national stops over the next couple of weeks. We may just have to see just want those Canadians are so damned excited about.

Sam Roberts Band Summer 2011 Dates
May 16th Rock N Roll Hotel Washington DC
May 18th Bowery Ballroom New York City, NY
May 20th Brighton Hall Boston, MA
May 24th The Troubadour Los Angeles, CA
May 25th The Independent San Francisco, CA
May 26th Mississippi Studios Portland OR
May 28th Malkin Bowl Vancouver BC
May 29th Sasquatch! Festival The Gorge OR
June 3rd Massey Hall Toronto ON
June 4th Massey Hall Toronto ON
June 6th First Ave Minneapolis MN
June 7th Lincoln Hall Chicago IL
June 8th St. Andrew's Hall Detroit, MI

Monday, May 2, 2011

John Lennon: "Isolation"

As Beatles fans, we had always been more "Paul" people than "John" people. Reason aside, it took us a lot longer to get into Lennon's solo catalog, despite its massive street cred. Case in point "Isolation". In fact, the track didn't even come to us from Lennon. We first heard the tune when we caught Spoon opening for Crooked Fingers at Boston's Middle East.

The cover was a simple one, and true to the original, with only a piano for accompaniment. Still, unfamiliar with Plastic Ono Band, we misplaced the track as maybe a cover of some soul artist, or 1960's one hit wonder. Possibly due to Phil Spector's production of the original, John Lennon's love of classic R&B, or both, the track is unquestionably classic in both style and form.

The truth, of course, was far more interesting: the track is a pillar in the awesome behemoth that is Plastic Ono Band, and clear proof that Lennon could not only deliver post-Beatles, but deliver in top form. Meanwhile, Spoon's cover simply cemented their position as arbiters of cool in the new millenium. Not exactly a surprise.