Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monsters Of Folk Fox Theater Presale On Thursday

We've been salivating for the past week over the impending Monsters Of Folk tour and album, so we were psyched to learn that there will be a presale for their Fox Theater show on Thursday morning at 10 AM PST. You can snag tickets by clicking here - the password is "foxy". Good luck!

mp3: Monsters Of Folk - Say Please

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart Played Rickshaw - Review, Pics

If you happened to scour craigslist for tickets to the The Pains of Being Pure at Heart show last Tuesday, well, you definitely were not alone. After a delicious dinner at the incredibly solid Flour and Water, we headed over to the Rickshaw Stop for the sold-out show.

Because we adored the album so much, we were a little curious as to how they would perform in a live set - alas, we were not at all disappointed. The New York band performed most (if not all) songs from their debut full-length album, showcasing their harmonious indie-pop sound much to the delight of the excited crowd.

The crowd was not alone in their excitement, and the band seemed happy to be on stage. With Peggy Wang beaming down at the crowd between songs and Kip Berman chatting up the audience with a smile, there was little doubt that a good time was had by all.

Check out more pics at the HAD Archive

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Heavenly States Dive Into New Album

We caught up with The Heavenly States back on July 3rd, when they played a gig at The Uptown to an enthused Independence Day weekend crowd. The show consisted of not only a ton of material from last year's Delayer, but also a bunch of new tunes that the band had been working up.

Fast forward one month, and it turns out the band had been working up those tunes with good reason: they've been in LA for the past few weeks recording the Delayer follow up. Working with producer Bill Lefler, the band just wrapped sessions on what frontman Ted Nesseth describes as the "best thing we've ever done". We can deal with that, indeed.

Not to leave you waiting with too much bated breath, we managed to catch two of the new songs from the Uptown gig in ultra-purty HD video, and we have them for you here and now. Obviously the audio isn't as good as an in studio performance, but we think it gives a pretty good picture of what the band's cooking up. Enjoy!

More pics from The Uptown in the HAD Archive.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yo La Tengo Drops Another Track From Popular Songs, Plans Fall Tour

We already expressed some skepticism about Yo La Tengo's upcoming Popular Songs, and now our initial skepticism is (unfortunately) being reinforced. The band has just dropped a second tune from the record, and again - it hits our ears as called-in.

Much like it's predecessor, "Periodically Double Or Triple", "Here To Fall" comes across as something of an artistic wank, with a fair bit of stereotypical production elements thrown in for good measure. Again, it may work in the context of the record, but the faux-Motown fuzz vibe just seems like the band trying, and not quite getting there.

Given Yo La Tengo's near-perfect history of not releasing a dud, you figure it would have to happen sometime. We still have some faith, and wouldn't be so silly as to call Popular Songs DOA. That being said, we're hoping these early track releases aren't indicative of the whole record. If you're digging the tracks, you can snag it early through Matador's Buy Early Get Now program - otherwise you'll have to wait for the record's September 8th release date.

Either way, the band rocks live, and you should not hesitate to catch them on their summer tour in support of Popular Songs.

Yo La Tengo Fall Dates 2009
09/15 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
09/16 - Boston, MA @ Wilbur Theater
09/17 - Washington DC @ 9:30 Club
09/18 - Durham, NC @ Carolina Theater
09/19 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety
09/21 - Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
09/25 - New York, NY @ Roseland
10/02 - Montreal, QC @ Le National
10/03 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House
10/05 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
10/06 - Chicago, IL @ The Vic Theatre
10/07 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave
10/09 - Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
10/10 - Denver at Ogden
10/11 - Aspen at Belly Up
10/12 - Salt Lake City at Urban Lounge
10/14 - Phoenix at Marquee
10/15 - Los Angeles at Avalon
10/16 - San Diego at Soma
10/17 - Santa Cruz at Rio Theater
10/18 - San Francisco at Treasure Island Festival (tickets on sale)
10/20 - Portland at Crystal Ballroom
10/21 - Vancouver at Commodore Ballroom
10/22 - Seattle at Showbox SoDo

mp3: Yo La Tengo - Here To Fall

Monsters Of Folk Plot Fall Tour

We're already pretty amped up about this week's announcement of the Oberst/Ward/James supergroup Monsters Of Folk. As such, we were even more excited to learn that the three are not stopping at just having a record, and have plotted out a fall tour. The tour will cover a good chunk of the US, along with a few bits of Canada and Europe. Given the trio's strong history of touring, compounded with the new material, we're pretty sure this is gonna be one that you don't want to miss.

Monsters Of Folk Fall 2009 Dates
October 13 Vancouver, BC- Orpheum
October 14 Portland, OR- Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
October 15 Seattle, WA- Paramount Theatre
October 17 Oakland, CA- Fox Theater
October 18 Los Angeles, CA- The Greek Theater
October 20 San Diego, CA- Spreckels Theatre
October 21 Phoenix, AZ- Orpheum Theater
October 22 Santa Barbara, CA- Santa Barbara Bowl
October 28 Omaha, NE- Holland Center
October 29 Minneapolis, MN- Orpheum Theatre
October 30 Chicago, IL- Auditorium Theatre
October 31 Louisville, KY- Louisville Palace Theatre
November 02 Toronto, ON- Massey Hall
November 03 Boston, MA- The Orpheum
November 06 New York, NY- United Palace
November 08 New York, NY- Beacon Theater
November 09 Philadelphia, PA- Academy of Music
November 12 Stockholm- Philadelphia Church
November 14 Berlin- Huxleys Neue Welt
November 15 Copenhagen- Vega
November 17 London- Troxy
November 18 Paris- Elysee Montmartre
November 19 Koln- E-Werk
November 21 The Hague- Crossing Border
November 22 Antwerp- Crossing Border

mp3: Monsters Of Folk - Say Please

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Music: Rad Cloud

In our book, San Francisco based Rad Cloud already have a few winning cards up their sleeve: They managed to get Grand Lake guitarist Jameson Swagnon on board for their debut LP, and what's more, said LP (which is self-titled) is being released on vinyl, which looks and sounds fantastic.

The band is officially a duo made up of Bob Thayer and Sarah Ashton, but Swagnon was on board for recording, and will be playing with the band at their record release this Saturday (July 25th) at the Makeout Room. The gig (which is early, 7:30 - 9:30) should be quite a coming out for the band, who in our book have constructed quite a unique sound.

Existing comfortably somewhere between Silver Jews, Yo La Tengo, and The Violent Femmes, the band manages to be at once accessible, mellow, rocking, and innovative. The record itself also sounds fantastic, and will be released digitally as well as on the above-mentioned vinyl.

While you're mulling over all this new information and prepping for the show on Saturday, snag a taste of the band's latest below - we're pretty sure you'll dig.

mp3: Rad Cloud - Flowers On Willie Brown Street
mp3: Rad Cloud - Blue

More Details Emerge About Kurt Vile's Matador Debut

We've been champing at the bit ever since we heard that Matador had picked up HAD fave Kurt Vile. So we were psyched to discover that details of the first release have now started to emerge. Matador recently disclosed the details of Vile's first full length for the label Childish Prodigy. In addition to releasing the album art (above), and a preview mp3 ("Overnite Religion", below), the label has also noted that a limited edition 7" featuring "He's Alright", along with two non album b-sides, will be released on September 8th.

"Overnite Religion" is classic Vile, with multi-tracked acoustic guitars, uber-reverby vocals, and an infectious melody built around a droney, abstract chord progression. What's more, it maintains Vile's DIY minimalist production, which really leaves us with quite high hopes for the entire record.

In addition to all the September release excitement, Vile is currently on tour with various acts around the country. You can see those dates below, and be rest assured that Vile is planning a national tour upon the record's release. Excitement meters to ten.

Kurt Vile Summer 2009 Dates
Fri, July 23 – Philadelphia PA – Johnny Brenda’s – with Tyvek, Coconut Coolouts

Fri, July 31 – Brooklyn NY – Rooftop Film Sessions

Tue, Aug 11 – Baltimore MD – Talking Head Club – with Espers

Wed, Aug 12 – Wilmington NC – Soapbox – with Espers

Thu, Aug 13 – Asheville NC * – Transfigurations: Harvest Records Fest
Fri, Aug 14 – New York NY – Cakeshop – with Blues Control, Mad Scene, Hans Chew
Sat, Aug 15 – Ridgewood NY – Silent Barn – with Blues Control

Sun, Aug 16 – Philadelphia PA – Vox Populi – with Blues Control

Tue, Aug 18 – Jersey City NJ – WFMU – Live on Brian Turner’s Show

Wed, Aug 19 – Philadelphia PA – Rittenhouse Square (Concert In The Park)

Tue, Aug 25 – Santa Ana CA – Galaxy Theatre – with Built To Spill, Woods
Wed, Aug 26 – Los Angeles CA – Troubadour – with Dungen, Woods

Thu, Aug 27 – Los Angeles CA – Echoplex

Fri, Aug 28- Santa Barbara CA – Muddy Waters – with Woods

Sat, Aug 29 – Big Sur CA – Mexican Summer / Folk Yeah Outdoor Fest

Sun, Aug 30 – San Francisco CA – Bottom of the Hill – with Dungen, Woods

Tue, Sep 1 – Portland OR – Berbati’s Pan – with Dungen, Woods

mp3: Kurt Vile - Overnite Religion

Paul McCartney Gives Farewell Tour Preview On Letterman

Sure, he's 67, and sure the ticket prices are ridiculous, but let's face it: he's PAUL MCCARTNEY! I mean, come on - one half of the most formidable song writing duo in history, and more importantly a legendary performer who's closing up shop. As far as we're concerned, there's no reason not to catch Sir Paul on his farewell tour, provided you have the cash to make it happen.

Just in case you don't, Sir Paul's looking out for you: earlier in the week he staged a free outdoor mini-concert outside of David Letterman's studio in New York. He's a bit older, and it shows in his voice, but bottom line: Macca's still got it. Check out the vid above, and we'll see you out there!

Paul McCartney Farewell Tour Dates 2009
Aug 1 Landover, MD
Aug 5 Boston, MA
Aug 6 Boston, MA
Aug 15 Atlanta, GA
Aug 19 Arlington, TX

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Flaming Lips Record On Tap For September

We've been sitting around nervously waiting for any official information about the Flaming Lips' forthcoming studio album. Despite a few whispers here and there about progress, we hadn't really heard anything tangible until today, when the tracks below popped up on Austin, TX blog Covert Curiousity.

Apparently the record (which is entitled Embryonic, cover art above) will be a double record, and drops on September 29th. We have to say, the double record always comes with a drop of skepticism, but if anyone can pull off an epic masterpiece, we have to say it's the the Lips.

Now, back to those tracks: they're some of the most abstract stuff we've heard from the Lips in a long time, which is definitely a good thing. At War With The Mystics was definitely leaning towards the perilously poppy, so we're glad to see the band travelling back to an edgier, more experimental sound. Both tracks feature a much more open airy production style than the band has adopted as of late, and we have to say that at moments it even reminds us of some of the band's early records, but with their modern sensibilities in tact. Very tasty.

Meanwhile, if you're looking to catch the band live, they will indeed be touring, and in San Francisco that means a stop to headline the Treasure Island Festival. Well played, organizer-folk. Check the rest of the dates below.

Flaming Lips Summer/Fall 2009 US Dates
Sat, 08/15/2009 Del Mar, CA
Mon, 08/17/2009 Los Angeles, CA
Tue, 08/18/2009 Pomona, CA
Thu, 08/20/2009 Troutdale, OR
Fri, 08/21/2009 Redmond, WA
Sun, 08/23/2009 Morrison, CO
Wed, 08/26/2009 Atlanta, GA
Fri, 08/28/2009 Washington, DC
Sat, 08/29/2009 Philadelphia, PA
Sun, 08/30/2009 Boston, MA
Sun, 09/13/2009 Monticello, NY
Sun, 10/18/2009 San Francisco, CA

mp3: The Flaming Lips - Convinced Of The Hex
mp3: The Flaming Lips - Silver Flaming Hands

Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward Reunite For Monsters Of Folk

You may recall that a few years back, Conor Oberst toured with Jim James and M. Ward on a tour that effectively combined the three musician's performances in a sort of crossover revue. The tour was highly acclaimed, and was highlighted by a killer appearance on Austin City Limits.

Well now the three are reuniting, and this time for far more than a tour. Come September 22nd, the three will be releasing a full length under the moniker Monsters Of Folk. The record, entitled Say Please promises to combine some of the most talented songwriters in the business today for a combo that promises to seriously be one of the most exciting releases of the year.

While you'll have to wait two months for the real deal, the band has released the title track as a teaser, and it completely lives up to the promise. It manages to combine each of the three's vocal and writing styles in a romp that is raucus and chill at the same time, and has us slobbering for more. Yum.

mp3: Monsters Of Folk - Say Please

Phoenix Plots Second Leg Of US Tour

Phoenix At The Paradise, From The HAD Archive

After a killer US Tour that (sadly) missed San Francisco, Phoenix are taking a summer break. But, not to fear - the break will be short lived, and the band will be back in the US during September and October for a bunch more dates.

The dates will span the US, and if you're motivated enough, there's probably one within a day's drive of you. For San Francisco, that means a stop at the Warfield, while New York will include two dates (one already sold out) in Central Park. You can check out all of the additional dates below.

The dates are still a good two months off, so in the meantime you can occupy yourself by watching some videos the band recently recorded. We've included an awesome acoustic version of "One Time Too Many" below, and you can see three more vids (including an interview) over at the band's blog.

Phoenix Fall 2009 US Dates:
September 13 : Monolith Festival – Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO

September 16 : Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

September 17 : Warfield, San Francisco, CA

September 19 : Urban, Salt Lake City, UT

September 21 : Slowdown, Omaha, NE

September 22 : First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
September 25 : Rumsey Playfield – Central Park, NYC

September 26 : Rumsey Playfield – Central Park, NYC

October 1 : Tipitinas, New Orleans, LA

October 2 : Austin City Limits Festival, Austin, Texas

mp3: Phoenix - Lisztomania

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pains Of Being Pure At Heart Winner Announced

We're pretty amped up for tomorrow night's show with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, and we couldn't be more happy to be hooking a fan up with a pair of tickets to the sold out show. Thanks to Another Planet Entertainment, Josh Miller will be checking out the show with a pal of his choice! Congrats to Josh, and to the rest who entered, we hope you find your destiny on craigslist. See you at the show!

mp3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - The Tenure Itch

Frightened Rabbit Has A Daytrotter Session

Frightened Rabbit At Bottom Of The Hill, From The HAD Archive

Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. -- Ferris Bueller

In our feverish pursuit and love of Frightened Rabbit last Fall, we managed to completely miss the fact that they stopped in at Daytrotter to do a killer studio session. The session, which features tracks from both of the band's studio records, is a fantastic take on their sound, and offers up a fair dose of the added rawness that makes their live show stand up to their studio greatness.

We're currently hooked on a chilled-out version of "Backwards Walk", but the rest of the recordings certainly manage to more than hold their own. Apparently the band is back in studio, so we're guessing you'll hear some new material when they hit the Independent in September. Meanwhile, head to Daytrotter to check out the rest of the session now.

mp3: Frightened Rabbit - Backwards Walk (Live On Daytrotter)

David Byrne: New Book, Coming To City Arts And Lectures In September

Amidst a well-heeled group of artists, authors, and thinkers, HAD fave David Byrne will be joining in on the goodness of City Arts and Lectures. The series, whose Fall 2009 lineup was just announced, is consistently one of the best sources of commentary and insight that San Francisco has to offer. Byrne will be joining the lecture series as the first participant, on September 29th.

Byrne will be joining in on the lectures as an advocate of bicycles, and in support of his new book The Bicycle Diaries, which drops in September was well. The book is a close to 300 page account of Byrne's travels on bicycles around the worls, and features a range of black and white photographs divided into chapters by city. As with all of Byrne's published works, we're guessing the presentation is pretty choice.

To anyone who has seen previous Byrne interviews or read his extensive online journal, it should be obvious that he's quite the man of diversified interests and great insight. While we're guessing there won't be any music, we're quite content with a good conversation. Don't miss it.

Tickets are already sold out. (!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Beatles Remaster Awesomeness Ramps Up

The Beatles' catalog has been long-lamented for its first generation digital technology. Specifically, the current CD's are the same ones made from masters way back in 1988, and no upgrade has been made in those 20+ years. While other seminal rock artists like Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones have gotten complete catalog remasters to much acclaim, the fab four have been left high and dry.

The only taste of remastering listeners have gotten was the 2006 mashup album Love, for which George Martin and his son had access to the master tapes. While the record sounded fantastic, it was certainly not canonical material, and many fans questioned the relevance of its mashup quality. What it did do, however, was offer insight into just how good the band's catalog could sound, given the right treatment.

Well, now that's about to all change. Word has come down the wire that the bands full catalog has undergone a remaster, and will be available on September 9th of this year. The remasters will be an all-out affair, covering the band's mono and stereo material, and offering up mini documentaries about the making of the records. What's more, the artwork is being redone with original quality scans, and a box set entitled Box Of Vision will be released featuring LP size artwork.

While we tend to be skeptical of certain remasters as money making tools, this is one remaster that will be worth your while. To hear these records with their full dynamic range in place is not only going to be audibly noticeable, but we're guessing emotional as well. Frankly, we can't wait. Meanwhile, you can head to the band's web site and check out a preview clip of the Revolver documentary. Yum.

Pixies Bringing Doolittle Tour To The US

Sure, you knew it was bound to happen, but it's nice to have some reassurance: Pixies have announced that they will in fact be bringing their Doolittle album tour to the US. The tour, if you need reminding, is to celebrate the 20th (!!!!) anniversary of the seminal record by playing it in full. Given that Doolittle is our fave of the band's catalog, we're more than a little psyched.

While the only "officially" confirmed dates thus far are in Europe, Frontman Frank Black has confided of dates in Oakland, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, New York City, and "maybe" Montreal. While the venues and dates haven't been announced, we'd say smart money is on the Oakland show being at the newly renovated Fox.

Should be a perfect way to celebrate your newly-purchased Minotaur goodness. Yum.

mp3: Pixies - Debaser

Wilco Played Lowell, MA And It Rained. A Lot. - Review, Setlist

Rain drenched picture courtesy of Andrew Choy

This past Saturday, Wilco played LaLacheur Ballpark as part of their set of "Ballpark Shows" on the East Coast. But this one had an additional twist: it rained, as in POURED. One of the HAD staff was on hand for the show, and had this to say:

"Wilco was amazing. NONE of the "antics" from the New Orleans show, just straight up musical goodness. A solid mix of new and old - they opened with "Wilco (The Song)". After about an hour and a half, it started just to sprinkle rain and then the heavens opened on us DOWNPOUR. Jeff sang "Hummingbird" while roadies were running around covering instruments, and then they waved goodbye and left the stage. The crowd stayed and were chanting "one more song" , soJeff and Nels came back on and plugged in (no one was electrocuted) and started "I'm the Man who loves you". Soon, Glenn went under a tarp to get to his drum kit to join them (and shortly got the roadies to pull the tarp off), Mike was next, and finally Pat and John. They sang a long version while it poured on all of us (and them); too cool. Everyone was singing along, of course, and then they left for good. Perhaps we missed a somewhat longer show, but I think they were really were happy that the crowd was so enthusiastic...crazy karma, too fun!"

So there you have it, kids: even in the rain, Wilco loves you baby.

Wilco (The Song)
2. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
3. Shot in the Arm
4. At Least That’s What You Said
5. Bull Black Nova
6. You Are My Face
7. One Wing
8. Handshake Drugs
9. Side With the Seeds
10. Deeper Down
11. Jesus, etc.
12. Sunny Feeling
13. Nothing’severgonnastandinmyway (Again)
14. Via Chicago
15. Impossible Germany
16. Spiders (Kidsmoke)
17. Hummingbird
18. I’m the Man Who Loves You

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Contest: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart Rickshaw Ticket Giveaway

We already gave mention to The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's tour, and upcoming show at Rickshaw next week. Well in the months since, the band's hype has done nothing but build, and (accordingly) the Rickshaw show is sold out. You snooze, you lose, right?


Thanks to the kindness of our friends over at Another Planet Entertainment, HAD has a pair of tickets to give away for next Tuesday's show. All you need to do to qualify to win is the following: send an email to contests@hippiesaredead.com telling us your favorite track on the band's full-length, and why. One entry per person, please.

The contest will close this Sunday (July 19th) at midnight, and we'll let you know what happened Monday morning. Good luck!

mp3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - The Tenure Itch

Julian Casablancas Solo Record On Tap For Later This Year

Well, you sorta knew it had to happen: all the other Strokes (save Nick) have released solo projects, and now frontman Julian Casablancas will do the same. We have to say that we sorta think that Julian is The Strokes "secret sauce", so this could prove to be the most monumental of the band's solo forays. You can check out a video above with some inspiring instrumental-previews, but other than that you'll just have to wait for the goodness to trickle down.

The album, entitled Phrazes For The Young, is apparently only eight tracks long, and will not interfere in any way with the much-anticipated fourth record from the full band. Translation: best of both worlds. We couldn't be happier, now just to sit back and wait.

Thanks to Music Induced Euphoria for the tip!

Beck's Website Freebie Madness Continues

We already mentioned that Beck had spruced up his web site with his "Record Club" concept and some Velvet Underground covers. Well, it appears that that wasn't quite enough, and so Mr. Hansen has decided to add even more free content to his home on the interwebs.

In the past week or two, Beck's not only added more Velvet Underground tracks (we're up to "Venus In Furs" now, click above for video), but he's also has implemented a weekly updated DJ session, and another weekly track-by-track release of Modern Guilt in acoustic form.

We have to say, in addition to enjoying the velvets tracks, we're quite excited about that last item. Beck's acoustic stuff has always held a special place in our hearts after seeing him at Lincoln Center, and to hear the latest record (his best in a while) get the acoustic treatment is particularly awesome.

Stream: Beck.com - Various

New Spoon Bonus Material - "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb (From Scratch Demo)"

Spoon At The Fillmore, from the HAD Archive

Here at HAD, we continue to be huge fans of bands transcending RIAA lameness by giving things away for free. Without a doubt, one of the champions of free goodies has to be our buddies in Spoon. Rather than save up rare, live, and demo tracks for some sort of compilation or money-maker for interim record sales, they instead relentlessly release those tracks through the "Bonus" tab of their web site, and they do it every month!

This month's track is a demo of "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb" known as the "From Scratch Demo". It's a chilled-out take on the track from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, featuring layers of dreamy synths and some dub vocal effects for good measure. That being said, it doesn't sacrifice the track's driving drum and bass lines, and in a way it seems as though this is one track that was always meant for it's album persona. Check it out below.

mp3: Spoon - You Got Yr Cherry Bomb (From Scratch Demo)

Feist Joins Wilco On Letterman For "You And I" - Video

Now, this is more like it. After Wilco's relatively uninspired performance on Conan a couple of weeks back, we were happy to see them nail "You And I" as they paid David Letterman a visit.

Of course, it didn't exactly hurt things that Feist was on hand to help them out and add a fair dose of energy to the mix. As she sang with Tweedy, it was clear that he was more than a little happy to have her on hand, as was the rest of the band.

In fact, we can't say we've seen the Wilco crew be quite so grin-filled in quite a while. Then again, can you really blame them?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New EELS Video - "In My Dreams"

Okay, obviously we're not calling the shots on EELS' singles, because if we were, they wouldn't keep avoiding the RAWK like the plague. Seriously, Hombre Lobo is a raucous, fun affair, and yet the band seems intent on continuing to push the uber mellow "In My Dreams" as the current face of the EELS.

Combine that with the fact that it's not just a mellow single, but the video is a cutesy montage of a (presumably) young Mr. E walking about the forest. Come on! Really?

Shit baby - give us "Fresh Blood" any day!

mp3: EELS - Fresh Blood

Blur Play It Safe At Hyde Park Reunion - Setlists

Picture via flickr, courtesy of Stew Dean

We've been getting psyched up for Blur's reunion for months now, and despite the fact that there have been numerous warm up and festival gigs, for some reason it seemed like this weekend's Hyde Park gigs were truly the "real thing". As such, we were psyched to track down the setlists, although in the end we would have liked to have seen things turn out a bit differently.

Not that there was anything wrong with the setlists per se: by all accounts both gigs were totally monumental, and we haven't heard a peep of disappointment from any party that was in attendance. However, from the outside, it seems that the band played it very conservatively.

The sets leaned heavily on older material, with the only newer material being singles. In fact, most of the set was a greatest-hits run through. Now, granted, when you haven't played for almost ten years as a unit, you do have to do a certain amount of head nodding to the past. That being said, one of our favorite bits of Blur is the experimental conflict that arose in the second half of their career.

We're all for poppy goodness (and lord knows Blur are the masters of it), but we have to admit we would have liked to have seen a little bit more of their edgy material. That, and the fact the setlist was identical both days, I mean - come on. Not even a variation for the encore? Still, as they say, beggars can't be choosers, and when it comes to a Blur reunion, we are most certainly that.

Blur At Hyde Park July 2nd and 3rd - Setlist
1. She's So High
2. Girls And Boys
3. Tracy Jacks
4. There's No Other Way
5. Jubilee
6. Badhead
7. Beetlebum
8. Out Of Time
9. Trimm Trabb
10. Coffee And TV
11. Tender
12. Country House
13. Oily Water
14. Chemical World
15. Sunday Sunday
16. Parklife (with Phil Daniels)
17. End Of A Century
18. To The End
19. This Is A Low
20. Popscene
21. Advert
22. Song 2
23. Death Of A Party
24. For Tomorrow
25. The Universal

New Doves Video: "Winter Hill"

It's been three months since Doves dropped Kingdom of Rust, and the band is still going strong on its release. Case in point: the latest single/video from the record, "Winter Hill".

We love the tune (especially live), so we're certainly not putting up a fight. That being said, we are moderately flummoxed as to why the video focuses on a trick BMX rider. Nonetheless, that shit be cool to watch, so again, no arguments.

In other news, the band's website was apparently hacked recently, which has left them relegated to a temporary blogger domain for the time being...stupid hax0rs!

mp3: Doves - Jetstream

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Heavenly States Playing Free Gig Tomorrow Night @ The Uptown

Ted Nesseth of the Heavenly States at The Fillmore, from the HAD Archive

It's been a while since we caught The Heavenly States in a live room, but word on the street is that they've been diligently working away on new material, and are set to record a new album entitled HE LP! in the coming months. Tasty.

Lucky for us, the Bay Area natives have decided to do all of us a solid with a free show tomorrow night at The Uptown in Oakland. Given that it's the opening night of everyone's favorite summer holiday weekend, the band has new material to play, and it's free, we ask you: Can you really go wrong?

The answer, friends, is "no".

mp3: The Heavenly States - The System

Pixies Play "Bone Machine" At Minotaur Launch Party - Video

Yesterday we mentioned the Pixies box set on tap for this fall, Minotaur. Well, apparently the band saw fit to celebrate the set well in advance of its ship date, as this video demonstrates. The band played a set at London's Village Underground, and it included this killer version (video above) of "Bone Machine".

Look, we'll just come out and say it: are all these break ups and reunions really necessary? Can't we just get Pixies all the time? Please?

mp3: Pixies - Debaser

Jason Falkner's I'm OK You're OK Targeted For US Release In August

After reading this interview with Jason Falkner, we were absentmindedly perusing his myspace, and stumbled upon a pleasant surprise. You may recall that last year we picked up Falkner's latest release, I'm OK You're OK, while in Japan. The record is, in our opinion, his strongest to date. It features artfully crafted melodies, and the distinctive brand of power pop that is very exclusively Falkner's. It's really a travesty that in the two years since it's release, it hasn't managed to see a US release. Fortunately, that's all about to change.

Via an announcement on myspace, Falkner has confirmed not only that the record will hit the US in August, but that it will feature two new versions of songs on the Japan version, and will be released on vinyl. On top of that, Falkner voiced intent to release another new record before the end of the year(!), and tour in support of both. Needless to say, if you are a Falkner fan (and you really should be), it could turn out to be a very good second half of 2009.

If you're not a Falkner fan yet, we couldn't push you more emphatically in that direction. On his records, he manages to create perfectly crafted pop songs that reward in both melody and instrumentation. To be fair, the records aren't exactly easy to find, but we promise it'll be worth your time. And if our rec isn't enough for you, the list of Falkner's admirers should be: he's done studio work, and toured with, the likes of Beck, Paul McCartney, and Air. That being said, given that we've been loving his solo work going on ten years, we're pretty damn psyched to see the man back in charge and ready to deliver some solo records. August here we come!

mp3: Jason Falkner - Hurricane

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pixies Box Set Minotaur To Have Surround Sound

We're sure by now you've probably heard all about the forthcoming Pixies box set, Minotaur. Amongst other things, there will be two editions of the set, and a host of artsy extras. Depending how much dough you're willing to cough up, you could wind up with CD's, DVD's, Blu Ray Discs, one of two art books, vinyl pressings, and much more. It's all very exciting.

However, what you may not have noticed is that the box set will also feature 5.1 surround mixes of the record. We here at HAD are unabashed surround-lovers, and we couldn't be more excited about this revelation. While the format is unquestionably on the decline, we still love it, and thankfully innovative bands like The Pixies, Bowie, and Flaming Lips are managing to keep it afloat. Cheers to that.

In addition to all this box set goodness, the band is also planning a tour based around the anniversary of our favorite Pixies record, Doolittle. While all of the dates are currently relegated to Europe (boo!), we're keeping our fingers crossed that it will make it to the US sooner rather than later. We could really use us some Debaser show-opener style.

The Minotaur box set drops in late September.

mp3: Pixies - Debaser

New Yo La Tengo On The Way - Popular Songs

It's been three years since Yo La Tengo has had a new record on the market (okay, not if you count Condo Fucks), so we were psyched to hear that their latest, Popular Songs, is on tap for September. The first released track from the record is the decidedly-retro "Periodically Double Or Triple".

While the track certainly holds its own, it frankly feels a bit thin for the typical level of quality we've come to expect from the band. The arrangement is stark, and uses a repetitive organ line to drive a simple, cutesy melody. The song holds together well enough, and we dig the organ solo - it just feels a bit like the band called it in.

That being said, Yo La Tengo records are typically an album-spanning affair, so we'll keep the snap judgements to ourselves until we hear the whole thing. After all, "Mr. Tough" is damn cutesy, but in the context of I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Kick Your Ass, well....it just works. Seems we'll just have to wait and see.

Popular Songs drops On September 8th

mp3: Yo La Tengo - Periodically Double Or Triple

White Rabbits - "Percussion Gun" Video

Given that we've been loving White Rabbits both live and in the studio, we were surprised to see that the official video for "Percussion Gun" slipped right past us. The video is a clean take on the band's live performance, and uses visuals to put emphasis on their highly synchronized instrumentation. On top of that, the cinematography's nice and arty, with an emphasis on spinning lights. A nice touch, but dare we say, not one for the epileptic crowd?

mp3: White Rabbits - Percussion Gun