June 2006


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Well, it’s been several weeks since I first heard the newest from San Francisco’s Vetiver, and it’s still top o’ the pops.

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They have finally got their Web site up and running, and while it isn’t really spruced or even fit properly in my computerbox window, it does shed some more info on the band. But the best thing put up is a stream of a live session at KPFA, and if it’s anything to go on, Andy Cabic seems to hate the spotlight more than I hate that gang of hip-hop pit bulls down the street.

There are still no West Coast dates for the tour, but I’m sure they’ll come.

EZarchive is down, and I haven’t found anything interesting, so no mp3s… but you can stream the album from the site and see why it will do when catnip is hard to come by. In the meantime, you can watch them at Bonaroo here.

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Hey y’all-

So I went and saw the movie about everyone’s favorite pill-poppin’, wine-drinkin’ cowboy the other day (called Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel). Y’all know the Gram Parsons story already–anyone who’s worth their salt does–but yeehaw! is it worth a trip to your local the-a-ter. For those who don’t know, Gram is often credited as the “father of alt country,” and–even though I hate shit like that–it’s not without reason. He was one of the first to show the world that country music wasn’t just a relic waiting to die drunk and sad in the gutter along with the toothless hillbillies who sang it. He took the roots music he grew up with and turned it into a perfect union with the impossibly cool rock star he couldn’t help but become. Throw in a few pounds of addiction to every chemical on the planet, and you’ve got a pretty good picture of the music and legend Gram left behind.

Seeing interviews with his family, friends, former band members and other rockers you may have heard of (e.g. keith richards, steve earle) gave me–I think–a much more real and definitely less enchanted vision of who he was. In the end, he was a brilliant songwriter, a natural born star, a trust-fund baby, a fantastic addict, and not much more.

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The movie conspicuously glosses over some of the drama in his life (did he get down with Emmylou or not? I guess that part’ll be in the special features on the DVD. I mean, come on. Of course he did.). But lucky for us, he went through enough lusty, crazy, tragic shit to fill 103 minutes with a classic tale of American rock ‘n roll.

My recommendation: Sneak in a bottle of Old Crow or cheap-as-hell red wine and raise one for a great, troubled man.

Highlights:

A video he cut singing (if I recall) “Hot Burrito #1” with some utterly fabulous sunglasses action.

Story of the Flying Burrito Brothers’ cross-country train trip.

Footage of Gram dinking around with the Rolling Stones, and the live footage of him performing with a young Emmylou are pretty heart-breaking.

The story of Grand Theft Parsons. I knew this story before, but seeing it described by the people who pulled it off was endlessly entertaining. And the back-and-forth juxtaposition of the telling of that story with Gram’s family members asking “Are these people fucking insane?” is priceless. Yes, they most clearly are. But their drug-addled hearts were in the right place. None of us would’ve wanted Gram to ping.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

ChairmanMeow

Wolf Parade is going on tour! They're really "pack"ing it in! Ha ha. You'll have a "howl"ing good time! Ha ha. The show will really send you for a "lupine." Ha ha, actually no. Tried to do loop/lupine… didn't work. My bad.

The important thing is that a) I don't plan on making any Wolfmother posts for a while, so I should be able to freshen up some new awful Wolf puns, and b) they put on a pretty inspired show. Frog Eyes opens, so it should be a right Canadian invasion (it's important that you make the gung-ho motion with your arm when you say "right").

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Random Wolf Parade @ Coachella '06 photo

But seriously, $20 for their San Francisco show? Pre-fines? I mean surcharges? Hey Clear Channel–eat shit, then barf it up, then eat it again you fucking lame shit fuck heads. Sorry, true anger makes me retarded.

Fight the power (as much as it can be fought) with some pre-sale action here: http://wolfparade.ducatking.com

August 4: Ottawa, ON @ Barrymore Hall (19+)
August 5: Toronto, ON @ The Phoenix Concert Theater (19+)
August 6: Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
August 7: Chicago, IL @ Metro
August 8: Chicago, IL @ Metro (18+)
August 9: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue (18+)
August 11: Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret
August 12: Regina, SK @ The Exchange
August 13: Saskatoon, SK @ Amigos
August 14: Edmonton, AB @ Starlight Room
August 15: Calgary, AB @ The Warehouse
August 20: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
August 22: Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
August 24: San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore <– $20 frickin bucks? Fuck you, Clear Channel!
August 25: Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern Theater
August 27: Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
August 28: Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
September 3: Montreal, PQ @ Osheaga Festival (No Frog Eyes)
September 15: Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Festival (No Frog Eyes)

Live MP3s – please steal! And remember, they're Wolf Parade, and they love to entertain.

Wolf Parade – Heart is on Fire (live)
Wolf Parade – Things I Don't Know

Wolf Parade on Myspace
Frog Eyes on Myspace

ChairmanMeow

Just a quick follow-up to The Constantines post yesterday…

I tracked down the Spencer Davis Group track they covered, "I'm a Man." And yes, the band is still white. In fact, everyone's favorite singer, Steve Winwood, was in the band. See what wealth of knowledge lies in the Internet?

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The Spencer Davis Group – I'm a Man
The Spencer Davis Group – Keep on Running

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Children and brothers and sisters…

Welcome to the church of Jason Pierce. This sermon was given somewhere in Canada, likely during their 2003 tour with the Soledad Brothers, as one of the Brothers joined the band for Cop Shoot Cop. I was not at this show.

As this is the first Spiritualized post on this site, I will let the music speak for itself. I could listen to the three-minute intro for hours…

Stats of the show:
Jason’s attitude – Normal
Long Song – Medication
Notable Exclusions – Shine A Light
Spacemen 3 song – Things’ll Never Be The Same
Version of Electric Mainline – Mellow

That is all. Peace be with you.

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Spiritualized – This Little Life of Mine
Spiritualized – Come Together
Spiritualized – Walking with Jesus
Spiritualized – Hold On
Spiritualized – She Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit)
Spiritualized – Lord Let It Rain On Me
Spiritualized – Oh Baby
Spiritualized – Cheapster
Spiritualized – Medication
Spiritualized – Lay It Down Slow
Spiritualized – Never Goin’ Back> Spiritualized – The Ballad Of Richie Lee
Spiritualized – Cop Shoot Cop
Spiritualized – Electric Mainline
Spiritualized – Rated X
Spiritualized – Run
Spiritualized – Take Good Care Of It
Spiritualized – Smiles / Things’ll Never Be The Same

Edit: Links should be good now. Technology is the devil.

ChairmanMeow

Few bands make quality rock n' roll like Toronto's The Constantines. Even though they're stupid sick dope musicians, it seems they are still always overlooked as one of those proverbial "bands that will save rock n' roll." I honestly don't get it.

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The Constantines…duh.

However, I'm not without blame. I've listened to them off and on for a while, and always say to myself, "Hot Damn! These canucks are fucking great!" And then I forget about them.

So when I noticed they were playing Cafe du Nord, the show called to me like a can opener… played at 11! It was high time I got my shit together and became a fan of The Constantines, and not just in passing.

They have the same sort of indie-rockinness feel that the Wrens do, and at times sound like Fugazi, without the budget-priced shows or CDs. But they're considerably better. I guess one of the problems I've always had is that I don't know anyone else who likes The Constantines. Hell, I don't even know anyone else who has heard of The Constantines.

But I was determined to say "fuck all" and go with my gut. So on that, I decided to give the show a shot.

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I told you they were from Toronto!

Holy shit am I glad I went.

The band has a knack for writing some seriously amazing blue-collar "we can overcome" songs. It's the kind of shit you would expect to hear on the way to a Pittsburgh Steelers game, except for that fact that Steelers fans are idiots and should all be shot. Seriously, they suck.

But suck not do The Constantines do. (That was possibly the best ever sentence ever written right there.) Frontman Steve Lambke Bry Webb (thanks Jen for straightening me out) should not have the voice he does. But he does. It's as if he summons some sort of gruff rock god from the past with some eeeerie Canadian ouija board before each performance and just lets it floooooooow.

Not only was their show more than solid from top to bottom, but they did one of the best covers ever.

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Spencer Davis – a honky!

The last song was a cover of "I'm a Man" by The Spencer Davis Group. I became a big fan of that song from hearing it on "The Document"–a superb mix by DJ Andy Smith of Portishead. And get this–Spencer Davis is white. Daaaaaaaaamn!  I had no idea! A few members of the opening band came on to help, and it was raaaaaaaaaaaaaad. (see last pic below) 

Anyway, here are some more bad pictures as is trademark to the Web site.

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The Constantines – Young Lions (Live from Lee's Palace)
The Constantines – On to You (Live from Lee's Palace)
The Constantines – Young Offenders
The Constantines – Working Full Time

Update! You can check out the original Spencer Davis Group song here, in this link… to the FUTURE!

For the entire Lee's Palace show, head over to Captain's Dead. Thanks Cap'n!

ChairmanMeow

It was exactly a week ago today that I got the new album from Vetiver, “To Find Me Gone.” I am doing the exact same thing I was doing the first time I heard the album…that is, taking bong hits of catnip while watching baseball, while listening to Vetiver on my headphones.

Last week, I was completely blown away by the record, actually believing that this could by my favorite of the year so far. Well, seven days later, I think the same.

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Fronted by Andy Cabic, the San Francisco band makes th e loudest soft music heard. Yeah, that really doesn’t make a lot of sense, but neither did those cyclops when I was tripping on mushrooms the other day. The point is, the cyclops DID exist, and Vetiver is the loudest softest band ever heard.

The band generally does guitar-based psych-folk, but will also venture slightly in other areas, and do so extremely well. The list of possible influences and sound-a-likes includes The Junior Boys, J.J. Cale, Spiritualized, and any bearded guitar singer/writer. But you would never say “You know, Vetiver sounds like The Junior Boys” or “Whoa! Vetiver reminds me of Spiritualized.” You would say, “Hmmm, Vetiver just totally had a J.J. Cale moment there,” or “I hear a little tiny bit of Elliot Smith in ‘I Know No Pardon.'”

That’s kind of what makes this album so good. It’s so familiar yet so different. People can knock people for sounding similar to others, but fuck that, I don’t care who you sound like as long as you sound good. If we’re always trying to sound like something never heard before, then before long music will be left with only bands that use chainsaws, smash watermelons, and buckets.

The band is currently touring the East Coast, with no announced West Coast tour dates…yet. In the meantime, buy the album and close your eyes.

Vetiver – Won’t Be Me
Vetiver – Double

Hey, I didn’t mention Devendra Banhart once! Awwww crap…

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