Birdmonster Video: Born To Be Your Man

Just can't get enough of these guys...

Matt Pond PA Offers Free Thanksgiving EP

Download the new (free) EP from Matt Pond PA and be thankful there are cool musicians like this...


(thanks MOKB)

Justice Documentary

Justice really caught my attention with their last video, so I'll be interested to see how this little documentary fares.

Justice: Fantastic Documentary of Frenchman Make American Women Take Off Clothes and Gays Dance For Benefit of Ticket Promoters

Because you're not really a French electronic superstar duo until you have a needlessly arty film made about you, Justice, the band that brought you that D.A.N.C.E. song you listened to a thousand times over the summer, is out with a DVD documentary called A Cross The Universe. It's on shelves today, packaged along with a live tour CD. More previews of the DVD here. Directed by Romain Gavras, the film focuses on the sex, violence and mayhem that's so popular with our youth today, while following the band as it tours across the U.S. It's just like Borat (hence our goofy post title), except instead of the drunk frat boys spewing out racist invective, they make out. Nov 24, 2008 · Link · 5 Responses Tagged: Justice, Music Videos, Romain Garvas Comments (5) No. 1 · fredo777 Less boobs. More moobs. Posted: Nov 24, 2008 at 2:25 pm · @Reply · [Flag?] No. 2 · Simi [From Justice: Fantastic Documentary of Frenchman Make American Women Take Off Clothes and Gays Dance For Benefit of Ticket Promoters / Queerty
JUSTICE - A CROSS THE UNIVERSE (teaser) by justice



1993 was the year I graduated High School. It was a year of major changes in my life and in my music consumption... I was just coming out of my hair-metal phase and just started to discover new bands like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Melissa Etheridge ;-). Since that time, my appreciation for music has grown immensely and I feel like I have a much better grasp on what's happening out there now.

But what's strange is looking back at all the music I missed. Kinda makes me sad that so much passed me by, but also appreciative of where I am now.

All Music Guide posted an entry of a bunch of videos from 1993. Check them out, it's a blast from the past.

They also posted their favorite songs/albums from 1993 as well. Enjoy.


The Bay Bridged Volumes 1 & 2

One of my favorite music blogs is promoting another great music site... Now I'm sharing it with you.

The Bay Bridged, Volume 2 The Bay Bridged is one of my favorite music sites that champions its local musicians and shows. The site combines a music blog, audio podcasts, a video podcast, a concert calendar, and more into a truly essential portal for music fans in the San Francisco Bay Area (and those of us unlucky enough to live elsewhere). The level of entertainment value and professionalism is always high and impressive for a site not even two years old.

Anytime there's a site that posts / releases exclusive live tracks immediately gets my attention. I definitely want to pick up Vol's 1 & 2. You can preview them below.

Just another reason to envy those getting to live in SF.


More on Vinyl's Resurgence

In other news, my record player just died. Now begins the hunt for a new (used?) one... Any suggestions?

Related: Vinyl's Comeback

Some Ani Updates

For all you Ani fans... there's been a flurry of activity with her lately...

She has a new live concert on Fabchannel. I'm still continually surprised with the quality of content & production of Fabchannel, especially for being a free service.


There's a new iTunes Originals album:


Also, Righteous Babe Reords is now on eMusic.com


She also has a live, in-studio performance over at WNYC, which also includes a new election song.


Estelle - Come Over Video

If you've been reading this (and the previous) blog for a while, you'll know that my forté is indie pop / rock and folk music.  However, I do have quite a wide range of interests, but it's rare I find artists in other genres who grip me in the same way.  
I haven't found a great R&B album in some time (c'mon Janet & Mary J.!), but this new Estelle has me hooked.  I'm sure you've heard the amazing American Boy feat. Kanye, but this is another great song of the album.  Check it.


Nanci Griffith (11/15/08)

Nanci Griffith (11/15/08)This was unfortunately my first and only performance I attended for this year's Kent State Folk Festival. What a mistake. I've heard so many great things about the festival this year from my friend Tim. Next year I will block out time to attend more shows.

The highlight for this year was definitely the Nanci Griffith show (obviously). I was very excited to see her, but that paled in comparison to my friend Tim. I was concerned he would throw himself at her on the stage, but luckily he remained seated. However, I left immedately after the show and he stayed around to meet her, so I can't say he didn't do such a thing later. But rather than me talking about the show, I thought I'd let you hear about it from Tim:

The final evening of the 42nd Kent State Folk Festival was amazing - with opener Peter Mayer's beautiful voice, masterful playing and great writing. If I could do one of the three half as good as he does, I'd be so happy.

As wonderful as Peter was, Nanci Griffith was the highlight of the evening, the Festival and my year! A fan ever since Roger introduced me to "Dust Bowl Symphony," she gave another great concert with a nice mix of new and older material in the wonderful Kent Stage venue. Having center seats eight rows back made the experience all the more enjoyable. Meeting her aftewards was, well, incredible.

Whether she's doing an uptempo tune like "Simple Life" or the gripping, soulful "From A Distance," Nanci always pleases; her wit and political comments made the show even better. Her brothers in arms played extremely well and tight. In short - what a night.


Chris Castle Trio (4/12/08)

Cool night outside, a fire and folk music inside. I couldn't have asked for a more cozy night at the Spider. Chris played songs from both his albums, including Crazy Wind which I hadn't been able to listen to yet (but did purchase).

On this Wednesday night, there wasn't 2 acts like there normally are that Spider. But if I were only going to just see one band perform for the whole night, Chris Castle's would be the one. Sitting there, I was just able to lose myself in the music and the banter. It was a nice little crowd and everyone loved them. I was happy when Martin told me to suggest to them that they come back. I think they got the message loud and clear.

Chris Castle Trio (4/12/08)

(p.s. this will hopefully be my last iPhone photo, as I have a new (used) camera!)


Two Great Shows Tonight

If you're looking for something to do tonight, you're in luck. Two good shows, both "free."

At the Barking Spider tonight is Chris Castle (9pm) I've seen him before (twice), and I'd highly recommend him. Not only for his superb writing and performing, but also because he's one of the coolest performers you'll ever meet. He's also the only performer there tonight which should be interesting. Not something you see everyday.

Also performing tonight is Oxford Collapse w/ Pepi Ginsberg. They'll be performing at the Spot. I had such a great experience there last week with Birdmonster, it's very tempting.

For me, I'll be sticking with the tried & true, going to the Spider to see Chris. But who knows, maybe afterward I'll have it in me to walk over to the Spot for Oxford Collapse.

And as always, you can get all the "cool" shows coming to Cleveland on my concert calendar. (Also, feel free to let me know of any shows I should add.)


You Need to Check Out Greg Laswell

As much as I've been raving about Birdmonster lately... I'm equally captivated by Greg Laswell and his new album (Three Flights from Alto Nido). He deserves every bit of attention he's getting.

He was just mentioned on Perez Hilton for covering Cyndi Laupers Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and I'm hoping that draws more people to him. (And for all you Perez haters out there, I understand. I'm not a fan, but he does post some decent music, sometimes.)

Anyway. CHECK HIM OUT. I will say that I wasn't hooked on the first go-round, but I'm sure if you spend some time with him, he'll charm you just like he did me. His voice alone is phenomenal.

Three Flights from Alto Nido
Here's a track not listed above, but one of the BEST on the new album: I'd Be Lying

Id Be Lying - Greg Laswell


Why I Still Like the Killers (performing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)

This is why I still like the Killers. I can't say I motivated to spend much time with their last album, but I'm looking forward to giving their new album a chance (Day & Age, out November 25th.

As a side-note, I love it when people turn the camera during a recording. How do they think it's going to look in playback? But I digress...

Folk Alley Blog Story

I think Folk Alley is one of the best produced radio programs out there, and much of that praise goes to Jim Blum, the host. He's truly an amazing person, both on and off the air. You can get a sense of this from his recent post on the Folk Alley blog.

As much as I love music, I also love dogs. I feel for Jim and his loss, but I'm also inspired by his dedication to animals and the life he provides them.

Farewell Josie November 1, 2008 In the spring of 1995, I adopted a lab shepherd puppy through PAWS, an animal welfare organization in Cleveland. I asked WKSU listeners for help in naming her, and I received nearly 300 suggestions. Almost immediately I could tell "Josie" was different. When guests came over she exhibited shyness and exhilaration simultaneously. She wagged her tale furiously, spread her ears straight out and squinted her eyes to where they almost closed. It was her way of sending joy to strangers, just hoping she would be accepted. Of course she always was. Most were on the floor laughing. Josie had other talents. She could catch a grape from 15' away. She adopted her own kitten. She used to pat ME on the head. She modeled for an American Greetings card. Her best talent was that of a counselor. She pulled me through a very sad divorce. She was a traveler. Accompanying me at many bluegrass festivals, we usually went hiking and mountain biking afterward. She summited mountains in 6 states. If there was an old fire tower on top of the peak, she insisted on climbing that too. She followed me on every cross country ski journey. Earlier this year, her 13th, she stopped going on our nightly runs. She limped a bit and struggled to climb stairs. Her bark began to fade; she couldn't hear very well. On Wednesday Oct. 29, I came home around 11 PM. She greeted me, walked over to the carpeted hallway, laid down, and died. It was awful and precious at the same time. At least we got to say goodbye. Josie left me with one wish which I would like to share with you. She loved other dogs which encouraged me to rescue 2 more. Now with Harriet and Kali, I can't imagine having less than three. People look at me strangely when I mention that I have 3 dogs and 7 cats. Today, I think it's strange not to have that many. Songwriter David Wilcox told me once: "It's not what you give up, it's what you get." (I think he was talking about children, but you get the point.) There are overcrowded rescue shelters in every community, including yours, full of Josies, and full of kittens like hers. I hope one (or more) of these companions can bring you as much happiness as I received from my best friend. I buried her in my backyard. Rest in Peace Josie girl. ~ Jim Blum 10/31/08


Because they're still on my mind...


Kent State Folk Festival This Weekend

Are you going to the Kent State Folk Festival? You should. It's going on this weekend, through next week. I'm hearing great things... particularly from the Richard Shindell & Justin Townes Earle shows. I'm (unfortunately) only going to make the Nanci Griffith show next Saturday. But I think it should be a phenomenal show... I'll let you know.


White People Don't Dance

Also while cleaning out bookmarks, I foundthis piece

that I find completely hilarious (and true). I myself can't stand still at shows and have perfected the art of the non-dancing dance. A kind of groove that doesn't require moving your feet. It's not that dorky... really.

(from http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com)

#67 Standing Still at Concerts

February 17, 2008 by clander Music is very important to white people. It truly is the soundtrack to their lives, meaning that white people are constantly thinking about what songs would be on the soundtrack for the biopic. The problem is that most of the music that white people like isn’t really dance-friendly. More often the songs are about pain, or love, or breaking up with someone, or not being able to date someone, or death. So when white people go to concerts at smaller venues, what to do they do? They stand still! This is an important part of white concert going as it enables you to focus on the music, and it will prevent drawing excess attention to you. Remember, at a concert everyone is watching you just waiting for you to try to start dancing. Then they will make fun of you. The result is Belle and Sebastian concerts that essentially looks more like a disorganized line of people than a music event. If you find yourself invited to a concert with a white person, do NOT expect to dance. Prepare yourself for three hours of standing reasonably still. It is also advised to get a beer or (if legal) a cigarette so you have something to do with your hands. Although it is acceptable to occasionally raise one hand and point just above the stage. Note: the addition of the drug ecstasy changes everything.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Still Tinkering...

I purchased ecto, which after a brief review of blogging apps, seemed the most promising.  Well, I'm still running into issues with embedding, as well as adding additional paragraph tags.   I've been going through all my blogging bookmarks,  updating info in places like Technorati and Feedburner.  In that process, I found another blog editor Qumana, which I'm trying now.

Let's try an embed.  The illustrious Joan Armatrading:

aTags: , ,

Powered by Qumana


Birdmonster (11/05/08)

What a GREAT show...

I listen to a LOT of new music. Much of it falls off my radar pretty quickly, but some albums seriously stand out (but not that often). This newest Birdmonster album (From The Mountain To The Sea) is one of those albums. The entire album is solid... I would almost go so far to say that every track is great.

Once I was hooked, I realized I had completely forgot they were coming to town. When I switched my calendar view from October to November, that's when I was reminded they were coming to the Spot here on CWRU's campus! Talk about a pleasant surprise (and being giddy...). This show quickly became one of the most anticipated shows of the year for me.

I met my co-worker at the Spot, arriving at 9:30. Birdmonster was on stage, doing their soundcheck. I began to dread the long night that was to come (oh... Ha Ha Tonka was also performing). But much to my surprise, Birdmonster was the opener! They took the stage and performed to a nearly empty room. No matter, they performed as if the place was packed and put on one hell of a show. Their performance was inspired and they had this magnetic "personality" that I love to see with live bands.

Birdmonster (11/5/08)

At one point they kind of joked and asked for requests, probably not expecting to get any. After the next song I yelled out "Lost at Sea" (a favorite of mine), which seemed to delight the lead singer. He asked me my name and dedicated the song to me. What a treat. I felt like I was almost watching a personal performance.

They continued, playing some new songs as well as some songs of their older album (No Midnight) which I will be getting from eMusic. After the show I purchased a copy of their CD and a T-shirt, and I was glad to see that quite a line of people emerged to buy merch.

I have to admit, I have a crush on the band... They are definitely as good as some of the best indie pop/rock bands out there today. I would love to see them perform to a packed house at the Grog Shop next time their in town.

We stayed a bit longer to see some of Ha Ha Tonka. They were good, but I wasn't going to give up a decent bed-time. But you should still check them out as well.


Blogger / Wordpress Differences

I had originally planned to embed the Presidential Playlist Showdown from imeem today, in honor of our election day. At first I thought there was an a problem with ecto, but quickly realized that Wordpress doesn't allow any embedding of Flash. wtf? Really??

For me, the beauty of moving from iBlog to a modern platform was to take advantage of embedding as much as possible. I hopped over to Blogger and was happy to see this wasn't the case there. I started setting up a blog with Google, only to quickly realize there are several other benefits. So here's just a quick run-down of some quick, obvious differences for me


  • Allows for "Pages" as menu items across the top
  • Utilizes Categories and Tags
  • Has a media library for hosting images


  • Embedding of Flash
  • More control over the template / CSS
  • Rich Text editor as "Gadgets" or "Widgets"

Wow, after getting this out, I'm realizing this embed thing must be a BIG issue to lose those 3 features... Wow.

Here's a more complete comparison.


Wolf Parade (11/02/08)

It had been a LONG time since I saw Wolf Parade. 2004 to be exact, as the opener for Modest Mouse. Since that show, I've been patiently awaiting their return to Cleveland. In that time, they've released two albums and have experienced some great success. This was apparent at the show last night. A full house (though I don't believe they were sold out), and the crowd was psyched to see them.Wolf Parade at Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR

But first, Listening Party opened. I didn't check them out until last night, right before the show. I liked what I heard on their MySpace page and quickly downloaded their album from eMusic, and listened to it as much as I could. This also convinced me to get there in time to see them open. Overall, I can't say that I was extremely impressed with their show, though I enjoyed their creative approach to music. The lead vocal was also drumming while standing (sometimes with maracas), and the always welcome use of a looper (love the technical jargon?).

Wolf Parade came on stage to an impassioned crowd. They dimmed the lights and played with an intensity I haven't seen for a while. The energy in the room and on the stage was great, something I hadn't experienced in a while and was glad to see. Just seeing a crowd that was excited but yet respectful was a breath of fresh air. This show definitely has me going back and checking out their albums again, and I would urge anyone and everyone to see them in concert if they get the chance.

Unfortunately, I took a photo but they had the lights so low that nothing came out. Maybe something will show up on BlueHaze or Flickr. In the meantime, this a pic from another show.

At Mount Zoomer


Amy Ray (10/31/08)

I had family coming into town this weekend and was quite excited to take them to the Beachland for the Amy Ray show. I wasn't quite sure how they'd like it, but whatever.

I wish I could say they loved it, but it really wasn't quite the show I was expecting. I would never want to talk poorly about an Amy Ray show, but it wasn't as good as her performance at the Grog Shop. A little disappointing, especially because I've been liking her new album even more than the previous two. The crowd was a little small too, and I think being Halloween might have had something to do with it. But that being said... she is such an amazing person and always worth seeing in my book, even if some shows are better than others.

Click the image for the entire Flickr photoset:


Thanks to my cousin Neil for the photos... Can't wait to get a camera of my own soon.