Sunday, August 31, 2008

Military Special CD Release with Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles



Saturday night had two excellent local bands having their CD release shows in the Twin Cities (read below), with me only being able to choose one. Luckily for me, the one I went to was a blast.
Military Special can be described with words that are in no shortage in the musical lexicon these days. Part new wave, part dance rock, they have layers of angular guitars with bouncing synths over both raucous drum beats, both live and programmed. With all of those descriptors on the table, it is still hard to nail down Military Special. On their new self titled EP, they can come across a little too melancholy, but live the yearning vocals get buried underneath the huge drums and synths and spiking guitars. They employ two singers, although the majority of the songs star only one, and the songs are absolutely huge. They often employ TV on the Radio type programmed drum beats that lead into Bloc Party style staccato guitar licks and block rocking keyboard parts that give the crowd no option but to dance. I think that they have a chance to be something big in the Minneapolis scene (and beyond) in the very near future and I would recommend seeing them live if you get the chance. Their new CD should be out everywhere soon.
One of the other bands on the bill was a group that I have heard and have been wanting to see for quite a while, but have never gotten the chance. Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapels have been causing quite a stir in the last couple of months in the local music scene, and after last night, I am firmly on board with supporting this great new band. The 6 piece band is lead by (guess who) Lucy Michelle, who along with singing plays guitar, keys and Ukulele. She has a voice that is very reminiscent of Joanna Newsome, but where Newsome can be overwhelming in large doses, Michelle offers enough variety and gritty emotion to her voice to keep the listener captivated. Her backing band included stand up bass, accordion, guitar, cello and drums. They had a world music sound that at times sounded like Beirut and at other times ramped it up Pouges/Flogging Molly style. Overall, the band was very impressive live and in one night leapfrogged many other bands and with time may become a local favorite for me. Check them out if you get the chance, you will not be disappointed.

It was a great night for local music with my only regret being that I missed the Private Dancer CD release show, which I will make up for tonight at Eclipse....see you there.

Liberty Parade 8/31 Loring Park

So I didn't have many expectations going into the Liberty Day Parade; I just wanted to spend the afternoon outdoors and see WHG favorites Vampire Hands (pic below on the right). We got there in the middle of Vampire Hands' set, and they were great as usual. Their propulsive rhythms and simmering grooves played out nicely on a warm summer day, and the band played many of the best songs from their latest album, Me and You Cherry Red . We were able to stay for STNNG(pic to the left) and a little of Happy Apple, and they both did what they do (edgy punk/jazz) very well. The crowd seemed to especially like the showmanship of STNNG and their intense songs. They began their set with a fiery version of "Kick out the Jams", which seemed to be a nice pick for the event.


My only complaint was that this "non-partisan" event somehow turned into a hug Ron Paul Revolution rally. About 50% of the signage/booths seemed to have to do with the failed Republican/Libertarian presidential candidate. Now I don't fully dismiss the ideology from the fabled "Dr. No"...... but his basket case supporters are a little much. I guess in my world (what I like to call the real world) I realize that government is not the solution to all of the problems. Hell, I agree they cause more than they solve, but completely scrapping the whole system is not a solution, it is insane. I will end this rant, but I find it amusing how die-hard the Ron Paul people really are and how they feel that they somehow posses the rights and privilege to hijack the word "liberty" and use it for their own self righteous purposes. I guess if this event was meant to be and planned on being a Ron Paul event, they should have said so...if it wasn't, those Ron Paul fanatics sure now who to take over an event. (Side note....the picture above was from the event, so not everyone there was in line with the politics being preached...and no, I do not know what "all blubber, no seal" means)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday Night CD Release shows

Two great new Minneapolis bands will be having their CD release shows tonight.

If you miss Private Dancer tonight, you will have another chance to help them celebrate their new CD tommorow at Eclipse Records in St. Paul at 7pm. This show will be all ages.

Also, tonight is the night for the Spark 24 event, which features Cloud Cult, the Alarmists, Chris Koza and others playing for free at Orchestra Hall starting at 2am and going until 6am for the insomniacs out there.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Eight is Enough


Sorry about the lack of updates, it has been a busy week. The definite highlight was the Eight is Enough concert at the Turf Club on Wednesday night. The show was a benefit for the Barack Obama presidential featuring some of the best local music Minneapolis has to offer. I am not able to offer up a blow by blow highlight reel, but I just wanted it to be said that the event was amazing and the bands stepped up for a great cause. Low and POS/Doomtree were great as they always are. Kill The Vultures absolutely killed, especially Crescent Moons A Capella freestyle. It is always cool to hear a crowded, chatty bar realize something cool is going on and then quieting down to appreciate it. The highlight for me was seeing Dosh down on the floor by the soundboard and watching him creating his swirling songs like a mad chemist. Overall, the show got me even more excited for the upcoming anti-RNC shows in the coming week.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cool Shows this weekend

There is some great live, and local, music going on this weekend.

FRIDAY
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings- State Fair 8:30 FREE
Vampire Hands- Uptown Theatre 11:30
One for the Team/Now Now Every Children/Themes- Entry 5PM/9PM

SATURDAY
POS/Solid Gold/Vampire Hands- Hexagon 9PM FREE
Welcome to the Cinema CD release show w/the Hopefuls- 400 Bar 9pm

PLUS LOTS MORE......No excuses this weekend if you don't check out some of great live music.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

I had the pleasure of seeing the wonderful Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings tonight for free at the MN State Fair. If you are unfamiliar with this band, think a more charismatic (and less religious) Mavis Staples fronting Tower of Power. The band was super tight and Sharon was able to put on a high energy show that had the crowd, ranging from hipsters to grandmas, pulsing the entire time. If you get the chance, check them out tomorrow night as they will be playing another free show at the State Fair at 8:30. Get there early if you want a good seat (or be like the crowd tonight and rush the stage when Sharon comes out)....either way, don't miss this great band.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Tunes

Some cool new tunes for you kids out there.


DOE is Grizzly Bear co-frontman Daniel Rossen's side project, although with the amazing output he has been releasing lately, I don't know if anything by him should be considered less substantial.


One of the releases I am looking forward to more than any other this fall (even with the lame album cover above) is the new release from New York art-rock extraordinaries TV on the Radio, and I finally get to hear one of their songs. Sweet.

Califone

On a perfect (ok, maybe it was still a little hot) summer night, Califone played a great set for a pretty big crowd in Loring Park. The band played for about an hour and a half and kept the crowd enamored with their roots/blues/folk/psychedelic rock. If you missed out on this event (or others like it) you are out of luck, as this was the last of the series, but there is always next year, right?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Night

The Walker Art Center sponsored Movies and Music in the Park event is bringing it big time tonight with music by Califone and the original version of the Manchurian Candidate (w/ Old Blue Eyes). The free event starts with music at 7 and the movie at dusk (around 8:45). It is all ages and FREE.




AWESOME NEWS!

A great new tour was just announced and it is bringing two of my favorite live bands together to First Avenue. The Hold Steady and the Drive By Truckers will be sharing the stage for two straight nights in the main room November 15th and 16th. The 15th (a Saturday....wow, might get a little wild) has the DBT in the closing slot and the 16th has the Hold Steady anchoring the show. Both bands are amazing live, so this is a can't miss show.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Handsome Furs/Bon Iver

I should preface this by saying that Dan Boeckner is near the top of my current hero list. I don't know why this is, but he epitomizes what I want rock and roll to be. Now I know this has been mentioned before, but I thought new readers should have a starting point.

A quick update for those of you who are wondering who the fuck is this guy I am fawning over. Dan was the lead singer/songwriter/guitar player for Atlas Strategic before he joined up with Spencer Krug to form Wolf Parade. He writes the more brooding, contemplative and frankly bleak songs that are on their two amazing CD's. Last year he teamed with his wife to make a minimalist, even more dark version of his songs under the pseudonym Handsome Furs. The songs are about dark, lonely cities and are driven forward by pulsing drum machines and Dan's ringing guitar and his impassioned howl. I know there is some debate about the value his wife brings, and to be honest I feel like the band would survive without her quite easily, so take that however you want. She mostly seemed to start the drum machine and play some rudimentary keyboard licks. I guess one way you get a spot in a kick ass band is to marry into it, right?

The band was as to be expected. Their sound is more low key than Wolf Parade and relies entirely on drum machines, so it was not nearly as captivating as WP was last month, but it still was a good show on the strength of Dan's songs and stage presence. They played a lot of new material that sounded really good, so that has me excited for their forthcoming sophomore release. Dan seemed less fucked up than last time and was pretty funny with a dry sense of humor. He thanked the crowd with "Thanks, dudes" and like the WP show, ended with "This is out last song, bitches". He also prefaced a new song by saying "This is about coke". When the crowd laughed/cheered, he said "I could write about far away lands and horses and other mystical stuff, but I figure you should write about what you know." Overall, the band was very good, but left me wanting to see the power of Dan with his Wold Parade partners again.
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Bon Iver was playing at almost the same time in the Mainroom to a significantly larger crowd. Justin Vernon and his band (now 4 people, up from 3 last time and 2 the first time I saw him) apparently cannot do wrong in MPLS. They have moved up from the Turf Club to First Ave and have sold out each room. (The funny thing is that less than year ago there was about 30 of us at the Uptown Bar and his name was miss spelled on the banner, so it goes to show that a year can make a big difference) I only was able to catch about a third of his set, but it seemed pretty consistent with my previous experiences with him. He is coming into his own as a performer and had the crowd eating out of his hands. He played his new song Blood Bank (video on a post below) and used the new muscle of his bigger band to really flesh out the atmospheric flourishes on his excellent debut For Emma, Forever Ago. If you haven't seen Bon Iver, he comes highly recommended. Just make sure to buy tickets right when they go on sale, otherwise you will be on the outside looking in.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Paul Westerberg 49:00

Paul Westerberg has never been the best at toeing the line, and his latest release does nothing to change that trend. He released his latest opus, 49:00, with no fanfare as a single song mp3 available to download on amazon for $.49. It has since been taken down for unknown reasons, but if you look hard enough in the dark corners of the Internet, I am sure you will find it. The titled refers both to the intended running time (one song got cut off for carious reasons and can be downloaded from his website) and the singers age. Isn't it great when a guy heading towards the second century in his life can put out such an engaging and affirming release?

The album is one track with intentionally warped transitions and songs that bleed into each other. It is chalk full of highlights that make this his strongest album since the double album masterpiece Mono/Stereo. Westerberg is at his usual self deprecating best and delivers and album that is well worth letting it play straight through. The great thing is that there are many wonderful gems that only Paul could write, but he forces you to take it all in as one lump experience. Only someone as bold (and talented) as the legendary Replacements singer could get away with this stunt. The album is wonderful and is highly suggest (if you can find it).

Weekend Wars

It was another busy weekend that was highlighted by events at the start and the end. Friday night we ventured to St. Paul for the annual Irish Fair. The band seems to have made it a tradition of playing this event, and the crowd never seems to suffer for the fact. This year the band headlined both Friday and Saturday night, and if the crowd Saturday was like Friday, they received a warm welcome. The band never ventures far from their amped up version of the Pouges, but as far as entertaining music to watch/listen to on a warm summer night, they are hard to argue with, especially at the price (it was free).

Sunday afternoon was my only foray into this years Fringe festival, but at least I picked a great show. I had never seen a burlesque show, but Robyn and I knew someone in this show, so we decided to check it out. The show was called Lili's Burlesque Revue presents 'The Underpants Show'. It was held at the Ritz Theater near us in NE and it was a very entertaining show. The main component of the show, of course, was the woman taking off their cloths in eleboarate dances, but it was much more. Between the exotic dancing, there were songs, action routines and some comedy. It was very well done and I would suggest it to anyone who has never had the opportunity to witness the crazy world of Burlesque.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Friday Shows

Some very cool shows tonight in the Twin Cities area. I will be splitting my time between the Mainroom and the Entry catching the nice double bill of Bon Iver and the Handsome Furs, but there are also a couple really cool shows going on if you are looking to go out.


Bon Iver @ First Avenue Mainroom 9PM $14


Handsome Furs @7th Street Entry 9PM $15

Charlie Parr/The Dad in Common @ 331 Club 9pm FREE

Roma Di Luna/Black Blondie @ Triple Rock Social Club

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Videos

Although he will still be supporting his debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, at his show this Friday at First Avenue, at least there will be one new Bon Iver song("Blood Bank"). The new song is still the great falsetto driven moody folk rock he has mastered, but there is a touch more of pop sensibilities in the song. Justin and his ever improving band will be back for what seems like their 10th show this year in the cities. Each of the last couple times I have seen him he has become more confident and has developed into a commanding stage presence. The show is 9PM Friday @ First Avenue.
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Another WHG favorite also debuted a new song on tour recently . The National, purveyors of the wonderful Barack Obama Mr. November T-shirts(above), played a new song titled "A Thousand Black Cities" recently on their overseas tour. Check it out. Their last two CD's have been stunning, so they have big shoes to fill with their next release.
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Both of these videos are from one of the very best music blogs coming out of the Twin Cities (or anywhere) Switchblade Comb. If you are a music/movie fan and have not visited this site, do yourself a favor and check it out.

Eight Is Enough


A very awesome concert announcment. Some of the very best of the Minneapolis scene will be joining together in a fundraising concert for Barack Obama. The event, title "Eight is Enough", is billed as "A Concert To End Our Long, National Nightmare. Excellent. Two of my favorite things: great local music and bashing Republicans. Tickets are on "sale"(you make a donation to the campaign) now HERE.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Walkmen You & Me

The Walkmen will be releasing their new album, You & Me, one week from today on August 19th. The album, the groups strongest in years, is more cohesive and consistent than their last two discs, One Hundred Miles Off and the failed Harry Nilson cover album Pussycat Dolls. Like all of their work, the album is boozy and strung out, led by lead singer Hamilton Leithausers impassioned and literate howls. It is a dark and somber affair, but it is a very strong album that I have grown to like a lot.

The band will be in MPLS on Sept. 13th @ the 400 Bar with stellar opening bands the Broken West and Sleepercar. They are even better live than on record, so don't miss this show.

American Pyscho

Finally saw this movie this last week (I know, I know all of you movieophiles, I am sorry) and I really enjoyed it. I am not sure if it is possible to lay out a more direct satire to a class of people and their deprived decade. The movie made me want to never get a business card in my life.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Great New Shows

Some bands who recently came through with sold out shows will be back to play for our wonderful Twin Cities again.

Yeasayer- Triple Rock Social Club Oct. 30

Fleet Foxes @ Cedar Cultural Center Oct 11th

Friday, August 8, 2008

Welcome to the Cinema

I have gone back and forth debating myself as whether to call Welcome to the Cinema a local band. The band, like Poison Control Center (the Iowa based band whom I take the liberty of calling a local band since they kick ass), are from the bordering state of South Dakota. I feel a strong desire to bond with our fellow "fly-over" states to support good indie music not from LA or NY, so I am in a conundrum. With that useless information aside, I have really enjoyed the new disc from Welcome to the Cinema titled Block and Hills.

The band creates stabbing indie music steeped in lush pop melodies. They bear a striking resemblance to Loon era Tapes N Tapes, not only in their music, but also with lead singer Darin Dahlmeiers voice sounding like Josh Griers howling yelp. The album is full of sharp, angular guitars juxtaposed with new wave drums and poppy synths. The band takes fairly straightforward song themes and mixes them with interesting arrangements to create an arresting album that is strong from start to finish.

The songs come from many angles, mostly with Pixes esqe quiet to loud buildups often led by punchy, Bloc Party guitar lines. The sound is filled out by the Talking Heads like rhythm section that keeps the songs pulsing forward. The highlight for me is the upbeat rock number title "Sharks vs Boat". It starts out with a crunching guitar riff going full speed and overwhelms the listener. Clocking in just under 2:30, the song is a whirlwind of rock that nicely encompasses the bands wide variety of influences.

The CD, produced by Kid Dakota/Hopefuls frontman Darren Jackson, is a winning combination of pop sensibilities and "indie" aesthetics that will keep the pitchfork crowd happy. The band has created a undeniably strong album that offers unique layers that unfold with each subsequent listen. No matter whether you call them a local band or not, they are a great new band and would be a welcome addition to any scene with their great new CD.

Check them out live for their CD release show with the Hopefuls on August 23rd at the 400 Bar.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

She and Him

She and Him ended up playing out just like the Cat Power show I went to recently. A steller band was led by a whimsical but less than charismatic singer with a beautiful voices that could melt event the most cynical hearts. On their debut CD Volume 1, the the songs of She and Him are low key and charming, while live they came across as hollow and trite. I felt like I was not getting anything more from the music seeing it live as I would have sitting in my apartment spinning the CD.

It may not have totally been the bands fault, as I was annoyed within seconds of walking in the door. First Avenue was packed to the gills and teeming with equal mix of the button down crowd that gets their "hip new music" from the 89.3 the Current and baby boomers who spent the money on a babysitter and were "partying". Even more than on CD, Zooey Deschanel sounded like a mirror image of Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley (the soothing folk Rilo Kiley, not the coked out disco sellout Rilo Kiley, fyi) and did not have the stage presence required to boost her mid tempo pop songs. The band was mixed weirdly, at least from where I was standing, and there were points were I could see M.Ward playing slide guitar but not hear his contribution. They seemed less than interested and I told Robyn as we were leaving that it was a shame nearly 1,500 people would come out for this and there are local bands who play to 20 people and are working hard and making significant (read: not re hashed folk/doo wop/motown music sung by a movie star) music. Maybe that is not a fair argument against She and Him, but I couldn't help but think it.

I know I am in no place to tell people how to spend their money, but I couldn't help but being blown away that people spent nearly $20 on a band that has released about 50 minutes of material, and it is not like they are the consummate showman like the Hold Steady(or even the Strokes, who charged as much or more while supporting their debut, but at least their music had a pulse). Either way, I was glad I got in free so I didn't feel guilty leaving halfway through the set, leaving the baby boomers to get their soft rock fix until the next time The Eagles or Fleetwood Mac come back to town.

Thursday 8/7

A couple of cool shows tonight if you are looking for something to do.


We Are Scientist/Oxford Collapse- Varsity Theatre 9PM $14
Two "indie" bands that get lumped into all sorts of genres that they in reality do not really fit into. They both make fairly quirky/smart indie centric angular guitar rock. Got it? Either way, it should be a really fun show.


She and Him- First Ave 7PM $18
Folksy duo consisting of Indie man about town M. Ward with film vet/newbie singer Zooey Deschanel. They created a alluring album of easy listening folk songs that they titled Volume 1 and released this year. A little spendy, but when you get the buzz, the prices always go up. May be a short set, but it should be solid and charming.

I've lost the taste for judging right from wrong

Scruffy Northwest rockers Blitzen Trapper have been offering up fans some more of their country fried Pavement post rock in the recent days. They put some songs from their tour only EP on their myspace page, and have recently released the title track from their upcoming CD. The song, a much more mellow number that meanders along with acoustic guitar and some reflective lyrics, is the one that stood out to me at their last show in Mpls. Although I was slightly underwhelmed by their live show (it may have been because they played right after Fleet Foxes blew me away), I still love their last CD and am very excited to here their new one. Check our their myspace page and the download at the bottom from My Old Kentuckey Blog.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Eef Barzelay (Clem Snide) show


Eef Barzelay, lead singer/songwriter of the now disbanded Clem Snide, will be playing a show tonight at the 400 Bar. Like his former band, his solo CD's are filled with meandering alt-folk rock songs that are constantly catchy and great. Should be a great show.

Mouthful of Bees

Robyn and I took in the Walker Art Center "Music and Movies" night this last Monday night. Local indie raconteurs Mouthful of Bees were playing before a screening of the always heartwarming Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Although I had not seen the movie since grade school, we didn't stay for the lesson on morals/governmentas we were there to see one of my favorite young minneapolis based bands while sitting on the ground surrounded by uptown hipsters/hippies. Although not everyone around us was impressed with their sloppy indie/post-punk songs(and did their best to talk over them....assholes), I thought they were great as usual. I think that MOB, like many bands, seem to fit better in a dirty nightclub, they did well out in the wild and they got a couple people off of their blankets on a warm summer night dancing to some new songs and some tunes from their debut CD The end from last year. Hopefully we will be hearing some new material from them soon.
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Seeing Mouthful of Bees made me even more excited for the show in a couple weeks. On August 18th, Califone will be gracing our fair city followed by a screen of the original Manchurian Candidate. I was under the impression that this event was only local bands, so I was pleasantly surprised to see this great band giving us a chance to see them for free. Hopefully the weather corporates for what should be an awesome night.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Burial


The mystery behind the artist Burial has finally come to a screeching halt. The U.K based dubstep artist responsible for a couple amazing CD's in the previous years (especially the mesmerizing Untrue from 2007) has finally come clean about his identity(and picture, which is above).

So drum rolls please.................................................................He is ..........................................................a regular guy. huh?!. Not the dude from Fatboy Slim or the guy who is Aphex Twin, so sorry folks. Either way, it never really mattered to me, although mystery is always cool (right?) As long as he keeps pumping out crazy good music that helps me pass the midnight hours and making me feel like I am in London on a rainy night, I could care less if he is an accountant from Mississippi.

Check out his music at his myspace page HERE.

Movies

Block E does not joke around with pre-screening security. Robyn and I went and saw Pineapple Express there last week, and they are very serious about not leaking the video out. Not only did we have to relinquish our cell phones, we were wanded like we were getting on an airplane or going into a Lil' Wayne concert. C'mon people, is my shaky cell phone video on you tube going to cause the entire movie industry to collapse? Either way, the movie was funny in the ways you would come to expect from Seth Rogan( or any of Judd Apatow's crew). It mixes the low brow, but not stupid, pot smoking/run of the mill immature jokes from Knocked up and Superbad with the genuine action of Hot Fuzz. They also did not skimp on showing some explosions and having people get killed. Seriously, this movie was not afraid to shed some blood and get its hands dirty. Overall, if you did not like the movies previously mentioned, you would more than likely think this is an immature and stupid movie. On the other hand, if you are not uptight and a Larry Craig Republican and you can enjoy some crude humor and some summer blockbuster esqe action along with it, go check out Pineapple Express when it comes out, you won't be disappointed.
Grade: B
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I saw two older movie this weekend, I'm Not There and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, that I had been looking forward to seeing. Neither lived up to my expectations (I had heard good reviews of both) although one was significantly better than the other
The Assassination of.... is a movie about the last years of Jesse James live and his assassination by his follower Robert Ford. Even if you were not a history major in college, you probably would have figured that out from, I don't know, maybe the title. When you give away the plot/ending to your movie (or any movie base don historical events that are widely known) you are not allowed to make a slow, plodding movie that arbitrarily brings in and kills off characters that are never given the time to develop. As promised, Casey Affleck steps out from under his brothers (rather small and insignificant) shadow and delivers a great performance. Like Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, he is an interesting and engaging character that demands you attention and takes a fairly rudimentary character and makes them come alive. Too bad the rest of the cast/script/movie sucks. It was especially disappointing because the camera work/visuals from the opening scene depicting their heisting of a train was especially well done and the movie just went (slowly) downhill from there.
Grade: D
Next was Todd Haynes Bob Dylan biopic called I'm Not There. The movie has multiple characters playing Bob Dylan at various incarnations of his life. I have heard that this was the first movie that Bob approved, and I am not surprised. It is the kind of abstract piece of artwork the only someone like Dylan would want to be made about themselves (not unlike his memoir, which lent next to nothing as far as demystifying his legendary secrecy.) The highlight of the movie was Cate Blanchet playing the ornery Dylan of the mid to late sixties as he plugged in and got fed up with music/culture/fame. The other characters were interesting too, but often were masked in too dark of a cloak to keep track of their representation. It was cool to name characters after influences of Dylan (Guthrie, Rimbaud), but often times I felt like Haynes took it a step too far. I am a pretty big Dylan fan, so I was "in" on some of the characters, but I feel like a majority of people watching the movie would be lost in the web of analogies and hidden characters. There are many stunning visuals and the portion where they integrate the characters representing Dylan running away from fame with at the same time being crucified for his "sins" of being a "Judas" to something he never felt he represented were very powerful. Overall, the movie was a success and the concepts were highly arresting, but I fear that many people would be turned off by the conceptual nature of the character development, which is a shame. This is a great movie for Dylan fans and non-Dylan fans alike, but like the man himself, you can count on it to be good and rewarding, but it may not come in the fashion that you expect.

Grade: B+

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Private Dancer

A couple weeks back when I saw Jay Reatard and Cheap Time, there was a third band that was advertised on the poster as TBA, which has to suck for any band who makes it onto a bill but doesn't get the recognition. Often times these bands are thrown on at the last minute to fill out a bill and are nothing out of the ordinary, but on this lucky night, the mysterious TBD turned out to be local band Private Dancer.

The band had a indie garage rock sound, but it veered more towards almost T-Rex type boogie live compared to the punk version of the other two bands. Their songs were well written and took on a cool nature in a live setting, similar to Built to Spill. They stretched the songs out nicely, but it never turned into a jam-band like masturbatory overindulgent mess that many bands seem to do. They had songs that were densely layered, but still maintained the fun, rollicking aesthetic that makes rock music great. When they break down one of their songs with a chorus of "Rag, Mamma, Rag", I couldn't help but think of the Band and their classic song. Just like The Band, Private Dancer are adept at creating a forceful fusion of different genres that somehow works out to make music that sounds both new and classic. Their friends section on their myspace page does a good job of showing their diverse and eclectic influences and offers a little insight into the methods behind their madness.

Check out this rising local band on August 30th at the Turf Club for their LP release show with WHG favorites Vampire Hands and other cool local bands.

New Of Montreal

Very exciting news folks. Of Montreal has released the first song from their upcoming release Skeletal Lamping. I absolutely loved their last CD, Hissing Fauna, are you the Destroyer?, and am very glad that they seem to be continuing down the same funk/electro path that was featured prominently on that CD. The song, "id engager", is bright and bouncy, and like a lot of Hissing Fauna, juxtaposes these Prince esqe rhythms with dark and revealing lyrics. After hearing this song, I am very excited for this CD.

Download: Of Montreal-id engager (from Minneapolis Fucking Rocks)