Saturday, December 29, 2012


Some heavy hitters here. 2012 was no dull year for tunes. Buy these albums now fools!! Oh and happy holidays...

1. Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
Attack on Memory

2. The Men - Open Your Heart
Open Your Heart
3. Tennis - Young & Old
Young & Old
4. Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy
5. The Walkmen - Heaven
6. Pilot To Gunner - Guilty, Guilty
Guilty Guilty

7. Trail of Dead - Lost Songs
Lost Songs

8. Beach House - Bloom
9. Japandroids - Celebration Rock
10. Wild Nothing - Nocturne

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pilot To Gunner Is Back In Action

My buddy Scott (who introduced me to Pilot To Gunner back in the day) recently commented in passing that he had thought they had new music out. I couldn't believe it...dismissed it as they've been MIA for years...then when a track came up on my shuffle the other day it prompted me to do some research. Eight years later Pilot To Gunner is album Guilty, Guilty is out...and it sounds excellent.

Can't find much detail on touring but it looks like they played a show at St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn in October. Lets hope for more shows. I saw them open for Trail of Dead (I think) back when Get Saved came out in 2004.  I may or may not have spoken to them at a bar afterwards (one of those nights). All I know is that they we're neighbors to one of my buddies in Williamsburg so they landed at one of the local watering holes after the show.

Guilty, Guilty takes the best elements out of Games At High Speeds and Get Saved (both stellar albums) and makes for a more refined sounding record. Scott Padden has one of those unique voices that makes PTG a cut above similar sounding punk rock outfits.

Can't wait for some shows...fingers crossed!

Here are some videos to wet your beak including a few live tracks from the St. Vitus show.  TGIF.

Friday, October 5, 2012

For Tracy...

Who claims she hasn't seen this video. TGIF sweets.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West (Documentary)

(via Pitchfork TV)

Danny - Consider this an early wedding present.

Excellent time capsle featuring such a great band and one of the best albums ever made. I forgot how amazing a song Truckers Altlas is. Seeing the story behind it gives it such a different meaning now. (see also: Cowboy Dan & Doing the Cockroach)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Show Review: The Promise Ring - Irving Plaza (NYC - 5/20)

Hey y'all. I feel like ever time I post I  make apologies related to the length of time since my last post. This is no exception. Its been a dogs-age I know. Since my last update I went to see one of my favorite bands of all time - The Promise Ring.

Some say these guys were the originators of what is now classified as "Emo" rock (as Thursday were the originators of "Screamo").  I got into these guys in college with the help of my good pal Chris Budz.

Here's the scene as I remember back to1997...

We were "pre-gaming" prior to going to an a-typical college Halloween party my junior year. Chris came by and noted that he was skipping the party to go see a band in Philly called The Promise Ring. I thought to myself (think of your "college" brain) "Man, this must be a pretty kickass band to not only want to trek to Philly from Newark, DE but also miss what was expected to be an "epic" kegger."

In my hungover haze I picked up the album 30 Degrees Everywhere the next day and I was instantly hooked. I bought everything I could get my hands on (which IS saying much cause I was broke). I didn't get to catch their final tour and wasn't crazy about their final album which was a little softer/more produced that usual.

Post break-up it took some years but Davey got back into making music and formed Maritime with ex-Promise Ring member Dan Didier. I absolutely love Maritime but would always reminisce about the former band. I honestly thought I would never get to see them again.

It came full circle when late last year my buddy Chris Budz alerted me that The Promise Ring was reuniting for a few shows in 2012. At first it was one festival date out west (?) and a Chicago date but then the word came down that they were playing a show in NYC @ Irving Plaza of all places. Tickets went on sale on a Saturday at noon. I had a dentist appointment at the same time so (no joke) I downloaded the Live Nation iPhone app so I could buy the tickets while at the dentist office. I had to see this band. Luckily my future wife Tracy brought me back down to earth (as she always does) and offered a suggestion "Why don't I just buy the tickets at home while you're at the dentist". Genius.

Here's how the show went down, the set list and some extras.

The energy and chemistry amongst the band members was fantastic. The breakup was amicable. The band was just ready to move on to different things so there was no animosity with this reunion unlike some other bands where reunions are strictly for the cash and not the fans (ATDI I'm looking in your direction).

The sound and pace of every song played was tele-ported back from the 90s. Here is the setlist.

1. Size of Your Life
2. Happiness Is All the Rage
3. Emergency! Emergency!
4. Jersey Shore
5. Red & Blue Jeans
6. Make Me a Mixtape
7. Between Pacific Coasts
8. A Picture Postcard
9. Become One Anything One Time
10. Skips a Beat (Over You)
11. The Deep South
12. Stop Playing Guitar
13. Nothing Feels Good
14. Is This Thing On?
15. Perfect Lines
16. B Is for Bethlehem
17. E. Texas Ave
18. Tell Everyone We're Dead
19. My Life Is at Home
20. Get on the Floor
21. Feed the Night
22. Why Did We Ever Meet?
23. Red Paint
24. Everywhere in Denver
25. Forget Me

They opened with Size of Your Life which was unexpected as a reunion opener but then they ripped into all of the old favorites starting with Happiness Is All The Rage.  They played a ridiculous number of songs (25 in total) with Davey feeding the crowd with banter. We were waiting for E. Texas Ave for half the show then they DELIVERED. My additional personal faves like Make Me a Mixtape and Everywhere in Denver (in the encore) which were so tight I could believe it.

The crowd was fantastic. I missed going to shows where the crowd is 100% into the band. I never understood the later. Mostly dudes in their 30s with horn rimmed glasses and beards. This wasn't a show where a few non-fans ruined the show with the loud yammering over the music. These were all die-hard fans and the fact that the show was on a Sunday helped. If this was the Black Keys at Summer Stage it would have been a totally different vibe (been there).

Here are some shots from the show...

As you can see from the set list they played tracked across the entire catalog including Wood/Water. Hearing Red Paint, A Picture Postcard and E. Texas Avenue live was the high point in my opinion. All live tracks were pitch perfect making me regret even more that I never saw them in their heyday. Check them out if you haven't been exposed. "If you don't know, now you know" - Biggie RIP

Here are some live videos from the show to play at your leisure. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Show Review Mashup - The Walkmen, Mates of State & The Black Keys

Hey yawl. So I've been to a ton of shows as of late and have been slacking on the reviews...I know. I recently saw The Walkmen at Union Transfer in Philly, Mates of State at Le Poisson Rouge NYC and The Black Keys at Madison Square Garden in NYC. I have some photos and quick video snippets to give you a taste of the experience for each. Lets start with Mates of State.

Mates of State @ Le Poisson Rouge NYC - 2/17/12 

I've never been to LPR. I've walked by it many times and never knew what it was (mysterious marking's above the doorway). Its right on Bleecker Street in the heart of the douchebaggery district of bars (Kenny's Castaways, The Back Fence, Thunder Jacksons, I could go on). The first time I heard about the venue was oddly on Pitchfork TV when they featured Dead Man's Bones, a band featuring Ryan Gosling and his buddy Zach Shields. Yep.

The venue itself is pretty cool and intimate. Reminded me of the old Knitting Factory on Leonard street or North Six in Williamsburg. I hadn't seen Mates of State in a few years and what a better way to reunite. My "beyonce" Tracy had never MOS so we were pretty pumped. The show was awesome. When I saw them on the last tour they were good but they had string players and Kori played mostly piano tunes off the new album so I was a little thrown off as it wasn't what I was used to. This time around they got back to the fun roots of kickin organ/drums....with a little muted guitar and a trumpet. It was just a better arrangement, sounded a lot better and was just a lot more fun to see/hear.

They played all of their up-tempo hits like Whiners Bio, For The Actor, Goods and of course Palomino which was amazing. It was so much fun to see them up close again. The best part of the show involved a guy in the audience...bigger than me...absolutely immersed and excited about the show. Normally you get pissed then the tall-guy stands in front you at a show but he was so into one minded. Net-net, great venue, great showing by one of my favorite bands of the past decade. Set list is below.

1.        For the Actor 
2.        My Only Offer 
3.        Maracas 
4.        Now 
5.        At Least I Have You 
6.        Whiner's Bio 
7.        Unless I'm Led 
8.        The Re-Arranger 
9.        Sway 
10.      Think Long 
11.      You Are Free 
12.      Get Better 
13.      Basement Money 
14.      Ha Ha 
15.      An Experiment 
16.      New song 
17.      Palomino 


18.      Goods (All in Your Head) 
19.      Mistakes 
20.      Proofs

"An Evening With The Walkmen" @ Union Transfer Philadelphia - 3/3/12

I've been to many Walkmen shows over the years and I have never been disappointed. They always play a representative sample from the entire catalog. I always walk away feeling changed for the better (if that makes any sense). When I heard they were playing a one-off show in Philly at the new venue Union Transfer I was pretty excited. My cousin, bestie and show buddy Danny alerted me and I immediately grabbed tix. 

From what I understand Union Transfer was opened by the guys who run the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. The Bowery Ballroom is still my favorite venue and mainly because of the sound. Union Transfer just kicked it to #2 in that department. It was truly the best sounding show I've been to yet. Back in the day the space was an old spaghetti warehouse or mail depot or something but what ever they did to develop into a music worked. Unreal. The Walkmen never sounded so good and we were not in the best spot (against the wall to the left of the stage).

The show was played in two acts like a Broadway play...which kinda fits the bands persona. They played all of the tracks I wanted to hear including some rarities/b-sides. They played some new tracks also which were so rockin. Couldn't find the setlist but here is one from a recent show in San Francisco to give you a good idea.

First part
1.        What's In It For Me 
2.        The Rat 
3.        No Christmas While I'm Talking 
4.        Little House of Savages 
5.        The Blizzard of '96 
6.        We've Been Had 
7.        My Old Man 
8.        In the New Year 
9.        Stranded 
10.      Love is Luck (New Song)
11.      Dreamboat (New Song)
12.      Love U Love (New Song)
13.      French Vacation 
14.      On the Water 
15.      Angela Surf City 
16.      Hang On, Siobhan 
17.      Dónde está la playa 
18.      Red Moon (with horns)
19.      Canadian Girl (with horns)
20.      Louisiana (with horns)

Second part
21.      Your Southern Soul (new song, Hamilton solo)
22.      138th Street (Hamilton solo)
23.      Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me is Gone 
24.      Rue the Day 
25.      I Lost You 
26.      Woe Is Me 
27.      Wake Up 
28.      Unknown Cover 
29.      Thinking of a Dream I Had 
30.      Heartbreaker (New Song)

I wish I had a better shot of the backdrop as it was an old-timey photo of ballet dancers. It may have been in the liner notes of You & Me as it looked the same style. The whole experience was just amazing. The mood, lighting, crowd, sound...the band interacting with the crowd etc. Some of the guys in the band are either from Philly or currently live in Philly so there we a lot of shout outs/local banter. It was like they were playing a back yard BBQ. Very informal. Loved it. Net-net if you have a chance to see a show at Union Transfer...please...please do. I'm still blown away but how perfect the sound was.

The Black Keys @ Madison Square Garden NYC - 3/12/12 

 I'm going to be completely honest. I wasn't 100% excited about seeing the Black Keys in a venue as large as MSG. I've only seen two shows at MSG prior. One was Radiohead and the other was Blink 182/Green yeah. Secondly, I wasn't 100% loving El Camino either. Boy did they prove me wrong. The sound was excellent despite being in the 200 level towards the back and the catalog was varied. When I saw them at Central Park Summerstage a few years ago they played mostly tracks from Brothers. With this show they played pretty much all of the old school tracks I wanted to hear including Girl Is On My Mind and Your Touch which knocked my socks off. The guitar was so sharp, loud and reverberated around the vast me chills. Some of the new-er songs they played sounded great also. Set list is below.

1.        Howlin' for You 
2.        Next Girl 
3.        Run Right Back 
4.        Same Old Thing 
5.        Dead and Gone 
6.        Gold on the Ceiling 
7.        Thickfreakness 
8.        Girl Is On My Mind 
9.        I'll Be Your Man 
10.      Your Touch 
11.      Little Black Submarines 
12.      Money Maker 
13.      Strange Times 
14.      Chop and Change 
15.      Nova Baby 
16.      Ten Cent Pistol 
17.      Tighten Up 
18.      Lonely Boy 

19.      Everlasting Light 
20.      She's Long Gone 
21.      I Got Mine

I went with my sister who is 7 months preggers. It was a fitting event to get the kid exposed to rock and roll early. Its hard for Dan Auerbach's intense riffs not to influence child all respects. Wheeeoa 


SOLID show. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nada Surf @ The Bowery Ballroom: LIVE STREAM on YouTube - 10pm TONIGHT

Check out the Nada Surf YouTube channel tonight at 10pm for a live stream of their show at the Bowery Ballroom.


They will be on Jimmy Fallon on 1/30 also.

I still have yet to listen to the new album. Pitchfork panned it but that means absolutely nothing to me (see an old post here for a reference). Missed out on tonight's show but will be seeing them @ Webster Hall on 4/7. I'll let you know how that goes. Cheers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Sorry for being late in the game with this post. So much stellar music came my way this year but here are my top album picks. Some press darlings in there but hopefully some other stuff you've haven't heard of. Happy New Year kiddos. Psyched to see what's in store for 2012. At The Drive In and Refused reunion announcements are a good start!!! Enjoy.

1.  Wild Flag - Wild Flag

2.  Real Estate - Days

3.  Fucked Up - David Comes To Life

4.  Maritime - Human Hearts 

5.  Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See

6.  The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar

7.  Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Mirror Traffic

8.  Yuck - Yuck

9.  Mates of State - Mountaintops

10.  Washed Out - Within & Without 

11.  Trail of Dead - Tao of the Dead

12.  Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

13.  M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

14.  Cults - Cults

15.  Sloan - The Double Cross