Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Yesterday we introduced our new 'Press Play' feature which will run each Monday here at TVD as a solid regurgitation of the tracks being flogged to the blogs.
To get you used to the right-clicking, we'll be offering what's come in to us recently all this week in advance of it's forthcoming regular Monday blog spot.
(And, uh...we won't be Blogspot all that much longer either...)
CEO - Everything Is Gonna Be Alright (Mp3)
Jukebox The Ghost - Empire (Mp3)
Joemca - Big Dreams (Mp3)
A.R.E. Weapons - Mr. Creature (Mp3)
Ed Kowalczyk - Grace (Mp3)
All authorized for download!
Posted by Jon at 2:37 PM
JULY 3 | Minneapolis, JULY 4 | Home
I always like going to Minneapolis. Fascinating city. Nice people. I fell in love for the first time there. A cool part of town called Dinkytown. Where else? But getting there from Madison had its own rewards. Last year, we went to a giant cheese chalet. This year, we stopped in Osseo, Wisconsin = Norwegian Central. Had to stop at the Norsky Nook so we could stock up on HONK IF YOU'RE NORWEGIAN bumper stickers and Ole & Lena Joke Books. Also found a great antique store with bargains galore, including an old Pluto Water bottle. Kwality stuff. The cashier there was possibly the only surly person I met on this tour. I chalked it up to bad timing on my part. Or maybe she was really counting on that bottle for her own collection. Well tough, that baby's gonna look sweet in our kitchen picture window.
OK—enough bargain hunting, back onto 94W to the Minneapple.
Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis
Until last August, I'd never had a good show in the Twin Cities (regardless of group), but, out of respect for the area, vowed that I would never stop trying. Last year, we played there with All Tiny Creatures and Ryan Olcott's (ex-12 Rods) terrific new band Mystery Palace and it was a ripping, end-of-tour night. It poured and poured outside and we didn't care; just a memorable night. A tour highlight. This year, the weather was downright Washingtonian and, again, we played with ATC. Ryan was also there, but only in his soundman and friend capacity. He did smoke cigarettes like a hipster, though. Aquarelle opened and provided mesmerizing, stereo soundscapes. The late-added Minneapolitans Wizards are Real finished things off with moody noir-like instrumentals featuring pedal steel and tenor sax. Very nice and unexpected.
Jeff, ATC's replacement drummer, took advantage in full of the cheap Bell's Two-Hearted Ales and wept openly at our performance of "Populations." It made him feel, he said, like we'd never see each other again. Of course, a man of Jeff's insane musical ability, lightning-quick sense of humor, and encylopedia-like knowledge of the UK Office will never be a stranger to The Caribbean's shores for long, but we all understood the end-of-tour bittersweetness. As ATC was to us last year, Jeff was a revelation to us this summer.
I had long thought—during one song in particular—that ATC's usual drummer, Ben, was irreplaceable—to the point of it being inconceivable that they would or could play this one song without him. But its a crowd-pleasing set ender; you can't not play it. Night 1 in Chicago, I couldn't help being amazed by Jeff's drumming all night, but noticed his hesitance during that one song (as if he felt the same way I did). Milwaukee, I was so drunk and blissed out by our own performance and reception, I wasn't interpreting details (except that ATC were great). By Madison—and I was almost entirely sober—I noticed that he'd taken absolute ownership of the song, playing off of Ben's cues but adding his own power and energy. In short, he did the impossible and, all the while, never stopped smiling. When I told him this, he (like Ben) was gracious and aw-shucks about being brilliant. If our rather simple-minded east coast notion that midwesterners are sooooo fucking genuine and nice is a stereotype, this tour—with people like Jeff, but also the hordes of strangers we met—only made us more insufferable in this regard.
Dave, a New Jerseyite and one not easily impressed by many things, was particularly effusive. Any cynicism he might have once had over the notion that midwesterners are sweethearts was sandblasted away by the sun-drenched goodness of the kind people we met. That we played shows with one band we love, some new bands we really dug, and delivered searing performances in Milwaukee and Madison made the week truly memorable. Throw in the monumentally awesome At Random and it's a week for the ages. And one could tell how special the week was in how the two Hometapes groups hung out drinking outside of the Kit Cat Klub until 2—just not wanting things to end. The Caribbean rolled into its digs at the Airport Comfort Inn at 3:15 am and I took the 4:30 am shuttle to MSP for my 6 am flight home so I could work today and, of course, finish this tour diary. Dozed on the plane and, then, dazed on my couch at home. Actually felt pretty good. Today (July 5) I feel like I was hit by a Martz Americruiser carrying Indianans to DC for the Independence Day festivities, but I don't care. Good tours make you feel just plain alive. Happy Birthday United States of Ameritel!
Gig + Hotel + Flight = Zero Sleep
Next weekend, the State of Georgia gets the treatment. Athens on 7/9, Atlanta on 7/10.
Posted by Jon at 11:01 AM
TVD Ticket Giveaway | The Roosevelt, Satori Trova, The Nice Trys, Acres of Diamonds, Saturday (7/10) at the Rock & Roll Hotel
I'll start with a confession—up until last week I'd not heard of The Roosevelt, Satori Trova, The Nice Trys, or Acres of Diamonds.
All four of 'em - not a clue.
Which is not a knock on any of the bands that comprise Rock & Roll Hotel's Saturday night bill. Upon introduction to all four of them last week, they're all up to something unique and totally worthwhile and easily come from diverse schools of thought.
So, it's one cool bill indeed and it's our job to let you know about it. And as such, it's our job to get you out of the house, away from your turntables, and over to the Hotel for a night of music—whether you're a fan of one or all of the bands already, or if they're as new to you as they were to me last week.
We've got a pair of tickets to give away to Saturday night's foursome at R&R in exchange for your comment in the comments portion of this post. Whether you're an old fan or a new one after snagging all the downloads below, let us hear it, and the most convincing of the bunch gets the pair.
We'll choose a winner by 9AM on Friday morning so get to it—and remember to leave us a contact email address!
The Roosevelt - Loners (Mp3)
Satori Trova - Somewhere in the Static (Mp3)
The Nice Trys - BMX Supersexy (Mp3)
Acres of Diamonds - Whole World (Mp3)
Authorized for download!
Posted by Jon at 9:50 AM
Aminal appear TONIGHT (7/7) at Velvet Lounge.
"When my brother and I were little kids, we had surprisingly limited exposure to the magical world of rock. That’s probably because our folks had waited for years to have kids so their tastes were a little out of step with the times. In fact, they were raised on Big Band music — Glen Miller, Stan Kenton, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey — and they passed this on to us. It’s what they knew; along with a bunch of genuinely weird kitschy comedy stuff that is so obscure I won’t even name-drop it here, this is what we were raised on.
My mom had worked for a radio station while my dad was on grad school. Like any good employee, she scored plenty of free swag. Mostly, though, she took home random oddities ranging from the sweet jazz of the Ray Bryant Trio to the proto “Hee-Haw” yucks of Homer & Jethro and the more refined Stan Freberg. Okay, so maybe I reneged on the name dropping moratorium. It’s all for a good cause, though, I promise.
All of this was on vinyl, LPs and singles. In fact, my parents even had a treasure trove of primo 78rpm discs; I think about slipping a few into my suitcase every time I go home — I mean, it’s not like anyone else in my family will ever want to listen to these things. The only problem is that I don’t even have a turntable capable of spinning a 78 — I don’t even know whether I know anyone who does.
But I do have a turntable — two, in fact. One is an ancient analog device and the other is one of those neat vinyl-to-digital thingies. I need the latter because I overcompensated for my lack of rock by going off the rails in music consumption when I was in high school. I’d already been massively into The Beatles starting in grade school, but everything shifted into high gear when a new music store opened near my neighborhood. Among the other media, the store stocked used vinyl — lots and lots of used vinyl. The sweet deal about this was that the store was about as big as a Brooklyn apartment (translation: not). They couldn’t store all of the stuff they bought from people, so they had a box of free records by the door.
Free. Records. And they refilled it almost daily. They had to, because I and my brother would clean it out every time we went in to buy stuff; thanks to our lame teenage jobs, this was a regular thing. The amazing part is what they dumped: first pressings of the Stooges and the MC5 on Elektra; original red label Decca early Stones albums in mono; The Kinks entire Warner/Reprise catalog, again in mono. Don’t get me wrong, we brought home plenty of junk along with the jewels. Still, finding that stuff totally changed my musical life for the better — in my hometown, nobody would have turned me on to that kind of music in a thousand years. Pathetically, I still have the majority of the stuff we picked up back then, both good and bad — almost 40 crates full of some of the greatest sounds ever produced, along with some of the worst. Those crates are one of the prime reasons I try to relocate as seldom as is humanly possible."
—Joe Caparo, Bass
Find Aminal on their Myspace
Aminal - Drag Me Away (Mp3)
Authorized for download!
Posted by Jon at 7:56 AM