Monday, June 25, 2007

The Flaming Lips - '(Just Like) Starting Over'

From the charity album to save Darfur comes just a few more Lennon cover songs that can be added to the bajillions that are already out there.

Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur contains mostly mediocrity.
Avril Lavigne sings a disingenuous version of 'Imagine,' and the honky-tonk take of 'Nobody Told Me' by Big & Rich makes one's stomach just a little queasy.

However, out of the ashes of this musically misguided, but politically valiant effort to stop a genocide comes
The Flaming Lips' '(Just Like) Starting Over,' a reprise able to stand on its own two feet, even outside the context of charity.

Listen for yourself below:

The Flaming Lips - '(Just Like) Starting Over'

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Winehouse and Nutini to Rock North America

How about this for a tour? New music sensations Amy Winehouse and Paolo Nutini will be pairing up for a North American tour starting this September.

For the details, click here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New James Blunt September 18

From Billboard:

U.K. singer/songwriter James Blunt, who came out of nowhere to score multi-platinum success with his 2005 debut album "Back to Bedlam," has set a Sept. 18 release date for its follow-up. The Custard/Atlantic set "All the Lost Souls" will be preceded July 23 by the single "1973."

Blunt recorded the album in Los Angeles with producer Tom Rothrock and his touring band. A number of the tracks have been part of Blunt's set for months, including "I Really Want You," "Same Mistake" and "Annie."

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nightmare of You - 'My Name is Trouble'

Nightmare of You was originally formed by ex-Movielife guitarist Brandon Reilly. Combining talent with the likes of ex-Glassjaw drummer Sammy Siegler, the quartet released its first disc in 2005.

It has been from that very same debut album of two years ago that the single 'My Name is Trouble' has survived quietly on the airwaves of underground and satellite radio. Utilizing subtle electronica hooks that could have easily been created on Fruity Loops, 'My Name is Trouble' draws from the same eighties influence that propelled The Bravery and The Killers to recent success.

Nightmare of You - 'My Name is Trouble'

Rage to play at Alpine Valley

90's punk-rap heroes Rage Against the Machine, which just happen to be yours truly Hank's favorite band in the world, revealed on Tuesday they will play a concert Friday August 24th at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin.

If you have been living in a cave, RATM had been running a cryptic countdown on their website with two countdowns, one for June 11th and the other for August 24th. Tech-savvy fans deciphered the code long before it was announced; by setting your computer clock forward to the countdown deadlines, it revealed the concert announcement. They also figured out the location, since Live Nation ran the site and also own Alpine Valley!

Now if any of you have read any of my past posts, you may recall that I had tickets to a Rage show back in 2000, just before they broke up. You may also recall that because of the Beastie Boys' Mike D broke his arm riding his bike through Central Park, they cancelled the concert, never rescheduled and Rage broke up! It is time for redemption!! I'm guessing it will be near impossible to get tickets, but it's worth a try. It will be worth waking up early on Saturday morning for!

The concert is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday August 24th at Alpine Valley. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, June 16th, at 10:00 a.m. CST. Opening for Rage will be Queens of the Stone Age.

Rage will also be playing 4 dates at the "Rock the Bells" festivals this summer; Saturday and Sunday July 28th and 29th at Randall's Island NYC, Saturday August 11th at the Hyundai Pavilion at Glen Helen in San Bernardino, CA (or the NOS Events Center?), and Saturday August 18th at McCovey Cove (parking lot?) in San Francisco, CA.

In the words of Zack de la Rocha, "It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now?"

Monday, June 11, 2007

Madina Lake - 'House of Cards'

Madina Lake were previously known for their winning appearance on the dare and scare show Fear Factor, and they have since used their prize earnings to develop debut long player From Them, Through Us, To You.

Their first single, 'House of Cards,' has been creeping onto my playlist more and more frequently recently. Give the song a spin for yourself below:

Madina Lake - 'House of Cards'

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30 Seconds to Mars f/ Saosin

Sunday April 1st, 2007 at the Val Air Ballroom - W. Des Moines, IA

The mighty Val Air during the show / Jared looking up as I take his pic

Me w/Chris, Saosin's drummer / My girlfriend and I w/ Jared Leto!!

The crew at 30 STM! A Good group! / Me w/ Tomo Milicevic, 30STM guitarist

Greetings all! It is Hank, your concert dude, coming to you once again after a very long and very extended hiatus. Many of you probably think it is because I have not been to a concert in a very long while. That could not be further for the truth! Since I last posted, I have seen Godsmack, Alice in Chains (!!), Think Floyd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, AFI, Rod Stewart, The Killers, Tool, and of course 30 Seconds to Mars. I am also heading to go see The Deftones next weekend at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, Colorado (where I reside for this month), I will be seeing Rise Against in Chicago in August, and also have tickets to see Lollapalooza also in Chicago in August!

The problem has not been seeing the shows, it has been writing them up! 3rd year of medical school was rough, and every time I started to write a review, I felt like I should be doing something else, like, uh, STUDYING. I appreciate Steve, Tae, and Ted for keeping the site going while I was lazy, and for their patience! I have all of my "notes" saved (words scratched on ATM statements), so hopefully I can get a chance to post for most or all of those previously mentioned concerts (if I can remember enough!), but for now we'll start out with Jared Leto and 30 Seconds to Mars!

I knew this concert was going to be good long before it started. I had long said that the one show I hoped would come through Des Moines before I left for 4th year rotations in June would be 30STM. And lo, look who got booked! My wonderful girlfriend (who has been with me for many past reviews) then goes and wins us two tickets to the show! Score! We had hoped for a chance to meet the band backstage before the show, but were told Jared and Company were not going to do a meet and greet. Well, my girlfriend was not satisfied with that answer and called several times the week of the show to the radio station to make this happen (she's good at stuff like that). And what do you know, she get a phone call at the end of the week saying we get to meet Jared Leto and the rest of the band!!

Before the show, a bunch of us grabbed a few beers at the local watering hole just down the street from the Val Air known as Charlie's Filling Station. When it came time for us to go backstage, we gulped our beers, left the rest of our friends, and went backstage and met Saosin. I know a little of Saosin, and they were very cool. I had a nice long conversation with the drummer Chris, who is a very cool dude. I asked him if they had ever played in Iowa before, and much to my surprise he said yes. He remembered playing at the House of Bricks (at it's old location on Merle Haye Road). To my amazement he also remembered playing at the venerable, dirty, legendary (and now deceased) club in Iowa City know at Gabe's Oasis (now known as The Picador -which I researched online they will be playing there on the 4th of July 2007 w/ Poison the Well, The Receiving End of Sirens, and Fiore). What a first great memory! For those of you who never saw a concert at Gabes in Iowa City, first of all shame on you. Second of all, it was one of the dirtiest, but best places to see a show. Back to here - we got to meet Saosin outside. They said 30 Seconds to Mars had been sound checking all day. Turns out they had been testing out some new material.

When it came time to meet the stars, they whisked us inside the back door of the mighty Val Air (which, after attending almost 25 shows here in 3 years I had never been through), and face to face with Jared, Shannon, Tomo, and Tim (Matt W. left the band mid tour). Now I have previously met with Jared and seen 30 seconds to Mars back in November of '05 (and reviewed them on the Lonely Note), but this was much more intimate! As you can see above, I got some pictures with the band, including a great one of Jared Leto, my girlfriend, and myself. You can tell he had been through all of this before as he just took my camera out of my hand, turned it around, and took the picture himself. I was afraid after he took it he would cut himself out, and as you can see by the picture, he almost did :-) After meeting with all of the radio station winners, they walked off to get ready for the show. But not before Jared asked us all a question.

"Can you promise me you'll get this place moving tonight?"

Of course we will! And we did! After the meet and greet, and gettin them to sign our stuff, we headed back to Charlie's to brag, and drink, and get ready for the show.

SAOSIN We missed a lot of Saosin, since The Filling Station beer was so good, but because their drummer Chris was so cool, we had to make some of their show. Everyone knows their single from the radio, "Voices," off of their latest release, Saosin. The song is very cool, and a lot of their other songs are very similar. They are all very catchy and easy to listen to songs. The lead singer, Cove, has a great rock voice (and even better name). We would see more of him later. Be sure to give this band a listen, they are worth your time!

30 Seconds to Mars Even though it was only the 1st day in April, the Val Air was already reaching high temperatures (not as bad as the Killers in May '07 which Steve reviewed, or the hottest it ever was, when I saw Chevelle and Index Case in August '05 with my friend Ben @ the Val Air). When they burst into their first song, "A Beautiful Lie," the first song and title track from their 2005 multi-platinum record, the temperature went even higher. I don't remember exactly, but Jared was dressed in black, had his hair down (he had his hat on when we met him), had black 30STM Mars wristbands and gloves, black bandanas (the whole band did), black leather pants with a red guitar strap. I heard he broke his nose earlier in the tour, but I could tell no ill-effects from that (probably much less painful than the axe in the face he took from Christian Bale in American Psycho). They killed all the songs off of A Beautiful Lie, a much more poetic and real album than their 2002 debut. "The Kill" was fantastic as expected, as well as "Was it a Dream." It was during "The Fantasy," song #5 off of their latest album, that he screamed they planned on coming back "over, and over, and over, and over again." Awesome.

They slogged through "From Yesterday," and "Savior," which is a very underrated song. On "Battle of One," a bonus track on the 2006 re-release of A Beautiful Lie, he asked the crowd to form a circle and had everybody come together running as fast as they could at one another and running counterclockwise. Not exactly a circle pit, but close! Cove from Saosin helped out with this song. Jared dedicated "Modern Myth," which he played acoustic and solo, to tour manager John who recently lost a family member. He asked the crowd to take out their cell phones and lighters, which like any concert crowd, they obliged. You can really hear how strong and refined his voice is on this track. They then played the only two songs (that I can remember) from their first album, "Buddha for Mary," and an acoustic and acapella "Capricorn," which was totally awesome. They ended the show with my favorite song, "Attack," and really tore the house down.

After "Attack," they said they would sign autographs in the back after the show. When I reviewed them back in '05, I mentioned how down to earth they were, setting up camp outside the show to sign autographs and take pictures. Tonight was no different. They always take time for their fans, and we all really appreciate that. I also said in my last review that Shannon Leto is a hell of a drummer, and that does not change. I also said Jared Leto has some crazy pipes on him. Most actors crossing over into music flat-out suck. Jared takes this responsibility very seriously, and really does make good music (as opposed to Keanu Reeves in DogStar). He also is a pretty darn good actor --- not too many people can say they are good in both realms.

Over a few years, I have become a huge 30 Seconds to Mars fan. I really sincerely hope they keep it going, as they seem to have found a niche in this "post-grunge" world that we live in. Unlike most of those "bands," (ie Creed) they actually got better on their second album, which shows they take their music seriously, care about the song-writing process (the anti- Fred Durst), and they are pushing themselves to new limits. I hope to hear great things from them in the future.

That's all for this review. I am glad to be back (at least for now). I hope to keep reviews coming, but I am in my 4th year of school and am traveling the country (and pretty much living out of my car for the entire '07-'08 school year. I will, however, be getting the opportunity to live with fellow Lonely Noter Tae for July '07. Excited would be an understatement. It will be a good month.

Talk to you all again soon. And another thanks to my wonderful girlfriend for the backstage passes- you rock!!!

UPCOMING: Deftones June 22nd, Lollapalooza Aug 3-5th, Rise Against August 24th, my favorite band Rage Against the Machine at Alpine Valley on August 11th???!!! and maybe my backlogged shows, we'll see.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Caught on Tape: Meeky Rosie - "Forever" (from Who Killed the Electric Car?)

I finally sat down and watched the documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car? last night, and as someone concerned with a variety of environmental issues I have found the topic has really stuck with me. I find it funny that we live in an age where we can watch movies, take photographs, check our email, call our friends, and store 20,000 songs on a device small enough to fit in a pocket, yet we are still driving vehicles that run the same basic way that they have since the turn of the 20th century.

The movie really makes a lot of interesting points regarding the way we, as consumers, are factored in to the whole scheme, and the substantial degree of awareness necessary to demand change for the better. The car that the film is about, the
General Motors EV1, is depicted in a very human way. It is difficult not to feel a little sad, like you're losing a friend when the EV1 is seen being hauled off and destroyed later in the film.

The end credits features a song by British indie band Meeky Rosie, titled "Forever." Mournful, yet holding on to a spirit of hope, the track's ruminative atmospherics accompany the mood of the film nicely. The music video from the film's special features section pairs the group's original concept video with clips and quotes taken from the documentary.

While the need for alternative fuel sources is becoming widely acknowledged as the prices climb at the pumps, we are still relying too heavily on oil. Besides the environmental and health problems surfacing in relation to gas engines, the use of oil increases our foreign dependency. At the end of the day, most people just want to do their jobs and provide for their families, but it is backwards thinking to believe we are making things easier on our future generations by slowly sucking our non-reusable resources dry.

It wasn't until the last hundred years that mankind has even been capable of travelling so quickly and extensively. Now that we have adopted a lifestyle on the go, it seems crucial that we develop and promote alternative technologies before we are left without the choice.

The Bravery - 'Time Won't Let Me Go'

There's no explanation for this one; I've just been a huge fan of this song of late.

The Bravery's 'Time Won't Let Me Go' below:

The Bravery - 'Time Won't Let Me Go'

Monday, June 04, 2007

Satellite Party - 'Wish Upon a Dog Star'

Owwww get your groove on! New shiny shoes on!

'Wish Upon a Dog Star' is the first single from the new
Perry Farrell project known as Satellite Party. Satellite Party's first album is the concept-heavy Ultra Payloaded, a musical story of global warming featuring a musician and beautiful night nurse as main characters.

But you don't have to know that to enjoy this spacey siren:

Satellite Party - 'Wish Upon a Dog Star'

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