Friday, March 30, 2007

Just like Tango & Cash

This month's Spin has a feature on the team-up of Johnny Marr with Modest Mouse and in support of that, lists the 25 greatest team-ups in popular music history. Starting chronologically with the Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins) and ending with Modest Mouse's latest, the list is full of great albums that prove egos can mesh.

Playlist: Spin Magazine's 25 Greatest Team-Ups

There are a few team-ups missing that are pretty glaring. While they included one great Brian/David team-up (Eno/Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts) they missed the most important one with the album Low, where Eno teamed up with David Bowie to change the underground music landscape forever.

Other more recent oversights include the debuts from Gorillaz, New Pornographers, and The Raconteurs. I'd even include Robert Palmer's debut Sneaking Through the Alley, which featured the team-up of Lowell George (Little Feat) and The Meters.

What are some of the less memorable team-ups? HSAS (Hagar, Schon, Aaronson & Shrieve,) Planet Us (Hagar and Schon again,)Asia, GTR, and really, for that matter, the other Robert Palmer team-up The Power Station.

Think of any other great and forgettable team-ups?

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Spoon in Muscular Dystrophy benefit, the sequel

One down... a couple more to go.

Photo by kk+Britt Daniel (Spoon) just confirmed he's on for the second Muscular Dystrophy benefit show (hosted by my good friend Mitch,) which will happen Monday May 7, at the Crocodile here in Seattle. You may recall the first benefit featured James Mercer (The Shins,) Eric Bachmann (Crooked Fingers, ex-Archers of Loaf) and Joel R.L. Phelps (ex- Silkworm,) and it also was a hit, raising around $13K for the MD research.

With Daniel on board, it's just a matter of time for the other two slots to get filled. Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie, Postal Service) was tentatively on the bill, but tour responsibilities had forced his exodus. One rumor swelling involves a certain Portland trio from the 90's who are due for a reunion. Perhaps you know of an artist available around that time to contribute? (Keeping in mind, of course, the performers mentioned so far.)

Spoon recently revealed the album name (Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga) and track information for the new album, due to drop in July (about the same time as baby # here in Drakeland.) Producer/multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion produced the track "The Underdog" (hooray) while the rest were handled by longtime collaborator Mike McCarthy (Chartattack.)

Here's the tracklistin for Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga:
01 Don't Make Me a Target
02 The Ghost of You Lingers
03 You Got Yr Cherry Bomb
04 Don't You Evah
05 Rhthm and Soul
06 Eddie's Ragga
07 The Underdog
08 My Little Japanese Cigarette Case
09 Finer Feelings
10 Black Like Me

I doubt Britt will be bringing new friend Flavor Flav, unfortunately.

SXSW Spoon photos by kk+
Aidan Leffler
Charley's Fund - Benefitting Research toward a cure or treatment for DMD

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I got your big log right here

While the mammoth Robert Plant box set Nine Lives came out last September, it took a series of Plant reissues released this week to make me notice it in Rhapsody. Namely due to the fact the album The Principle of Moments didn't make it, and the only way to hear it is via said box set, which compiles every Robert Plant solo release (including The Honeydrippers) along with several demos and bootlegs.

Album: Robert Plant - The Principle of Moments

Like many, I'm more partial to the first couple solo albums (Pictures At Eleven and The Principle of Moments,) when the material still rose above the dated production... these songs did not age very well. By Shaken 'n' Stirred, Plant was too reliant on the production, and the songs sound even more dated now.

A couple songs especially take me back, "Burning Down One Side" and "Big Log." Had to hunt down the latter's video for full effect.... it's definitely a WTF moment in popular music history. Did Robert Plant reach the top 20 with a non-sequiter reference to his penis (or bowel movement) in the title? Maybe it was a private joke with Phil Collins who played drums on the song (and on most of the tracks off the first two albums.)

Song: "Burning Down One Side," "Big Log" - Robert Plant
Video: "Big Log" - Robert Plant (iFilm)

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Now Downloading: New Releases 03.27.07

It's kind of a blah week as far as new releases go. I've already covered the most interesting release (Klaxons' Myths of the Near Future,) and the rest are just fair to middling. Releases from UK dominate the landscape: The Fall, Kaiser Chiefs, and the debut from Freddy Mercury fan Mika. One bright spot, however, is a release from Portland's Small Sails.

Playlist: New Releases 03.27.07


Album: Small Sails - Similar Anniversaries

Small Sails (formerly known as Adelaide) are a Portland, OR instrumental band that are a fusion of electronic atmospherics and indie folk pop (folktronica?)... oh, and film as well. You can't see it in this form, but the band also creates visuals ranging from plowed daisies to kids jumping rope in conjunction with the music. You don't really need the film, however, to appreciate the subtle magic happening here though.

Download: "Somnambulist"


Album: The Fall - Reformation Post TLC

When I say this new album from The Fall is a mess, I don't mean it like the usual charming mess filled with post-punk bliss, but a real honest-to-goodness- hard-to-find-meat-from-the-grizzle mess. Legend has it that on their last North American tour, Mark E Smith (and his wife/keyboardist Eleni Poulou) woke up to find the rest of the band gone. They cobbled together a rhythm section and finshed the tour. This reformed line-up makes up Reformation and was HASTILY recorded soon after. There's still some of Mark E. Smith's brilliance in there, but it feels buried under poor production and half-baked material for the most part.


Album: Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly, Angry Mob

Love the title, just wish the rest of the album was as inspired. There's nothing immediate like Employment's "I Predict A Riot" to save the album from sounding like color-by-numbers Brit-rock. Ultimately, if you loved their first album you'll probably like this one. I merely appreciated their first one and with Angry Mob, can't generate even that level of (lack of) excitement.

Free AOL album stream


Album: Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion

The fun and catchiness of advance singles "Grace Kelly" and "Love Today" really had my interest piqued for the release of Life in Cartoon Motion. Sure, the Freddy Mercury obsession has been mined before (see The Darkness) but not from a Scissor Sisters-like camp angle. Mika performed "Grace Kelly" on Jay Leno last night, and even though his performance was very Queen (both the band and androgynous glee) he even had macho Pete Rose shaking his hand. Too bad that the album devolves into James Blunt-like blandness after track four.

Wincingly bad stuff... gag-inducing ear bile. Stick to the singles mentioned above.

Free AOL album stream (scroll to 10th album)


More going (or already in) the Sansa
Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future (Review from February) Free AOL album stream
Grant Lee Phillips - Strangelet
Kate Havnevik - Melankton (Free AOL Album Stream)
Walter Kong - Deliver Us From People
Che Arthur - Iron

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Is Bob Dylan a Cylon?

Last night's highly anticipated Battlestar Galactica season finale mindfrack has certainly elicited much discussion at the net water cooler, much of which has been about the use of a cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."

The song was recorded by BSG composer Bear McCreary and sung by his brother Brendan, who performs under the name BT4.

In the episode, the song was used as a vehicle for the reveal of four of the five remaining cylons, as the four crew members aboard Galactica rendevous in a workout room on the ship, hearing the same mysterious song. Each member mouths the words to the song Bob Dylan wrote:
Chief Tyril: There must be some way out of here
Colonal Tigh: said the joker to the thief
Anders: there's too much confusion
Tory: I can't get no relief.
So does the inclusion of this song mean that Bob Dylan exists in the BSG world? (And if so, could he be the final cylon?) McCreary answers the question on his blog:
...the idea was not that Bob Dylan necessarily exists in the characters' universe, but that an artist on one of the colonies may have recorded a song with the exact same melody and lyrics. Perhaps this unknown performer and Dylan pulled inspiration from a common, ethereal source. Therefore, I was told to make no musical references to any 'Earthly' versions, Hendrix, Dylan or any others. The arrangement needed to sound like a pop song that belonged in the Galactica universe, not our own.
Sounds like Dylan might need a good trans-universe copyright lawyer. That arrangement, by the way, also featured former members of Oingo Boingo (guitarist Steve Bartek and bassist John Avila) following in the footseps of their frontman Danny Elfman's film and tv work. It's a funky arrangement of the song, but not nearly as crazy as the one XTC did in 1978 ("All Along the Watchtower" by XTC.)

But back to the show and the song as a vehicle for the cylon reveal. An interview today with creator Ron Moore revealed that the song in fact acts as a catalyst, and puts to rest any thoughts that they might not in fact be cylons:
It's more that they arrived at a certain point in space and they were made aware of who they are. The music manifests a dawning awareness. These are four of the final five, which puts them in a separate category from everybody else. There are reasons for that I can't really get into. We'll be playing out those plot lines for quite a while.
- Ron Moore, creator of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica
So what about Starbuck? Moore's mum on that one, but assures us that Katie Sackoff is signed on for season four (which, with 22 episodes ordered, must be the last.) Knowing this, one has to assume then that she's either the fifth cylon, a figment of Apollo's imagination (or both!) or she pulled a Merideth Grey miracle and somehow didn't die a few episodes back ("Maelstorm.") We'll have lots of time to ponder the possiblities since there's going to be a gestation-like nine months until we see the birth of season four (due date, January 2008.)

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MUSIC ON Talk Shows: The Week of March 26

The highlight of his week's appearances has to be those Tennessee preacher kids Kings Of Leon, who's indie rock take on Southern rock will be on display tonight on Letterman. Their new album Because Of The Times will be released next week (April 3,) and one gets the feeling that a lot is riding on their third release for RCA Records. Last time out, they 'played the game' - cleaned up their appearance, opened for U2, sold their songs for commercials and had their music all over television the last couple years, but they can only ride as 'the Southern Strokes' for so long. They'll be performing the first single "On Call," which sounds like it could've been written to appear on an upcoming episode of Grey's Anatomy. Not only the 'on call' part, but also the "I'll come running" sentiment. It's also just haunting enough to bring some goosebumps to anyone watching McDreamy running to save Mer.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other great indie rock bands hitting the airwaves this week. Bloc Party swings by Letterman on Thursday and drake fave TV On The Radio makes another Music on TV appearance, this time hitting Jimmy Kimmel Live on Friday. They never disappoint, so tune in (that's an order, sort of.)

Also check out The Format, who'll be making their network TV debut Friday on Last Call With Carson Daly. Their album Dog Problems flew under the radar last year, but is picking up steam. It's a hummable classic and I hear their live act is equally infectious.

Picks of the week:
Monday, March 26
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Nas (REPEAT)
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Kings Of Leon
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Mika
Tuesday, March 27
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Macy Gray
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Mastodon (REPEAT)
Wednesday, March 28
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: The Ataris
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Gym Class Heroes
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Death Cab For Cutie (REPEAT)
Thursday, March 29
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Young Buck
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Bloc Party
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: My Morning Jacket (REPEAT)
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Bird and the Bee
Friday, March 30
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: TV On The Radio
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Ozomatli
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Format
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Gwen Stefani (REPEAT)
Saturday, March 31
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Arcade Fire (REPEAT)

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Friday, March 23, 2007

The best gig ever

This American Life was successfully ported last night from radio to television, and the act called The Spy Who Loved Everyone retold a story that gave me shivers a year ago (watch the whole episode online.) The improv group Improv Everywhere 'pranked' a band just starting out, Ghosts of Pasha, by having 35 folks show up for an otherwise empty show in New York. They memorized songs from their first EP and pretended to get really into the performance. The high and low of the aftermath makes the story transcend the initial prank.

Ghosts of Pasha have a triple album of lo-fi recordings coming out soon shortly called Way to Go, Glove (four songs on MySpace.)

UPDATE: Stereogum points us to This American Life's blog which details the problems they had licensing music for this episode. Ghosts of Pasha wanted 3-4 times their budget to have the songs soundtrack their segment. They ended up calling on John Kimbrough (Walt Mink) to score the segment, which is a good excuse to link to a kick ass live version of Walt Mink's "Miss Happiness."

Song: "Miss Happiness" Walt Mink
Video: "Miss Happiness" Walt Mink

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Now handing out hot towels in heaven

Calvert DeForest, better known as Larry "Bud" Melman, died this Monday after a long illness. Some of my favorite memories of television in the 80's involve Melman's appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman. When he was found by producers of the show, he was working as a file clerk at a drug rehabilitation center. Next thing you know he's interviewing and delivering hot towels to bus patrons for Letterman.

According to News From Me, Letterman had planned a tribute to Melman Tuesday night, but had to call in sick with the flu (Adam Sandler hosted at the last minute.) Last night's episode was taped Monday and tonight and tomorrow's are reruns, so it won't be until Monday (3/26) before Dave and Paul can share their memories.

As far as music goes, who can forget his memorable appearance on Run-DMC's music video for "King of Rock."

But one thing that's quickly forgotten is his one foray into the music business, producing and curating a collection of seductive lounge songs for a record compilation called Calvert Deforest's Erotic Experience. The album seemed like a quick capitalization on the success of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (it features soundtrack staple "Soul Bossa Nova" from Quincy Jones,) but it was a complitation that held it's own. It featured classics from Henry Mancini, Count Basie and Arthur Lyman as well as newer tracks from Combustible Edison and Tipsy. That's some serious swank.

Playlist: Calvert Deforest's Erotic Experience

While not as swanky as the rest of the compilation, DeForest contributed his own track, a bizarre version of "Tequila" under the moniker Calvert & the Craftmatics.

More: DeForest's first appearance was to introduce the first episode of Late Night with David Letterman (YouTube)

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Now Downloading: New Releases 03.20.07

While LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver is clearly the cream of this week's (year's) releases (see yesterday's post,) there are more then enough other albums to go ga-ga over. Modest Mouse, Andrew Bird, The Ponys, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Panda Bear, Low and I'm From Barcelona top my 'must hear' list.

Playlist: New Releases 03.20.2007


Album: Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha

I was getting my teeth scraped last week when the song "Plasticities" (from Andrew Bird's latest Armchair Apocrypha) blared through the bland radio station playing in my Dentist's office. It burned brighter then the overhead light illuminating my mouth (which required big-ass sunglasses) and it reminded me of how bad radio is. It's liking taking a step outside a sewer you've been trapped in for an hour, and discovering the power of air. After the song ended, one of the on-air hosts called it quirky, and a bit too complicated for his liking, which probably says more about radio today then anything I can come up with.

Much like 2005's And the Mysterious Production of Eggs, his latest is a collection of intellectual musings backed by smart arrangements and catchy hooks that radio should hunger for. He's upped the ante on the orchestration, and the ambition of songs like the 7-minute opus "Armchair" and the long time live staple "Dark Matter." And don't forget the whistling...


Album: Panda Bear - Person Pitch

Like Pet Sounds only with even more drugs. This is the third release from the Animal Collective co-founder (real name Noah Lennox,) and it's the smoothest, most accessible release of anything associated with AC (actual pop structures?) I recommend you plop in this sucker right now and put it on repeat (ad-infinity) and dream through your day. Or at least check out the 12-minutes of "Bros," which channels the Mamas and the Papas and makes it all sound much more then you'd think. Between this and the latest from the Besnard Lakes (reviewed 2/21/07,) Pet Sounds is back in again (was it ever 'out'?)


Album: I'm From Barcelona - Let Me Introduce My Friends

Released last year, this gem from Sweden finally makes it's way to our shores. The 29-member group is like a sunnier Sufjan Stevens, or The Boy Least Likely To (must be the glockenspiel) - definitely as twee as a bucket of kittens. Another reference is fellow Swede Loney, Dear, who actually appears on the track "This Boy". It's awfully precious at times, but the high you get from it is certainly more lasting then sugar.


Album: Low - Drums and Guns

The Minneapolis slowcore veterans are back with Dave Fridmann at the helm again, and while the guitars aren't as brash as on The Great Destroyer, but they're still moving further from their signature sound. Looped and multi-tracked vocals, drum machines, sampling, hand claps (? !) ... it's a lot of new tricks for it being their eighth album, but it works amazingly well. The bands' promo stickers say "I'm sick to death of Low" and perhaps that's a sentiment the band is wrestling with themselves (see frontman Alan Sparhawks wildly different solo album and side project - Retribution Gospel Choir.) Longtime fans who derided the last album are probably further on the outs with this one, but I, for one, will be singing it's praises.


Album: Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

It's truly weird to think about how far these plucky lads from Issaquah have come... you would've never even guessed they'd get a major label deal, let alone go platinum (as Good News for People Who Love Bad News did thanks to "Float On," which got slaughtered last week on American Idol.) Now Johnny frickin' Marr's in the group? This album will probably do just as well as the last thanks to the strength of two songs - "Dashboard" and "Florida" - with the latter being one of the better ones they've ever written (and one of the only ones that fully utilizes Marr's guitar strengths.) Portland neighbor James Mercer (The Shins) lends his vocals to three tracks (the aforementioned "Florida" and two of the weaker tracks "We've Got Everything" and probable single "Missed the Boat.") It's an album that has it's moments ("Fly Trapped in a Jar") which make it worth checking out, but on the whole, it's a sprawling mess (and not the charming mess of early releases.)

Free AOL album stream


Album: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Living with the Living

I have to confess I've never been much of a Ted Leo fan. Can't quite put my finger on it... perhaps it's that I was introduced to him from vegan friends who are into ultimate frisbee and love Ani DiFranco and Dar Williams - you can see my suspicion. Listening to Living with the Living, however, is turning that association on it's head. If you smell deep enough, you can still taste the gluten-free granola, but the songs are great... protests in the tradition of Springsteen and Strummer. Rock and roll soldiers on, and in Leo, we have a fine field general to lead us to (but really out of) war.

Free AOL album stream


More downloaded to the Sansa:
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
The Ponys - Turn the Lights Out (check out appearance on Daytrotter this week.)
Tracey Thorn (of Everything But the Girl) - Out of the Woods
J Dilla - Ruff Draft

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The sound of silver... or perhaps gold

Today begins (continues?) the push to make LCD Soundsystem a top 40 band... if for only one week. Earlier this year, frontman James Murphy implored fans that if they planned on buying the album, please do so in the first week, to push them higher on the Billboard charts.

Now folks who weren't sure they were going to buy the album have a chance to join in the fun as well, as you can hear it streaming for free (via AOL) and know first hand that it's a tremendous album, worth your purchase.

Album: LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Free AOL Album Stream

It's gonna take around 150,000 to get a #1 placement, but wouldn't it be great to see Murphy's mug get 20 minutes of fame? Add to that the fact that radio would have one less excuse not to play the great first single "North American Scum." There's actually no excuse not to play LCD Soundsystem on the radio, especially tracks like the Talking Heads groove of "Time to Get Away" or the post-punk fun of "Watch the Tapes."

The whole album is a bit like a love letter (in sound) to producer Brian Eno, who's work with Talking Heads and David Bowie is heavily referenced throughout. Along with the aforementioned "Time to Get Away", there's also "Us vs Them," whose rhythm guitar scratches makes one see David Byrne in his big suit. Meahwhile, the great opening track "Get Innocuous" and the title track "Sound of Silver" evoke the Bowie/Eno combo beautifully. "All My Friends" is almost like a great long lost New Order song. It's hard not to play "spot the influence," but it's all wrapped up in a package that has the feet moving and the head spinning at the same time. Take for instance the song "Someone Great," which mourns the loss of a friend over a swelling keyboard. The depths of despair felt in Murphy's delivery makes you want to well up in a ball on the sofa, yet your feet won't allow it.

It's truly the first album in a long time where I'm excited to buy it at a record store on it's release day. If there's enough of us out there doing it this week, perhaps we can make Murphy's little dream come true, and turn this silver into gold. (Buy at Insound, or Amazon)

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Ear on TV: Week of March 19

It seems like every month, there's a new band crowned by UK tastemaker rag NME as the next big thing. The latest to hit our shores is the Scottish indie rock trio The Fratellis, who are like a cross between The Hives and Kings of Leon. They're fresh off wowing crowds at SXSW (thanks in part to support from The Who's Pete Townshend,) and bring their energetic live show to Conan on Friday night. They've actually already invaded our televisions via January's iPod ads which featured the track "Flathead," and even a recent animated Safeway ad (featuring the track "Chelsea Dagger.")

While The Fratellis claim they have no interest in conquering America, another NME-approved act The Kooks made a similar claim last year after their debut stormed the UK charts and have since reversed their position. They play Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday, and they're hoping for a bigger dent in the US consciousness then their tour last year provided.

Meanwhile, I'd also like to direct your attention to an old friend to our ears, Fleetwood Mac veteran Lindsey Buckingham. Last year's solo effort, Under the Skin flew under the radar, but it's truly a gem and showcases more of Buckingham's legendary guitar work. He'll be bringing his axe to Conan late Thursday night, and you don't want to miss it.

Picks for the week:
Monday, December 4
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Joss Stone
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Lucinda Williams
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Vietnam
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Gary Jules
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Mat Kearney
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: The Kooks
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Paolo Nutini
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Lindsey Buckingham
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Paolo Nutini
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Guster
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: The Fratellis
PBS: Austin City Limits: Coldplay , Michael Stipe (REPEAT)

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

South by Southwest... from Seattle

While many bloggers were in Austin, TX, enjoying SXSW this past week, we were doing our own SXSW journey... road tripping South and Southwest of Seattle, through Oregon. We went to Portland, spent a couple days on the Oregon Coast (Newport, Florence) and finished out visiting some friends in Eugene.

The weather was amazing for this time of year (sunny and upper 60's the whole trip) and Eli had a blast (once he got past the 2-year molar blues.) It was a final hoorah before baby boy #2 comes in July.

The Ducks also had fun this week.

Song: "Mighty Oregon"

Monday, March 12, 2007

Soda bread and circus

This week really tests the luck of the Irish. The The Black Donnellys' episode that should've been shown this Monday night, episode 103 - "God is a Comedian", has been skipped over due to it being "too shocking." Instead they're showing episode 104 - "The World Will Break Your Heart," editing in a recap to keep you up to speed. You can still watch the skipped episode online, though, up through April 10, which you might want to do before tonight's episode (and if you've missed it entirely, all three episodes are still available online via - what a better way to celebrate Irish America's week of stereotypes?)

What was so shocking? Well, it's nothing you haven't seen on an HBO drama before, but this is network television post-Janet Jackson's nipple, so even viewing someone getting hit by a bus after 10PM is a scary proposition for the networks. Instead, to at least appease the masses, we get it online, meanwhile, the show continues to be on the hot seat.

Meanwhile, we might as well look at the music for this episode NBC deemed alright to air, which features great artists like Doves, Frou Frou and Colin Hay. These artists are no stranger to the music on tv spotlight, as Doves' "Caught By the River" was a favorite on The O.C., while Colin Hay's post-Men at Work prospects have blossomed thanks to work on Zach Braff's Scrubs and Garden State.

Playlist: The Black Donnellys - Ep104
1. "Caught By The River" - Doves
2. "It's Good To Be In Love" - Frou Frou
3. "Boys Will Be Boys" - The Ordinary Boys
4. "Across the Water" - Aeone - Black Donnellys exclusive track
5. "In Your Own Way" - Caleb Kane
6. "Waiting For My Real Life To Begin" - Colin Hay

Previously: The Irish Like a Good Fight (episode 101)

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Ear on TV: Week of March 12

Is the train wreck gonnna make it into the station? UK singer and accident-waiting-to-happen Amy Winehouse is due to make her network television debut tonight on Letterman, but there are some doubts as to whether she'll pull it off. She cancelled two shows last week, and then cancelled her SXSW appearances coming later this week, all in the wake of a booze binge followering her break-up with boyfriend chef Alex Jones-Donnelly. The brash yet soulful singer's appearance tonight and concert in NYC tomorrow night are both still penciled in, so it will be interesting to see if she can pull it together (perhaps more interesting if she can't.) Her new album Back to Black finally makes it to our shores tomorrow (listen to free album stream via AOL,) so there's definitely some pressure on her from her label to pull it together. However, her father came out today begging for her to slow down, or face rehab, adds further to the irony of the lyrics to her first single "Rehab:"
And if my daddy thinks I'm fine
They's tryin' to make me go to rehab--I won't go, go, go
Later in the week, be sure to set your Tivo/DVR to record Last Call With Carson Daly, as a trio of great performers make their way to Carson's lair. Sweden's Peter Bjorn and John will whistle their hit "Young Folks" on Wednesday, then freak folk outfit Grizzly Bear will amaze on Thursday night with their four-part harmony on the track "Knife." Finally, be sure to check out San Francisco's Deerhoof, as they take their frenetic pop to the network masses. Deerhoof and Grizzly Bear, in particular, are both acts you don't normally get to see make appearances like this, so it's a real treat.

Monday, March 12
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Amy Winehouse
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Dr. Dog
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: KT Tunstall
Tuesday, March 13
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: The Good, the Bad & the Queen
Wednesday, March 14
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Aqualung
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: The Shins
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Peter Bjorn and John
Thursday, March 15
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Grizzly Bear
Friday, March 16
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Deerhoof
Saturday, March 17
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Snow Patrol

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Friday, March 09, 2007

There goes my career as a hand model

Call it one hand empathizing with the other, or perhaps a need for symmetry... but I've gone and dislocated my left pinky finger. Caught an errant/tipped basketball in the second play of our championship game last night and next thing you know, I've got another crooked finger. I wish I could've gotten a scan with the x-ray to share with you, as it was sick... like the top half of my finger decided to move next door.

Meanwhile, the right one I mangled and fractured back in December has now been diagnosed as a boutonniere deformity, thanks to it not being in a splint for the first couple weeks. The past four months have been so much fun.

Song: "Wrecking Ball" - Crooked Fingers

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the emergency room was not at all like SGH on Grey's Anatomy.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

No, I actually can't wait

Couldn't You Wait? is a documentary on the great band Silkworm. This extended trailer (taken down at the behest of the director) features friends and acquaintances of mine (along with Steve Albini) talking about the band that affected our lives in one way or another. This 14 minutes is purely reverential, and doesn't touch on the tragedy of their ending.


Playlist: Silkworm sampler

Can't do a proper list without either the (criminally out-of-print) album Libertine or their final EP Chokes, of which neither is digitally available.

There's also a tribute album coming out soon, and last week Silkworm fans like Chris Brokaw (The New Year, Consonant, Codeine) and .22 played a show at Chicago's Empty Bottle to help with the release of the tribute. There were rumors that a live recording by my old band doing "Three Beatings" was in consideration to be used as an uncredited (as requested) bonus track.

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