Sunday, April 30

Super Mario Sunday blowout

I'm busy busy busy right now, but I wanted to share this viral video that was sent to me by Erin of Stardust Holiday via a MySpace bulletin. It may have already found its way to you, but just in case...

It's a live-action reenactment of Level 1 of Super Mario Bros. performed by some folks at Gordon College of Wenham, Mass. Worth a laugh if you're among my cohort in the Nintendo Power generation.

To add some musical content, here's a really fun funk-jazz version of the Mario theme performed by Ulu. When they do the breakdown into the underground music, it's just awesome. Makes me feel like I could take down Koopa all by myself, fireballs or no.

Ulu - Super Mario Bros. theme

Now, back to work.

Friday, April 28

Sufjan Stevens 11-19-2003 @ Judson College

The abundant Sufjan Stevens activity in the blogosphere lately has me all excited again about everyone's favorite midwestern crooner. As a result I've decided to post a recording of Sufjan's November 2003 appearance at Judson College in Elgin, Illinois. This is a solo appearance by Sufjan; Mr. Stevens is pretty chatty and sounds great. The recording is a very clean soundboard tape well worth your while. I downloaded this last summer from Welcome to the Midwest, and I know bits of it continue to circulate. For whatever reason I seem to be missing the third song from the set, so please send it my way if you have it. I'd be grateful.

Sufjan Stevens
November 19, 2003
Judson College, Elgin, IL

The One I Love [REM cover]
Opie's Funeral Song

The Upper Peninsula (missing - please send if you have it!)
Lakes of Canada [Innocence Mission cover]
Vito's Ordination Song
Seven Swans

I thought some of you might also be curious to hear the original of "Lakes of Canada" since it's a tiny bit more obscure than those others (ahem)...

The Innocence Mission - Lakes of Canada

Also, to keep the post relevant to all of the Illinois-related Sufjan posts around the blogosphere, here's an mp3 of Harry Caray singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at the Cubs' first official night game back in August 1988 (the rookie year of Mark Grace, I might add).

Harry Caray - Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Sorry, ChiSox fans. Not really.

I'm still waiting on that Franz Ferdinand/Harry Caray mash-up. Go Cubbies!

UPDATE: Links removed....

Saturday night in Atlanta & Athens

Very busy right now, and don't have time for a full post. However, I wanted to note these shows this Saturday night (4/29) for the locals...

In Atlanta, we have The Selmanaires, Black Lips, and The Flakes at Lenny's (presented by Rob's House Records). That's gonna be a serious rock 'n roll blowout, folks. If you're gonna be in the Peachtree City, get your fanny down to Lenny's for this one. If you're lucky, Black Lips will bring some of those handy dandy commemorative plates with them to sell. They're a sure way to impress your grandma. This is the last Black Lips show in town for three months. For more info, see the Lenny's website. $5, 9pm.

To hear the bands, visit their MySpace pages linked above.

In Athens, there's another special treat at the 40 Watt. Elephant 6 comrades Masters of the Hemisphere are playing one of three reunion shows, and their first gigs in about 3.5 years. Neat, huh? Also playing will be Je Suis France, The Wee Turtles, and Bugs Eat Books. That's a lot of indie pop/rock for one night. Unfortunately, the Shitty Beatles were left off the bill. Bring plenty of cash for booze, and tip your bartender. For more info, see the 40 Watt website. $6, 10pm.

Hear a bunch of Masters of the Hemisphere rarities in the multimedia section of their website.

If there's more going on that people need to know about, feel free to say so in the comments. I'm a bit preoccupied this week and next. Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, April 26

ATL show announcements


June 8 - Starlight Mints/dios (malos) @ Smith's Olde Bar
Starlight Mints - Inside of Me
dios (malos) - I Want It All

June 9 - Tapes 'n Tapes/Cold War Kids @ Drunken Unicorn
Tapes 'n Tapes - Insistor
Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds

Four bands I wanted to see, on two consecutive nights. Nice, huh?

Oh, and ATL folks remember that Islands and Why? are at Drunken Unicorn tomorrow night.

Frank Zappa - Remington Electric Razor

Frank Zappa is one of the most interesting figures in rock history. He was a master guitarist, witty and prolific songwriter, and social gadfly. FZ was also one of the most bootlegged artists of his era. This was in large part a result of his constant touring and tremendous live show. Today I'm offering what I understand is a rare bootleg of Zappa live material, primarily from the late 1970s, titled Remington Electric Razor.

An interesting aspect of this bootleg is that the material is of pristine quality, and was reportedly mixed by FZ and leaked by a band member. Its origins are a bit of a mystery, but the content's sound is on a par with some Zappa live releases. The most famous component of this recording is the title track -- a commercial for Remington electric razors cut by FZ and Linda Ronstadt (yes, seriously) in the late 1960s. Yes, it's as strange as it seems. "Cleans you, thrills you, may even keep you from getting busted!"

Frank Zappa - Remington Electric Razor (bootleg)
Released 1981

1. Freak Me Out, Frank [live 11-4-1974]
2. Jumbo, Go Away [live 3-31-1979]
3. Moe's Vacation [live 9-21-1978]
4. The Black Page #2 [live 9-21-1978]
5. Dong Work for Yuda [live 2-1977]
6. Tricky Dicky ["Dickie's Such an Asshole"]
7. Nite Owl [live 12-11-1980]
8. My Name is Fritz
9. Interview ("What's the Name of Your Group?") [200 Motels outtake]
10. I Can't Get Me No Satisfaction [live 10-15-1978]
11. Remington Electric Razor [commercial; late 1960s; with Linda Ronstadt]

A detailed discussion of this bootleg can be found here about halfway down the page.

For more on FZ, check out or Wikipedia.

Does anybody compare to Zappa these days? It's a damn shame he left us so soon.

Tuesday, April 25

Fruit Bats/Amandine - April 24, 2006 @ Drunken Unicorn

I was all prepared to offer some rare Zappa today, but I just got home from Fruit Bats/Amandine and just have to post about the show. It was at Atlanta's Drunken Unicorn, which I'd say has really picked up the pace with regard to quality bookings lately. I walked in shortly after Swedish popsters Amandine hit the stage, and had no expectations. However, I rather enjoyed their country-tinged indie pop and made a point of buying both their album and tour EP during the setbreak. I don't know much about them, but they played as a quintet featuring the standard guitar/drums/bass as well as a violinist and accordian player. I haven't had time to listen through the albums yet, but I found a couple of their tracks linked on their official site.

Amandine - Halo
Amandine - Blood & Marrow

I don't know that these guys have gotten much blog attention just yet, but I imagine it's only a matter of time. It's ridiculous how many good bands are coming out of Sweden these days. Yeesh. I may post about them again in the near future after I've had time for further exploration.

After Amandine's set was that of Fruit Bats, the evening's headliner. It was my first live Fruit Bats experience, and I was pleasantly surprised how well the vocals translated in that setting. The crowd was also appreciative and respectful. As Johnson tells it, that's quite a change from their last visit to Atlanta (some 2-3 years ago) when a handful of disinterested folks were in attendance. The band played an assortment of tracks from their three albums and seemed to be having a really good time in front of a receptive audience.

Personal highlights included "Dragon Ships" from Echolocation and a solo version of "Earthquake of '73." Below are the studio versions of each, along with that of "A Bit of Wind":

Fruit Bats - Dragon Ships
Fruit Bats - Earthquake of '73
Fruit Bats - A Bit of Wind

I snagged the setlist from the stage, but it's very incomplete and out of order. Take a peek.

To top it off, Fruit Bats vocalist/songwriter/guitarist (and fellow Cubs fan) Eric Johnson was very friendly after the show and seemed like a good guy. He signed my copy of Spelled in Bones with a message I fully endorse.

I did tape but haven't yet checked out how it turned out. So I guess that puts me one more set behind. Sigh. I promise I'll get to some of these transfers once the semester ends and I turn in my grades.

Remaining dates on the Fruit Bats/Amandine/Sam Jayne tour:

April 25 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506 18+ Show
April 26 Washington, DC Black Cat (backstage) All Ages
April 28 New York, NY Mercury Lounge 21+ Show
April 29 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell's All Ages
April 30 Cambridge, MA TT The Bear's 18+ Show
May 2 Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place 18+ Show
May 3 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
May 4 Kalamazoo, MI Kraftbrau All Ages
May 5 Newport, KY Southgate House All Ages
May 6 Chicago, IL Open End Gallery All Ages
May 7 Chicago, IL Schuba's 21+ Show

Sunday, April 23

Chicago trip / Bono solo tracks

Because I'm feeling particularly narcissistic at the moment, I'm going to share some more of my Chicago pics from the weekend before getting on to the music today.

From the 95th floor of the Hancock Building

The Hancock Building

The Chicago River

Mural at Harry Caray's

Outside the Billy Goat Tavern

On Michigan Avenue

It was a good weekend. Hope yours was as well.

As for musical offerings today, I've been inspired by those U2 contract demos to offer some related Bono material. Below are a number of tracks that Bono has released on compilations, soundtracks, or others' albums without his bandmates. Many are fun collaborations with other larger-than-life musical icons.

Bono - Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad
Bono - Hallelujah 95 [Leonard Cohen cover]
Bono - Save the Children [Marvin Gaye cover]
Bono - Can't Help Falling in Love [Elvis Presley cover]
Bono, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder - Let the Good Times Roll [Louis Jordan cover; Hendrix, others]
Bono, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Carl Perkins - Give Me Back My Job [Carl Perkins cover]

Did you know that Bono's real name is Paul David Hewson? If you didn't, now you do.

If you just can't get enough of him, go visit Bono Online.

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Just a quick note from Chicago -- I just had to take this pic. Thought some of you would also get a kick out of it. So what are these buildings, anyway? Condos?

If anybody wants the full-size high res version, you can download it here. I haven't done any editing or cropping. Just pulled it off the camera.

If this doesn't ring a bell, look here for a hint. Well, more than a hint. Anyway...

Wednesday, April 19

Off to Chicago / ATL weekend preview

I'm off to Chicago for the weekend, and won't be posting again until Sunday night. I'll be sure to tell the Windy City that you all said hello.

Those of you in town, note that Nashville-based indie folkster Stone Jack Jones is playing a free in-store at Criminal Records on Thursday (6pm). He's also playing Thursday night at 10 High. I couldn't find anything to download, but there are some streaming tracks here. Check him out on MySpace.

Here's some of what's going on in ATL this weekend (abridged version):

4/21 Cinemechanica @ Drunken Unicorn
4/21 Untied States @ Lenny's
4/21 Captured! by Robots @ The EARL
4/21 Cat Autopsy Expo, Ocha La Rocha @ CJ's Landing
4/21 Bain Mattox @ Smith's Olde Bar
4/21 The Californias @ Tasty World (Athens)
4/21 Will Hoge @ 40 Watt (Athens)
4/21 Summer Hymns @ Flicker (Athens)

4/22 WRAS fundraiser @ Eyedrum w/ The Brunettes, DQE, Extruders, Cinemechanica, others
4/22 Mulletfest @ The EARL w/ Anna Kramer, others
4/22 A Fir-Ju Well, Deerhunter @ Lenny's
4/22 Chuck Carrier @ Eddie's Attic (Decatur)
4/22 Aviator, others @ Tasty World (Athens)
4/22 Phosphorescent, Drakkar Sauna @ Caledonia Lounge (Athens)

4/23 Drakkar Sauna @ New Street Gallery (Decatur)
4/23 Rainer Maria @ Eyedrum
4/23 Lucero @ The EARL

Also, don't forget (Chicago's own) Fruit Bats are at Drunken Unicorn on Monday night.

Have a great weekend!

Southern Comfort Music Experience, May 20-21, 2006

I don't know how this got by me, but I just learned about the Southern Comfort Music Experience this May at Centennial Olympic Park (in ATL, of course). Apparently it's free. Cowboy Mouth are headlining on Saturday and The Flaming Lips (!!!) are headlining on Sunday. Other acts include Big Star (!!!) and De La Soul (!!!). Who has the 411 on this thing? Apparently The Moaners and The Gourds are also on the bill. The SoCo website says more info will be released soon, but I'm curious now. It's only a month away, after all. Anybody have any more info? If so, please post in the comments. Thanks!

UPDATE: Thanks to Chris, who is a golden god, for finding the lineup here.

Line Up
Saturday: noon - 11 p.m.
Cowboy Mouth
Family Force 5
Theresa Andersson
Beatin Path

Sunday: noon – 10 p.m.
Flaming Lips
Big Star
De La Soul
The Gourds
The Moaners
American Princes

So, basically, Sunday night looks awesome. Woohoo. Mark your calendars, ATL folks.

U2 Contract Demos '78-'80

Years before Bono was a comrade of popes and presidents, U2 was just another struggling band looking for a record deal. Pretty hard to imagine these days, huh? Here we have a relic of that period. Available on C&T today are a selection of demos distributed by U2 while in search of a record contract. These recordings come from a period a full decade before Rattle and Hum. This is not the complete set of U2's contract demos, but they're all I have in my possession. These are pretty raw, and vary somewhat in quality. Still, they're an interesting peek into the early history of the rock 'n roll monster that is now U2.

U2 - The Fool [November 1, 1978; Keystone Studios, Dublin]
U2 - Street Mission [November 1, 1978; Keystone Studios, Dublin]
U2 - The Magic Carpet [February 1979; Eamon Andrews 4-Track studio, Dublin]
U2 - Alone in the Light [February 1979; Eamon Andrews 4-Track studio, Dublin]
U2 - Boy-Girl [Mid-1979; Windmill Lane Studio; Dublin]
U2 - Another Day [December 1979; CBS Studios, London]
U2 - The Dream is Over [December 1979; CBS Studios, London]
U2 - Touch [April 1980; Windmill Lane Studio, Dublin]
U2 - An Cat Dubh [October 14, 1980; KRO Studios, Hilversum, Holland]

Apparently these demos did some good, as U2's debut album Boy was released in October 1980. If some U2 superfans out there (I absolutely do not qualify) have more info to add, feel free.

For more on U2, visit their MySp.... just kidding.

Tuesday, April 18

WRAS fundraiser / The Brunettes / Tin Cup Prophette

I know the last few posts have been directed more toward the national audience, but I wanted to take this opportunity to bring some events to the attention of Atlanta readers:

This Saturday, April 22, WRAS is having a fundraiser at Eyedrum. For those who don't know, WRAS is the terrific radio station of Georgia State University (88.5 FM). Headlining the event are The Brunettes, a fun twee band from New Zealand that opened for The Shins at Variety Playhouse about a year ago. The Brunettes play cute, quirky pop with boy-girl vocals from Jonathan Bree and Heather Mansfield. This stuff is sweeter than candy, folks. They also recently signed on with Sub Pop Records. On top of that, they're just adorable.

Here are a few songs by The Brunettes for your listening pleasure:

The Brunettes - Loopy Loopy Love
The Brunettes - The Record Store
The Brunettes - Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks

Be their friend on MySpace.

Also tonight, Tuesday, Tin Cup Prophette is playing at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta.

Tin Cup Prophette is the project of Amanda Kapousouz, an Athens-based singer-songwriter (for lack of better description) who I've been seeing guest with various acts for years. Foremost among those has been Charleston art-rock darlings Jump, Little Children and Athens' own Bain Mattox. Amanda primarily plays violin and sings; I'm excited to finally be seeing her fronting her own band. As for her sound, think Portishead with occassional (and lovely) forays into Irish music. My understanding is that Tin Cup Prophette will be playing at 8:30 (opening for Goat), so come down early.

I plan to pick up her CD's tonight, but at the moment don't have any of her material to offer for download. However, here is a track I taped a couple years ago when she sat in with Jay Clifford (of Jump, Little Children) and sang lead on a song:

Jay Clifford & Amanda Kapousouz - Do You Love an Apple? [live 6-6-2003 @ Eddie's Attic]

Check her out on MySpace.

UPDATE: It was brought to my attention that the levels were very low on the Jay & Amanda song. I've fixed it and uploaded a replacement. Do check it out, it's a lovely tune.

Monday, April 17

Strawberry Fields Forever II: Strawberries Reloaded

As I said I would, today I'm offering another set of "Strawberry Fields Forever" covers.

First off is a sort of mash-up that was actually created and sent to me by a C&T reader. Los Angeles-based producer Steve Deutsch used the "Strawberry Fields" covers released by XTC and Todd Rundgren to create this duet between Rundgren and Andy Partridge. The result is pretty cool. Check it out:

Andy Partridge/Todd Rundgren - Strawberry Fields Forever (Steve Deutsch mix)

For more on Steve's work check out his website.

With a couple of exceptions, the rest of today's artists are generally more obscure than those offered last week. I imagine you'll still enjoy them.

The Ventures give the song the surf guitar treatment for which they're known, and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes offer a fairly sloppy punk version. The 80s-90s hardcore band Redd Kross are featured here with a version of the song surprisingly loyal to the original. Early 90s band Candy Flip do "Strawberry Fields" with an electronic twist, and actually hit #3 on the UK charts with the song in 1990. British psychedelic band Tomorrow included the song on their 1968 self-titled album; their version is more spacey and jangly than that of the Fab Four. The Bobs and King's Singers take the broadest departure from the Beatles version. The Bobs take is a cappella, much like that of the Swingle Singers below, only with male rather than female singers. The King's Singers are a choral group from the UK and are backed on their track by ample instrumentation.

The Ventures - Strawberry Fields Forever
The Bobs - Strawberry Fields Forever
Tomorrow - Strawberry Fields Forever
Candy Flip - Strawberry Fields Forever
King's Singers - Strawberry Fields Forever
Redd Kross - Strawberry Fields Forever
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Strawberry Fields Forever

Have a great Monday, everyone.

Bonus Beatles covers:
Allison Crowe - In My Life
Dondero High School A Capella Choir (Royal Oak, MI) - Baby, You Can Drive My Car [live 3/2005]
The Four Croakers - Here Comes the Sun [live 11-11-2003; Ken Stringfellow, Scott McCaughey, Robyn Hitchcock, Mike Mills]


rbally has an R.E.M. radio performance from 1984.

So Much Silence has a performance by The Boy Least Likely To on KCRW last week.

Captain's Dead has Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers doing a set of Rolling Stones songs.

Sunday, April 16

Belle and Sebastian live covers II: Electric Boogaloo

Peeps rock.

Last week's B&S covers post has been so well-received that I've elected to offer a second helping. I hope you'll all forgive my lack of creativity and enjoy the tracks below. I suppose you can consider these the contents of your own little digital Easter basket. Have at 'em!

Belle and Sebastian - Linus and Lucy [Peanuts theme; Vince Guaraldi Trio cover]
Belle and Sebastian - Don't Fear the Reaper [Blue Oyster Cult cover]
Belle and Sebastian - Time of the Season [Zombies cover]
Belle and Sebastian - Some Other Guy [Beatles cover]
Belle and Sebastian - The Boys Are Back in Town [Thin Lizzy cover]
Belle and Sebastian - Leader of the Pack [Shangri-Las cover]
Belle and Sebastian - Texarkana Baby [Bob Wills/Eddy Arnold/others cover]
Belle and Sebastian - Everyday People [Sly and the Family Stone]
Belle and Sebastian - So You Want to Be a Rock N' Roll Star [Byrds cover]
Belle and Sebastian - Sunday Morning [Velvet Underground cover]
Belle and Sebastian - San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair) [Scott McKenzie cover]

I'd also like to thank the people who wrote me directly with further suggestions and the like. Anyway... grab these, put 'em on your portable mp3 player of choice, and enjoy the wonderful spring weather. If the weather sucks where you live, you're still allowed to listen to them. No worries.

Also, it just dawned on me that I haven't seen a single creepy Cadbury eggs commercial this year. Huh. Because Easter wouldn't be complete without it, here you go:

If any Cadbury people read this please send me money. And/or chocolate. Thanks!

Saturday, April 15

Neko Case / Kelly Hogan / Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings

So I saw Neko Case for the first time tonight and really enjoyed it. Her voice just fills a room. I have a feeling I'm going to be listening to her a lot in the coming weeks. I didn't tape because Neko's management asked me not to... but you should really go download the live DC show that So Much Silence is offering if haven't already. Sorry I'm not up for a full review, but I'm damn tired and don't know her catalog well enough to do a good job. A favorite moment of the evening was when Kelly Hogan covered the Magnetic Fields song "Papa was a Rodeo" during her opening set with Neko on guest vocals. I happen to have an mp3 of a studio version handy:

Kelly Hogan - Papa was a Rodeo [Magnetic Fields cover]

Now, speaking of ladies with tremendous voices... I'd like to introduce you to Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings.

I've found my taste in rock has lately taken a turn toward the psychedelic pop and garage rock of decades long past. However, my friend Joe recently brought to my attention a current artist who evokes an entirely different sound from days gone by. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings play a blend of funk and soul the likes of which is seldom heard on contemporary radio. This music is more like that of James Brown, Mahalia Jackson, and Wilson Pickett than the formulaic, processed, and watered-down crap that often passes for soul and R&B these days. Unfortunately, radio's preferences for such swill have delayed the success of Sharon Jones for too long -- she was once a venerable studio performer in the 1970s and '80s but was working as a corrections officer at Rykers Island by the mid-1990s. Fortunately, she was driven to perform again in the last few years and has just released her second album, Naturally.

The album's funkier tracks work better for me than the ballads, but that's probably just a matter of personal taste. If you've been reading a while you've probably picked up on the fact that "sad bastard music" doesn't always keep my attention very long. On that note, check out these tracks:

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - How Long Do I Have to Wait for You
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - Your Thing is a Drag
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - Fish in the Dish

Nice, huh? By the way, Sharon does have a Georgia connection. She was born in Augusta and lived there for a while before moving to her long-time home in Brooklyn. I'm guessing Georgia would claim her anyway.

You can buy releases by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings from Daptone Records.

For more on the band, check out their MySpace page.

Friday, April 14

Strawberry Fields Forever / ATL this weekend

Yesterday's B&S covers post proved to be very popular. In fact, it set records here at C&T. Who knew the blogosphere was so hungry to hear a twee band cover The Bee Gees? Live and learn.

Today, I'm trying something different. Instead of offering a bunch of cover songs by a single band, I'm offering several covers of a single song. That song is The Beatles classic "Strawberry Fields Forever." Stylistically these are all over the map. XTC, Rundgren, and Gabriel cover the song in a mostly convential manner. Harper's is more soulful and funky than the original, but still doesn't veer far from the path set out by The Fab Four. The others here are more adventurous. The RPO offers an orchestral version (duh), while the jazz band here makes the song its own. The Swingle Sisters version is a cappella and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (with Deborah Harry!) perform the song in reggae/ska fashion with a spattering of horns and Spanish lyrics. Give 'em a listen.

XTC - Strawberry Fields Forever
Ben Harper - Strawberry Fields Forever
Todd Rundgren - Strawberry Fields Forever
Peter Gabriel - Strawberry Fields Forever
The Swingle Singers - Strawberry Fields Forever
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Strawberry Fields Forever
Otomo Yishihide's New Jazz Quintet - Strawberry Fields Forever
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (with Deborah Harry) - Strawberry Fields Forever

I may post more of these over the weekend, so stay tuned.

I don't feel the need to post The Beatles version, as you should already have a copy of it in your possession. However, here's a video of sorts The Beatles did for "Strawberry Fields" back in 1967:

For the Atlanta-area audience, keep in mind that we have some good stuff in town this weekend:

Fri, 4/14 Neko Case/Kelly Hogan @ Variety Playhouse
Fri, 4/14 Wolfmother @ Drunken Unicorn
Fri, 4/14 Venice is Sinking @ 40 Watt (Athens)

Sat, 4/15 The Selmanaires/The Carbonas/The Flakes @ 1318 Ormewood Ave (house party, 3pm)
Sat, 4/15 The Selmanaires/Snowden/Shock Cinema @ Drunken Unicorn
Sat, 4/15 Two Gallants/Love Drunks @ The EARL
Sat, 4/15 Elf Power @ 40 Watt (Athens)
Sat, 4/15 Bunnygrunt, Cars Can be Blue, Russian Spy Camera @ Little Kings (Athens)

I'll be at Neko and I haven't decided yet about Selmanaires vs. Elf Power. Hmm...

Thursday, April 13

Belle and Sebastian live covers

So I have a number of bands to post about and several of my recent recordings to make available (Mates of State, Destroyer, Mag Elec Co., Selmanaires, SSLYBY, The Whigs, Voxtrot, Murder Beach, Man Man, The Eames Era, Luigi, etc., etc.) but not a lot of time to do so at the moment. I'll do my best in what time I have. Today, however, I'm going to offer just a quick treat. Because they're sitting on my HDD, I'm offering a selection of live covers by Belle and Sebastian.

Belle and Sebastian - Gonna Fly Now [Rocky theme]
Belle and Sebastian - Here Comes the Sun [Beatles cover]
Belle and Sebastian - Space Oddity [David Bowie cover]
Belle and Sebastian - Oliver's Army [Elvis Costello cover]
Belle and Sebastian - Video Killed the Radio Star [Buggles cover]
Belle and Sebastian - The Kids Are Alright [The Who cover]
Belle and Sebastian - Billie Jean [Michael Jackson cover]
Belle and Sebastian - The Boy with the Thorn in His Side [Smiths cover]

All are live, and they vary in quality. However, I think they're all quite listenable. "Billie Jean" may suffer the most from screaming fans and the like, but I just had to include it.

Speaking of "Billie Jean"... how great was this video?

MJ sure was a badass back in the day. Damn.

UPDATE: Since Alex mentioned it in the comments, here's another:

Belle and Sebastian - Stayin' Alive [Bee Gees cover]

Tuesday, April 11

The American Revolution, Gn'R, and Colbert's tax tips

First up today is a track from Robert Schneider's new band, The American Revolution. Optical Atlas has already done an extensive post on the band but I wanted to bring them to the attention of those who don't read OA on a regular basis. Unlike Marbles, Ulysses, or The Apples in Stereo, Schneider is apparently not the driving force behind The American Revolution -- or so we're told so far. Schneider informed OA that the mastermind behind the band is an as yet unidentified older British musician, but details are still a mystery. What is evident from listening to the lone track now available is that The American Revolution is nearly the opposite of Schneider's usual output. It's raw, unpolished, and was reportedly recorded and mastered in less than half an hour. Basically, this is Robert Schneider rockin' out in a garage band. I'll be curious as more details and music emerge:

The American Revolution - Subscriptions to Magazines

For more on The American Revolution, see this post at Optical Atlas.

Also, in keeping with the recent Gn'R theme I figured I'd throw up some Guns N' Roses demos from the early '90s. These are recordings of the band working through the Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and a couple versions of "November Rain." The quality of these isn't pristine, but they're about what you'd expect of rough studio demos.

Guns N' Roses - Jumpin' Jack Flash [Rolling Stones cover]
Guns N' Roses - November Rain (piano version)
Guns N' Roses - November Rain (guitar version)

Oh, and one more thing -- tax day is just around the corner. Hope you've already prepared yours. If not, here are some tax tips from Stephen Colbert courtesy of The Daily Show and YouTube:

Monday, April 10

Guns N' Roses - Buenos Aires, July 16, 1993

Because there appears to be demand, today I'm sharing more Guns N' Roses. Specifically these are a half-dozen acoustic tracks from the band's July 16, 1993, show at the Estadio de River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was the next-to-last show with the classic Gn'R lineup before the band was gutted and its members went their separate ways. This is not the full show (far from it, actually) but this selection of tunes includes some classic originals and covers.

Guns N' Roses
July 16, 1993
Estadio de River Plate
Buenos Aires, Argentina

1. Dead Flowers [Rolling Stones cover]
2. You Ain't the First
3. You're Crazy
4. Used To Love Her
5. Patience/Imagine [John Lennon cover]
6. Knockin' On Heaven's Door [Bob Dylan cover]

Just how great a song is "Dead Flowers"? If you have more cover versions, I'd love it if you'd share them. Wink wink, nudge nudge. Oh, and Lennon fans don't get your hopes up about "Imagine" here. It's just a little instrumental interlude during "Patience."


To Die by Your Side has an mp3 of Hole covering "Paradise City." Courtney sorta disses Gn'R at the end, but she's out of her damn mind anyway. Grab it there.

Friday, April 7

Guns n' Roses - Live at CBGB, Oct. 30, 1987

Good thing I never claimed to have any indie cred, because this post would have wiped it out for good.

So it seems the world is anxiously awaiting the release of the forthcoming Guns 'n Roses album, Chinese Democracy. I will fully admit to being somewhat curious about the release. The two volumes of Use Your Illusion were among the first CD's I ever bought for myself (thanks BMG!) and I remember watching the Gn'R videos from that era repeatedly on MTV. Yes kids, they actually used to show music videos on that steaming pile of a channel.

Back on topic, I can understand why some people are looking forward to Chinese Democracy. Gn'R used to be one hell of a rock band. This post, however, showcases them outside of a "rock" environment. Here we have the band playing a short acoustic set at NYC's legendary CBGB in the fall of 1987, before the classic Lies album (1988) had even hit stores. Can you believe this was nearly 20 years ago? Wow.

Guns n' Roses
October 30, 1987
CBGB, New York City

1. One in a Million
2. Used to Love Her
3. Patience
4. Mr. Brownstone
5. Move to the City

Also, it appears that they may have opened the show with "You're Crazy" but it didn't find its way onto my bootleg recording. Hmm. If you have it, please send it along. Please?

Gothamist has pointers to YouTube videos from the show.

I have some more rare Gn'R on the hard drive that I can share if there's any interest. Speak up, people.

Thursday, April 6

Stephin Merritt - Showtunes

I imagine a lot of you are also fans of Stephin Merritt's various projects. Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, Gothic Archies, etc. While he may farm out vocal duties on much of his work, his songwriting remains unmistakeable whoever performs the delivery. This week I had the good fortune to come across a copy of Merritt's new release, Showtunes, in the used bin at Criminal Records. The album is the result of Merritt's contributions to three plays directed by Chen Shi-Zheng -- compiling 26 tracks in all spanning about 47 minutes. While this collection won't challenge 69 Love Songs, The Charm of the Highway Strip, or Holiday as my favorite Merritt creation, it's packed with the same brand of wit and pluck that's characteristic of Merritt's output. Here are a few of my favorite tracks from the compilation:

Stephin Merritt - What a Fucking Lovely Day!
Stephin Merritt - Shall We Sing a Duet?
Stephin Merritt - Ukulele Me!
Stephin Merritt - Fan Dance Cha-cha

Buy Showtunes here. Buy other Merritt soundtrack projects while you're at it.

By the way, Stephin Merritt is also holding down a regular DJ gig right at Beauty Bar in NYC. He's there every Monday night as part of their Phantastic Invisible Tentacle nights. If you're in New York it'd probably be a cool thing to check out. More info on MySpace.

Bonus Merritt theatrics:
The Magnetic Fields - If I Were a Rich Man (from Fiddler on the Roof)

Also, I 've thrown up a bunch of cover songs over on MEBF today. Have at 'em.

Wednesday, April 5

Gomez - Bring It On B-sides

For those who aren't aware, the new Gomez album drops on May 2. It's called How We Operate and I see that it's starting to get a bit of attention on the blogs (e.g. Aquarium Drunkard yesterday). I haven't heard the new album yet, but I've been a fan of Gomez since right around when Liquid Skin (1999) was released. In fact, that record and Bring It On (1998) remain my favorites by the band. Since I don't have anything from the new album to offer, I thought I'd share some B-sides from the Bring It On era that my friend James gave me many moons ago when we were but wee college lads. None of these appear on the Abandonded Shopping Trolley Hotline (2000) compilation, so you may not have them.

Gomez - Whippin' Piccadilly (Turbo Version) from "Whippin' Piccadilly" single
Gomez - Who's Gonna Go the Bar from "78 Stone Wobble" single
Gomez - Old School Shirt from "Get Myself Arrested" single

You can pre-order How We Operate from the band and receive additional goodies. Lots of other music and merch are available from their store.

They will be in Atlanta on May 4, two days after the album hits stores. The full tour schedule and more info can be found on their MySpace page.

I'm also blogsitting this week over at MyExBestFriend, and I've made two additional Bring It On B-sides available there along with the video for "Silence." Go check it out.


In other news, I'll be at Death Cab tonight at Tabernacle. We also have Rhett Miller/Nicolai Dunger (at Variety Playhouse) and The Films (at Drunken Unicorn) in Atlanta tonight. Wow. Kinda busy for a Wednesday, no?

Tuesday, April 4

Ideal Free Distribution

Well, Ideal Free Distribution has already received a substantial write-up over at Optical Atlas, but I wanted to be sure and share them with C&T readers who don't regularly read OA. In case you're wondering how they wound up being covered on an Elephant 6 blog, it's primarily because they've been working with Robert Schneider (of Apples/Marbles/Ulysses/Orchestre Fantastique) on their forthcoming release. Their sound is what you might expect of an artist working in conjunction with Mr. Schneider -- poppy, polished, and infectious. It's very much a throwback to the psychedelic pop of the mid-to-late '60s, and I very much like what I've heard to date. Then again, I've spent the past three days listening to nothing but The Velvet Underground and Masters of the Hemisphere, so this fit in pretty well.

Ideal Free Distribution is based out of Lexington, Kentucky, with the band comprised of 8 full-time members. However, the core trio of the band has been playing together in some form for nearly a decade. They've spent a long while enhancing their songwriting and performing skills, and it seems to have paid off handsomely. You can sample a couple tracks here:

Ideal Free Distribution - Apples and Oranges
Ideal Free Distribution - Saturday Drive

Unfortunately, the full album is not scheduled for release until this fall. It will reportedly be released by Empyrean Records. I'll definitely keep an eye out for this release.

Atlanta/Athens locals should note that Ideal Free Distribution is scheduled to open for Apples in Stereo at this year's Athens Popfest. I'm not going to wish the summer go by quickly, but that'll be a real treat this August. Can't wait for Happy Happy Birthday to Me to announce the full lineup! I believe that's supposed to happen on about April 15.

You can learn more and hear 3 additional tracks on their MySpace page.

Monday, April 3

Thom Yorke - Bridge School Benefit, Oct. 27, 2002

As promised, here's the second day's set by Thom Yorke (of Radiohead fame) at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit in 2002. This set features Thom on piano to perform a few songs, and even includes a couple older songs from The Bends. Once again, it's Thom solo and acoustic. If you enjoyed the prior day's set, I imagine you'll dig this too.

Thom Yorke
October 27, 2002 - Bridge School Benefit
Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA

01. introduction
02. Street Spirit (Fade Out)
03. Morning Bell (piano)
04. Nice Dream
05. I Might Be Wrong
06. Sail to the Moon (piano)
07. Like Spinning Plates (piano)
08. True Love Waits
09. Paranoid Android

For more on this show, see the entry at Green Plastic Radiohead.

Remember Thom played this set to benefit a good cause. You can donate to The Bridge School online.

UPDATE 5:40pm EST: Rehosted tracks 6-9 on EZarchive. Would have done it sooner but I couldn't log in to EZ. I suspect bandwidth issues. We'll see if I get a nasty e-mail in the near future.

Saturday, April 1

The Velvets Revisited

Well, here's an interesting artifact. In 2000, just as we were all breathing a sigh of relief about the world not ending, Rabid Chords 002 - VU Tribute was released. As you might infer from the title, it was a Velvet Underground tribute album. While that alone might have been enough for me to give it a second look, it also includes a disproportionate number of songs by bands associated with the Elephant 6 moniker. Given that, even though it is/was a very rare Japanese-only release I tracked one down. It also includes contributions by Jim O'Rourke, John McEntire (of Tortoise), and an assortment of Japanese bands unknown to me. Now it's my intention to share it with you. I'm not in the business of sharing full albums here on C&T, but this is very rare and long out-of-print so I'll make an exception. Select tracks can be downloaded below, and links to the full discs are available via Rapidshare at the bottom of this post.

CD 1
01. Gerard Says #1
02. Zoobombs - I'm Waiting for the Man
03. Of Montreal - She's My Best Friend
04. Nakako - Stephanie Says
05. Chicago Bass - Heroin
06. Coil - After Hours
07. The Ladybug Transistor - I Found a Reason
08. Gerard Says #2
09. Luminous Orange - Sunday Morning
10. Smile Kick - The Black Angel's Death Song
11. Pate - Jesus

CD 2
01. Swarm's Arm - I'll Be Your Mirror
02. Ahh! Folly Jet - Ferryboat Bill
03. Gerard Says #3
04. John McEntire - Guess I'm Falling In Love/Loop
05. Jim O'Rourke - Venus in Furs
06. Tagomago - The Murder Mystery
07. Honey Skoolmates - Who Loves the Sun
08. Olivia Tremor Control - European Son
09. Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her Kiss Her - Candy Says
10. Gerard Says #4
11. The Music Tapes - All Tomorrow's Parties

Full discs available here:
CD1 (via Rapidshare)
CD2 (via Rapidshare)

Bonus VU cover mp3's:
Iron & Wine and Calexico - All Tomorrow's Parties (live)
The Decemeberists - I'm Sticking With You (live)
Strawberry Switchblade - Sunday Morning
Cat Power - I Found a Reason
Rilo Kiley - After Hours (live)

Update: Links removed, don't e-mail me about it. K? K.