Friday, June 30

Cassavetes @ Lenny's tonight (ATL)

I have a busy day ahead of me, but I plan to stop by Lenny's tonight to catch Cassavetes before I crash. My first live Cassavetes show came just last week at Corndogorama, when I arrived at The EARL shortly after they started playing. I liked what I heard, so I'm eager to check out a full show.

Cassavetes is a quartet of indie-rockers from Atlanta who've been playing together over the past couple years. They complement the usual guitar/bass/drums setup with horns and keyboards. Reading through their list of influences is a bit like browsing my own CD collection -- Wilco, The Walkmen, Constantines, Flaming Lips, Broken Social Scene, and Neutral Milk Hotel are among the bands cited as as influences on their MySpace page. While my memory is fuzzy of the live show last week (too many bands, too little time) they seem to straddle the indie rock/pop line.

Cassavetes has a forthcoming album, Funny Story, due out on Headphone Treats in mid-July, and I'm told by those "in the know" that it will be the bee's knees. For now, here are a couple of older Cassavetes tracks (demos, I presume?) courtesy of their website:

Cassavetes - My Heart Your Beat
Cassavetes - An Ancient Mistake

I have to say, the delivery of that opening line in "An Ancient Mistake" totally made me think of Chris Cornell. I haven't figured out exactly who plays what yet, but I'll try to get that down tonight. I'm sure Tessa from Drive a Faster Car can chime in with that info.

They're playing with Tova Rinah & the Way Home and Moorish Idols tonight. If you're gonna be at Lenny's, say hello.


The Fiery Furnaces & Man Man show tonight in DC will be broadcast on NPR. The story is here with more info. Man Man for the masses!

Thursday, June 29

Christopher O'Riley plays Radiohead - Madison, GA, on Saturday night

On Saturday night, while just about every other local C&T reader is at The EARL, I'll be at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center in Madison, Georgia. Why, you ask? Well, the Madison Chamber Music Festival is going on. Specifically, on Saturday evening the festival features an evening with pianist Christopher O'Riley. Even more specifically, they're hosting a night of Christopher O'Riley playing nothing but Radiohead songs. Pretty nifty, eh?

O'Riley has to date released two albums of transcriptions of Radiohead songs, and another of compositions by Elliot Smith. He has been featured on NPR, and is considered on the forefront of the current underground orchestral movement. This ain't your grandma's classical music, to say the least. Here's O'Riley's cover of Radiohead's "Paranoid Android":

Christopher O'Riley - Paranoid Android

You can sample more of his Radiohead material here.

For more on the festival see the website of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center. To order tix, call 706-342-4743 to charge by phone. They're $20 each, or $15 for students. I'm told Madison is an hour or so southeast of Atlanta. My understanding is that the show will also be live on NPR. Could I convince any of you to tape the FM feed?

An older NPR appearance can be heard here. You can browse his releases here.

Thanks to Ryan S. for the tip. I would have never known about this otherwise.

Band of Horses returning to ATL

Right after their Corndogorama kickoff bash, OK Productions has booked a return trip to Atlanta for Band of Horses. This time they'll be at Variety Playhouse on September 17. Tix will be $15 and go on sale soon. The week of September 13-20 is shaping up to be busy. Flaming Lips, Raconteurs, Sufjan, Band of Horses... wow.

For some video from their recent EARL show, see 3 Red Squares.

Here's a track for you to dance and mourn to until the show in September:

Band of Horses - The Funeral

Chris Walla - "Shattered Dreams"

So I'm sitting here working at Java Vino and listening through a bunch of stuff on my hard drive. While browsing some tunes by musician/producer/vegetarian Chris Walla (of Death Cab for Cutie fame), a familiar melody kicked in. I had forgotten all about it, but last fall Mr. Walla released a cover of "Shattered Dreams" by Johnny Hates Jazz on his Hall of Justice Recording website. As he said of it on his site, "It's way dead serious, in a way. But kind of not, you know?"

Chris Walla - Shattered Dreams (Johnny Hates Jazz cover)

Pretty true to the original, but fun. To check out more of Walla's solo work, see the songs page over at Hall of Justice.

A farewell to A Fir-Ju Well

Today, C&T features a guest post by Paulie from Inside the Perimeter. While Paulie maintains his own fine Atlanta blog, I asked him to write something to commemorate the final show of local stalwarts A Fir-Ju Well. They're playing their final gig this Saturday night at The EARL (with support from Sovus Radio and Explorers Club). This one will sell out, so I suggest buying tix in advance if you plan to go (click on the monkey at The EARL's site). On to Paulie's post...

It's been a little over a year since I started my crusade to tell people that A Fir-Ju Well was Atlanta's best "local" band since Dayroom. When I'd tell people about the band, they immediately had a sense of familiarity but didn't know why; perhaps A Fir-Ju Well's viral marketing scheme was the reason:

I saw A Fir-Ju Well at least three times in 2005, any more and I feared that would be deemed a stalker and issued a restraining order. I will be seeing A Fir-Ju Well for the first time this year on July 1st at The Earl and it's a good thing because this show will be their final effort.

In the past I've likened A Fir-Ju Well's live performances to (pardon my lack of PC'ness here) a Chinese fire drill; they were playing a public game of musical chairs. My only beef with their live shows was that I thought that the sets were too short and I always left wanting more.

In the five-year history of the band, brothers Nick and Peter Furgiuele, Pete DeLorenzo, and Matt McCalvin have managed to produce an EP (The Dangerous Life of Insects) and two LPs (2003's El Torero and 2004's Absolutely). These records contained the type of jangly, psychedelic, almost-jam-session indie rock that I've come to know as "their sound." I will never say that A Fir-Ju Well was the greatest band to take the stage, but I will say that I will miss their music greatly.

A Fir-Ju Well - Overfed
A Fir-Ju Well - No Man

You can purchase A Fir-Ju Well's Absolutely from International Hits.

I bid you a fond farewell A Fir-Ju Well...

Wednesday, June 28

Sufjan coming to ATL

Word just in from Alex W. with OK Productions... Sufjan Stevens will be coming to the Fox Theater in Atlanta on September 20. My Brightest Diamond to support.


Sufjan Stevens - The Henney Buggy Band
My Brightest Diamond - Disappear

Tuesday, June 27

Spider-Man 3 teaser online

FYI, fellow geeks -- just a few days after I posted Beanstalk's "Spider Jam" the Spider-Man 3 teaser has been posted online. Coincidence? Well, probably.

The teaser has nice shots of Peter in the symbiote (black) suit as well as Sandman and the Goblin. Requires Quicktime. Go here to watch. Looks promising. Note Peter's brand new Conor Oberst haircut. I guess it makes sense that Peter would be all emo.

You can always find the latest on Spidey 3 at Superhero Hype.

More on the Blue Ribbon Ball (Athens in August)

It seems a bit silly for an Atlanta blog to get Athens news via a blog based in Kentucky, but such is life. Matt at You Ain't No Picasso has posted the details for the Blue Ribbon Ball in Athens from 8/3-8/5 at the Fabulous 40 Watt Club. Headliners include Modern Skirts (Athens), Man Man (Philly), and Elf Power (Athens) with Lylas (Nashville), Iron Hero (Athens), Dark Meat (Athens), and others supporting. Looks good.

Go here to see the schedule and details at You Ain't No Picasso. Matt also has tracks posted for each act.


Head to Stage Hymns to enter their contest for a Tapes 'N Tapes 7" release.

Daytrotter continues to impress with its exclusive tracks, this week featuring Frog Eyes and offering two new songs.

Sleater-Kinney called it quits today. They're finishing up their remaining tour dates for the summer, then it's all over. Been a good run, ladies.

Telegram - "Sugar Sugar"

Ever wonder what it might sound like if Morphine, The Forty-Fives, and Chris Isaak had a jam session? My hunch is that it might sound something Decatur, Georgia's own Telegram. Telegram is a trio including Troy Bieser (vocals, guitar, Fender Rhodes), Robert Henson (double bass, accordian, piano), and Jamie Shepard (drums, percussion). They've been together for a couple years and have gotten a good bit of attention from local press and radio. I was introduced to Telegram by C&T buddy Joe, who just further solidified his reputation for having a great ear. He let me borrow their album All the World Asleep Tonight and I've since been listening to it quite a bit. One track I've been playing a lot is the second on the album, titled "Sugar Sugar." It has a sexy jazz feel with a definite rock edge. I approve. Here it is for to test drive as well:

Telegram - Sugar Sugar

I can't help myself - one more killer track for good measure:

Telegram - 10,000 Kisses

We sure are lucky to have so much great music right here in ATL. Don't see any upcoming shows for these guys, but I'll keep my eyes open.

Be their friend on MySpace. For more music from Telegram or to purchase their CD, visit their official site. You can also get the album directly from CD Baby.

Bonus mp3:
Telegram - Carolina (live)

Steven Seagal in Washington Post

Alright, this is just silly. The feature story on the front page of

Seriously people, this is page 1 material? If you want to read the article, it's here. I know he cancelled his ATL gig, but has anyone actually heard Steven Seagal's music? If you have the CD sitting around, feel free to send me a song or two. I'll share 'em with the people, for reals. Anyhow...

Cold War Kids - "Hospital Beds" at Drunken Unicorn (video)

Remember a couple weeks ago when the Cold War Kids blew me away at Drunken Unicorn? Well, there's a video from the show on YouTube. Here's the band playing "Hospital Beds" on that familiar stage with the big ol' shiny stars behind them.

Also, if anybody knows who "fernloft" is, tell him/her that I said thanks.

You can still download my audio recording of this entire show here.

Cold War Kids are back in Atlanta on July 20 with SOUND Team at The EARL. Tix available now. I already bought mine.

UPDATE, 6/29: Local C&T faves The Preakness have been added to this show. This is one hell of a bill.

Monday, June 26

Bouldercrest Singing Group

As I've been listening to their album a lot lately, it seems an appropriate time to introduce C&T's readers to the Atlanta-based Bouldercrest Singing Group. They're an alt-country/indie quintet fronted by Paul Daniels (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, fiddle) with Thom Heckel (bass, vocals), Chris Hoke (electric guitar, lap steel), and Eric Young (drums, vocals).

Their songs are melodic but often rooted in longing or anguish; lost loves and unrequited affection appear to be their speciality. Their current album, Louise, also features a guest vocal by Daniels' daughter Maddie that is just adorable. I'm particularly fond of the album's opening track, "Nickel", which you can hear below. Recommended if you're fan of bands/tunes in the No Depression vein.

Here are a few tracks from Louise, courtesy of Foul Country Records:

Bouldercrest Singing Group - Nickel
Bouldercrest Singing Group - Louise
Bouldercrest Singing Group - Stay Away

You can purchase Louise from CDBaby. You can also hear more tunes and be their BFF on MySpace.

Sunday, June 25

Beanstalk - "Spider Jam"

Nosing through my CD collection the other day, I picked up Beanstalk's Synergy for the first time in years. I bought their 2001 release at one of their shows many moons ago. I remember playing through it quite a bit at the time, but it appears the band has since faded away. Despite my persistent Googling I've been unable to find either a website or a place to purchase the album. What I do know is that they are/were from Tampa, Florida, and usually performed as a trio including Joel Lisi, Andy Irvine, and Billy Carr. Here is one track from their album that always made me smile. It's a jazz fusion cover of the "Spider-Man" theme they've dubbed "Spider Jam." Perfect for the comic book guy in all of us.

Beanstalk - Spider Jam

If anybody knows anything about what happened with Beanstalk or what the players are up to now, I'd like to know. Those guys have/had chops.

Kevin Smith, Butch Walker, Pete Yorn coming to Criminal Records

Atlanta locals be aware that there are several upcoming in-stores of note at Criminal Records in Little Five Points. As first reported at What We All Want, actor/director/gadfly/geek/badass/superhero Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, etc.) will be at Criminal on June 29 (4pm) to promote the release of Clerks II. Other notable upcoming events include in-stores by Butch Walker (July 11, time TBA) and Pete Yorn (July 18, time TBA). Locals Zoroaster will also be appearing at Criminal on July 15 (3pm). All are free of charge.

If there are other notable local events coming up, let me know.

UPDATE, 6/26: Lillian from Criminal Records has informed me that the Kevin Smith appearance was just cancelled. Well, that stinks.

Saturday, June 24

Radiohead Bonnaroo set for download (link)

No, I'm not hosting it. However, you can grab it here via Go, go, go! Be sure to leave a 'thank you' note there. I'm sure they're getting swamped right now. Enjoy!

UPDATE: It appears they've removed the download links. Hope some of you got through before they pulled them. Uh... the downloads are available again. I have no idea what the hell is going on. Give it a look-see, I guess. Good luck!

Man Man coming to Athens 8-4-2006

I'm about to see Man Man at The EARL in about six hours, but I just ran into the band at Joe's Coffee in East Atlanta Village. C&T buddy Chris had told me they'd be playing in Athens on August 4, and the band confirmed it for me. Apparently they're playing the 75th annual Blue Ribbon Ball at the 40 Watt in Athens on August 4 alongside Dark Meat/Vomit Lasers Family Band/Galaxy. Save the date.

Also, if you're in Atlanta tonight get your booty down to The EARL for The Sweet Loves, Deerhunter, Man Man, Thee Crucials, and Anna Kramer. That's a hell of a Saturday night for only $5. Music's going and corndogs are served all day.

Bonus mp3:
Man Man - Van Helsing Boombox

David Mead live in Decatur, 5-27-2006

At the end of May, Nashville-based singer-songwriter David Mead paid a visit to my neck of the woods. He played solo at both an in-store at Decatur CD and an evening set at Eddie's Attic. I managed to tape both shows (and stop off at The Angel for grub in between). Mead showcased the material from his new album Tangerine during this stop, providing the good people of Atlanta a fine pair of performances. Here are a few choice cuts from the shows:

David Mead - Chatterbox [live @ Decatur CD, 5-27-2006]
David Mead - Choosing Sides [live @ Decatur CD, 5-27-2006]
David Mead - Hard to Remember [live @ Eddie's Attic, 5-27-2006]
David Mead - New Mexico [live @ Eddie's Attic, 5-27-2006]
David Mead - God Only Knows [live @ Eddie's Attic, 5-27-2006; Beach Boys cover]
David Mead - Just Like a Woman [live @ Eddie's Attic, 5-27-2006; Bob Dylan cover]

You can download my full recordings of each show from below.

May 27, 2006 - Decatur CD
[.flac, .mp3, .ogg]
May 27, 2006 - Eddie's Attic [.flac, .mp3, .ogg]

Visit David Mead's official site or MySpace for more info.
Buy Tangerine here.

Friday, June 23

Live from Bonnaroo...

Although there are a few exceptions (Andrew Bird, Gomez, Toubab Krewe, etc.), most of the sets that I attended at Bonnaroo have already shown up online thanks to the generosity and hard work of tapers. That makes me happy. It's their efforts that make this post possible.

Here are a number of my favorite moments from Bonnaroo, in the order in which they occurred. I hope you enjoy them as I did.

dios (malos) - Fume [Beck cover]

Ben Folds - Bitches Ain't Shit
[Dr. Dre cover; with Mike Skinner of The Streets]
Ben Folds - Army

Cat Power - The Greatest
Cat Power - Hate

Tom Petty - I'm A Man [Yardbirds cover]
Tom Petty - Stop Draggin' My Heart Around [with Stevie Nicks]

My Morning Jacket - What a Wonderful Man
My Morning Jacket - Head Held High [Velvet Underground cover]
My Morning Jacket - Loving Cup [Rolling Stones cover]

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals - Nothing But the Water
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals - Farmer John [Neil Young cover]

Elvis Costello - High Fidelity

Elvis Costello - Alison > Track of My Tears

Beck - Black Tambourine
Beck - Do You Realize? [Flaming Lips cover]

Radiohead - The National Anthem
Radiohead - Myxomatosis

SuperJam - Casey Jones [Trey, Mike, Phil, B/R Duo]
SuperJam - Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad [Trey, Mike, Phil, B/R Duo]

You can download the full sets (and many others) via BitTorrent at The full Grace Potter & the Nocturnals set is available as mp3's or .flac downloads at

In addition, here's most of that video of Beck's puppets exploring Bonnaroo that was shown on the jumbo screens during the encore break. Thank goodness for YouTube.

Thursday, June 22

Corndogorama at The EARL this weekend

Atlanta locals, remember that Corndogorama at The EARL starts tonight and goes all weekend. I'll be down there taping off and on all weekend. Remember, it's only $5 per day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Be sure to have a corndog while you're at it. They keep you regular and make you more attractive. Here's the live music schedule:

Thu - June 22, 2006 - 9:30pm
Corndogorama opening party: SOLD OUT
starring: Band of Horses:
with Mt. Egypt, he Can't See

Fri - June 23, 2006 - 6:00pm
Corndogorama 2006: The Decadathon
10 Years of Mud Sweat & Beers
12:45am: The Artist Formerly Known as League of Evil (performing Prince's "Purple Rain")
12:20-12:40 (side stage): Shock Cinema
11:45-12:15am: Snowden
11:00-11:30: I am the World Trade Center
10:15-10:45: The Close
9:50-10:10 (side stage): Morishi Dolls
9:15-9:45: Luigi
8:30-9:00: Psychic Hearts
7:45-8:15: The Orphins
7:20-7:40 (side stage): The Blue Hour
6:45-7:15 Cassavetes
6:00pm-6:30 Elevado

& in the parking lot:
8pm-9pm: John & the Dirgas
9pm-10pm: Cadillac Jones

Sat - June 24, 2006 - 12:00pm
Corndogorama 2006: The Decadathon
10 Years of Mud Sweat & Beers

1:30am- The Dickens
12:30-1:15: Anna Kramer
12:05-12:25 (side stage): Thee Crucials
11:20-12:00am: Man Man
10:30-11:00: Deerhunter
10:05-10:25 (side stage): The Sweet Loves
9:30-10:00: Dropsonic
8:45-9:15: The Hiss
8:00-8:30: Day Mars Ray
7:35-7:55 (side stage): The Lovely Feathers
7:00-7:30: Tiger! Tiger!
6:15-6:45: Human Television
5:30-6:00: Casionova
5:00-5:30: break
4:35-4:55: (side stage): Hubcap City
4:00-4:30: Hot Young Priest
3:15-3:45: The Preakness
2:30-3:00: The Silent Kids
2:05-2:25 (side stage): Ghost Tour
1:30-2:00: Brain Box
12:45-1:15: Moresight
12:00pm-12:30: Jetty

And, on the outdoor stage:
8:30-9:30pm: Johnny Knox & Hi-Test
6:30-8: The Avett Brothers
5:00-6:00: Corndog Eating Contests
4:00-4:45: Tim Easton
3:00-3:30: National Grain
2:00pm-2:30: Blake Rainey & his Demons

Sun - June 25, 2006 - 1:00pm
Corndog Super Dunch
6pm-6:45pm: Dave Cross & Oscar Rhea
5-5:45: Bouldercrest Singing Group
4-4:45: The Slackey Family
3-3:45: Day Mars Ray
2-2:45:Brodie Stove
1-1:45: Anctic Clay:
12pm-12:45: Deering & Down

Sun - June 25, 2006 - 4:00pm
Corndogorama 2006: The Decadathon
10 Years of Mud Sweat & Beers
10:45: All Night Drug Prowling Wolves
10:20-10:40 (side stage): Lay Down Mains
9:45-10:15: The Carbonas
9:00-9:30: Gentleman Jesse & His Men
8:35-8:55 (side stage): Brass Castle
8-8:30: The Liverhearts
7:15-7:45: Untied States
6:30-7: Heir Apparent
6:05-6:25 (side stage): The Protectors Of
5:30-6:00: Lust
4:45-5:15: The Jupiter Watts
4-4:30: Hell Mach 4

Wednesday, June 21

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals (live and otherwise)

For anyone who didn't have the pleasure of seeing Grace Potter & the Nocturnals at Bonnaroo, I have found a temporary solution. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, here is a video of Grace & co. performing "Nothing But the Water" at the 2005 Boston Music Awards. This is the song they closed with at Bonnaroo. Watch this. Wow.

I've also discovered that they participate in the Live Music Archive, which has a dozen of their shows available for download. You can bet I'll be spending some quality time there tomorrow.

Good *Lord* do I hope they make it to Atlanta soon.

Bonus mp3:
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals - Toothbrush and My Table

UPDATE: Even better -- the 'Roo set is now available for download!

Tuesday, June 20

Flaming Lips returning to ATL

The Flaming Lips will be returning to Atlanta on September 13. Mark your calendars. They'll be gracing the stage of The Tabernacle. No word yet on when tix go on sale, but it's not yet up on the Ticketmaster site.

The full slate of freshly-announced dates can be found here.

Monday, June 19

C&T Bonnaroo 2006 recap

Yesterday the New York Times printed a review of Bonnaroo. If ran about 800 words, and managed to mention about thirty acts that played the festival. My apologies to all of you, but I won't even try to match The Old Grey Lady. I will, however, offer a recap of my own Bonnaroo experience. It was, to say the least, a damn good one.

There is a common saying that many things in life "are what you make of them." Whether cliche or not, I'm inclined to say it certainly applied to Bonnaroo. With a diverse lineup and a wide array of genres and styles on the bill, festival-goers had much to choose from. I chose to fill out my festival menu with goodies that will hardly surprise any of C&T's regular readers. Here's how I spent the weekend, in chronological order:

Thurs, 6/15
Cinema: Mayor of the Sunset Strip, Walk the Line
Comedy Tent: Morgan Murphy, Jon Reep, Tom Papa, Demetri Martin
This Tent: dios (malos)
Comedy Tent: Patton Oswalt, Jasper Redd
That Tent: Toubab Krewe

Fri, 6/16
That Tent: Andrew Bird
Which Stage: Ben Folds
That Tent: Nickel Creek
That Tent: Cat Power & the Memphis Rhythm Band
What Stage: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
That Stage: My Morning Jacket

Sat, 6/17
This Tent: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Sonic Stage: Gomez
What Stage: Elvis Costello & the Imposters featuring Allen Toussaint
What Stage: Beck
What Stage: Radiohead
That Tent: SuperJam (Trey Anastasio & Mike Gordon, Phil Lesh)

Sun, 6/18
Sonic Stage: Matisyahu
Sonic Stage: Andrew Bird (solo)
Comedy Tent: Upright Citizens Brigade: "Air Conditioned Acid Trip"
That Tent: Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
Comedy Tent: Lewis Black, Kjell Bjorgen

Umm... wow.

I'm going to have to leave a lot of details out of this, but I'll try to hit the high points.

The Scene

One aspect of a large festival that can make or break the event is the atmosphere created by the organizers and concert-goers. Although this was my first Bonnaroo, I'm a veteran of several such festivals and dozens of Phish shows so I had a good idea what to expect. I have to say that my expectations were exceeded. The lines getting in and out of the venue were orderly and efficient; the same can generally be said of lines for concessions and vending. It's evident that the organizers learned a great deal from past experience. Even the johns remained relatively clean. For those of you who haven't been to one of these festivals... that's nearly a miracle.

Logistics aside, the atmosphere was good. The organizers provided a ferris wheel and a number of other attractions to keep festival-goers fat and happy. The Sonic Forest, ample lawn art, a large fountain, giant bobblehead dolls, and other sights provided plenty of amusement aside from the musical acts. The cinema (showing cult movies and music-related films) and comedy tents were also great alternatives when one needed a break from the music or some welcome air conditioning. I certainly took full advantage of the comedy tents, as you can probably tell. As for the crowd, it seemed to be in good spirits. Most people were friendly and respectful. While that wasn't universally true, very few people seemed to be acting like massive asshats. No doubt that helped a lot with regard to maintaining an enjoyable festival atmosphere.

The Sonic Stage

Among the various attractions other than the "big" shows were musicians on a number of smaller stages throughout the festival grounds. I only made it to one, the Sonic Stage. That stage was set up for stripped-down and acoustic acts. While I'd heard that the Sonic Stage was a sort of "secret" near the beginning of the festival, I don't know how that could be the case unless the other 80,000 attendees happened to be illiterate and unable to read the schedule. I caught an abbreviated set by Gomez there on Saturday and longer sets by Matisyahu and Andrew Bird there on Sunday. It was a nice chance to see the bands play in a smaller setting. While each of these sets were enjoyable, Andrew Bird's stood out to me as the most impressive. Letting him go at it solo on a small stage showcased his violin and whistling skills. I had already been highly impressed by his Friday set, but that show made me even more eager to see him again.

The Tents

The majority of music I saw last weekend took place in the tents that were set up on the festival grounds. Each held a good number of people, although I'd be lying if I said I had a good estimate. Several thousand, perhaps? Particularly impressive among the bands I saw in the tents were Andrew Bird and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. While I've been a fan of Bird for quite a while, I've only known of Potter and co. for a short time. Bird's whistling and violin theatrics were very impressive and he played my favorite songs from The Mysterious Production of Eggs. Grace Potter rocked the tent with her country-blues-rock stylings, and her crowd swelled and escalated in volume as the set went on. I'm sure I'll be writing about her a long while to come. The gal rocked the place with her B-3 organ and wailing guitar backed by her able band. In fact, she rocked so hard that she accidentally kicked off one of the galoshes she'd worn on stage with a wicked kick. The other soon followed. I'll conclude by saying that the first thing I did when I got home is check their upcoming tour dates. They were that good.

Cat Power and Stephen Malkmus also played nice sets. Chan's set was remarkably upbeat for the most part, although there was a bit of a lull in the middle as she played through several quiet songs and the Memphis Rhythm Band played one of its own tunes without her on stage. However, her cover of "House of the Rising Sun" and a rousing end of the set backed by her band got everyone screaming again. I only caught the first 40 minutes or so of Malkmus, but he and the Jicks were fun to see. I realized during the set that I haven't seen him on stage in about 7 years. Damn. I also saw Nickel Creek in a tent, but at the time I was so tired and cranky that I left early to go find something to eat. I hear they covered a Radiohead song later in the set. D'oh. I also stumbled into the Toubab Krewe set on Thursday night and was blown away by their precise drumming and African rhythms. Not normally my thing, but I'll have to see them sometime if they ever come around Atlanta.

Also in the tents were late night sets by My Morning Jacket and the SuperJam, each of which started at midnight. It was the first time I'd seen MMJ since they opened for Doves at Cotton Club a while back (2003? 2004?) and I was eager to hear them play their more recent material in a live setting. I enjoyed it a great deal; it didn't hurt that Andrew Bird sat in for much of the set. They also covered "Head Held High" by the Velvet Underground, which you can imagine made me a happy camper.

You can download the My Morning Jacket set as .flac files here.

Saturday night's SuperJam was highly anticipated, but I must say I was a bit disappointed by it. When it started I was quite excited, as Mike and Trey from Phish were on the stage with a keyboardist and drummer I couldn't identify. I assumed that the SuperJam would function as it has in years past with guests coming and going from the stage and the musicians jamming on various songs and standards. However, the set actually seemed to be a "secret" set by Trey and Mike's new touring band. The only guest I saw come on stage was Phil Lesh, with whom the band played Dead classics "Casey Jones" and "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad." I left after about an hour, but was told the next day that no more guests ever joined the SuperJam on stage. I suppose if I were really jazzed about Trey and Mike's new band it would have been a wonderful thing to catch, but I'm not. Oh well.

The Headliners

While all the aspects of the festival discussed above were enjoyable, the headliners on the main stage were obviously the biggest draw. I caught Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers on Friday night, and then had a loaded Saturday night with Elvis Costello, Beck, and Radiohead. As you might have already read elsewhere, it was pretty effing awesome.

I had never seen Tom Petty live before, but like most rock fans I've grown up with his hits. Lucky for me, I heard just about all of them on Friday night. His set was a testament to his longevity and successful career. He played songs written thirty years ago that still hold up even after years of being overplayed on the FM dial, as well as a couple new songs and covers of both the Yarbirds' "I'mA Man" and Van Morrison's "Gloria." It struck me during the set that it was the first arena rock show I'd seen in a long, long time and the first by a classic rock staple I'd attended since seeing Paul Simon and Brian Wilson about 5-6 years prior. It was fun and polished, but I guess it ought to be given that they've been playing most of the songs for decades. One special treat was that Stevie Nicks joined the band on stage, sharing vocals with Petty on "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" and singing lead on "I Need to Know." She left the stage afterward, but later came out and provided backup vocals for the duration of the set. It was a good time, and I was glad to see Petty live since I'd probably never pay to do so at an arena or amphitheater.

Saturday was loaded, and we plopped down in front of the stage in the early afternoon to claim a spot for the evening's festivities. I wasn't overly into the Elvis Costello set, and actually dozed off sitting on the ground while he was on stage. He opened with "Peace, Love, and Understanding" but then ventured off into series of songs from his new album with Allen Toussaint. Needless to say, those didn't quite hold my attention. He wrapped up the set with several of his hits. While the Costello set wasn't bad, it did make me grateful I'd never gone to the trouble of seeing him play here in town. I'd be kinda bummed to spend big dollars on admission and then fall asleep during the set.

You can download the Elvis Costello set as .flac files here.

Following Costello on the main stage were Beck and Radiohead. Both were... well... great.

I've seen Beck several times before, but I wasn't prepared for the antics he broke out on Saturday night. Not only did he play a number of killer songs, but the theatrics were innovative and downright awesome. One interesting and amusing detail is that while the band played there was a "band" of puppets resembling the band playing, dancing, and singing right along with their human counterparts. The puppet band was set up on a little stage to the right of an organ on stage and was handled by a team of puppeteers who were right on the stage. The entire setup with the puppets was quite elaborate. They had instruments resembling those of the band and were wearing the same outfits. They even had a little table for the band members to sit at and "play" just like the real band for a while as Beck played solo. That, I should add, is quite a sight to behold live. I'd heard about it during the last tour, but seeing it was terrific. Beck played several songs from Guero and some old favorites from his several other albums. Other notable moments included a cover of Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize?" and a failed attempt to play Radiohead's "Creep." The encore was entertaining as well. Before it began a video was shown on the screens on either side of the stage with Beck & band puppets exploring the Bonnaroo grounds and making hilarious comments about their surroundings. I sure hope it surfaces on YouTube or something. Interestingly, "Loser" was ostensibly played by the puppets. They played along to a recording of the song while Beck and his band remained off-stage. There was also a bizarre rap contest of sorts between two people in bear costumes that was hilarious although completely without context or explanation. Several boomboxes of various sizes, from normal size to that about that of an SUV, were also brought out as a clever sight gag during one of the encore tunes. Never let it be said the Beck isn't an entertainer. It was a great, fun set to watch and a terrific lead-in to the Radiohead set to follow.

The Beck set can be downloaded here in .flac format.

As for that Radiohead set... wow. I imagine it will be talked about all over the Internet this week (if it isn't everywhere already), but it was impressive, intense, and loaded. As I'm only a casual Radiohead fan, I imagine many others will do far better than I ever could. They played several new songs, all of which were terrific, and otherwise gave the crowd a long set packed with material from throughout their catalog. Here's the Radiohead setlist courtesy of

There There, 2+2=5, 15 Step, Arpeggi, Exit Music, Kid A, Dollars And Cents, Videotape, No Surprises, Paranoid Android, The Gloaming, The National Anthem, Climbing Up The Walls, Nude, Street Spirit, The Bends, Myxomatosis, How To Disappear Completely
Encore 1: You And Whose Army?, Pyramid Song, Like Spinning Plates, Fake Plastic Trees, Bodysnatchers, Lucky, Idioteque, Karma Police
Encore 2: House Of Cards

At some point late in the set Thom Yorke started picking up glowsticks that audience members had been throwing throughout the set and started chucking them back into the crowd. The band seemed to have a great time on stage, and I have to say that we appreciated the extended set they played for the Bonnaroo crowd. Here's hoping they add a southern leg to the current North American tour.

You can download the Radiohead set as .flac files here.

By the end of the festival, I pretty much felt like this dude:

However, my shoes still matched. I'd certainly go back again if the lineup were as interesting as it was this year. If anybody else went I'd love to hear your thoughts as well. It was a hell of a weekend.

A ton of great pictures are available on Bonnaroo's official site.

Wednesday, June 14

Seagal, Lovely Feathers/Spinto Band, Bonnaroo, and fair warning

First of all, it seems the Steven Seagal show at the Variety tonight has been cancelled. Thanks to Lori for the update. I know how many of you were looking forward to that one.

Second, there's a lot going on in ATL tonight. My pick is the Lovely Feathers/Spinto Band show at Drunken Unicorn. I'll be there taping, so if you're gonna be at the show come say hello. I'll be in my usual spot back by the soundboard. Some samples from the bands are available on the MySpace pages linked above.

Third, I leave in the morning for Bonnaroo so C&T will be dormant for the weekend. If you'll be at the festival, say hi to the asshat in the Cubs cap and black glasses. There can't be too many of us running around.

Fourth, and on a related note, if you're home this weekend while I'm in Tennessee with Thom Yorke it might be a good time to raid and pillage the C&T archives. I've been leaving files up indefinitely, but I intend to remove older files from my EZArchive space in the near future.

Have a great weekend, true believers. Excelsior!

Tuesday, June 13

Casper & the Cookies - "Learn How to Disappear"

Since my pre-order showed up last week, just about the only CD that I've been rockin' to in the car (along with Spoon's Gimme Fiction) is the new album by Athens-based Casper & the Cookies. It's called The Optimists Club, and it has several standout indie pop tracks. That said, I keep finding myself skipping to one song in particular repeatedly while driving around. I think if my car CD player had a repeat function, I'd have it playing over and over. Thank goodness I haven't had any passengers the past few days.

Casper & the Cookies - Learn How to Disappear

Can you see why I've been walking around singing the chorus all week?

Their MySpace page has more songs and their upcoming tourdates, which are all over the U.S. That July 22 showcase in Murfreesboro looks amazing (On the bill: How I Became the Bomb, Casper & the Cookies, Bunnygrunt, Visitations / Fablefactory, Velcro Stars, Cars Can be Blue, The Ocelots, and Russian Spy Camera). If anybody wants to carpool up...

You can order The Optimists Club from Happy Happy Birthday To Me for only $10.

Flaming Lips - "War Pigs" (live 5-21-2006)

If you were reading here a few weeks ago, you saw me rave a bit about how great the Flaming Lips were at Atlanta's Centennial Park on May 21. I'd seen them a few times before, but the scope of their show at a large festival was almost overwhelming. I've since gotten a recording of the whole show, but what I'd like to share today is the encore that was a great end to the night -- the Lips' cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." I hadn't seen the Langerado setlist yet at the time, so it was a surprise to me.

The Flaming Lips - War Pigs [Black Sabbath cover; live 5-21-2006; Centennial Park, Atlanta, GA]

For the .flac junkies, the full show is available at


I'm loving the Boy Least Likely To cover of George Michael's "Faith." The breakdown at about the 2:00 mark is awesome. Grab it at You Ain't No Picasso.

Cubs fans note that Rick Sutcliffe will be singing "Take Me out to the Ballgame" at tomorrow's game at Wrigley. Here's hoping he comes up and makes a drunken spectacle of himself again. Also note that 22 years ago today the Cubbies acquired Sutcliffe from the Cleveland Indians before he went 16-1 the remainder of the season, won the Cy Young Award, and nearly led the Cubs to the World Series. Thanks, Red. You big lush.

Snow Patrol @ Tabernacle postponed

Pitchfork reports that the Snow Patrol show scheduled for June 22 at Tabernacle has been postponed until a date TBA in September. Apparently their singer has been having some health issues. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the 6/22 show also a make-up date for a previously cancelled gig?

Other postponed dates on the Snow Patrol tour, all to be made up in September:
06-14 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
06-15 Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre
06-16 Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
06-18 San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theare
06-20 Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern LG
06-22 Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
06-23 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
06-25 Toronto, Ontario - Kool Haus
06-26 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
06-27 New York, NY - Roseland

Sunday, June 11

Cold War Kids 6-9-2006 @ Drunken Unicorn

Well, it's been an eventful several days of music here in ATL. On Thursday night I had my mind blown by The Octopus Project. In fact, I liked them so much that I had a hard time getting into either dios (malos) or Starlight Mints, although both were enjoyable. This was a surprising development to say the least, as I knew very little about Octopus Project going in and had been dying to see Starlight Mints for 5+ years. Guess you never know, huh?

Now, while I'd been looking forward to that Thursday show for months, it had nowhere near the hype of the Tapes 'N Tapes, Figurines, and Cold War Kids show at Drunken Unicorn on Friday night. While most of the local buzz had been about "the Tapes 'N Tapes show" I was far more interested in seeing Cold War Kids. They're one of the few bands I've recently discovered via blogs that has remained in rotation here at C&T HQ (I guess my Audioscrobbler tally kinda reflects that, huh?). I didn't know much about Figurines going in other than they're Danish and came highly recommended by both Matt of KissAtlanta and Greg of Captain's Dead. However, based on those recs I expected good things. As it turned out, I got good things most of the evening. But some were better than others.

Today I'm sharing with C&T's readers my favorite set from Friday night. I have to say that Figurines take second place in that derby, with Tapes 'N Tapes a decided third. I have an urge here to write a diatribe on the effect of hype on expectations and when bands fail to meet them, but it's all been said before. I have to say that my feelings about the Tapes 'N Tapes show aren't much different than those expressed by Jonathan Perry of the Boston Globe. Regardless, I enjoyed The Loon and I'll look forward to their return. I realize that I may also not share the majority's viewpoint with regard to my take on the show.

As for that stellar Cold War Kids set... it's available here as mp3's or via as .flac files. One thing I should note is that the "Quiet, Please! intro" track below may or may not one day develop into a song in its own right. The band told me they've just tacked that section onto "Quiet, Please!" recently and its future is as yet undetermined. Hope you enjoy this set as much as I did!

Cold War Kids
June 9, 2006
Drunken Unicorn
Atlanta, GA

Taped and converted by Rich Vining

Taping: SP-CMC4's > batt box > Nomad Jukebox 3
Conversion: JB3 > Dell Inspiron 6000 > Cool Edit Pro 2.0 > CD WAV > mkwACT

01. Sermons vs. The Gospel (Demonstration)
02. We Used to Vacation
03. Hang Me Up to Dry
04. aud/tuning
05. Hair Down
06. Saint John
07. aud/banter
08. Robbers
09. Hospital Beds
10. Quiet, Please! intro >
11. Quiet, Please!
12. aud/banter
13. Rubidoux

Again, the lossless (.flac) version can be downloaded here. I'll try to get the other sets up sometime too.

Oh, and locals will be glad to know that Cold War Kids will be back in Atlanta on July 20. They'll be opening for SOUND Team at The EARL on that night. Sounds like a damn fine show.

The Selmanaires 3-21-2006 @ The EARL

I had planned to post the Cold War Kids set from Friday today, but I'm still waiting to hear back from the band with regard to the title of a non-album track. Expect it in the next day or so.

Rather than CWK, I thought I'd share a live set by another C&T favorite -- The Selmanaires.

Herb Harris of The Selmanaires. Photo by Alex Adan.

I skipped the Selmanaires show here Friday to see the CWK/Figs/TnT showcase, so I'm ready for a live fix anyway. For my money these guys are the best local band playing out right now. I've posted on them here before so I won't recycle the bio. However, I've yet to be disappointed by the Harris twins and Tommy when I've ventured out to see them. "In the Direction of Yes" and "Selmanaire Rock" in particular kick my ass every single time. The set available here today was their first local gig after a couple months of touring the eastern half of the U.S. We were glad to have them back, to say the least. It didn't hurt that The Joggers opened for them. Here's the set, as taped by yours truly:

The Selmanaires
March 21, 2006
Atlanta, GA

Taped and converted by Rich Vining

Taping: SP CMC-4's > batt box> Nomad Jukebox 3
Conversion: JB3> Dell Inspiron 6000 > Cool Edit Pro > mkwACT

01. GMAFB*
02. All I Really Want to Know
03. banter
04. Let's Go There
05. Images
06. banter
07. In the Direction of Yes
08. banter
09. Standing In Line at an Elevator
10. Just To Get Your Love
11. LMNO6
12. Selmanaire Rock
13. banter
14. Last Great Dive
15. Turns to Stone
16. audience/banter
- Encore -
17. Psychotic Reaction
[Count Five cover]
18. banter
19. 19th Nervous Breakdown [Rolling Stones cover]

*missing first ~5 seconds; had trouble powering up deck (oops)

The Joggers and Dirty on Purpose opened the show
First Selmanaires show back in Atlanta after going on tour

If there's demand for a lossless seed, I can do that too. Just say the word and if there's a critical mass I'll do the deed.

While I'm at it, I highly recommend picking up their album. I've had it for about six months and it's never gone out of regular rotation here at C&T headquarters. It's available from Atlanta's own International Hits Records for a mere $10.

Upcoming Selmanaires tourdates:
Jun 16 2006 - Bottle Tree, Birmingham, AL (w/ Dan Sartain)
Jun 23 2006 - The Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN
Jun 28 2006 - Relative Theory Records Norfolk, VA (w/ Birdmonster and The Talk)
Jun 29 2006 - Guadalupe Cafe, Sylva, NC (w/ Hope Dialect)
Jul 1 2006 - Broadway's, Asheville, NC (w/ The Makeout Room)
Jul 2 2006 - Elliott's Revue, Winston-Salem, NC (w/ Little Mascara)
Jul 21 2006 - Lenny's Bar, Atlanta, GA (w/ Liverhearts and Thee Crucials)
Jul 28 2006 - The 40 Watt Club, Athens, GA (w/ Deerhunter)
Aug 12 2006 - The Soul Bar, Augusta, GA (w/ Snowden)
Aug 19 2006 - Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, GA (w/ Snowden and 63 Crayons)

Saturday, June 10

Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy" (MTV Movie Awards)

So, I took a nap this evening and just woke up. Bah. No time for a substantial post, but I wanted to share this. Here's Gnarls Barkley's performance of "Crazy" in Star Wars garb from the MTV Movie Awards. Fun to watch, even if it's not the most dynamic performance I've ever seen. Gotta love Chewbacca on drums, although he's clearly not keeping time with the music. Ahem.

One more thing -- C&T got mentioned in the Boston Globe today. Holy crap. No idea if it was in the print edition or just online. Thanks to David from Largehearted Boy for the info!

Thursday, June 8

All the Saints to host Wolfmother after-party tonight (Thurs)

Word just in from ATS headquarters. All the Saints, whom I posted on about a week ago, will be hosting a Wolfmother after-party at Vinyl tonight. Vinyl is just downstairs from The Loft/Earthlink Live in the same building on West Peachtree. Admission is free and All the Saints will start as soon as Wolfmother is over (11-11:30?).

Zach Galifianakis coming to The EARL

I got word just last night that stand-up comic Zach Galifianakis will be performing at The EARL here in ATL on October 26. Yay! No idea when tix go on sale, but I want to be there. The guy is hilarious.

Here is his recent performance on Comedy Central Presents for your viewing pleasure (NSFW):

Anybody know when tix will be available?

ATL weekend sampler platter

Just got home from Turner Field. Braves got beat by the Nats, but at least I'm back in time for The Colbert Report and South Park.

Now, a few solid days of good music in ATL starts Thursday night. Here's a sampler platter of the bands paying us a visit this week:

Thurs @ Smith's
Starlight Mints - Inside of Me

dios (malos) - I Want It All
Octopus Project - Music is Happiness

Fri @ Eddie's Attic (early show)
Tin Cup Prophette - 80 Days

Liz Durrett - The Mezzanine

Fri @ Drunken Unicorn
Tapes 'N Tapes - Insistor
Figurines - The Wonder

Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds

Fri @ The EARL
The Selmanaires - Images

Deerhunter - Adorno

The Liverhearts - Local Lift

Sat @ Drunken Unicorn
Cinemechanica - Bruckheimer

And, of course, Silent Kids are playing the house party noted below.

Wolfmother is in town too, but they're at The Loft. I don't like The Loft and there are no mp3's on their site, so meh.

Is there any music on your weekend agenda? Hope to see some of you out and about this weekend!

Tuesday, June 6

RIP Billy Preston, 1946-2006

I'm saddened this evening to comment on the death of yet another notable musician. Keyboardist/singer/songwriter Billy Preston has died at the age of 59. He had been in a coma for some time as a result of a heart infection, ultimately passing away today. Preston had also long suffered from kidney failure.

Billy Preston was an iconic figure in the 1960s-70s, playing alongside Little Richard, Ray Charles, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Sly & the Family Stone, and The Rolling Stones (among others) as well as having his own successful solo career. He famously took part in the sessions that resulted in The Beatles' Let It Be album, and appears on the legendary Rooftop Concert (Jan. 30, 1969) that was posted here at C&T a while back.

Preston achieved stardom in his own right in the 1970s, with hit singles under his own name and performed by others. He co-wrote the Joe Cocker classic "You Are So Beautiful" and his own hits included "Will It Go 'Round in Circles", "Outa-Space", and "Nothing from Nothing". He also played the title role in the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie in 1978.

Preston struggled with personal demons in the 1980s, but seemed to have his life back on track since the early '90s. He even appears on the most recent Red Hot Chili Peppers album, playing clavinet on "Warlocks" from Stadium Arcadium. He will be missed very much. Here are a few of Preston's hits, several of which have been receiving regular play at my place as of late:

Billy Preston - Will It Go 'Round in Circles
Billy Preston - Nothing from Nothing
Billy Preston - Get Back
Billy Preston - Outa-Space [winner of 1973 Grammy for pop instrumental]

In addition, because it seems appropriate at the moment, here's another Preston tune. It's a bit out of context, but many of the lyrics are still applicable:

Billy Preston - I'm Really Gonna Miss You

Hats off to you, Billy. You made great music.

Silent Kids on Saturday night (ATL)

This will have to be quick, I'm jetting out the door...

This is for the locals (or those with a desire to drive into ATL, for that matter)...

Local psych-pop quintet Silent Kids will be playing a free show at a house party this Saturday night. They'll be doing a lot of material from their forthcoming album as well as some old favorites. Beer, liquor, and wine will apparently be provided. I believe the house is in East Atlanta. If you'd like to get added to the evite, drop me a line privately.

Here's some Silent Kids tunes for you to check out if you're not familiar. These are from their first album, Tomorrow Waits:

Silent Kids - Drift Into the Summer
Silent Kids - Engine of a Lifetime

See Silent Kids on Myspace.

I'll soon be posting my recording of their May 6 show from Star Bar. Keep an eye out.

The Raconteurs coming to Atlanta

According to Pitchfork, The Raconteurs are coming to The Tabernacle in Atlanta on September 19. Tix are on sale June 10 at 9am (thx to Amanda for the update).

I was gonna post an mp3 here, but tix are $29 plus charges, so... meh. Looks like I won't be going.

Also, remember these events this week:
Thurs, 6/8 - The Wiz @ Screen on the Green (free)
Thurs, 6/8 - Starlight Mints, dios (malos), Octopus Project @ Smith's Olde Bar
Fri, 6/9 - Figurines @ Criminal Records (free)
Fri, 6/9 - Tin Cup Prophette, Liz Durrett @ Eddie's Attic
Fri, 6/9 - Tapes 'n Tapes, Figurines, Cold War Kids @ Drunken Unicorn
Fri, 6/9 - The Selmanaires, Deerhunter, The Liverhearts @ The EARL

King Missile

Remember back when the parents of America were completely freaked out by Beavis & Butt-Head? Many people seemed convinced that the show would cause a rash of arson, animal abuse, and all-around stupidity. In retrospect, its lasting legacy appears to be introducing many members of my generation to bands they might not have otherwise seen unless they stayed up to watch 120 Minutes.

One of the many bands I first learned of on that show was King Missile. They are (were?) "an avant-garde band" (per Wikipedia, I guess that fits) led by John S. Hall that generally played music rooted in quirky spoken-word and storytelling over the top of sparse instrumentation. The band is apparently still kickin' it in a different form, now formally known as King Missile III (as in, "the third"). Regardless, today I'm offering up the video for "Detachable Penis" that was featured on Beavis & Butt-Head (thanks to YouTube) as well as some of my favorite other King Missile tracks.

And for your ears to take in...

King Missile - Detachable Penis
King Missile - Sensitive Artist
King Missile - Cheesecake Truck
King Missile - Jesus Was Way Cool

Some fun stuff, no?

Buy King Missile albums from Amazon. You can also befriend them on MySpace.

Thanks, Mike Judge. You bunghole.

Monday, June 5

Eddie Vedder - "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"

I don't know about where you live, but here in Atlanta it's officially summertime. That may not be technically true (given the calendar and all) but the weather's great and it's just a nice time to be in the city. For me, summertime also means baseball. If you've ever spent more then five seconds here scrolling down, you've probably noticed that I'm a Cubs fan. While it's true I now frequent Turner Field here, my loyalties remain with The Chicago National League Ballclub.

Where am I going with this, you ask? Well, a tradition at Chicago's Wrigley Field has long been that the crowd sings along with a rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch. For years, this was led by Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray who passed away in 1998. Since then the team has had each game's version sung by some sort of celebrity. There have been horrible versions (Coach Ditka's comes to mind), great ones, and everything in between. One celebrity who has capably led the song at least three times is Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. Today I'm offering up two of those performances captured from streaming videos.

The first of these is from July 4, 1998. Cubs fans will remember this as the year the Baby Bears won the wild card and Sammy Sosa battled with Mark McGwire for the single-season home run crown. It was a pretty special year, to say the least. Too bad they got swept by the Braves in the NLDS. Vedder's performance this day was a bit... lewd. Unless my ears deceive me, it appears he sang "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack" as "Buy me some penis and crack...". Maybe it's just me? It also sounds like he says "Root, root, root for the Cubbies/If they don't win it's a game...". Unfortunately, all too true some years.

Eddie Vedder - Take Me Out to the Ballgame [live 7-4-1998 @ Wrigley Field, Chicago]

The second version here is from Mother's Day 2006, just last month, when the Cubs took on the San Diego Padres. Vedder repeats the "crack" joke from '98 here, although he appears to have been kinder with regard to the team's futility. However, his words at the end of the song are a painful reminder of the ass-kicking the Cubs got that day thanks to the Padres - "Ten runs! We can do it!". It was not a pretty sight.

Eddie Vedder - Take Me Out to the Ballgame [live 5-14-2006 @ Wrigley Field, Chicago]

For those keeping score (ahem), I believe Vedder's third performance of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at Wrigley was on June 20, 2003. I don't have audio of that one.

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Eli I now have the 2003 performance too, complete with Ramones-inspired "Hey ho! Let's go!" at the end:

Eddie Vedder - Take Me Out to the Ballgame [live 6-20-2003 @ Wrigley Field, Chicago]

Thanks, Eli!

I actually attended a game at Wrigley once when Billy Corgan sang the national anthem and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." It was pretty nifty, even though I'm not really a Pumpkins/Corgan fan.

Bonus mp3:
Harry Caray - Take Me Out to the Ballgame [live 8-9-1988 @ Wrigley Field, Chicago]

Sunday, June 4

RIP Vince Welnick, 1951-2006

I had no intention of posting tonight, but I came home this evening to very sad news. Another member of the musical family has left us. Vince Welnick, former keyboardist/vocalist for both The Tubes and The Grateful Dead (each of San Francisco), has passed away. He also collaborated with such notable musicians as Todd Rundgren and Dick Dale during his interesting and eclectic career. At this point the cause of death is unconfirmed, but the media is widely speculating that his death was the result of suicide.

While seminal art-rock band The Tubes had been a modest commercial success, it is with The Dead that I will always identify Welnick. After the untimely death of predecessor Brent Mydland, Vince served as The Dead's final keyboardist from 1990 until Jerry Garcia's passing in August 1995. The band's legendary fanbase embraced Welnick in relatively short order and he embraced them right back. After The Grateful Dead's demise he remained active, spearheading Missing Man Formation and frequently sitting in and recording with other bands associated with The Dead (e.g., Ratdog, Mickey Hart Band, Zero, Merl Saunders, etc.).

Toward the end of his life Vince had continued touring and working with other musicians. He had expressed particular excitement in recent years about working with The Persuasions and their Jerry Lawson on projects related to The Grateful Dead and otherwise. In fact, Welnick had a slate of remaining dates ahead this month at the time of his death. While he does not appear on any Grateful Dead studio albums and was not active in the various recent incarnations of The Dead, his contribution to their legacy will surely be remembered by their loyal fans.

Whatever circumstances led to Welnick's death, it seems an appropriate time to celebrate his life and music. Here are some tracks from his various projects over the course of two decades, a few of which seem appropriate for this occassion:

The Tubes - She's a Beauty [Vince on keyboards; circa 1983]
Vince Welnick and Missing Man Formation - The Wheel [Garcia/Dead cover; live 3-6-1998 @ House of Blues, Chicago]
Vince Welnick and Missing Man Formation - Cosmic Charlie [Grateful Dead cover; live 3-6-1998 @ House of Blues, Chicago]
Vince Welnick - Heaven's Reign [website release; circa 2000]
Jerry Lawson (of The Persuasions) - Home of the Angels [Vince on piano, backup vocals; circa 2004]

An interview with Vince from 2000 can be found here.

Here's to you, Vince. You'll be missed. Notes and thoughts of remembrance can be left at Vince Welnick's official site.

Saturday, June 3

David Cross 11-17-2000 @ The EARL

How the hell did he dot the 'i'? Or not write in cursive, for that matter?

Damn, I love stumbling onto finds like this. Here we have a set by one of my favorite comedians, David Cross, at The EARL here in Atlanta. Um... yes, please!

David Cross is a native of the Atlanta area, and he makes frequent reference to this fact during the show. His stories about how he was treated living in Roswell are hilarious, as is just about every part of this set. He rips on protest singers, idiotic crowd members, the South, and religion with sharp ferocity. Not for the easily offended, but I laughed my ass off listening throughout his act. This is an audience recording, but it sounds just fine. I can't believe this took place at The EARL. Wow.

David Cross
November 17, 2000
Atlanta, Georgia

01. introduction
02. Protest Singer Ainsley McTree
03. Freebird
04. The South
05. Religion
06. Porn Convention
07. Going to Turkey
08. Las Vegas
09. The Most Surreal Thing and Egg Wave
10. American Way and the Bible
11. Promise Keepers

I noticed that Wikipedia says Cross has appeared in music videos by Yo La Tengo, Superchunk, New Pornographers, The Strokes, and The Black Keys. Holy crap. I had no idea. Now I think I like him even more.

Update: Links removed 12/28/2006.

Friday, June 2

Devendra Banhart & Magic Numbers @ VP cancelled

The June 15 Devendra Banhart/Magic Numbers show at Variety Playhouse been cancelled. Refunds are available now. Story reported today on Pitchfork's site.

Since Beck that night is sold out, that frees up everyone to go to the Southeast Performer showcase at The EARL (featuring Manchester Orchestra, Summerbirds in the Cellar, and The Beggars' Guild). Performer's got your back, yo. Oh, and the June issue is out now too. Sweet.

Bonus mp3:
Manchester Orchestra - Alice and Interiors

ATL this weekend

I'm busy today, so this will have to be quick and dirty. If I missed something, say so in the comments. Full lineups and set times can be found on the venues' websites.

Fri - June 2
Anna Kramer/A Fir-Ju Well/Tora Tora Tora @ Lenny's
National Grain/others @ The EARL
Hampton Grease Band @ Variety Playhouse

Sat - June 3
Deerhunter/Untied States/others @ Lenny's
A Fir-Ju Well/Modern Skirts/others @ Virginia-Highland Summerfest
Tiger! Tiger!/others @ The EARL
Over the Rhine/HEM @ Variety Playhouse

Sun - June 4
Bain Mattox/others @ Virginia-Highland Summerfest
The Selmanaires/Anna Kramer/Vietnam/Carbonas/others @ Variety Playhouse

That last one is gonna be a doozy!

All the Saints

Tonight, on the recommendation of both KISSAtlanta and Atlanta Music Guide, I went to see local trio All the Saints play at The EARL. Simply put, they're loud and they rocked the joint. All the Saints are an interesting case -- a local band with virtually no recorded output that's garnering significant buzz and crowds after only a handful of live shows.

I was struck by how different they sound than every other band I've heard from ATL; they venture into dark psychedelica along the lines of early Sabbath, Floyd, and Zeppelin. This ain't pop, and this ain't dance music with jangly guitars and tambourines. I hate to characterize them as "stoner rock" or "swamp rock" but those terms might give you a decent idea of their sound. I'm not as familiar with their more contemporary influences (Federation X, Dead Meadow, Zoroaster, and Verbena) but I imagine they'll ring a bell for those of you more familiar with this genre than yours truly. Here today are a couple demo tracks that All the Saints recently recorded in a band member's basement. They're fairly raw, but they provide a good example of All the Saints' sound.

All the Saints - Jesus is from Birmingham (demo)
All the Saints - Hard Lung (demo)

Is it just me, or there a blatant "War Pigs" tease at 3:10 of "Jesus is from Birmingham"?

All the Saints is currently in the studio with Billy Bennett recording their first EP. If Bennett's recent work with The Whigs is any indication, the EP should capture the raw power and murky grit of their stage show. At least I sure as hell hope so.

For more on the band, I highly suggest checking out the aforementioned posts on KISSAtlanta and Atlanta Music Guide. They're both much more in-depth and informative than this entry. They also, of course, have a MySpace page.

I'd also like to point out that they cite Mark Grace as an influence on their MySpace page. I can only assume that the band is incredibly adept at executing the hit-and-run. I also assume they'll agree with me that Chris "Spuds" Sabo should have never won the 1988 Rookie of the Year award. Grace was robbed, plain and simple.

Thursday, June 1

Neil Young 12-10-1989 @ Muziektheater Stopera

I hope the bandwidth gods are kind to me today, but I just had to share this whole show at once. This is an excellent set of acoustic Neil Young, and I couldn't bring myself to post it in installments. It's amazing the extent to which Young and his music have remained relevant decades into his storied music career.

I remember having this show on cassette back in my analog trading days, and really enjoying it then as well. Back then circulating it involved lots of time, Maxell XLII tapes, and frequent trips to the post office. Now you can grab it here for nothing. To top it off, this is ripped from a bootleg CD. That makes me feel even better about flooding the market with free downloads of the show. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Neil Young
December 10, 1989
Muziektheater Stopera
Amsterdam, Holland

01. Hey Hey My My
02. Rockin' in the Free World
03. Old Laughing Lady
04. Don't Let It Bring You Down
05. Someday
06. Crime in the City
07. Eldorado
08. Too Far Gone
09. This Note's For You
10. Needle and the Damage Done
11. After the Goldrush
12. Hangin' on a Limb
13. Heart of Gold
14. Ohio
15. Rockin' in the Free World (reprise)

And the cover art, for those who want it:
Front cover
Back cover

More on this weekend's Atlanta events later...