[VIDEO] New Watchmen featurette by Zack Snyder

Well this one’s a mixed bag. On one hand, everything in this video looks amazing (except for Dr. Manhattan’s voice…) and completely gets me excited for the film. On the other hand, it’s bittersweet since FOX’s lawsuit has a serious possibility of derailing the current release schedule. However, the film’s done; so that means we’ll all get to see it one day at the very least.

One For the Team playing Al’s Bar this Saturday

MP3: One for the Team – Apples

One for the Team is playing this Saturday Jan 3rd at Al’s Bar with the Nastys and a few other local bands. I saw OFTT open for Dressy Bessy last month and loved their set. They’re great and I can’t wait to catch them again.

One for the Team
The Nastys
The Gudwalls
John the Baptist
Saturday Jan 3 – Al’s Bar – All Ages – $5 – 9pm

Swan Lake’s new album Enemy Mine out in March

Swan Lake, comprised of Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown), Dan Bejar (New Pornographers/Destroyer) and Cary Mercer (Frog Eyes), will be releasing their second album Enemy Mine on March 24. Snakes Got a Blog tipped me off, as well as informed us that the cover album is something Mercer picked up as a painting for $25 in an antique shop.

Enemy Mine
1. Spanish Gold, 2044
2. Paper Lace
3. Heartswarm
4. Settle on Your Skin
5. Ballad of a Swan Lake, Or, Daniel’s Song
6. Peace
7. Spider
8. A Hand at Dusk
9. Warlock Psychologist

Peaches remixes, raps on Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing”

I finally got around to listening to RMXXOLOGY and loved most of what I heard. The one that really grabbed my ear was Peaches’ remix/contribution to Tone Loc’s love-it-or-hate-it “Wild Thing.” She does a bit of the ol’ chop ‘n screw to the song, but the best part is that she adds about 50% of the vocals in this version, turning it into a funny/sexy duet.

I love how Peaches both cuts into the guy she sings to (presumably Tone Loc) and builds him up to be suitably sexy: “He acted Muhammed Ali and said like a bee he’d sting/ He jumped all around and screamed real loud ‘I’m the greatest at the Wild Thing!'”

Buy the MP3s from Lala.com

You Ain’t No Picasso’s 12 Days of Mixmas:
Day 14: Andrew Rieger of Elf Power

If it’s Christmas at You Ain’t No Picasso, that means it’s Mixmas! These twelve days give me a chance to turn You Ain’t No Picasso over to the musicians I cover and allow them to showcase some of their favorite songs through a themed mix. And if there’s one thing that’s always true, it’s that I can never keep it to just 12 days…

MP3: Elf Power – Venus and Mercury

I discovered Elf Power years ago, but 2008 was the year that I learned to really appreciate them. I gave When the Red King Comes probably double the spins I had in all previous years past and saw the band play three shows during the summer and fall. Andrew’s a great songwriter and and even better guy. The band’s ’08 record In a Cave is one of their best, and this mixmas is one of the year’s best as well.

“5 Great Songs About Drugs” by Andrew Rieger of Elf Power

Drugs have been a popular subject of rock songs since the 1960’s, ranging in scope from the cautionary tale (Neil Young’s “Needle and the Damage Done”) to the thinly veiled innuendo (Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”). Let’s examine some of the more obscure drug tunes shall we?

Kinks “Harry Rag”
A jaunty rumination on the working class Brit’s weary life, and the joy and solace a simple man finds in the smoking of a joint.

Fugazi “Glue Man”
This one definitely falls into the cautionary tale category, as Guy Picciotto assumes the character of a glue sniffer, with a brilliantly ragged, and quite convincing anguished vocal delivery.

MP3: XTC – Grass
A bit of the ol’ wink wink, nudge nudge innuendo, as the lyrics (“It would shock you to the things we used to do on grass”) leave it up to the listener to decide whether they’re singing about smoking pot, having sex outdoors, or both.

Royal Trux “Junkie Nurse”
One of my all time favorite drug themed songs, Neil Haggerty’s brilliant acoustic tale of a junkie nurse, stealing morphine from the hospital at which she works, is made all the more believable by the Royal Trux’s well documented bouts with drugs.

MP3: 13 Floor Elevators – Slip Inside This House
Wild psychedelic imagery paints some haunting pictures in this masterpiece. Although there are no overt references to drug use, you know Roky Erickson was flying high through another dimension on LSD when he wrote “If your limbs begin dissolving, in the water that you tread” and “Bedouin tribes ascending from the egg into the flower”….the ultimate acid space tripper anthem!

You Ain’t No Picasso Mixmas 2008
Ivana XL | Henry Clay People | These United States | Cotton Jones | The Bicycles | Pas/Cal | Parenthetical Girls | BOAT | The Boy Least Likely To | Peelander-Z | Bishop Allen | We Are Scientists | Deerhoof

Akron/Family announce new album for Spring ’09

Miles Eaton of the Akron/Family told Gothamist that the band are finishing up their newest reconrd on time with a Spring ’09 release.

“We are finishing mastering it as we speak,” he said. “I just got off the phone with Seth, our mastering engineer, and we’re just kind of going through it and working out the details on the frequencies. Things that maybe no one else will notice but that we will forever.”

No word yet on a title or any new songs, but we’ll just have to be surprised together.

Thanks to Rawkblog for the heads-up!

You Ain’t No Picasso’s 20 30 in 08: Concerts

This year was kind of a bum year for music. Nothing thrilled me like it had for the past four years and few new bands really stuck out. In fact, it was kind of an off year for tours as well. But in the midst of all that, I had one of the best concert years of my entire life. Sure, 2006 had my first experience with Radiohead and Sigur Ros and 2007 had the White Stripes and the Flaming Lips, but this was the year that I experienced shows I never thought I would see. It was a year of surprises to great that Radiohead, my favorite band, didn’t even crack the top five best shows.

#30: The Whigs @ the Dame

[Original Post] I saw the Whigs twice in 2008, but their show at the Dame — the first time I’d seen them — was the best. During a year awash with who-cares hipster bands, the Whigs made me feel like I was watching Mudhoney in 1990.

#29: We Are Scientists @ the Southgate House

[Original Post] I thought We Are Scientists’ Brain Thrust Mastery was an OK album, but they really one-upped their live show in 2008. They switched drummers (boo) and added more members with good results. Plus Keith and Chris are hilarious.

#28: Andrew Bird @ Memorial Hall [MusicNOW]

[Original Post] Maybe one of my least favorite times I’ve seen Andrew Bird, but still good enough to crack the list. Andrew was on a quick break from recording Noble Beast and played a few new ones for us, even asking the audience to offer names for the new tunes after the show.

#27: The Cool Kids @ Gorilla vs Booze [SXSW]

[Original Post] The Cool Kids are pretty popular these days. That made it all the more memorable to watch them play in a club so packed that they had to stand on chairs to be seen — chairs that had to be held by people in the front row. They were fantastic.

#26: Jens Lekman @ Club DeVille [Hot Freaks!/SXSW]

[Original Post] We lucked into getting Jens Lekman to play our Hot Freaks! party after he wound up having a free day during SXSW. Though he didn’t bring his white-clad maidens with him this time, he had two girls who gave him good accompaniment.

#25: Islands @ the Mohawk [Hot Freaks!/SXSW]

[Original Post] Even though they had to rush off to play a show in the park, Islands gave a lot in their Hot Freaks! performance. They brought back “Rough Gem,” a song they’d cut from their live show, and brought the rapper Subtitle on stage to contribute to “Where There’s a Will There’s Whalebone,” my favorite Islands song.

#24: Kevin Barnes @ Club DeVille [Hot Freaks/SXSW]

[Original Post] See all previous entries about us being lucky with our Hot Freaks 2008 line-up. Kevin was originally slated to be doing a DJ set, but switched to a solo performance at the last minute. He debuted a new song and played two covers (MIA’s “Jimmy” and the Dead’s “Shakedown Street”).

#23: N.E.R.D. @ the Fader Fort [SXSW]

[Original Post] I wasn’t an N.E.R.D. fan before their Fader performance and I’m still not really an N.E.R.D. fan now, but I can’t deny that they put on a good show at SXSW.

#22: Girl Talk @ Headliner’s

[Original Post] Sure, I was surrounded by so many sweaty teenagers that I couldn’t breathe or move, but I can’t hold that against Gregg. He put on a great set with loads of up-to-date material.

#21: White Denim @ Red Rocks [Monolith] / Mohawk [Hot Freaks!/SXSW]

[Original Post] This was the year I fell in love with White Denim and these shows are why. Some people might say that you should sit down with a band’s records before you see them live; not so with White Denim. Go experience the fury and then you’ll be able to understand what they’re trying (and succeeding) to recreate on record.

#20: Jarvis Cocker @ Pitchfork

[Original Post] I didn’t know much of Jarvis’ solo career and he didn’t play any Pulp songs, so you might think I would’ve been let down. Not so. Jarvis is a great showman and a great songwriter. If you go to one of his shows, you’re going to have a great time whether you like it it or not.

#19: ChkChkChk !!! @ Pitchfork

[Original Post] One of the best times I’ve ever seen !!! perform. Sure, Nic did the splits dangerously near my face a few times, but it was still great. Plus “Yadnus” always gets me ready for a good show.

#18: Boris @ Pitchfork

[Original Post] Smoke machines, gongs and Japanese rock gods made it quite a performance. Plus their massive amps and the blazing afternoon sun made Boris cut their set a bit short as the equipment threatened to overload.

#17: TV on the Radio @ Red Rocks [Monolith]

[Original Post] TV on the Radio is a great example of when every member of your band is a master and commands the audience’s attention during a show. TV on the Radio’s shows are a great visual and sonic experience.

#16: Les Savy Fav @ Pitchfork

[Original Post] Les Savy Fav’s show at Pitchfork began with Tim Harrington grabbing a ball and walking straight over to me in the photo bit and hitting me on the head with it. Score. The show was only made better by the inclusion of one of my favorite songs, “The Sweat Descends,” and Tim’s crowdsurf in a trash can.

#15: Animal Collective @ Pitchfork

[Original Post] The show was good, but the inclusion of Panda Bear’s “Comfy in Nautica” took it to the next level. I’ve seen Animal Collective a few times, but this was the first with an actual light show. It sounds shallow to say, but it really make their show enjoyable.

#14: Wilco @ Lollapalooza

[Original Post] This was second only to the Voodoo show in Wilco performances I’ve seen. It was their first hometown show I’ve attended and one that made me realize how much they love Chicago. We were treated to the first night of their Nudie suits and the debut of a new song.

#13: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy @ Old Tarr Distillery

[Original Post] The sound might’ve been horrible for anyone out of direct earshot of Will Oldham, but I was in the front row and having the time of my life. He was positively a delight, and so good that it made me not even mind all the Lexington jokes he kept throwing out. Oh, Louisville. When will you learn…

#12: Man Man @ Headliner’s

[Original Post] Usually I see Man Man two or three times a year, but in ’08 they kept it to one performance in Kentucky. So it’s no surprise, then, that I’m itching like hell for another show and have great memories of this one.

#11: Spoon @ Pitchfork

[Original Post] Maybe my favorite time seeing Spoon. They played a headlining set with a ton of my favorite tunes, heavy on material from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Also they had a small horn section with them to spice up songs like “the Underdog.”

#10: Peelander-Z @ the Mohawk

[Original Post] Look in the reflection of the bottom of the left glasses lens to see my reaction during this show. Pure delight.

#9: Wolf Parade @ Southgate House

[Original Post] The only, only downside to this show was that it was too dark for me to take any photos. I knew I loved Wolf Parade, but I didn’t really realize how many great songs they had until they played 15 or so amazing songs back-to-back.

#8: Radiohead @ Lollapalooza
Nowhere near as good as their Bonnaroo performance. Sure, I was about 100 feet from the stage, but everything from the setlist to the crowd was just a little bit off. Still, an off show by Radiohead is better than a hundred or so other bands I saw this year.

#7: Nine Inch Nails @ Rupp Arena

[Original Post] As a huge fan of Nine Inch Nail’s last concert DVD, I was wildly excited to finally catch them live. Unfortunately they’d switched out Aaron North (even if it was for NIN-alum Robin Finck), but they still rocked harder than most every other band I saw this year. Plus it vastly improved my opinion of their new album…

#6: Sigur Ros @ Bonnaroo

[Original Post] While the first time I saw Sigur Ros brought me to tears and stands in a league of its own among the shows I’ve seen, their performance at Bonnaroo was curiously human. They battled feedback early on and it shook them a bit. Still, they were fantastic and the songs were as great as ever.

#5: Of Montreal @ Roseland Ballroom (NYC)

[Original Post] I don’t know that this was the best time I’ve seen Of Montreal, but it was without a doubt the most memorable. Great energy, MGMT appearance, Nirvana cover and that horse. Quite the show.

#4: Grizzly Bear @ Memorial Hall [MusicNOW]

[Original Post] I’ve seen Grizzly Bear a few times, but this is definitely the way to go. Sure, seeing them at night in Austin was amazing, but their MusicNOW show really maintained the reverence and clarity that such beautiful and intricate songs deserve. This show is the reason why I wasn’t in the least bit surprised when Radiohead asked them to be their opening band.

#3: My Morning Jacket @ Bonnaroo

[Original Post] Standing in the pouring rain for three hours after midnight might not sound very good, but it was a spectacular experience. Tons of covers, lots of energy and an appearance by Kirk from Metallica (who I unfortunately didn’t catch).

#2: The Magnetic Fields @ Herbst Theater [Noise Pop]

Magnetic Fields at Noise Pop photo by Ryan Muir
I’m a giant Magnetic Fields fan, so seeing them play two nights in San Francisco this February was a dream that I’d long considered impossible. I didn’t make a peep through either show, except to laugh at the banter of Stephin, Claudia and Shirley. It was one half emotional and touching concert and one half comedy outfit.

#1: The Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour
featuring Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control, Elf Power, the Apples in Stereo and many more

[Original Post] As long as we’re speaking of things I never thought possible, seeing the Olivia Tremor Control and Jeff Mangum perform ranks at the top of that list (just as it ranks at the top of this one). Add to the mix that it was a show that I helped book in my hometown and you’ll see why I was so excited. Setting aside the fact that Jeff hadn’t played in years prior to this tour and that Bill Doss told me not six months earlier that it wasn’t very likely that the Olivia Tremor Control would ever be playing again, it was just a flat out good show. Some of my older friends said the show went on “too long,” but I couldn’t get enough of that night if it were still going on today. It was an inspiring performance from people who have been inspiring one another for over a decade.