Houston Gets A Summer Fest

Devin the SnowPhoto by Matt Sonzala

It’s no All Points West, but Summer FestFree Press Houston’s answer to all those overpriced, dangerous festivals—should be righteous. Among the local and national bands slated to play August 8-9: Texan dynamos Explosions in the Sky, Canuck hipsters Broken Social Scene, Of Montreal, Voxtrot, What Made Milwaukee Famous, and Screwston’s own Devin the Dude. And while we’re on the local tip, I’m incredibly stoked for these: The Tontons, Young Mammals (so. good.), and Wild Moccassins.

A portion of proceeds will benefit the rehab through arts facility, Project Row Houses. The rest goes to laughing at peasants who forsook “High Roller” passes for one day tickets, well priced at $11.


August 3, 2009. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

On Rotation: Madonna’s “Celebration”


Image via Houston Chronicle

Image via Houston Chronicle

The time will come when I prod Madonna to hang up her sloot hat and start acting her age. That time is not now. Her “Celebration” banger (off her forthcoming greatest hits comp of the same name, out September on Warner) melds everything M excels at—sweaty sex, pulsating dance beats, and laser beam synthesizers that harken to NYC’s golden disco days and Chelsea nightclubs circa now. Enjoy the track, courtesy of Perez Hilton.

July 31, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Link Sauce

Echo and The Bunnymen will release The Fountain, their first LP of new material in four years. (Winks Collectibles)

Katherine Jackson got custody of the kids, NY Times reports. Meanwhile, Debbie Rowe, Prince Michael and Paris’ biological mother, gets “meaningful visitation rights.”

Online daters heart Kings of Leon. Dating firm eharmony.com.uk ranks the 2008 single “Sex on Fire” as one of the most romantic songs of all time. The track’s place on the list? Third. Go here for the rest. (Mog)

Cleveland’s Kid Cudi plays Domingo Dean in Mark Wahlberg’s HBO series, “How to Make it in America.” Look out for Cudi’s debut Man on the Moon: The End of Day September 15. (URB.com, pictured)

The Walkmen release an exclusive iTunes EP of live material August 11. Live Session EP features “On the Water” and “In the New Year.” (Strangeglue)

July 30, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Warhol’s “Space” Oddity Hits Stores Today

Taping live musicals: Not a drag for Warhol.

Taping live musicals: Not a drag for Warhol.

Mojo Magazine reports Grammy-award winning restoration engineers Steve Rosenthal and Warren Russell-Smith put their polish on a new 38-track disc set, Andy Warhol Presents Man On The Moon: The John Phillips Space Musical. The Pop artist made cassette recordings of the musical from the front row in 1975, and Warhol’s tapes are said to be the only known recordings of Phillips’ musical out there.

July 29, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Social Climbers

Lydia Lunch

Lydia Lunch

No Wave—the label given to an offshoot movement of punk based in NYC’s Lower East Side from 1978-1982—usually conjures ideas of abrasive, DIY punk stripped down to its anarchic core. Brazen pioneers like Lydia Lunch, DNA, and Suicide valued aggressive, harsh performances over catchy melody, ensuring No Wave would never find its place in the mainstream.

While paying a visit to Soul-Sides, I was surprised to hear Social Climber’s ska-influenced song, “Chris and Debbie.” Yes it’s no-wave, but the electric beat and hypnotic guitars are a far cry from Sonic Youth’s distorted cacophony or Lydia’s blood-curdling howl. It almost sounds like the beat machine New Order used on their 1979 debut album, Movement. Enjoy the track here.

July 29, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Virgin’s Free Fest Really is Free


Franz Ferdinand will play Virgin's Free Fest.

Franz Ferdinand will play Virgin's Free Fest.

Conceived by Frank Gehry, destroyed by Green Day (for its rockin American Idiot tour) and immortalized in Animal Collective’s well-received album of the same name, Merriweather Post Pavillion ampitheatre is set to write more history, this time as backdrop to the Virgin Mobile FreeFest. The lineup is solid: Weezer, Franz Ferdinand, Public Enemy, The National, and many others will play. Even better, it’s free! Block out the weekend of August 29, and check here for details.

July 27, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Through the Glass, Darkly

Depp Alice in WonderlandTim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland could be called “Johnny Depp stares at a beige wall in Hoboken for Two Hours” and I’d still see it. Anyway, the film looks incredible. Enjoy the eye-candy—courtesy of Hulu.

July 27, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Black Lips Get Wet at Jelly NYC’s Pool Party


The Black Lips—sweet, southern, and so deliciously nasty—stormed Williamburg today. I was fortunate  to catch them twice this week, so having reveled in their raucous act at Pitchfork last Saturday, it was a treat to watch them tear up Jelly NYC’s Pool Party  today. East Park State made for an admittedly lackluster venue—call it a concrete slab with a side stage—but despite the oppressive heat, the Lips electrified. Sadly, city regulations cut their set shorter than they wanted. (When the Lips exited the stage, the crowd demanded “five more songs!” and bassist Jared Swilley muttered, “sorry ya’ll.”)

Still, the show was impressive. The Georgian flower punks imbued their set with countless “thank ya’lls,” some vintage PSAs (“don’t take acid, ya’ll”), and their gritty brand of blues-infused psychedelia. “Hippie Hippie Hoorah,” with guitarist Cole Alexander’s surly echoing “aaaaahh”, as always, transfixed and seemed to melt into the jangly guitars. Swilley, meanwhile, upped the ante by smashing a small plastic ukelele and tossing the shards into the crowd, then strumming his bass as he walked on a sea of hands that miraculously held him upright. 

The Lips culled most songs from the live disc, Los Valientes Del Mundo Nuevo, and 2007’s breakout, Good Bad Not Evil. 200 Million Thousand, released by Vice this year, hardly got play, but fans didn’t seem to mind. The crowd happily bopped to buoyant sing-alongs like “O Katrina” and “Dirty Hands,” including the powerhouse “Juvenile” and King Khan-inspired “Buried Alive” which put Alexander, drummer Joe Bradley, and guitarist Ian St. Pe on the mic. For “Alive,” Alexander slipped on a hunter green cape that suspiciously looked like a poncho.

The set smacked of Pitchfork’s, but after Health’s aural assault, The Lips’ attention-getting antics were just what the Hipster Handbook ordered. Ending with “Bad Kids,” the band inspired more reckless youths to hop on stage and dance with them, or retreat into the crowd where hipsters were feeling the first trickles of a sunshower threatening to build into more.

July 27, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Groove Thing

Mayer Hawthorne

If you don’t know, now you know: Mayer Hawthorne—soul revivalist, barber shop singer, and mixtape master hailed by none better than Peanut Butter Wolf—inked paper with Stones Throw today. His debut, A Strange Arrangement, hits stores October 6.

Like Amy Winehouse pre crackathon, Hawthorne skillfully melds seventies babymaking jams (think the Stylistics) with head-nodder hip hop. Except this time, Hawthorne’s breaking the hearts—tracks like “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out Girl” make it clear who’s running the show. The video features a dapper Hawthorne sporting a suit and taking a walk—many walks—with a parade of hot but annoying chicks. He hands them his red vinyl LP heart; they toss it in the trash.

The Ann Arbor native cites the “beat heavy hip hop” he grew up with as an influence on his groovy throwback sound. Recently hip hop producer/future Mr. Krasny Mark Ronson spinned “Girl” on his radio show and exclaimed, “I have no idea what this is, old or new but it’s f—— good!” Coming from Winehouse’s producer, that says a lot.

I’m excited for the disc and even more for his show July 18. Of course, I’ll be at P4K, but who says I can’t YouTube from the Chi? 

Hawthorne plays Santos Party House in NYC with the County on July 18. 

Here’s the tracklisting for Arrangement:

1. Prelude
2. A Strange Arrangement
3. Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out
4. Maybe So, Maybe No
5. Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin’
6. I Wish It Would Rain
7. Make Her Mine
8. One Track Mind
9. The Ills
10. Shiny & New
11. Let Me Know
12. Green Eyed Love

July 9, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Link Sauce

Not pictured: J Dilla getting paid.

Spin reports Xtina recruited flagrant feminists Le Tigre to work on her upcoming album, Light & Darkness. The music’s due in September and the possibilities got me and Perez stoked. 

Color me impressed: ABC anchor Dan Harris copped an interview with Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo. Who knew he was so friendly?  

Trent Reznor says he’s done with social media sites, like Twitter. “It’s now doing more harm than good in the bigger picture,” he says, and “the experiment seems to have yielded a result. Idiots rule.”

The verdict is solid gold for the J Dilla’s posthumous new release, Jay Stay Paid. 

June 12, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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