Sunday, March 29, 2009

Prince three nights in a row on Leno

Good gracious this guy is a performer. I saw him 27 years ago open for the Rolling Stones at the enormous LA Coliseum. He was the first act on a bill that also included George Thorogood & the Destroyers and the J. Geils Band. Prince came out (this was two years before Purple Rain) and utterly KILLED, but he was booed and pelted off the stage by the Stones' macho fans after only ten minutes. It was the best ten minutes of the entire day; the Stones (on their first "farewell" tour) totally sucked.

Unlike U2's similar recent stunt, Prince's three nights on Leno was TV worth watching (on YouTube, of course). Catch Dreamer here and Feel Good, Feel Better, Feel Wonderful here. And if you'd rather see Prince wail on a song you KNOW, check out his blistering performance on While My Guitar Gently Weeps at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band includes Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne of ELO and Dhani Harrison (George's son), but Prince completely murders all on the solo.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Amadou & Mariam interview

The extremely articulate Amadou does most of the talking but occasionally Mariam or their latest producer Damon Albarn has something to say in this fascinating interview with the blind, married, French-speaking music makers from Mali.

MP3 Amadou & Mariam - Welcome to Mali (from 2008's Welcome to Mali)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are trailer (featuring Arcade Fire)

This looks like a must-see even if your kids aren't little anymore. This is the trailer for the long-anticipated Spike Jonze film of Maurice Sendak's iconic children's book Where the Wild Things Are. Soundtrack is Arcade Fire's excellent Wake Up from their 2004 debut, Funeral.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Feist and Ben Gibbard - Train Song

Aaron and Bryce Dressner of The National just produced a stellar compilation to benefit AIDS research called Dark Was the Night. It features mostly new songs and some cool collaborations by just about all the best indie artists operating these days (check out the tracklist here).

As this Dutch review put it, "'Dark Was The Night' is een fraaie staalkaart van al het nieuwe talent dat momenteel in het Amerikaanse muzieklandschap rondloopt." ("Dark Was the Night is a delicious menu of all the new talent currently inhabiting the American musical landscape." Below, Leslie Feist of herself and Broken Social Scene with Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service.

MP3 Feist and Ben Gibbard - Train Song
(from 2009's Dark Was the Night, compilation to benefit the Red Hot Organization)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cursive - From the Hips

Cursive are a four-piece from Omaha, Nebraska on Saddle Creek, the label founded by Bright Eyes wunderkind Conor Oberst when he was all of 13 years old. Their seventh full-length came out yesterday and here's the single, a fantastic song featuring the intelligent lyrics that mark this band.
We're all just trying to play our roles
In a play that runs ad nauseam
I hate this damn enlightenment
We were better off as animals, right?
MP3 Cursive - From the Hips (from 2009's Mama, I'm Swollen)

You can also watch them do this song on Letterman here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New eels album in June, woo-hoo!

It was in 1999, during the shortlived Age of Napster, that a 10-year-old Anneliese sent me some MP3s from Beautiful Freak and Electro-shock Blues with the note, "I think you'll like these." Well she was completely right, I LOVED the band/man and have only grown to love them more over the last decade. A perfect songwriter for our time, E is a misanthrope who keeps hoping. Pitchfork reports (in fact, it's their lead story today) new album Hombre Loco will be out June 2nd. They also report it appears he's still got the beard. Below, the emotional closer from the double LP Blinking Lights.

UPDATE! first track to be released off the new album, Fresh Blood, featuring E howling like a werewolf, is here.

MP3 eels - Things the Grandchildren Should Know (from 2005's Blinking Lights and Other Revelations)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tapes 'n Tapes - Hang Them All

Tapes 'n Tapes are youngsters from Minneapolis, always a good music town, on their third decent album. Thought I'd post this as these guys are playing the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC tonight, which I just mentioned below when talking about The Physics of Meaning.

MP3 Tapes 'n Tapes - Hang Them All
(from 2008's Walk It Off)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Black Lips - Short Fuse and O Katrina!

The Black Lips are a funny garage band from Atlanta who describe their sound as "flower punk." They do silly things like kiss each other on the lips at their shows and actually had to flee India recently for fear of being arrested for "homosexual acts." Here's their new single as well as their classic ode to a killer hurricane (O Katrina/Why you gotta be mean now?)

MP3 Black Lips - Short Fuse (from 2009's 200 Million Thousand)
MP3 Black Lips - O Katrina! (from 2007's Good Bad Not Evil)

David Byrne live at Radio City

Apparently (alas, I wasn't there) David Byrne absolutely killed the last two nights at Radio City. Above Houses in Motion and below Burning Down the House, with a New York City twist at 3:51. As always Byrne is a consummate performer and the show is highly theatrical with unusual dancing. The first clip is taken from up close but the second is from further back and shows the typically too-hip NYC audience getting into it. Great pix and setlist over at BV. FULL SCREEN these vids.

MP3 Talking Heads - Houses in Motion (from 1980's Remain in Light)
MP3 Talking Heads - Burning Down the House (from 1983's Speaking in Tongues)