Austin's Voxtrot is releasing a US-only 7-inch/CDEP called Your Biggest Fan that will be released on November 7th as a precursor to an album in early 2007. Tracks on the 7" are: "Your Biggest Fan", "Trouble" and "Sway". The band's brand of indie pop has been compared to Belle and Sebastian, but there is definitely more to it than what that comparison implies. The band is going on a short tour this fall.
Remaining Dates: NOVEMBER 1 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour 2 - San Francisco, CA - Popscene [330 Ritch] 18+ 4 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall 5 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle 21+ 6 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom 18+ 7 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom 21+
Well, I can't go to the ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead/Blood Brothers show at the Gargoyle tonight, and it was sold-out anyway, so it's a good thing that I caught them do an in-store performance at Vintage Vinyl this afternoon. They did about 7 songs, with a very stripped-down setup. One guitar, one bass, a piano, a three-piece drum kit and a little portable drum machine. For the last three songs, they had everyone in the crowd get up nice and close (we're talking two feet from them, with some people sitting on their amps). It was like a campfire sing-a-long with Trail of Dead. Here's some video I took of the performance. Unfortunately, my camera was set to a lower resolution than I had intended, so the video's not quite as good as I would have liked, but you'll get the idea.
Here is a short video compilation of this year's Lot Festival that Bill Streeter at Lo-Fi St. Louis put together for us. It features live footage of the event and interviews with two of the event's founders. Enjoy:
Bonus: Here are some songs I've posted recently that I like, all in one place. I've included some new songs so the four of you that religiously download everything I post have something new:
On Wednesday, October 25, Drive-by Truckers are playing at Mississippi Nights with The Drams. The Drive-by Truckers are a touring machine and promise to put on yet another stellar show and The Drams are the newest project of 3/4's of Slobberbone. The Drams' debut CD, Jubilee Drive, mines the same basic musical territory as Slobberbone, but expands it into poppier territory.
Drive-by Truckers' Tour Dates: Oct 24 - Bloomington, IN - Bluebird Nightclub w/The Drams Oct 25 - St. Louis, MO - Mississippi Nights w/The Drams Oct 26 - Nashville, TN - War Memorial Auditorium w/The Drams Oct 27 - Memphis, TN - New Daisy Theatre w/The Drams Oct 28 - New Orleans, LA - VooDoo Fest Nov 3 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt w/ Be Your Own Pet Nov 4 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt w/ The Great Horned Owls Nov 10 - Quincy, FL - Down On The Farm Festival Nov 25 - Birmingham, AL - The Alabama Theatre w/Lucero Dec 30 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse w/ Centro-Matic Dec 31 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse w/ Centro-Matic
Sorry for the lack of posts recently; I have been in New York for Ms. Dividing By Zero's book signing (shameless plug: Hoorah for the Bra). I've had a good time - being the only Cards fan in a bar in New York for Game 7 of the NLCS, checking out the MoMA, walking down Mercer Street a few steps behind Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, deciding to pass him so I wouldn't seem like a stalker, only to realize I passed up my destination when I passed him, stopping to let him pass so I could backtrack to where I needed to go, and therefore seeming even more stalker-like.
But it's time to get back to business. DeVotchKa is playing at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room with My Brightest Diamond on Sunday, December 3rd. DeVotchKa always puts on a great show and I have only heard great things about My Brightest Diamond, who most recently played in St. Louis as an opening band for Sufjan Stevens at the Pageant this past September. Boulder, Colorado-based DeVotchka plays a wonderful mix of worldly folk-music (mariachi-gypsy-jazz-rock, if you will) and my Brightest Diamond is essentially Shara Worden's project, mixing rock, pop, opera and caberet into a beautiful mess.
Since there seems to be all sorts of news about bands getting in fights with police/fans/whomever (TwoGallants, Jeff Tweedy, Juan Macclean), not to mention that I just posted clips of the infamous Guns 'n' Roses riot in St. Louis before news of these three incidents came out, I figured it was time I posted a clip of one of the most notorious on-stage punch-ups out there: Kurt Cobain getting pounded by a bouncer at a show at Trees in Dallas in 1991.
I first discovered Me First and the Gimme Gimmes when I was a DJ at KCOU in Coulmbia, Missouri in late '97/early '98, just after they released their debut CD, ...Have a Ball. That album, which featured punk-rock takes on soft-rock hits of the 70's, seemed to be an outlet for a one-off side-gig for guys in far more succesful bands (including Swinging Utters, NOFX, Lagwagon, Rich Kids on LSD, and the Foo Fighters). Now, six albums into the punk-rock cover-song business, this band likely provides more income to the majority of its members that their "main" bands. Their sixth album, Love Their Country, comes out today, October 17th (in the U.S., anyway), and features twelve takes on classic country and western songs, including songs by Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, The Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and Hank Sr.
I'm a sucker for covers and melodic punk-rock, so mixing the two together seemed to be a perfectly logical combo to me when I first discovered them. Now everybody knows who they are, which is good, of course, but it also means everybody thinks they can do a punk-rock cover. Not so. So, while more pop-punk bands and their mascara-wearing little brothers' emo bands cover popular 80's songs than should legally be allowed to, remember this is the band that showed the world how well it could be done and know that very few live up to the MFATGG standard.
I have many, many good memories wrapped up in this band, from finding a way into a sold-out show at the Garage in London in the Fall of 1998, to sneaking on stage during their performance at the 2001 Warped Tour, drinking from the tiki-bar ten feet away from the band as they performed, that I'll have to save sharing those memories for another time.
In the meantime, here are some examples of cover songs done right:
My head is still spinning from the disaster that was the Cardinals-Mets game last night, but in the meantime I thought I'd throw some stuff out there to help you forget about it.
This is the fifth part in the unreleased Modest Mouse documentary that I oringally posted on about two months ago here. I originally posted the first four parts and only recently discovered the fifth. Here it is:
Bonus: Various clips from the infamous Guns 'n' Roses riot in St. Louis in 1991.
Bishop Allen just made available their September EP, which means they are 75% done with their incredibly ambitious project to release an EP every month of 2006. You can buy the EP here.
So says the band:
"September is here, featuring "Like Castanets." Justin was invited down to Chile just a bit ago because his movie was screening in festivals there. He walked around Santiago, through the streets and the antipodal Winter. If I remember right, he flew back and then we hopped in the van to go on tour. When we returned to New York, we recorded this song first thing for the new EP, and it remains our favorite."
I often use YouTube as an easy way to get posts up without doing anything, and today is one of those days, but the guys over at StLUX seem like they actually spend time finding quality YouTube clips. It's another good St. Louis-based blog, and 95% of their posts are from YouTube. Defintiely check them out...
Here's the Old 97's performing "Over the Cliff" live from the upcoming Bloodshot Records DVD:
...and just in case you haven't seen this already:
Centro-matic & Bobby Bare Jr. will be playing at Off Broadway on Thursday, November 9. Centro-matic played there just last April (see my pictures of that show here) and it was one of the best performances from the band that I'd ever seen. This show's on a Thursday night, which is practically the weekend, so you don't have an excuse not to go.
Bobby Bare, Jr.'s latest release, The Longest Meow, was recorded in one 11-hour recording marathon of a session by a collection of musicians called The Young Criminals Starvation League, which features members of My Morning Jacket, ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Lambchop, and Clem Snide.
Centro-matic's video for "Triggers and Trash Heaps":
Booby Bare, Jr.'s "Let's Rock 'n Roll" from the Bloodshot DVD compilation, 'Bloodied but Unbowed,' released yesterday, and featuring "unseen and rare" footage from Ryan Adams, Neko Case, Alejandro Escovedo, Robbie Fulks, Split Lip Rayfield, The Detroit Cobras, and Old 97's:
"...Kristeen's single is 'Kill the Father' and is the best song I've heard for 50 years. I especially love the line "strangle Bowie with/his neckerchief" which, you must agree, is quite an idea. Kristeen is from St Louis - which, I am told, is another way of saying Mars [although I really shouldn't say this in view of the fact that we play St Louis in November.] Kristeen is a dramatic woman - monumental vocal gifts, unwalkable heels, hypnotic way with the keyboard, and underneath it all she is still 16 (and a half.) I watch her set every night and I am dazed. I was thrilled by audience reactions to Kristeen - especially in Iceland and Italy where their intakes of breath could be heard as Kristeen ripped into the high notes. She is an artist who adapts the world to her own needs, which I appreciate. There's no other way..."
Ahhhh, Baboon... One of my favorite bands, Baboon, has a brand new, self-titled CD coming out today, October 10 (Happy Birthday to me...). The Denton and Dallas-based Baboon has been together since 1991 and has gone through several lineup changes (their original drummer was Will Johnson, now of Centro-matic fame), but this is their first album with second guitarist, James Henderson, and it's a doozy. Over the course of the band's history, they've released three full-lengths (Face Down in Turpentine, Secret Robot Control, Something Good is Going to Happen To You), two EPs (We Sing and Play, the Numb E.P.), and one live album (A Bum Note and A Bead of Sweat), not mention three cassette tapes, three 7-inch singles, and have appeared on various compilations.
The band was part of the "Fraternity of Noise," a group of bands that also includes Brutal Juice and Caulk, that epitomized the Denton music scene in the early-90's. The emergence of Baboon and other similarly-minded bands was timed perfectly with my discovery of independent music and was noisy and dissonant enough to ensure not too many other people would get it or be into it. But a funny thing happened on the way to 2006 - Baboon shed most of its noisier tendencies and gradually, release by release, improved it's knack for crafting the perfect pop hook, to the point where, today, the band is as much a powerpop band as it is a noisy rock band. The shift has suited the band, who rarely plays outside of Texas, well.
Over the years, I saw the band at a number of venues around Texas including Trees, the Orbit Room, Rick's, Ridglea, Clearview, the Double-wide, and Curtain Club. Their live performances never fail to disappoint, and serve as good a venue as possible to hear such anthems as "Evil", "Sucker", "Lush Life", "Rise", "Why'd You Say Die", and "Master Salvatoris"; and they're bound to throw in one epilepsy-inducing noise-fest along the lines of "I'm OK if You're OK", "California Dreaming", or "Bring Me the Head of Jack Skinner."
The first single from the new album, "Breaking Glass," brings all of the band's touchstones together into one barnburner of a track - barbed-wire guitars, Andrew Huffstetler's vocals pushed right up to the front of the mix, a hook you'll be hard pressed to forget, and a nice little feedback interlude to break things up. If there's any justice in this world, this is the album that will make Baboon a household name. Listen to songs from the new album here. You can buy the album online here.
Now if we can only get them to record and release "Watch the World Explode"...
Here's a picture I took years ago of a Baboon show at the Curtain Club in Dallas:
This one's from Trees:
And this one's of me playing Andrew's trombone at Trees (insert joke here):
Baboon's video for "Evil":
Baboon's video for "Closer":
Electronic Press Kit:
Bonus: I am loving the new ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead CD, So Divided, way more than Worlds Apart. They play at the Gargoyle, on Washington University's campus on Oct. 29 with the Blood Brothers. That's a tiny venue, so it's guaranteed to sell out. Get your tickets now. Pre order the new album HERE.
Be sure to catch a free, in-store performance by Bettie Serveert at Vintage Vinyl tomorrow (10/7) afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The Dutch band has been around for over 15 years, and has toured with Belly, Dinosaur Jr, Buffalo Tom, Superchunk, Come and Jeff Buckley. They are a favorite band of many of the DJ's at St. Louis' KDHX and have a good following in St. Louis. Their press release compares them to such bands as Neil Young, The Lemonheads, The Throwing Muses, The Sundays, Velvet Underground, but you can make up your own mind by listening to following mp3s.
If you read this blog often, you know I am a huge fan of Gentleman Auction House. Not only are they one of the most exciting bands in St. Louis to follow, the local septet plays a wonderful mix of indie-pop and Saddle Creek-style americana. I first discovered them late last year through their myspace page. At the time, they had some demos up and, while a little rough sounding, you could tell the band had a ton of promise. The band lived up to the promise with the release of the single "Everyone Has Taken Their Hat Off But You" on The Black Tie Weekend Affair Compilation, a benefit to raise money for the Sound System at the Way Out Club, featuring other local bands such as 7 Shot Screamers, Casey Reid, The Hibernauts, The Vultures, and Johnny O & the Jerks. That song immediately found its way onto any and all mix CDs I made for friends and onto my radio show. I saw them open for Drums + Tuba, saw them play at Live on the Levee on the 4th of July and eventually asked them to play a prime-time slot at this year's Lot Festival. At every show, the band -- whom exude gobs and gobs of stage presence -- get better and better.
Taking a cue from recent indie-phenoms Tapes'n Tapes and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the band is releasing the EP completely independently, although they will be shopping it to a few smaller labels they admire and respect. It was entirely recorded and mixed by the band and features artwork by Mary Balda. The CD is a combination of all the things I like in an indie-pop band: huge melodies, unique instrumentation (pianos, trumpets, flutes, egg-shakers and two (!) drum sets), perfectly understated-but-punchy production values, and top-notch songwriting. This band has a ton going for it and is the front-runner for next-big-thing out of St. Louis (not to mention the band is really, really, ridiculously good-looking). The tracklist for the EP is as follows:
1. The Rules Were Handed Down 2. A Hospital Or Heaven 3. Blissful Things Go 4. Off Like A Parade Through The Leaves 5. Our Angry Town Runs Them Out 6. Your Days And Our Nights
So, do yourself a favor and come out to one of the shows this weekend, where they will have the new EP for sale, have a good time, and let the band know you appreciate what they're doing.
The brand of indie pop performed by Asobi Seksu successfully melds pop melodies and the swirling, effects-laden guitar music of bands like My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and Lush to vocalist Yuki Chikudate's mix of English and Japanese lyrics. The band's most recent release, Citrus, came out earlier this year to great reviews.
Ghost in Light
St. Louis' Ghost in Light do not play fast music, nor particularly loud music. The music they do play, though, is atmospheric, haunting and beautiful. The band performs its shows sitting down, which is not only appropriate for the mood of the music, but gives them easy access to the multitude of effects pedals that inform their sound. The band's debut CD, Dead Eyes And A Traveling Mind, was a slow burner that revealed impressive songwriting skills and mastery of a hook, albeit often a very slow hook. The band features members of some of St. Louis' most loved rock, post-punk, and punk bands, including Pave the Rocket, Fragile Porcelain Mice, Glory for Champions, and Railers of Kiev. GIL's new demos show the band picking up the tempo and volume, as evidenced in the new song, "Faces", available as an mp3 below. The new CD, which will also serve as bait for potential labels, promises to be even better than their debut.
The mp3's I provide on this blog are provided to expose you to music you may not otherwise be familiar with. If you download a song and like what you hear, go check out the artist's website and spend some money on them.
If you are an artist featured on this blog and you want me to take any mp3s down, please contact me and I will do so.
The Radio Show
Dividing By Zero Will Get You Nowhere was a radio show on KWUR 90.3 FM in St. Louis, Missouri, and this blog started as an extension of that radio show, providing playlists, mp3's and anything else I deemed relevant, but the show is on indefinite hiatus, but the blog lives on.