Saturday, September 26, 2009

Almost Time for The New Standards

I'm really looking forward to seeing The New Standards on Friday night (Oct 2 2009) at Restaurant Magnus. This happens to be one of my favorite restaurants in Madison, and I've had many wonderful music-filled evenings in their intimate lounge. I also have a fond regard for The Suburbs from some hot shows in Madison back in the day, so it will be good to see Chan Poling once again.
"To those who came of age in the 70s or later, a standard isn't necessarily a perfumed and ribboned love song by Jerome Kern. It might be Becks The New Pollution, Roxy Musics Oh Yeah or Mott the Hooples All the Young Dudes. These are some of the chestnuts that warm the brooding hearts of the New Standards, a year-old chamber-punk trio that has fast become one of its native Minnesotas favorite lounge acts. The group takes songs you may have been too stoned to fully appreciate in the past and lays their poetry bare; the raucousness of the originals is replaced by a stark acoustic setting of piano, vibes and drums." TIME OUT NEW YORK
Here's a taste of what you might expect.

Our friends in Chicago and Minneapolis can see them too:

Oct. 1 – CHICAGO – The Hideout
Oct. 2 – MADISON - Magnus
Oct. 3 – MINNEAPOLIS – Cedar Cultural Center

Links of interest
A NIGHT OUT WITH: The New Standards; The Unusual, With a Twist

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Forward Music Festival Review:
The Antlers 9.19.2009

Needing to care for my 12-week puppy dog kept me from fully immersing myself in the Forward Music Festival this year. But over the three days, I still managed to see Richard Buckner, A Night in the Box, Gentleman Loser, El Valiente, Collection of Colonies of Bees, Cougar, This Bright Apocalypse, Maps & Atlases, Low and The Antlers.

The highlight for me was certainly the show at the High Noon Saloon by The Antlers and Low. There was a good size crowd and the sound was great.

I'm a fan of Low, have many of their recordings, and was anticipating their set since the festival line-up was announced. What proved to be a real bonus was the fantastic opening set by The Antlers. This band - composed of frontman Peter Silberman, drummer Michael Lerner and Darby Cicci on keys - expressed their sense of honor to share the stage, but I thought it was really an inspired pairing.

All three of these musicians have great chops, and their music is dramatic and dynamic. They pull it off superbly live. I was up close - in the "zone of participation" as we refer to it at MMR - so I clicked off a few shots with my little camera.

Hope you had a chance to see them! I've since been continuing to enjoy their most recent album - Hospice. It is recommended listening and re-listening.

See more MMR photo coverage from Forward Music Festival here.

More coverage of The Antlers at FMF and an interview by Seizure Chicken

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Stones Roses - Waterfall

If you havent heard already, The Stones Roses have just remastered their 1989 classic self titled release. It sounds "cleaned up", with more mids in the mix - the audio levels have been lifted up to 2009 standards but not where they are too compressed. The bass line on 'I Want to Be Adored' is now mixed to the front where it should have been.

This video is a great version of 'Waterfall'. Be sure to check the dude standing behind the guitar cabinet running John Squires effects loop. -fS

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Flaming Lips on Colbert tonite!
"Embryonic" News

We get a lot of press releases. Sometimes they are interesting. This one is particularly timely. Attendez-vous!

The Flaming Lips will appear on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report on September 16th, which airs that night at 10:30 p.m. Central.

The LIPS’ brand-new double-album, EMBRYONIC will be available online in its entirety for a limited-time only at immediately after Wednesday night's show through Monday, September 21. This will be the first complete airing of the album in advance of release and the first time The Colbert Report has presented any album by an artist.

THE LIPS are appearing on Colbert to spread the word about EMBRYONIC, which will be released by Warner Bros. Records on October 13th. This marks their first full studio set in three years following their Grammy Award-winning AT WAR WITH THE MYSTICS. EMBRYONIC, THE LIPS’ 12th album, was recorded in Fredonia, NY, and Oklahoma City, OK, with studio whiz and general co-conspirator Dave Fridmann and just may be their most sonically adventurous and compositionally vernal form of musical expression ever.

will be released in multiple configurations: a standard CD, featuring 18 tracks, and a deluxe package that includes two CD’s (18 tracks plus a bonus audio DVD of the full album) and a custom hardcover book featuring 24 pages of full-color art, lyrics, and band photos. This deluxe package is a limited-edition run and has been custom-designed by THE FLAMING LIPS.

The album will also be released on vinyl with a single gatefold jacket that includes two colored LP’s (one blue and one yellow). A CD version of the album will be included with the vinyl package.

will also release EMBRYONIC in two Direct to Consumer packages available only via the band’s online store at The deluxe DTC package, which will be sold as a digipack inside of a custom “fur” box, includes two CDs, plus a bonus 96k 24bit-super resolution audio DVD (256 times higher resolution rate than standard CD audio), and an exclusive album artwork lithograph. A very limited number of these prints will be autographed by the band.

A super MEGA Deluxe [emphasis added ;)] vinyl edition will also be made available in very limited quantities this coming winter 2009. A detailed explanation will be forthcoming. Keep an eye on the LIPS website for info.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Forward Music Fest: Saturday

I'm very excited to see Low at the High Noon Saloon on Saturday (6 pm) as part of the Forward Music Festival.

Low was formed in 1993 and is an originator of what has come to be called "slowcore." In the face of post-punk grunge, Alan Sparhawk wondered what would happen if they turned down the volume. Low's arrangements are spare but intense. Their harmonies are haunting. And they can take a song from a quiet hush to an explosion of sound.

I've only seen Low once, a few years ago here in Madison, touring behind the fantastic album "The Great Destroyer." Their performance was really impressive, and I've been longing to see them again.

The Antlers will be starting the Saturday line-up at the High Noon (5pm). If you've not heard of them, you probably will. They have been garnering major buzz, particularly around their new release "Hospice." Pitchfork named The Antlers one of the "best new bands" and gave their album high marks.

Robin Hilton, with NPR's All Songs Considered, had this to say:
"Hospice is an epic but intimate album of astonishing beauty, as well as one of the most moving, heart-wrenching set of songs I've had the pleasure of hearing. It evolves and unfolds majestically, soaring from hushed moments to grand, cage-rattling swells of shredded guitar noise."
I know that I'm looking forward to seeing them live.

This should be a great bill. Hope to see you there!

Links of Interest:
Low Set To Mesmerize Forward Music Fest Audiences
This preview on includes a great interview with Alan Sparhawk.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Forward Festival Kick-Off: Thursday Plans

I'm kicking off my Forward Music Fest experience this year with Richard Buckner and Blake Thomas at the Majestic Theatre on Thursday Sept 17th, starting at 7pm.

I first saw Richard Buckner at the High Noon Saloon in early 2007 backed up by The Six Parts Seven. I became an immediate fan of both that night.

Earlier this year, Richard returned to the High Noon Saloon for a solo show. He basically sat down started playing and didn't stop until the show was over. It was a simply beautiful performance.

To me Buckner is the epitome of "alt-country." His voice is pure country. But there is nothing cheesy about his emotional or musical expression.

His songwriting is real deep, and I love his rhythms and melodies. His music is melancholy and that soothes me. Trust me, you won't see any line dancing here.

Hope you can make it out for this artist, and get your fest off to a great start.

Madison's own Blake Thomas starts things off.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Forward Music Festival Schedule

I had a really great time last year at the inaugural Forward Music Festival. I spent my time bumping on foot between the downtown venues on Friday night and saw lots of bands that I had not heard before. And that's what is so sweet about music fests. One ticket provides access to lots of music. You can't really go wrong.

In this case, it's a low cost ticket at that - single day passes are only $15 for Thursday, $25 for Friday/Saturday, or $45 for all three days! Such a deal. Buy advance tickets here.

Thursday, September 17th
Majestic Theatre - 6 pm
* Richard Buckner
* Blake Thomas

High Noon Saloon - 7 pm
* Megafaun
* Juniper Tar
* All Tiny Creatures
* Cedarwell

The Frequency - 7:30 pm
* Gentleman Loser
* Dark Clan
* The Atomica Project
* Glassghosts

Majestic Theatre - 9:30 pm
* Reverend Peyton & His Big Damn Band
* Davila 666
* Gold
* A Night in the Box

Friday, September 18th
Capitol Theatre - 4:30 pm
* Blueheels

The Frequency - 4:30 pm
* Tyrone Wells
* Denison Witmer
* Brooke Wagonner
* John Statz

High Noon Saloon - 4:30 pm
* Gomeroke

Majestic Theatre - 5 pm
* Dan Wilson
* Jeremy Messersmith

Orpheum Stage Door - 5:30 pm
* Between the Trees
* Farewell
* Punchline
* Action Item
* Start From Scratch
* Invade Rome

Orpheum Lobby - 6:30
* Rory Kane
* Das Racist
* Baaad Boiz
* Purple Crush
* French Horn Rebellion
* Problem Child
* Terrior Bute
* The New Loud
* Pezzetino

Overture Rotunda - 6:30 pm
* The Daredevil Christopher Wright
* The Wars of 1812
* Meridene
* We Are the Willows
* The Cloud Hymn

Project Lodge - 7 pm
* Daniel and the Lion
* Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel

Capitol Theater - 8:00
* Atlas Sound
* Cougar
* Collections of Colonies of Bees
* El Valiente

High Noon Saloon - 8 pm
* Ra Ra Riot
* Sleeping in the Aviary
* Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s
* Flatbear
* Princeton

The Frequency - 9 pm
* Decibully
* Icarus Himself
* Early Day Miners
* Jeremiah Nelson & the Achilles Heel

Majestic Theatre - 9 pm
* Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

The Corral Room - 10 pm
* Worrier
* Direct Hit
* Team Band

Orpheum Stage Door - 10:30 pm
* Delta 9
* Caustic
* Cyanotic
* Los Bastardos Guapo

Saturday, September 19th
The Frequency - 4 pm
* Pronto
* Filligar
* The Pomegranates
* Crane Your Swan Neck
* Little Red Wolf

High Noon Saloon - 5 pm
* Low
* The Antlers

The Inferno - 5 pm
* Parasite Twin
* Captive Six
* Sensuous Enemy
* Null Device
* Alter Der Ruine
* The Gothsicles
* Iszoloscope

The Corral Room - 5:30 pm
* Maps and Atlases
* Nuclear Woods
* The Hussy

Project Lodge - 5:30 pm
* Laura Barrett
* Joe Pug
* The Chairs

Orpheum Stage Door - 6:30 pm
* Fruit Bats
* Iran
* Kevin Warner
* Occidental Bros. Dance Band Intl.
* This Bright Apocalypse

Overture Hall - 7 pm [This event requires a separate ticket!]
* Andrew Bird
* Pale Young Gentlemen

Corral Room - 9 pm
* Wavves
* Ganglians
* Eat Skull
* Blackwell Beauties

The Frequency - 9 pm
* Garaj Mahal
* The Hue

High Noon Saloon - 9 pm
* Solid Gold
* Exceptor
* Salem
* Peaking Lights
* Savoir Adore
* DJ Real Jaguar

Monte Montgomery
Coming to High Noon Saloon
Saturday, October 17, 2009

I hadn't heard of Monte Montgomery before, but when I watched this video I knew I had to get to this show. Hendrix' Little Wing has always been a favorite of mine, and this "acoustic" version is pretty amazing.

Monte was named by Guitar Player magazine in 2004 as one of "The Top 50 All-Time Greatest Guitarists." He also won the "Best Acoustic Guitar Player" award at the SXSW Festival’s Austin Music Awards seven years in a row (1998-2004), the only artist to have ever done so. It's not hard to see why.

He shares the bill with Backyard Tire Fire. Show starts at 9pm. 21+ Only $15!

Should be a fun night. Hope to see you there!