Sunday, September 13, 2009


On 9/9/09 all of The Beatles proper albums were released in their glorious remastered form. A marketing ploy, or a markedly better sound? You decide. Upon hearing the mono version of "Hey Bulldog" on KUT last night, I would have to say better sound definitely wins out. Two box-sets that were released, a mono and stereo set, promptly sold out in less than a day, with more on the way. You can also buy the individual stereo remastered albums by themselves.
I have yet to get my hands on one of these gems. The mono box set is the one that I'm most curious about, although I wouldn't throw the stereo set out of bed. The Beatles long-time producer George Martin once said, "You never really heard Sgt. Pepper's until you've heard it in mono." Back in the day when stereo sound was a new thing, albums were recorded to be played in mono. Martin, and the Beatles themselves, took great pains in creating these exceptional mono versions. Word is that the boys left the building when it was time for the stereo mixing sessions.
As for the regular stereo remasters? People have been complaining for years about the sound on the 1987 remasters. Released for the first time on compact disc in 1987, the sound can be tinny and over-compressed on these versions.
The box sets will cost you. The stereo set is $179, while the mono set will set you back $229.99 over on Amazon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fanfarlo LiveDaily Session

If you didn't catch Fanfarlo last March at SXSW 2009, you were missing out.
Check out this video of their LiveDaily Session at the festival. It is quite a beautiful performance.

Their debut album, Reservoir, will be out on October 6th.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

SXSW: Day One

Yesterday was a half day for me. I had to work until about 4:30.
I quickly headed downtown and stood in a 45 minute line to get my wrist band. I wondered to myself why I didn't get my lazy ass down there on Tuesday to pick it up. It's all hologram-y and fancy this year.
After that I headed to Beerland to meet up with my friend Susan who was finishing her shift up there. I wanted to catch The Vivian Girls at Red 7, but was too late. Luckily, they will be playing a million times, so I shouldn't have a problem seeing them. I had a beer and listened to a very heavy band called Endless Boogie.
We headed to the Fader Fort to check out the new location and have a few free adult beverages. Luckily, we both had gotten our wristbands on Tuesday because the line was long. I got to see B.o.B. there and was pleasantly surprised. They (he) were really good. The drummer was especially entertaining. I wanted to stay and check out Little Boots, but wanted to try to go to the M. Ward/Dept. of Eagles showcase at the church. We ducked into Headhunter's and caught the end of Hacienda. I would like to see more of them.
When we approached the church, we saw a long line of badges and decided we would skip that one. There are so many good bands playing that waiting in a long line for an hour isn't worth it. Although, I was sad to miss M. Ward. Maybe i'll venture over the river to see him for free at Auditorium Shores tonight.
Next up were Cut Off Your Hands on Sixth Street. They were fun. Nice melodies and very tight. We watched some guys rock out on Rock Band and then headed to Stubbs to check out Heartless Bastards and the Decemberists. I was torn between seeing the Decemberists, Blind Pilot and School of Seven Bells, who were all playing at midnight.
Heartless Bastards were really good. I think that Erika Wennerstrom's vocals translate well in a live setting. Plus, they rocked. Nice and high energy. The Avett Brothers were up next. I like some of their stuff, but it kind of made me sleepy. Maybe it was the beer and the bbq sandwich that I ate, I don't know.
This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I don't care. I though The Decemberists set was kind of boring, at least the first thirty minutes. I loved "The Crane Wife" and i'm sure I will love "The Hazards of Love," their new one performed in its entirety last night. But for some reason, it just wasn't doing it for me. I later heard some commentary on NPR saying that they thought the first half was boring, but got exponentially better. I guess I should've stayed, but I couldn't do it.
We headed over to The Beauty Bar and caught the last few notes of The Parenthetical Girls and then over to Club Deville to hear Deer Tick. Although I liked what I heard, I was ready to head home and rest up for Thursday.
I heard the last couple of songs of The Decemberists set on my way home in the car. It sounded pretty good.
Today's agenda?
I'm meeting a friend at the Red Eyed Fly for a free bloody mary or two. There are so many parties, it's hard to choose. I want to check out School of Seven Bells at the Rhapsody Rocks party. Blind Pilot, K'NAAN, BLK JKS, Thao Nguyen at the NPR party at the Parish. I want to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at least once. Will probably head to the Paste Party to see them at 12:45. And of course, to the Fader Fort to see Late of the Pier and Tricky.
Tonight, tentatively.
The Rural Alberta Advantage, Grizzly Bear at the Presbyterian church. Vivian Girls, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Wavves, BLK JKS, Max Tundra, Passion Pit, Blind Pilot, and more.
Off for another mind-blowing, feet-hurting day!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Micah P. Hinson "Beneath the Rose"

With a thousand things to do today, I still find myself immersed in all things SXSW. I discovered a new resource on the SCHED SXSW blog for finding information and music from the SXSW bands this year.

Paul's SXSW Artist catalogue is a neatly organized site that allows you to browse artists by popularity or hotness factor, among other things. Beneath each artist is a brief description, culled from, and links to the artists' work on, youtube and flicker. If you like what you hear, you can even add the artist to your own personal SXSW schedule via the SCHED link.

This is how I discovered Micah P. Hinson's song "Beneath the Rose" on youtube. This song, which apparently isn't available any where in the U.S., is achingly beautiful.

Check out Micah's official showcase at The Radio Room on Friday at 9pm.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rachael Ray @ SXSW (again)

People may love to hate Rachael Ray, the inventor of such fun phrases as "E.V.O.O." (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, fools), but as we saw last year, the girl puts on a good party.

The folks over at just announced the details for her 2009 party Saturday, March 21st @ Maggie May's. If it's anything like last year, the food and drinks will be amazing.

It features heavy-hitters The Hold Steady and The New York Dolls, with other great bands like my personal favorite, Ra Ra Riot. Check out last years "The Rhumb Line" if you haven't already. Also playing are Pitchfork darlings The Airborne Toxic Event, The Thermals, Bob Schneider and Rachael's husbands band The Cringe.

More details can be found on her website.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SXSW Fever Has Struck.

SXSW 2009 is less than a month away and I am an RSVPing fool. This year it is easier than ever to do SXSW on the cheap. Here are a few sites to help you have a fun, cheap and well-organized experience. I bought a wristband again this year because even though free booze is fun, ultimately it's all about the music for me.

One of my favorite sites over the past couple of years has been They have always had the most thorough SXSW coverage, especially during the days and months leading up to the festival.

SCHED*SXSW is a great tool to upload and share your personal sxsw schedule. It has a easy-to-use features that allow you to customize your schedule to your specifications. The end result can be uploaded to iCal, your mobile phone, sent to friends and even embedded into a web page. I plan to put mine up soon. They also have a great SXSW blog with tons of info.

Showlist.austin is another great resource for unofficial parties and shows. I use this web site year round to find local shows to attend. is a great resource for everything sxsw. Whether it be free parties, unofficial showcases or SXSW official events, do512 has it all. You can listen to bands, find info on RSVP only parties and build your own schedule. Check out their SXSW Band List here.

There are a ton of other resources out there to be had like SXSWbaby, Austin Soundcheck, Austinist, SXSW '09 Insider's Guide, and of course, the official SXSW site.

See you at SXSW!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Radiohead perform "15 Step" with USC Marching Band

Radiohead killed at the Grammy's tonight with the USC marching band backing them up.
You called them band nerds in high school, but now who's jealous?
Thom Yorke, dressed in black with some pimpin' high tops (maybe not as pimpin as Lil' Wayne's) belted out the excellent "15 Step" from their Grammy-nominated album "In Rainbows."
Definitely my highlight of tonight's awards. Which, might I say, have been pretty entertaining so far. Coldplay, a very-pregnant M.I.A., Paul freakin' McCartney, Jay Z, Adele with Sugarland, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Lil Wayne, T.I. and Justin Timberlake have all performed.

I think Radiohead should have won the album of the year.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My top albums of 2008.

Better late than never?

Here are my top albums of 2008 after much deliberation. 2008 was a great year for good music.

20. Longwave - Secrets are Sinister

19. Beck - Modern Times

18. Santagold

17. Department of Eagles - In Ear Park

16. Kings of Leon - Only By The Night

15. Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid

14. Blitzen Trapper - Furr

13. Deerhunter - Microcastle

12. Coldplay - Viva La Vida

11. M83 - Saturdays = Youth

10. Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs

9. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

8. Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

7. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins

6. TV On the Radio - Dear Science

5. Vampire Weekend

4. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line

3. The Walkmen - You & Me

2. Fleet Foxes

1. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago