Tour News:: The Jesus And Mary Chain – Three For the Road

We’re still buzzing from the word that The Jesus And Mary Chain were reuniting for a date or two in California for the 2007 Coachella Music & Arts Festival. They’ll be one of the headliners on the April 27, 2007 date along with Bjork, Sonic Youth, Interpol, and the Arctic Monkeys among many others (the Mary Chain are also rumored to playing on April 26 for a secret show at the Glass House.) If that wasn’t enough, the band has announced two new dates both in Spain for the Summercase Festiva – so three’s the lucky number so far with hopefuly more to come. It has also been confirmed that most of the material planned for the current set-lists will be from the band’s “Greatest Hits” – “21 Singles” (Rhino) released in 2002. Both Jim and William Reid are also recording solo LP’s due for release by years end.

The Jesus And Mary Chain Tour dates
04 .27 – Indio, CA – Coachella Festival
07.13 – Madrid, Spain – Summercase Festival, Boadilla Del Monte
07.14 – Barcelona, Spain – Summercase Festival, Parc Del Forum
Read a mini interview with Jim Reid about the recent happenings.

Album Review:: Gruff Rhys + Candylion

Super Fury Animals frontman released his latest solo effort Candylion about a month ago and its been on my long player list ever since. Wales greatest export has done very well with this one. While the album begins with a joke of sorts with leadoff “this is just a beginning”, Candylion immediately begins its procession of quality acoustic based pop songs. The record is much more cohesive than his Welsh language debut ‘Yr Atal Genhedlaeth’. I love this record more every time I throw it on. Just when you think the title track is gonna be as good as it gets, the infectious The Court of King Arthur comes on and offers its aural delights. Finally, the album closer Skylon! clocks in at nearly 15 minutes, and is over way too soon. This just might be the best new overseas release out there.

Notes:: Jason Isbell solo shows

Trucker Jason Isbell will be playing some solo shows starting tonight and then several in March and April. At some point in the year he is also going to be hopefully releasing his long awaited solo record. From the songs I’ve heard him play live that aren’t on any DBT record I can tell you it should be a beauty. I’m especially eager to hear the recorded version of his tribute to a marine friend of his back home who was killed in Iraq entitled “Dress Blues“. If you aren’t familiar with him let me just sum it up by saying great timeless heartfelt songs with varying influences.
Friday Feb 16 – Tuscaloosa, AL – Gallette’s
Sat March 17 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
Mon March 19 – Gainesville, FL – Common Grounds with The Hackensaw Boys
Tue March 20 – Orlando, FL – Back Booth
Wed March 21 – Tallahassee, FL – Beta Bar
Fri March 23 – Augusta, GA – Soul Bar with Sons of Roswell Sat March 24 – Macon, GA – The Hummingbird with Sons of Roswell
Sun March 25 – Charleston, SC – The Pour House with Sons of Roswell
Mon Apr 09 – Minneapolis, MN First Avenue with Son Volt
Tue Apr 10 – Chicago, IL Vic Theatre Son Volt
Thu Apr 12 – Toronto, ONT Mod Club Son Volt
Fri Apr 13 – Burlington, VT Higher Ground Son Volt
Sat Apr 14 – Northampton, MA Pearl Street Son Volt
Sun Apr 15 – Boston, MA Paradise Son Volt
Wed Apr 18 – New York, NY Irving Plaza Son Volt
Thu Apr 19 – Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls Son Volt

Album Review:: The Broken West "I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On"

The Broken West debut release on Merge I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On, is another record I’ve been having a good time with lately. The power pop band are yet another great one from the Echo Park/ Silverlake contingent. If you like Teenage Fanclub, Big Star, etc…, then you’ll probably like this one. This much anticipated record was rich with hype prior to its release. It has since fallen from grace and gotten some fairly average reviews. Frankly I think the opener “on the bubble“, makes it worth checking out all on its own.

Tour News:: The Ruby Suns support Field Music

The Ruby Suns will be playing four shows with Field Music in late February.
23rd Feb ICA, London
25th Feb Whelens, Dublin
26th Feb Cockpit, Leeds
27th Feb Glee Club, Birmingham

Californian Ryan McPhun was raised on Beach Boys, idolized Brian Wilson, and hated how the southern Californian music scene was inundated with emo-crap metal. So he did what anyone with have a brain would do in his shoes. He took off to New Zealand where Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys are still relevant in the indie scene. The end result is the self titled Ruby Suns record on Lil’Chief Records. This record certainly pays homage to his hero, and if this is your cup of tea you probably won’t go away complaining. Great harmonies, and nicely thought out lyrics raise this release far above some other records with the same influences.

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Notes:: JAMC Love Morrisey!

The Jesus & Mary Chain are back! While surfing came across a really short and cool clip with Jim & William Reid of The Jesus And Mary Chain (on Rage TV) introducing a Morrisey video. Check out the clip, it’s from 1995 at the time of the “I Hate Rock & Roll” EP release. Interesting stuff indeed.

Album Review:: Skygreen Leopards "Disciples of California"

The Skygreen Leopards have hit upon something with their latest release “Disciples of California” on JagJaguwar. This record is a bit mellower than their last two records and also simplified, by getting rid of excess orchestration that was cluttering up their sound. It is almost to the point where I feel almost like i’m listening to a different band. “Disciples of California” has an easy going flow that just feels right when i’m in the mood. There aren’t really any songs to designate for your playlists. This is definitly not an album of singles. It might be the soundtrack to your late night barrel fire, or an early morning drive. There are no singles here. This record demands to be listened to straight through, or not at all.

Album Review:: The Hold Steady "Boys And Girls In America" (Goodbye Norma Jean)

First of all, i want to say a fond final farewell to the lovely Ms. Anna Nicole Smith. You had an unusual life. I know some thought of you as their Marilyn. Our prayers and tears go out to those who loved you.

I know it has been out a while, but I just can’t seem to get enough of The Hold Steady’s “Boys and Girls in America” on Vagrant Records. Everytime I listen to this I feel like I need to start sleeping all day and staying up all night again. This truly is the soundrack to a long perilous night on the town repeated for the upteenth time in a row. “Boys and Girls in America”, is even brasher than its predecors and every bit as gritty and great. It is a reminder of the sort of great rock-n-roll tradition we have in here in the states when our bands aren’t being apologetic, mealy mouthed, preachy, or quasi-intellectual.

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