Friday, February 27, 2009

U2? Not Really.


I got my hands on a copy of U2's No Line On The Horizon, and I'm really glad I got it for free, because if I paid for it I would have been upset at such a terrible investment. This album is a complete embarrassment for the band, and I am appalled that they released this to the public with their name on it. The lead single "Get On Your Boots," sounds like watered down, recycled U2 riffs and melodies with a lack-luster hook. As the only single released off the album before its release, it's almost like false advertising due to the fact that it is the only track on the album with an edgier rock sound. The remaining 10 songs on the album sound identical: like soft rock for geezers. The album art is a riot though, I got a good laugh while flipping through the pages of photographs that looked like a band of 13 year-olds posing for their first album cover. The band is stiff, super posed, and therefore awkward.

Conclusion: Epic fail.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm A Sucker For Anything Gold

I guess you can call me a gold digger, because I am really into the band Black Gold. The electric duo of Eric Ronick and Than Luu met backstage and in a fairytale sequence of events, came together in Brooklyn and began recording. The result? Their debut album Rush released January 20th on Red Bull Records. Rush rose close to 50 spots on Radio 200 (133-86) this past week with its haunting vocals and soaring melodies that make it the go-to soundtrack for getting over a lost love.

Go buy it. Now.

My Favorite Troubadour Visits NY

K'Naan performed tonight at S.O.B.'s on Varick Street. While searching for the venue around 6 p.m., I looked down a side street to see a tour bus and the outline of a thin man with a head like a Q-tip. Sure enough, it was K'Naan. I walked over, introduced myself, and received a disappointingly limp handshake. It was like talking to a little boy who just awoke from a nap; he spoke haltingly in a soft tone with glazed eyes.

Doors opened at 7:30, and by then a line of about 20 people had already formed. Many were fans hoping to buy a ticket, but the show was sold out and they were turned away.

The venue was filled to it's 400 person capacity with names like Sean Kingston and Fatima from America's next top model in attendance.

K'Naan took the stage an performed an 11 song set that consisted of all new songs save for one. Chubb Rock (pictured) made a surprise guest appearance for "ABCs". There was no encore, although the audience demanded it.

The performance was lacking slightly in energy, but K'Naan came alive for the "If Rap Gets Jealous" that drew a crazed response from the crowd. A partial video of this performance is included below.

For "Wavin' Flag" K'Naan sang the first verse in it's entirety acapella, then got the crowd to sing the chorus before launching into the rest if the song with his 4-piece accompanying band. Despite Troubadour dropping only yesterday, a significant portion if the crowd new the words an sang along.

Monday, February 23, 2009

FOB vs. FOB

My Chinese professor asked me in class if I could swim. For the sake of impressing her with my vocabulary, I said that I couldn't without a lifeguard for fear of drowning. Without missing a beat she asked, "Then how did you get here?" Zingggg!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Music Picks

Downlaod This NOW:
She's Dead To Me -The Von Bondies
Around The Bend- The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
I Am- Novel
Lets Get It Started- Oh No Not Stereo

And Some Throwbacks:
Ladyflash- The Go! Team
Bring The Noise- Anthrax and Public Enemy

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm In Love

I'm in love, and his name is K'Naan (pronounced Kay-naan). Born in Somalia, but managing to escape on the last commercial flight out of the war ravaged country due to his mother's foresight, he came to reside in Canada. As a boy who did not speak English, he taught himself to rap by copying the the style, diction, and flow of his favorite rappers. Fast forward to today, February 19, when I finally got my first listen of Troubadour, slated for release next week on February 24. It was love.

Troubadour is that rare album that the first time you hear it, stops you in your tracks, forces you to pick your head up out of the daily grind, and listen. I literally stopped everything I was doing, and played the album all the way through because I didn't want to miss a single note. Each track is as hot as the next. What's so great about K'Naan is that he has no musical boundaries. He branches out to several genres; he showcases his rock influence on "If Rap Got Jealous," bleeds over the lines of hip-hop into pop with "Bang Bang," and dips into reggae with "I Come Prepared." Although K'Naan sounds eerily similar to Eminem, the content of his lyrics are nothing like the vulgar white rapper. K'Naan raps about the struggles of everyday living and about social change. He calls American gangsters "cute" because they think they're tough dealing with drive-bys, when K'Naan had to deal with rocket-propelled grenades in Somalia. Mark my words: K'Naan is going to blow up. He's going to be the next Nas, but with the monstrous notoriety of Kanye West.

"ABCs" featuring Chubb Rock got my foot tapping, which lead to head bobbing, which led to full on grooving in my chair.

"If Rap Got Jealous" featuring Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett made me close my eyes, turn to the heavens and say, "Thank you God!" These riffs would have brought me to my knees, had I been standing. Is this what heaven sounds like?

"Wavin' Flag" lifted my soul out of the dingy CMJ offices, off the bustling island of Manhattan, and made me feel like I was soaring. Sound exaggerated? Take a listen for yourself and you'll know what I'm talking about.

The concluding track, "People Like Me" brought tears to my eyes. I'll leave it at that.

Other notable tracks include "Bang Bang" featuring Adam Levine, "Dreamer," "Fatima," and... well, every single track that I haven't mentioned yet. Damian Marely and Mos Def also make appearances on the album.

"Is it true when they say all you need is just love?" K'Naan asks in "Fatima." I don't know about that, but what I do know is that all music needs is you, K'Naan.

Track List for Troubadour:
01. T.I.A.
02. ABCs (feat. Chubb Rock)
03. Dreamer
04. I Come Prepared (feat. Damian Marley)
05. Bang Bang (feat. Adam Levine)
06. If Rap Gets Jealous (feat. Kirk Hammett)
07. Wavin' Flag
08. Somalia
09. America (feat. Mos Def)
10. Fatima
11. Fire In Freetown
12. Take A Minute
13. 15 Minutes Away
14. People Like Me

Staty tuned. I have the honor and the privilege of interviewing K'Naan and attending his show at SOB's in New York on February 25. I strongly suggest you shell out the $15 to get in. Check him out for yourself here:
http://knaanmusic.ning.com/

Monday, February 16, 2009

Nine Inch Nails In A Downwards Spiral?

Trent Reznor, the one man machine that powers Nine Inch Nails posted the following on the band's official website:

"In NIN world, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of our first releases. I've been thinking for some time now it's time to make NIN disappear for a while. Last year's 'Lights in the Sky' tour was something I'm quite proud of and seems like the culmination of what I could pull off in terms of an elaborate production. It was also quite difficult to pull off technically and physically night after night and left us all a bit dazed. After some thought, we decided to book a last run of shows across the globe this year. The approach to these shows is quite different from last year — much more raw, spontaneous and less scripted. Fun for us and a different way for you to see us and wave goodbye."

Ummmm what? Disappear for a while? Wave Goodbye? IS THIS THE END FOR NINE INCH NAILS? Doubt it. Reunions are all the rage these days, and I'm sure Reznor is just setting up for an out-of-nowhere comeback in a year or two. You know how dramatic he is...
And to make this farewell tour even more spectacular, guess who is joining him on tour? The on again, off again JANE'S ADDICTION! I can never get enough Dave Navarro. These breakups and reunions make my heart yo-yo out of control. You better cut that out, boys!

Thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment. And if it hasn't worked for you in the past (many have complained), try again now because I tweaked a few things.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Return of E Town Concrete

"Let's have some fun, this beat is sick
I wanna take a ride on your disco stick"
-Love Game (Lady Gaga)

This song is my current obsession. I know I blasted Gaga on her stage antics before, but I said she was talented, and I mean it. I'm a huge fan of her music. She has so many hits on The Fame it should be illegal. Each track makes me want to dance and do something nasty... SPEAKING OF NASTY:

My fave WSOU DJ Sheigh Hey Hey and I are in for one hell of a good time this Friday night. On February 20, she and I are going to the at the E Town Concrete reunion show at Starland Ballroom in Sayerville, NJ. This will be the first time the band performs since the New Jersey natives broke up in 2006.

If you're going to the show Friday night, let me know!!!

PS- I like this puppy, it makes me smile.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Limp Bizkit Reunion Update

Update on the Limp Bizkit reunion story:

According to Wes Borland:
"I'm only doing the overseas shows with them as of right now, and as far as the new record, with those guys, don't believe it until you see it. As of right now, there's nothing happening; I'm only doing the shows overseas with them and we'll see what happens."

Well, well, well. The reunion seems to be losing steam already.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Phoenix Extinguished On Letterman


If you haven't seen this clip, you've been living under a rock. These are the highlights of Joaquin Phoenix's appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. One of the obvious hot topics of the day for good reason: WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO THIS MAN? "Bizarre" doesn't even begin to describe it. A once handsome and respected actor that won two Golden Globes and two Academy Awards has been reduced to a mumbling space case. Letterman attempted to interview the actor turned hip-hop artist, but Phoenix would reply with one word answers, mostly along the lines of "yeah" while staring at the floor. When Letterman realized the interview was going nowhere, he turned the whole ordeal into a roast rather than a conversation. Letterman caught Phoenix with all sorts of sarcastic jabs, and had the audience in hysterics. The whole time, Phoenix had no idea what everyone was laughing about. The most the former actor opened up about was his hip-hop "career" if you can get away with calling it that (If you haven't seen the YouTube clip of his performance in Las Vegas, go check it out. The performance is pathetic, he looks like a homeless man, and he eats it when he exits the stage). This spurt of dialogue where Phoenix offered to perform for Letterman's show in the future was met with a zinger from the host who said, "That probably won't happen... we'll keep you in our rolodex."

The whole thing was pitiful. It was like watching kids bully a fat kid on the playground, you can't look away and it breaks your heart. Phoenix could barely look Letterman in the eye, and the sunglasses were an obvious crutch to get by without having to really be there. As Letterman said, "Sorry you couldn't be here tonight, Joaquin."

There is obviously something wrong with Phoenix that indicates he is one sandwich short of a picnic, but is it drugs like everyone says it is? Some of you may know that Joaquin's older brother, River Phoenix, died from an overdose on heroin/cocaine (aka speedballs). River was also an actor, and his death had a profound effect on his little brother. Joaquin has seen drugs destroy someone close to him, and I just hope he's not letting himself succumb to something that killed someone so dear to him. But I guess anything is possible, right? Thoughts?

I'll leave you with a refresher on how hot he used to be:



Nice, right?

What's My Name?!?!


Breakthrough artist Santogold has changed her name to Santigold with no explanation. Her MySpace account has been deleted, but fans should expect a new one with her new moniker to come soon.

According to court records, in 2008, Santo Rigatuso (aka Santo Gold) filed a suit against Santi White (the artist formerly known as Santogold) on June 17 in the New York Southern District Court citing trademark infringement. Rigatuso, a singer and actor, claims he's been using the name "Santo Gold" since 1983, but Santi White said she was given the nickname "Santogold" by a friend in the '80s. Santigold explained that when she was about 12 years-old, she used to wear large gold earrings that said "Santi" on them. She earned her nickname when her friends saw an infomercial for cheap gold called "Santo Gold" and used it to form what became her stage name.

Santigold’s most recent press release did not give a reason for the name change or cite the legal outcome of the case.

Doing It For the Nookie?

Brace yourselves: The original Limp Bizkit lineup is back together and have announced a European tour and a the production of a new album. That's right, Fred Durst, John Otto, DJ Lethal, Sam Rivers, and my personal favorite, Wes Borland, are back! So you can take that cookie and shove it up your... :)
And now for a new band picture for your viewing pleasure. Ladies and gentlemen, Limp Bizkit after an eight year hiatus:

Still hot? Yes? No? Don't care?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dillinger Turns Heads At Rolling Stone

Remember that Dillinger Escape Plan show I was raving about? Well, Rolling Stone caught wind of it and did their own blurb on it:

http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/02/10/dillinger-escape-plan-unload-in-new-jersey-inside-the-craziest-basement-show-ever/

For those of you who haven't been around me for more than five minutes, you probably don't know that my dream job wold be to write for the Rolling Stone. This means that in that same basement, sweating right along with me was a contributor for my music bible. It makes me want this job even more, because the writers obviously know how to have a good time!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Dillinger Escape Plan Basement Show


I had the privilege of attending The Dillinger Escape Plan basement show in New Brunswick with fellow WSOU DJ Sheigh Hey Hey, and it was completely insane. This was my first basement show, and the first time I got to see Dillinger live. They usually play way bigger venues than a basement, but this was a rare exception to that rule. They posted the location on their blog for about two minutes, but then took it down and replaced it with "Word of Mouth, NJ" to reduce the number of people who showed up. I manage to use a contact, their friend Asian Steve, to get the location. The doors opened at 5 p.m., which gave Sheigh and I an hour to get down there. We showed up bearing cupcakes, as I promised Asian Steve treats for his kindness. We got in for $6 and that was pretty much the best deal I've ever gotten on a show, besides free.
There were three opening bands, but I only caught the name of the third one which was "Knife the Glitter" I believe. Interesting bunch, they are. Kind of an electro-hardcore/alternative band with no vocals.
Anyway, Dillinger melted my face off. I managed to somehow be within two people of the front row, which was a line constantly fluctuating, considering that this was a basement show. Let's just say that there was no stage. There was the drum set, the bassist, a half naked guitarist, and then over 75 people giving them barely enough room to play in this minuscule basement. Greg (pictured), the singer spent half his time in the crowd, punching walls in the ceiling, sometimes with his fist and sometimes with his head. He would grab whoever was in the front and have them sing into the mic with him. He grabbed me a couple times and sang at my face. I melted. He grabbed Sheigh's hand and held her in a death grip and did the same thing. She melted. The ceiling came down in a few spots due to rowdy fans, and I got showered in ceiling dust. A leaky pipe showered me in cold water. I managed to catch a break when Greg passed me a water bottle with a few drops left in it. The set was interrupted a few times in the beginning due to all the power overwhelming the circut breaker. When that finally got sorted out, the guys played a set including "Fix Your Face," "Milk Lizard," and "The Mullet Burden" to name a few. During the set, Greg would climb over whatever he could, including people, to get further into the crowd, and Ben did a little crowd surfing of his own. By the end of the show, after catching a few elbows to the face, my t-shirt and hoodie were soaked through with sweat (not just my own). Greg gave me a hug and a "thanks for coming" and I managed to get a few words in with Ben and Liam (whose girlfriend was apparently giving me the stink eye) and that was cool.
If you weren't there, you missed out. It was insane in only a way Dillinger could do it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Music News Blurbs

Here's some music news for you guys:

Competing ticket outlets Live Nation and Ticketmaster are working on a merger, says sources close to the matter. The new conglomerate will be called Live Nation Ticketmaster, but there are no details on who is acquiring who. The former competitors fought each other for market domination in the past year, with Live Nation signing exclusive contracts with Nickelback, and sales powerhouses like Madonna and Jay Z. Live Nation also has contracted music booking agreements with venues like the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan. Ticketmaster has signed similar deals with Christina Aguilera and The Eagles, as well as fan club ticket provider Ultrastar Entertainment. The merging of these two companies can result in the control of ticket sales, recorded music, and sponsorships of over 200 artists.

Five years after releasing their last record, Aerosmith is back in the studio recording another album with an anticipated release date of June 1, when they plan to kick off a North American tour. The band, fast approaching 40 years of rocking, is bringing in veteran Brendan O'Brien to produce the album. O’Brien has previously worked with Rage Against the Machine, Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, and Pearl Jam.





The Deftones will perform for the first time since September 2008 at Bamboozle in Irvine, CA in April with a substitute bassist. A close friend of the band, Sergio Vega, will fill in for Chi Cheng, who remains in a coma due to a car crash in November 2008.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Slipknot Interview At WSOU

Shawn "Clown" Crahan, That Guy, and Corey Taylor
Corey Taylor and Shawn "Clown" Crahan

Shawn "Clown" Crahan and Corey Taylor

Corey Taylor


Starchild, Shawn "Clown" Crahan, Anisah Nicholson, Me, Alex Ciniewicz, Allie De Barros, Corey Taylor

LAMB OF GOD FANS EXPOSED TO THE PLAGUE

Yesterday at my internship at CMJ I was able to interview the manager and the product manager at Epic Records for Lamb of God about a special promotion they have for the band's upcoming album Wrath. I'm posting it now, because I was only allowed to release this information after 11 a.m. today. So you heard it here first! This is what's going down:

Upon the release of Lamb of God’s new album on February 24, the first 100,000 fans that purchase any physical copy of Wrath have the unique opportunity to participate in a lottery that could result in winning one of the following 100 prizes:

Trip for two to a Lamb of God concert in the United Kingdom (2 available)
Golden Laminate that allows access to any one Lamb of God show this year (5 available)
Barbeque with Randy Blythe at your house (1 available)
Autographed Mark Morton guitar (2 available)
Autographed Willie Adler guitar (2 available)
Autographed John Campbell bass (2 available)
Autographed Chris Adler Drum Kit (1 available)
Introduce the band onstage (10 available)
Roadie for a day (20 available)
Sing onstage with the band during sound check (7 available)
$50 gift certificate to Lamb of God online gift shop (20 available)
Autographed boxed set (25 available)
Guitar lesson with Mark Morton (1 available)
Guitar lesson with Willie Adler (1 available)
Bass lesson with John Campbell (1 available)

"The prizes tell the story,” Scott Greer told CMJ. The product manager at Epic Records for Lamb of God describes the lottery as a more interactive way of giving back to fans. The opportunity for face time with the band makes the contest more than just a free ticket or autograph. “There’s been nothing of this magnitude, especially for metal,” Greer said, addressing the uniqueness of the contest and its giveaways.

The first 100,000 fans to purchase Wrath on CD, vinyl, or the deluxe set will find a lottery number inside that can be entered at www.lamb-of-god.com/escapetheplague. After entering their number, the participant will be asked three questions about Lamb of God. The following page will contain a message in true Lamb of God fashion saying either “You’ve escaped the plague,” indicating a winner or “You haven’t escaped the plague.” Winners will proceed to the prize page where they can choose any of the prizes still available. The contest is on a first come, first serve basis, and the faster the winner gets to the prize page, the more likely the bigger prizes will be available. The contest has official rules, but fans of any age are eligible for entry. Rhode Island residents are excluded from the contest due to state laws that make lotteries illegal within its borders.

“We wanted to take it to the Nth degree,” band manager Larry Mazer told CMJ, “If they build it, they will come.”

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ugly Rumours Front Man aka Former Prime Minister Tony Blair

The Man of the Hour: Tony Blair (literally five feet away from me)

Tony vs. Blair

Msgr. Sheeran, Tony Blair, and John K. Menzies

So official. Check out that Press Pass. My name is misspelled as "Marie"

This Isn't Monopoly Money We're Dealing With

U.S. Plans to Curb Executive Pay for Bailout Recipients
The Obama administration is expected to impose a cap of$500,000 on the compensation of executives at companies that receive large new infusions of federal bailout money.

Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/?emc=na

Thank you, Mr. President. CEO's seemed to think they were playing a game of Monopoly or something there for a bit.

February Made Me Shiver...

50 years ago today, the music died.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Take My Hand... We're Off To Never Never Land

THIS WAS THE GREATEST SHOW I HAVE EVER BEEN TO IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE.

Metallica got me screaming like a 13 year-old at an N*Sync concert. Words cannot even begin to explain this serious. I'll attempt to later, when I'm not so exhausted. Here are some pictures to give you a taste of the show:





And the pass that got me anywhere I wanted to be: