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On the Stereo: "Your Hand Is Like Fire."

Posted by: on May 3, 2010 | Comments (2)

Morrissey – Revelation: A pretty well-done bootleg floating around of B-sides from the Viva Hate / Kill Uncle / Your Arsenal sessions, i.e. the wizardry era of Moz. “Please Help the Cause Against Loneliness” is pure Morrissey. Bonus points for nailing the classic artwork style. I haven’t been feeling his last few albums.

Grouper – Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill: Liz Harris and I spent a couple summers together in the same circle of friends, usually involving swimming. Either at houses in the McDonald neighborhood or Doran Beach after lots of PBR. It took me a while to pick up her latest album. It’s gorgeous.

Byard Lancaster – Sounds of Liberation: Philadelphia avant jazz from 1972. The basslines really make it. Nothing comes out of Philadelphia without a solid bass line, even after Sun Ra moved there in 1970 and distorted the groove. The first 100 copies of this LP are handmade by Byard himself, now sold out. Regular versions here.

Terry Allen – Lubbock (On Everything): The renegade Texas stoner-country movement of the 1970s should have a modern equal, but it doesn’t. Allen here is incredible, singing about art, bennies, the FFA, jukeboxes, lost dreams and cocaine. Lloyd Maines all over that sucker. I’d love to see him at Studio E.

Alicia Keys – The Element of Freedom: The long, minute-and-a-half drum/piano outro to “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart” is such an exquisite moment and yet every radio station fades it. The whole record crept up on me after nearly barfing at the quasi-empowering intro. “I’m Ready” makes me walk sideways.

Boredoms – Rebore Vol. 3: Japanese noise rock gods remixed by DJ Krush with inconsistent results. Krush is the master at setting and then adhering to a mood, but there’s so many tributaries to Boredoms’ music that he gets distracted and skittish. That said, seeing this band live is a religious experience.

Titus Andronicus – The Monitor: “This is a song about the Louisiana Purchase,” he said, opening for No Age two years ago. I was overwhelmed with nine minutes of uncut ache and fury. Is that song on any album? I asked the singer. No, it’s a new one. Two years later, finally, “Four Score and Seven” sees the light of day.

Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique: So, I guess this was in that Dear You / Pinkerton category of ‘slept on’ albums, or something? According to someone who wasn’t me or anyone I knew in 1989? Cause we played it to death. Those 33 1/3 books are hit and miss, but Dan Leroy did an outstanding job with this one.

Ron Carter – Uptown Conversation: The best moments in music are transcendental. I cannot explain how engrossing this record is to me. “Doom,” which closes the album, grabs you like a mugger in an alley and doesn’t let go for six minutes; it’s “Peace Piece” meets “Myself When I Am Real” with Carter sliding through oil.

This Heat – Live: It’s disappointing to draw a parallel to Throbbing Gristle only to later see Wikipedia beating you to the punch. Nevertheless. You still can’t dance to Throbbing Gristle. Dying to find this band’s studio albums; looking for recommendations between their debut and Deceit. Jockeying for latter.

Paten Locke – Super Ramen Rocketship: If, let’s say, you’re a new dad, who hasn’t quite yet found the right hip-hop song that expresses your feelings for your daughter. If, let’s say, you also favor triple-threat MCs/Producers/DJs who put those feelings in rhyme. If, let’s say, you discover “After You.” Then all is well.

John Lewis – The John Lewis Piano: The whole MJQ clan acquired this derisive “classically trained” tag that was hard to live down. That’s what happens when you release Blues on Bach. But you know what? Some guy beating the shit out of a piano still sounds like some guy beating the shit out of a piano.

RKL – It’s a Beautiful Feeling: Sir, are you by chance looking for a 7″ you had long ago? Have you been scouring the Earth for this hardcore gem, featuring a rapid-fire condemnation of meth addiction that you put on every mixtape you made in junior high? Sir, that record is two blocks away from your house, at a garage sale.

Outside Lands 2009 Lineup Announced

Posted by: on Apr 13, 2009 | Comments (2)

Here it is—the lineup for the 2009 Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, August 28-30, 2009:

Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Beastie Boys, M.I.A., Mars Volta, Modest Mouse, Ween, Thievery Corporation, Black Eyed Peas, TV on the Radio, Atmosphere,Q-Tip, Bettye LaVette, Raphael Saadiq, the Dodos, Built to Spill, Deerhunter, Mastodon, Calexico, Os Mutantes, Tom Jones, Band of Horses, the National, Akron/Family, the Dead Weather, Silversun Pickups, Robert Randolph, Brett Dennen, Midnite, Jason Mraz, JJ Grey & Mofro, Kinky, Lila Downs, Trombone Shorty, Dengue Fever, Heartless Bastards, the Dirtbombs, Lenka, Incubus, John Vanderslice, Matt & Kim, Portugal, the Man, the Morning Benders, the Duke Spirit, Zee Avi, Blind Pilot, Sambada, Ryan Bingham, West Indian Girl and Extra Golden. Whew!

I was trepidatious about last year’s inaugural Outside Lands festival, but as you can read here, here and here, it was conceived and executed extremely well.

Advance three-day passes are $200-$226. My friend Kim writes to take issue with this year’s “layaway” ticket pricing option, no doubt geared to help those in the struggling economy:

Look – I get that the tickets are too expensive for some people who would want to go. Giving them an option to spread out the cost over a few months is, on the surface of it, a nice convenience. But charging them an additional $35 for it? Could it possibly cost that much to run the card a few times? I don’t really know how much Visa & Mastercard charge, but it seems unlikely to be that much. If I’m wrong, then all apologies, but if not, then OL is charging poor people more money for the same exact ticket.

If you have to spread the cost of the ticket over a certain amount of time, shouldn’t you just do that on your own and buy it when you have the money? The whole thing seems totally predatory to me.

And get a load of this:

IMPORTANT: If, for any reason, any of your payments are declined, in whole or in part, then all of the following will apply: (i) your order and your tickets will be cancelled (ii) any payment received as of that date will be kept by Outside Lands as partial offset for your default, (iii) you will still owe the balance of the full amount due for each ticket and you authorize Musictoday and Outside Lands to charge your credit card for any balance due, (iv) Musictoday and Outside Lands will be entitled to pursue all of their legal and equitable remedies to recover the full payment from you, and (v) you agree to pay all costs of collection incurred by Musictoday or Outside Lands, including legal fees, that they may incur in collecting the balance of each ticket price. Payment plan tickets are subject to all of the other terms of the ticketing agreement.

Mismanage your account or have unexpected expenses, and not only do you lose your ticket, but you’re still liable for the full price.

I suppose this is a good time to remind people that festivals very rarely sell out, and that one-day tickets will surely be made available at some point, just like last year. If you’re raring to be the first on your block to buy tickets, they go on sale April 15.