Thursday, July 19, 2007

Band of Horses: Take Two

Hairy lead singers play b-ball
Band of Horses has been making waves recently, mostly due to their forthcoming second LP, Cease to Begin. Pitchforkmedia just put up a rather extensive interview with lead singer Ben Bridwell, and by "extensive" I mean "talking about a bunch of crap before finally getting to music."

The short of it:

  • New album to be released October 9
  • First single to most likely be "No One's Gonna Love You"
  • Other confirmed song titles are "Ode To the LRC" and "Window Blues."
  • Besides both having enormous beards, Ben Bridwell and Doug Martsch also play basketball against each other. I'd imagine a huge, sweaty beard is quite the defense.
  • Bag of Choices is a viable alternative name for the band. Along with "Jason."

Here is a ridiculously crappy live video of "Ode to the LRC" (the audio is decent, however, and the song is awesome).

Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, and Love as Laughter showdates:

08-01 Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
08-03 Kansas City, MO - City Market
08-15 Columbus, OH - LC Amphitheater
08-16 Cleveland, OH - Warner Cable Amphitheatre
08-17 Northampton, MA - Pines Theatre
08-18 Mansfield, MA - Tweeter Center
08-19 Philadelphia, PA - Festival Pier
08-21 Louisville, KY - Lousville Gardens
08-22 Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
09-02 Chicago, IL - Charter One Pavilion

[mp3]Band of Horses - The Great Salt Lake
[mp3]Band of Horses - Wicked Gil

[mp3]Doug Martsch - Dream

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My Favorite SNL Musical Performances Of All Time

Saturday Night Live has a history of incredible musical performances. They do lots of things right, that other shows don't, such as correctly mic'ing and mixing everything, and having great camera work. It is incredibly difficult for a band to pull off a truly inspiring and electric show when they are playing to millions of people, yet only have a handful in front of them. Be that as it may, SNL has been host to some absolutely astounding performances. Here are my top 10.

1. Radiohead - Idioteque

I like Radiohead a lot. OK Computer was my first Radiohead album, and after listening to it, I immediately went back and bought The Bends and Pablo Honey. When they came out with Kid A and Amnesiac I was pretty disappointed. It took me a very long time to come around to those albums, but now I love them just as much as the others. This performance made me begin to see them in that light.

2. Neil Young - Keep On Rocking In The Free World

I'm not old enough to have seen this live and appreciate it, but thanks to the intertubes I can appreciate it now. I really wasn't exposed to Mr. Young until a few years ago, and even then I favored his folkier stuff ("Old Man," "The Needle and the Damage Done," etc). This performance changed that. This is true Rock N Roll. Incredibly intense.

3. Pearl Jam - Not For You / Daughter

My brother told me about these performances when he first played Pearl Jam for me. I can still remember him hooking up his Discman to our stereo and playing Vitalogy. This was Pearl Jam's second appearance on SNL, and this one came only 8 days after Kurt Cobain committed suicide. Pearl Jam dedicated this performance to him.

4. U2 - I Will Follow

I got to see this one live. Say what you want about Bono or even U2, but you can't deny they are incredible live. After their 2 performances (I don't even remember what they were), the cast did their closing wave, until Bono got up, and they sang their first hit, "I Will Follow." One of the most awesome parts about this is the shots of the cast watching the show. You can tell they are just enthralled.

5. Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer

This was the second SNL ever, during the 1975 first season, and it set the bar incredibly high for musical performances on the show. It featured a still record number of performances--eleven. This was only the second time Simon and Garfunkel had played together since their 1970 split.

6. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

Nirvana blew up ridiculously fast, and their first appearance on SNL in 1992 was controversial, as was pretty much everything they did. Their appearances on SNL are some of the best recordings of their performances. Which is great, because they are also some of their best performances.

7. Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running / Intervention

Arcade Fire played SNL after I had only been listening to Neon Bible for a few weeks at most. Lucky for me, they played my two favorite songs from the album. This performance made waves because of the guitar smashing at the end, and whether it was presumptuous; which is sad, because the songs are near perfect replicas and possibly better than their studio counterparts.

8. Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet With Butterfly Wings

Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness was an album that shifted my entire musical outlook. I still remember sneaking into my brothers room and listening to those CDs on his Discman. It wasn't until I was older that I could expand into some of the Pumpkins earlier works, but that album will forever be my favorite. This performance is pretty stunning, and probably contains much of what people either love or hate about the Pumpkins.

9. The Beastie Boys and Elvis Costello - Radio, Radio

This is a rather interesting show, and when I saw it I had no clue what was happening (I saw it as a re-run on Comedy Central). After looking into it further, "Radio, Radio" had gotten Elvis Costello banned from appearing on SNL many years before. Besides that history, this represents two entire worlds of music colliding, and both the Beasties and Costello look like they are having an awesome time. A great performance.

10. Beck - Clap Hands

This is just awesome. I heard Beck did this exact same piece on his tour that year, and I'm glad he did it on SNL as well. That way, I get to see it.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Band of Mouses

Band of Horses and Modest Mouse are teaming up for a few dates this summer, and lucky me, they are playing at Louisville Gardens. I so have tickets. The last time I was at the Gardens was to see MMJ and Wax Fang on their Thanksgiving Eve show (which was amazing), and it looks like I won't be disappointed this time either.

In other news BoH just finished up their sophomore album, and are looking at a release date of 10/07, should all go well. And for your listening pleasure, here is an mp3 of Band of Horses covering (and covering well) The New Year's "The End's Not Near" (via igif)

[mp3] Band of Horses - The End's Not Near