Friday, May 2, 2014

Five For Friday 22 - Let The Sun Shine

Look at this, two posts within a month! We are now tied with the total posts for 2013. I'm really trying to get this blog going again, so if you have any covers to share please send them my way. I haven't really been keeping up with new covers lately but I have a huge collection to share with you, so I'm not really worried about running out of songs.

We've had a really rough time of it in NYC weather wise, but we finally have some nice weather on the horizon and summer, my favorite season, is around the corner. This first Five For Friday of the year (and first since 2011) celebrates sunshine!

Cibo Matto put out the great new album, "Hotel Valentine" back in February and I highly recommend checking it out. Those in the NYC area can take joy in the fact that they are playing 2 free shows in the coming months; May 15th at Brooklyn Bridge Park with Javelin & JD Samson (of MEN and Le Tigre) and July 13th at Central Park. Frente! are also back with the 21st anniversary edition of their wonderful album "Marvin The Album" as well as a slew of dates in Australia to celebrate. I can only hope the shows go over well and Frente! make it over to the US for a couple of dates! Enjoy the music folks.

Cibo Matto  "Black Hole Sun" (Soundgarden Cover)
Stereophonics "Sunny Afternoon" (Kinks Cover)
Travis "Here Comes The Sun" (Beatles Cover)
Frente! "Open Up Your Heart And Let The Sunshine In" (Cowboy Church Sunday School Cover)
Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs "Warmth of the Sun" (Beach Boys Cover)

As always, support the artists, click the artist name for the website or use the links to the right to buy music as well as support the blog.

Friday, April 18, 2014

All Hail Veruca Salt

Not much has brought me out of posting slumber these days but there have been some great reunions in recent times (in one form or another): The Replacements, Luscious Jackson (check out my revamped LJ site), Throwing Muses (with Tanya Donelly), That Dog, Hole (maybe) and The Breeders.
And the latest reunion for those that didn't know is Veruca Salt! The great 90s band led by Nina Gordon and Louise Post are back together with the original lineup including Steve Lack and Jim Shapiro and have a 10" on their original independent label Minty Fresh Records out for Record Store Day, which is tomorrow, April 19! The 10" features two brand new songs produced by VS and Brad Wood, "The Museum Of Broken Relationships" and "It's Holy" and the flip side features their first hit single, and probably the only song a lot of you know, "Seether."

The first VS album "American Thighs" (also produced by Brad Wood) was one of my absolute favorites, they followed that with the EP "Blow It Out Your Ass It's Veruca Salt" and in 1997 their final album with this line up, "Eight Arms To Hold You," all of which have some brilliant tunes on them, that I hope to hear live this year! If you are only familiar with "Seether" I highly recommended diving deeper into the early library.

In 1998 Nina Gordon left the band to pursue a solo career, Jim Shapiro had already left the band and was replaced by Stacy Jones from Letters to Cleo. Nina put out an album in 2000 entitled "Tonight and The Rest of My Life" which was more singer-songwriter and in line with some of the quieter VS tunes and sparked the single of the same name. When this album was released I was lucky enough to meet Nina at my job and she was the sweetest person and made me appreciate VS even more. Louise Post carried on the VS name leading the band with all new members and in 2000 released the album "Resolver" which took the music in a harder direction, the song "Born Entertainer" was probably the biggest hit. Both Gordon and VS put out another album, a few EPs and one off songs, but nothing reached the popularity of Nina & Louise together.  I still don't know what imploded Veruca Salt but all seems to have been forgiven now and I'm thankful for that.

In 2013 a friend alerted me to the fact that Veruca Salt had some facebook activity going on and I immediately "Liked" their page. I wasn't really thinking about new music, but I was hoping for a tour and was pleased to see Nina & Louise working together again. In December it was announced that Nina & Louise would be performing live for the first time since 1998 for Letters to Santa a live improv & music fundraiser through The Second City comedy club in Chicago. Nina & Louise played acoustic via skype (which is available to watch online) with a short 20 minute set on December 18, 2013 which included the songs "Get Back," "Wolf," "Seether" and "25."

2014 not only mark the 20th anniversary of the release of "Seether" and "American Thighs" but also the first time the original members will be playing live shows since 1996.  Hopefully the new tracks also signal an album in the near future, fingers crossed.

2014 Tour Dates (So Far):

6/22/14 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
6/23/14 Seattle, WA @ The Tractor Tavern
6/24/14 Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
6/26/14 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
6/27/14 Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy
7/09/14 Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
7/10/14 Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
7/11/14 Cincinnati, OH @ Bunbury Music Festival
7/12/14 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
7/13/14 St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
7/21/14 Washington, DC @ Black Cat
7/22/14 Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
7/24/14 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
7/25/14 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
7/26/14 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall

Bodies (Sex Pistols Cover)
My Sharona (The Knack Cover)
Side of The Road (Lucinda Williams Cover)
Somebody (Depeche Mode Cover)
Burned (Buffalo Springfield Cover) *Louise Post era VS
18 and Life (Skid Row Cover) *Nina Gordon solo


PJ Harvey "Straight" (Veruca Salt Cover)

This video by Pavement for the song "Painted Soldiers" is not a cover, but quite amusing and features Veruca Salt as Pavement towards the end of the video. I remember seeing this video on 120 minutes and being so pleased with it!

As always, support the artists, click the artist name for the website or use the links to the right to buy music and such as well as support the blog.

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's Hard to Find Someone to Hold Your Hand

I will unabashedly admit that I enjoy Grimes (a lot) and keep trying to get friends to sing "Oblivion" at karaoke with no luck, I myself would never try such a thing and feel anyone has to be pretty brave to attempt to cover Grimes. I am also a big Waxahatchee fan, like Swearin' and loved PS Eliot so it's pretty amazing that Katie & Allison Crutchfield have covered "Oblivion" for Rookie's May theme song. All I can say is this is great.

As always, support the artists, click the artist name for the website or use the links to the right to buy music as well as support the blog.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Kate Nash is Not Your Conventional Girl

Last week I picked up a couple tickets to see Kate Nash play at the Bowery Ballroom in March so that has inspired this post.

I first discovered Kate back in 2007 thanks to Lily Allen and immediately fell in love with her music, which I guess was kind of alt-pop and completely up my alley. Her debut album 'Made of Bricks' helped me through some hard times and will hold a special place in my life. I admire the turn she took with her second album 'My Best Friend is You' getting a bit harder with some of the tunes and reveling in her riot grrrl influences (which was something I could completely relate to). I'm looking forward to seeing what she has done on her upcoming album, as her look continues to change I'm sure the music will as well. As long as Kate doesn't loose her pop sensibility I'll always be in!

The new album 'Girl Talk' which has been funded via pledge music - you can still pledge to pre-order the album and to get other goodies, is out on March 4 (5th in the US) on Kate's own label Have 10p Records. Kate has been busy the past few months and also put out an EP the end of 2012 entitled 'Death Proof' which you can get online at itunes now.

Check her out on her upcoming tour if you can, she seems to be playing much smaller venues than her last US tour which makes me happy.

2013 Tour Dates:

Feb 12 Sub 89 Reading, United Kingdom
Feb 13 Sebright Arms London, United Kingdom   
Mar 12 Brighton Music Hall Boston, MA
Mar 15 Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, Canada
Mar 16 Magic Bag Ferndale, MI
Mar 17 The Pyramid Scheme Grand Rapids, MI
Mar 20 The Basement Columbus, OH
Mar 21 Mr. Smalls Theatre Millvale, PA
Mar 23 Black Cat Washington, DC
Mar 24 Johnny Brenda's Philadelphia, PA
Mar 26 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
Apr 04 Junction 2 Cambridge, United Kingdom
Apr 05 Arts Centre Norwich, United Kingdom
Apr 06 Nottingham Rescue Rooms Nottingham, United Kingdom
Apr 08 Leadmill Sheffield, United Kingdom
Apr 09 53 Degrees Preston, United Kingdom
Apr 10 Warehouse 34  Newcastle, United Kingdom
Apr 12 The Lemon Tree  Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Apr 13 The Ironworks  Inverness, United Kingdom
Apr 14 Oran Mor  Glasgow, United Kingdom
Apr 16 Empire Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Apr 17 Fibbers York, United Kingdom
Apr 18 Fruit Hull, United Kingdom
Apr 20 Manchester Gorilla Manchester, United Kingdom
Apr 21 Liverpool Masque Theatre Liverpool, United Kingdom
Apr 22 The Cockpit  Leeds, United Kingdom
Apr 24 The Sugarmill  Stoke On Trent, United Kingdom
Apr 25 The Fleece Bristol, United Kingdom
Apr 26 The Queens Hall  Narberth, United Kingdom
Apr 27 Gloucester Guildhall Gloucester, United Kingdom
Apr 29 White Rabbit Plymouth, United Kingdom
Apr 30 Wedgewood Rooms Portsmouth, United Kingdom
May 01 100 Club London, United Kingdom

Also this video is adorably stupid so I couldn't not share it. For those that don't know, Kate has the most adorable bunny ever named Fluffy and she loves animals.

And here is what you really want, ya I realize Christmas is over but Kate has a couple great holiday tunes and I couldn't leave them off.

Hollaback Girl (Gwen Stefani Cover)
Let's Hear it for the Boy (Deniece Williams Cover)
Give Him a Great Big Kiss (The Shangri-La's Cover with Billy Bragg)
Purple Rain (Prince Cover)
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You (Black Kids Cover)
Baby Love (The Supremes Cover)
Fluorescent Adolescent (Arctic Monkeys Cover)
Hang Me Up To Dry (Cold War Kids Cover)
Irreplaceable (Beyonce Cover)
Seven Nation Army (White Stripes Cover)
Men's Needs (The Cribs Cover)
Foundations/A New England (Billy Bragg Cover with Billy Bragg)
Christmas Wrapping (The Waitresses Cover)
Last Christmas (Wham! Cover with Ryan Jarman)

Newton Faulkner "Foundations" (Kate Nash Cover)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Superchunk Is Hyper Enough As It Is

photo by Mike Rich

I originally wrote this post back in June but never did anything with it, as usual. Updated with more recent news and now available for the masses.

Superchunk is one of those bands that I know I can always rely on to put me in a good mood, and they have done so for almost 20 years. Last year they got the remastered and reissued treatment with the excellent albums Here’s Where the Strings Come In and Foolish and the prior year with On the Mouth and No Pocky for Kitty, on Merge, the label Mac McCaughan & Laura Balance run which has released most of Superchunk’s albums.

What prompted this post when this blog has been dead for the better part of the past 2 years? The Chunk put out a new single over the summer entitled “This Summer” but the B-side is a great tack on Banarama’s “Cruel Summer,” which you can check out below (I'm totally wishing it was still summer right now).

The band doesn’t seem to tour much any longer but they had a gig as part of the CBGB Festival at Beekman’s Beer Garden in NYC on July 6th, which I sadly missed. However they have a few upcoming dates as part of funfunfunfest in Austin on November 1st & 2nd. I highly recommend checking them out if you’ve never seen them, Mac has more energy than kids half his age and you never know what songs they are going to pull out!

To make up for lack of posts here are a ton of covers for your ears!

Cruel Summer (Bananarama Cover)
100,000 Fireflies (Magnetic Fields Cover)
Girl U Want (Devo Cover)
Say My Name (Destiny's Child Cover)
Love Vigilantes (New Order Cover)
Horror Business (Misfits Cover)
Where Eagles Dare (Misfits Cover)
In Between Days (The Cure Cover)
Beat My Guest (Adam and The Ants Cover)
I'll Be Your Sister (Motorhead Cover)
Brand New Love (Sebadoh Cover)
Lying In State (The Verlaines Cover)
Nancy Sin (Beat Happening Cover)
Train From Kansas (The Shangri-Las Cover)

As always, support the artists, click the artist name for the website or use the links to the right to buy music as well as support the blog.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Five For Friday 21 - Back From The Dead

As usual I've less than kept up with my promise to update more this year, in fact this is the worst year to date. I can't believe this is only my third post of the year??? How did that even happen? Let's just say I've had a really good year and seen some really great shows. For once we will have a Five for Friday that features all popular acts, my personal favorite being Wild Flag. For those that don't know I'm a HUGE Sleater-Kinney fan and a pretty big Helium fan as well, so this band has been like a dream project, not to say Mary Timony and Carrie Brownstein's previous project together - The Spells, wasn't awesome, but throwing Janet Weiss and Rebecca Cole in with them has made this band unstoppable. I saw Wild Flag for the third and fourth times a couple weeks ago and they did not disappoint. Carrie blew my mind on Ask The Angels even if she did douse me in beer in the process. I highly recommend checking out their album if you haven't had the chance to already.

The Widowspeak album is also pretty damn good and I'm kicking myself for missing them over CMJ, however I put all my energy into Wild Flag and then got really sick, a sickness I'm sadly still battling. Also I'm a sucker for anything by Bob Mould and I love The Decemberists so of course I'm loving this Sugar cover. Enjoy the music folks.

Wild Flag "Ask The Angels" (Patti Smith Cover)
The National "Twenty Miles To NH Part 2" (The Philistines Jr. Cover)
Asobi Seksu "Never Understand" (The Jesus and Mary Chain Cover)
Widowspeak "Wicked Game" (Chris Isaak Cover)
The Decemberists "If I Can't Change Your Mind" (Sugar Cover)

As always, support the artists, click the artist name for the website or use the links to the right to buy music as well as support the blog.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Five For Friday 20 - The Missing Edition

I have nothing to say for myself. Does anyone else remember Kenickie?

Blur "Substitute" (Who Cover)
Buffalo Tom "Heaven" (The Psychedelic Furs Cover)
Dirty Projectors "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine" (Bob Dylan Cover)
Kenickie "Save Your Kisses For Me" (Brotherhood of Man Cover)
Sonic Youth "I Know There's An Answer" (Beach Boys Cover)

As always, support the artists, click the artist name for the website or use the links to the right to buy music as well as support the blog.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Something I Learned Today: Our Concert Could Be Your Life

Our Concert Could Be Your Life took place this past weekend at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City (how I wish I could've made it to this show) and featured an all-star indie line up of bands covering classic indie rock songs from bands featured in Michael Azerrad's book Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes From the American Indie Underground 1981-1991. The tribute show celebrated the 10th anniversary of the book and was hosted by Janeane Garofalo and Eugene Mirman. On the bill were Ted Leo (covering Minor Threat), Tune-Yards (covering Sonic Youth), Titus Andronicus (covering The Replacements), Wye Oak (covering Dinosaur Jr) & St Vincent (covering Big Black) among others including an amazing Nirvana encore with various musicians who performed earlier in the night.

I don't have any mp3's of the show but I highly recommend heading over to NPR to listen to the whole show or any specific sets that interest you.

PS I'm not quite dead.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Chanukah v3

Once again we will post the same Chanukah songs as we have done in previous years (although apparently I missed last year...oops). Thankfully I've picked up a few more along the way because it seems few Jews out there want to do any new covers for us. If you know of anything post it here or send it my way. Happy Chanukah to all my Jews!

So on this 6th night of Chanukah I give you some tunes to keep you warm (just like on the first year of this blog).

Barenaked Ladies "I Have A Little Dreidel"
Barenaked Ladies "Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah"
Ben Kweller "Rock of Ages"
Erran Baron Cohen featuring Jules Brookes "Dreidel"
The Yule Logs "Hanukkah, O Hanukkah"
Michelle Citrin "Light One Candle" (Peter, Paul & Mary Cover)
Neil Diamond "The Chanukah Song" (Adam Sandler Cover)
Grape Soda "Rock of Ages"Black Tape For A Blue Girl "Chanukkah Oh Chanukkah"
Save Ferris "Christmas Wrapping" (The Waitresses Cover)

As always, support the artists, buy the music. Use the links to the right and support the blog too!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Don't Be Afraid To Sing

Last night I finally had the pleasure of seeing Stars live, and not only that, I saw them in an intimate venue in Brooklyn. Tickets went on sale the day before the show and sold out pretty quickly so I was quite pleased to have snagged a couple. Show was advertised as being at 8pm, at which time I arrived only to find out doors were not opened yet. By the time we made our way inside it was already 8:30pm and the band didn't go on until around 9:45pm, no openers, just a night of Stars. They played almost all the songs I wanted to hear, except my favorite "Elevator Love Letter" which was a little disappointing but I shall live. Torquil Campbell did most of the talking, not that there was much talking and a pregnant Amy Millan stuck to a multitude of Thank You's, just a full set of music and a constant influx of white roses and rose petals being thrown out to the audience. It was a night I was glad to be part of and I'm loving that larger bands are going back to their roots and doing intimate shows lately.

Stars "Asleep" (The Smiths Cover)
Stars "Hungry Heart" (Bruce Springsteen Cover)
Stars "This Charming Man" (The Smiths Cover)
Amy Millan "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" (Death Cab For Cutie Cover)
Ben Gibbard "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" (Stars Cover)
Jason Collet "Reunion" (Stars Cover)

As always, support the artists, click the artist name for the website or use the links to the right to buy music as well as support the blog.

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