Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Produced by Redd Kross's Steven McDonald with arrangements from Roger Manning (former Jellyfish founder), the record was criminally underrated. Lyrically and musically, it is one of the best pop/rock albums to come out this decade. Drawing influences from bands like XTC, ELO and Jellyfish, the duo (Sam Means and Nate Ruess) was miles ahead of their peers in terms of creativity and musicianship.
I was working on a piece for AMP magazine earlier this year and had interviewed Ruess by phone. I asked about a new record and he said they were going to get back to work soon, and were bringing back McDonald and Manning to help again. A few weeks later, however, it was announced that The Format was splitting up and there would be no follow up to "Dog Problems". The break was cordial, but the news still completely sucked.
Last week, the gods of music decided to make the world a little brighter. Through a MySpace post, Ruess announced that he had formed a new band, Fun (the band's name, not a commentary from me), with Andrew Dost of Anathallo and Jack Antonoff of Steel Train (both bands were constant tour mates of The Format). A press release went out soon after announcing that Fun will begin recording their debut album this September with.... (wait for it)... producer Steven McDonald, arranger Roger Joseph Manning Jr. Nice.
Their debut album should be available in February, 2009, but they have already posted a demo for the song "Benson & Hedges" (which can be downloaded from their MySpace page). And all is right with the world again.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash; Stink; Hootenanny; and Let it Be (Remastered)
I’m the first to admit that re-issues of old albums are generally nothing more than a cynical way to cash in on a record twice.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Epic/Legacy has just announced that they will finally release "The Clash Live at Shea Stadium". The CD comes out on Oct. 7. There will also be a new Clash book coming out in November, "The Clash by The Clash."
This soon-to-be classic CD captures the band's Oct. 12th and 13th shows, opening for The Who's farewell tour, (as recounted in numerous bios on The Clash and Joe Strummer).
Here's the track listing:
- Kosmo Vinyl Introduction
- London Calling
- Police On My Back
- Guns Of Brixton
- Tommy Gun
- The Magnificent Seven
- Armagideon Time
- The Magnificent Seven (return)
- Rock The Casbah
- Train In vain
- Career Opportunities
- Spanish Bombs
- English Civil War
- Should I Stay Or Should I Go
- I Fought The Law
The band was on the road promoting Combat Rock, at the time. This record is a must buy for any Clash fans - casual or die hard -and required listening for any up and coming bands who think punk rock started with Green Day and Blink 182.
Friday, August 1, 2008
In the midst of a major tour, trying to build up name recognition across the country show by show, the guys in San Diego’s War Stories got shoved out the door of a moving tour van (figuratively speaking, of course) by Sony Records before their debut even landed on the store shelves.
To make matters worse, their label refused to let the band keep any of their songs, preferring to preserve them a closet somewhere.
Bruised, a little jaded, but more determined than ever to bring their songs to light, front man Evan Robinson, along with drummer Adam Barker, bassist Eric Mace and guitarist Reid Curby went right back to work on their second, first record. The result is Vol. I, nearly a dozen beautifully-crafted songs that manage to sound both hauntingly intimate at times and tailor-made for packed arena sing-alongs. Though it’s almost cliché to compare a rock band to U2, a song like Vol. I’s “What Does God See” could easily fit alongside any of the tracks on the Irish band’s groundbreaking “October”.
How did you find out that your debut was not going to be put out by Columbia? Did they give you a reason?
Evan: Ya, I would love to add this...Right now is a very exciting time in the music industry. Like Johnny Cash said, "What's done in the dark, will be brought to the light." As the greedy heart and selfish character of the business is revealed, the torch is being past on. The power is now back in the hands of the artists. The people that create and love music are now in control. As much as the "machine" would love to think that it is still in control, it is not. In fact, it is about as in control as a sperm that is trying to fertilize an egg inside a women who is on the pill. That translates to 0.1% control. As for the remaining 99.9% of bands, we need to embrace this change and take action. With the help of our fans, I truly believe we can resurrect the music business - this time being built on a foundation of sincere love for music. I hope to see you all at a show one day. Remember; where there is passion, there is success. Peace and Love.