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The Black Keys haven’t lost a step

June 3, 2010

The Black Keys
May 18, 2010

Rating: 8.0/10

I’m not good at math, but it seems to me that no matter what you do there must be a finite number of note combinations  to be made. So the blues, arguably America’s oldest art form, which relies heavily upon that a note that only appears in 1/5th of every scale, certainly must be recycling old hooks by now.

I feel justified in my rationale about the blues, but when I heard Brothers, I felt a bit stupid for thinking that way. But, rather than consider myself stupid, I think that my feelings are more of a reflection upon The Black Keys brilliance.

Blues has been done by everyone and their brother; Robert Johnson, The Rolling Stones, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, etc., and each of these artists has given the genre their own flavor.

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From The Horseshack to your home

June 2, 2010

I’ve made no mistake about my love for Daytrotter on this blog. It may be the best way to discover new music on the web, and it’s certainly one of the most creative music-related sites around.

I was introduced to the site by my favorite musicians of all time: Limbeck. Way back in October 2007 the So-Cal alt-rockers dropped by The Horseshack in the Quad Cities for a recording session, and because they enjoyed their time there so much they decided to release a limited edition album with more songs from that session entitled The Delicacy of Living Modestly (and it’s great, by the way).

Because, just like Limbeck, I enjoy the site so much that I can’t get enough of it, I would like to present my ten favorite sessions of all time. I j hope you enjoy these sessions as much as I do.

10. A.A. Bondy – Feb. 3, 2010

Though this session only has four songs from When The Devil’s Loose it retains all the power and gusto that the album provides. Bondy’s music has a magnificently understated glory to it to begin with, this subtlety is perfect for Daytrotter. And, as usual, the live nuance and charm is captured perfectly in the Rock Island studio. I love this session because of it’s simplicity: that’s all that is really needed.

A. A. Bondy – “I Can See The Pines Are Dancing”

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Going out on top

May 27, 2010

LCD Soundsystem
This Is Happening
May 18, 2010

James Murphy claiming This Is Happening will be his last album as LCD Soundsystem is as preposterous as Michael Jordan’s first retirement. Not only is Murphy the best at what he does right now, but his three albums under the LCD moniker represent his own personal three-peat.

Now he can live his father’s dream as a baseball player (or hide his gambling problems per the commish’s edict for you conspiracy theorists) and then come back wearing number 45 and make three more incredible albums – or something equally preposterous.

However, it’s probably best to keep this review in the present and consider just how great This Is Happening actually is.

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New Arcade Fire tracks

May 26, 2010

After months of anticipation and a very (very) brief leak the first songs from the upcoming Arcade Fire 12″ is out.

Pitchfork has all kinds of various news updates about the single, but what is really important, of course, are the songs themselves. The first song, “The Suburbs,” feels lighthearted and poppy, almost the opposite of “Month of May,” the second song from the 12″.

The lyrics of “The Suburbs” paint the picture of a urban dystopia running opposite the jaunty nature of the pop music they are set to. Steadily pounding piano and acoustic guitar backed by the traditionally delicate and intricate Arcade Fire instrumentation make the song seem familiar, but distinctly new.

“Month of May” provides a stark contrast, musically, to “The Suburbs.” It hits heavy from the very beginning with it’s chugging Ramones-esque guitar that seem to be more fitted for it’s companion on the 12″ single.

Win Butler’s voice and the lovely harmonies of his conspirators are the same we’ve heard before, but this one feels all new. The vocals have the same urgency that were present on “Antichrist Television Blues” mixed with the dour nature of “My Body is a Cage,” the addition of a synthesizer also lends an eerie nature to the song that reminds of “Cage.”

The songs, however, need to be heard by one and all, so without further ado I present them both courtesy Consequence of Sound:

Feel that barn floor buckle

May 1, 2010

Daytrotter Barnstormer III
Kalyx Center
Monticello, Ill.

The spirit of Daytrotter’s first ever Illinois barn concert was most evident in the smile that spread across Delta Spirit frontman Matt Vasquez’s face. As his eyes poured over the crowd, from the floor to those seated in the rafters of the old barn, his smile spread wider, clearly relishing the moment.

There were plenty of special moments to be had at the Kalyx Center in rural Monticello Friday evening. Fans of all ages flocked from different locales to the tiny barn outside of Monticello proper. Pearly Gate Music began the evening with a few slow jams, providing the fans sitting around the barn an ear feast. Outside fans played bocce ball, pitched tents and enjoyed what was described as “the biggest bonfire ever.” Nathaniel Rateliff and his band took over the barn floor next, providing the seated crowd with plenty of reason to cheer.

Philadelphia rockers Free Energy lived up to their name, raising the fans to their feet and turning the barn floor into a dance floor with their classic-rock-proto-punk tunes. Lead singer Paul Sprangers did his best to not only look like Joey Ramone, but to work the mic the same way the seminal punk musician did. Sprangers knew when to let the guitarists take the lead however, and their face-melting solos invigorated everyone in the crowd.

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Pygmalion announces first round of bands

April 26, 2010

Today the first group of bands to play the 2010 Pygmalion Music Festival were announced. Among the main acts were Rory Erickson and Okkervil River, Cap’n Jazz, Caribou, Those Darlins, +/-, Cults, Colour Revolt, Owen and David Dondero.

The festival will take place September 22-25 in venues across Champaign-Urbana, Ill. Now in it’s sixth year of existence, I would expect more big name acts to be added as the festival dates grow closer.

Festival passes go on sale May 3 at 10 a.m. For more information about the festival visit their website at


April 25, 2010

0.0-3.9: Never listen to this
4.0-5.9: Listen once, maybe?
6.0-6.9: It has its’ moments
7.0-7.9: It has many moments
8.0-8.9: Listen now!
9.0-10: Never stop listening to this