Entries tagged with: REM

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How much would you pay?
IMAGE

Of all the Record Store Day 2014 exclusives, the one now going for the most dough on the internet is Jack White's "Lazaretto" -- aka the "World's Fastest Released Record" which was recorded live, mastered and pressed in about three hours on Saturday (4/19). One copy already sold for a whopping $649.99 on eBay. If you just want to hear the thing, White has put it on YouTube and you can listen to that -- and watch a making-of video and check out the tracklist to his new album -- below.

Other profitable RSD14 flips were the Mudhoney Live at KEXP test pressing ($500); the R.E.M. Unplugged Box set (going for around $200), and the eight-LP Cake box set (averaging around $400 so it breaks down to $50 per LP).

Stream Jack White's "Lazaretto" RSD single below...

Continue reading "Jack White's #RSD14 "Lazaretto" single selling for $600 on eBay (stream it for free)"

by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis

(via)
cat

Record Store Day 2014 is Saturday (4/19) and there are upwards of 800 RSD exclusive titles released worldwide this year. Which is clearly too many. But if you're reading this now you're probably at least thinking of going out and joining the throngs of music fans, record collectors, and eBay types trying to get all the stuff on their list. Or maybe you're going out to check out some in-store performances, or just hoping to have a couple free beers.

We've already written about a whole lot things being released this year. But we've got more. BV editors Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis each picked 11 RSD exclusives they think are worth the dough. (Ten just wasn't enough.) What titles are you looking for this year?

Their respective lists, along with some streams, below...

Continue reading "a guide to Record Store Day 2014 releases"

Bishop Ford
Bishop Ford
Bishop Ford
Bishop Ford
Bishop Ford
Bishop Ford
Bishop Ford

Protests are underway after Bishop Ford students found out on Monday that the 50+ year old Catholic high school on 19th Street in Windsor Terrace was being shut down due to low enrollment and no money. If you'd like to help try and save it, there's a petition.

You may have never heard of Bishop Ford but you may have heard about their breakdancing teacher and might recognize the school via its iconic radio tower south of Park Slope near GreenWood Cemetery and the Prospect Expressway. You might also recognize some of its interior via vidoes by R.E.M. (directed by Michael Moore), Drake (directed by Kanye West), and Mike WiLL (starring Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J). Watch the (not-very-Catholic) videos filmed at Bishop Ford, below...

Continue reading "Brooklyn school Bishop Ford - where R.E.M., Drake, Miley Cyrus, Juicy J & others made videos, is closing"

IMAGERecord Store Day 2014 is about a month away (April 19) and one of this year's exclusive releases is a four-LP set of R.E.M.'s two MTV Unplugged sessions:

The "Unplugged" performances are sonic snapshots that capture the legendary Athens, Georgia band at important points on its journey from alternative-music progenitors to international stars that have sold more than 85 million albums.

Drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and singer Michael Stipe recorded their first "Unplugged" session in 1991, while riding a growing wave of success that began in 1987 with the commercial breakthrough of Document. Much of the performance spotlights songs from R.E.M.'s then-current album Out of Time, which sold over 18 million copies worldwide and was the band's first #1 album in the U.S. From the album, the band performed "Radio Song," "Low" and its biggest American hit, "Losing My Religion."

The remainder of the set list spans eight years of music and touches on five different albums, mixing "Perfect Circle" from R.E.M.'s 1983 debut Murmur and fan-favorites like "Fall On Me" and "Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" with a cover of The Troggs' "Love Is All Around." Five songs that never aired can be heard on this set for the first time, including two tracks from the multi-platinum Green - "Get Up" and "World Leader Pretend."

R.E.M. made an extremely rare second appearance on "Unplugged" in 2001, but this time without original drummer Bill Berry, who left the band in 1997. For the show, the band focused mainly on its 12th studio album Reveal - which came out that year - with performances of the singles "Imitation of Life" and "All The Way To Reno (You're Gonna Be A Star)." The song selection draws from eight different albums with "So. Central Rain" from 1984's Reckoning, "Cuyahoga" from 1986's Lifes Rich Pageant and "Find The River," the elegiac album closer from the 1992 classic Automatic For The People.
The set includes recordings of songs that were taped but never aired on the two specials. Full tracklisting is below...

Continue reading "R.E.M. reissuing two 'MTV Unplugged' sessions as box set for Record Store Day"

R.E.M. at MSG in 2008 (more by Eric M. Townsend)
REM

Singer/songwriter/poet/painter Joseph Arthur, who wrote a Michael Stipe-approved song featuring Peter Buck of R.E.M. last year, is now teaming up with another R.E.M. member, bassist Mike Mills, for an upcoming tour. Joseph and Mike will be joined by drummer Bill Dobrow and will head out across the US and Canada at the end of this month through late December. Joseph comes to NYC for a show on New Year's Day (1/1) at City Winery with Bobby Bare Jr., but Mike Mills hasn't been announced to be with Jo at that one. Tickets for the NYC show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.

The tour is in support of The Ballad of Boogie Christ Act 2, the second installment of Jo's planned trilogy, which is due out on November 29, aka Record Store Day Black Friday. The first part came out this past June. You can check out a KEXP session of Joseph performing "The Ballad of Boogie Christ" below.

In related news, at Peter Buck's Athens, GA show at 40 Watt Club last Thursday (11/14), he brought out fellow founding R.E.M. members Mike Mills and Bill Berry (who left the band in 1997) to perform the band's 1984 single "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" off their sophomore LP, Reckoning, an almost-reunion after calling it a day in 2011. Michael Stipe was in fact in the audience, but sticking to the band's insistence to not reunite, chose not to join his former bandmates on stage.

In other R.E.M. news, Athens, GA restaurant Weaver D's Delicious Fine Foods, the inspiration for the Automatic for the People title is closing this month after over 27 years of business. Reports Eater.com:

Weaver's catchphrase "Automatic for the People" became the title of rock band R.E.M.'s blockbuster 1992 album. R.E.M. hails from Athens and were frequent customers. Weaver told the LA Times in 2003 that R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe stopped by the restaurant with an attorney to seek permission to use the phrase as the album title. Weaver agreed in exchange for "a pretty good amount" of money in a deal, not knowing R.E.M.'s fame. After the release of the album, Weaver said his "life changed." A beloved institution, Weaver D's will certainly be missed.
Check out a video of the Buck's performance with Mills and Berry, along with the list of Joseph Arthur dates and KEXP video, below...

Continue reading "3/4 of R.E.M. reunited in Athens; restaurant behind 'Automatic for the People' closing; Mike Mills joining Joseph Arthur on tour"

Kurt Cobains

Via Buzzfeed & Laughing Squid, comes this handwritten list Kurt Cobain made, as published in Journals in 2002. Read the whole thing typed, below...

Continue reading "Kurt Cobain's 50 favorite albums"

Stipe

R.E.M., who recently described "why President Obama's vision is essential to the notion of equality and democracy in America", posted the following note today:

R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" was used in the Fox News coverage of the Democratic National Convention last night. R.E.M. today, through its music publisher, Warner-Tamerlane Music, demanded that Fox News cease and desist from continuing its unlicensed and unauthorized use of the song. Michael Stipe said, "We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage. Our music does not belong there."
Of course this type of story is becoming more and more common as the election gets closer. Rage Against the Machine recently had something to say about their fan Paul Ryan, and Thin Lizzy's camp wasn't too happy with Paul either. Same with Twisted Sister, and Silversun Pickups.

In related news, R.E.M. recently reunited... for dinner.

Happy New Year! (artskooldamage)
Patti Smith

Michael Stipe joined his friend Patti Smith at Bowery Ballroom on New Year's Eve for what was also the end of her final year at the venue...

On New Year's Eve, Patti Smith announced from the stage at the Bowery Ballroom that the concert was her last -- at the Bowery Ballroom.

For 14 years, the three-pack of shows by Patti Smith and Her Band in the final week of December has proved to be a reliably exhilarating way to usher out the old and ring in the new. If it's not the Allmans at the Beacon Theater, it's in the same area code. It's cozy: the smallish Ballroom accommodates fewer than 600. It's egalitarian: tickets are general admission, mostly standing room and reasonably priced. And it's personal: the shows always include one on Dec. 30, to celebrate Ms. Smith's birthday (she turned 65 on Friday).

After the last show -- an excellent night, with many special touches, including Michael Stipe singing "Wichita Lineman" -- Lenny Kaye, Ms. Smith's lead guitarist and general rock subversive, confirmed that the band would still perform, but at some other location. "It's just time to move on," he said. [NY Times]

Catch Patti this February with Philip Glass at the Tune-In Music Festival at the Park Avenue Armory. Stay tuned for info on where Patti will spend her birthday this year.

Check out video of Patti & Michael at Bowery below...

Continue reading "Patti Smith played her final Bowery Ballroom New Year's Eve run (with help from Michael Stipe)"

photos by Dana (Distortion) Yavin, videos by Andrew Sullivan

Radiohead

If you were there, how long did you wait to get inside to see Radiohead play their first of two shows at Roseland Ballroom in NYC last night? I arrived at 8:00 and made it in around 9:00. The line for will call check in (all tickets were will call) wrapped around the entire square block. The end of the line was all the way back at the venue, and had apparently been that way since doors opened. If you didn't have a ticket in advance, did you manage to get in? Lots of people were walking up and down the line with signs explaining why they deserved to get your extra if you had one.

Four Tet was on when I finally got through the doors, but without a good spot, and with all the loud crowd noise, it was hard to focus on the opener. Roseland was packed. Radiohead, complete with 2nd bald drummer, took the stage a bit after 10 and played till after midnight. The concert itself was as special as (any Radiohead fan) expected, but my highlight was definitely the second of two encores which did not seem planned. Nobody in the giant venue (relatively speaking) was ready for the band to leave after they finished with "Morning Mr. Magpie" from the new "King of Limbs" album. The club toyed with turning the house lights back on, house music came on, and the crew even seemed to be breaking down. It could have been an act to make an encore seem real for once. Regardless, it worked and the boys returned to the stage, now all dressed down and in black, to the loudest cheers yet. And this time they closed the night off right, with the one-two punch that was "Street Spirit" and "Nude."

Earlier in the set they played a bit of "The One I Love" which was a nice little tribute to the recently-departed R.E.M. The full setlist is below.

Though I can hardly understand Thom when he speaks, he seemed in a good mood. He asked if we saw the movie "Inside Job" and then I think he said something about nothing being different. He mentioned it was nice to not be sitting around a TV studio, a reference to the fact that their NYC vacation so far has included appearances on both SNL and the Colbert Report. The merch included special t-shirts made just for the shows (pics below).

Radiohead do it again at Roseland tonight (9/29). More pictures, some great videos, and the setlist from last night, below...

Continue reading "Radiohead @ Roseland Ballroom (night 1 pics, video, setlist)"

Fleet Foxes @ Newport Folk Fest 2009 (more by Jim Brueckner)
Fleet FoxeS

today in NYC
* DUMBO Arts Fest
* Max Weinberg @ Iridium
* Particle @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Deke Dickerson @ Rodeo Bar
* Steely Dan @ Beacon Theater
* Fool's Gold @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Superhuman Happiness @ Zebulon
* Fucked Up, Wavves @ Webster Hall
* Ivy, Tahiti 80 @ Gramercy Theatre
* Bill Carney's Jug Addicts @ Barbes
* Men Without Hats @ Mexicali Live (NJ)
* Lotus, NiT GriT, Mux Mool @ Terminal 5
* Yo La Tengo @ Mayo Performing Arts (NJ)
* Megafaun, Doug Paisley @ Mercury Lounge
* Rhett Miller, Jim Ward @ Highline Ballroom
* Allen Otte, Bonnie Whiting Smith @ The Stone
* Susan Howe, David Grubbs @ Issue Project Room
* Rubulad Presents Swamp Things @ 171 Lombardy St
* Wild Beasts, BOBBY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Evangelista/Carla Bozulich, Household @ Bruar Falls
* Fleet Foxes, The Walkmen @ Williamsburg Waterfront
* Spank Rock, Blu Jemz, Lloydski, Eli Escobar @ Le Bain
* These United States, Southeast Engine @ The Rock Shop
* RVIVR, Witches, P.S. Eliot, Nude Beach @ Death By Audio
* Mahogany, Brief Candles, Oceanographer @ Bowery Electric
* Liturgy, Ed Schrader, Nonhorse, Parquet Courts @ 285 Kent
* Malignancy, Sexcrement, Ex Dementia, Legionary @ Saint Vitus
* Grace Potter & The Nocturnals @ Central Park Rumsey Playfield
* Dom, Adventure, Vacationer, True Womanhood (DJ set) @ Glasslands
* Cave, Amen Dunes, K Holes, PC Worship @ Live with Animals Gallery
* Word, Rock, & Sword: A Musical Celebration of Women @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., People Get Ready, Jump Into The Gospel @ Bowery Ballroom
* Sudden Infant, Carlos Giffoni, C. Spencer Yeh, Okkyung Lee, Yellow Tears @ Public Assembly
* Beast Make Bomb, The Death Set (DJ set), New York Rivals, Town Hall @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* Celestial Shore, Night Manager, Heaven's Gate, Secret Mountains, Land and Peoples, Black Girls, Tiberius, Jeff Kesse @ 1031 Grand St

Lightsaber battle today

Radiohead is on SNL tonight.

Tonight is the first of two Megafaun shows at Mercury Lounge.

Sunday is the Beats in Space 12th Anniversary party on North 6th.

Indian Larry Block today:
flyer

Jimmy Kimmel asked people what they thought about R.E.M. breaking up. Video below...

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Saturday?"

REM

R.E.M. just posted the following message to their website:

"To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening." R.E.M.
Bye R.E.M.

photos by Lori Baily & Ted Barron

DOWNLOAD: Tift Merritt & Norman Blake - Thirteen (Big Star) (MP3)

Tift Merritt w/ Matthew Sweet & friends @ the Big Star Tribute in March (by Lori)
Big Star Tribute

Tift Merritt's is now on tour with Stephen Kellogg, and though tickets are unfotunately sold-out for their show at City Winery (May 6th), she has added another NYC show and this time it's FREE. Tift Merritt will play Madison Square Park on June 22nd at 6PM after her tour with Kellogg, but before she heads out on a string of UK dates with Greg Allman. All tour dates are below.

Add the June 22nd free show to the growing list of free shows happening Madison Square Park this summer. Another is the music portion of the Big Apple BBQ.

Tift Merritt joined an all-star cast that stood up in praise of the late great Alex Chilton (of Big Star) at Baruch College on March 26th, a shade more than one year after he suffered a fatal heart attack. Big Star's Third was the focus of the show, and it featured a revolving cast of musicians on vocals....

"Stipe's performance of "Kanga Roo" was at once fragile and unbowed, while his R.E.M. cohort, singer-bassist Mike Mills, found the holiday in the Christmas song "Jesus Christ." Alternative-country singer Tift Merritt was a vital female addition, showing that the vengeful kick of "You Can't Have Me" could go both ways. Other voices included Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo ("O, Dana," "Take Care"), Norman Blake of the Scottish band Teenage Fanclub ("Nightime"), Matthew Sweet ("Big Black Car") and Django Haskins of the group The Old Ceremony, who carried the bleak weight of "Holocaust" with a wise plain poise." [Rolling Stone]
During the encore Tift performed "Thirteen" with Norman Blake. A recording of that cover from the show is avaialble for download above. A set of pictures from the show are in this post. More of them, with all of Tift's tour dates, are below...

Continue reading "Tift Merritt covered Big Star w/ Norman Blake, Michael Stipe & more (MP3 & belated pics), touring (playing free NYC show)"

Ted Leo & Michael Stipe @ IFC House during SXSW
Ted Leo and Michael STipe

"Big Star's third album, Third/Sister Lovers, has long been revered by artists and critics as one of the most influential albums ever produced. Written and recorded when the legendary 70s band was primarily a studio project consisting of Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens, the third album was never been performed in public with the original string and wind orchestrations. That changed in December 2010, when an all-star band unearthed the original scores, assembled an orchestra and performed Big Star's Third at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC. Performers that night included Jody Stephens (Big Star), Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Mitch Easter (Let's Active), Chris Stamey (the dB's) - the creative catharsis they experienced prompted plans for a historic concert in New York City.

Just announced is Michael Stipe of R.E.M. who'll join a mind-boggling array of indie rock all-stars to recreate Big Star's Third at Mason Hall at Baruch College on March 26th. Stipe will perform one of Chilton's most iconic songs, "Kanga Roo". The show's line-up of songs/performers is unveiled today as well (see below)." [press release]

Tickets are still on sale for the Saturday show. More details including the full setlist with performers noted, and other show details, AND a SXSW video of Ted Leo interviewing Michael Stipe (Michael didn't perform in Austin, though he did take part in a last minute live-streamed Japan benefit telethon) (Ted did play SXSW) at IFC House last week, below...

Continue reading "Michael Stipe talked to Ted Leo (video), joins Big Star 'Third' show cast (full artist/song list announced)"

The Baseball Project at Maxwell's (more by Lori Baily)
Baseball Project

"Well, we had so much fun the first time that we just had to do it again. Scott, Peter, Linda and I spent much of the last few years on the road, in the studio and trading files, ideas, anecdotes and laughs and the result is the second album by the Baseball Project: Volume 2: High and Inside." - The Baseball Project
High and Inside is out now via Yep Roc Records and streaming in full at Spinner. The all-star, baseball-themed band will hit the road in support of the record starting off in Atlanta on 3/11, hitting SXSW, swinging through Spring Training (#srsly), and eventually terminating on the West Coast in early April. Before that, Baseball Project member Steve Wynn will hit Living Room on March 4th with Steve Wynn & The Miracle Three. Tickets are still on sale.

Meanwhile, Peter Buck is keeping busy with R.E.M. as the band has a new album, Collapse Into Now, which is currently streaming in full at NPR. No tour dates for R.E.M. as of yet but if you have tickets for the Tibet House benefit at Carnegie Hall on 3/3, you can catch R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe there. Mike Mills of R.E.M. can be found at the Big Star Third show at Lexington Hall on March 26.

Blues great Taj Mahal is also on the Tibet House Benefit bill, and he recently added a date at Brooklyn Bowl on April 10. Tickets go on sale 3/3 at noon.

All tour dates and some videos below...

Continue reading "Baseball Project & Steve Wynn dates, Tibet House & Big Star reminders, more Taj Mahal show & an R.E.M. album stream"

REM

R.E.M. are releasing a new album entitled "Collapse Into Now" on March 8th. The first single is the song "Mine Smell Like Honey" which had an official video released recently, and which they perform live in a video released today. You can watch both, along with videos for other songs on the new album, and other related videos, below...

Continue reading "R.E.M. releasing 'Collapse Into Now' (new video posted)"

Big Star

"Big Star's third album, Third/Sister Lovers, has long been revered by artists and critics as one of the most influential albums ever produced. Written and recorded when the legendary 70s band was primarily a studio project consisting of Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens, the third album was never been performed in public with the original string and wind orchestrations. That changed in December 2010, when an all-star band unearthed the original scores, assembled an orchestra and performed Big Star's Third at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC. Performers that night included Jody Stephens (Big Star), Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Mitch Easter (Let's Active), Chris Stamey (the dB's) - the creative genesis they experienced prompted plans for a historic concert in New York City.

On March 26th, a mind-boggling array of indie rock all-stars will gather to perform Big Star's Third at Mason Hall. Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Mitch Easter (Let's Active), Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo), Tift Merritt, Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Will Rigby (the dB's), Matthew Sweet, Chris Stamey (the dB's), Jody Stephens (Big Star) and M. Ward (She & Him) will be joined by The Lost in the Trees Orchestra with Jane Scarpantoni, Django Haskins (The Old Ceremony), Brett Harris, Sidney Dixon and Matt McMichaels to recreate the original scores and breathe life into a bittersweet album that has impacted generations of musicians. Some very special guests will be announced in the days to come. As the evening unfolds, Chilton and Stephen's musical ideas that were far ahead of their time 35 years ago will resonate in the hands of a collective of sympathetic, top-notch musicians. "We have been trying to create a concert piece that can have a life in years to come, trying to keep the spirit of the music and make it come across with the right emotions live," Stamey told Indy Week. "There's something about this record that connects with my generation, and apparently many generations."

The assemblage will perform Third/Sister Lovers in its entirety - fans can expect additional Big Star and Chris Bell songs as well. "It's easier as time passes to revisit that album because it came out of such a dark period," Big Star drummer Jody Stephens told the Raleigh News and Observer. "There were brilliant moments in the studio, especially Carl Marsh's string arrangements, which really take it to a whole other world. But it could be emotionally difficult to watch certain things happen. I was so close to it at the time that I could not see what it was.""

BIG STAR THIRD is happening at Baruch Performing Arts Center (at Baruch College) in Mason Hall (17 Lexington) on Saturday, March 26, 2011. Tickets are on presale now (password: Alex), and going on general sale Thursday at noon. More details with the lineup listed out, below...

Continue reading "all star collective performing Big Star's 'Third' album"

Tired Pony

Tired Pony - spearheaded by Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody and R.E.M.'s Peter Buck - have just released their debut album, The Place We Ran From on Mom + Pop Records today. Featuring the talents of Belle and Sebastian's Richard Colburn, acclaimed producer Jacknife Lee and more, in addition to guest turns by She & Him's Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward and Editors' Tom Smith, The Place We Ran From is a heartbreakingly beautiful album of dark Americana, packed full of the melodies Snow Patrol fans have come to love.

The band will be performing their first and ONLY U.S. shows in New York and Los Angeles during the first week of October.

Tired Pony's two US shows are happening Monday, October 4th at the El Rey Theatre in LA, and in NYC at Irving Plaza TONIGHT (October 1st).

Tickets to the NYC show are still on sale, and for the LA show, and special guests are heavily rumored (look for Michael Stipe and The Swell Season's Marketa Irglova in NYC, and Zooey Deschanel and Peter Case in LA).

Tired Pony played Letterman LAST NIGHT (9/30). Check out the video below...

Continue reading "Tired Pony (Gary Lightbody + Peter Buck) are playing 2 US shows including NYC TONIGHT (with SPECIAL GUESTS??)"

words & photos by Lori Baily

The Baseball Project

The Baseball Proiject headlined a show at Maxwell's on Thursday night. It was before their set over the weekend at Wilco's Solid Sound Festival in North Adams, MA...

Wilco headlined, and Mavis Staples was their lead-in, but there was six hours of music before them Saturday at Solid Sound Festival at Mass MoCA in North Adams, Mass.

The warm, sunny afternoon made for perfect festival conditions for a series of sets by Wilco-curated bands which alternated between a pair of stages set up in outdoor courtyards on the Mass MoCA grounds.

Alt-rock supergroup the Baseball Project brought together Mike Mills of R.E.M., Steve Wynn of the Miracle 3 (and formerly of the Dream Syndicate), Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5 and journeywoman drummer Linda Pitmon to perform songs that were, in fact, mostly about baseball. Call it good, clean, nerdy fun.

With a rollicking rock 'n' roll sensibility, the foursome sang a tune written after a night out drinking with now-retired pitcher Jack McDowell, advocated for the inclusion of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Harvey Haddix on the list of starters who have thrown perfect games (Haddix kept one going for 12 innings in 1959 before losing in the 13th) and threw in a couple of Minus 5 tunes, including "Lies of the Living Dead" and "Aw Shit Man." [Hartford Courant]

Mike Mills was filling for Peter Buck at that show and at the one in NJ on Thursday, where everyone was having a good time - performers and audience alike.

I know nothing about baseball or I would've been entertained even more. Scott McCaughey joined opener Dennis Diken for a couple of songs at the end of their set. The guys (and gal) in both bands are all really sweet and down to earth, Mike Mills even requested that he not be "lit like a lead singer, cause I'm not a lead singer."

More pictures of the NJ show, below...

Continue reading "The Baseball Project played Wilco's Solid Sound Festival & Maxwell's w/ Dennis Diken with Bell Sound (pics)"

"We have lost one of our great ones." -Michael Stipe, Dec 25, 2009

Michael Stipe and Vic Chesnutt

Vic Chesnutt (November 12, 1964 - December 25, 2009) was a singer-songwriter living in Athens, Georgia. He had been writing songs since he was five years old. Injured in a car accident in 1983, the paraplegic artist's first big breakthrough to commercial success came with the release of the tribute album Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation.

Around 1985, Chesnutt moved to Athens and joined the band, The La-Di-Da's.[2] After leaving that group he began performing solo on a regular basis at the 40 Watt Club; it was there that he was spotted by Michael Stipe of R.E.M.; Stipe produced Chesnutt's first two albums, Little (1990) and West of Rome (1991). [Wikipedia]

Patti Smith, Jeff Mangum, and Kristin Hersh have also made public statements since it was confirmed that Vic Chesnutt passed away on Christmas day.

R.E.M. covered Vic's song "Sponge" for the above-mentioned Sweet Relief CD. Audio of that song, along with video of Vic and Elf Power covering "Everybody Hurts" at the REM tribute at Carnegie Hall, below...

Continue reading "Michael Stipe remembers Vic Chesnutt (quote), Vic covered 'Everybody Hurts' w/ Elf Power @ REM tribute (video) "

"Big Star served as a Rosetta stone for a whole generation of musicians." -Peter Buck, R.E.M.

Big Star

Rhino is releasing Big Star's 4-disc boxed set which includes 98 tracks spanning from 1968-1975. This power pop band created music that turned artists as diverse as Cheap Trick, R.E.M., and The Replacements into Big Star fans. The 4-disc boxed set, Keep an Eye on the Sky, includes extensive liner notes, rare and never-before-seen photos, and insightful essays about the cult of Big Star and the band's history. These influential tracks will be released September 15, 2009.

Also, on RECORD STORE DAY, a special Limited edition Big Star 7" Vinyl will be available. Only 3,500 vinyl will be pressed. These 7" vinyl will only be available at independent records on September 5th.
I'm not sure what Record Store Day has to do with anything, but that's a picture of the 7" above.

Big Star is:

Jon Auer
Alex Chilton (original member)
Jody Stephens (original member)
Ken Stringfellow
Jon and Ken, both members of the Posies, joined in 1993. The Posies recently got back together to perform "Frosting on the Beater" at Gramercy Theatre and The Bell House. Ken often plays solo shows, like when he opened for Robyn Hitchcock at the Bell House recently. Jon also plays solo shows, like the one he has scheduled at The Bell House on September 15th with Fountains of Wayne.

Alex Chilton still plays shows too, often in Hoboken, and sometimes with The Box Tops. In 2005 he survived Katrina. Posts about him are usually accompanied by comments like "Big Star please!"...

Tickets are on sale for a Wednesday, November 18th Big Star show at Brooklyn Masonic Temple.

Videos from a show Big Star played in Hyde Park in July, with a picture of the Rhino box set and the tracklist, below...

Continue reading "Big Star releasing box set, PLAYING NYC SHOW (on sale)"

by Andrew Frisicano

Scott McCaughey w/ Eugene Mirman @ The Bell House (more by Lori Baily)
Scott McCaughey and Eugene Mirman

Bassists/guitarist Scott McCaughey and guitarist/bassist Peter Buck collaborate quite a bit. First, they both play in R.E.M. Recently, both backed Robyn Hitchcock as part of the Venus 3 on his spring tour. Those shows were a combination of opening dates for the Decemberists (like at Radio City) and headlining shows. The band's June 11th show at the Bell House was the latter.

McCaughey and Buck also play as the Minus 5. And, with Steve Wynn and drummer Linda Pitmon, they form the Baseball Project (appropriately, a group that composes baseball themed songs).

Steve WynnWynn and Pitmon are prolific in their own right. Both just gigged as part of Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, performing Medicine Show by Dream Syndicate (Wynn's old band) at the Bell House on June 27th. A live recording of that show is available at The Archive. (There's another of those Medicine Show gigs coming up in LA in July.)

The a-four-mentioned musicians pack into the tour van this August to play an amalgamated series of shows, billed as "An Evening with The Minus 5, the Baseball Project, and the Steve Wynn IV Performed by Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon." Part of that will be a gig at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC on Wednesday, September 23rd. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 10th at noon.

If that's not enough, you can catch Buck on the recently reissued version of R.E.M's 1984 album Reckoning (though not McCaughey -- he didn't join the group till the '90s). R.E.M. are also releasing a 4-song live digital EP on July 9th, and a 2-CD live album later this year.

All Minus 5 + Steve Wynn + friends tour dates below...

Continue reading "Steve Wynn played Medicine Show @ the Bell House ++ Minus 5 & the Baseball Project touring, playing Bowery (all dates)"

photos by Lori Baily

backstage shenanigans at the Bell House
Robyn Hitchcock

On Thursday [June 11th] I saw Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 - R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Bill Rieflin and Scott McCaughey - at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Ken Stringfellow of the Posies opened in a solo capacity; he was preceded by Takka Takka.

Despite owning at least eight of his albums, and enjoying them always, I'm not the world's biggest Robyn Hitchcock expert. But I was surrounded by people who were, and they rated it one of his better shows... [Tony Fletcher]

Robyn Hitchcock opened for the Decemberists at Radio City a day before that. Two days after the Bell House show, he performed at this year's Bonnaroo...
"This is the first festival I've really been to since seeing Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of Wright in 1970," [Hitchcock] tells Spinner. With his typical self-deprecating sense of humor -- we think that's what it is, anyway -- he recalls that after the massive Isle of Wright festival, as a performer he "decided to take a different tact and wherever there were going to be lots of people I'd be naught," says Hitchcock. "And, 40 years later, I'm beginning to reconsider my game. Should I do more public appearances where there are people? A lot of my colleagues in show business have answered with a vigorous nod -- 'Yes, Robin, play in front of an audience.'"

So Robin Hitchcock and the Venus 3 did indeed take the stage, to massive applause and in front of thousands...

That trend continues. His next show is at Glastonbury later this month. His next scheduled stateside gig will be at the Austin City Limits Festival in October. More Bell House pictures below...

Continue reading "Robyn Hitchcock (now playing festivals) played Bonnaroo & the Bell House w/ Ken Stringfellow & Takka Takka (pics) "

by Ryan Barkan

Cloud Cult

10. CLOUD CULT: "LUCKY TODAY" - ESURANCE.COM
It's a music video! It's an ad! It's a music videad! It's the band Cloud Cult, fully animated in a TV spot for Esurance, but there isn't a sales pitch to be found. The Minneapolis psychedelic-pop band had traditionally shunned marketers, but the DTC insurance company won them over with some hard-fought green credentials. The result is a charming spot that not only fits in with the visual style of the band, but also features one of Cloud Cult's best songs.
[Ad Age Ad Songs of the Year]
This commercial came out late in 2008...though I think I only saw it one or two times. But thanks to an increase in rotation (January is the busiest month for car insurance!) partially influenced by the above placement in Ad Age, Esurance's Cloud Cult cartoon commercial has been on TV heavily over the past few weeks. The band shows up as animated characters in what comes off more as a music video for their 2005 song "Lucky Today", than as a sales pitch for insurance. A quick jump to Esurance's website and you can find a special Cloud Cult microsite where you can watch the commercial, stream/download a few songs, read why the band finds similarities in their and Esurance's love for being green, and learn how to be more eco-friendly.

According to SoundScan, the band sold more individual digital downloads of "Lucky Today" (1,400) in the last week than they usually sell in a month from all albums...combined.

Other Notable Licensing News:

RadioheadRadiohead gave gratis (aka free) permission to the National Coalition For The Homeless to use the song "MK1" in a spot that attempts to show homelessness can happen to anyone. (via Songs For Soap). This was their first commercial license ever. Watch the spot below.

Michael Stipe was cool with giving a gratis license for Amnesty International to use REM's "Until the Day Is Done" in a powerful new spot. Watch that below as well.

"In fact, it seems like the one thriving corner of the music business is ad placement. The only people making any money are the artists landing their songs in TV commercials and the royalties that come along with that, so the most successful bands this year will be the ones whose songs are most conducive to selling shit. Which means that Santogold is your Artist of the Year for 2009. Once the shampoo companies find out about 'I'm a Lady', forget about it. It's a wrap." [Tom Breihan in the new L Magazine]

Santogold says 'aha' a lot in the new commercial for the Samsung Pixon phone with her song, "Say Aha". Watch it here.

Audi goes old school in the new spot for the Q5, breaking out Woodie Guthrie's fun "Car Song."

Another car manufacturer went NOT-old school - Volkswagen stayed local (German) with the Berlin electro-group Team on their new (clearly inspired by the movie The Matrix) spot for the Golf. Watch below.

Vancouver band, Readymade, has a song used by Unilever in their new Sun spot, highlighting "Human Potential."

Apples in StereoI'm addicted to Diet Pepsi. It's my friend-mesis. Pepsi has rebranded my favorite drink and its overall image with a new "smile" logo. The brand launched its commercial campaign with a spot featuring the music of The Apples In Stereo (Via YANPicasso).

Papa John's sponsored an NCAA football bowl game last month. During said bowl game, the pizza maker debuted a commercial celebrating their 25th anniversary featuring Wang Chung's "Everybody Have Fun Tonight".

John Lennon may not be alive, but that didn't stop Yoko Ono from lending his voice to a good cause. Watch the OLPC PSA below.

Walmart promotes the football season with a commercial using Queen's anthem "We Will Rock You".

Fashionista Kanye West is teaming up with one of his favorite designers, Luis Vuitton, to create six shoes for the brand. You may have also noticed Kanye's song "Flashing Lights" in the Season 6 promo to the F/X channel's show "Nip/Tuck". Commercial below.

continued, with videos, below...

Continue reading "This week in Music Licensing"

The Music of REM

Throwing Muses with Kristen Hersh, Kimya Dawson, Ingrid Michaelson, Glenn Hansard of The Frames & Swell Season, Apples in Stereo, Tommy James and the Shondells, Jolie Holland, Keren Ann, Guster, The Db's, Bob Mould, Vic Chesnutt & Elf Power, Rachel Yamagata, Calexico, Patti Smith, and others will be singing R.E.M. songs at Carnegie Hall on March 11th. "100% of net proceeds to benefit musical education programs for underprivileged youth." Regular tickets are on sale at the venue's site. VIP tickets are available at the event's own site (thx rajohn)...

Your VIP ticket includes entrance to the private artist reception taking place at City Winery featuring cuisine designed by Mario Batali. Food will be delicious and the free wine will be flowing. Join the artists and friends in New York's first full winery and amazing new event space. The party will start immediately after the concert and go to 1am. With a full stage and sound system at City Winery, we expect many musical surprises!
Mario Batali and Michael Stipe are good friends. Michael Dorf is producing this whole event. Michael Dorf owns the new City Winery which is opening on New Years Eve which is the night Michael Dorf's old club Knitting Factory is closing (which Michael pointed out himself in that NY Press article).

Patti Smith also just added a 3rd show at Bowery Ballroom. Tix are now on sale..

Tickets are still on sale for Kimya Dawson's upcoming show at Bowery Ballroom.

Vic Chetnutt & Elf Power are also touring and playing NYC together in January.

Pro-shot video of R.E.M.'s encore in Mexico City the other day, below...

Continue reading "Music of R.E.M. @ Carnegie Hall w/ Patti Smith, Kimya Dawson, Calexico, Bob Mould & others (by Michael Dorf)"

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