Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Play Time

Jon Cooper and the fine folks over at Play, which is owned by the Register's parent company, have quite the birthday party planned for tonight. A free Birthday Bash, that is.

You've probably seen the event advertised in Play, or in Weekend, or seen it written about in Play, or in Weekend, but one more time can't hurt, right? One more slight nudge in the direction of Toad's Place just a few hours before the shindig begins sounds good.

Oh yeah, free pizza, free admission, free music ... what more could you ask for? I know, you're thinking that Play has done this before and the bands performing haven't always been great. Well, tonight, not only do four of the best local bands around play (Mountain Movers, Shadowgraphs, Queen Killing Kings and Arms and Legs), but also Evan Dando and whoever he's calling The Lemonheads these days.

If you're like me, the last time you saw Dando and company, the singer/songwriter had a crack pipe in his back pocket and enough other drugs and alcohol in his system to kill a large moose. The abuse didn't kill him, folks. It made him stronger. The new self-titled Lemonheads disc, released late last year, is great. I would go so far as to say it's the best, most consistent album of Dando's career. Take that.

So I'll you see at Toad's, I presume?

Over at Cafe Nine, DJ Dooley-O will doing his thing. Aw yeah.

My Side Of The Story has a plan. What's that plan, you ask? To rock The Space tonight.

I have a friend, his name is Mr. Ryan Dixon, who used to love Posh Spice. He had her little Barbie doll (I know, that's sad), and he sang along to Spice Girls songs. I bet he's the only one excited about Victoria Beckham's reality show.

When I watched "The Queen," I didn't think Prince Charles seemed like a bad guy. Now I think we should fire the little bugger.

I mean, I know we need stories, but to ask whether Tyler Hicks is the first "American Idol" flop is about as stupid as asking if dirt is neon green, or if I plan on never eating Chinese food again. Come on, remember good old Ruben? The big dude? You do.

James Blunt may have a run over someone's foot. I wish someone would run over his recording contract.

Happy birthday Liz Taylor, who turns 75 today. In all seriousness, I thought she was like 90, at least. I guess I'm a dumb dumb.

Wow. Naomi Campbell regrets hitting her maid with a phone. Isn't this like the fourth time she's beaten up her maid though? Naomi needs to follow Evan's lead and lay off those pesky drugs.

You know that this woman goes to bed each night cursing Beyonce.

On Tuesday, I heard a rumor that former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley had did himself in, you know, went the suicide route. Well, it says here that's not true. Remember when Peter Criss had that guy pretending to be him? Man, that was rad.

And on that note, I'll call it a day. Come see me at Toad's tonight. I'll be the one hiding in the corner with a beer and a smile. That image just made me laugh out loud ....

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mirah and More

Toad's Place is clearly on a roll lately, booking many very good and surprising shows. I mean, think about it: We had Patti Smith last Friday, and tonight Mirah comes to town. Those are two very different artists, but yet both make challenging and accessible music that refuses simple categorization.

And we haven't even mentioned the other great shows that have happened at the York Street venue in the last couple of weeks, or the free Play Birthday Bash tomorrow that will double as a Lemonheads show and a celebration of the best local music New Haven has to offer.

But, we'll talk about that tomorrow. Today is a time to celebrate Mirah, a folkie who's been in relative hiding for the last year or so, preparing a new concept record about bugs. That disc isn't out yet, but the songwriter is going on a very short tour to warm up before the album's release. We're just lucky that one of those shows is here, and that Jeff at Toad's knew enough to book her. See you guys there.

Listen to Mirah's "The Light" here.


If you're wondering what I thought about the Oscars, my running notebook is in today's Register. Pick it up.

James Cameron made a lot of people mad when he yelled that he was "the king of the world" at the 1998 Oscars. Well, let's just say a few more are going to curse him out after this documentary airs.

Pitchfork has a good little interview with Lou Barlow up.

The Marty backlash is already starting, at least a little bit. I can't disagree either.

One of my favorite interviews ever, and one of my favorite musicians gives an essay on NPR. Listen to Wayne Coyne here.

The Arcade Fire disc is pretty good. You can hear it here.

And that's about it from this end. I have to go write a story about Hanson. Read about the band in Friday's Weekend. Ike has some very interesting things to say. He even dissed Nickelback.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Post-Oscar Fun

Wasn't that the most boring Oscars ever? I was sitting on my couch, writing my notebook (which will be Tuesday's Register), and I could barely keep my eyes open. I got calls from multiple friends, all saying the same thing: "This is lame."

I'm only going to partly blame it on Ellen. She was not funny, but the segments all stunk, too. The Oscars needs a host who mocks a little bit, one with some bite. Ellen made sterile jokes and stroked the stars' egos. That's why you got to have a movie star hosting the show, one that isn't intimidated by all the actors. I honestly liked David Letterman's year better than last night.

Bob Hope and Johnny Carson both hosted the event almost every year during their heydays. Why, oh why, can't they pay Billy Crystal whatever he wants every year? I even thought Chris Rock was great a couple years back. It made me happy that he mocked Jude Law. Somebody needs to.

To put it succinctly, it was too nice, too sterile. We want to hear funny jokes and see cleavage. That's all people want. At least Rachel Weisz gave us what we want.

If anyone has ever seen the 1981 horror spoof "Student Bodies," you know that "sex kills." For proof, read this. By the way, if you've never seen the movie, find it now. It's only available on VHS, but it's hysterical. "Sometimes, after the accident, Malvert pee red."

If people wonder why Anna Nicole Smith turned into a drug-addled joke, they need only look to her mother.

Somehow, some way, people keep going to see "Ghost Rider," which took in another $20 million last weekend. How can folks, even comic-book geeks, think this movie is even worth $1? I've never laughed as hard the first time I saw a trailer, ever.

Our buddy John Mayer has announced a summer tour. It looks like it will hit the Dodge Music Center July 14 ... that is if he doesn't cancel again to hook up with Jessica Simpson. Honestly, I hope he does, so I don't have to review.

If Hugh Hefner gets married, won't his little reality show be ruined? At least he's picking the right one to bring to the altar.

I didn't realize there was any reason to watch "The Tyra Banks Show." I was wrong.

In the news around here, Cafe Nine hosts Beatnik 2000 No. 353 tonight. Sal Paradise and the rest of Rope headline.

Looks like Roger Waters will play the Dodge Music Center July 13. That's pretty cool.

M. Ward will open the Norah Jones show at the Chevy April 13. I can't wait.

And that's about it on this end. See ya tomorrow.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It's My Friday!

Wowzer. Who would have thunk it would have only lasted this long? So much for that Van Halen reunion with David Lee Roth. I guess the tour is off, according to Rolling Stone. I know Van Halen is somewhat influential in its own way, and that everyone I know from New Jersey was dying to see this tour, but does anyone really care about this band anymore? I mean, I know I would go to review, but I honestly wouldn't pay a $1 to see them, and I'm a huge music fan, obviously.

As you read in the Register today, Fox's "The O.C." goes on permanent hiatus tonight, after it airs the series finale at 9 p.m. This is big news for a group of people now between the ages of like 20-26. For everyone else, this was a show that never really was on the radar, except for making stars out of Death Cab For Cutie, which owes its success to the show. Hell, emo rock owes its success to "The O.C." So while the drama won't have any lasting impact on the TV world, it certainly will when it comes to music.

Be afraid, be very afraid: "Rambo" is coming back to the big screen, with machine guns blaring, of course.

All the ladies in the world and that one guy should take note: ABC is readying a spinoff for "Grey's Anatomy." My friends Danny and Jay were forced to watch the show last week because it was on at a bar. They officially lost their manhood that day.

I should have put this up right when it came over, but a new Guns N' Roses song, "Your Thoughts, Your Prayers," leaked onto the Internet yesterday. It's now down due to lawsuit threats, but I got a chance to listen. Not bad, and much better than the three or four tunes anyone paying attention over the last decade has probably heard through bootlegs. This might actually mean that "Chinese Democracy" might see the light of store shelves next month, like Geffen has sort-of promised.

Speaking of leaks, hear a new Modest Mouse tune here.

Yale grad Hrishikesh Hirway performs music under the name The One AM Radio. His music of choice is hushed acoustic folk, augmented by strings and pulsating electronics. Think Elliot Smith with the prevalent-but-subtle electronica of Mum. Well, the musician performs tonight at the Wallingford American Legion, another in a long line of great shows put on by Manic Productions. Go to Manic's site for more info.

There's a local band showcase over at Toad's Place tonight, with the most interesting name on the bill belonging to The Chuck Hestons.

Old-School Rap Battle at Cafe Nine tonight! Get ready for some break-dancing. Maybe someone will do one of those head-spins that were so "dangerous" in the '80s.

Cassandra Kubinski headlines a show of happy, light pop at The Space tonight.

OK, I'm about ready to call it a week. Maybe I'll talk to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hump Day Hookup

For you, the normal person, today is hump day. For me, the not-so-normal person, that happened to be yesterday, but I'm still happy to give you, my loyal readers, some hump-day news.

So let's get right to it: I hope we're all recovered from Fat Tuesday. I know I pulled my pants down numerous times last night in the hope of getting some beads. But, you know, I found that it didn't necessarily work at a restaurant, during a class, while playing racquetball ... people just didn't want to give me the beads. I don't get it. I may keep trying today.

I'm not a very religious boy, so I don't plan to give anything up for Lent. But if you are, just make sure not give up my blog. I know it's sugary, sweet and too good to be true, so it feels like it's not kosher, but I assure you Blog Like An Egyptian is nutritional and good for you, holy you might say. You just might.

Well, the cast of "Dancing With The Stars" has been announced. It includes a woman with one leg, a dude named Big Pussy, but no Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar, above), which was the rumor. There was no chance I was going to watch before, but it certainly isn't even going to cross my mind, now.

Britney Spears just can't seem to make up her mind. Now, this is not a joke: Someone needs to seriously help her. Really.

As the Register's Mary O'Leary writes in this piece, "horse urine is not the favorite drink of the ... 16 million citizens" of Kazakhstan. An ambassador from Kazakhstan to the United States and Canada also cleared up a lot of other "Borat" misconceptions yesterday in the Elm City.

The bastard child of the formerly ubiquitous Baldwin Brother Cult has another run-in with the police. Poor, Alec, having to be related with these folks.

My dad would be so excited to see these fun little videos from "The Muppets." My dad doesn't like "The Muppets," though. Sadly, he loves Alice Cooper. Sometimes when I'm home, he still walks around with a snake around his neck. Am I kidding?

Be on the lookout, Tori Amos is planning a new record (OK), and a new tour (you'd have to kill me before I'd attend another Tori show).

Oh my God, it's like so great. I mean, how just, like, great is it that like Trista and Ryan are having a baby. I mean, like, I just love them so much, like they're like the perfect couple. Who, like, cares about this crap?

Could the original Guns N' Roses really get back together? That would so much bigger than The Police reunion, seriously.

I'm a big fan of Up The Empire. Big one. The band plays Cafe Nine tonight with SSM. Be there or be square.

WZMX hosts an Underground Jam at Toad's Place tonight. It'll be above ground though, just the music is underground.

The Phoenix Tree performs at The Space tonight. Space booker Rory Condon says the band sounds like a cross between Alice In Chains and Neil Young. Wow.

I'm all done. Happy first day of Lent! Isn't Ash Wednesday just the bomb?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Taking 'Order' Out Of My Day

Justice is a funny thing. I watched the NBA All-Star Game from a bar on Sunday. It was entertaining enough, nothing special, but, of course all-star games never do live up to any hype. But you know did live up to the hype? The 24-hour "Law & Order" marathon that began immediately after the game.

Simply put, I'm a sucker for "Law & Order." It doesn't even matter if I'm watching one of the many spinoffs. I don't care. I'll even watch ones I've already seen, dozens of times. What's weird is that original debuted when I was literally 11, but I never saw a full episode until I moved to New Haven, roughly three years ago, sometime during season 15. Now I can't get enough.

I must have deep yearning to see justice happen, although just writing that sentence made me laugh out loud. The problem with this addiction, you see, is similar to that Jimmy Buffett song where he talks about it being 5 p.m. somewhere. You see, somewhere on the cable dial, there's always a "Law & Order" episode on. For me, that means my drug of choice is always around. Try putting heroin near an addict, all the time, and I don't think they'd make it too long. I'm sure I'll OD on the great Jack McCoy soon ....

It's just a matter of time, right? Anyway, having a 24-hour marathon ruined my day. Oh, I went to work and everything, but when I got home? Man, nothing got done. I didn't go to a show, didn't write any stories from home, didn't do anything to prepare for the class I teach twice a week, didn't go to a bar. Nothing.

But, somewhere, deep in heart, I know that's OK because I saw a whole lot of justice.

Now let's get to serious things, like the ongoing crisis over Britney Spears' hair. The most-pressing news on the topic is about Britney going to a pool party with a wig. You know, I hate to make these kinds of grand statements, but it's simply pathetic that we as a culture have made this person into news. So she shaved her head, who gives a crap? Let her live. Britney Spears hasn't done anything relevant in like four years. Let her go gracefully into the night.

Isn't this a little too much information, even though it does concern Paris Hilton, the queen of TMI?

Go here to get another new, simply great Ted Leo song, from the musician's upcoming record (due March 20).

Need another reason to know why Americans will never care about soccer? How about this article. Do you think this could ever happen to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, or Derek Jeter and Manny Ramirez?

Speaking of Tom Brady, looks like he's going to be a baby daddy. We were talking about this at a bar the other night, and my friends and I came to this conclusion: If you're a professional athlete you can have, conservatively, three illegitimate children before it becomes a big deal, or news.

This new "The Black Donnellys" show is getting some decent buzz, although it takes a lot more than that to get to me watch a new TV show. Anyway, here's the first episode.

I think Jennifer Hudson might be one of those famous people who think Jesus loves her more than any other actress. That's why she's nominated for an Oscar, of course.

So Sirius and XM will join forces soon. This is big news, especially for people like me who subscribe to XM. Now I'll get Big East basketball and can listen to my beloved Providence College. This is a good thing. There's other ramifications too, but who cares about anything other than Big East basketball, especially around here?

Poor Sylvester Stallone. I think the fine folks in Sydney must have thought Sly was coming to film another "Rocky" and wanted no part of that.

The Jam is getting back together ... without Paul Weller. Is this really possible?

I know we've got a whole lot of Arcade Fire (the next Shins!) fans here, so go here to hear a whole concert.

Hooters and energy drinks, a match made in heaven. I have never even tasted a Red Bull or one of its brethren. I will die and still be able to say the same thing. Now, give me a sec while I go buy my fourth cup of coffee today.

The reunited Police will join with another reunited band to perform at Al Gore's Live Earth (a fake Live Aid). That other band? Genesis. And let's just say that the trio making up the English pop/prog band is getting far less attention than it should. As sad as it may sound, if I could only go to one reunion show this summer, it would be the Genesis one. Of course, I'll be at both.

OK, so let's get local for a bit. Cafe Nine hosts Primordial Undermind tonight.

Jordan Carp headlines The Space's Open Mic, so get your guitars and tambourines and make the trip to Hamden. I'll be playing my triangle.

And that's about it on this end. Talk to you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Giant Elephant Sighting at Toad's

We all people-watch at concerts; it makes them more interesting, plain and simple. And I know I've thought about how "the same" certain audiences are, but metal takes the cake. An example? Last night's Mastodon show at Toad's Place.

I've always noticed, but never really thought about just how homogeneous a metal audience is, how it's so much more the same than any other genre. Mastodon is actually a different kind of metal band, one that transcends just metal fans and can include many indie-rock snobs within its fan base. But that doesn't mean that 99 percent of the band's audience isn't white males.

Country music counts mostly white people as its fans, but that genre transcends gender. And while rap and hip hop might be made predominantly by black artists, audiences are still filled with white people. In fact, it might be the most heterogeneous genre of them all. Even Lilith Fair-like folkies bring in some males. Indie rock is definitely a mostly white audience, but it too brings in its share of women. Metal, not so much. It's all dudes. White ones.

Maybe suburban, middle-class white guys need to vent their frustrations through something, and that means pounding drums and machine-gun riffs. And there were enough of them last night pushing, shoving, crowd surfing and generally beating each other up for no reason. I'll never understand how moshing enhances the enjoyment of any music. I just won't. I just think it gives kids an excuse to take out their frustrations. Anyway ...

Clearly the music is filled with testosterone, but why doesn't it cross racial lines? I have no idea. Maybe it's only white kids that can get into fantastical lyrics. With rap and hip hop, you get realistic music, rooted in life. While with metal, everything is over the top; none of it is real-world music. It's like "Lord of the Rings" set to ridiculously over-the-top musical compositions. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I don't know. What I do know is how astounding it is to see. I did not see one minority last night, not one. And the amount of women could have been counted on two hands. And how many were dragged along by their boyfriends? I saw only woman visibly enjoying the music. To be fair, this one might have been a little too into it.

What's it say about a genre that guys can't even convince their girlfriends to come see? Who knows?

What I will say about last night's almost sold-out show is that Mastodon kicked butt. With a no-nonsense set that lasted about 70 minutes, the band ripped through many songs off its recent "Blood Mountain" and a few favorites from "Leviathon."

Mastodon is like a baseball closer. Think of it this way: A starting pitcher needs to mix up his repertoire, throwing various pitches and keeping the hitters off balance. Not Mastodon.

The quartet came out firing. A great comparison would be Mariano Rivera in his prime, rearing back and throwing 96 mph cut fastballs over and over. Here it is, take it.

Without even acknowledging the crowd until about 60 minutes in, Mastodon came out beating the audience up with complicated and fierce metal song after metal song, barely stopping for even a second.

Forget nuance, this was pure power. This was no Maddux-like concert, no thinking about subtle maneuvers, or any thinking in general for that matter. This was pure heat.

It was hard to leave not shell-shocked after, from the relentless kick drum to the searing solos. Metal at is best is what you'd call the show when it was over, if you're head didn't hurt too much to talk.

Friday, February 16, 2007

And The Weekend Begins

Since it's a day off for me, I'll be a little short and sweet.

Last night's Sonic Youth show at Toad's Place was a sold-out affair, I assume. I've been to Toad's hundreds of times and it was definitely a top-five concert in terms of attendance. Although, I guess, I didn't stand in the underage section.

Anyway, the band was in fine form, ripping through a 70-minute set before leaving the stage and performing an encore. SY favored tracks off "Rather Ripped," the group's very good album from last year. Some highlights included the punkish "Incinerate," Lee Ranaldo's catchy and freewheeling "Rats" and the poppy "What A Waste."

Playing in front of a screen that alternately went blank and showed random clips from random things, SY performed as a quintet, with a touring bassist (former Pavement member Mark Ibold) handling many of Kim Gordon's normal duties on songs she sang. But on songs with vocals from Thurston Moore or Ranaldo, the band employed a double-bass attack.

On a few tunes, Gordon and the touring bassist just played the same bass lines, thus making a thicker but rather pointless low end. But on a couple tracks, including "Do You Believe In The Rapture?," the two almost had a rhythm and lead bass thing going. Very cool.

All in all, it was a very good show. It was the fourth time I'd seen SY and I would rank the gig as the second-best.

It was loud, but not too loud at Toad's. The venue should get much larger tonight, when Mastodon, above, brings its brand of epic prog metal to the Elm City. The quartet's "Blood Mountain" was one of the best discs of 2006; don't miss it live.

The sounds of Bluzberry Pi comes to Cafe Nine tonight. It'll be a night of cool R&B.

The Space attempts to match the metal of Toad's with a show featuring the very hardcore/screamo Eyes of the Dead.

Ricky Martin doesn't scare easily, I guess. The performer defends his decision to symbolically give President Bush the finger during a concert.

Entertainment Weekly recaps a pretty lackluster episode of "Survivor" from last night.

It's been in the news a lot around here, but it looks like the sale of Air America has been approved.

Bad news for the newspaper industry
comes from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It seems odd for a paper to willingly cut its circulation numbers, though.

Yahoo wonders if "Ghost Rider" can save Nic Cage's career. Not a chance in hell, Yahoo, not a chance in hell.

It looks like VH1 is offering pop-culture junkies another chance to take an online test and qualify for the "World Series of Pop Culture." Readers of my column know that I hate the "Series" and want it to die a slow, painful death. That'll teach them to not accept Plop Goes The Weasel, even when we passed the test.

Kenny Chesney wants you to know he's not gay. Tim Hardaway probably hates him anyway.

If you don't think I'll be first in line for this movie, you're crazy. I can't wait. I'll sing "Blame It On The Rain" while watching.

Yes, Ryan Adams is crazy. Did we need a story telling us that, though?

And that's all I got today. Check back Sunday or Monday for more. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Now Playing, at Toad's Place

With all the hoopla surrounding whether Toad's Place is going to move — temporarily or permanently — to the old Palace building, a very, very good concert schedule for the next few days has been overshadowed.

The stellar few nights begins today with Sonic Youth, left, a band I haven't seen live since about 2002, and that was in an opening slot. So I'm pretty excited, as you should be. Make sure to check it out; it's not that often we get such legendary bands in the area.

And here's hoping all the rumors about the move are true. Wouldn't it be great to have another venue in downtown New Haven? Even if not run by Toad's, a working Palace could bring in a lot of the mid-level theater shows that bounce straight from Boston to New York because they just aren't big enough for the Chevy. The city could actually pull a bit of business away from Northampton's booming concert industry.

Let's cross our fingers.

In other news, former basketball star Tim Hardaway is a moron.

What am I going to do when I eat breakfast now? I'm so very sad.

Carlos Santana thinks he can run restaurants, now. I wonder if he'll get advice from Clive Davis, since lord knows Carlos can't make an album without Clive. Heck, I wonder if he'll call himself the head chef, but bring in all these better chefs to write the menu and actually prepare the food.

This movie looks absolutely awful. On paper, you'd say, 'Oh, I can see how this might work.' But, after watching the trailer, I'm completely dumbfounded. This is another one when I truly wonder how the meeting in which this was sold went. No wonder turnover at movie studios is so huge.

Great records from so many bands couldn't win Grammys, but Jimmy could.

Why can't people just be happy with what they are? All I can say is that Ron Jeremy's going to be a little disappointed after this one.

Imagine taking a little vacation, deciding to stay at a nice little bed and breakfast, and then waking up for breakfast and having it served to you by Donna Martin, er, Tori Spelling. It could happen.

With one Howard Stern in the news so much lately, you almost forget about the more famous guy. Well, he's not having any of it. The popular radio host is back in the news.

In this Wall Street Journal column, the author is trying to compare the success of the new Shins disc with that of Nirvana's, basically saying The Shins is the new Nirvana. I know that part of today's news culture is to make huge statements and hope they stick, and I know that The Shins landing at No. 2 on the Billboard is a BIG deal. And I also realize that by the end of this piece, the writer backs off his initial claim, but to even think the comparison is somewhat warranted is just dumb. Yep, dumb. Nirvana began a scene, and sold gazillions of discs. The Shins are no different than Death Cab For Cutie, a little indie band that caught a good break and rode it to some decent record sales. Forgeting about quality of music, that's the best comparison to The Shins.

I can't bring myself to watch "Lost," but Entertainment Weekly does publish some fun recaps of each episode. Here's one about last night's episode. For me, the big problem with the show is that I truly believe creator J.J. Abrams is just messing with viewers. He has no idea where this show is going. That's just wrong. I never watched "Alias" either, but I've read that he "started" that show over a few times. And I also know multiple episodes of "Felicity" turned out to be a dream. This doesn't sound like someone who's really a good writer, one that sees something through, to me.

If you haven't already checked it out, Register Sunday Editor Mike Foley has a really fun blog up our site. It's geared toward parents, but I read it daily and not only do I not have children, I don't even think about them.

At Cafe Nine tonight, the New Haven Advocate presents Free Speech Nite with theater, comedy and James Velvet. That's a trifecta of sorts.

And finally, The Space presents a night of local hard rock headlined by The Conflix.

So I'm done. Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Winter Wonderland

This morning I realized that I'm not alone in wanting to revel in our first real snowfall in the New Haven area.

I mean, why else would the city decide not to plow? Nerves woke me up today, all because I was worried that the plows would get rid of the flakes and hail, making the streets safer. You'd think that the people manning the trucks would be all hot and bothered like the local weathermen, all way too giddy about the snow and getting something to do.

The weathermen certainly lived to their expectations, getting the area into a frenzy about not-so-much snow. On the way to work, though, I realized plows had definitely not been out in the Elm City. Amazing stuff.

But let's get to the news of the day. Doesn't this cover of Rolling Stone scare you? I don't think it takes a genius to know that these three guitarists are far from the best music has to offer. David Fricke is usually a very good music writer, but this article makes me sad inside.

You would think the military would have better things to do than criticize "24." Although, you would think Congress would have much more important things to do meddle in baseball, too.

According to Kill Rock Stars and Pitchfork, a CD full of Elliott Smith rarities will hit stores May 8. This is a good thing, but let's hope Elliott doesn't become rock's version of Tupac, releasing posthumous album after posthumous album.

Who would have thought the awful flick "Sahara" would still be in the news to this day. The movie was bad, the dude's book was probably bad. Get over it.

The good folks over at Play Magazine like to rag on me because I can't stand Lily Allen. The Brit is looking to win some British awards.

Here's a story on the end of "The O.C.," a show I haven't even seen in years and never watched regularly. I have friends who truly believe this season has been fantastic. I can't vouch for how bad or good the show is, but it seems easy to blame the series' ratings slide on Fox, which moved it around every few weeks, it seemed.

Where have you gone Alicia Silverstone, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Michael Bay screened 25 minutes of the upcoming "Transformers" for a select bunch last night. How did it go? Find out here.

Oh, man, please go to this site and let Britney Spears say your name. Truly hilarious.

Bret Michaels of Poison now has his own show. I just wish it was C.C. DeVille, then we could hear more about how "the house whores became the house of horrors."

One of my absolute favorite bands, Dinosaur Jr., has a couple new songs up on its MySpace page. Pretty exciting, heh?

This news should make any music fan over the age of like 18 really sad. I just shed a tear.

Go read about the final roster at Bonnaroo, which has gone from a hippie paradise to a really good festival in the last few years.

I know "American Idol" has only been on a few times so far this season, but it seems Entertainment Weekly has decided there was a need to identify the best and worst of the year so far.

Ding Dong DJs are over at Cafe Nine tonight. 'Nuff said.

The Rivalry joins The Trickle Down Effect and Sketch Tha Cataclysm over at The Space tonight. It's an evening of high-energy indie rock, with some hip hop thrown in. Guess which one is the hip-hop artist.

And that's it on this Wednesday. Stay off the roads. I don't think the plowers have decided to do anything yet. They want to enjoy the snow, too.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Oh, Norah

Fans of Norah Jones, take note: Tickets for the songstress' April 13 show at the Chevrolet Theatre go on sale Wednesday (Feb. 14) morning at 10 a.m.

You can get them at any Ticketmaster location, by calling (203) 624-0033 or by logging on to Seats will cost you $38-$58. Good luck.

Tuesday Releases And So Much More

It's a pretty dead week for new music, but there's still many things going on. Here's a rundown of the new CDs, and then some more news.

Lucinda Williams"West"
Lost Highway
three stars

Arclights Records
three stars

Elisabeth Ames & the Countrypolitans"Anytime"
Ultrapolitan Records
three stars

She's Spanish, I'm American"She's Spanish, I'm American"
Bedroom Classics
two-and-a-half stars

So as I mentioned a week or so back, it looks like Ozzfest is definitely free. Read about it here. If this isn't regulated well, there could be problems.

Tickets for Connecticut shows featuring John Legend, Corinne Bailey Rae, Steely Dan, Rod Stewart, Martina McBride, Little Big Town, Norah Jones and Fall Out Boy go on sale this week. Check out Weekend for more details.

Dearestazazel and New Haven's own Love Bomb are at Cafe Nine tonight, a perfect evening for fans of heavy, danceable rock.

The Space's Open Mic Night features Jake Fuller. Get your guitar and get thee to Hamden.

Robbie Williams has entered rehab. This story is on the front page of Yahoo! news. Isn't that weird since, you know, nobody knows who the hell he is in America.

Sarah Silverman will get a second season for her hysterical new show on Comedy Central.

It seems everybody's favorite dad, Bill Cosby, has a talented little doggy. I can't stand watching dog shows, but, you know ....

It looks like Iggy Pop and The Stooges will go on the road later this spring for a few dates. None in Connecticut, as of now, though.

If you're looking to waste some time watching some good TV shows, check out this site.

My future wife (pictured above) is in the studio recording her fifth album. According to an interview with Rolling Stone, it's actually going to be good and not filled with syrupy crap. I'll believe it when I hear it.

According to ESPN — and me — the Red Sox have the best starting rotation in baseball.

Some reunions, like The Police, are heartwarming. Others just make me laugh uncontrollably.

The Arcade Fire has announced a North American tour. The hype for this band's upcoming disc, "Neon Bible," is astounding. It'll be amazing if it can live up to it. I, for one, didn't think the group's debut was all that amazing. Very good? Yes. Great? Nope.

Joe Amarante has an interesting discussion going on at his blog about WAVZ.

"Ghost Rider," which opens Friday, is not being screened to the press. If I were Sony, I wouldn't even have let the trailers appear on television. The movie looks so damn awful.

And, guess what? That's all I've got for today. Check back for updates.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wait A Little Longer, Connecticut, says The Police

Well, word is in: The Police will stop in Hartford on the band's reunion tour. We just don't know when.

The trio announced 14 dates just a few minutes ago. And of those dates, the only ones somewhat close are July 28 at Fenway Park and Aug. 1 and 3 at Madison Square Garden. Ticket info for those three concerts are not available right now.

But, at the bottom of a press release sent out by Live Nation, it says,

"Additional North American concert dates in Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Tampa, San Francisco’s Bay Area, Minneapolis/St. Paul and the Washington/Baltimore area will be announced in the next few weeks."

Of course, the emphasis is mine, but that sure looks to me like we'll be getting the band for a show at the Hartford Civic Center sometime in late July or early August. Woo-hoo.

When I find out exactly, you'll be the first to know. For more complete info, go here.

Monday is Monday

In some ways, last night's Grammy Awards did the right thing, handing the Dixie Chicks as many awards as possible. On the other hand, the show continues to honor the bland and boring, the safe and crummy. Here's my take on the event.

The biggest news of the evening came with The Police reunion. I have to wonder if it was worth the wait. The performance sounded great; of course, there were some canned harmonies. We'll have to see about the tour. We should find out today. Check back to this blog for the news.

Nicolas Cage wants to make "She-Hulk," huh? Tell me that's not the funniest visual ever. Oh, OK, he wants to make it with Eva Mendes, but it says here that "Ghost Rider" fails so miserably this weekend that nobody's going to let Nic anywhere near a comic-book movie for a long while.

Co-worker Joe Amarante sent me this story from the Times about the man who's got me so excited for April. I'm going to be like a lame teenager and buy the dude's shirt. Although, Joe, you see, is shaking in his boots.

It looks like MTV is cancelling "I'm From Rolling Stone." Oh, you mean you can't just find good music journalists on the street? Not just anybody is one?

A David Lynch musical. Who would have thunk it? I just wish it was "Mulholland Drive." You know why.

Entertainment Weekly has a good story on who should have won at the 2002 Oscars.

It looks like we'll get a Radiohead album in August. I can't confirm that this site is legit, though.

Howie Mandel
gets to hang with many ladies while filming "Deal or No Deal." Well, the comic was at Foxwoods last weekend, hanging with other ladies. The casino sent me this photo with Howie and the Celtic dancers. With the Celtics losers of 2,347 games in a row, it's no wonder the dancers have left to go work with bad comedians.

Toad's Place has announced a Feb. 27 show with Mirah and The Blow. I always see Mirah and hope for Marah.

Cafe Nine presents Beatnik 2000 No. 351 tonight at 9 p.m. Look for James Velvet and the Ivory Bills to headline.

And that's about it on this end. Stay tuned for those Police updates.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Before-Grammy Update

Isn't it great that Lindsay Lohan's mom says the starlet is enjoying rehab? Dina Lohan, the mom in question, is a bad mother, plain and simple. According to all reports, this woman gets drunk with her underage daughter, and enjoys the fame a ton. No wonder little Lindsay is in rehab.

Eddie Murphy topped the box office with "Norbit," which received across-the-board scathing reviews. Just another example of people not reading the paper. Well, sort of. It's also an example of how people like to laugh, even if they're laughing at fat people and other dumb humor.

Ike Turner won a Grammy earlier tonight, one of the awards they don't announce on the show. After picking up the trophy, Ike promptly smacked the presenter over the head with it. OK, I made that one up.

The whole Anna Nicole Smith thing just keeps getting crazier. This is some weird stuff. Of course, we should expect this coming from the premature death of someone we made famous for doing absolutely nothing, unless you consider being drugged out and dumb something.

The Brits honored both "The Queen" and "The Last King of Scotland" earlier today. Who would have thunk it? The English folks over at BAFTA like royalty. Long live the king, and queen.

Interesting music article in the Times today, talking about a town in Jersey that's a little different. Check it out.

Calla's at BAR tonight with another very good band, Awesome Color. If you're not interested in the Grammy Awards, check it out.

And at Toad's, we have Chris DePino and Laco Deczi's concert in support of St. Jude's. A good cause with some good music. Head on over.

Even Serbia loves Rocky Balboa. Read about it.

And that's about it on this end. Read my Grammy reaction in Monday's Register. Here's hoping it's funny.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

What's On My Mind

You want to know something embarrassing about me? When I typed the headline to this blog entry, I was being literal. You know, I'm really going to write about what's on my mind. But, as soon as I typed it, the tune of the same name by Kansas popped into my brain and made me smile. Sad, I know.

With that said, the new season of "Survivor" premieres tonight. I know the show's lame in so many ways, but I just can't get enough. It's really the only TV show (non-sports related) that I make a point to watch, besides "Prison Break." Anyway, on this season of the island game show, we've got a Yale grad.

Everyone's favorite sibling band, Hanson, comes to Toad's Place March 2. I know it may sound funny, but if you haven't heard the brothers' recent records, the ones without "MMMBop," you really are missing some pop goodness.

The good guys over at Manic Productions have added a decent amount of really good shows. The one to really be excited about? How's Low and Loney, Dear sound? Both bands have new records out (or coming out, in Low's case) on SubPop. Both discs are brilliantly nuanced and splendid, and the show's in an old theater in New Britain. Can't beat that. Get tickets now.

On of my favorite locals, The Tires, are at Cafe Nine tonight, performing before The Hickups, another good local honky-tonkin' band.

For those of you excited about my Grammy Awards notebook, keep in mind it won't be running in Weekend next Friday. It'll actually be in Monday's Register. Speaking of the Grammys, The three members of The Police are expected to announce their rumoured tour Monday. I'll let you know as soon as I know ....

Logistics haven't been announced yet, but supposedly this year's Ozzfest will be a free event. The summer show will certainly hit Hartford, and local metal fans should be excited because the Queen of Metal of herself, Sharon Osbourne, has announced the shows will be free. Once again, I'll let you know as soon as I know ....

Tonight's Galactic show at Toad's Place has been cancelled. The funksters cleared their schedule until at least the 15th. Sorry.

Anytime "Law & Order" is even vaguely in the news, I read.

A partial list of bands at this SXSW fest has been announced. I'm thinking about heading out to Texas this year for it, since it's always a good time. It looks like none of the Connecticut bands that sent material made the cut, though.

Smashing Pumpkins, well, really Billy Corgan, announced the "reunited" band's disc, "Zeitgeist," will be out July 7. Does anyone care?

That's it on this end. Talk soon and have a great Thursday. Who doesn't love Thursdays?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

New Music Tuesday

OK, another week, another set of releases.

We've got some good ones this week, so get yourself to a store and pick 'em up. As usual, look for full reviews in Friday's Weekend.

Fall Out Boy"Infinity on High"
three stars

Apples in Stereo"New Magnetic Wonder"
Yep Roc
three stars

Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter"Like, Love, Lust & The Open Halls of the Soul"
three-and-a-half stars

Bloc Party"Weekend In the City"
Vice Records
two stars

Barenaked Ladies"Barenaked Ladies Are Men"
Desperation Records
two-and-a-half stars

Monday, February 05, 2007

Tid Bits of News

Fully recovered from a not-nearly-as-close as it looked Super Bowl, I've been thinking about how bad the non-Patriots Super Bowls of the last few years actually have been.

I don't say this as just a Pats fan. Think about it: Last night was a bore and sloppy, but not nearly as sloppy as the previous year's, when we saw two of the worst QB performances in the history of the Super Bowl from Pittsburgh and Seattle.

The only other Super Bowl that did not include New England in the past few years was that Tampa and Oakland debacle that saw Rich Gannon account for 2,046 turnovers himself. Seriously, the last good Big Game without the Pats goes all the way back to Rams vs. Titans, which went down in 2000. Of course, I guess the Super Bowl is always a crap shoot.

In other news:

It looks like David Lee Roth will rejoin Van Halen. Does anyone really care anymore? Isn't the whole band Eddie's kids, now? This is a desperate move by two very desperate parties, Van Halen and the pathetic Roth.

One thing that was great about the Super Bowl was Prince's performance, a big surprise considering the recent history of half-time shows. If you missed it, I'm sure you can find it illegally posted on the Internet. Hint: Check YouTube.

Someone forwarded me an interview with the greatest actor of the 1980s. Check it out here.

There aren't many good songs on the new The Decemeberists disc, but "O Valencia!" is pretty great. The video is cool, too. See it here.

And that's about it on this end.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Eat Your Cake

As we take baby steps into the short month called February, good news arrives: Thrill Jockey, an indie label, sends word that dreamy popsters The Sea and Cake will return with a new disc come May 8.

Titled "Everybody," the album will mark the first new release from the quartet in about four years, and I for one couldn't be more excited. There's just something inherently great about each of the band's previous releases. The Sea and Cake puts out discs to fall asleep to, CDs that reward continuously. Whether it's slow electronics, Brazilian jazz or post-rock, the band always performs effortlessly.

The beginning of this year looks incredibly solid for releases; so get excited. Whether it's matt pond PA, Clem Snide, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, Wilco or The Sea and Cake, there should be something for everyone.