is this all over the blogosphere yet? [checking...] yup. oh well. throw me the statue’s “about to walk”

February 23rd, 2008

Of course it’s all over the blogosphere, but you might not have heard this Throw Me the Statue song yet.

Honestly, I hate the first few seconds of “About to Walk” (the fuzzed drum machine is irritating) but it gets better quickly and holds a very catchy line the rest of the song. The chorus’ vocal melody is really great and the instrumentation builds well throughout the song.

Throw Me the Statue – About to Walk (mp3)

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The band is playing this year’s Noise Pop in just a few days:

2/28 Stellastarr*, Birdmonster, Throw Me The Statue, The Hundred Days @ Great American, 7pm, $18, 6+

There’s a lot more tour dates at Secretly Canadian’s site.

‘gum has another track. The album, Moonbeams is out now on Secretly Canadian and is available from insound.

the ian fays and rooftop vigil (aka geographer) @ great american, 2/21

February 22nd, 2008

Last night I saw the Ian Fays, and the Rooftop Vigil play a show at the Great American. Maldroid (myspace) was headlining, but I decided not to stick around after hearing some of their stuff on myspace.

Geographer/ the Rooftop Vigil were on when I got there a few minutes after the “show time”. (Since when do Great American shows start on time?) The set up is, left to right, Kacey on keyboards and vocals (and guitar for one song), Mike on keyboards/ guitar and vocals, Nathan on cello and Brian on drums.

They have an indie pop sound that’s a little bit off the standard sound: varied keyboard sounds, cello holding down the low end and a lead vocals (for most of the songs) that had a really nice Jim James quality to it. (A “floating” or “soaring” quality, I’d call it, conscious of the fact that that description sounds strange.)

Their songs worked really well, especially live, and it was an enjoyable set overall. Good songs, decent banter (though there could be more) and good musicianship. The set ended with me feeling like I’d be hearing more from this band.

The Ian Fays went on, complete with matching plaid outfits, at least for the girls, after a short break.

They played a solid set of their indie pop, complete with guitars, bass, keyboards, interesting percussion (glockenspiel, finger cymbals), and drum set. It was a fairly consistent but enjoyable set. In addition to their coordinated outfits, they had coordinated hand movements and things that gave the set some extra interest.

Between Geographer and the Ian Fays, I was thrilled by this show. Two really solid sets, a small and intimate show and a great venue. I left very excited about the state of music.

More photos after the jump. You can also view the whole photo album.

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SF gets another fricking festival…great…

February 22nd, 2008

SF Weekly’s All Shook Down blog reports that SF is getting another festival, this one a 3 day affair (August 22-24) in Golden Gate Park called Outside Lands Festival[1]. This one has Radiohead, apparently. Others are reporting Jack Johnson and Tom Petty will perform as well.

Apparently it’s another Another Planet Entertainment festival, Makes me wonder: will they also organize another Treasure Island Festival just a few weeks later in September? I also wonder if there’s any friction with Noise Pop who co-organized last year’s Treasure Island but appear to be absent from the organizers on Outside Lands with Superfly (of Bonnaroo, Vegoose) apparently in on it instead.

ANYWAY, go ahead and go into your excited squealing mode. It’s ok. I’ll wait.

I’m not squealing. I’m not a huge fan of the big outdoor festivals. I can see more bands I actually want to see for less money and with fewer other people in clubs, simple as that. (Case in point: last March I saw 11 bands for a total of $98. Three incredible shows, four great shows and four good shows. My outdoor festival experience hasn’t matched that and I don’t see reviews of outdoor festivals with that sort of hit rate.) Also, I like listening to Radiohead occasionally, but I’m not a die hard fan at all. They’re just not meaningful to me beyond making some nice-to-listen-to music.

I’ll post later today or tomorrow about the awesome experience I had last night seeing a couple small bands put on great sets in a nice club with a small audience. That’s the sort of stuff that gets me really excited about music.

[1] see also regarding the name

Song obsession friday! (for the week ending February 22)

February 22nd, 2008

Song obsessions are those songs that we listen to on repeat. I noticed that my obsessions are often a week long. I also thought that other people might have similar obsessions. I’ve collected a panel of a few like-minded individuals and gotten their “song obsessions of the week.” Quite often it’s easy to explain why the song is good; it’s much hard to explain why we’re obsessed. Maybe you’ll become obsessed with one of these.

Adrian (me):
Two Sheds – It’s Hard (mp3) (buy)

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I was listening to a Bay Bridged podcast and was instantly struck by this track. I then found the band’s myspace page and listened to it a dozen or two more times. The mournful and breathy female vocals over the sparse, slightly distorted guitar and plodding drums (with a lick or two of organ in there) just works so well. That all of this is going toward two words–”it’s hard”–seems oddly appropriate.

Keith:
Georgie James – Long Week (mp3) (buy)

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I do recall advising the legions disappointed by The New Pornographers’ lackluster effort called Challengers to consider a move to Georgie James and their enthusiastic effort Places. But I don’t recall being so completely entranced by the 4th track until today’s drive home, where it received the triple play award.

Scott:
Goslings – Mandy (mp3) (buy)

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Chris (not Dave):
Sonic Youth – Superstar (mp3) (buy)

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apparently this cover has been around since the mid 90′s, and i had no idea until i heard it on the juno soundtrack (and movie). it’s catchy, of course, and it makes me wonder if having a legendary band cover a (cheesy) song automatically gives the song massive cred. i’m inclined to say yes.

death cab to come to SF April 23, surprisingly play the Fillmore

February 21st, 2008

Pitchfork reported this morning that Death Cab for Cutie will be heading to the Fillmore on April 23. Given that they’re releasing a new album May 13, the tour is totally unsurprising, but the choice of venue is. This is Death Cab after all. The same band that’s over one and a half million in total album sales. The same band that headlined (and sold out, if memory serves) the 8500 capacity Greek Theater. Much smaller (but still good) bands like Andrew Bird head to the 2100-capacity Warfield over the 1250 capacity Fillmore, so this is a surprise for sure.

Then again, it’s not like Spoon playing the Cafe du Nord or anything, but that was presented as a purposefully ridiculous “secret show”. Expect tickets to sell out quickly, of course.

No word on when tickets go on sale yet. March 2 with a pre-sale a couple days before is my guess.

All tour dates after the jump.

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3 upcoming local shows I want to check out

February 21st, 2008

It’s a good weekend for music! I realized yesterday that there’s a whole slate of unrelated local shows that I’ll probably be hitting up at the end of this week and this weekend.

Thursday Feb 21 Maldroid (myspace), the Ian Fays, and the Rooftop Vigil are appearing at the Great American. I like the Ian Fays and their brand of increasingly organic indie pop. The Rooftop Vigil (formerly Parasol) sent me some stuff a couple weeks ago that I’ve been enjoying their cello-ey indie pop.

Friday Feb 22
On Friday Love is Chemicals (myspace) is having their CD release show at Bottom of the Hill. HIJK and the Don’ts are also on the bill. LiC’s album (that this show is a release show for) is streaming at the band’s website.

Friday-Saturday Feb 22-23
The Second Annual Scatterbrain Jamboree to benefit SF AIDS Foundation will be Friday and Saturday at thee Parkside. The list of bands is ridiculous. Friday lineup has: Pidgeon, The Mumlers, Schande, Make Me, The Holy Kiss and White Pee. Saturday’s bill is French Miami, Master/Slave, The New Centuries, Death of a Party, Battlehooch, Shitkickers, Settler, Little Teeth, Thunder Thighs, The Bug Pedals, Top Critters, Godstomper, Bad Touch. It starts at 6pm on Friday and 3pm on Saturday. For handy links to all the bands, head over to the Bay Bridged (of course).

on sale soon (02.21.08 edition)

February 21st, 2008

What better valentines day present than some tickets to a show?!

Posted every Thursday On Sale Soon is a weekly series of the tickets going on sale that weekend.

Where to get tickets: The Independent, Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, Fillmore, Warfield, and other Livenation venues. Another Planet booked venues like Greek Theatre @ Berkeley, Palace of Fine Arts, etc. Bimbo’s.

On sale Thurs Feb 21:
5/25 Thrice, Circa Survive, Pelican @ The Fillmore

Pre-sale Thur Feb 21:
4/8 Jimmy Eat World, Paramore, Dear and the Headlights @ Event Center at San Jose State University

On sale Friday Feb 22:
4/5 Eddie Vedder, Liam Finn @ Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
4/7 Eddie Vedder, Liam Finn @ Zellerbach Auditorium
4/20 Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z @ Oracle
5/18 El Perro del Mar @ Bimbo’s

On sale Sunday Feb. 24:
3/28 Aratic, Maxwell Adams, Forthmorning, Omissa @ Slim’s
3/28 The Expendables @ The Fillmore
3/29 Testament @ the Independent

4/1 GZA, Blue Scholars, J-Boogie @ the Independent
4/11 Morcheeba @ The Fillmore
4/12 Nick Lowe, Robyn Hitchcock @ The Fillmore
4/15 Cat Power, Appaloosa @ The Warfield
4/17 The Beautiful Girls @ the Independent
4/18 Dengue Fever @ the Independent
4/19, 4/20 The Waifs @ the Independent
4/21 the Von Bondies@ the Independent
4/22 The Teenagers@ the Independent
4/23 Caribo, F*ck Buttons @ the Independent
4/25 Mud, Company Car, Cold Hot Crash, Cast of Thousands @ Slim’s

5/10 Tapes n Tapes, White Denim @ The Fillmore
5/11 SOJA @ Slim’s
5/15 The Proclaimers, Jeremy Fisher @ Slim’s
5/24 The Devil Makes Three @ the Great American
5/29 Arch Enemy @ Slim’s
5/30, 5/31 New Monsoon, Albino! @ Great American

7/14 The Police with Elvis Costello & The Imposters @ Shoreline
7/16 The Police with Elvis Costello & The Imposters @ Sleep Train Pavilion

Double check all information as venues and promoters often change on-sale times and days up until the last minute.

“beautiful girls” is this year’s “crazy”

February 19th, 2008

Remember when everyone, indie or otherwise was covering Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” a couple years ago? Well, I’m starting to see that this year’s neo-soul song that all the white kids are covering is Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” which I talked about before.

It really hit me today when I saw brooklyn vegan’s post about Deer Tick’s cover.

I’d seen a few before that, too. Mixtape Maestro has Plain White T’s cover of it. There’s also Jojo’s cover of it at on the same blog.

Rock it for Me has ABX’s mash up of the song with Patrick Wolf’s “the Magic Position” and there’s another mashup, this one by Norwegian Recycling over at mashuptown. There are a ton of remixes and whatnot as well.

I know we’re not talking trillions of covers yet, but I can see a lot more coming. You heard it here first.

my radio show is on the air: “I once was Canadian”

February 19th, 2008

I’m on the radio now until 9am PST. Listen: KZSU 90.1 FM or online.

Here’s my playlist, updated in more or less real time.

Hope you enjoy it.

how to get SF venue tickets cheap

February 18th, 2008

[Update Some of this is out of date as of July 2009. Let me know if you notice any errors.]

How is it that I can pay $5 to get a $400 plane ticket, but I spend more than that on a $20 concert ticket? [1]

Ticketmaster and ticketweb can be oppressive in the fees they add onto tickets. In a limited number of cases, ticketweb’s prices are sometimes as low as $2/ ticket, but their pricing schemes are inconsistent, so without being able to say for sure when their ticket fees are reasonable, I’m not including them below. Cafe du Nord, the Independent and Bottom of the Hill all use ticketweb. Fillmore, Warfield and many other LiveNation venues use ticketmaster.

I’m making a list of ways to get tickets for less than $2.50 a ticket in fees. Of course, tickets are always available free of service charges the night of the show if it hasn’t sold out. Here are a few ways to stop paying $18.22 for that $12 ticket:

the Bottom of the Hill:

  • online $2.01/ ticket very limited tickets are available online. I’ve only seen tickets for show coming up in the very near future.$2 most/ all tickets are available from stubmatic for a small fee

Cafe du Nord:

  • phone/fax/ email $1/ticket You can call the box office from 2-6pm M-F or fax or email them as well.

Fillmore/ Warfield:

  • in person FREE 10am-4pm Sundays at the Fillmore box office @ 1095 Geary St., SF
  • in person $2/ ticket may apply show nights 30 minutes before the show until 10pm

the Grand:

  • in person $1/ ticket tickets for Another Planet Entertainment shows at the Grand can be purchased during at the Independent’s box office (see the Independent, in person section for hours)

Great American:

  • online $3/ticket all shows are available online
  • fax $2/ticket download the fax form (pdf) and fax it to 415-885-5075.
  • in person $1/ticket M-F 10:30am-6pm, show nights until 9pm; Sa and Su 1 hour before the show at Great American’s box office @ 859 O’Farrell St

the Independent:

  • in person FREE M-F 11am-6pm (9pm on show nights) at the Independent box office @ 628 Divisadero

the Rickshaw stop:

Slim’s

  • online $3/ticket all shows are available online
  • fax $2/ticket download the fax form (pdf) and fax it to 415-255-0333.
  • in person ?? (anyone?) M-F 10:30-6pm at Slim’s box office at 333 11th St.

12 Galaxies [closed]

  • online $1.98/ ticket + $0.30/ order all shows are available online

Warfield

  • Tickets are available at the Fillmore box office. See “Fillmore” listing [Warfield is run by Goldenvoice now while the Fillmore is still run by LiveNation]

What other ways are there of getting tickets with little or no fees?

[1] Analogy borrowed from Wired