Sunday, March 28, 2010


I got to see Black Rebel Motorcycle Club last night, and it was one of the best shows I've ever been to. Judging by the first half of the set, I thought it was going to be all new songs, but once they had played nearly all of their newest album, "Beat The Devil's Tattoo", they blasted into a classic after classic assault, which featured songs from each of their albums.

Sandwiched in between two middle-school aged kids and a 40-something couple, I enjoyed watching the kids amazed at what was probably their first rock 'n' roll show, hardcore fans screaming out their favorite songs, teens moshing, and the older crowd singing along in a haunted state.

One of the best parts of the set was when bassist Robert Been came out alone with an acoustic guitar and announced while lowering the mic, "This stage is too high, I feel like I'm too far away from everyone". He then sat on the stage about two feet away from me and my friend Eli, and played Bob Dylan's "Visions of Johanna". After the song, he shook Eli's hand and gave him his guitar pick.

From there, they dove right back into their diverse catalog, with scorchers like "Weapon of Choice" and "Spread Your Love" and haunting songs like "Red Eyes And Tears" and "666 Conducer". Although their folk driven album "Howl" boasts some of the mellower songs of BRMC's canon, I thought that some of these songs were the most powerful and charged songs of the whole set. "Ain't No Easy Way" and "Shuffle Your Feet" had everyone stomping in a frenzy and they shouted along with the lyrics.

Above, guitarist Peter Hayes and drummer Leah Shapiro. To close the show, the band played "Open Invitation", the secret closing track from Howl.

London trio Band Of Skulls (pictured above), who opened the show, were a great compliment to BRMC and I highly recommend checking out their debut album "Baby Darling Doll Face Honey".

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Die By The Drop.

Ok, so remember that post I did a while back about all the amazing albums coming out this year? Well, so far my theory has been correct.

More albums I can count seem to be dropping every week. The new Titus Andronicus record is outstanding, BRMC's "Beat The Devil's Tattoo" is solid from start to finish, and if Johnny Cash's "American VI: Ain't No Grave" doesn't shake you, you probably aren't alive.

The Dead Weather have released a promo video for a "Die By The Drop", a single off their new album, "Sea Of Cowards", due May 11th.

Check it out here.

I'm hoping to go into the city today to get She and Him "Vol. 2" today. Crossing fingers.

I get to see BRMC tonight, with Band Of Skulls opening, and then I'll be seeing Titus Andronicus next week, so I'll report further on that then.

I love my life.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nashville Skyline

Last week I embarked on my first trip to Nashville, Tennesee, which entailed:

2 sleepless, 7 hour Megabus trips from Minneapolis to Chicago (1 there and 1 back)
1 deck of cards completely destroyed during multiple games of Jackson Fives
1 25th birthday celebration
1 plate of brownies and a 6 pack of birthday root beer (thanks Andy!)
1 Kangaroo spotted in kentucky
2 trees climbed
3 staged amateur wrestling fights, complete with swearing 80-year old women, spandex, spikes and the arrest of 1 "wrestler"
$150+ spent in records and CDs
about the same amount spent in food
40 minutes spent trying to find a non-existent bathroom in Gary, Indiana
3 all-nighters, 2 Cracker Barrel visits, and one 3AM Waffle House visit
4 visitors from Atlanta
6 days packed to the gills with non-stop activity and no sleep
X number of new friends made (don't make me try and count)
1 cave explored
too many Danzig jokes

And I'd gladly do it again.

I'm looking forward to tour.

Monday, March 15, 2010

"1372 Overton Park"

I recently took a trip to Nashville, Tennessee and caught a set from Memphis' alt-country-punk heroes, Lucero.

Though they're known for their raw recordings that embody the lifestyle of boozing, all-night drives, and hard luck, their new album, "1372 Overton Park" is a sizable step up in production and arrangement.

Producer Ted Hutt (The Gaslight Anthem, Bouncing Souls, Flogging Molly) brings a gleaming presence that gives each track a gritty-yet-warm shine that pulls you in and makes you forget what year it is, as all good music should.

The album, whose title is a reference to the famous Memphis park where Elvis Presley played his first paid gig, rightfully brings to mind a sense of American tradition that Lucero not only pays tribute to, but owns. The full horn section, organ, piano and pedal steel arrangements echo the maturity of Lucero's near 10-year existence and puts "1372 Overton Park" in the upper echelon of modern rock and roll classics, alongside The Gaslight Anthem's "The '59 Sound" and River City Rebels' "Keepsake Of Luck"

While knowing going in that they are accustomed to playing for 3-plus hours, I stood up front for the whole show and was upset when they didn't keep playing highly requested songs all night.

I raised my glass and shouted for more, but after two hours and a short encore, the band retired for the night and announced, "We'll see you tomorrow night". I wasn't able to attend the second night, as I was heading back home to Minneapolis, but at least I get to listen to this album as much as I want, close my eyes and get lost in Overton Park.