Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Neko Case & 826: Last Chance!!!

Neko Case's co-star on the cover of her last LP, Middle Cyclone, is today's topic of interest. To benefit the good works of 826 National, Neko has donated her beloved wheels, (which she named "Angie Dickinson"), for the raffle that has been dubbed the "Mercury Cougar-Rama Muscle Car ‘Splosion".

Today is your very last chance to obtain this bitchin' 67 Mercury Cougar...That would be 5pm Pacific time on 17 March, 2011. Operators are standing by.

A game of chance is always a risky thing, and some of you are more daring than others. The main thrust of this piece, and the raffle, is to sound the horn for the work of the 826 family, and its increasing importance in this time of shrinking education funding.

To wit, the foundation focuses on kids writing skills through workshops, tutoring, student publishing, field trips, and more. Spurred by author Dave Eggers, (A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius, etc), 826 Valencia in San Francisco was the original outpost, funded in part by the adjoining pirate supply store!, that has grown into a nationwide organization. If you do nothing more than hit the links, learn about them, and maybe even do the 'like' thing, for those of you who are Facebook inclined, then I would consider that a victory.

Me, (vroom vroom), I'm a gambling man...

newmuzik: Okkervil River/Kills

"Wake Up & Be Fine" is the first taste of I Am Very Far, Okkervil River's new LP that is slated for a 10 May release on Jagjaguwar. They will be on the road this summer with opener Titus Andronicus, in what might be one of the better dollar for dollar values in touring this summer. Look for a report here from their late June show at the Wiltern Theater in LA.

Also, Alison Mosshart has finished with her Dead Weather dabbling and rejoined the fold (partner Jamie Hince)...Domino Records is kindly providing The Kills: 'DNA' ,from their forthcoming LP, Blood Pressures, due in April.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Still Tilting Windmills: Gang of Four live

Gang Of Four Fonda Music Box 21 Feb 2011
Gang of Four put an exclamation point on their return to action with a fiery show at the Fonda Music Box. Augmented by a fresh rhythm section, they kept the flag flying, and gave plenty of space to their new LP, Content, dropping the new songs into a set that otherwise leaned on their first two albums heavily. The good news is that for the most part, the new songs held up to the old, which is no mean feat.

Original stalwarts Jon King and Andy Gill were in fine form throughout. King's spastic stage presence held the audience throughout, and Gill rose to the occasion. He contributed to the highlights of the evening with his patented guitar terrorism on 'Anthrax', and an emotional take on 'Paralysed', often overshadowed in their catalogue, but still relevant today.

'To Hell With Poverty' was an emotional highpoint of the set, and they finally said adieu to the sweat drenched masses, rocking 'Damaged Goods' on their second encore.

While not up to the emotional sledgehammer of their 2005 reunion show at Coachella, it was more forward focused, and more musically sound, with the core members continuing to give 110%.

1) You'll Never Pay For The Farm 2) Not Great Men 3) Ether 4) I Parade Myself 5) Paralysed 6) A Fruitfly In The Beehive 7) Anthrax 8) It Was Never Gonna Turn Out Too Good 9) What We All Want 10) Why Theory? 11) We Live As We Dream Alone 12) To Hell With Poverty 13) Do As I Say
14) I Love A Man In Uniform 15) Return The Gift 16) He'd Send In The Army
17) I Party All The Time 18) Damaged Goods
(courtesy of

Hollerado, by way of Montreal, won over a lot of hearts with their straight forward energetic set. Definitely a band worth investigating...