We Are Still At War

Endless Mike and the Beagle Club announced today that they will begin selling their new record, We Are Still At War tomorrow, May 20th, at craftyrecords.net.

The record was written, arranged, and recorded (live) in a collaborative effort by all fifteen members of the band. Head over to myspace.com/beagleclub to listen to the two new songs that have already been posted: "The Market" and "Bavis the Baby Davis."

A few things:
  2. Nice move announcing it the day before release. Verrrry savvy.
  3. It's cool when records sound like a band sounds live. Can't get any closer to it than recording it live. This record should probably be listened to loudly.
I'll be ordering this tomorrow. You oughtta do the same.

UPDATE: It's a pre-order, shipping around June 2nd. I got a little carried away there without knowing all the details. Still, I'm unbelievably psyched for this. There are a few more songs ("Back Into Eden," "The Pennsylvania Long Goodbye") streaming now here.


Sounds like: happy.

I don't usually post things like this because as soon as music like this comes out of my speakers I'm reminded that I don't have cool enough clothes to ever be taken seriously at a show where music like this is played, but screw it.

Here's the first single from Ponytail's forthcoming release Ice Cream Spiritual!:
Ponytail - Celebrate The Body Electric (It Came From An Angel) (mp3)
I'm really at a loss to describe this, or what I like about it. Essentially, it's 7 minutes of...rapture. The guitars are loud and have the attention span of an overly sugared toddler. Once in a while they'll settle into a groove for a few bars, but they seem to get bored of it before I do every time. The vocals don't amount to much more than rock and roll googoogaga babytalk. It feels like it should be the soundtrack to one of those internet videos of grown adults that get together and have naptime on the floor and play with Tonka trucks. It's just about exactly what you'd expect from a band that calls their record Ice Cream Spiritual!

And if you're like me and you're reading this without having heard it, you're wondering why I would ever expect you to listen to this.

I don't know, maybe it's just that it's really beautiful in the city today after a number of spring's false starts, but I'm really into this song right now. Give it a shot. You might like it as much as I do.

Ponytail's Ice Cream Spiritual! comes out June 17.


Jesse Lacey and Kevin Devine to tour together this summer

Looks like Jesse Lacey's going to take a brief hiatus from band life to tour solo with longtime friend Kevin Devine this summer. Kevin has opened for Brand New at some high profile gigs, and Jesse has been known to show his face at Kevin's shows (and recordings) once in a while. They're not coming close to New York, so I'll have to settle for belated YouTube videos, but this promises to be a show worth seeing. If they're coming to your town, get your tickets here.
Tour Dates:
Jul 17: Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
Jul 18: Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
Jul 21: Hollywood, CA @ The Roxy
Jul 22: San Diego, CA @ House of Blues - Delta Room
Jul 23: Phoenix, AZ @ Brickhouse Theater
Jul 25: Dallas, TX @ The Loft
Jul 26: Austin, TX @ Mohawk
Jul 27: Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory
Jul 29: Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Saloon
Jul 30: Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
Jul 31: Iowa City, IA The Picador
Aug 4: Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre
The one unfortunate thing about this tour pairing is that Kevin probably won't break out his "Jesus Christ" cover.


95.5 WBRU supports local music

A long time ago in a city 3 hours up I-95, I worked in a number of capacities for 95.5 WBRU. Of the roles I filled, my favorite and the one that remains the most meaningful to me in retrospect was the time I spent running the local music show.

I imagine most small-market cities have similar scenes bubbling just beneath the surface, but Providence's was mine, and I'll always look back fondly on the time I spent there working with bands like Zox, Monty Are I (Monty's Fan Club back then...), M-80, Mona, Turning Blue, The Complaints, Bridges Fell (who I wrote about recently) and so many more.

The hardest part of running that show was the frustrating reality that as good as so much of that music was, the chances of it being played on the air at any time other than Tuesday night from 12-1 am was (with very few exceptions) essentially nil.

Ever so slowly over the past few years, with the success of a few bands from the area on the national scene, and a programming staff that regularly pushes the envelope, the situation for local music has been improving.

The WBRU Summer Concert Series is a time-honored tradition in Providence; it draws some big names (their first show this year was Death Cab), and often includes local bands as openers. This year, with their second show, they're really stepping up their efforts and devoting their whole second show to Providence's own. This whole post is my long-winded way of saying I'm proud of them, I guess. Way to go, guys. Keep it up. Represent.


Coldplay: "We're rich, beyotch!"

The growing consensus in the music business these days is that the money is now in touring, and that recorded music will continue to lose value. Big shots like NIN and Radiohead are giving away whole albums for free, and a number of notable other are dipping toes into the same pool...a track at a time. Coldplay, for example, gave away "Violet Hill" from their upcoming Viva La Vida for a week. It's pretty good.

But if the money's in touring, then why is Coldplay also giving away every single ticket to their upcoming shows at Madison Square Garden (click here) and Brixton Academy (click here)? Simple. Because they're rich.


Drew & The Medicinal Pen mentioned on the front page of the New York Times

It's not an album review or anything, but still, it's cool. Drew (last name Henkels or Henkel depending on which paragraph you're reading, way to go Times) was interviewed for a piece about the McKibbin lofts, where he lays his head. It's a pretty compelling piece, actually, about the squalor some NYC artists are willing (or eager) to endure for cheap rent and some semblance of community. Reading it, you can almost smell the pee.
“When I first moved in, I thought it was awesome, a mecca, like the documentaries I watched about CBGB,” said Drew Henkels, 23, a musician who lives in 255. But, he said, he was really getting tired of moving into poor neighborhoods and waiting until the locals got angry and then moving out.
Still, Mr. Henkel, the musician, says local teenagers have shot him with paintballs and called him “cracker.” He plans to move out of the McKibbin after touring with his band, Drew & the Medicinal Pen, this summer. Another resident, Brian Belukha, a 23-year-old musician who describes his look as “intergalactic space castaway,” decided to leave after someone threw a 40-ounce beer bottle at his head.
True story: I tried to go to a party at Drew's loft one time last year but I scrawled the building number down wrong so I never found it, despite managing (without much effort) to infiltrate the building he wasn't in, and have a good look around. It was, at first glance, a mecca of sorts: a series of open spaces, brimming with creative (or at least, creatively dressed) people. A cool place to visit. Apparently, not the coolest place to actually live.

[Previously: Drew & The Medicinal Pen album review, interview.]