Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Interview with Vashti Bunyan

Singer/songwriter Vashti Bunyan will be enjoying some more late-career success when her new collection of singles and demos, Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind drops on November 13th.

I dialed up the incredilby warm and gracious Vashti at home this past weekend for a chat about her memories of Andrew Loog Oldham, recording a Rolling Stones song and what she likes best about this younger generation of artists.

Click over to kevchino.com and enjoy!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Feist Gets Unplugged

Feist (she of the new iPod nano) has gone unplugged for VH1.

You can watch acoustic performances of "1,2,3,4", "I Feel It All" and "My Moon, My Man" here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

U2's "Joshua Tree" Turns 20!

We interrupt the flow of CMJ coverage for this important newsflash:

OMG! I'm old!

I bought "The Joshua Tree" when it originally came out in 1987. Okay, my Mom had to buy it for me - thanks Mom!

Now, 20 years later U2 are getting ready to celebrate the mega album that brought us monster hits like "With Or Without You", "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".

We all know how Bono and the guys work. They don't do things in small ways so on November 20th, our favorite Dubliners are releasing the remasterd disc in not one but FOUR different formats:

1 - regular old CD with liner notes, lyrics and some unseen photos by Anton Corbijn

2 - a double 12 inch gatefold for all you vinylphiles

3 - deluxe edition with an extra CD full of b-sides and demos from the original recording sessions.

4- limited edition box set with 2 cds + a DVD featuring the Joshua Tree Live Tour at the Hippodrome in Paris and a nice little hardbound booklet.

I think I'll take what's behind Door #4, please!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Operator Please @ Mercury Lounge - NYC

Top Five Reasons to Love Australia

#5 - Rain Main says Qantas never crashed

#4 - Kangaroos and koala bears are cute

#3 - Men at Work's "Down Under"

#2 - Wolves (namely Wolfmother and Wolf & Cub)


The spunky pop-friendly five-piece Operator Please danced their way into the hearts of NYC last night with their spot on rock style and fireball songs.

They even conquered my post-CMJ sleepiness!

The band is from the Gold Coast in Australia and they like lots of things from kitties to cheese. We think that's reason enough to make our hearts skip a beat but wait, there's more!!

They have the look!

Bass player Ashley rocked the skinny black jeans and shiny shoes, while singer/guitarist Amandah looked prim enough in a black jumper and lacy white button down but, when she turned around, there was a rip in her black stockings.

I don't kow if it was on purpose or not, but it was perfect. If it was an accidental tear, please from now on, hire a roadie soley as a stockings ripper!!

Their set was full of catchy two-three minute thrashers that will make you smile while you're banging your head.

Operator Please are headed to Los Angeles next for a stop at the Knitting Factory.

Come back soon . . . we miss you already!

Here's the vid for one of their singles. It's called "Leave it Alone".

Now play nice kids!! :)))

Pics . . .

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Wallflowers @ Highline Ballroom - NYC

The Wallflowers are out on a mini-tour and stopped by Highline Ballroom on Monday night.

Last time they hit the road, the guys skipped NYC proper but they made up for it last night, playing for an all over the place crowd - the usual music kids looking like 70s throwbacks, the wallstreet guys in collared shirts, vests and horn-rimmed glasses who looked like they'd rather be calculating something and the requisite Bob Dylan fans who came out to support Dylan fils.

Yes, frontman Jakob Dylan obviously spent some time listening to Dad's records but I have a sneaking suspcision that his favorite was/is Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They play the same kind of American rock that's steeped in Southern folklore, wistful melancholy and radio-friendly road rock.

Frontman Jakob Dylan said at one point that he was in the mood for "the quieter songs" which had people pleading and screaming for "One Headlight". Umm . . . not exactly a quiet song.

Still, the band was in a playful mood as they offered up gem after gem - my favorite being "6th Avenue Heartache".

They played a long encore set (3 or 4 songs - I can't remember exactly I still have lingering CMJ fatigue) but when the house lights went up "One Headlight" had NOT been played.

Part of me admires a band who has the guts to stare down a crowd and not play their big hit but the other part of me whines "but that's a really good song".

Oh, well - that's what Mr. iPod is for!

I headed back to my train with "One Headlight" on repeat.

NYC kids, you have another chance to catch them - October 25th @ The Beacon.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Roseland Ballroom - CMJ

Rodrigo y Gabriela were one of the must-see CMJ gigs so I headed over to the cavern that is Roseland Ballroom early in the night.

Alex Skolnick (formerly a guitarist for metal band Testament) opened for the guitar duo. He's embraced jazz now and fronts a thump thumping band called the Alex Skolnick trio.

He still appreciates some good thrashing metal though and has been a friend to and big time supporter of Rod y Gab.

By the time the guitar duo took their seats on stage, the place was packed and roaring.

The music was as electric as ever. Despite some guitar problems (Rodrigo vamped and asked if the crowd wanted to sing that "London Bridge" song),they still thrashed the hell out of their strings and beat the percussion out on the wooden body of their axes.

The crowd sang along to their cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" - pure magic!!

Now, the other great thing about these two are they have the dirtiest mouths - especailly Gab.

She's such a sweet looking thing but the f-word is obviously her favorite curse word - everything was f-in' something. Love it!!

Thank you to Rodrigo y Gabriela for another f-ingly brillant show!!!

Oh, and one more scoop - RyG are headed overseas to finish up their European dates and then it's back to the studio to thrash out album number 2.

I'll be waiting - VERY impatiently!!

Alex Skolnick added some thrashing licks . . .

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mute Math @ The Fillmore Irving Plaza - CMJ

Pogo me happy because Mute Math were in the house last night!

I decided to hit the balcony of the Fillmore for their gig instead of the floor for a couple of reasons:

1) I'm short
2) I like oxygen

It didn't matter though if you were up above, down below or on the street outside, MM's elctro rock gloriousness was going to catch you and shake you happy no matter where you were!

CMJ gives you plenty of opportunities to get out there and support those brand new baby bands but sometimes, I just need a headliner!!

Mute Math is out on tour, heading south and then west.

You know what to do . . . :)))))

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Grindcity @ Avalon - CMJ

Philadelphia's Grindcity played as part of an Unsigned Artists showcase at Avalon on Wednesday.

All I have to say to that is WHAT????

Somebody SIGN this band!!

They're hip hop in the sense that they have an MC but Grindcity is all about the groove - and they keep it loose and funky.

They've got it all - performance chops, fired up songs and slow R&B burners.

Avalon was crowded early in the night so there MUST have been an A&R person out there somewhere that will be smart enough to take these guys off the unsigned market!

The Teenage Prayers @ Arlene's Grocery - CMJ

New York's the Teenage Prayers played early in the night but they had a decent-sized crowed inching near the stage and craning their necks for a better view.

This is the second time I've seen the guys and they keep on impressing!

If you want to get your solid red, white and blue American rock on - check this band out!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Neimo @ Arlene's Grocery - CMJ

Black and pink 80s tees, skinny black jeans slashed across the knee, white pointy shoes and thrashing - be still my glam-loving heart!

Neimo is the most delicious thing (musically - at least) to come out of France in a long long time. In other words - they make me want to bang a gong!

T-Rex's Marc Bolan may be gone but his style and sass live on in bands like this one.

Lead singer Bruno Joe Dallesandro doesn't mind (to say the least) dozens of flash bulbs going off in his face and he wiggles and rolls on stage with the best of them!

If all of the CMJ gigs turn out to be as much over-the-top fun as this one, we're all in for a VERY good Marathon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy CMJ 2007!

It's here - CMJ 2007!

Go pick up your badges, buy those tickets and hit the streets running . . .

I'll see you in the middle of a mosh pit somewhere!

There's a good cheat sheet (full disclosure - I wrote most of it) to must-see shows on the news section of kevchino.com. Just scroll down.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shout Out Louds - Interview

I sat down with Bebban Stenborg, keyboard player for Sweden's Shout Out Louds.

We talked about her singing lead, Elvis and making a video on a ship.

You can read it @ kevchino.com.

They have a new album out called Our Ill Wills that will make your ears oh so happy!

SOL are also great live so if you haven't seen them, NYC-area kids have another shot. They'll be back in our hood for 3 gigs in late October.

October 25th - Bowery Ballroom - NY, NY
October 26th - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY
October 27th - Maxwells - Hoboken, NJ

Friday, October 12, 2007

"Control" - The Ian Curtis Film

Saw "Control" last night.

It chronicles the short but influential life of Joy Division's lead singer Ian Curtis.

The film, directed by Anton Corbijn, is gorgeously shot in black and white and features some great live scenes.

It's showing at Film Forum in NYC. Make sure you buy your tickets ahead of time because it is selling out!

Wild Light @ Randall's Island

Boston's Wild Light had the tough job of kicking off the Arcade Fire show at Randall's. They were the first of five bands to hit the stage.

They did a good job. I'd like to see them around again BUT . . . YOU MUST SAY YOUR NAME!!

I can't tell you how many times, I've showed up to shows early and the opener is on and you listen - sometimes you even like them - but they never say WHO they are . . .

During Wild Light's gig, I head a lot of people saying "Who are these guys?"

AND, it was in a nice way!!

Please, opening bands, follow the rule of 3s - introduce yourself at the beginning, middle and end.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Les Savy Fav @ Randall's Island

Brooklyn's own Les Savy Fav got the crowd going in their own special way.

Vocalist Tim Harrington tossed dime store toys into the crowd. Normally, you'd crush this kind of stuff beneath your feet, but since the trinkets came from Harrington, kids screamed, begged and dived for them.

During LSF's set, Harrington dressed up and stripped down - ending up in white onsie.

So ridiculous and so much fun!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blonde Redhead @ Randall's Island

Blonde Redhead had the middle spot on the bill at Aracade Fire's Randall's Island gig.

I liked some of the tracks on their last album 23 but their live show didn't do much for me. The sound didn't translate that well and there was a lot of crowd chatter going on.

They have their fans out there though so . . .