Monday, August 25, 2008

In Flames Tour (w/ presale password)

In Flames recently announced a North American headlining tour with All That Remains, Gojira, and 36 Crazyfists supporting. Even though I was disappointed by In Flames' new album, A Sense of Purpose, they are still one of the best live acts in metal, and Gojira is another amazing band that I've been told puts on one hell of a show. Say what you will about All That Remains, but they also have known to put on great live shows, and 36 Crazyfists isn't all that bad either. The tour dates are as follows:

Nov. 06 - Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
Nov. 07 - Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy
Nov. 08 - Detroit, MI @ Emerald Theater
Nov. 10 - Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
Nov. 12 - Minneapolis, MN @ Myth
Nov. 14 - Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall
Nov. 15 - Edmonton, AB @ Events Center
Nov. 17 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore
Nov. 18 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo
Nov. 19 - Portland, OR @ Roseland
Nov. 21 - San Francisco, CA @ Warfield
Nov. 22 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Nokia Club
Nov. 23 - Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues
Nov. 24 - Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
Nov. 25 - Albuquerque, NM @ Midnight Rodeo
Nov. 26 - Denver, CO @ Fillmore
Nov. 28 - Dallas, TX @ Palladium
Nov. 29 - Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
Nov. 30 - Houston, TX @ House Of Blues
Dec. 02 - Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
Dec. 03 - Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
Dec. 04 - Norfolk, VA @ The Norva
Dec. 05 - Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
Dec. 06 - Worcester, MA @ Palladium
Dec. 07 - New York, NY @ Terminal 5
Dec. 09 - St.Louis, MO @ Pageant
Dec. 10 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave

The tickets for this tour are around $20 before service charges, and even though the tickets don't go on sale to the general public until September 5, you can go to this site- and log in with the following information starting tomorrow to get your tickets ahead of time:

Username: inflames
Password: tickets

Although I'm not sure how much the service charge will be, they claim it will be far less than the usual ticket outlet fees, which is definitely a good thing. Even if In Flames did slip with their new album, this tour is highly recommended, and very affordable for the quality of bands you're getting.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Album Catch-Up Part 4

In order to get these out more frequently, I'm switching from 10 albums to 5 albums per post. I had to take a few weeks for various reason, and since I'm still not really all that stable (I have a feeling that's been coming across in my writing), I may have to do that every now and then.

Anyway, 4 albums that are pretty much essential listens, and one that was surprisingly decent here.

Opeth- Watershed

Does anyone really need a review for this album? Like the rest of Opeth's discography, Watershed is masterful in nearly every way. This is the type of high art that only Opeth could pull off, but it's also an album that sees Opeth genuinely progressing within the incredibly varied and artistic style they've done such a wonderful job of mastering within throughout their career. Watershed is yet another masterpiece in a long line of Opeth masterpieces, and everything from Mikael Akerfeldt's passionate growls to the beautiful melodies works to perfection. It's more melodic than the typical Opeth album, but that's not to say it isn't heavy. Like all Opeth albums, Watershed is about moments, and while many of the album's moments are some of the softest melodies of Opeth's career, there are also moments of pure brutality. However, what sets Opeth apart from other bands, even within these moments, is that Opeth's brand of death metal is not brutal for the sake of being brutal. Instead it's passionate heavy music that personifies Akerfeldt's dark poetry in musical form. There is both a rhyme and reason for everything Opeth does, both musically and lyrically, and it comes together to create a masterpiece that I could not recommend higher. This is how music is done.

Grade: A

NOTE: I will be doing a full review of this album at some point in the future

Immortal Technique- The 3rd World

Many of the flaws on Immortal Technique's first album in 5 years are often because the album is so good. Much of this has to do with the fact that The 3rd World is technically more of a mix-tape with DJ Green Lantern than a full length album, but most of the material here is powerful enough to work on a full length Immortal Technique album, and for the most part, it would have worked better had it been treated as a full album. From a lyrical stand point, this isn't Immortal Technique's most poetic work, but it still has the same aggressive style that effictively gets its message across. Of course, the message is the most important part of Immortal Technique's music, and while the album's message as a whole isn't as powerful or coherent as Revolutionary Vol. 2, this is still some of the most important and truthful music out there. The problem is that the message and lyrics, the most important part of Tech's music, are as intelligent as ever. The reason that's a problem is that the material here is hurt by the album's attempt to be a mix-tape. Although DJ Green Lantern's beats are good by themselves, they take away from the lyrics and message at times, most notably on songs like "The 3rd World" and "Mistakes," where the songs take far too long to actually start due to Green Lantern's constant starting and stopping of the track. If this were a normal hip-hop album, the production could be called top notch. However, it isn't, and if the production didn't get in the way, this might have been a true successor to Revolutionary Vol. 2. Still, what's here is some truly great hip-hop, and it's one of the most important albums of the year.

NOTE: Once I get caught up, I plan to do a track-by-track review of the album.

Grade: B+

Motley Crue- Saints of Los Angeles

It really shouldn't be much of a surprise that Motley Crue's Saints of Los Angeles is a forgettable album, but it may surprise some that the album isn't all bad. It seems that Motley Crue has remembered what they're good at, and while Saints of Los Angeles doesn't bring anything new to the table, it is effective in spots at being a fun and catchy hard rock album. The album runs into trouble everytime Crue tries to bring a ballad or more serious song into the mix, as the lyrics here are just as awful as ever, but songs like the title track do more than a respetable job at recreating the same fun and catchy sound the band became famous for the in the 80's. It goes without saying that this an album only for Crue fans, but considering that the band has done very little that could be enjoyed by anyone in quite some time, this is not only an improvement, but also a return to form.

Grade: C+

Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago

It's hard to listen to an album like Bon Iver's solo debut without comparing it to Iron & Wine, the artistic standard for modern poetic indie folk. Of course, For Emma, Forever Ago does not at the same level as Iron & Wine, but just the fact that Justin Vernon, the man behind Bon Iver, has come close on his first solo record is astonishing. This is quite simply a beautiful album from start to finish, and even though Vernon's influences are noticeable, the album's sound is certainly genuine. Every instrumental you hear is played by Vernon, and while the complicated musicianship certainly isn't the album's focues, he has certainly established himself as a talented muscian. However, the most staggering part of the album is its atmosphere. Unlike Iron & Wine, the lyrics aren't quite poetic enough to work as poetry on their own, but what Bon Iver does best is in the atmosphere of the sound. Every sound on the album works to some degree to bring the lyrics to life, and that is in no way an easy feat. For Emma, Forever Ago is filled with musical subtleties and poetry in both the musicianship and the lyrics, and the sound it creates is almost always beautiful. Not one aspect of Bon Iver's sound is especially impressive, but it's how everything comes together that makes this album special.

Grade: B+

The Mars Volta- The Bedlam in Goliath

Taken from my review of the album...

"An album like The Bedlam in Goliath should not be judged on small flaws, but instead the many things it does well. An album like this one should be praised for doing more and having minor flaws that go along with large amount of unique content than making a perfect album that doesn’t do quite as much. Not everyone is going to be able to understand it, and even many who do might find small things that perturb them. However, the risks The Mars Volta take make this one of the most original rock albums to come along in some time. To call it one of the best albums of its kind would simplifying it to an absolute, and thus selling it short, but The Bedlam in Goliath is an album that should not be missed under any circumstances."

Grade: A-

Go here to read the full review

Thanks for reading! Sorry for the long wait.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Album Catch-Up Part 3

If you're reading this sentence, it means you are reading this while I am sleeping. I'm too tired to proofread tonight, so I'm going to do it first thing in the morning. Until then, I apologize for what will probably be numerous spelling and grammar errors.

R.E.M.- Accelerate

If Accelerate isn't a great album, it's the closet thing to a great album R.E.M. has released in the past decade. It's also a very good album in its own right, as well as a step in the right direction for a legendary band that may not have been able to survive another mediocre release. is brief, and certainly familiar in sound, but the return of R.E.M.'s deep lyrics and intelligent songwriting compliment the return of the heavier musicianship in a way that R.E.M. has failed miserably at achieving in far too long. Every song on the album is worthwhile, and while Accelerate isn't a masterpiece, it's a very solid piece of work as a whole. For the first time in ten years, R.E.M. fans can rejoice.

Grade: B

NOTE: A longer review can be found as part of the feature 10 New Albums You Should Buy

The Offspring- Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace

The Offspring's Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace may very well an improvement over the group's last few records. Unfortunately, an album needs to definitively the succeed garbage like Splinter and Conspiracy of One to even be considered for a recommendation. At times, The Offspring achieve that this time around. The album has brief moments (namely the lead single "Hammerhead") where they sound rejuvenated, and maybe even the best they've sounded since Smash. It's commendable that The Offspring have taken on a more mature subject lyrically, and on occasion are able to come across as politically intelligent. Other times, they sound unintentionally juvenile and even idiotic. There are moments where Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace shines, and "Hammerhead" may the group's best song in some time, but the rest of the album ranges from the average to the awful.

Grade: C-

Murder By Death- Red of Tooth and Claw

Simply put, Red of Tooth and Claw is a phenomenal album. It's often beautiful, never boring, and always unique. Not only does this album surpass everything Murder By Death has done up this point in their career, but it also creates a truly unique blend of rock music that combines its Nick Cave, Johnny Cash, Clutch, and blues influences into territory previously unimaginable. Powerful guttural vocals compliment indie rock riffs and beautiful violin music to create a truly special sound that finds enough variety and lyrical intelligence to stay special throughout the course of an entire album. Red of Tooth and Claw is that album, and it belongs in the collection of every rock fan.

Grade: A-

Flobots- Fight with Tools

The Flobots may have become famous for their rap-rock hit "Handlebars," but it would be a mistake to think that "Handlebars" is the only worthwhile song on the album. And just to set the record straight, "Handlebars" is a worthwhile single. Not only is it lyrically intelligent, but it's unique musically, as well as a simply beautiful song that provokes thought that mainstream songs almost never sparked. The Flobots are an underground political group through and through, and while nothing else on Fight with Tools has much of a chance to recieve top 40 airplay, there are some very intelligent underground hip-hop songs that are accessible enough to anyone who was considering the full album having hearing "Handlebars." Just be warned, this is not a pop album. This an intellignet and lyrically driven hip-hop album that is at times overly aggressively and almost always thought provoking. Granted, there are a few tracks that either try to do too much or appear forced, but much of it is high quality hip-hop, and it's an easy debut to recommend.

Grade: B+

Judas Priest- Nostradamus

On paper, Nostradamus has the potential to be a superb album. Not only is the story an interesting one, but the right band is at the helm. Judas Priest has one of the most talented and influential metal bands from the start, and a two disc concept album about the prophecies of Nostradamus sounds like an interesting idea to say the least. Unfortunately, it becomes clear towards the middle of the first disc that the story of Nostradamus does not make a successful transition to album form, and it goes downhill from there. Nostradamus is unlike anything Priest has done before, largely in part to the album's story taking priority over the music. That, however, is also the album's biggest flaw. Once the listener loses interest in the story, there isn't a whole lot to the music. It's just your typical mix of speed metal and power ballads, which would be perfectly fine if the story worked. As it is, the story doesn't work, and Nostradamus turns out to be a suprisingly boring and disappointing listen because of it.

Grade: C

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks- Real Emotion Trash

Taken from my review of the album...

"Real Emotional Trash is the fourth album by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, and the band's biggest issue remains identity. Many of the songs feature moments of overly catchy indie pop, while just as many songs venture into moments of prolonged jam sessions that sound like something out of a progressive rock record. In a way, that's both the beauty and flaw of the album, as it shows that Malkmus is an incredibly varied musician who can pull off a number of different sounds, but the band as a whole has still yet to piece the different styles together into a coherent mixture. It still provides for an interesting listen, and the creativity of the record is certainly worthy of praise, but it's more than somewhat disappointing that the band still sounds like an experiment four records in. Still, everything Malkmus presents on this album works to some degree, and anyone who doesn't mind that the Jicks are still essentially a hodgepodge of everything Malkmus didn't do with Pavement should give Real Emotional Trash a listen."

Grade: B

The longer version of the review can found as part of the feature 10 New Albums You Should Buy

Weezer- Weezer (Red Album)

No matter how big of a Weezer fan you are, the latest self-titled Weezer album will disappoint. Most of the album is only a slightly more focused version of the band's atrocious Make Believe from three years ago. If you couldn't get enough of "Bevery Hills," then maybe this album is for you. However, for everyone else, this album is almost entirely forgettable. Weezer albums are supposed to fun, and with the exception of the absolutely brilliant rock opera parody "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived," nothing here is fun in the slightest. This is just a boring pop rock album, and it unfortunately signifies that Make Believe may not have been a fluke. Nine out of ten tracks are forgettable, and if it wasn't for "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived," the Red Album would be only a slight improvement over Make Believe. As it is, one phenomenal track elevates the album from bad to poor, and while even the most hardcore of Weezer should skip the full album, every music fan with a sense of humor should give "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" a listen.

Grade: C-

Black Tide- Light From Above

If Black Tide's debut album, Light From Above, was critiqued in comparison to other teenage rock bands, then it could very well be called a masterful piece of art. Even when you compare Black Tide to other modern metal bands with heavy 80s metal influences, they rank near the top. That's not to say Black Tide have a very original style, nor do they do any drastically different from their countless peers, but the album's highlights are examples of fun heavy metal with some impressive musicianship. Black Tide also are successful in staying true to their influences becoming a clone, which has become an all too common mistake for many other young bands. It's not anything that will set the world on fire, but it's an enjoyable listen nonetheless, and a very impressive debut considering the group's age.

Grade: B-

Destroyer- Trouble in Dreams

When listening to an album like Trouble in Dreams, it's hard not to fall in love with the music you're hearing. Dan Bejar's brand of beautiful yet silly indie rock incorporates everything from chamber pop to hard rock and manages to be intelligent without taking anything seriously. The music here is not only fun, but also somewhat moving, and it makes for a great listen. The problem is that if you've heard Destroyer's previous work, you've already heard this beautiful album, and chances are, you've heard it done slightly better. Essentially, the music on Trouble in Dreams is outstanding, but it's the same outstanding music we've heard from Bejar time and time again. It's still enjoyable, but there's nothing here to set Troubles in Dreams apart from every other Destroyer album. It's still worth listening to, especially for newcomers to Bejar's solo work, but anyone looking for more than a small amount of progression will almost certainly be disappointed.

Grade: B

Kataklysm- Prevail

For the most part, Kataklysm is one of the better modern death metal bands. They are very profiencet at what they do, and also manage to be a rare extreme metal band that has enough brutality to please death metal fans while also being one of the more accessible bands in the genre. It's safe to say that while Kataklysm is not an especially unique band, there are a very solid one does enough to separate themselves from much of the death metal pack. While Prevail is not a bad album, it doesn't do a whole lot to separate itself from the rest of the death metal pack. It's not that Prevail isn't Kataklysm at its best, as one could argue that the band at its best is when they find that hybrid between brutality and accessibly. From that perspective, Prevail is both a brutal and accessible death metal record, but it unfortunately isn't much else. This is no more and no less than the average death metal album, and while Kataklysm do make subtle changes to place them ahead of most extreme metal acts, nothing on Prevail places Kataklysm ahead of their past selves. This is yet another solid death metal album from Kataklysm, but it's also a familiar one that is both safe and forgettable.

Grade: B-

Thanks for reading! Another one of these is coming tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fall Tour Update

If my poll was an indication, I was hoping to post this over the weekend. That didn't happen, but here it is. These are some of the most essential North American tours of fall 2008:

Nightwish w/ Sonata Arctica

Tour Dates:
08/29/08 The Trocadero, Philadelphia
08/30/08 The Palladium, Worcester
09/1/08 Metropolis, Montreal
09/2/08 Docks Nightclub, Toronto
09/4/08 Agora Ballroom, Cleveland
09/5/08 Harpo's, Detroit
09/6/08 House of Blues, Chicago
09/9/08 Showbox SoDo, Seattle
09/10/08 Roseland Grill, Portland
09/12/08 The Fillmore, San Francisco
09/13/08 The Wiltern, Los Angeles
09/14/08 Marquee Theatre, Tempe
09/16/08 Palladium Ballroom, Dallas
09/17/08 La Zona Rosa, Austin
09/19/08 Meridian, Houston
09/20/08 House of Blues, New Orleans
09/21/08 Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg
09/23/08 Valarium, Knoxville
09/24/08 Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte
09/26/08 Rams Head Live, Baltimore
09/27/08 Nokia Theatre, New York

Cost: approx. $25-$30

Nightwish and Sonata Arctica are not just two of the best bands in Finland, or even two of the best bands in metal. No, these are two of the best bands in music. I saw Nightwish live last October, and even without Tarja, they put on one of the best shows I've ever seen. Two phenomenal bands for $30 is a great deal in my opinion, and it was easy choice to get tickets to see Nightwish for a second time this fall. No matter what kind of music you like, this one tour you should be attending.

Opeth w/ High on Fire, Nachtmystium (9/16-10/4), Baroness (10/6-10/26), The Bakerton Group (10/14)

Tour Dates:
Sep. 16 - Buffalo, The Town Ballroom - NY
Sep. 17 - Philadelphia, Trocadero - PA
Sep. 18 - New York, Nokia Theatre - NY
Sep. 19 - Worcester, The Palladium - MA
Sep. 20 - Quebec City, Theatre Imperial - QC
Sep. 21 - London, Centennial Hall - ON
Sep. 23 - Cleveland, House of Blues - OH
Sep. 24 - Chicago, House of Blues - IL
Sep. 25 - Grand Rapids, The Orbit Room - MI
Sep. 26 - Milwaukee, The Rave - WI
Sep. 27 - St. Paul, Myth - MN
Sep. 29 - Winnipeg, The Garrick Centre - MB
Sep. 30 - Saskatoon, Odeon Events Centre – SK
Oct. 01 - Edmonton, Edmonton Events Centre - AB
Oct. 03 - Vancover, Commodore Ballroom - BC
Oct. 04 - Seattle, Showbox@The Market - WA
Oct. 06 - San Francisco, Regency Center @ The Grand Ballroom - CA
Oct. 07 - Los Angeles, Wiltern Theatre - CA
Oct. 08 - Las Vegas, House of Blues - NV
Oct. 09 - Tempe, Marquee Theatre - AZ
Oct. 10 - Albuquerque, Sunshine Theater - NM
Oct. 11 - Denver, Ogden Theatre, CO
Oct. 13 - St. Louis, The Pageant - MO
Oct. 14 - Kansas City, The Beaumont Club - MO
Oct. 15 - Dallas, House of Blues Dallas - TX
Oct. 16 - Austin, The Monarch - TX
Oct. 17 - Houston, Warehouse Live - TX
Oct. 18 - New Orleans, House of Blues - LA
Oct. 20 - Ft. Lauderdale, Revolution - FL
Oct. 21 - Lake Buena Vista, House of Blues - FL
Oct. 22 - Atlanta, Center Stage - GA
Oct. 23 - Cincinnati, Bogart´s - OH
Oct. 24 - Raleigh, Lincoln Theatre - NC
Oct. 25 - Norfolk, The Norva - VA

Cost: $20-$25

If you see one tour all year, make it this one. I don't care who you are, an Opeth headlining show is not to be missed. I would glady pay $100+ to see an Opeth headlining show, and it doesn't hurt that High on Fire, Nachtmystium, and Baroness are all great and varied metal bands that should each put on great shows as well. Go buy tickets for this one immediately. You won't regret it.

Necrophagist w/ Dying Fetus, Beneath the Massacre, Veil of Maya

Tour Dates:
Aug. 26 - Seattle, WA - Studio Seven (w/ Into Eternity)
Aug. 27 - Portland, OR - Rock N Roll Pizza
Aug. 28 - Boise, ID - The Venue
Aug. 29 - Ogden, UT - Club Boom Va
Aug. 30 - Colorado Springs, CO - Black Sheep
Aug. 31 - Wichita, KS - Club Oz
Sep. 02 - Louisville, KY - Headliners
Sep. 03 - Pittsburgh, PA – [to be announced]
Sep. 04 - Rochester, NY - The Penny Arcade
Sep. 05 - Worcester, MA - The Palladium (w/ CARCASS)
Sep. 06 - New York, NY - Nokia Theatre (w/ CARCASS; no BENEATH THE MASSACRE, VEIL OF MAYA)
Sep. 07 - Virginia Beach, VA - Steppin Out
Sep. 08 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theatre
Sep. 09 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom (w/ CARCASS; no BENEATH THE MASSACRE, VEIL OF MAYA)
Sep. 10 - Albany, NY - Northern Lights

Cost: $15-$20, $30-$35 for dates w/ Carcass

Aparently Into Eternity is only playing the Seattle show (which is great for me), but the rest of the tour still looks amazing. There isn't much that needs to be said about this one. If you're a death metal, you know why this tour rules. If you're not, then you probably won't want to go anyway. If you're lucky to have Carcass playing on your dates, I personally believe the extra $15-$20 is worth it for the lineup, but for less than $20, this is a dream tour for death metal fans.

Kamelot w/ Edguy

Tour Dates:

October 10 - Ft Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room
October 14 - Cambridge, MA @ Middle East *
October 15 - New York, NY @ B.B. King Blues Club *
October 16 - West Springfield, VA @ Jaxx *
October 17 - Cleveland, OH @ Peabody’s *
October 18 - Mokena, IL @ Pearl Room *
October 20 - St Paul, MN @ Station 4 *
October 23 - Seattle, WA @ El Corazon *
October 24 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater *
October 25 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s *
October 26 - Los Angeles, CA @ Key Club *
October 27 - Mexicali, MX @ El Jardin Silencio *
October 29 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
October 31 - San Antonio, TX @ Scout Bar
November 1 - Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
November 2 - Ft. Worth, TX @ Ridglea Theater

* = with Edguy

Cost: $25-$30

Not all of the dates have Edguy, and I don't know if would recommend the tour without them, but power/symphonic metal fans who have a chance to see both bands should definitely consider this tour. If you can only see one of the tours, I'd recommend Nightwish/Sonata Arctica over this one, but this is definitely an outstanding package nonetheless. Kamelot and Edguy are two very different power metal bands, but both rank among the best in the genre. Once again, this is a tour that power metal fans should definitely consider attending.

TV on the Radio

Tour Dates:

5 Musicfest NW, Roseland Theater Portland, OR*
6 Showbox, Seattle WA*
7 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC*
9 Macewan Ballroom, Calgary AB*
10 Starlite Room, Edmonton AB*
12 Knitting Factory Boise ID*
13 In the Venue, Salt Lake City UT*
14 Monolith Festival, Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison CO
19 Street Scene, San Diego, CA
20 Treasure Island Festival, San Francisco CA

10 Electric Factory, Philadelphia PA+
11 Lupos, Providence, RI+
13 Wilbur Theatre, Boston MA+
14 Masonic Temple, Brooklyn NY+
15 Masonic Temple, Brooklyn NY
18 Bogarts, Cincinnati OH+
19 Vogue Theatre, Indianapolis IN+
20 First Ave, Minneapolis MN+
21 First Ave, Minneapolis MN+
22 Riviera, Chicago IL+
24 Voodoo Festival, New Orleans LA+
25 Tabernacle, Atlanta GA+
26 Bijou Theatre, Knoxville TN+
28 Lakewood Theatre, Dallas TX+
30 Stubbs, Austin TX+
31 Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City OK+

06 Wiltern, Los Angeles CA+
08 4th and B, San Diego CA [KBZT Birthday Show]+

* Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson to open
+ The Dirtbombs to open

Cost: $20-$25

TV on the Radio may be the most unique band in indie rock at the moment, as well as one of my personal favorite bands period. Their upcoming album is one of my most anticipated of the year, but with all of the great tours coming up, I'm still up in the air on whether to attend this one. Still, TV on the Radio is nothing short of outstanding, and I have to recommend seeing them any and everytime they tour the U.S. If you don't know who these guys are, go pick up a copy of Return to Cookie Mountain and see why TV on the Radio is a truly special band.

Mogwai w/ Fuck Buttons

Tour Dates:
09-04 Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo
09-05 Victoria, British Columbia - Element
09-06 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore
09-08 San Francisco, CA - Grand Ballroom
09-09 Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
09-10 Tucson, AZ - Rialto
09-12 Austin, TX - Stubb's Bar-B-Q
09-13 Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre
09-15 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
09-16 Richmond, VA - The National
09-17 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
09-18 New York, NY - Terminal 5
09-19 Philadelphia, PA - Starlight Ballroom
09-21 Monticello, NY - Kutshers Country Club (My Bloody Valentine ATP)
09-22 Boston, MA - Wilbur Theatre
09-23 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
09-25 Pontiac, MI - Crofoot
09-26 Chicago, IL - Congress Theatre
09-27 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue

Cost: $20-$25

This is yet another great fall tour package. Mogwai is obviously a legendary post-rock act, but Fuck Buttons is a more recent experimental group with heavy Mogwai influences. I've never seen either of these bands live, but I imagine both would put on interesting live shows. Personally, I prefer my post-rock to be in the form of Explosions in the Sky, but Mogwai is legendary, and $20 to see them is certainly recommendable.

Amon Amarth w/ Ensiferum, Belphegor, The Absence

01.10 - House Of Blues, Anaheim, CA, USA
02.10 - The Avalon, Los Angeles, CA, USA
03.10 - Slim's, San Francisco, CA, USA
04.10 - Hawthorne Theatre, Portland, OR, USA
05.10 - El Corazon, Seattle, WA, USA
06.10 - Croatian Culture Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
08.10 - The Starlite Room, Edmonton, AB, Canada
09.10 - The Warehouse, Calgary, AB, Canada
10.10 - Ridell Centre, Regina, SK, Canada
11.10 - The Garrick Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
12.10 - Station 4, St. Paul, MN, USA
13.10 - House Of Blues, Chicago, IL, USA
15.10 - Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, ON, Canada
16.10 - Le Medley, Montreal, QC, Canada
17.10 - Theatre Imperial, Quebec City, QC, Canada
18.10 - The Palladium, Worcester, MA, USA
19.10 - Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA, USA
20.10 - The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, New York, NY, USA
21.10 - Jaxx, W. Springfield, VA, USA

Cost: $20-$25

This is another dream metal package that I unfortunatley don't think I'll be able to attend. However, recommending this tour is an easy decision. As every metal fan knows, Amon Amarth is incredible, and even without Jari Mäenpää, Ensiferum puts on a great live show. On top of that, Belphegor and The Absence are both outstanding bands, are may even be every bit as good as the headliners. I love the other three bands, but The Absence is the one that jumps out at me as the one I'd like to see. No matter which band jumps out at you, you're getting a chance to see four outstanding metal bands, and any fan of metal should consider this one.

Metal Masters Tour feat. Judas Priest, Heaven and Hell, Motorhead, Testament

Aug. 06 - Susquehanna Bank Center - Camden, NJ
Aug. 07 - Nissan Pavilion - Bristow, VA
Aug. 09 - PNC Bank Arts Center - Holmdel, NJ
Aug. 10 - Nikon at Jones Beach - Wantagh, NY
Aug. 13 - Molson Amphitheatre - Toronto, ON
Aug. 15 - Mohegan Sun Arena - Uncasville, CT
Aug. 16 - Post Gazette Pavilion - Pittsburgh, PA
Aug. 18 - DTE Energy Music Theatre - Detroit, MI
Aug. 19 - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre - Chicago, IL
Aug. 22 - Amphitheatre - Dallas, TX
Aug. 23 - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - Houston, TX
Aug. 24 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - San Antonio, TX
Aug. 27 - Journal Pavilion - Albuquerque, NM
Aug. 28 - Cricket Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ
Aug. 30 - Glen Helen Pavilion - San Bernardino, CA
Aug. 31 - Shoreline Amphitheatre - Mountain View, CA
Sep. 01 - Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort - Las Vegas, NV

Cost: $25 (lawn)- $125 (pit)

Next to Opeth, this may be the best tour of 2008. Unfortunately, a Seattle date is not present, so I won't be able to attend, but this is one phenomenal lineup. All four the bands are legendary, and really, what needs to be said? If you didn't put your horns in the air after reading the lineup, this tour isn't for you. If you did, and there's a date near you, buy your tickets immediately.

What did you think of Lollapalooza?

As the title suggests, what did you guys think of the Lollapolooza webcast? I wasn't able to watch much of it, so I'd like to hear some comments on what bands you saw and what you thought of them. The only acts I got a chance to see were Yeasayer, The Kills, and Jamie Lidell. Yeasayer and Lidell were great as usual, and The Kills put on a pretty solid set too. I'd love to hear your reactions, so leave me a comment and let me know what you thought of anything relating to the festival...or even anything else for that matter.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lollapalooza Webcast This Weekend!

I'm assuming that almost all of you will be joining me in being some place that isn't Lollapalooza this weekend, but that doesn't mean you can't watch the concert. Starting tomorrow AT&T will be broadcasting a live webcast of a few of the acts throughout the festival. Unsurprisingly, the big names aren't the bands that will be broadcast, but you can still see some some damn good bands, and a few excellent ones. For anyone interested, the link is

The festival runs for 3 days, and the webcast schedule will be as follows
(times are PT/ET)

Friday 8/1

10:15/1:15- Holy Fuck
11:15/2:15- Rogue Wave
12:15/3:15- Yeasayer
1:15/4:15- The Kills
2:15/5:15- Gogol Bordello
3:15/6:15- Mates of State
4:15/7:15- Bloc Party
5:15/8:15- Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
6:00/9:00- The Raconteurs

Saturday 8/2

10:15/1:15- Margot & the Nuclear So So's
10:45/1:45- The Ting Tings
11:30/2:30- Dr. Dog
12:30/3:30- The Gutter Twins
1:30/4:30- The Go! Team
2:30/5:30- Duffy
3:30/6:30- Jamie Lidell
4:30/7:30- DeVotchka
5:30/8:30- Explosions in the Sky
6:30/9:30 Broken Social Scene
7:30/10:30 Wilco

Sunday 8/3

10:15/1:15- Kid Sister
11:15/2:15- The Whigs
12:15/3:15- Office
1:15/4:15- Chromeo
2:15/5:15- G. Love & Special Sauce
3:15/6:15- Blues Traveler
4:15/7:15- John Butler Trio
5:15/8:15- Flogging Molly
6:15/9:15- Love and Rockets
7:15/10:15- The National

Not all of these bands are worth watching, and really, who wants to sit in front of their computer for three days watching webcasts? Still, there are some highlights that I highly recommend checking out, and I'm here to give you a list of the acts that you should make time to watch. Here's a schedule of what I believe to best acts of the webcast:

Friday 8/1

12:15/3:15- Yeasayer
1:15/4:15- The Kills
4:15/7:15- Bloc Party
5:15/8:15- Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
6:00/9:00- The Raconteurs

Saturday 8/2

11:30/2:30- Dr. Dog
12:30/3:30- The Gutter Twins
3:30/6:30- Jamie Lidell
5:30/8:30- Explosions in the Sky
6:30/9:30 Broken Social Scene

Sunday 8/3

11:15/2:15- The Whigs
4:15/7:15- John Butler Trio
5:15/8:15- Flogging Molly
6:15/9:15- Love and Rockets
7:15/10:15- The National

So yeah, 5 great acts each days. I've seen both Stephen Malkmus and Yeasayer live, and I highly recommend both. Stephen Malkmus is an iconic indie musician and Yeasayer is a great upcoming band with a unique sound, so definitely check both of them out. On the second day, Dr. Dog is a psychedic band that I really enjoy, while Jamie Lidell and Explosions in the Sky are two of the best live acts in music. I don't care what genre of music you listen to, it's well worth your time to check out both of those acts, and also make sure to watch John Butler Trio, Love and Rockets, and The National (one of my personal favorites) on Sunday.

I hope you all enjoy the webcast and I'm very glad to see AT&T bringing this back for another year.