Festival Alert: Reverence Festival, Sept. 12-13th, Valada, Portugal

Another one for the “things I would attend if there were not an ocean in the way” file:


The line-up draws from a variety of -rock genres, including psychadelia, stoner, shoegaze, doom, prog, and garage. Some highlights of the bill, in alphabetical order:

A Place to Bury Strangers

Crippled Black Phoenix

Crippled Black Phoenix - Northern Comfort - Official Video

Mao Morta

Mão Morta "Novelos da Paixão"

Psychic TV

Ringo Deathstarr

Ringo Deathstarr - "Rip" (Official Video)


Festival Alert: Denovali Swingfest, April 18-19, London, UK

File under: things I would go to if there were not an inconvenient ocean in the way.

The Denovali Swingfest does not actually involve any swing music, though the name is in honor of the Swing Kids who culture-jammed the Nazis. Instead it focuses on experimental music, including dark ambient, electronica, jazz and string-driven neoclassical. The London event, one of three (the other two are in Berlin and Essen), will take place on April 18-19, 2014 at the Village Underground and Cafe Oto.

Some of the artists performing, such as Piano Interrupted, Origamibiro and Petrels, are signed to Denovali; others, such as The Haxan Cloak, Anna von Hausswolff, and Porter Ricks are not. Also, there are no headliners; each band will play a full club set.


A tasting menu of the line-up:

Piano Interrupted - Papa Hedi

Origamibiro - Odham's Standard

Hidden Orchestra – Vorka from Tru Thoughts on Vimeo.

Song-Catcher: The Adventures of Blackwater Jukebox


Geordie McElroy of Blackwater Jukebox is one of my all-time favorite storytellers, and I am super excited to report he has gathered up some of his best tales of ethnomusicology derring-do – previously published in Schlock! webzine – and made them into a book called Song Catcher: Adventures of Blackwater Jukebox.

You can read a sample on the Blackwater Jukebox website.

The book will be available as a free download from Amazon today (January 16) through Saturday (January 18) so be sure to go over and get a copy.

Video: Fall Out Boy feat. 2 Chainz, My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up)

So, y’all, this is how my day went today:

7:15 AM: While going about my normal morning business of GChatting with a friend and scrolling through Tumblr, I clicked on something purporting to be the “New FOB single!!” – rumors have been swirling for a while now, but more intensely in the last week or so; evidence had surfaced of their appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show later this month; and my pre-caffeine judgement is often poor – and was Taylor Swift-rolled.

Well, I suppose I deserved that, I typed into the GChat window, as the strains of We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together emanated from my computer. (Yes, I left it on. That one and I Knew You Were Trouble When You Walked In have grown on me, and not like a fungus, either.)

My friend commiserated with my rueful amusement, and the conversation moved on.

8:15 AM: Hum Hallelujah floats up on shuffle as I’m walking to the train. I spend a few minutes pondering pop music; Pete Wentz’s pirate smile and tendency to throw himself off the stage and into the pit; the shimmery golden quality of light in Harlem in the morning; whether it is really so terrible that I enjoy popular pop music that makes me feel things (conclusion: no); the frequently frustrating and often agonizing condition of being a fan of a band that is on “hiatus” or “is working on a new record” and how those things often go together and sometimes lead to one another; and the various bands for whom I have waited, including Guns N’ Roses (well, really Axl Rose)(15 years), Mötley Crüe (8 years), Bon Jovi (2 years and 3 years, for separate hiatuses) My Chemical Romance (2 years) and Panic! at the Disco (18 months), and Ryan Ross (2 years and counting); and how the internet and Internet Time have probably warped my sense of what constitutes a long time to wait.

9:15 AM: I check in with the intertubes and discover that somewhere in the time I left the house and got to work, Fall Out Boy came off hiatus.

That there is a song, a video, a record, a bunch of shows in tiny clubs planned the next month – for tomorrow, in New York – and a bigger tour scheduled for May.

I wasn’t able to get a ticket for the show tomorrow, but I’m not the tiniest bit upset. Why? Because five years ago when I fell (back) into being a rock fan, I also fell into a community of fans – some local, some far away, all connected via the internet – and in the last five years, we have mourned a lot of bands. Today we got one back, and that shared joy is just the best feeling.

Also, the song they released is the best thing I’ve heard for a while. Hand claps, thudding, roaring drums, aggressive guitars, sly and lacerating lyrics, and Patrick Stump soaring upwards over the tumult. It doesn’t get better than that, ladies and gentlemen.

Residency with a Twist: Rock for a Difference Los Angeles with Decoded

Decoded will be in residence at Amplyfi on Thursdays for the month of May, and they’re doing something special with it: every show will conclude with a raffle, and the proceeds from the raffle will go to a local charity. This weeks recipient is CreateNow, and you can see the full list of bands and charities on the flyer below.

And here are some of Decoded’s tunes!

Decoded – Lost No More by Decodedmusic
Decoded – Open Season by Decodedmusic

Lighting a Signal Fire: Phantom Planet Is Back!

Early in November, a new Twitter profile appeared. The Internet said, All right, but is this real?

Yes, quoth the band. ‘Tis us and none other.

And then today, the following did appear:


Phantom Planet Reunion - "Knowitall" Teaser (1st Rehearsal Since Hiatus)



So far details are thin, but, should you want to be kept apprised of developments as they occur, subscribe to the new Twitter feed, as that is the primary source of information.

Meanwhile, in celebration of this happy news, here’s some more Phantom Planet, starting with an acoustic version of Raise the Dead, from a post-show jam:


Raise The Dead (acoustic)


And Ship Lost At Sea, one of my personal favorites (to the surprise of NONE OF YOU, I am sure) from their Daytrotter session:


Ship Lost At Sea (Daytrotter Sessions)

Limited Time Offer: Always on My Mind / The Last Day, by The Rest


Readers, The Rest have a present for you: two of their songs, downloadable for free at their bandcamp, until Halloween. This offering is particularly special as these songs were, along with the rest of their upcoming record, almost lost when their hard drive crashed and were resurrected only with the help of black box technology.

The name of the salvaged record is SEESAW, and it will officially be out in 2012; until then, there are two songs from it to enjoy. Always on My Mind is dreamy, heavy, and crunchy at the same time. (Honestly, my first reaction was This is like a big bubblebath of noise. I may or may not be a weensy bit over-fond of fuzzy guitars.) The Last Day is a hair lighter and a shade bouncier, but no less delicious.

As a preview of what to expect, here is The Rest with Modern Time Travel (necessities), from their first record, Everyone All At Once:

Tour Alert: Colour Revolt / Empires

Empires, of Chicago (and yes, still the Scrappy Little Band of My Heart) are teaming up with Colour Revolt, of Oxford, Mississippi and visiting some cities  this fall. I can’t get to their Brooklyn show – law school is once again interfering with my rock and roll lifestyle – but I encourage all y’all to go and check them out.

As enticement, I give you some video. First up, there’s Empires, with Spit The Dark, from Howl, the first song they wrote as a band:



And then Colour Revolt, with Eight Years, from their new record The Cradle. It’s the story of eight years playing together – the highs, the lows, the sublime, and the totally, grossly ridiculous:

Colour Revolt "8 Years"

The Untitled Bobby Bare Jr. Documentary… Now Titled!

It’s been a minute since we had any updates on the film formerly known as The Untitled Bobby Bare Jr. Documentary. The newly-christened Don’t Follow Me (I’m Lost) is currently in post production. You can catch a video here of Bare’s friends and collaborators pondering the question “Why Make a Film on Bobby Bare Jr?” with input from the likes of the mighty Van Campbell (who the video fails to note is one half of the Black Diamond Heavies), Justin Townes Earle, Hayes Carll, Bobby Bare Sr. and more.

Want to help support the film in it’s last stages? Here’s a word from the filmmakers.

Please check out DON’T FOLLOW ME (I’m Lost) — a film about BOBBY BARE JR.
The film has launched a new INDIEGOGO page! Check it out here: www.indiegogo.com/dontfollowmeimlost

Bits: Music for Alabama, Mike Watt, Vic Chesnutt, Boston Spaceships, Urge Overkill, Rockhall

  • Artist from across the country have contributed to The Wind Will Carry the Voice of the People, a Bandcamp compilation to aid the tornado-ravaged areas of Alabama. All proceeds go to the Red Cross.
  • Mike Watt + the missingmen will perform Watt’s 3rd opera hyphenated-man in its entirety on KXLU on May 19 at 10 PM PST.
  • plan9films is making a documentary about the late Vic Chesnutt tentatively titled Vic Chesnutt – It Is What It Is. MusicFilmWeb reports that Michael Stipe has signed on as executive producer. The film is to be released later this year.
  • In 1986, Black Flag went on tour with Painted Willie and Gone. Painted Willie’s drummer, David Markey, filmed it. He’s now made his tour documentary Reality 86’d available to view on Vimeo.
  • Robert Pollard’s band Boston Spaceships will be release a new album, Let It Beard (how great is that title?), on August 2. Guttersnipe has a tracklisting, as well as a little commentary from Pollard.
  • Urge Overkill have released Rock & Roll Submarine, their first album in 16 years. You can check out a track, “Mason/Dixon”, at My Old Kentucky Blog.
  • Scene Magazine reports that, as promised, the next Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place back in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 14 at Public Hall.