Bits: the Dirtbombs, the Grande Ballroom, the Black Keys, Shivering Timbers, Jamie Stillman, Drive-By Truckers, Carolina Chocolate Drops

  • Stream the new Dirtbombs album Party Store at the Detroit Free Press. Do it now!
  • Speaking of the greatness of Detroit music, there’s a campaign on to fund a documentary called Louder than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story, about the enormous, once-majestic venue that played hosted to local Detroit legends like the Stooges and MC5 as well as national acts like the Who.
  • The Black Keys brought tales of urine-soaked minivans to NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. Listen here.
  • Baby You Can Drive My Car shares a lovely performance and interview with Shivering Timbers.
  • The Akron Beacon Journal has a nice article on Jamie Stillman (he of Drummer, Harriet the Spy, Party of Helicopters, Relaxer and about umpteen other projects) and his effects pedal business, Earthquaker Devices.
  • The Drive-By Truckers reunited with Jason Isbell for an evening in Huntsville. You can download the show.
  • The Carolina Chocolate Drops have released a collaborative EP with Luminescent Orchestrii, and CCDs will begin their 2011 tour tomorrow in New York with a show at Lincoln Center.

Bits: Juniper Tar, The Builders and the Butchers, Gregg Allman, Drive-By Truckers, The Black Keys

  • Juniper Tar has a frigging sweet deal in their online store: their full-length album To The Trees, The Howl Street EP, a lovely T-shirt plus a handmade mix CD. Eight bucks plus shipping. Get on that.
  • My Old Kentucky Blog has a new tune for you from the Builders and the Butchers’ forthcoming album, Dead Reckoning. Hot.
  • Gregg Allman’s new album, Low Country Blues, is streaming on NPR’s First Listen. It’s well worth a listen. (I think I may even like his cover of Skip James’ “Devil Got My Woman”, which is an accomplishment since that song is nearly sacred to me.)
  • Drive-By Truckers has begun posting behind the scenes episodes for their new album Go-Go Boots at their Vimeo page. You can find the first two episodes and other goodies there.
  • The Black Keys made a return visit to Letterman yesterday, and you can watch the performance at The Audio Perv if’n you missed it. And if you missed their great appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend, well, we’ve got that for you, too. (They also played “Tighten Up”.)


Bits: A Place to Bury Strangers, Hell and Half of Georgia, Clean Hands, The Low Anthem, Drive-By Truckers

  • A Place to Bury Strangers had their van stolen in Rome. Here’s some info from their Facebook: “Looks like we had over 15K in merch money and belongings stolen from the van. Add in the cancelled shows, the excess van rental charges and we have been pummeled financially. We’ve set up a paypal donation link if any of you feel like helping us replace the belongings of our crew. We hesitate to do this but feel horrible about what happened to everyone’s things:” If you can, donate here.
  • In better news, our friends in Hell and Half of Georgia will be playing a gig on December 11 in Lake Forest, California.
  • Nick Berg of Conrad Plymouth has released an EP with his band Clean Hands. We’re digging it. D/L it here.
  • You can download “Ghost Woman Blues” from the forthcoming Low Anthem album on their site and check up on their 2011 tour dates.
  • And if you don’t have enough downloads today, Drive-By Truckers have made an mp3 of their awesome song “Used to be a Cop” available on their site.

Bits: The Twilight Singers, Pulp, Ghostface Killah, J Mascis, Patterson Hood, Twain

  • The Twilight Singers will be releasing their new album, Dynamite Steps, on February 15. Guests on the album include some of the usual suspects – Ani DeFranco, Petra Haden, Joseph Arthur and, of course, Mark Lanegan – as well as Nick McCabe of the Verve.
  • The original Pulp line-up is reuniting for the first time since 1996. They have a couple of European fests booked for next year with additional plans likely.
  • Rap Radar has the first single, “Together Baby”, off Ghostface Killah’s forthcoming album Apollo Kids up for you.
  • J Mascis will be releasing an acoustic album called Several Shades of Why on March 15.
  • Special treat: Cuckoobird has posted a special Patterson Hood solo show that took place at the end of last month. Patterson Hood is several kinds of awesome.
  • The Low Anthem are on the road with Emmylou Harris. During a break, Mat Davidson played a surprise Twain show in Brooklyn. Watch Mat and all his hair below.

Twain “I’ll Be Fooled Again” from Possum Den Productions on Vimeo.

Bits: Wu-Tang Clan, The Black Keys, Mumford and Sons, Robert Johnson, Drive-By Truckers

  • The Wu-Tang Clan are touring in December (and possibly beyond), including a New Year’s Eve show in Pittsburgh.

    12/4/10 San Diego, CA, 4th & B

    12/5/10 Los Angeles, CA, Club Nokia

    12/10/10 Dallas, TX, Granada Theater

    12/22/10 Boston, MA, Wilbur Theater

    12/26/10 New Haven, CT, Toad’s Place

    12/28/10 Providence, RI, Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel

    12/30/10 Philadelphila, PA, Trocadero

    12/31/10 Millvale, PA, Mr. Smalls Theater

  • Re-issuing relatively new albums with additional live material is the new black. The Black Keys will be releasing limited edition numbered vinyl package of Brothers on November 26 as part of a special Black Friday Record Store Day, which will include the original double vinyl and CD of the album, plus a 10″ of a live session recorded in Akron of select Brothers tracks (different from their recent iTunes session) and a poster
  • Mumford and Sons will be re-releasing Sigh No More on November 29 in a limited edition package that will include the original album on CD, a DVD and a bonus disc of songs recorded at a pair of live gigs at Shepherd’s Bush Empire last March.
  • Blues legend Robert Johnson would have been 100 years old next year. In tribute, a tour called Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concerts will begin in January and will feature legends David “Honeyboy” Edwards and Hubert Sumlin, as well as Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. The group of musicians will also record an album which will be released in conjunction with the tour.
  • Having apparently attended the Robert Pollard School of Never Sitting Still, the Drive-By Truckers are releasing a Black Friday Record Store Day 10″ which will include brand new songs “Used to Be a Cop” and “The Thanksgiving Filter”, with their new album Go-Go Boots being released on February 15. A download of their song “Your Woman is a Living Thing” is available via the band’s Facebook page.

Drive-By Truckers “Used To Be A Cop” from Jason Thrasher on Vimeo.

Henry Clay People/Drive-By Truckers at Musica in Akron, OH, 10.5.10

The Henry Clay People

The Henry Clay People took the stage with confidence and ease, and while the beginning of their set struck me the same way their album Somewhere on the Golden Coast struck me – decent but same-y – things picked up with a song dedicated to the Drive-By Truckers (“This Ain’t a Scene”, I believe) and only got better from there. Joey Siara helped endear the band to the crowd by soliciting requests for cover songs… though the crowd was possibly stuck in a time-warp as Siara’s guidance to suggest a band from the ’70s was met with a shout for Guided By Voices. After a creditable rendering of “Game of Pricks”, Jay Gonzalez was brought on stage to join the band for a stop-start go at “Space Oddity” that included audience participation in the form of countdowns and hand-claps.

After a couple more stand-up originals, the band finished out their set with a cover of “Born to Run” that made the now slightly time-worn classic vital again.

Drive-By Truckers

The Drive-By Truckers, too, started their set a little low-key (though not quietly – it was the Drive-By Truckers, after all) and more toward the twangy side of their country-edged rock. I couldn’t help think of Tim Quine’s post on Rubber City Review suggesting that the best soundtrack for Akron was honky tonk and of the pig roasts of my youth which were often accompanied by a bar band of some stripe. Though those pig roasts would have been a hell of a lot more exciting if DBT had provided the entertainment.

After a few songs, the band picked up steam and brought out a string of their rockers, sounding almost like a heavy metal band with their low guitar riffs and Patterson Hood’s impassioned howls. It was impossible not to headbang along. It’s on these songs that the dynamic between the band’s de facto double-lead, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, is best appreciated. Cooley strikes cooler-than-cool guitar god poses (with the chops to back it up) while Hood bounces around and looks like he’s having the time of his life.

They kept the pace up throughout the rest of the show, which was a smart move in light of the mood of the audience. The only real break in the pace came with the lovely “The Flying Wallendas” which received a great reception from the crowd thanks to the line about “the fine folks of Akron” (sang as “the good people of Akron” this night).

I try to keep my opinions about audiences to myself, but this audience was something else. While the crowd gave it up good for their favorite songs throughout the night, it was the laziest audience I’ve ever experienced when it came to calling out for an encore. There were long lulls between half-hearted cheers and anemic chants of “D B T”. People mostly stood around as if they were waiting to be served. If I were the Truckers, I wouldn’t have come back, but the Truckers are better people than me, and they came back for a hell of an encore. DBT seem to be able to create their own energy and were in a fine, fine groove. Hood was apparently so excited that he played them into a second go at “Lookout Mountain”. Not that anyone was complaining, especially as it rocked even harder the second time around.

Notable Shows in the Greater Cleveland Area

Shows worth checking out this week in and around Cleveland:

The Beachland Ballroom & Tavern

  • Sat, Oct 2| 8:30 PM (8 PM door)
    The Madeira
    Cocktail Preachers
    The Ethiopians
    $6 adv / $8 dos
    Tavern | All Ages
  • Tue, Oct 5| 8 PM (7 PM door)
    Shooter Jennings & Hierophant
    J-Roddy Walston & The Business
    $16 adv / $18 dos
    Ballroom | All Ages
  • Tue, Oct 5| 8:30 PM (8 PM door)
    Misery Jackals
    One Dollar Hat
    Tavern | All Ages

Grog Shop

  • Tue, Oct 5| 8 PM
    JP, Chrissie & the Fairground Boys
    Amy Correia
    Tom Evanchuck
    $25 adv / $30 dos
  • Wed, Oct 6
    At B Side Liquor Lounge:
    Biz Markie DJ Set w/ K-Nyce
  • Thu, Oct 7| 9 PM
    Xiu Xiu
    Father Murphy
    $12 adv / $14 dos

The Winchester

  • Wed, Oct 6| 8 PM
    Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers
    Sara Watkins
    Roy Jay


  • Tue, Oct 5| 8 PM
    Drive-By Truckers
    Henry Clay People

Those Drive-By Truckers can’t seem to stay away from northeastern Ohio, bless their hearts.