Nicole Atkins/Booker T. Jones/The Black Keys, White River State Park, Indianapolis, IN, June 10, 2011

I am envious of everyone who was able to attend this show – Booker T. Jones and the Black Keys!? Are you freaking kidding me!? – but we are fortunate enough to have this great review and fantastic photos from Jessi Smith. Thanks so much, Jessi.




As I type this The Black Keys are in the midst of their tour of Canada, where they seem to get a lot more recognition than around here. They get invited to perform at Canadian awards shows, unlike here where they have to accept their Grammy’s during the pre-show. America is coming around though. Less frequently am I met with blank stares and well meaning corrections of, “Do you mean the Black Eyed Peas?” when I mention their name. However, with shows like the one I went to in Indianapolis on June 10th under their belts, they’re going to be household names before you can say “That’s not how you say Auerbach”. Then all the hipsters can hate them for selling out, which I won’t mind because the fewer faux fan douchebags that like them the better.



A $5 skip the line pass … Continue reading

Bits: Nicole Atkins, The Meat Puppets, The Twilight Singers, The Black Keys, A Place to Bury Strangers

  • Nicole Atkins will be playing a live acoustic session and chatting on livestream Wednesday, 1.19, at 1:30 PM ET/10:30 AM PT.
  • The Meat Puppets will be releasing their new album, Lollipop, in April, Paste reports. Their line-up now includes Shandon Sahm, son of Texan multi-instrumentalist Doug Sahm, on drums.
  • The Twilight Singers’ upcoming album, Dynamite Steps, is available for pre-order at Sub Pop. The pre-order entitles you to stream the album online immediately, and if you pre-order by 2.15, you’ll receive two non-album tracks.
  • Though they’ve had to cancel their Australia/New Zealand tour and part of their European tour, the Black Keys juggernaut rolls on with an appearance on Austin City Limits airing 1.22 on PBS, in a split episode with Sonic Youth. (The Keys’ appearance was taped about three months ago. I am very excited about this, having hoped for a Keys ACL for a long time now.)
  • A Place to Bury Strangers will hit the road again this spring, including SXSW gigs where they will premiere material from their forthcoming, as-yet-untitled album. These guys are amazing live.

    THU 3/10 – ATLANTA, GA – Masquerade*

    FRI 3/11 – DURHAM, NC … Continue reading

Nicole Atkins: Take All I Can Get Until I’m Dirt and Bones

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but ‘they’ are generally full of shit. A study of the cover for Nicole Atkins’ forthcoming album, Mondo Amore, will give you a good sketch of what’s inside. New cozying up with old, light defined by dark, the rugged and the ethereal, beauty borne of unexpected juxtapositions.

Both lyrically and sonically, Mondo Amore is dramatic. The sweep of Atkins voice is often cinematic, and she is backed by instrumentation that often combines the more theatrical heights of ’60s pop and soul productions with the guitar-centric heart of ’70s rock. Sometimes the drama teeters on the edge of being overwrought, but Atkins generally saves herself with strong but modest musical sensibilities (I find hooks from this album, like the chorus of “Cry Cry Cry”, popping into my head even after I haven’t listened to the album for a couple of days) and those killer pipes.

Atkins is at her best when she leans more toward rock than pop, and the first track, “Vultures”, is the head-and-shoulders-above-the-rest stand-out on this album, … Continue reading