Bits: The Black Keys, Andrew Bird, Neil Young, Sweet By and By, the Felice Brothers

  • With the proceeds from a benefit concert played in Akron, Ohio, last autumn to honor Alfred McMoore – the artist who inadvertently named the band – the Black Keys Alfred McMoore Memorial Endowment Fund has been established to support community services for Akron residents like McMoore who suffered from schizophrenia.
  • Andrew Bird will reprise his popular Gezelligheid concerts in December with dates in DC, Boston and Chicago.
  • Neil Young’s highly-anticipated, Daniel Lanois-produced album Le Noise is up on NPR’s First Listen.
  • A reminder for those in Northern California: The Yolo Throwdown Car and Music Festival is coming up this weekend, featuring the Sweet By and By, who are slated to hit the stage around 3:15 P.M.
  • Our good friend Digger has been counting down the top ten Felice Brothers songs of their career so far, which includes the brilliant “Marie”.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izAAG1QEX_k?fs=1]

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Bits: Conrad Plymouth, Americana Music Fest, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Plastic Ono Band, The Afghan Whigs, Ohio Hip Hop Awards, The Black Keys-ish

  • Conrad Plymouth has another beautiful song, a demo called “They Keep Everything So Clean”, up at their Tumblr.
  • The Americana Music Festival starts up tomorrow, and if you can’t make it to Nashville for the festivities in person, npr.org will be simulcasting the awards and honors show Thursday evening, according to the Carolina Chocolate Drops Twitter account (though I have yet to find any information about it on npr.org).
  • Speaking of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, here’s a nifty mini-lesson from Dom Flemons on playing the bones.
  • The Plastic Ono Band has a pair of all-star gigs coming up in NYC on October 1 and 2. Special guests include RZA, Mike Watt, Iggy Pop, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon and Perry Farrell, among others.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio’s Midpoint Music Fest on September 23-25 will include a couple of Afghan Whigs-related highlights in the form of photographs by John Curley and a documentary entitled Ladies and Gentlemen: The Afghan Whigs. Details here.
  • The Ohio Hip Hop Awards and Music Conference will be hitting downtown Cleveland September 17-19. Details here.
  • And because I’m trying to get … Continue reading

Bits: Cadillac Sky & Mumford & Sons, Justin Townes Earle, Conrad Plymouth, Wayne Coyne, the Black Keys

  • NTSIB favorites Cadillac Sky will be touring with Mumford & Sons from late October to mid-November. They’re not coming through Ohio, but, hey, I’m not weeping bitterly while wondering what I’ve done to anger the music gods or anything…
  • For the price of your e-mail address, you can get
    ” target=”blank”>a free mp3 of “Harlem River Blues”
    from Justin Townes Earle’s forthcoming album of the same name, which drops on September 14.
  • Christopher Porterfield of Conrad Plymouth is playing some solo dates in support of Jeremy Messersmith. He promises some brand new material.
    8.10.10 – The High Noon Saloon – Madison, Wisconsin
    8.11.10 – Cactus Club – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    8.12.10 – Schuba’s – Chicago, Illinois
  • People have been all… uh… atwitter about Kanye West joining Twitter, but the new Twitter poster you really want to follow is Wayne Coyne (I don’t have to tell you he’s the beneficent leader of the Flaming Lips, right?). He will make you happy.
  • Northeastern Ohio music fans are proud of the Black Keys. Obvious statement is obvious. We are proud of the blow-the-top-of-your-head-off music they make, but there’s another aspect of these guys that makes … Continue reading
  • Jessica Lea Mayfield and the Black Keys at the Nautica Pavillion in Cleveland, OH, 7.24.10

    If the quality of a Black Keys show can be judged by the number of times Dan Auerbach shouts a non-lyrical interjection into a song (think James Brown), this show was stellar.

    It was an intensely hot day in Cleveland, the kind where just standing in line can make you break a sweat, but spirits and anticipation were high, and I was pleased that the show had finally sold out.

    The audience was decidedly split on opener Jessica Lea Mayfield, but this was not terribly surprising considering how different Mayfield’s music is from that of TBK. While it was disappointing that big brother David Mayfield was not on string duties, it was good to see JLM broadening her sound (and, one imagines, allowing David more time for his work with Cadillac Sky and his solo work) with keyboards and electric bass. And guitarist Richie Kirkpatrick is always entertaining to watch. The new song from Mayfield’s forthcoming album sounded solid, and early word is that the whole album is killer (in an interview, Dan Auerbach, who created the Polymer Sounds label in … Continue reading

    Slackday: The Black Keys Vs. The GZA

    What happens when a pair of white boys from Akron, Ohio…
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0U8eDocbG8]

    …meet one of the killingest MCs around?
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3BpnT1C4QA]

    http://assets.delvenetworks.com/player/loader.swf

    That’s right, just another excuse for me to post more Black Keys and GZA.

    (Dan looks positively giddy to meet GZA. Can’t say that I blame him.)

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    Bits: Crook & Flail mix, Justin Townes Earle, A.A. Bondy, Big Boi and Rick Ross, the Black Keys, Nicholas Megalis and the Envy Project, Outside Lands

    Obsess Much? : The Black Keys, Rhythm method


    When you’re a fan of a band who have more than a couple of albums, there will inevitably be an album in the discography that doesn’t hit you quite like the others. Maybe there are a couple of songs that make you groove, but this album usually gets relegated to the bottom of the pile, given only an occasional spin. You probably even have this with your favorite band, the band you would give blood for. For instance, my excessive-to-the-point-of-being-obsequious apologies to the Afghan Whigs, but 1965 is the Whigs album I pull out the least. Even less than Up In It. There, I said it.

    The Black Keys have put out six full albums and three EPs, not including BlakRoc or Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney’s side projects, and Thickfreakness kept sitting at the bottom of my stack. Thickfreakness, their second album and the first released on Fat Possum Records, has some very strong tracks, undoubtedly (and one of the best titles of all time). The title track, “Set You Free” and their cover of “Have Love, Will Travel” … Continue reading

    Bits: The Famous, Daytrotter show, Maximum Balloon, Alan Moore, Suckers, Flaming Lips, the Black Keys, Devo, Big Boi

    Bits: The Wu is coming through, Strummerville by Letts, the story of K Records

    • There’s never a shortage of news from the Wu-Tang Clan, and our first four items are devoted to them. Up first: The Wu will be playing the Rock the Bells festival tour at the end of August, performing their masterpiece Enter the Wu-Tang Clan (36 Chambers) in its entirety. This year’s bill also includes Rakim, KRS-ONE and Slick Rick, among others.
    • Raekwon has released a new mixtape, Cocainism, Vol. 2, and you can download it here.
    • Pollen, The Swarm Part 3 is on its way, and you can download the first track, “Roll with Killer Beez”, here.
    • It was inevitable: RZA is making a kung fu film. The Man with Iron Fists was co-written by RZA and Eli Roth and will be directed by and star RZA.
    • Filmmaker Don Letts has produced a documentary about the creation of Strummerville, the foundation that carries on Joe Strummer’s work of promoting music from beyond the fray, and the DVD of the film is being sold exclusively through the Strummerville site where you can also watch a trailer for the film.
    • Pitchfork’s One Week Only feature this … Continue reading

    Bits: free Jay Bennett album, Hell and Half of Georgia and The Famous shows, listen to Peter Wolf Crier, the Black Keys on late night

    • The Jay Bennett Foundation, an organization supporting music and education started by the late musician’s mother and brother, will be releasing Bennett’s final solo album, Kicking at the Perfumed Air, as a free download on July 10 (a portion of physical album sales will go to the foundation). You can take a listen to two of the songs from the album at Pitchfork.
    • NTSIB friends Hell and Half of Georgia and the Famous have shows coming up. HaHoG will be playing Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, California, on June 5, and the Famous will be playing at the first annual Brewfest, hosted by the San Francisco Giants, on May 29 at AT&T; Park in San Francisco.
    • Inter-Be, the debut album by Peter Wolf Crier, is up for free listening at Spinner.com. They’ll be playing the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland on July 22 with the Builders and the Butchers and Heartless Bastards. There’s no way that show could be anything but killer.
    • Because you know we can’t help ourselves mentioning them right now, the Black Keys will be playing The Late Show with David Letterman tonight and … Continue reading