Bits: Strand of Oaks, Murder by Death/The Builders and the Butchers, Rome, The Due Diligence, Hell and Half of Georgia

  • Strand of Oaks has made the demos to Pope Killdragon available as a free download on Bandcamp.
  • Murder by Death and the Builders and the Butchers are releasing a split 7″ on which MBD will cover TBATB and vice versa (and Ray Rude will cover both with his Mission Operation project). Murder by Death is having a contest wherein two artists can win all 5 MBD albums on vinyl, all 3 TBATB albums on vinyl, and 5 copies of the split 7″ for producing cover art for the split 7″. Details at Murder by Death’s website.
  • Tracks from Rome, the project by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi – which also features Jack White and Norah Jones – have been made available. You can hear “Two Against One” at Pitchfork, and “The Rose with the Broken Neck” is streaming at NPR.
  • The Due Diligence have made the mp3 version of their album I Will Wreck Your Life available if you just can’t wait for the record release on May 29.
  • If you’re in Long Beach, California, this Thursday, April 21, check out NTSIB friends Hell and Half of Georgia at Alex’s Bar.

Bits: Cleveland Confidential, Robert Pollard, Beastie Boys, Jay Reatard, The Dirtbombs, The Due Diligence, Grandfather, Record Store Day

  • While I was too late to alert you to the Cleveland Confidential Book Tour‘s stop at the Rockhall and its attendant webcast (which was great), the tour – which features Cheetah Chrome (Rocket from the Tombs, the Dead Boys), Mike Hudson (The Pagans) and Bob Pfeifer (Human Switchboard) reading from their respective books – stops at the Ann Arbor District Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, tonight (April 12) at 7 PM. And if you’re in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday (April 14), you can catch the tour with featured guest Dave Thomas (Rocket from the Tombs, Pere Ubu) at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live at 7:30 PM.
  • Speaking of Ohio, you can download a few mp3s from various projects of human music machine Robert Pollard.
  • If you somehow haven’t heard it yet, you can check out a leaked track, “Make Some Noise”, from the forthcoming Beastie Boys’ album Hotsauce Committee Part Two on their Tumblr.
  • Jay Reatard documentary Better Than Something will debut at the Nashville Film Festival this Friday, April 15 at 7 PM. (You can check out Waiting for Something a short documentary from the same filmmakers here.)
  • The Dirtbombs have announced a handful of tour dates, kicking off in Detroit, Michigan, at the end of May.
  • The Due Diligence will be playing a double record release show with the Shivers on May 29 at the Mercury Lounge in New York.
  • Grandfather will be playing a free show at The Shop in Brooklyn, New York, on April 23. This will be their first show with their rejuvenated lineup of Joshua Hoffman (vocals), Michael Kirsch (guitar), Phil Sangiacomo (drums) and Justin Mantooth (bass).
  • Record Store Day is this Saturday, April 16, and The Numero Group pop up store in Chicago, Illinois, has a unique offer available.

Crazy and the Brains/The Due Diligence/Shivering Timbers at Now That’s Class, Cleveland, OH, 1.13.11

Crazy and the Brains

Imagine: You’re in a chilly punk bar, the kind with band stickers all over the walls, along with a little graffiti, and bike quarter pipes along the back of the room. There’s four-piece punk band on stage whose line-up includes xylophone. The band starts up, and a crowd comes dancing in, some of whom look like they were shipped in from the suburbs. There is a conga line at one point.

This was my cognitive dissonance-inducing introduction to not only Now That’s Class (a nice little venue with good acoustics and a laid-back vibe – easy to see why they received more than one nod in Scene’s most recent “best of” round-up), but also Crazy and the Brains. The audience, who had apparently been priming themselves at the bar for a while, was ready to dance, and CatB supplied just the right soundtrack with their bright, high-energy punk rock. While their originals, like “Birthday Song” and “Saturday Night Live”, were well-received, the most popular song of their set was a scream-along cover of “I Want Candy”.

Here’s video of “Birthday Song”. Gotta say, the xylophone really works.



The Due Diligence

Regular readers know I’ve been enjoying the music of the Due Diligence (i.e. Isaac Gillespie) for a while now, so I was excited for the opportunity to see the New York-based artist live. Gillespie set the tone by kicking off with a ragged tribute to Sly and the Family Stone in the form of a cover of “Family Affair”. Going from a quiet figure (with an impressive beard) to a stomping, howling demon in seconds, Gillespie seems to be less playing and singing the songs than he is pulling them out of his chest, strand by gut-drenched strand.

While the touring version of the Due Diligence is much stripped-down from the album line-up, the song arrangements lend themselves easily to a simple guitar-and-drums set-up, especially when amped up by Gillespie’s flip-a-switch energy. Including originals like “I Will Wreck Your Life” and “Uncle Stephen” and covers like the aforementioned “Family Affair” and Steve Miller’s “Keep On Rockin’ Me, Baby”, the Due Diligence set covered extremes from slow and sultry to a screaming wall of sound.


I Will Wreck Your Life • Cleveland, OH from the Due Diligence on Vimeo.


Shivering Timbers

“This is a nursery rhyme,” Sarah Benn almost seemed to be warning the audience, with finger pointed, at the beginning of Shivering Timbers’ set. Sarah and husband Jayson traffic in nursery rhymes, littering their album We All Started in the Same Place with jazzy arrangements of the childhood rhymes along with songs inspired by their daughter. But Shivering Timbers’ music is not strictly for the babies. With Sarah’s slinky upright bass and Jayson’s bluesy guitar – along with drums and appearances by banjo, toy piano and toy hand bells – stories like that of the crooked man who walked a crooked mile sound like they were birthed in a smoky club instead of at cribside.

While Dan Auerbach – who produced Shivering Timbers’ album – is known for his ability to capture a honest, live sound, the Benns should be seen in concert to appreciate the range of their talents, such as Sarah’s powerful voice and Jayson’s skilled guitar work. Not to mention the fact that they are charming as all hell, Sarah projecting a warm and friendly presence while Jayson, with a grin, thanked the crowd for “being drunk enough” at one point. And the way the Benns look at each other while playing is enough to make a seasoned cynic melt a little.

The dance-hungry crowd – who were obviously familiar with the band, requesting “Baby Don’t” and sending up a pathetic whine when they thought they might have to go the night through without hearing “Little Bird” – was given enough ammunition to keep them happy with the likes of the rock-out endings to “Little Bird” and “Evening Prayer”.



The Due Diligence, Crazy and the Brains and Shivering Timbers Tonight

Laying low at NTSIB HQ today, but we wanted to remind the locals that the Due Diligence will be hitting Now That’s Class tonight with Crazy and the Brains and Shivering Timbers (whose new album was produced by sound connoisseur Dan Auerbach). The show is at 9 PM and costs a measly 5 bucks. They’re practically giving it away, people!

Notable Shows in the Greater Cleveland Area + The Due Diligence

*The good dudes at Citizen Dick will be hosting a listening party for the new Akron/Family album at Loop Coffee & Records in Tremont tomorrow evening. Check ‘er out.

Shows worth checking out this week in and around Cleveland:

The Beachland Ballroom & Tavern

  • Fri, Jan 7| 9 PM (8 PM door)
    15th Annual Rockabilly Holiday
    Krank Daddies
    Scarlet Fever
    Wolfboy Slim & His Dirty Feets
    Steve Brown: Yo Yo Artist Extraordinaire
    $10 / $8 w/can of dog or cat food
  • Sat, Jan 8| 9 PM (8 PM door)
    Ante up Showcase
    Gentlemen Hall
    Hazard Adams
    Nicholas Megalis
    Leah Lou
    Champion Bubblers
    The Vig
    Ballroom & Tavern | All Ages
  • Tue, Jan 11| 8:30 PM (7:30 PM door)
    The Dirt Daubers
    The Misery Jackals
    Nicholas Deveney
    Tavern | All Ages

Grog Shop

  • Fri, Jan 7| 8 PM
    Sun God
    Founding Fathers
    Wooly Bullies
    Spacer Ace
  • Sat, Jan 8| 8 PM
    Afternoon Naps
    The Modern Electric
    Mike Uva & The Bad Eyes
    Brian Straw
  • Thu, Jan 13| 8 PM
    Apache Beat
    Madame & The Moist Towelettes
    Fangs Out
    Attack Cat

Now That’s Class

  • Mon, Jan 10| 9 PM
    Guerilla Toss
  • Thu, Jan 13| 9 PM
    The Due Diligence
    Crazy & the Brains
    Shivering Timbers
    $5 donation

Happy Dog

  • Fri, Jan 7| 9 PM
    Benefit for Dave P.
    (a band called) Me
  • Sun, Jan 9| 9 PM
    Whitey Morgan & the 78s

NTSIB is very happy to be a part of bringing the Due Diligence to Cleveland. Here’s a hint of what to expect…


Bits: Cadillac Sky, The Due Diligence, Bill Monroe, Justin Townes Earle, The Black Keys

  • We are very sad to announce that Cadillac Sky are going on “indefinite hiatus”, i.e. they broke up. But I guess if you’re going to go, it’s good to go out on the best album of your career. And we still have The David Mayfield Parade to enjoy, along with projects the other guys will surely be involved with.
  • The Due Diligence is touring! Along with Crazy Brains and a number of local openers, they are hitting a number of joints down the eastern U.S., including a January 13 stop at Now That’s Class with Shivering Timbers.
  • The International Bluegrass Music Museum will be hosting the Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration in honor of what would have been the 100th birthday of the late bluegrass great September 12-14 in Owensboro, Kentucky. The amazing line-up will include Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, Jesse McReynolds, Mac Wiseman, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Osborne, Eddie Adcock, Tom Gray, Kenny Baker, Curly Seckler, Everett Lilly, The Lewis Family, Bill Clifton, Rodney Dillard, Melvin Goins and Paul Williams.
  • Justin Townes Earle will be hitting the Late Show with David Letterman tomorrow night, January 5, while the Black Keys will be making their Saturday Night Live debut on January 8.

Bits: The Flaming Lips, The Due Diligence, A Place to Bury Strangers, Liars, The Like, Gin Blossoms

  • Pitchfork is featuring a doc on the making of the Flaming Lips’ Embryonic, and since the week is almost over, you’d better get over there.
  • Hooray for the Due Diligence! Isaac Gillespie and company surpassed their Kickstarter goal, so I Will Wreck Your Life will get a vinyl pressing, and the album is streaming at their Bandcamp site.
  • “But what I really want to do is direct…” A Place to Bury Strangers are holding a contest for aspiring music video directors. Create a video for APtBS’ song “Deadbeat” and upload it to the Deadbeat contest YouTube channel for a chance to win a signed boxset, 4 tickets to an APtBS show of your choice and have your video posted to all APtBS websites with credit as the official video.
  • Additionally, do yourself a favor and see A Place to Bury Strangers live:

    9/30 – Nashville, TN – Next Big Nashville Festival at Exit In with Yeasayer, Waaves, & Javelin

    10/1 – Durham, NC – Duke Coffeehouse

    10/2 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter with Ceremony & Soundpool (Killer Pimp Night)

    10/3 – New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge with Chapterhouse, Soundpool & Ulrich Schnauss

    10/15 – Minneapolis, MN – Whole Music Club at University of Minnesota

    10/26 – Brooklyn, NY – Death By Audio with Japandroids

    10/30 – West Palm Beach, FL – Respectable Street

    11/3 – New York, NY – Billboard Showcase at Gramercy

    11/11 – Monterrey, Mexico – Escenica

    11/13 – Mexico City, Mexico – Festival Sonorama

    Leave your pansy earplugs at home.

  • This could be worth wading into the murky depths of iTunes: Liars have released a live EP of their May 27 Shepherd’s Bush gig, cleverly entitled Live at Shepherds Bush Empire, exclusively through iTunes.


    1. Scissor

    2. Proud Evolution

    3. The Overachievers

    4. Clear Island

    5. A Visit from Drum

  • I finally watched We Jam Econo: the Story of the Minutemen last night! This is not news. It’s just an excuse to post this video:


Jennifer adds:

  • The Like are on a U.S. west coast tour now-right-now.
  • The Gin Blossoms’ new album No Chocolate Cake is streaming on AOL Music.

The Due Diligence: Cigarettes and Cynicism Will Only Get You So Very Far

Isaac Gillespie may be an evil mastermind. He looks sweet and unassuming, but I think it’s just a clever guise. You see, I listened to the title track from his forthcoming album with the Due Diligence, I Will Wreck Your Life, for the first time on Friday. By Saturday afternoon, I was walking around my apartment, singing the chorus… over and over again. I try to avoid direct comparisons between bands and songs, but “I Will Wreck Your Life” compares favorably to the Felice Brothers’ instant classic “Frankie’s Gun!” in that it is a shambling good time that makes you want to sing along, loudly, about terrible things.

Also featuring players Alex P, Jo Schornikow, Morgan Heringer, Ben Sadock, Colin Fahrner, IWWYL runs the course from twangy (“Antifolk Song”) to slinky (“Uncle Stephen”) and is a delight all-around with lyrics that can be simultaneously sweet and cynical. Here’s the catch: To give this album a physical release, Due Diligence need some help. They have a Kickstarter program to raise money for a vinyl pressing of IWWYL that is now in its final days. They have a modest amount to go to reach their goal (Kickstarter is an all or nothing prospect), and Gillespie has some clever rewards for backers, especially in the higher dollar amounts (if I didn’t need a Kickstarter for my own life, I’d be aiming at the $300 level so I could hear Gillespie cover the Afghan Whigs’ Black Love), and you could be the one to make it all happen.

I Will Wreck Your Life Kickstarter

I Will Wreck Your Life Bandcamp