[Abby’s Road] Emptiness Inside


It’s that time of year. Dreidels are spinning and trees are being trimmed. Advent wreaths a-glowing, this only means one thing: happy people. Refreshing.

Recently, it seems that everywhere I go, be it the crowded Ubahn, grocery store, Christmas markets, even on the -12c, iced-over footpaths begging to twist an ankle I am surrounded by smiling, pleasant humans. Even strangers are meeting my eyes and greeting me on the street. This NEVER happens (to me anyway) in Germany. Ordinarily I’m lucky if I get a cantankerous “entschuldigen” when someone knocks me in the ass with their shopping trolley at the supermarket. You’re just going to have to take my word on this one.

So, with all of this love flying around, one would think that even the congenitally pissed off and soulless would catch the fever. You know, shoot an un-creepy wink and a grin at an unsuspecting passerby or leave an extra-hefty tip for a waiter or waitress. OR…perhaps be elated when one of the most influential bands of recent history as far as independent music is concerned announces UK dates in early 2013 and reports a long-awaited album release is imminent; especially if you are a fan. But no..no. I’ve gone too far…I’ve asked too much. GAH.

I deserve it. My frustration I mean, as I pay attention to social media and blogs, especially when it comes to My Bloody Valentine. Admittedly, I probably receive one too many email blasts, Facebook updates, you name it, as I want to be informed. Foolishly, I assume the majority of folks receiving these messages, messages one must SUBSCRIBE to, are, like me, fans of the band and overjoyed about said announcements. Nope.

I have no idea what it’ll take to make these cranky bastards happy, actually.

Continue reading [Abby’s Road] Emptiness Inside

[Abby’s Road] Right about now…

The time has come my friends. The last of summer’s sweaty days…back to school. The air is cooling down, the musty fragrance of decaying leaves is on the breeze: it’s autumn tour time. The most wonderful time of the year. Lalala.

It happens every early August. I ramble to a friend “wow, it’s been so long since I’ve been to a gig” or something similar and, like clockwork, a few days later I see my first autumnal tour poster. It’s quite comforting. There are few things I can bank on these days, though late August through late October I can be sure that there will be some live music in my life.

Right. So I made my first jaunt to the ticket vendor a few weeks ago and snatched up a handful of tasty ins, the first of which happened this week, Of Montreal. I must say that they were phenomenally amazing live; it was my first time seeing them. I had always assumed that while their records are fantastic, a live show might be on the theatrical and silly side. I suppose because, lyrically, Barnes is all over the damn place. Not the case. Spangles and eye makeup aside, it was the antithesis of dramatic, super tight and perfect. I also purchased the best piece of band swag ever created in the history of space and time, or in my 25 years of show going at least. But I digress.

Continue reading [Abby’s Road] Right about now…

[Contest] Ticket giveaway for Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan @ Bowery Ballroom

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan are playing The Bowery Ballroom in NYC on October 16 (this Saturday!) and we have TWO free tickets to give away to a lucky winner — drop us a comment on this post with anything at all (hopefully something interesting…) and we’ll pick a winner at random by Friday. Make sure you […]

Siren Festival adds Ponytail, Holy Fuck, DOM, Apache Beat to lineup

The tenth annual Siren Music Festival at Coney Island already has a pretty stellar lineup: Matt and Kim, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Harlem, Surfer Blood, Cymbals Eat Guitars, etc. But it just got a little more stellar with the inclusion of Baltimore fun group Ponytail, electronic instrumentalists Holy […]

Quick Hits: New album from Emanuel and the Fear, Savoir Adore in D.C., new video from Shadows on a River

Emanuel and the Fear, the 11-piece (count ’em) outfit from Brooklyn, are set to release their first full-length, Listen, March 9, 2010. And what does an 11-piece do when presented with the opportunity to create an album? They make an epic 18 song-er, duh.

Emanuel and the Fear – “Dear Friend” [MP3]

Pre-order […]

Goldspot releases new LP, And The Elephant Is Dancing

From the press release for Goldspot‘s And The Elephant Is Dancing, which is out today:

From New Delhi to New Jersey, Goldspot’s sophomore LP, And the Elephant Is Dancing, seamlessly fuses the cross-cultural influences of frontman Siddhartha Khosla’s upbringing into an infectious pastiche of indie-pop nuggets. The follow-up to the critically acclaimed debut, […]

Harlem announce U.S. tour dates

Gritty Austin boys Harlem are finally leaving the nest and touring the country. They turned some heads with last year’s LP, Free Drugs ; ), and the album’s singles, “Witch Greens” and “South of France.” They’ve been recording new material, but nothing new has surfaced yet. As I understand, they’ve torn up Austin […]

Grand Duchy @ Siren


Frank Black is easily one of the most influential musicians of the last two decades. From directly influencing grunge (see Kurt Cobain) to setting the stage for the 90s alternative scene and making music many new musicians today grew up spinning, he’s had a hand in making alternative and indie music what is today. On his new project, Grand Duchy, with wife Violet Clark, Black has nothing to prove. And so at Siren Saturday he didn’t try to prove anything.

Black took the back seat through much of the set, giving the mic and the attention to Clark, who played things oh-so-cool with her underwear-matching, polka-dotted upper thigh-high dress and sleek headless bass. The duo went through the motions with just enough high energy to please– without exactly impressing.

This isn’t exactly The Pixies and both Black and Clark know it. But with confidence and cool, they take the stage and work their magic doing what they know and what they love. And yes, Frank Black still looks, as some article once pointed out, like a “portly Mr. Clean.”

More photos after the jump.

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Future of the Left @ Siren


Raging forth from the stage like the Kraken from the sea (1981’s Clash of the Titans anyone?) was the furious sound of Future of the Left. Playing by far the most angst-ridden set all day, the three boys from Wales delivered tight, crunching guitar rock made complete with roaring screams and head thrashing (the latter performed primarily and constantly by bassist Kelson Mathias).

While Spank Rock forced the crowd into a dance party and Monotonix created a mob scene, Future of the Left invoked an equally energetic, albeit angsty, audience. When the band hit the climax of “Arming Eritrea,” the single from their latest Travels With Myself And Another, fans in the crowd formed a Siren rarity– a mosh pit.

While not the most spectacular show of the day (come on, it’s hard to match a dude riding a bass drum being held up by the crowd), Future of the Left certainly offered the heaviest and the screamiest. And even if it left many Frightened Rabbit fans crossing their arms with disdain, the set was a great chance for others of us to let off some steam.

Future of the Left – “Arming Eritrea” [MP3]

More photos after the jump.

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[MP3s] Your Siren Music Festival Preview

It’s Thursday, so that means the bestest, hippest, most free music festival of the summer is about to kick off. For those of you at Under A Rock University where you major in not knowing things (zinger!!), the Siren Music Festival is a one-day, two-stage, free show at Coney Island, NY. Home of […]