Thursday, September 30, 2010

Basia Bulat (9/29/10)

What an awesome night!  I knew I wanted to get to this show early to see my new local favorites, The Modern Electric.  I saw them open for Deer Tick at one of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Summer Concert Series, and have been anxiously waiting for the chance to see them again.  I could have asked for a better scenario.  Garrett Komyati has some stellar vocals that, even without a great band and great songs, would be worthy of noting.  But fortunately, The Modern Electric has all of that.  Cleveland should be proud.

The Modern Electric (9/29/10)

The Acorn was up next.  They were good, definitely an experienced band with a polished sound.  While they seemed like a fun group of guys, their music was a bit too serious.

The Acorn (9/29/10)

Over the last couple days, I felt like each time I heard Basia Bulat's album, I liked it exponentially more.  Now triple that since seeing her in concert... She has an absolutley *STUNNING* voice.  An amazing personality, a great band, blah blah blah.  Just an awesome performer... as you can see for yourself (as best video allows):

Basia Bulat (9/29/10)

The Hundred in the Hands

Have you picked up the new The Hundred in the Hands album yet?  I've been loving it lately....  Also, they're (surprisingly) the first openers for The Thermals show next Friday (Oct. 8th) - so go early!

Buy it at Insound!

Maybe some motivation...  Here's a video from one of my favorite online sites, La Blogotheque!

The Hundred in the hands | Pigeons | A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

If you don't remember, they were one of my *favorite* shows lately...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Video Tuesday

A little last-minute pop hodge-podge - but all good stuff! School of Seven Bells, Phantogram, and Wild Nothing (with a great retro piece)

Wild Nothing - Chinatown from Jack Tatum on Vimeo.

Menomena (9/27/10)

Oh work... you keep me grounded.  Last night, Menomena performed in Cleveland (at the Beachland), for the first time in a while.  We (luckily) got there in time for the end of the Suckers performance.  That lead singer had a touch of the crazy - but it worked for them/him. I hadn't planned on catching these guys play, but i'm definitely intrigued.

Suckers (9/27/10)

A darling of Music Saves (who received a shout-out from the band), Menomena is definitely a solid music act - only proving their good taste.  Throwing in some eccentricities, like saxophones and moraccas, they effortlessly demonstrate their mature and much appreciated sound - as demonstrated by the excited audience.  I didn't stay for the whole night, but enjoyed what I saw. When they come back (and I'm sure they will), I'll be better prepared.

Menomena (9/27/10)

You can find a more detailed (and better) review here

And the Nominees Are...

I'm not a big fan of Music Award Shows, and admittedly skeptical of those being chosen by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - but it's still worth mentioning.  This year's Nominees:


And while we're talkin' Rock & Roll Legends, let's see the beginning of the Rock Hall, 15 years ago.

Remembering the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Yahoo! News

Fifteen years old already? The Rock and Rock Hall of Fame celebrates its birthday and we send a video birthday card with a look at WEWS coverage of the event. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. A funny line, but true when you think of 'vintage' video being from the not so long ago year of 1995."

(Continued... Remembering the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Yahoo! News)

Friday, September 24, 2010

David Dondero (9/22/10)

This show was all about the songwriting!  David Dondero performed to a small crowd at the Beachland Tavern on Wednesday night, with Darren Hanlon opening.  Darren was quite the impressive sort, with mild (but funny) humor, who's his songs and lyrics carried the performance.  Better than I was expecting, and someone I'd definitely see again.

Darren Hanlon (9/22/10)

David performed solo, with only a guitar.  He was more introspective than I was expecting, but I think it worked for him.  His songs were simple and intimate, and he even seemed a bit awkward on stage at times.  I'd agree with the masses that say he's one of the best songwriters out there today.  As good as this was, I'd really like to see him with some supporting musicians.

(more videos here)

David Dondero (9/22/10)

I was a little bummed to not hear Rothko Chapel, but it wasn't from lack of requests. This is still probably one of my top 5 favorite songs, so I'll share it here:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Best Coast (9/21/10)

Hmm... I wish I could say this was a great show.  I'd been recently enjoying the Best Coast album more and more (as well as Male Bonding).  Shortly after walking in, a band took the stage that I thought was the very first opener.  Turns out it was Male Bonding, which I didn't even realize until the last song... Can't say their performance pulled me from my seat at the bar.

Best Coast took the stage to a luke warm, yet voluminous audience.  They started playing... it sounded mostly like the record.  Bethany Cosentino didn't have much stage presence or really bring much to the live show.  Kind of sad, because the music could be lots of fun.

And to go along with this downbeat review, a mediocre photo:

Best Coast (9/21/10)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Video Tuesday

Here are some good ones... First off, Future Islands with Tin Man - one of the best songs of the last year (get this album).  Next up, We Are Scientists with an intriguing video.  Finally, I would be a terrible music blogger if I didn't mention the new OK Go.  Though I love the dogs, I think these may be getting a little hokey.  Regardless, the'll be at the Beachland on Oct. 13th ($15) and I'm very excited to see them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Best Coast Tomorrow Night

Best Coast performs tomorrow night at the Grog Shop.  $12.  Be there.

Male Bonding is opening.

You could also consider the Those Darlins show at the Beachland too.

Matt & Kim (9/16/10)

Matt & Kim totally rocked the Beachland with their indie-power-pop confection.  Of course you know their videos, but their live show is just as much fun.  While it could feel a bit contrived, it's easy (and recommended) to just let the fun wash over you and get into the groove at their show.  Here's what I'm talking about:

They also have their cheeky fun covers.

After the show, there was no encore... but Matt did walk out through the crowd to say hi and take some photos.

Matt and Kim (9/16/10)

Cameras, the new album, is out on November 2nd.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

#NewTwitter & @freelancewhales

So I've been dipping my toe into the Twitter-verse more and more.  I'm having a good time actually, it's a great way to share bits of info that aren't quite worthy of a blog post.  Sort of the "micro-blogging" in between entries. You can catch me at (@thezenderagenda).  I also have a running update of tweets here on the right-hand side of my blog - in case you're not wanting the commitment of following me.  That's okay - I understand.

Anyway, Twitter sounds like it's undergoing some pretty fun changes, and they're using Freelance Whales to set the mood.  One of my favorite/recent bands.  Check it out.  Give it a try and "follow me."

And for good measure, here's a true Freelance Whales video

Freelance Whales "Hannah" from HUMBLE TV on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

eMusic News

eMusic has been a favorite online service of mine for some time now.  We've had our ups and downs, but I'm still a subscriber.  Looks like more changes are on the horizon...  We'll have to see where this lands us.

eMusic Close To Signing More Major Labels As Part Of Planned November Relaunch - hypebot

eMusic is reportedly working on deals with EMI and Universal as part of a plan to relaunch its subscription music service in November.  They already have deals with WMG, Sony and many independent labels. Despite the addition of more major labels, the site is not abandoning its subscription model which offers plans like 24 downloads a month for $12.  But there will be some other big changes on the new site."

(Continued... eMusic Close To Signing More Major Labels As Part Of Planned November Relaunch - hypebot)


Matt & Kim Tomorrow Night!

Definitely excited to see Matt & Kim tomorrow night. I was only able to catch part of their set at Pitchfork last year...  Here's their new song "Cameras" from their Sidewalks release - out Nov. 2nd.  Theres also as well as great little slide-show below as well.  (all other videos here:

and show up before the show for the listening party for the new album.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Video Tuesday

Starting off with the Diamond Rings, a fun new discovery (album out Sept. 28th).  Next up is the Junip (Jose Gonzales' band) video, which is easily one of the oddest videos I've seen in a while - but some good music.  And speaking of weird, let's go for another Das Racist, which I saw accurately described as "Art Rap" (again, good music).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Somone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (9/12/10)

A gorgeous late-summer evening in Cleveland.  Grog Shop had two separate shows yesterday and this was the latter.  I was a little concerned about the time, but had recently been appreciating both bands and really wanted to go (despite being a Sunday night).

We got there in time for Telekinesis, a fun indie rock outfit out of Seattle. Definitely check out their self-titled album. They ended their set with one of my favorite little ditties.

The crowd condensed for SSLYBY...  They played a lot of new stuff from their new album Let it Sway (of which I purchased one of the limited ed. peach copies!).  Here's most of In Pairs, one of my favorite new songs:

Overall, this was a night of indie-pop/rock goodness.  I'm realizing now that both bands recent release efforts were also produced by Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie)...  I can see the connection.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (9/12/10)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

iTunes Cloud Concern [Article]

This article, while conjecture, is still worth reading.  I've staunchly supported DRM free music, which thankfully won out... but there's always something else.

iTunes in the Cloud and Why This Scares MeBy Adam Jackson Sep. 7, 2010, 1:00pm

"Control by a single entity is my main fear. Cloud storage isn’t democratized and it isn’t open. Currently, when you buy something, it’s stored, owned and managed by the company you purchased it from. Apple has maintained DRM in its iTunes Store since 2003. I’ve authorized files that


I bought the day Apple’s store opened and they still play on any one of my Apple devices. If I lose that song, Apple can allow me to re-download it after some back and forth with its support team. My apps, movies, music and music videos are locked to its devices. The same goes with Amazon’s Kindle platform. Buying a book from Amazon’s Kindle Store means that file is locked to its software and hardware. If it ever abandons Kindle, your books are useless. There’s no reason for either of these companies to do this, but people who bought music from stores that are now defunct are in a bit of a pickle with the content."

"An example of a failed system is Microsoft’s PlaysForSure DRM. A number of music stores and MP3 players adopted this, but most of those stores and hardware companies have shifted directions or gone out of business. The hundreds you spent on music may be playable right now but no one can guarantee you’ll be able to in 10 years."

(Continued... iTunes in the Cloud and Why This Scares Me)


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Telekinesis! and Someone Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ Grog Tomorrow!

This show should be some delicious pop/rock goodness...  Here's a new Telekinesis video, and a recent concert video of SSLYBY from the Magic Stick (looks just like it did for Casiokids).

Telekinesis - Dirty Thing (Music Video) from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin from Cory Hearns on Vimeo.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Studio-A-Rama Tomorrow!

I've never been able to go to this festival, as it's the same weekend as the Black Swamp Arts Festival - a kind of tradition for going back to BG.  I have a lot going on for work, so I need to stay around here this weekend - but I should still be able to slip away a bit to catch some of this event (finally!)  Check out the poster created by local poster hero - John G.


Click on the image for a link to more details about the making of...

Also, re-re-purposing details from Steve via John G.:

29TH ANNUAL STUDIO-A-RAMA SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 11TH presented by 91.1 WRUW courtyard of the Mather Memorial Building 11220 Bellflower Road; Cleveland, OH 44106

FREE SHOW!!! / 1pm to midnight

THE BLACK ANGELS (coming from playing All Tomorrow's Parties;from Austin TX; toured with The Black Keys, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Warlocks, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Raveonettes, Black Mountain, and Wolfmother; collaborated with Unkle; and acted as Roky Erickson's backing band; new album due out on September 14th on the recently relaunched legendary British blues label Blue Horizon Records)

SUN GOD (Husker Du meets heavy metal, members of 9 Shocks Terror, Machine Go Boom, Insurrect, Homostupids, Vietnam Werewolf, and The Fucking Cops; Big Purple Records)

AFTERNOON NAPS (the current reigning royalty of pop music in Cleveland, members of The Volta Sound, Picklefight Puppet Theater, Bears, and Dreadful Yawns; Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records)

FAWN (first Cleveland show ever!!!; Detroit supergroup comprised of members of Kiddo, Von Bondies, Thunderbirds Are Now!, Child Bite, Javelins, & Nice Device; Super Sweet & Rich Records Co. & Suburban Sprawl Records)

SELF DESTRUCT BUTTON (prog noise rock, members of Clan Of The Cave Bear, Biblical Proof of UFO's, Proletarian Art Threat, Lives Of The Saints, Deathers, Mohammed Cartoon, The X Bolex, Small Object A, Neo-Nothing, Skullface Unit, Land of Buried Treasure, Washout Corp, Oblongata, etc. etc.; Tower Control Records)

NICK RIFF (classic 80's, 90's, 00's riff-heavy psych rock; Sonic Swirl Records)

PRISONERS (writing some of the catchiest garage pop in the good ol' USA today; Smog Veil Records)

TEENAGE GRANDPA (new kids on the block tearing things up with their brand of poppy indie punk; members of Left Field)

ETHIOPIANS (lo-fi / no-fi garage punk; members of Neon Tongues and The Soulhounds)

SLOTH (brutal gore-grind metal meets Gallagher-style stand-up comedy complete with ridiculous costumes; undisputed kings of underground cassette tape releases)













Thursday, September 9, 2010

Guster: New Album and Pasty Tapes

Guster has a new album coming out (Easy Wonderful) on Tuesday, October 5th.  They've started a pretty sweet pre-sale if you're interested (vinyl!).


Of course that's only if you're excited about some new stuff. Now I know these guys may not be the hippest thing on the block, but I think they're fun and worth listening to...  Live may be one of the best ways to experience them.  Here's a massive 24 track live album they've released live on their website.  Good stuff, especially if you prefer a retrospective.


Update... New Video:

Stay With Me Jesus from Guster on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

OK Go on Net Neutrality

Oh OK Go.  You're after my heart aren't you...  FYI: They're coming to the Grog Shop on Wed. Oct. 13th.

OK Go on net neutrality: A lesson from the music industry
By Damian Kulash Sunday, August 29, 2010

On the Internet, when I send my ones and zeros somewhere, they shouldn't have to wait in line behind the ones and zeros of wealthier people or corporations. That's the way the Net was designed, and it's central to a concept called 'net neutrality,' which ensures that Internet service providers can't pick favorites.

Recently, though, big telecommunications companies have argued that their investment in the Net's infrastructure should allow them more control over how it's used. The concerned nerds of the world are up in arms, and there's been a long, loud public debate, during which the Federal Communications Commission appeared to develop a plan to preserve net neutrality."

(Continued... OK Go on net neutrality: A lesson from the music industry)


And of course, if you haven't checked out their videos... do so here:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Video Tuesday

Here's the new Marina & the Diamonds that everyone's talking about.  Just discovering Das Racist (thanks Paul) and their video game throwback video (lots of goodies). Rounding out with an amazing Róisín Murphy video that I seem to have missed the first time around.

Das Racist - Who's That? Brooown! (Dir. by Thomas De Napoli) from Das Racist on Vimeo.

Roisin Murphy 'Let Me Know' - Director: Daniel Wolfe from Tom Lindsay on Vimeo.


Monday, September 6, 2010

AllMusic Loves 1975

I've been waiting for these guys to do my birth year... Fun stuff.


The Allmusic Blog » AllMusic Loves 1975

"Smack dab in the middle of the decade, 1975 was the polyester peak of the ’70s, the year that captured all the glorious excesses of the Me Decade. Elton John presided over the pop charts — his pull so powerful he could help give Neil Sedaka, that old pro who last topped the charts in the years before the Beatles, not one but two number ones — and he ruled a year that saw Morris Albert sing about his feelings, a year where Captain & Tennille preached that ‘Love Will Keep Us Together,’ a year where Glen Campbell was a ‘Rhinestone Cowboy,’ and a year where everybody was ‘Kung Fu Fighting.’ It was such a gaudy, glitzy surface that it seemed like nothing might exist underneath, which is naturally the time that a lot of interesting things are happening. Disco began to edge its way into the mainstream, getting so close that U.K. art-rockers Roxy Music and David Bowie claimed it as their own; proto-punk noises could be heard on both sides of the Atlantic, with the trash-loving Dictators celebrating cars and girls in the U.S. and the miscreants of Dr. Feelgood kicking out malevolent blues-rock in the U.K. But most attention was directed toward the future of rock & roll, one Bruce Springsteen, who released his galvanizing third album Born to Run and wound up on the covers of both Time and Newsweek in the same week, instantly catapulting the once-obscure singer/songwriter toward the ranks of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Paul Simon, who all had banner years in 1975 as well. Some of this was drowned out thanks to Aerosmith, who injected plenty of sleaze into teenage veins thanks to Toys in the Attic, but Led Zeppelin remained the true golden gods of rock & roll, ruling with the mighty Physical Graffiti — a double album so excessive and glorious it could only have come out in 1975."

(Continued... The Allmusic Blog » AllMusic Loves 1975)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Calendar Change

If you've previously subscribed to my concert calendar, things are changing.  If you've not subscribed, maybe you should consider it.  I'm now managing it natively in my account.  Here are the possible sharing options:  (hint: the ICAL option should auto load in your iCal or Outlook Calendar program)

NewImage.jpg  NewImage.jpg  NewImage.jpg
Also to note, I don't actually track start times for these shows, I always put 8pm.  Any variation is for a show that I've noted the *actual* time instead.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Casiokids (8/26/10)

After the weekend on the East Coast, then a brief busy day at work, we were back on the road to Detroit to see Casiokids.  I think I might have been more excited for this show than any other on the trip, and with what I'd seen in the past week, that's sayin' something.

We first stopped at the Hotel St. Regis, which was our cheap hotel for the night.  Whoa.  Minus the red stains on the carpets and the sounds of sex & (movie) violence in the hallways, it was decent.  We then headed over to Stormy Records, which is an amazing little store with a great selection of new and discount vinyl.  Then we at at the Magestic Cafe (meh), while we waited for the show.

Stormy Records

Detroit seemed dead.  It's like no one was around for this show, but we were there a bit early.  Around show time, I walked up to the Magic Stick and no one was there.  I thought for a second that we might not there on the wrong day...  Had another beer, then went up to see about 6 people watching Light Pollution perform.  They were decent enough.

Light Pollution (8/26/10)

By the time Casiokids took the stage, we were probably up to about 20 people in attendance.  This always makes me sad for the band, but it's also very telling to see how a band handles it.  I felt like it didn't phase Casiokids one bit.  Slowly we all got closer and realized we could dance. By that time, everyone was into it.

So a quick little side story.  On the way out of Cleveland, I took a chance and called the Apple store and they had a new iPhone 4 in stock.  I swung by and grabbed it (woot!!). This was the show that I was compared the video between my camera & iPhone.  I'll post both sets of video here (different songs).  Here are  couple clips from the camera:

Here's are some tracks using the iPhone (note, HD version are available):

So overall - it was a phenomenal show.  I would have loved to see more people there, but otherwise I couldn't have asked for more.

Photos (from the iPhone):

Screen shot 2010-09-01 at 11.31.59 PM.JPG

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Scissor Sisters (8/23/10)

After a gorgeous day of biking around DC (I highly recommend it - at least on a Monday), we ended up at DAR Constitution Hall, which is one of the more unique, larger venues I've been in.  Situated relatively close to the White House, I definitely didn't feel like I was walking into a Scissor Sisters show - that is until I saw the crowd.  Gay Gay Gay.  :-)  And I say that with love...  It was a great crowd, though it wasn't as full as I was expecting/hoping.

Opening was Casey Spooner, one part Fischerspooner.  Great band, but wasn't sure what we were getting into with Casey.  His opening was disarming, with his confession about how his last performance was crap and he was starting over on this night - going back to bare bones.  It was just him on stage singing over recorded music.  His songs were a little torchy, maybe a little Robbie ballad-esque.  It sounded interesting enough - I'll check him out when his new album is released.

Now Scissor Sisters.  First off, let me thank the ticket gods for the front row seats!!  OK, so I just know someone who knew someone - but I'm still extremely thankful.  They had an amazing stage presence, with full band (+2), a couple dancers and a fun light show.  They ran through their best songs, and thankfully plenty of new ones.  I've been very excited about this new release and I'm glad the played the best songs from it.

Here's one of my favorites from the new album (and from the encore), Invisible Light (recorded during the extra-loud encore = poor sound):

For this other video, Matt took a bunch of video clips that I considered editing down but really struggled with which ones to cut - so I've left them all in.  A great little summary of the show, including some little up close and bonus clips towards the end (remember - front row).  ;-)

Overall - thoroughly impressed. I could only imagine how much better this show could have been in a more appropriate venue.  Nevertheless, Night Work is definitely going down as one of their best albums, and will be in my mix for months to come.  Hopefully they expand the tour and include Cleveland (once again).  I have so many photos that I thought I'd just post a collage. Click to see the full Flickr set (note the Dolly mobile outside the venue at the end).


Article: Grog Shop Turns 18

Happy Birthday Grog Shop!  So glad you're of legal age now.

The Heights Observer :: Grog Shop Turns 18

"Grog Shop turns 18 by Nancy Phanstihl The annals of Cleveland music are littered with the remains of defunct clubs, DIY spaces and even big concert halls, so it’s encouraging to see that Coventry Village fixture the Grog Shop has clung to life so tenaciously for nearly two decades.

From humble beginnings in a tiny former saloon on Coventry Road, to its current digs on Euclid Heights Boulevard, the Grog has survived by consistently providing Cleveland’s music fans with a space in which to see top-shelf touring acts and enjoy a worthy beer selection.

(Continued... The Heights Observer :: Read :: 3 :: 9 :: Grog Shop Turns 18)