September 26, 2004

"Feel blind, sunshine..." - Monsterland

I'd like to heartily endorse the products and/or services of one Eli "Paperboy" Reed, a 20-year old roots-rock wunderkind who has hit the new scene at the CanTab Underground, the new incarnation of that which is below the Cantab Lounge. Reed plays the guitar like crazy, and specializes in pre-white people rock, rhythm and blues. Apparently the guy collects vintage 45s and listens to them obsessively until he learns the tracks. Then he teaches them to his band. They really are great. Dance music for cool people, similar to the programming on WMBR's superb "Backwoods" radio program -- though not the C+W stuff. Anyway, I would encourage everyone to get out and see this act.

EMusic relaunched and is offering 50 free MP3s to folks who sign up for their trial. So I spent part of my Friday night downloading records by T.W. Walsh, the Aislers Set, the Lemonheads, and various tracks from other bands. When EMusic first hit the streets in 1999 or so, their MP3s sucked, quality-wise. The EMusic MP3 of today is 192 Kbps VBR, and sounds great, so far as I can tell from the 50 free ones I got from them. Anyway, go check the new EMusic out.

Before seeing the Paperboy last night we met up with the Zozman and caught a raucous set from The Mobius Band. I have seen these guys probably a dozen times, and the last couple times I saw them they were slightly lackluster. Last night was the first time I have probably seen them in 6 months. They were excellent. Many old songs have new arrangements. Particularly benefitting from this is the song "Compass" that bass player Peter Sax sings. The cut used to lack dynamics, but has really truly blossomed into one of their stronger numbers. Drummer Noam Schatz unleashes some powerful beats, and electronic sections break up the number into more distinct sections. Also reworked is their song "Taxicab," which used to be a spacey, postrock meditation with a jarringly rhythmic conclusion that rocked like crazy. The new version, which I saw for the second time last night, inverts the descending guitar phrase and has a softer touch. The version they are playing now, which they closed their set with last night, is re-imagined as a feedback-laden, shoegazery guitar epic, similar to something like Yo La Tengo's "Blue Line Swinger." It's really quite spectacular. Make a point to see them.

Went with Jonny Surmacz Thursday night to see Zippy Milstead's Carbon Leaf. They were really on, and also are boasting new arrangements and jam sections and segues in their set. Particularly affecting was the reworked "Desperation Song." These guys are touring hard until Thanksgiving to support their new record on Vanguard. Make a point to check them out too. They have mid-October dates in Missouri and I am hoping to be able to catch them out there in the likely event we will be out there the week they are. We'll see.

Many readers will already be familiar with the transcript of Jon Stewart's appearance on Bill O' Reilly's show. For those of you who haven't read it, this is really a must-read.

Do check out this excellent web page devoted to Monsterland, the pre-Lilys/Pernice Brothers project of Thom Monahan who released a string of great records and single in the early and mid-'90s. This site has numerous MP3s, though it doesn't include my favorite Monsterland song, "At One With Time." Still, there is a lot of good stuff here, include some of the other cuts from the "At One With Time" EP. This site is an example of what is right with the Internet, in that it preserves something that otherwise might be lost into the mists of time. Or something. Anyway, check out some of the songs, particularly "Jane Wiedlin Was a Go-Go As Far As We Know."

Be sure to tune in to my next webcast, Tuesday at 9PM, at -- and prepare for good things from newest RTH spinner H-Dawg from Accounts Receivable, who has not set spinning time as of yet.

That is all.

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