Ray Lamontagne MP3s

I had the pleasure of seeing Ray Lamontagne perform at the beautiful Paramount Theater in Oakland, California two weeks ago. Afterward, I was eager to listen to any demos or live recordings I could get my hands on. My search turned up more than I expected: two demos and one live concert. Get 'em while you can.
Green Record Demo
01 Back On The Mountain
02 Water From The Well
03 I Go All To Pieces
04 Write You A Letter
05 Lead Me On
06 I Wish I Could Change Your Mind
07 Stones Throw From Lonesome
08 Isabel
09 Nothing Like You Used To Be
10 So Long Away

Introducing Raycharles LaMontagne Demo
01 Trouble
02 Burn In My Skin
03 County Girl
04 Hannah
05 How Come
06 Please
07 Shelter
08 The Narrow Escape
09 All The Wild Horses

Live At Merrill
01 Lame-Ass DJ Into
02 Trouble.mp3
03 Gather Your Children.mp3
04 Hannah.mp3
06 The Narrow Escape.mp3
07 Shelter.mp3
08 How Come.mp3
09 All the Wild Horses.mp3
11 Rave Up.mp3

Best of 2006 ... So Far

The editors at Amazon.com couldn't wait for 2006 to end to start putting together their "Best of" list, so they released the "Best of the Year in Music... So Far."

It's a decent list and reminds me that, for all the new music I've bought and listened to in 2006 -- Neko Case, Belle & Sebastian, Gnarls Barkley, Cat Power, Band of Horse, Richard Ashcroft, The Flaming Lips, Gomez, KT Tunstall, Deadboy & the Elephantmen, Dixie Chicks, Ben Harper -- there is so much more that I haven't heard yet.

Built to Spill Live!

Check it out. Built to Spill played last night at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. as part of NPR's Live Concert Series.

Other recent performers in the series include Camper van Beethoven, The Decemberists, Sleater-Kinney, Jose Gonzalez, Fiery Furnances, Gomez, Sonic Youth, The Walkmen, Mogwai, and Neko Case.

"Hillbilly Millionaire" Throws Bluegrass Party in San Francisco

I can't wait for the 6th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park this weekend, October 6, 7 and 8, featuring:
  • Robert Earl Keen
  • Steve Earle
  • Jimmie Dale Gilmore
  • Earl Scruggs
  • Jerry Douglas
  • Iris Dement
  • Del McCoury
  • Ricky Skaggs
  • Elvis Costello (hardly strictly, eh?)
My father looked at this year's lineup and asked, "Incredible. How can the city afford to put this festival on?" The answer is that it can't! We have "crazy millionaire" Warren Hellman to thank for Hardly Strictly.

Thanks, Warren!

Calexico on Summer Festival Blitz

This just goes to show, that even with the explosive growth of the music festival industry in the US, Europe is still the place to be in the summertime, especially August.

Summer Sundae

Leicester, UK
Aug 11-13

feat Elbow, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Calexico, Gomez, Belle & Sebastian, Buzzcocks

La Route du Rock

Saint Malo, France
Aug 11-13

feat Mogwai, TV On The Radio, Band Of Horses, Calexico, Cat Power & The Memphis Rhythm Band, Franz Ferdinand, Belle And Sebastian

Rock en Seine

Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, France
Aug 25-26

feat Radiohead, Beck, Morrissey, Nada Surf, Calexico, Broken Social Scene, The Raconteurs, Kasabian, India Arie, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Wolfmother

Art & Soul

Oakland, CA
Sept 2-3

feat Calexico, Rickie Lee Jones, the subdudes, Goapele

Of course, Calexico can't be everywhere at once. Here are some other great festivals in Europe this summer that Calexico won't be playing.

V Festival

Chelmsforsd & Staffordshire, UK
Aug 19-20

Radiohead, Morrissey, Paul Weller, Hard Fi, The Dandy Warhols, Beck, Keane, Bloc Party, The Magic Numbers, Daniel Powter, The Charlatans, Starsailor, Kasabian, We Are Scientists, The Cardigans, Kula Shaker, The Saw Doctors

World Party @ Great American Music Hall, August 12, 2006

I'm getting really excited about seeing Karl Wallinger, aka World Party, at Great American Music Hall this Saturday.

(Frankly, I'm glad that this show was moved from the Fillmore. The Fillmore hasn't been the same since Clear Channel bought it, and I'm not the only person I know who has been harassed, insulted or simply mistreated by the staff over the last few years. Too bad -- it's my favorite venue in San Francisco, otherwise.)

You can catch a 4-song set that World Party played recently on NPR.

I also put together a "greatest hits" playlist you can listen to Rhapsody. (A 25-track per month membership is FREE.)

Portland Setlist

World Party's Greatest Hits

Radiohead MP3s!

Radiohead played Monday night at the Pavilion in Boston, and Boston-area blogger Brad Searles has MP3s from the show, at least until tomorrow.

Bradley's Almanac is a cool site, even were it not for these exclusive new Radiohead recordings. Check it out.

KEXP Music That Matters Podcast

I've just discovered this great podcast from Seattle's KEXP.

The latest installment features great music by
Band of Horses, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Elbow, Wolf Parade, Tapes 'N' Tapes, Neko Case and Robert Pollard
, among others. Give it a listen.

KEXP - KEXP Presents Music That Matters - KEXP Presents Music That Matters

Austin City Limits: You Don't Know What You've Been Missing

I remember my Dad watching Austin City Limits when I was a kid. Back then the show featured artists like Willie Nelson, Ray Price, George Jones, Emmylou Harris and other country and western superstars. I enjoyed the music as a kid, and I'm glad I was exposed to it, but it wasn't the music that I loved.

Austin City Limits has changed a lot since it premiered back in 1974. The Austin music scene has a changed a lot, too, and the artists featured on the show reflect that. I've been TiVoing the show ever since last year's Austin City Limits Music Festival, and in the last few weeks I've caught some amazing shows by The Flaming Lips and Death Cab for Cutie, among others.

If you haven't seen Austin City Limits lately, here is a sampling of what you've been missing (click the links for video clips).:

Belle & Sebastian w/ New Pornographers

I saw Belle & Sebastian and the New Pornographers with a friend last night at the San Francisco Design Center. It's a fairly awful venue from an acoustic standpoint, but both bands performed well, despite their surroundings.

You'll find Belle & Sebastian's setlist here.

While you're at it, I recommend checking out the show that Belle & Sebastian and the New Pornographers recorded for National Public Radio earlier this month, at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club.

SXSW Rocks!

My friend, Michelle, just text-messaged me from Austin, where she is catching Wu Tang at Stubb's. It's 3:30pm in Austin and the officially scheduled music at Stubb's doesn't even start until 8pm, with this awesome lineup:

8pm Deadboy & the Elephantmen (Houma LA)
9pm Noisettes (London UK)
10pm The Fiery Furnaces (New York NY)
11pm The Dresden Dolls (Boston MA)
12am Gomez (Southport UK)
1am Nickel Creek (Carlsbad CA)

She says she caught a ride with The Dresden Dolls this morning and they were nice and friendly.

I asked if they were wearing black, but she seemed surprised and said they weren't. This is how they looked when I saw them at Coachella last year:

I just took a close look at the SXSW schedule for last night and realized that World Party and The Plimsouls played on the same stage.

What am I doing in San Francisco?!

Well, at least I caught the live in-studio performance by World Party on KGSR this morning.

2006 Sasquatch! Music Festival

I just bought airfare and tickets for the 2006 Sasquatch Music Festival!

I've never been, and I'm excited about this year's stellar lineup. Along with my wife, sister and two friends, we'll have the chance to listen to bands like Ben Harper, The Flaming Lips, Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Gomez, Beck, Death Cab for Cutie and the Decemberists play in one of "the best major outdoor concert venue in North America."

Pandora and the Future of Internet Radio

When a friend described the Music Genome Project to me last year, I thought, ok, big deal. I get music recommendations on Amazon and iTunes -- what's new? Well, for one, Pandora is my very own private radio station. And it couldn't be easier to use: I just pick a song or an artist and let the technology work its magic. The more I listen, the better it gets.

Right now I'm listening to my "Spiritualized" station, and wondering why it's included "Old Friends, New Lovers" by the Thrills, but I like that band, too, so I'll let it go. Ok, so there is some similarity there, or as Pandora tells me, they share "a subtle use of vocal harmony, mild rhythmic syncopation, acoustic rhytm piano, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation and a clear focus on recording studio production."

If this is the future of Internet radio, I like what I'm hearing.

Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

You'll find this list to be amusing, infuriating or both. Rolling Stone calls it "a celebration of the greatest rock & roll songs of all time, chosen by a five-star jury of singers, musicians, producers, industry figures, critics and, of course, songwriters."

I expected to find lots of songs by The Beatles (23) and The Rolling Stones (14), but how do Hank Williams (2) and Muddy Waters (4) qualify as rock & roll?! And while Radiohead deserves at least two songs in this list, who nominated "Fake Plastic Trees" to be one of them?!

When this list is edited or expanded in a few years, I hope it includes Wilco and The Flaming Lips. (Incidentally, both bands contributed tracks to the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie soundtrack and will perform in Madison Square Garden on New Year's Eve.)