Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Freddie King: This Is The Blues! Are You Listening?

About 10 years ago, I remember walking through Record Theatre back home in search of new cds.  On past occasions, the music in the background ranged from local punk bands to the most recent heavy metal album.  However, on that particular day, whoever was in charge of the music made a great choice.  A live blues concert graced the speakers as I searched for new music.  Having no idea who this was, I asked the manager upon checking out.  He informed me that what I was listening to was a bootleg concert of Freddie King.  I've been a big fan of the blues ever since.  Don't get me wrong, I love being lucky enough to live in this time period, but man I wish Blue was more prevalent in music today.

Freddie King was one of the "Three Kings of Blues" (B.B. King and Albert King).  He like many other Blues artists influenced legendary artists such as Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn.  Unfortunately, Freddie King died of acute pancreatitis at the age of 42 in 1976.

Here's Freddie King's 1973 performance of "Have You Ever Loved A Woman" live in Sweden. 

Also, check out the collar on that shirt!  It's outstanding!

Rolling Stone also listed Freddie King at number 25 on their list of best guitarists.  Here's exhibit A:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pegasus Bridge: Just Waiting For Your Boyfriend To Go

I've been holding out on posting this song for awhile, in hopes I'd come across a high quality video.  After months of waiting, it appears as though I'm out of luck.  For one, Pegasus bridge and sadly decided to break up.  And seeing as though they played their farewell concert a few weeks ago, it seems unlikely a better video will surface any time soon.

The news that Pegasus Bridge is parting ways is a bit sad.  I just found this band this past spring, and really enjoyed their material.  They seemed like a band with a lot of potential.

This is a song about holding out for something, and then realizing that holding out may not be a healthy choice.  Here's Pegasus Bridge performing "Paris" and as a bonus "Swimming Pool."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vanessa Carlton: You Could Be The End Of Me

This past Tuesday, at the Matt Nathanson concert at 9:30 Club, I had the pleasure of hearing Vanessa Carlton's opening set.  Carlton has been out of the limelight the last few years.  Most would be familiar with her remarkably popular song "A Thousand Miles" which reached the top five of Billboard's Hot 100.  However, before making her most recent record, Rabbits on the Run, Carlton admits she was dealing with severe writer's block.  Thankfully, she was able to overcome  the block and produce the record.  From what I heard Tuesday night, the songs are phenomenal.

Here's Vanessa Carlton performing her most recent single, "I Don't Want To Be A Bride" off Rabbits on the Run.

Find more from Vanessa Carlton right here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cover Thursday: Baby, You Don't Know What It's Like

Ray LaMontagne is playing Merriweather Post Pavilion tonight, and I'm currently kicking myself for not getting tickets.  I've already seen him a handful of times and he and his band do an amazing job.  I also think Ray's voice is as close and we can get to Otis Redding in today's music.  Oh well.  As they say times are tough, and I'll have to catch Ray LaMontagne on his next trip through.

Just in case you're feeling the same way I am about missing the show, here's something to hold you over.  A few years back Ray LaMontagne and Damien Rice sang a cover of the Bee Gees "To Love Somebody."  It's a pretty stellar version!  Enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Concert Review: Matt Nathanson @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC- 9:27.2011

I've been going to Matt Nathanson concerts since my sophomore year in college.  In those seven years and numerous concerts, I've never been disappointed by Matt Nathanson.  Each and every time it's been a blast.  However, going into last night's show, I wasn't convinced it would be the same. To me Still Waiting For Spring and Beneath These Fireworks are quintessential Matt Nathanson albums.  They're all time favorites in my book, and like most artists that make a huge personal impact, their following albums don't exactly measure up.  It makes sense really.  Artists evolve and change just like their fans, and the chances that both are on the same wave length as they were previously, is unlikely.  The last couple of Matt Nathanson albums, I thought were pretty good, but I didn't like them as much as Still Waiting For Spring and Beneath The Fireworks.  To be honest, I didn't know what to expect.

Well, as it turns out, Matt Nathanson still puts on a damn fine show.  The new songs off Modern Love, that I wasn't too fond of, turned out to be gems live.  The old songs were just as good as they were seven years ago.  The night started with "Mercy", a new one.  It was then followed by "Pretty the World" a perfect song to get the night going.  For the better part of the evening the band alternated between old and new.  One aspect of Matt Nathanson concerts has never changed.  The banter was still hilarious.  A particular favorite was his introduction to "Queen of (K)nots".  Nathanson talked about dating someone, and then realizing they were evil.  He explained, "It's like waking up one Sunday and saying, 'Oh, I'm sorry. I thought I was sitting on computer chord, but it was just your devil tail.... you evil shitty human being.'"  Hilarious right?  But besides being hilarious, his songs and their explanations are about basic human emotions.  Who hasn't felt that way about someone?  Everyone at the show last night seemed to have dated someone they perceived as evil, and that's why Nathanson's music works.

Other highlights included "Kiss Quick" a song I had previously underestimated, an acoustic "Bare" and "All We Are".  "All We Are" was chosen by fans on facebook, as a song they'd like to hear this week.  Matt Nathanson has always been on the forefront of using social media to reach out to fans, and this is just another example.  The set also included covers of "La Bamba", "Here I Go Again", and Prince's "Little Red Corvette."

It turns out my fear of disappointment was unfounded.  The new songs from Modern Love do well when given a live setting to stretch and breathe.  While the style of Nathanson's music has changed, his live shows are still stellar!  Matt Nathanson's tour just started, so make sure to check them out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Matt Nathanson: Sad Can't Catch Me, Or Call Me Baby Now

Heading back to 9:30 Club again tonight for a Matt Nathanson show!  His concerts are always entertaining.  Even if you aren't a huge fan of his music, you're guaranteed a good time, as he is hilarious.  I happen to be a huge fan of his music, so the jokes are an added bonus.

Matt Nathanson's latest album Modern Love was released this past spring.  Check out one of my favorite songs off the new album, "Room @ the End of the World."

The 9:30 Club is just the second stop on Matt Nathanson's tour, so there's a good chance he's heading your way.  Check out his website for details!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Concert Review: The Head and the Heart @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC- 9.23.2011

What a great concert last night at the 9:30 Club.  The Head and the Heart was everything we expected and more.  This band is on it's way to big, big things.

A bit of a cold and a week full of teaching left my voice in pretty rough shape last night.  That coupled with the fact that The Head and the Heart wouldn't be taking the stage till 11, left me hoping I could just make it through the evening.  This getting older thing is no fun at all.  Fortunately, none of those things got in the way of having a good time.

After a couple beers at our trusty nearby Irish bar, my concert buddy, Teresa, and I arrived at 9:30 Club shortly after 10.  We missed the first supporting act, Devil Whale, but walked in as Thao with the Get Down Stay Down were just starting.  Though much of the crowd talked their way through the set, as is typical, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down grabbed quite a few fans with their set.  Nearly everyone around us made some kind of positive comment.  The praise was well deserved as set was very energetic.  Favorites included "Bag Of Hammers" and a cover of "You've Really Got a Hold on Me".

As 11PM rolled around, so did The Head and the Heart.  Earlier in the evening Teresa and I talked about how surprised we were that the show was sold out given the relatively short history of the band.  It's a clear indication that this band is onto something.  The audience sang along to nearly every song, and was very enthusiastic.  Just as their self-titled debut album opens, last night's set opened with "Cats and Dogs" and "Coeur d' Alene".  From their the band ripped through each song on the album as well as a trio of new songs, each just as promising as their existing material.  The band made sure to comment on how amazing the venue and crowd was.  They had been to 9:30 Club a few months back as a supporting act for Dr. Dog.  The band seemed blown away by the response from the crowd last night.

While the entire set was top notch quality, my favorite performances were "Rivers and Roads" which ended the main set, and the final song of the evening, "Down In The Valley."  "Rivers and Roads" is a song that extends to both ends of the spectrum.  Mid song the instruments stop for vocalist and violinist Charity Rose Thielen's angelic voice.  The pause in only temporary as it quickly picks up to a raucous fervor, which slowly gets stripped back to a chorus of voices singing "Rivers and roads/Rivers and roads/ Rivers till I reach you."  Really the perfect song to get the crowd riled up for an encore.

The encore began with a solo song and ended with crowd favorite "Down In The Valley".  As we sang along I couldn't help but notice how the entire room was fully behind this newish band from Seattle.  They have quite the following, and it's clear that they'll be around for awhile.  Coming from Seattle in relative obscurity at this time last year to selling out the 9:30 Club on the other side of the country is no small feat.  Go check them out.  You won't regret it!

Back to 9:30 Club next week for Matt Nathanson!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Head and the Heart: But I Miss Your Face Like Hell

Heading out to DC tonight to see The Head and the Heart.  I've been looking forward to this concert for months now.  Ever since catching The Head and the Heart and DMB Caravan, seeing them again has been high on my list.  This is the third Head and the Heart video I'm posting.  They only have one album out.  Pretty soon all the songs will be represented!  Really, go out and buy they're album or catch them on tour.  They're a great band, and you won't regret supporting these guys.  They're great.

From this year's SXSW, here The Head and the Heart performing "Rivers and Roads".

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cover Thursdays: The Picture In Reverse

Yesterday R.E.M. announced that they were breaking up as a band after 31 years.  The break-up was reportedly on very good terms, and was a mutual, yet difficult decision.  A band performing that consistently for over 30 years is astonishing. When you think about it, R.E.M. is a bit unique, even in the context of the best bands of our life times.  There's not many bands like them, with that amount of success.  The reason R.E.M. was so loved, was because of the emotional connection they made with their audience.

To celebrate the work of R.E.M. here they are performing one my favorite songs from their catalog "Nightswimming".  Also, check out Ingrid Michaelson utilizing a loop station in a cover of the very same song just below this video.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Trent Dabbs & Amy Stroup: The Quiet Feels So Loud

The way music lovers learn about new music sure has changed over the years.  Of course there's itunes and the surge in digital downloading.  There's music discovery websites like Pandora.  But from the "Why didn't we think of this sooner" department, TV shows and movies are one of the most outstanding avenues to discover new music.  In recent years, music has become and integral part of TV shows.  The music not only adds to the corresponding scene, but it adds emotion to the song as well.

One show which always seems to feature great music is Parenthood.  I've found quite a few songs while watching this show, and last night's episode offered another one.  Check out Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup performing "Odds of Being Alone".

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Patrick Park: Putting Past Poisons Gently To Sleep

Sometimes a song will start playing on the radio  your ipod, that you had completely forgotten about.  One that you loved, but for some reason it completely escaped the "heavy rotation" section of your music library, never to be heard from again.  That is, until it creeps up one day, and the love affair has started all over once again.

As you may have guessed, that recently happened to me.  Back in college I stumbled upon an artist named Patrick Park.  One song in particular caught my attention, entitled "Past Poisons".  I downloaded the whole album instantly, because of how much I liked this song.  I don't know why it slipped from my list of well-liked songs, because upon hearing it the other day it returned.  It's the honesty and emotion of the chorus that gets me.  He sings, "If you want me/ You'll know where I'll be/ Putting past poisons gently to sleep."

"Past Poisons" is off Patrick Park's debut studio album Loneliness Knows My Name.  He's since released two more full length albums, the latest being 2010's Come What Will.

Patrick Park performing "Past Poisons"...

Find more from Patrick Park at his website.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Daphne Willis: Got A Stack of Disappointment

Daphne Willis is an up and coming 23 year-old artist working out of Chicago out Nashville.  According to a NPR article, Willis found herself with her current label, when an exec from Vanguard Records ran out ipod battery and plugged into the on board music station.  Fortunately for the exec and for Willis, one of her songs happened to be playing, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Daphne Willis' debut album, What to Say, was released in 2010.  Her latest album, Because I Can, was released just this past April.  Here's Daphne Willis performing "One By One" off Because I Can.

Learn more about this up and coming singer/songwriter by checking out her website.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

James Apollo: Call Off The Violins

James Apollo is a journeyman singer/songwriter.  He has that smokey jazz-infused voice, magnificently weathered by tours.  His music seems out of place to me.  Not in a bad way.  There's just not much out there right now that it sounds like.  It's always refreshing to find music that strays away from the trends to stand on it's own.  James Apollo's latest full length album 'til Your Feet Bleed was released in 2010.  The likes of Elvis Costello and Lucinda Williams are amongst the fans of the album.  According the Appolo's website, he and his band, The Sweet Unknown, have been in the studio recording with Damien Jurado.

Here's James Apollo and the Sweet Unknown performing "The Violins" off the 2011 EP Born Lucky.

Check out James Apollo's website.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cover Thursdays: I Don't Like You But I Love You

I may, or may not have a celebrity crush on Zoey Deschanel.  She's a classy kind of pretty, and she can sing.  I'm pretty much all about her.  Anyway, she's starring a new show called New Girl on Fox.  Since it premieres next Tuesday, I thought now would be a good time to feature this particular song.  In addition to starring in movies such as Elf and (500) Days of Summer, Zoey Deschanel is also a singer/songwriting.  In 2007 she teamed up with M. Ward to form She and Him.  They're released two albums together.

Here's She and Him (Deschanel and M. Ward) performing the oft-covered "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" by The Miracles.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lost In The Trees: I Doubt Who I Am

I love bands like Lost In The Trees.  They utilize a long list of instruments to create a unique sound, in a world full of the mundane repetitive sounds.  The songs off Lost In The Trees' 2010 All Alone in an Empty House originated at Berklee School of music, where singer-songwriter Ari Picker attended school.  Eight years later they would re-emerge to make up All Alone in an Empty House which received high praise from NPR's Bob Boilan and others.

Check out Lost in the Tree performing "Time Taunts Me" off the 2007 album by the same name.

More from Lost In The Trees.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Concert Review: Virgin Mobile FreeFest @ Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD- 9.10.2011

This past Saturday was the music event of the summer for local music fans.  Virgin Mobile FreeFest commenced at Merriweather Post Pavilion, just outside Baltimore.  For those not familiar with FreeFest, the majority of tickets are free with an option of donation, while limited tickets are sold.  All the proceeds go to charities assisting homeless youth.  I have to say, this year they gave/sold way more tickets than last year.  The grounds were packed solid with fans.  I took in music at each stage, and they were significantly more crowded than last year.  While crowds don't mix with my need for personal space, they must have raised a ton of money for charity.

Merriweather Post Pavilion is one of my favorite venues in he area.  The grounds are absolutely beautiful, and it produces top notch sound.  The festival is set up for three stages for the 20-plus bands.  The main stage is at the Pavilion featuring covered seating and a large lawn area.  The second stage is at the West end of the park in an open field.  The third stage, termed "The Dance Forest" lies between the two other stages.  We had a three full days of rain in the week before FreeFest.  So much so, that flooding closed schools on Thursday and Friday.  To my surprise the grounds were in relatively remarkable condition.  There was bound to be mud with the amount of rain we received, but it wasn't terrible.  The west stage definitely was in the worst shape, and the mud had a bit of a foul smell.  All in all, the staff did a great job getting everything ready.

On the the music.  The first band I had the pleasure of seeing was Alberta Cross at the West Stage.  This was one of my favorite sets on the night, partly because it was early enough that I could get close to the stage.  Their set was highly energetic, and I would definitely go back to see them.  The guitars were ablaze, as Alberta Cross performed their Southern Rock-esque tunes.  It was a great way to start the afternoon.

After catching just a bit of Bombay Bicycle Club, I returned to west stage for Two Door Cinema Club.  This was the band I was looking forward to seeing most.  Unfortunately, I have to say I was a bit disappointed.  While I enjoyed some songs, it felt like many of them sounded similar.  They are a pretty young band, however, and their second album is in the works.  Sometimes it takes a couple of releases for a band to venture out from the comfortable.  For this performance, in my opinion, it could have been better.

From their I headed to the main stage for Okkervil River.  I've always heard about this band, and while I've briefly explored their catalog, I hadn't truly delved into what they were capable of.  While Two Door Cinema Club was a disappointment, Okkervil River was a pleasant surprise.  I think I enjoyed this set the most.  The band was made of solid musicians all around.  There was a mix of raucous songs and emotional slower songs.  Lead vocalist and song writer Will Sheff was particularly impressive.

Immediately following Okkervil River on the main stage was Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.  This was another impressive performance.  I saw Grace and company open for The Avett Brothers last year and was impressed.  This performance was even more impressive.  Grace Potter has an All Star voice, and she can really rock; more than most any female in music right now.  The Okkervil River/Grace Potter block was my favorite chunk of the afternoon.

I was only able to catch the final two songs of Cut Copy, and by all accounts of those who caught the entire set, I really missed out.  This seemed to be a crowd favorite, and judging by the crowd's enthusiasm during the final two songs it seems to be an accurate assessment.  I will definitely have to try to catch them some other time.

From there my night slowed down.  One of the drawbacks of the afternoon for me, was sheer volume of people.  I'm the kind of person who enjoys things from the outskirts.  I'm not comfortable in close quarters.  Well... outskirts didn't really exist at FreeFest.  Also, while the crowd was generally well behaved, like is bound to happen at an all day music festival, there were some who went beyond their alcohol limits.

I caught some of TV On The Radio, but was underwhelmed.  I did check out Teddybears in the Dance Forest, truthfully just so I could see those bear masks.  The masks didn't disappoint.  I'm not particularly into electronic music, so I wasn't expecting Teddybears to be a highlight for me, but they were entertaining.

Black Keys were the last band of the night.  I stayed for three or four songs which were decent.  However, the crowd completely filled the lawn.  Seeing the stage was near impossible, so I called it a night.

Virgin Mobile FreeFest is a great event.  I mean... it's free!  You really can't go wrong, and they consistently bring great bands on the cusp of what's next in music.  It was slightly disappointing for me.  However, it was mostly because of my own concert preferences rather than the quality of the music or the venue.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Glen Hansard: Scratching At The Surface Now

Typically the day following a concert would constitute a review.  While FreeFest was fun... and interesting, the review will have to come tomorrow.  Today is a special day of remembrance here in the United States.  Ten years ago the world changed on September 11th.  As we continue to move forward, we take this day to look back on all the innocent lives that were lost.  It's hard to believe that horrible day happened ten years ago.  I'm sure all of us can remember exactly where we were when we first heard the reports.  It's important that we never forget the heroism and solidarity our country showed on that day.

Awhile back, I was browsing Swell Season videos (clearly a favorite band of mine) on youtube.  Glen Hansard, vocalist for The Swell Season, has always been an outstanding storyteller.  I came across the accompanying video during my search.  Hansard tells a story about an elderly woman he met in a hotel, and her special jacket.  The woman lost her son in the World Trade Center attacks.  The story is touching really.  The moral behind her story is really twofold.  First, don't be afraid to say what's really on your mind to someone you care about.  I struggle with that constantly.  Second, cherish your life and live it fully.  There are probably more patriotic choices for today, but the story that introduces this song shows how September 11th effected us on a personal level.  I hope you enjoy the story and song.  It's a favorite.

Never forget!

Friday, September 9, 2011

FreeFest Freeview- Teddybears: I'm Robot Elvis Rocking My Bionic Pelvis

If you haven't been to FreeFest, there's something called the "Dance Forest".  The Dance Forest is where Sleigh Bells blew out my eardrums last year.  If you don't really know me, dancing isn't really my thing.  However, if I'm going to venture into the Dance Forest this year, it will likely be to see Teddybears.  To be honest, I know nothing about them.  Nothing, that is, besides the fact that they wear kick-ass bear masks on stage, and this song below has equally kick-ass lyrics.

Check out Teddybears performing "Rocket Scientist".  Pretty fun, right?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

FreeFest Freeview- Cover Thursdays: Have Love Will Travel

Of course, this week's cover must be FreeFest themed!  Here are The Black Keys, probably the band I'm looking forward to seeing the must, covering "Have Love, Will Travel" orignally recorded by Richard Berry in 1959.  "Have Love, Will Travel" has been covered by many bands, most famously by The Sonics.  The Black Keys version can also be found on their 2003 release Thickfreakness. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

FreeFest Freeview- Patti Smith: Because The Night Belongs to Lovers

One of the many reasons why FreeFest is so amazing, is the supreme diversity of the musical acts.  While bands are playing in the "Dance Forest" bands like Black Keys are rocking hard on the main stage.  While Big Sean and Cee Lo Green and Big Sean are waiting backstage, Patti Smith at 64 years young will be taking the stage.  It's really fun for all styles and ages.  Patti Smith the "Godmother of Punk" has been performing since the mid 70's.  She's still going strong.

Smith's most notable song is undoubtedly "Because The Night" off 1978's Easter.  "Because The Night" was co-written with Bruce Springsteen and in 1987 for listed in NME Magazine's list of "The Top 150 Singles of All Time" coming in at 116.  Check out Patti Smith performing "Because the Night"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

FreeFest Freeview- Okkervil River: She Whispered These Lines...

Sorry for the brevity of this post!  Tonight was open house, and 12 hours at school really wears me out.  FreeFest will definitely be something to get me through the week.

Tonight's post in the countdown to FreeFest comes from Okkervil River.  These veterans of the Indie music scene released their latest album in May, entitled I Am Very Far.

Check out "Wake and Be Fine" off I Am Very Far. Please enjoy!

As always, check out the band's website for more info!

Monday, September 5, 2011

FreeFest Freeview- TV On The Radio: Gotta Curse I Cannot Lift

TV On The Radio is a tremendously popular band from Brooklyn.  Their 2006 release, Return to Cookie Mountain, garnered high praise from many music outlets.  However, it was 2008's Dear Science that has been dubbed the band's breakout album.  Dear Science was named album of the year by Rolling Stone, Sping Magazine, and Pitchfork just to name a few.  After a brief hiatus, TV On The Radio released their latest effort Nine Types of Light this past April. 

Here's TV On The Radio with "Wolf Like Me" off Return to Cookie Mountain.  This video alone gets me excited for FreeFest!  Can't wait!

Here's more from TV On The Radio!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

FreeFest Freeview- Alberta Cross: We Grew Up In A Broken Side of Time

Another band taking the stage next Saturday is Alberta Cross.  While the band calls New York City home, it's members are well traveled.  Whether it's Petter Ericson Stakee traveling across Europe with his father, or Terry Wolfers upbringing in London, Alberta Cross' members brings a wide expanse of influences to their music.  Their brand of music comes in the form of bluesy southern rock.  Since their beginnings in 2007 Alberta Cross has opened for many notable acts across the US and Europe, and have headlined tours themselves.  They were at DMB Caravan in June, but unfortunately I didn't get the chance to catch them.  Hopefully, I'll be able to enjoy their set on Saturday.

Alberta Cross' latest release Broken Side of Time was released in 2009.  Here's a live cut of the title track from that album.

For tour dates and more, check out the Alberta Cross website.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

FreeFest Freeview- Two Door Cinema Club: She Spoke Words That Would Melt In Your Hands

Next Saturday is Virgin Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion. To say I'm excited, would be a vast understatement. It's been way too long since I've been to a concert, and last year's FreeFest was amazing. Hopefully, next weekend will be a dry one so Free Fest doesn't suffer the same fate as Silopanna Music Festival.

For those unfamiliar, FreeFest is just what it sounds like... a free music festival. This year's band roster consists of 20 acts on three stages. Notable names include The Black Keys, Ce Lo Green, Deadmau5, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, just to name a few.  Last year hooked me for good.  With bands like Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave, Edwards Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Sleigh Bells, I knew I had to attend this years event as well.

In order to prepare for next Saturday, each update for the next week will feature a band or two who will be performing at FreeFest.  First up, is Two Door Cinema Club.  This band from Northern Ireland formed in 2007.  A number of music blogs took notice of the band's first EP, Four Words To Stand On, and the band quickly gained popularity.  In the Spring of 2010 Two Door Cinema club released their first full length album, Tourist History.

Off Tourist History, here's Two Door Cinema Club performing "Undercover Martyn".

Find more from Two Door Cinema Club on their website!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cover Thursdays: Washed Away With Sorrow

This week's cover comes to us from the early '90's.  As part of A.V. Club's "Undercover" series The Decemberists covered "If I Can't Change Your Mind" by Sugar.  "If I can't Change Your Mind" was a bit of a one hit wonder off Sugar's 1992 release Copper Blue.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Joe Pug: If My Thoughts Are Hard to Gather

Joe Pug has a passion for music.  After attending the University of North Carolina to study play writing, Pug left for Chicago.  He fit gigs in at night while working as a carpenter during the day, touring extensively since 2008.  Since then he's toured with the likes of Josh Ritter and M. Ward.  In 2010 Joe Pug released his first full length album, Messenger.

Check out Joe Pug performing "Unsophisticated Heart" off Messenger.

Learn more about Joe Pug on his website.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Grouplove: Marmalade We're Making Out

I came across Grouplove this weekend while perusing daytrotter.  This seems like a band on the verge of something big.  Forming in 2009 as a result of an artist retreat in Crete, Grouplove has been steadily building a following on the strength of their 2010 self-titled EP and their role as a supporting act for Florance + The Machine.

Grouplove's debut album is out in just two weeks!  Never Trust a Happy Song (one of my favorite album titles of all time and a phrase I think we should all live by) is out in the US on September 13th.  Their accompanying US tour begins September 9th right here in DC at the Black Cat.

Please enjoy Grouplove performing "Tongue Tied" off their soon to be released debut album Never Trust a Happy Song.

You can find out more about Grouplove and their debut album by exploring their website.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Counting Crows: Can't You See Me

Everyone has songs that hold a special meaning to them.  There's the song you played on loop for days because it made you think of her.  The song you played on loop when she got away.  The song you played when you moved on.  The song about growing up.  Music has a crazy way of transporting us back in time.

With the amount of music I listen to, my favorite song of the moment is constantly changing.  There will be one week where I can't stop listening to song A only to have it replaced by song B by the time the next week begins.  But there's always been a constant, irreplaceable song, that has stood strong at the top of my list.  It doesn't remind me of a place or a time.  It doesn't remind me of someone I loved.  All I can say is that it makes me feel like I'm home.  It's safe.  It's the one thing in the world that makes me think someone out there understands me.  I struggle with explaining myself, so if someone wanted to know how I was feeling, I would play them this song.

For me, that song is "Round Here" by Counting Crows.  My apologies for those searching for new music- this song is 18 years old now.  I just had one of those nights where you need someone that really knows you.  This song knows me.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave: Hurricane Season

Bad news.  Unfortunately Hurricane Irene has put a damper, quite literally, on Silopanna Music Festival this weekend.  The events have been cancelled, but it's most likely for the best as it certainly won't be a safe environment for a concert.

I was planning on featuring Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave tonight as they would have been one of the headlining bands.  Even though the festival is cancelled, there's probably no more fitting song to feature than "Hurricane Season" off their debut album Backatown.

For all those in Hurricane Irene's path stay indoors, and stay safe.  Until then, enjoy some Trombone Shorty!

Read more about Trombone Shorty in previous posts, including a review of an excellent concert.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cover Thursdays: Life Can Be So Sweet, On The Sunny Side of the Street

Back in May I went to see Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave. in Richmond, Virginia.  It was absolutely one of my favorite concerts of the year thus far.  Sure I'm excited to see some bands I've never seen before at Silopanna this weekend (provided Hurricane Irene holds off), but I can't help but be pumped to see this band live again.  They are incredible musicians.  I'll stop there.  There's more to come from Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave. tomorrow!

Here's Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave. performing the Louie Armstrong classic "On the Sunny Side of the Street", featuring an incredible note Trombone Shorty held for almost three minutes!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Matt & Kim: Someday I'll See Without These Frames

Matt & Kim are a punk/dance duo from New York City.  I had the pleasure of seeing them perform at last year's Virgin Mobile Freefest, and they'll be playing the main stage at this weekend's Silopanna Music fest.  You may have heard Matt & Kim's music without even knowing it.  Their hit "Daylight" was featured on a number of commercials, television shows, and movies.  It's a catch number too, so it's understandable that it's been used so much.

Here's Matt & Kim performing "Daylight" off 2009's studio release, Grand.

Enjoy more from Matt & Kim right here!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Harper Blynn: Can't Stop A Heart That's Bound To Break

Back in March some friends asked if I wanted to see The Damnwells in concert.  Despite not knowing much about the band, I accepted, and as it turns out it was a great show.  However, not only was I surprised by how much I enjoyed The Damnwells, but also how much I enjoyed the opening band Harper Blynn.  They were more than entertaining, and I watched many members of the small Iota audience make their way to the merch table to purchase some Harper Blynn music.  When Silopanna Music Fest's list of bands came out, I was happy to see Harper Blynn on the list.  I was also excited that they would be playing the main stage with the other headliners.

Check out Harper Blynn performing "Bound To Break" off their self-titled 2010 EP.

Harper Blynn latest album, Loneliest Generation, was also released in 2010.  You can find information regarding that release, as well as anything else you'd like to know at Harper Blynn's website.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings: Until Their Hands Are Black and Blue

All these emergent bands playing soul and funk get me excited!  There's something about that Motown sound that's intimate and emotional.  No band, however, does it better than Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings.  They're right out of the 60's.  Forming over a decade ago, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings are finally getting the recognition they deserve.  Their 2010 release I Learned the Hard Way was and still is immensely popular, hitting #2 on the independent albums chart and reaching #15 on Billboard's Top 200.  I can't wait to see this band live, as they are well known for their live performances.  It may be a show best enjoyed with the eyes closed, so I can imagine it taking place decades earlier.

Here's Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings performing "Let Them Knock" off 2007's 100 Days, 100 Nights.

Ladies and gentlemen... Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fitz & The Tantrums: I've Already Had Your Kind

Next Saturday is the Silopanna Music Festival in Anne Arundel, Maryland.  I'm really looking forward to it, because it's been too long since I've taken in some live music.  The festival will feature 20 bands on three stages.  The bands range from popular local acts to national headliners.  Over the course of the next week, I'll feature some of those bands leading up to the festival.

First up is a band I caught at Dave Matthews Band Caravan in late June.  Fitz and the Tantrums come to us from Los Angeles.  They play a brand of music that feels as though it came straight from the 70's- a soul-funk, can't help but dance style that has reeled in a strong following.  Their 2009 EP Songs For a Breakup, Vol. 1 and their reputation for strong live performances caught the ears of fans and music critics alike.  This led national tours supporting some of musics biggest names and appearances at some of music's finest festivals.  In August of last year Fitz & the Tantrums released their first full length album, Pickin' Up the Pieces.

Find more from Fitz & The Tantrums here.  You can also find out more details about Silopanna Music Festival.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cover Thursdays: I Can Swing My Megaphone

Glen Hansard has made fairly regular appearances on our Cover Thursdays.  Truth be told, Hansard can sing pretty much anything and make it his own.  Years of busking on the streets of Dublin seem to have served Hansard well.

It's amazing how listening to certain songs can bring back memories of certain times, places, people, and emotions.  Listening to a song years later can take you back to that very place.  That's why I chose this performance for this week's cover.  It's clear that Hansard associates this particular song with a specific moment in his life.

Here's Glen Hansard (Swell Season, The Frames) performing R.E.M's "Hairshirt"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pete Kilpatrick Band: Summer's Surely Buttoning Her Coat

In late June, on a Sunday afternoon in Atlantic City, New Jersey I was pleasantly surprised by a band I had never heard of.  It was the beginning of day three of Dave Matthews Band Caravan, and we arrived fairly early to catch some must see bands.  While we awaited those bands to take the stage we wandered upon the Pete Kilpatrick band, who really put on an excellent set.  Pete Kilpatrick Band hails from Portland, Maine where they have a big local following.  For those playing the "sounds like game" to me this band fits well with Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers.  Last year they released their fifth independent effort Shapes and Sounds.

Take a listen to Pete Kilpatrick Band performing "September Leaves"

Check out Pete Kilpatrick Band's website

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie: Arms Outstretched, Trying To Take Flight

Death Cab For Cutie is a band that snuck up on me over the years.  They're band that most music lovers already know.  I own  a couple of their records, but listened to them only occasionally.  That is until just recently when I realized just how many songs gradually crept their way onto my frequently played lists.  When I think about it, Death Cab For Cutie is a perfect band for my taste, mostly for the emotionally charged lyrics.  I spend a lot of free time exploring new bands, but sometimes it's good to appreciate what's right in front of you.

Here's Death Cab For Cutie performing "Brothers On A Hotel Bed" off 2005's Plans album.  The lyrics are pretty powerful.

Death Cab For Cutie is currently on tour with Frightened Rabbit.  You can check out more information from Death Cab For Cutie on their website.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cults: I Really Want To Go Out

Cults was formed in New York City in 2010 by friends Brian Oblivian and Madeline Follin.  They're responsible for what may possibly be the catchiest song of the year, "Go Outside".  If you somehow haven't heard it yet, you likely will very soon.  Cults first got attention for their three song EP they released on bandcamp.com.  It received so much attention, that this fledgling band already had a hungry audience awaiting their very first full length release.  On June 7th, 2011 those fans got their wish with the band's self-titled release.  Cults has received positive reviews from music outlets throughout the country.

Here's Cults performing "Go Outside".  It's pretty simple lyrically, but I'm willing to bet you'll be singing it to yourself later on.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Xavier Rudd: When Everything Was Tangled

I could tell you that I chose Xavier Rudd for today's post because he's a talented, multifaceted musician, playing a highly diverse style of music.  All of which are true.  That's not why I chose him though.  It has less to do with his talent and more with the fact that he plays the didgeridoo!  That's just cool!  Xavier Rudd, like the didgeridoo, is a native of Australia.  He's known for playing multiple instruments, during his grassroots performances.  His songs are largely centered on love of Earth and life.

Xavier Rudd most recently released Koonym Sun in 2010.  Here's Xavier Rudd performing "Stargaze" off 2007's White Moth.

Click here for more Xavier Rudd.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cover Thursdays: I Don't Even Think Of You That Often

Leonard Cohen undoubtedly has one of the most iconic voices in music, which can only be outdone by his poetic lyrics.  It's not all that often where you can read lyrics without the accompanying music, and still be effected on the level.  Cohen's lyrics always find a way to do that very thing.

Sean Rowe's booming voice is as close an you can get to Cohen's.  Here's Sean Rowe performing "Chelsea Hotel No. 2".  For those who don't know the background of this song, Cohen wrote it about an encounter with Janis Joplin.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Passion Pit: I Shook Em Up, The Walls Came Tumbling

To be completely honest, Electronic music isn't really my cup of tea.  My musical tendencies lean toward acoustic driven folk and rock where the lyrics are at the forefront of the song.  But good music, is good music.  While the bulk of my music library fits fairly neatly into one broad musical bin, there's plenty of outliers.  One of those outliers is Passion Pit.  Their music is heavy on electronics, that's true, but behind the dance invoking bass and beats, lie incredible lyrics.

Passion Pit came into existence in 2007 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  All members save keyboardist and vocalist Michael Angelakos attended Berklee School of Music in Boston at the time of the band's formation.  Their debut full length album Manners was released in May of 2009, to wildly positive reviews.  For a band just releasing their debut album, they sure had a lot of hype behind them.  The band asked the PS22 Chorus to provide some vocals for three of the album's tracks, including their single "Little Secrets."

When it came to picking a song for this post I was torn.  I fell in love with a stripped down version of "The Reeling".  It's just Michael Angelakos and the keyboard.  When all the extras are left out, you're forced to concentrate on the lyrics which have a completely different tone in this version.  That being said, it's not typical Passion Pit.  Therefore, there's two videos today.  An electronic version of my favorite Passion Pit song, "Little Secrets" and the aforementioned acoustic "The Reeling". Enjoy!

"Little Secrets"

"The Reeling"

Check out more from Passion Pit on their website.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Tallest Man On Earth: I Could Drown in Your Kerosene Eyes

Kristian Matsson, better known by his stage name, The Tallest Man on Earth, is an absolutely outstanding songwriter and performer.  The Tallest Man on Earth comes to us from Sweden.  On first instinct one would compare him to Bob Dylan.  He has the unconventional voice, he has the outstanding lyrics.  The comparison is one thrown about more often than it should, and The Tallest Man on Earth is one of the rare performers who is worthy of such a comparison.  However, I think The Tallest Man on Earth will be carving out his own little place in history.

NPR's Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton both listed The Tallest Man on Earth's 2010 release The Wild Hunt on their lists of 2010's best music.  The Tallest Man on Earth is also known for his mesmerizing live performances.

Here's The Tallest Man on Earth performing "Where Do My Bluebird Fly" off 2008's Shallow Grave.

Find more from The Tallest Man on Earth here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thao Nguyen: Spilled Your Thoughts On The Floor

Thao Nguyen grew up and started her music career in Fall Church, Virginia, just outside DC.  She sites the Lilith Fair as her her musical inspiration at the age of 12.  She is also the Thao in the band Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, who are now housed out of San Francisco.  A few months back I came across one of NPR's "Tiny Desk Concerts" featuring Thao Nguyen.  I was easily taken by her creativity and energy.  She's also got some great beat box skills.  Last year Thao toured with Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn (better known as Mirah) as the two provided backing vocals for each other's songs.

She's Thao Nguyen performing "Bag of Hammers" off her 2008 solo release We Brave Bee Stings and All.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down will be touring with the Head and the Heart starting in September.  I happen to be lucky enough to be attending their concert at the 9:30 Club.  You can check out more tour dates and news right here.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

J Mascis: There's Some Scenery I'm Missing

J Mascis is best known as a founding member and guitarist of Dinosaur Jr., a band formed in 1984 that recently experienced a resurgence after reforming in 2005.  After Dinosaur Jr. originally disbanded, J Mascis started another band entitled J Mascis + The Fog.  Most recently J Mascis released a solo album entitled Several Shades of Why in March of this year.  J Mascis is a truly talented guitar player, who even has a Fender guitar names after him.

Check out J Mascis with a solo performance of "Ammaring" off the J Mascis + The Fog 2000 record More Light.  The guitar alone is worth the listen.

You can find more J Mascis info on his website, such as his scheduled tour date in DC in September!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cover Thursdays- This Will Never End, This Will Never Stop

There are some songs, that just sound better when in the hands of someone else.  That's not to say that the band or artist who originally wrote and performed those songs are bad.  It just means that those songs were meant for someone else's voice or creative outlook.  Bob Dylan himself admitted that he preferred Jimi Hendrix's version of "All Along the Watchtower."  Noel Gallagher of Oasis confessed that Ryan Adams version of "Wonderwall" is superior to Oasis' version saying "I think Ryan Adams is the only person her who ever got that song right."  I think the same is true of Joshua James' cover Modest Mouse's "Custom Concern."  The stripped down version has so much more emotion.  It's almost like that song was meant for James.

Take a listen.  Here's Joshua James performing the Modest Mouse song "Custom Concern."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Portugal. The Man: This Can't Be Living

The uniquely named and punctuated band, Portugal. The Man, originated way out in Wasilla, Alaska.  After moving to Portland, Oregon and releasing a few independent records, they recently signed on with Atlantic Records.  Just a few weeks ago Portugal. The Man released In the Mountain In the Cloud.  They're an exciting new band, who is heading out on tour this September.  Go check them out!

Here's Portugal. The Man performing "Got It All (This Can't Be Living)" off In the Mountain In the Cloud.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

David Gray: Honey, Now If I'm Honest

Here in US, most people know David Gray for his hit 2000 single "Babylon."  Unfortunately, what they don't realize, is that David Gray has a catalog of music spanning back to 1993, and that he's absolutely a top notch live performer.  The English singer/songwriter slowly gained popularity through the mid 90's in the UK.  In 1998 David Gray released his breakthrough album White Ladder.  While White Ladder experienced critical and commercial success back home, it wasn't until White Ladder was released as the first album on Dave Matthews' ATO label, that David Gray experienced success stateside.  In the decade since, Gray has continued to turn out excellent records.

Besides studio albums, David Gray is a fantastic live entertainer.  He has an amazingly strong voice, and brings great stage energy.  I saw David Gray for the first time last year at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and then again just over a month ago in Atlantic City and DMB Caravan.  Both crowds were absolutely captivated as he played.

There's a very special reason why David Gray is featured in today's post.  Today is my best friend Jan's birthday!  Jan is pretty fond of David Gray, and we're pretty sure some of David Gray's songs are actually about Jan.  We haven't confirmed this, but we have a strong suspicion.  So for Jan's birthday, here are a bunch of David Gray videos.  Happy birthday Jan!

David Gray- "The One I Love"

"The Other Side"


Hope you enjoyed the videos!  Find more from David Gray on his website.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Black Dub: Than Be This Misunderstood

Black Dub is a collaborative project dreamt up by legendary songwriter and producer Daneil Lanois.  Their self-titled album was released in November 2010.  Besides one song that was written as a group, all the songs on the album were written by Lanois.  However, it's Trixie Whitely's vocals that steal the show here.  Her voice is tremendously soulful, and it appears that there is no boundary for her talent.

"I'd Rather Go Blind" doesn't appear on the Black Dub album, but the performance is spellbinding.  Between, Whitely's vocals and Brian Blades rhythmic drumming you can't help but listen.

Check out Black Dub's website!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Local Natives: Some Evil This Way Comes

Local Natives is a band with huge, well deserved hype behind them.  Forming in 2008 in Los Angeles, the band is the darling of music outlets such as NPR and Daytrotter.  Their acceleration to the forefront of the Indie music scene began at the 2009 SWSW festival in Austin, where they played nine shows over the course of the festival.  The reviews came back shimmering with comparisons to bands like Arcade Fire and Fleet Foxes.  Their debut album Gorilla Manor was first released in the UK in 2009 and then released in the States in February of 2010.  It debuted at #3 on Billboard's new artist chart.

Check out Local Natives performing "Wide Eyes" off Gorilla Manor.

Visit the Local Natives website and find more news about the band.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rocky Votolato: Love's a Train Wreck, You're a Mistake

Rocky Votolato is a very talented musician and songwriter from Seattle, Washington.  In the mid to late 90's he formed a band with his friends and younger brother name Waxwing.  Waxwing gained popularity locally, selling out clubs in Seattle's pulsing music scene.  Straying away from Waxwings aggressive style, Votolato wrote his own songs.  His 2006 release Makers was a critical success, and a few of his songs landed spots on popular television shows.  Votolato's most recent full length effort, True Devotion, was released in February of 2010.

Rocky Votolato is known for his trademark gravely voice.  He is currently touring Europe, but will be returning to tour the US in September.  On his website, fans pick his setlist for upcoming shows, but voting for up to 12 songs- a very creative and interactive idea.  Here's Rocky Votolato performing "Portland is Leaving" off 2006's Makers.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cover Thursdays: Restless Hearts Sleep Alone Tonight

A.V. Club has a running feature called "A.V. Undercover".  Each of the last two years the staff and fans have come up with a list of 25 songs they would like to see covered.  As a band or musician comes in, they pick a song and cross it off the list.  As time goes by, the list grows shorter and the choices narrow.  It's really a great concept, that results in some really interesting takes on popular songs from the past.

"A.V. Undercover" has produced a bunch of great videos, and you'll likely be seeing more featured on our "Cover Thursdays".  However, choosing the first was easy.  I can't pass up a Journey cover.

Here's Clem Snide covering Journey's power ballad, "Faithfully."

As if that wasn't awesome enough, Eef Barzelay, Clem Snide frontman, announced that he'll be making a 6-song EP of Journey covers!  Find more info on their website.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

City and Colour: No Sleep Tonight

City and Colour is the stage name for Dallas Green, a Canadian singer/songwriter.  His solo career began in 2005, with his debut SometimesSometimes featured songs the developed over a long time, some of which Green started when he was 18 years old.  City and Colour has continued turning out albums, and in June of this year City and Colour released album number four, entitled Little Hell.

City and Colour will be touring around the better part of the world throughout the rest of the year.  Chances are he'll be coming to a city near you, so I recommend checking him out.  Here's City and Color performing "Hello, I'm In Delaware" live at the Knitting Factory.

Check out City and Colour's website for a complete list of dates, as well as the latest news regarding City and Colour.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ryan Adams: Steal My Records

Usually, I try to post about relatively new or somewhat under the radar bands.  However, today I felt like posting something different.  Ryan Adams has been around for quite awhile, and has been largely popular at that.  Sometimes there are songs that you just can't get out of your head.  Today, for me, that song is "Come Pick Me Up."  I've always been fond of it, ever since my friend Jenn pointed it out to me in the movie Elizabethtown.  It's the kind of song that hurts in a good way.

If (somehow) you haven't heard of Ryan Adams.  The first band of note he was part of was Whiskeytown, which was an alt-country band.  In 2000, Adams began his solo career with the release of Heartbreaker.  In 2001 Ryan Adam released Gold which featured his first break out hit "New York, New York."  While the song was recorded previous to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, it became a song of comfort in the trying days and months that followed.  Ryan Adams joined up with The Cardinals in 2004.  From 2004 to 2009 Ryan Adams and The Cardinals released four studio albums, which added to the five solo Ryan Adams releases.  In 2009 Ryan Adams took a break from music, only to return the next year.  He tried his hand at hard rock and metal music with Orion.  Later in 2010 he released Cardinals III/IV which was recorded in 2006.  Earlier this year Ryan Adam hinted that a new album Blackhole could be released around Christmas.

For me, however, nothing says Ryan Adams like this song.  Here's Ryan Adams and The Cardinals performing "Come Pick Me Up" live on Letterman.

Ryan Adams is on facebook.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jessica Lea Mayfield: Your Left Hand In My Back Pocket

Jessica Lea Mayfield started her music career young... real young.  At the age of eight she was touring with her family's bluegrass band, One Day Rider.  She began playing guitar at the age of 11, under the tutelage of her brother David Mayfield (of David Mayfield Parade).  At 15, Mayfield recorded her first EP, White Lies, printing just 100 copies.  One of those few copies found its way to Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys.  Impressed, Auerbach sought out Mayfield and the two began working together.  In 2008 Jessica Lea Mayfield released her debut LP, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt which was produced my Auerbach.  The result was widely praised by music outlets, receiving consistently high ratings.  In February of this year, Jessica Lea Mayfield released her follow-up album, Tell Me.

Mayfield's music is pretty unique.  The influence of her early experience with bluegrass and country can be heard in her voice.  However, her lyrics tend to be dark.  She sites Foo Fighters as one of her influences, and recently contributed to a Nirvana tribute album.

Here's Jessica Lea Mayfield performing "For Today" live in studio and KEXP in Seattle.

More about Jessica Lea Mayfield can be found at her website.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Kooks: By Such a Smiling Sweetheart

The Kooks are a British Indie Pop band, drawing influence from bands like The Police, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles.   Just three months after the band's formation they distributed a demo tape in hopes of getting some gigs.  Instead, the band received offers from record labels, and soon were signed to Virgin Records.  In 2006 The Kooks released their debut album Inside In/ Inside Out, which received high praise, especially in the UK and throughout Europe.

Earlier this year the band announced that it had finished recording their latest album.  Junk of the Heart is currently slated for a September 12th release date.  Here's The Kooks performing "Naive" off of 2006's Inside In/ Inside Out.

The Kooks begin their European Tour in Austria on August 18th.  You can find more about The Kooks on their website, including information on their upcoming release.