Road Warriors 33

Road Warriors 33

Lollapalooza 2008 is far from announcing who its artists will be, but the event is already scheduled for August 1-3, so you can start making any early arrangements. For more information, please visit www.lollapalooza.com.

Eclectic singer/songwriter Luke Temple is back with a new album, Snowbeast, and has a busy touring schedule to support it. Critics are calling Snowbeast the Brooklyn based artist’s best work to date. To see what the fuss is all about, you can catch Mr. Temple at these shows:

09/26 New York, NY Lit Lounge
10/01 Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place*
10/02 Boston, MA Middle East (downstairs)*
10/04 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom*
10/05 Philadelphia, PA First Unitarian Church*
10/06 Washington, DC Rock N Roll Hotel*
10/07 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle*
10/25 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon**
10/26 St. Paul, MN Turf Club**
10/27 Chicago, IL Schuba’s**
10/28 Lafayette, IN Lafayette Brewing Company**
10/30 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom & Tavern**
11/01 Lexington, KY The Dame
11/02 Newport, KY Southgate House**
11/03 Nashville, TN Americana Music Conference**
11/04 Charleston, WV Mountain Stage Radio**
11/05 Pittsburgh, PA Club Café**
11/07 Northampton, MA Iron Horse**
11/08 New York, NY Joe’s Pub**
11/09 Philadelphia, PA Tin Angel**
11/10 Annapolis, MD Ram’s Head**
11/13 Atlanta, GA The Earl**
11/15 Boston, MA Boston University
* w/ The Good Life
** w/ Chuck Prophet

Los Angeles based five-piece band and Dallas based symphonic pop group The Polyphonic Spree will head out on a co-headlining tour beginning October 14 and running through November 17.
The Spree is touring in support of their latest, The Fragile Army, and Rooney in support of their Calling The World. Here are the confirmed Read the rest of this entry »

Bono wins a medal

He was in town and I missed it? Oh yes, I was playing “Halo 3.” I knew I had my priorities straight. Anyway, Bono received the Liberty Medal in Philly for all his humanitarian work in Africa. He spouted some important-sounding hoo ha:

“Your America is where Neil Armstrong takes a walk on the moon,” Bono said. “Your America gave Europe the Marshall Plan. Your America gave the world the Peace Corps.

“America is not just a country, it’s an idea, isn’t it? It’s a great and powerful idea. The idea that all men are created equal, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

and then jetted off to go save other parts of the world. It’s what he does best, unlike, say, make interesting music anymore.

Man-about-MySpace: Freebass

Peter Hook—or “Hooky” as he’s known by dear fans—ye olde ancient bassist for New Order (or as of late last spring, shall we say the “defunct New Order”) has been annoying old fans with a dispute over who gets to use the band name. Or more to the point, if his old mates can use the name after Hooky picked up his bass and decided to go play in another sandbox. Ho-hum.

Hooky’s a lot better off playing his bass and spearheading musical groups than he is with the social grace, apparently, because his new project, Freebass, is absolutely awesome. And where can you sneak a listen to the preview cut “I Envy Us?” His MySpace, natch, the same online outlet where he also threatened to sue the other New Order members if they continued on without him and kept the band name (yet also says at his MySpace that he’s “open to negotiation,” whatever that means).

hooky-doo

The shy boy? Or the coy boy?
We love you either way.

At any rate, the core members of Freebass comprise Hook, ex-Smiths bassist Andy Rourke and ex-Stone Roses/Primal Scream bassist Mani. Get the name? Freebass. Caution: If you think it’s cool, don’t even try copping the name, because one would guess his attorneys are watching for that sort of thing.

Lead vocalists allegedly in the running include Charlatans’ Tim Burgess and the Stone Roses’ Ian Brown, says Pitchfork. Add that to an awesome post-Madchester garage-pop Big Beat retro sound, and at least on paper it looks pretty freakin’ awesome.

Ruby Tuesday: Freiheit, “Tears Are A Girl’s Best Friend”

Back in 1989, when Cameron Crowe rounded up John Cusack, Ione Skye, and John Mahoney and produced one of the greatest teen romances of all time (duh, of course we’re talking about “Say Anything…”), he also found time to compose a rather memorable soundtrack as well. The film’s money shot, of course, belonged to Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” but songs from The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Replacements were used to great effect as well. Hiding way, way at the end of the soundtrack album, however, was a song that I fell in love with about as hard and fast as anything I’d heard in awhile: “Keeping the Dream Alive,” by Freiheit…or, as they’re more commonly known in their native Germany, Münchener Freiheit.

I didn’t know the first thing about Freiheit when I discovered “Keeping the Dream Alive,” but, damn, that song was such a gorgeous, sweeping ballad of ELO-sized proportions that I immediately knew that I’d have to seek out more of their material. As it happens, there wasn’t anything else to seek out…well, not in the U.S., anyway. Not long after, however, the band’s debut American release, Fantasy, found its way onto shelves and, almost immediately thereafter, into my collection. To this day, I’m still surprised that it never scored much in the way of success; it’s a highly enjoyable pop album that owes as much to Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus as it does Jeff Lynne. The only real explanation I’ve ever come up with is that it’s a bit heavier on synths and electronic drum beats than the kids were listening to at the time, but it still features heavily in my regular playlist even in 2007.

Unfortunately, Fantasy remains out of print in the U.S., and since that was the only Stateside release of the band’s career, Freiheit’s profile remains woefully low on our shores. Even the usually helpful All Music Guide gives them short shrift, with the bio in their entry simply reading, “This German band (orig. Munchener Freiheit) played power-pop music from 1982 to 1988.” That’s it. Talk about your inglorious retrospectives!

If you’re curious about the band, there are several import best-of collections available via Amazon, but you should be prepared to find them almost completely free of English-sung material. If you don’t speak German as fluently as the members of Freiheit, however, here’s a song from Fantasy that you might appreciate a bit more:

Freiheit – Tears Are A Girl’s Best Friend

It’s Halo 3 day, kiddies

For those of you living under your rocks, yes, today is Halo 3 day worldwide. The launch of the final chapter in Bungie’s mega-selling video game franchise is now upon us after much waiting, anticipation, and record breaking preorders. Yours truly’s copy is headed to his abode right now in the back of a UPS truck. So that means I’m taking the rest of the day off. In the meantime, you enjoy this lovely music video montage, the “Halo 3 Hoedown” and get in the know about how gigantic this game actually is.

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