New Music: The Gutter Twins

spaceMark Lanegan and Greg Dulli are The Gutter Twins and if you listened to alternative rock in the 90's chances are you are familiar with one or both of their previous bands. Mark Lanegan was the singer for the underrated grunge band The Screaming Trees while Greg Dulli was the front man for The Afghan Whigs, who are one of my personal favorites. Since then both have been involved in some of the best music of their careers with Mark's solo albums and side work with Queens of the Stone Age and Greg leading The Twilight Singers. The pair's long anticipated album, Saturnalia, comes out this Tuesday on Sub Pop. Both singers are able to carry an entire album on their own so it should be great to hear what they do together. Luckily you can head over to their Myspace page and stream the entire album.

The Gutter Twins Myspace


New Music: What Made Milwaukee Famous

The Austin band What Made Milwaukee Famous have been mentioned on here a time or two before. Their new album, What Doesn't Kill Us, comes out this Tuesday and I found this video for their song, 'Sultan', courtesy of Muzzle of Bees. You can also head over to their record labels site and download an mp3 of 'Resistance St.', another new song of the upcoming record.

What Made Milwaukee Famous Myspace


Random YouTube's: Yeasayer & Black Mountain on Conan


The first of two clips from the Conan O'Brien show is Yeasayer playing '2080', one of the best tracks from 2007. Notice afterward that apparently Conan is a big fan as well.

Next is Black Mountain playing 'Stormy High', the lead track of this year's In The Future. Obviously the song and performance are great but the highlight is Michael Buffer introducing them.


Concert Announcement: The Swell Season

05/05/08 Liberty Hall, Lawrence

Most people now know The Swell Season as Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, the two actors that stared in the fantastic and quite popular pseudo-musical Once. Much like the sudden popularity of The Shins thanks to Garden State, The Swell Season have know reached that same level of popularity due to a great movie. If you have seen the movie, you know how fantastic the duo are, and their album is no different. Glen's other band, The Frames, are also worth checking out as they are an extremely underrated rock band. This should be an spectacular show.

The Swell Season Myspace


Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

spaceBon Iver is the recording name of Justin Vernon. If you haven't heard of him yet he self-released his debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, last year and was already met with critical aclaim. By the time I finally decided I needed to check him out, he had sold out of the record on his website. Luckily that was right around the time it picked up to be release on the Jagjaguwar label. It finally came out on Tuesday and just like I had read, it's fantastic. If you are in the Midwest right now get it because it's the perfect winter record.

At times, For Emma reminds me of Sun Kil Moon's best moments, which is a huge compliment. It's no accident that the multi-layered vocals are the focal-point as Justin's voice is eerie and mesmerizing. That's not to say the music isn't great as well. The songs that make up the record are mostly quiet but altogether it's a haunting and moving affair. If you consider this to have come out last year, it should be on every top 10 list. I didn't hear all of it until this week, but I can't imagine many albums being better than it for the rest of the year.

Bon Iver Myspace
Bon Iver Emusic

Concert Announcement: Spoon/The Walkmen/White Rabbits

04/02/08 The Uptown Theater, Kansas City

Maybe the best concert announcement of the year so far as Spoon will be returning to the area after canceling their Lawrence show to appear on Saturday Night Live. They are bringing along two great bands in The Walkmen and White Rabbits (who originally hail from Columbia Missouri) and they will all be appearing on April 2nd at The Uptown Theater in Kansas City.


New Music: The Whigs

It seems there might be some sort of classic rock revival in music this year so far. Bands like Marah, Black Mountain, Drive-By Truckers and now The Whigs have all released albums full of classic sounding rock n roll. The Whigs are (yet) another great band from Athens, Georgia and here is their video for the single 'Right Hand On My Heart':

Their second full length, Mission Control, is out now on ATO records. Although The Whigs tread familiar territory (think a mix of The Replacements and My Morning Jacket) not many bands could do what The Whigs do as a three-piece. They will be playing in Lawrence at The Granada on March 3rd.


Concert Announcement: The Police/Elvis Costello & The Imposters

05/13/08 The Sprint Center, Kansas City

Now, this is a little more like the concerts I was excited that KC would get with the addition of the Sprint Center. Not that I have anything against Garth Brooks or R. Kelly but this is a little more up my alley. The Police will be playing the Sprint Center on May 13th. Elvis Costello and the Imposters have the pleasure of opening, it should be a great show.


Concert Announcement: Radiohead

05/14/08 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, St. Louis

Radiohead's only appearance in the (reasonably drivable) area is at the amphitheater in St. Louis. Tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10am and are apparently $61 for reserved seats and $36 for lawn. It's a Wednesday night so you might have to take off work for this one.


MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

spaceI'm a bit behind on this album post but I finally had some time to listen to MGMT's (pronounced as the letters M-G-M-T) new record this weekend. Oracular Spectacular came out in late January but I wasn't in a hurry to get it since they have been so hyped already. I can be a bit wary of new, highly-hyped bands because they more often than not end up being a let down. I finally got a copy of it and I am wondering why I waited so long. Hearing it really makes me regret not seeing them open for Of Montreal in Lawrence last year, even though I had my fill of Of Montreal live for a while.

MGMT's debut album was produced by Dave Fridmann who has handled some of the best psychedelic pop bands in Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev. MGMT could be compared to either aforementioned band but to me they seem like a younger version of Ween. Just like Ween, MGMT can do the psychedelic folk thing, the R&B thing, the dance pop thing and the weird thing all one song after another without it sounding like some random mix tape. After quite a few listens I keep coming back to the second track, 'Weekend Wars', maybe because it's a beautiful song but probably because it sounds like a lost, great Bowie song and I can imagine him singing it himself when I hear it.

To be honest, there really aren't any weak songs on this album and it's a lot better of a debut than Vampire Weekend. That's not to say MGMT and Vampire Weekend sound anything alike, because they don't, but they are both bands releasing their debut's to a lot of hype around the same time. With Vampire Weekend, although I love it, I don't see myself listening to it much after a few months. On the other hand, Oracular Spectacular sounds like an album that I will keep coming back to for a long time. It just has that feel, and if you are a music fan you probably know what I'm talking about.

MGMT Myspace


Concert Announcement: The Breeders

05/09/08 The Bottleneck, Lawrence

Another great concert announcement for the area as The Breeders will be playing at The Bottleneck in Lawrence on May 9th. They will be touring in support of their new album, Mountain Battles, which comes out on April 8th. If you are only familiar with their 90's hit 'Cannonball' you should check out their entire back catalog because some of it is as impressive as Kim Deal's other band. Then just make sure to catch them in concert in April.


Concert Announcement: Colin Meloy

04/25/08 Liberty Hall, Lawence

Another great concert announcement for the area, as Colin Meloy (lead singer of The Decemberists) will stop by Liberty Hall in Lawrence for a solo show. This tour is in support of his solo album, Colin Meloy Sings Live! which is out April 8th on the label Kill Rock Stars. If Colin's solo show is anything like a Decemberists show expect a really good time. I'm sure you'll hear a few Decemberists songs as well.