Moving In Stereo: Volume 2
as heard by Darren Paltrowitz
Thanks to a warm opening reception that now also brings my writing to Australia and the U.K., Moving In Stereo is back for Round 2. Although still jobless and having celebrated my not-awaited 22nd Birthday by the time you’re reading this, there still remain many reasons to get your calendar book out and be optimistic; and hopefully you’ll find dozens of them down below.
…From The Island
A lot has happened on my home turf of Long Island over the past month that’s gone unreported. It’s been published that Taking Back Sunday has completed the demos for the second album it will shortly be recording, and that Brand New turned down a Summer arena tour with Incubus in favor of writing its third album, but where was the mention of Blood Red? The band, featuring former Silent Majority vocalist (and MerchDirect artist) Tommy Corrigan, is said to be playing its last show in the coming weeks, and two legendary area bands are rumored to be reuniting for that occasion…Greyscale, a Warped Tour-playing quintet that interestingly blends Metal, Funk, Dub and Pop, is said to be moving out to the West Coast to pursue music full-time, while the Loren Israel-managed The Kites will be going back to L.A. in May for recording; their half-recorded album was lost due to a faulty hard-drive…Something from these parts that has been getting a lot of mention, however, is the Long Island Music Hall Of Fame, which is being championed by corporations, local government and L.I.-bred artists like Eddie Money and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider alike…Two bands that could eventually wind up part of the LIMHOF if the hype keeps up are Nightmare Of You, featuring Brandon Reilly of the recently-disbanded Drive-Thru Records act The Movielife, and Dearly Departed, which just put out its excellent debut disc -- titled Believing In Ghosts on One Day Savior Recordings. The two will be playing together, alongside Orange Island, for Nightmare’s first-ever gig on March 6th.
…From The Studio
While tribute albums are generally over-hyped and disappointing, Epic Records is currently assembling one for Sly Stone for a Summer 2004 release. Being assembled by Chic songwriter and overall studio guru Nile Rodgers, Sly 2K is currently counting on contributions from Beck, Moby, John Mayer, Lenny Kravitz, The Black Eyed Peas, The Roots, Maroon 5 (anybody remember when four out of the “5” were called Kara’s Flowers?) and Buddy Guy. Audioslave and Aerosmith remain rumored participants as of press time…Armed Love, the third full-length from The (International) Noise Conspiracy, is currently finished and in the midst of post-production with A-List producer Rick Rubin, who is also helming the forthcoming Weezer disc…Foo Fighters visionary Dave Grohl does have the Probot album to hawk, beyond his sessions with Killing Joke, but that hasn’t stopped from him drumming on the upcoming Garbage album, which was recorded in the same Wisconsin location as the latest from As Tall As Lions…Speaking of the almighty Grohlness, Ash’s new disc had Dave’s right-hand man Nick Raskulinecz behind the boards in L.A., and his Queens Of The Stone Age buddy Josh Homme will be looking to record another QOTSA collection, despite the recent lineup departures of Mark Lanegan and bassist Nick Oliveri…Mr. Grohl could probably be used in Oasis, who currently lack a full-time person behind the kit and have Noel Gallagher playing on the demos for the band’s sixth studio album. Also in the works for that Manchester band is a DVD, for which early to mid-1990’s fan-taken footage is needed by producer Dick Carruthers.
…From The Side
Side-projects generally lack substance, but one that makes me laugh is The Forces Of Evil. Not to be confused with the Euro-Metal band of nearly the same name, this band features Reel Big Fish’s Aaron Barrett and members of Jeffries Fan Club and The Scholars playing “evil Ska.” The album is out through Jive/Interscope and includes covers of Van Halen and Suburban Rhythm anthems…Glassjaw may not be touring or recording at the moment, but three of its members have been keeping active. Frontman Daryl Palumbo has a collaboration with Dan The Automator titled Head Automatica, which looks to be coming out on Warner Brothers Records. Head recently played a high-profile live show in L.A., also featuring Glassjaw drummer Larry Gorman (ex-Orange 9MM) and former Movielife singer Vinny Caruana. Meanwhile, guitarist Todd Weinstock is part of the well-hyped Easy Tiger project with The Reunion Show’s Skully, Descendre’s T.J. Penzone and the aforementioned Brandon Reilly, while also spottable in the latest Brand New video…Maplewood, the 70’s Rock-inspired quartet led by Champale’s Mark Rozzo and with Nada Surf’s Ira Elliot on drums, currently has its debut album in the can and a showcase gig at SXSW forthcoming. Apologies for being outdated go out to Nada Surf, who it turns out not only finished three weeks of recording with Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla, but have a live CD and DVD coming out beyond a tour diary from vocalist/guitarist Matthew Caws in Magnet Magazine, and a song soon appearing in an episode of The O.C.
…From The Ex’s
With ¾ of the band coming from Errortype: 11 and the other ¼ having been the guitarist of Quicksand, it is with good reason that Instruction signed a deal with Geffen Records after less than a year of playing together. The band recorded its heavily-awaited debut with Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, KISS, Aerosmith) and Instruction already has a rave review in NME to brag of…Further Seems Forever, a band mostly known because of its former singer forming Dashboard Confessional, has announced its break-up after the departure of replacement frontman Jason Gleason. It appears that FSF will be splitting into two separate groups…The Fire Theft is a powerful trio comprised of Sunny Day Real Estate founders Jeremy Enigk and William Goldsmith and Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel. The act’s worthwhile self-titled is now out on Rykodisc and will be out on an amazing-sounding tour with Grandaddy, Hey Mercedes and Saves The Day in the coming weeks.
…From The Stage
Speaking of Hey Mercedes, I was fortunate enough to catch the quartet’s recent sold-out gig at The Mercury Lounge. Alternating between selections from their two Vagrant-released full-lengths, the band played with extreme intensity on “Quality Revenge At Last.” The songs slightly faster in a live setting, it constantly remained a wonder how drummer Damon Atkinson was able to keep up with the time-signature changes and sudden breaks of such poppy-yet-complex songs. While the overly-sweetness of co-headliner Wheat was a bit much for me to take, the eclectic openers known as The Honorary Title played sincere Indie-Rock that definitely blew more than a few spectators away myself included…During the week-long trip to Tokyo, Japan that I was fortunate enough to take last month, I caught two diametrically-opposed shows at the same venue (Shibuya Kokkaido) on consecutive nights. First was Glasgow, Scotland’s Belle & Sebastian, who had a charismatic solo-acoustic warm-up performer in Eugene Kelly. Mixing up rarely-performed tracks and extended versions of favorites, there isn’t any possible way that an open-minded person could have walked away from the Belle show uninspired. With each of the core band members a multi-instrumentalist, auxiliary horns and strings being added to some songs and lead vocal duties being shared amongst three members, this was ethereal unpredictability. However, my personal highlight was a lively version of “You’re Just A Baby,” which was a duet between Sarah Martin and the aforementioned Kelly. On the contrary, David Lee Roth stuck to the hits, opting to play only one selection from his latest release, Diamond Dave. Peppering wall-to-wall classics every Van Halen and solo favorite, minus “Janie’s Cryin’” -- with the banter that makes DLR everyone’s favorite Rock personality, this was the sort of eventful concert experience that rarely exists anymore. Giving the crowd tunes from the first two VH albums that hadn’t been performed in many years, die-hards and casual listeners alike should have been pleased. While most of what Dave said probably went over the proverbial heads of most audience members it’s a wonder that he didn’t use Japan-born rhythm guitarist Toshi Hiketa as a translator especially at the point where he spoke “en Español,” we are talking about a man who still does all of the high-kicks and mid-song gymnastics that he was doing 30 years ago! And his four-piece backing band? Well, all the harmonies are there and “Lightning” Ray Luzier certainly works circles around Alex Van Halen. If you see that Diamond Dave is coming to your town, you must be there.
…From The Tube
Besides the Yoshinoya chain, something else of great quality being brought to us from Japan is Iron Chef America. The Food Network has acquired the U.S.-format rights to the Iron Chef program and aims to be airing this new version by the Spring with Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay on-board…Amongst the many programs that came into fruition during pilot season, ABC has picked up what sounds like the most appealing sit-com of them all. Colin Hanks Tom’s son, yes, from Orange County will be play writer Joel Stein, who hit notoriety in being the youngest columnist at Time Magazine. Although details are sketchy, word is circulating that Macaulay Culkin will star in a new show being produced by Conan O’Brien…Also in the “strange but true” column, the Long Island-bred Stuttering John Melendez, best known for his work with Howard Stern, will be soon joining the cast of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno as the program’s announcer. Edd Hall, Leno’s announcer of 12 years, is leaving to pursue a career in the movies.
…From The Stereo
Sometimes the best music you can find comes to you for free, and recently such happened to me when I received a sampler CD from Jonny Polonsky. A former wunderkind discovered by Frank Black and praised by Jeff Buckley, before undergoing two troubling major-label situations, he’s been offering a free EP of new material to those who visit his website at www.jonnypolonsky.com. My favorite of the batch is “Even The Oxen,” which features Polonsky on all instruments, and just may be one of my favorite songs ever…After nearly a year of waiting, the latest album from The Cardigans -- Long Gone Before Daylight is due for a U.S. release in late May. For those who had shelled out for the import, re-buying it here means getting a bonus track and a DVD containing three songs from the Rosklide Festival and two music videos…Have you heard A Beautiful Extended EP from Clem Snide? Whether or not the band is usually up your alley, the lead-off track a cover of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” is a pleasant surprise. Same goes for Grandaddy’s Sumday and Bagheera’s Twelves; two discs that are poppy yet experimental and well-produced…As for a Rock singer-songwriter that’s destined for bigger and better things, there’s Charlie Mars. His fourth full-length overall, Mars is backed up by producer Rick Beato and Darren Dodd, both of whom you may recall from a should’ve-been-big band from Atlanta named Billionaire. And speaking of long-deserved due, Rocket From The Tombs a band responsible for the formations of Pere Ubu and The Dead Boys -- has finally released its first disc on Smog Veil Records, and it surely is interesting to hear early versions of “Sonic Reducer” and “Ain’t It Fun.”
…From The Future
For those who see musical-theater as to-be-avoided entertainment, perhaps they should reconsider what’s currently titled as Spamelot. Intended to be a Broadway version of Monty Python And The Holy Grail, Eric Idle who recently put out his as-alter-ego Rutland Isles solo disc has penned new songs for this forthcoming production, which looks as if it’ll be directed by Mike Nichols. However, it is not expected that any members from the Monty Python troupe will be involved onstage.
If you have news to report for the next edition of Moving In Stereo, press releases and all other correspondence for Darren should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
ã 2004 Column used with permission from Darren Paltrowitz. All right reserved.
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