Moving In Stereo
By: Darren Paltrowitz
With 2004 and its holiday season behind us, the first-quarter of any year -- 2005 seemingly included -- tends to be when a lot of announcements start to surface while new artists begin to break-out. Seeing a lot of great things ahead for all of us, Volume 11 is here with everything but the nostalgia that Volume 10 brought along.
--From The Island
It was erroneously reported on several websites that Glassjaw had disbanded after its December run of shows was cancelled and long-time guitarist Todd Weinstock had announced his departure from the Long Island-based group. While the cancellations were said to be due to the recurring illness of frontman Daryl Palumbo, the vocalist appears to be keeping busy between Head Automatica, a cameo on the upcoming Cage album for the Def Jux label, and rumored participation in a scream/grind project with Thursday's Geoff Rickly, Eyeball Records' Alex Saavedra, Kiss It Goodbye's Eric Cooper, and Chree of The Number Twelve Looks Like You-- Bayside has also undergone a change in membership, welcoming new bassist Nick Ghanbarian and drummer John Beatz. Beyond upcoming dates with My Chemical Romance, an exclusive demo has been posted to the Victory Records band's Purevolume site-- Bandcamp's Matt Bair may only be 17 years old, but in addition to his endorsement with Gibson Guitars, he and group now have a deal with Atlantic Records subsidiary E.V.L.A. Bandcamp is now recording its debut full-length in Los Angeles along with producer Dave McNair as a Summer 2005 release date is projected.
--From The Stage
Even though the band never scored a hit and only has one gold record to its credit, perhaps it isn't all that shocking that The Pixies closed out their 2004 tour with eight sold-out shows at Manhattan's The Hammerstein Ballroom. Filled with spectators of all ages and demographics, this particular gig had the Boston quartet hit the stage at 1:15am, wrapping up nearly 90 minutes later. It's tough to say what was more impressive about the show: the fact that a band could go on so late without any dipping in energy, or that The Pixies sounded tighter than ever. From the slow and fast versions of "Wave Of Mutilation" to the recent iTunes-exclusive track "Bam Thwok," there were no obvious omissions from this performance's setlist-- Jim Norton may be best known for being the on-air sidekick to radio hosts Opie & Anthony, but few stand-up comics have as devoted of a following as he. Playing two packed shows at The Downtown, Norton rattled off a set that largely reflected on where he had been in the year since he had played in Farmingdale. There was the brothel in Brazil, the co-hosting gig at the AVN Awards in Las Vegas, the time spent entertainment U.S. troops in Iraq along with Colin Quinn and, well, all the usual frustration, self-deprecation and crowd heckles in the midst of it all. Those who prefer stand-up to be fast-paced and politically-incorrect, while still somewhat intellectual, ought to check out Norton online at www.eatabullet.com-- While New Year's Eve concerts are generally predictable and boring, Irving Plaza hosted a diverse billing that would have pleased many kinds of people. Although Peelander-Z is a noisy punk rock group with all of its members being transplants from Japan, costumes and eccentricity aside, the trio has little in common musically with the mysterious, KFC bucket-wearing Buckethead, the mostly-instrumental, improvisation-heavy jam-rock of Particle, or the brilliant pro-wrestling satire that is Kaiju Big Battel. Buckethead ought to have been named the evening's MVP as the former Guns 'N' Roses guitarist also provided an impressive shred-solo cameo during Particle's first set.
--From The Stereo
Formerly known as The People, The Golden Republic is a four-piece that's logged tour-time with Nada Surf,Interpol and Sondre Lerche. The Kansas-bred quartet's new full-length was recorded with Peter Katis (Interpol, The Get Up Kids) and is suitable for power-pop fans that also have an appreciation for 1970's glam and garage-rock; the lyrical wit is there at all times along with the hooks-- Ivy may now be a side-project for Adam Schlessinger when he's not at it with Fountains Of Wayne or writing and producing elsewhere, but In The Clear is a beautiful release showcasing the charming vocals of Dominique Durand above music that is generally laid-back. While flowing and cohesive for more than 40 minutes, the disc also includes guest appearances from Smashing Pumpkins and A Perfect Circle's James Iha, The Astrojet's Jody Porter, and Scott McLoud, formerly of Girls Against Boys-- Arguably, one act that never quite got its due was The Cars; fortunately photographer Peter Kuehl took this idea to heart a few years back and began organizing Substitution Mass Confusion for Not Lame Recordings. A tribute benefiting the American Cancer Society -- a cause in honor of the passing of Cars bassist/vocalist Benjamin Orr -- contributing artists include Butch Walker, Action Action, Gigolo Aunts, The Bravery, sparkle*jets u.k., Jason Falkner and The Posies' Jon Auer. Each of the compilation's 21 songs can be sampled online at www.notlame.com/thecars.htm.
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Copyright 2005 -- Column used with permission from Darren Paltrowitz. All right reserved.