A.C. Newman Celebrates Sonic Boom’s 10th Anniversary

Sonic Boom Records in Seattle is turning 10 years old this month and A.C. Newman will be joining in the celebration. This Saturday, Sept. 15th at 6pm, A.C. Newman will be DJ-ing down at the Sonic Boom Capitol Hill store.  Get down.


A.C. Newman at Sonic Boom Records

Saturday, Sept. 15th at 6PM 

514 15th Ave. E.


Saturday’s Gonna Be a Good Day

Two free in-stores, two cities, same time.  Love Of Diagrams will be performing a free, all ages show at Amoeba Music in San Francisco this Saturday at 4pm.  Meanwhile, Jonathan Meiburg and Thor Harris of Shearwater will performing at End Of An Ear in Austin.

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(Shearwater pic swiped fromPitchfork) 

Simultaneous action, Saturday, April 14th at 4pm.

Love of Diagrams at Amoeba Music, 1855 Haight St., San Francisco CA 94117

Shearwater at End Of An Ear, 2209 South First St., Austin TX 78704

Matmos at Donau Festival

Matmos, along with Jay Lesser, will be playing at the Donau Festival in Austria in a couple of weeks time. 

What kind of festival is it? Well, it's being curated by David Tibet, so I imagine it'll be very similar to Lollapalooza. The website is here.


EDIT: Actually guys, I've never been to Lollapalooza. Fennesz, SUNN O))), Nurse With Wound, Khan, Six Organs of Admittance – it's all that kind of thing, right?  

EDIT: Oh, maybe a more accurate comparison would be like a more fun No Fun Fest. So, fun, then. 

EDIT: By 'fun', I mean PUNISHING NOIZE. And The Notwist.  


 Love Of Diagrams seem to have brought the spring with them, despite the fact that they arrived in London after a bitterly cold few days in New York.  The sun was shining for their recent press trip and couple of London shows.  The sun is still shining but who knows for how long.  Love of Diagrams are still here but we do know for how long.  They play again in Huddersfield at Club NME on March 20, On Paris on March 23 at La Fleche D’Or, and Nottingham’s Stealth Club on the 24th.  Then they head back to the States for 30 dates with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.  

The intrepid antipodeans arrived in London having had very little sleep during their pre-album US jaunt so went eagerly to bed in the (not-so) lavish Beggars flat, which is decked out with signed Rolling Stones posters, Bauhaus picture disks, a dubious horror DVD collection and bunk beds.  In the middle of the night a mighty thump was heard.  Watching too many scary movies again kids?  Well, erm, no.  It was the sound of vocalist/bassist Antonia falling from the top bunk and landing on her arm during an episode of attempted sleepwalking.

Despite having a sore wrist, Antonia still managed to be able to move her fingers deftly enough to deliver a blinding set at new trendy London club Chalk at The Scala on Saturday March 10th.  The audience was duly impressed by the trio’s tight set and brayed for more once it was over.  It was also my first time seeing the band and the thing that struck me was how ‘punk’ they sounded.  The great songs on the records sound even more intense and blistering live, and so catchy!  I’ve spent the last week with ‘Double’ and ‘Pace Or the Patience’ lodged in my brain… hummm hummm hum hum…

Slightly shaken and disturbed after seeing the new David Lynch flick “Inland Empire”, Love Of Diagrams hit the stage at The Hoxton Bar And Grill on Monday with another rip-roaring set.  A room filled with loyal fans and a few Australians were delighted to have LOD all to themselves, although a few technical hitches cut the set short and my friend nearly yelled himself hoarse trying to get them to return to play “No Way Out.”  Ah well.  There’s always tomorrow.

Tomorrow came and went but not before Love Of Diagrams played the third gig of the week to complete the triangle of shows (if we’re speaking diagrammatically) at Artrocker at the Buffalo Bar.  A packed room provided the most appreciative audience so far.  I stood by the speaker so it sounded very LOUD, in a GOOD way.  They played another brilliant set, the crowd went wild and again left us wanting more.  Can’t wait to see them again.  Hopefully they’ll be back A LOT.


Cat Power in Europe (April/May 07)

Yes, we have the dates you've all been waiting for….it's Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues in Europe.

wed 25th – April: Glasgow The Ferry (actually this is a solo show)

fri 27 – 29th April:  All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, Minehead

tue 01 – May: London The Forum
wed 02 – May: Brussels Royal Circus
thu 03 – May: Eindhoven Effenaar
fri 04 – May: Heidelberg Karlstorbahnhof
sat 05 – May: Luzern Boa
sun 06 – May: Milan Magazzini
mon 07 – May: Bologna Estragon
tue 08 – May: Rome Piper
wed 09 – May: Madrid Joy Eslava
thu 10 – May: Dublin Tripod

These will all, without exception, be fantastic.

Ponys conquer London (part two)














Sonic Cathedral is a cool place to play and it feels right for the Ponys further onslaught across this city. The ceiling is crowded with yellow balloons with silver strings dangling onto the audiences heads. Nat who runs the club is DJing and shows some fine rocking selections. So do the Ponys. This band kick proverbial ass. They delve into "rocks rich tapestry" ( (c)Julie Burchill circa 1979) but come up weaving their own distinct and visceral sound. There is the sweeping grandeur of "1209 Seminary" and the stately beauty of  "Shine" balanced by the punchy future rock classic "Double Vision". The gig ended ends in a rock and roll maelstrom and yes indeed they "rock like a hurricane" ( (c) Sharon O'Connell circa 2007).  As they leave the stage Nat cues Television, a fitting salute to The Ponys' power and pedigree. 

The Ponys @ The Barfly, Camden

What nobody told me is how loud they are live. Seriously, they are fucking loud. And I spend most of my time at noise shows.

The Ponys took the stage a little late but promised to 'keep making noise til they pull the plug on us', which was still nowhere near long enough for me. Concentrating mostly on material from 'Turn The Lights Out', songs collided into each other, a blur of feedback, furious riffing, and psychedelic bizness that I don't know the correct term for. And then in the middle of all that, they drop in a jaunty keyboard tune, and before you've even finished scratching your head, they're back to the hard stuff, pummeling you with all sorts of garage-rock goodness. I was beaming from burst eardrum to burst eardrum.

Cat Power at the Brits











This was the scene on Wednesday night at the glittering Brit Awards, the UK's equivalent of the Grammys. Cat Power was given the accolade of being nominated as Best International Female and both Chan Marshall and co-emperor of Matador Records Chris Lombardi are seen taking it all in. Held at Earls Court (surely the worlds biggest hanger?) home to the Ideal Home Show and various superstar triumphs and disasters over the years, thousands of media industry types and even more pop loving civilians witnessed a roll call of the great and the good (it says here). OK it wasn't the "carnival of mayhem" Russell Brand promised us and we all secretly wished for but there was enough going on to keep us amused and appalled all night. Compere Mr Brand's opening salvo at David Cameron raised him a notch or two to my mind and although he managed the usual percentage of own goal jokes ("Queens vagina" anyone ? I mean anyone?) he carried off the night with ease.Unfortunately Cat Power didn't walk away with the award she so justly deserved but since when has true and authentic quality, style and genuine talent won out against production teams, song doctors and corporate back scratching at such events. (OK a couple of times). But we weren't the only ones that wuz robbed Justin Timberlake over Bob Dylan, don't get me started.
Rumours of strange fluctuations in the telephone voting I am sure are just that. Of course Orson deserved that award – fair and square. And to my mind their acceptance speech was one of the low highlights of the evening that makes the Brits such a memorable entertainment in the pop firmament.

The Arctic Monkeys didn't accept their awards in person but their filmed acceptance speeches first dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz (great cowardly lion by the way) and then as the Village People really did show their humorous side.

I also learnt that British people LOVE Take That. I mean everybody or at least 99% of them and the other 1% are probably in comas. They have obviously transcended every hurdle to become the sort of icon that is unimpeachable (at least until the next tabloid revelation – build em up and shoot them down).

And we finished up with only one staff member missing in action the next day.

Ponys in the UK

Yay folks, we're as excited as some excitable people – The Ponys are doing three shows in London. This marks the first time I'll have ever seen them live, which by all accounts is quite the experience.

The dates are:

February 20th: Camden Barfly

February 22nd: 'Sonic Cathedral' @ The Legion

February 23rd: 'Dirty Water Club' @ The Boston Arms

You can get tickets here

I have a feeling this is going to be one of those 'Oh, The Ponys? Yeah, I saw them in 07 supporting Troubles at Sonic Cathedral. I was there' -type deals, so get your skates on. 


In an event that edged on the surreal but certainly was a hugely successful piece of grand theatre Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues rocked the highest echelons of the fashion world on Tuesday providing the music for Chanel's haute coutre cat walk show. Housed in the magnificant and recently restored Grand Palais in Paris the performance took place in a specially constructed arena with the stage high above the models entrance. Proceedings kicked off with Judah, Greg, Eric, Jim and Chan swaggering into a version of "Naked If I Want To". Six men rolled out a huge grey and white carpet  centered with a giant Chanel logo. The models strutted their stuff wearing what to these unschooled eyes looked like opulent and sophisticated yet very pleasing creations. The DDB kicked into a muscular version of "Could We" proving what they bring to the mix (though it doesn't detract from the the album or the Memphis Rhythm Band versions)  creates their own sinuous take on the song. As "Satisfaction" continued the momentum did I notice a flicker of amusement across the concentrated face of Marianne Faithfull watching the models intently from row two? Certainly the woman next to Sean Lennon started taking photos of Cat Power and not the models. The band seamlessly stepped into a gorgeous version of "Tracks of My Tears" which built to a crescendo with Chan singing "you can tell by the look on my face" as the final model commanded the floor in a stunning white coat and gown. The curtains opened and Karl Lagerfeld sat there amongst his team as if they too were an audience watching the show.

So I missed clocking Sigourney Weaver, Madame Chirac, Catherine Deneuve, the French Minister of Culture  oh and Kate Moss but we did see Sofia Coppola and get to take same great photos of Chan with Marianne Faithfull and Karl Lagerfeld.


That Whole Silly Decemberists / Colbert Beef

While the newsworthiness of the beef between Stephen Colbert and The Decemberists makes Lindsey v Paris look like a Darfur report in the Economist, I do know that if those wacky Decemberists would have brought in this dude, victory would have been close at hand.


(ps:  you are looking at Guitar One Magazine's fastest guitar shredder in the world. i can't wait for Early Mike to shred this post in the comments)

Fuck Coachella, This Is Where The Action Is


Watch your back, Barry Hogan. Someone else has a wildly ambitious rock fest in the works.  From the Voice Of Korea (link swiped from Ken Freedman and WFMU's Beware Of The Blog)

If you are a band playing any kind of rock, including heavy metal, then you can participate 'ROCK FOR PEACE' in Pyong Yang, the capital city of North Korea. This is the very first time in history that North Korea allows western musicians in the heart of DPRK territory to play capitalist popular music. There are few restrictions and conditions on participation but any band will be considered even though you are from USA. The lyrics should not contain admirations on war, sex, violence, murder, drug, rape, non-governmental society, imperialism, colonialism, racism, anti-DPRK, and anti-socialism. The concert will be held from March 01 to March 04, 2007 under the management of Voice of Korea. We currently received requests of 35 bands from 19 countries and participations are increasing everyday. ROCK FOR PEACE will be the 2007 version of Woodstock rock festival in 1969 but in different location and in different goals, We welcome every musician as long as they are purely music based without political intentions. For inquiries, email to Jean-Baptiste Kim, the head of Voice of Korea.