April 1, 2010

BG: Esquire Songwriting Challenge

As part of the April issue of Esquire, the almost 80 year-old men’s culture magazine asked five singer-songwriters to take part in their Esquire Songwriting Challenge by inviting them to

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The B List: 10 Cool MGMT Covers

Once in a while a band comes along that so captures the attention of their contemporaries, that the covers just start flowing in. It used to be much more common to cover your peers, these days it’s a rarity. Somewhere along the way it got less cool to cover songs that were released in the past couple of years, but MGMT is one of the bands that seems to have avoided this.

For this week’s B List we assembled our favorite MGMT covers…

10) The Kooks – Kids:

English band The Kooks acoustically cover Kids live at Triple J Studios:

9) ALO – Time To Pretend

This ALO side project played under the name “Bag Of Tricks” for this gig on 10-29-2009 and featured three members: Zack Gill (Keyboards), Steve Adams (Bass), and Dave Brogan (Drums).


READ ON for eight more artists covering MGMT well..

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Review: snoe.down 2010 @ Killington

Words: Jennifer Bernstein
Photos: Tammy Wetzel

snoe.down @ Killington and Rutland – March 26-28

moe. hosted their third snoe.down in Killington, Vermont over the weekend as part of the Music & Winter Sports Festival. Headlining both Friday & Saturday nights at the Spartan Arena, moe. also played a free afternoon set at the base of Killington Mountain & a special acoustic brunch set for VIPs.

Smaller bands like Lynch, The Bridge, Heavy Pets, and The McLovins performed at K1 and Bear Mountain Lodge throughout the weekend, while bigger acts like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Assembly of Dust, and Railroad Earth opened for moe. at the arena. As noted by an emcee on Friday night, Sharon Jones was the inaugural “rock” act to break-in the arena, and moe. would play the arena’s first sold-out show.

There was a little bit of a learning curve for fans trying to find their way to Spartan Arena, which was located in a parking lot behind a mall. Fans filtered their way in for moe.’s first set, with some parents and kids under 21 disappointed with the set up (those old enough to drink had the first 2/3 of the hockey rink to themselves, with the other 1/3 stuck behind a barricade in the back with local vending).

READ ON for more on snoe.down from Jen & Tammy…

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Video: Dark Side of The NES – Us & Them

My childhood and teenage years have come together in one awesome package called Dark Side of the NES that features 8-bit, nintendo-ized versions of every song on Pink Floyd’s legendary

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Baseball Preview: Joel Cummins

The baseball season starts in just three short days with Sunday night’s Yankees vs. Red Sox matchup at Fenway Park. Today, a Hidden Track tradition started in 2007 continues where we chat with of our favorite musicians about their love for America’s past time. For the first part of this year’s Baseball Preview, we asked them for predictions on the upcoming season, while the second part of our questionnaire got a bit more personal.

Batting third for the 2010 Hidden Track Baseball Preview is Umphrey’s McGee keyboardist Joel Cummins. Joel participated in our first Baseball Preview and we’re excited to have him back to talk about his beloved Cubs, his predictions for 2010, Nachos For Two and much more…

Part One – Predictions

Hidden Track: What team do you think will win the World Series and what team will they beat in that final series?

Joel Cummins: The Boston Red Sox will defeat the St. Louis Cardinals-if they don’t trade Pujols to the Phillies for Ryan Howard- four games to two. If the trade happens, Philadelphia will go to the World Series again.

The Red Sox made some nice pickups at the end of last year and in the offseason. Adding the leadership and skill of catcher Victor Martinez was a huge move for them last year. Adding John Lackey gives their pitching a great top three starters, which is what you need once you hit the playoffs. That’s not even considering that Daisuke might return to his former dominance.

Closer Jonathan Papelbon’s clutch pitching will continue to anchor this team. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia provide for a youthful, speedy and relentless 1-2 punch in the batting order again this year. Experience should only help both of them. Big Papi is really the other big question for this lineup. While his stat line, minus batting average, ended up looking serviceable by the end of ’09, his bat speed has clearly slowed a bit. That being said, he is surely determined to come back with avengence and prove steroid nay-sayers wrong. Marco Scutaro, SS, Mike Cameron, OF, and Adrian Beltre, 3B, rounded out the impact pickups for the suddenly deep and even more formidable BoSox.

The St. Louis Cardinals have the best player in baseball. Sadly (except for the fact that I am a Cubs fan), they are trying to trade him because they cannot afford to resign him once he becomes a free agent in 2011. He is Albert Pujols, the best pure hitter in the league as of right now, and a very good first baseman defensively. Around him in the lineup are Matt Holliday, LF, another of the game’s best hitters and the young but improving Ryan Ludwick, who will no doubt see many good pitches hitting behind Pujols and Holliday. With Adam Wainwright emerging as a number one pitcher and Chris Carpenter apparently healthy, the Cards’ nucleus is as good as any. Closer Ryan Franklin’s durability adds to his worth, but can the aging hurler get through another year without opposing hitters finally solving him?

READ ON for more of Joel’s thoughts on the upcoming season…

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Open Thread: Phish Midwest Presales

Tickets for a few summer Phish shows in the Midwest will be available through presales this morning. Best of luck to those trying for tickets. Let us know how it

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Review: Jam In The Dam 2010 Pt. 2

Jam In The Dam 2010 – Amsterdam – Day Two – March 22

Amsterdam truly is a city unlike any other, and not because you can smoke weed while reading a book outside on the street or fulfill your grossest desires with one of the fine ladies of the Red Light District. No, Amsterdam is amazing for many reasons beyond the novelties many flock here for.

While one can’t help but appreciate that the city overlooks “victimless crimes”, there is so much more this place has to offer. The canals, the architecture, the history, the art, the fry stands, the street performers, and yes the fact that you can light up a fat spliff right out in the open make this a city unlike any other.

An experience like Jam in the Dam is unique not for the music it offers, but for the entire experience. It is unique because you can sleep in, enjoy a nice coffee shop, go to the Van Gogh museum or Anne Frank house, and take in some wholly uninteresting Dutch cuisine all in a day. There is also a wide variety of International cuisine for those not interested in sausages, sauerkraut, and mashed vegetable and potato medleys.

Day two provides festival attendees with a nice chance to check out the city, or recover from the first night in a cheap Amsterdam hotel room. For American visitors arriving only a few days before, jetlag is in full effect and many use the free time to sleep it off. For those more inclined to sleep on the plane on the way home, Amsterdam is waiting for round two.

READ ON for more on Jam In The Dam Day Two…

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The Fling: Worth the Weight

In their full-length debut, Worth the Weight, the Fling flesh out their blues rock sound and explore greater depths than on their EP, ranging from the Led Zeppelin-style riffs of “Only So Far” to the breezy waltz of “Worth the Wait.” There is a momentum that drives each song, keeping even the lighter tracks from boring. “Reclusion” starts mellow but gains intensity as the song progresses, from the first humming bassline to a sustained vocal harmony that outlasts overdriven guitars.

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