June 8, 2010

STS9: Axe The Cables – The Album

Before STS9 announced the first Axe The Cables show last December the last thing you’d expect from that band was an acoustic performance.

We’re talking about a group that has continually integrated more electronic aspects into its music with each passing year of the last decade. Yet, that first Axe The Cables show was so good and well-received by the fanbase that STS9 re-mixed and re-mastered material from that night to create the Axe The Cables album which comes out on June 29 via 1320 Records.

There’s also HD video footage of the first Axe The Cables show that STS9 is working with iClips to release. The jamtronica act also has two upcoming Axe The Cables shows on the docket – August 11th at the Gramercy Theatre in NYC and August 22nd at Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. READ ON for a full list of STS9 Summer Tour dates…

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10 Years Later: Phish in Japan Pt. 1

In June 2000, Phish played their only headlining tour through Japan. A few dozen American travelers joined several hundred newly initiated Japanese phans on a phenomenal seven-night run of intimate venues, resulting in a series of fiery shows, unique cultural exchanges and the birth of the Japanese Meatstick. Longtime fan Stanch had been living and teaching English in Japan for a year when Phish arrived. In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the tour, and with help from a detailed journal and inputs from his traveling companions, he recounts his memories of the tour’s first four shows.

06/09/00 On Air East, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Nestled in the heart of Tokyo, Shibuya personifies Japan’s neon lit glow and lightning-speed pace, and is the heart of its vibrant youth culture. It is literally a place where you are apt to see just about anything on its streets – from magic mushroom vendors to transgendered vampire unicyclists, but even still, I was not possibly ready for what we encountered as we turned up the alley toward one of Tokyo’s hippest small music venues. Moving closer, we saw what you do outside every Phish show in America – fans, scalpers and vendors swarming outside the club, buying and selling wares and tickets, and reuniting with friends. But that is where the similarities ended.

[Photo via FrankZappa.org]

Approaching from the rear, I heard what I thought was Phish playing on a stereo. But then I realized – no, that was live: Phish was still soundchecking, and the doors at the back the venue were open, with music spilling out into the boiling summer afternoon. As I advanced, I saw no security: who has heavy security at a club that holds 500 people? While most fans milled around in the front of the club or waited for the doors to open, a handful twirled and danced in the back outside the wide-open double doors, getting a head start to the evening. Next to them stood Phish LD Chris Kuroda. I thought, why not?

I introduced myself and asked Chris about their experience so far. He very graciously filled me in: the band had been in town for a few days and was having a great time. He mentioned how outrageously expensive it was to lug Phish’s equipment across the globe, and even said the band was blown away at what a hard ticket that night’s show had turned out to be. Even more, they were really excited that most of the crowd seemed to be Japanese. He then motioned over to a Japanese language Phish promotional poster and said he wished he knew what it all said.

READ ON for more from Stanch about Phishing in Japan…

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YEMblog Unveils More Pre-Tour Goodies

Yesterday, the handsome devil who runs YEMblog posted the definitive recording of the first Phish From The Archives broadcast that was aired on Radio Bonnaroo last summer. Today, as promised, comes FLACs, MP3s and AAC files of the second Phish From The Archives broadcast that aired on June 14, 2009, in the same quality as the file set that was posted yesterday.

The second Bonnaroo From The Archives broadcast featured a wealth of gems that span from 1985 to 1999 including an exploratory version of 2001 from September 29, 1999, a rare Mike Gordon demo from 1993 and a wild Run Like An Antelope from October 24, 1995. All tracks come from a source marked as “Pre-FM” meaning that the broadcast was recorded before the signal went out over the air as opposed to the webcast-rips that previously circulated. In other words, it doesn’t get higher quality than these files.

2001 – 09/29/1999 @ The Pyramid, Memphis, TN

READ ON for the tracklist of this outstanding recording and for a poll of which tunes you’d like to see Phish bust out this summmer…

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Briefly: MGMT’s MGMT Said No?

Last week we alerted our readers about a post on MGMT’s website detailing the band’s new taping policy which established a Taper’s Section and opened up the recording of MGMT

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Cover Wars: Crimson and Clover Edition

Crimson and Clover is the title track from a 1968 album by Tommy James & the Shondells. Most interesting in this week’s covers is how the artists tackle the outro section, which on the original recording features vocals run through a guitar amplifier with a heavy dose of tremolo. Also of note, the album version of Crimson & Clover clocks in at almost five and a half minutes. Somewhat surprisingly, only one of the covers surpasses that length.

Cover Wars

The Contestants:

Broken Bells, which features James Mercer of The Shins on Guitar & Vocals and Dangermouse on Drums, is on tour supporting their self-titled album and are working in a couple of well-selected covers. In addition to Crimson and Clover, which they do a great job with, they are also playing the 1962 hit by The Miracles You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.

READ ON for the scoop on the rest of this week’s contestants…

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Hidden Flick: Your Time Is Gonna Come

“Ingen mer Mr. Trevlig Stöttan!”

The best comment I ever heard about improvisation actually came from Phish keyboardist Page McConnell when he very simply stated that if the band had not been venturing out into the Great Unknown for 15 minutes, they would not have reached that point where everyone was in sync, a new form of music was being created on the spot and the entire audience was part of that process. There are numerous examples from a 20-plus year career where Phish did, indeed, find this passage of space after the 10- or 12- or McConnell-branded 15-minute demarcation mark. Suffice to say, it required the band and fan to be patient through quite a bit of improvising before one got to that sweet spot.

Ahh…but we get ahead of ourselves, and so close to the 50th edition of our little south bound saurez. Like some homeless, eccentric genius with an inability to find a purpose, or a way to fit into modern society, after centuries of peddling his interests for the elites and unwashed masses in various timeframes and locales, she finds herself, the very face of her being, changed and altered for a modern audience. What if someone’s temporal core remained somewhat constant, but the scenery changed as the calendar pages flew from the wall like some mad cartoonish time travel of a different sort? An interesting question to ponder in this edition of Hidden Flick as we investigate the masks worn by someone who never appears to age, let alone lose the ability to adapt with the times in the wonderful stream-of-consciousness-enriched Orlando.

The film is based on Virginia Woolf’s novel of an individual who lives through centuries of experience—the first half of his life as a man, and the second half, a woman. And you thought you had problems figuring out the opposite sex. Imagine being both, AND being somewhat of a fucking immortal without the craving for blood like some regal vampire. Well, our tricky little beast turns 49 this edition, and the penchant for improvised conceptual continuity throughout season 4 of Hidden Flick kicks into high gear, as we now look at not only time and space, but the eternal battle of the sexes.

READ ON for more on this week’s Hidden Flick – Orlando

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Video: Martin Sexton – Failure

This week’s videos feature bands you should check out at Bonnaroo… For his latest tour, troubador Martin Sexton has been backed by HT faves the Ryan Montbleau Band. Sexton and

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The B[onnaroo] List: Five to See

How I’ve missed thee, Hidden Track – it’s been too long! But alas, I’m back in full force this coming weekend to bring you the best coverage from the one and only Bonnaroo! Before I hit the road, I wanted to chime in on what I believe will be the top five not-to-be-missed performances of the weekend.

So, let’s pack up our AC/DC Bags, get down to the nitty gritty and get this show on the road…

5. She & Him (Friday, This Tent 5pm to 6:15pm):

What can I say about this band? I’ve been a fan of Zooey Deschanel since her role as Anita in Almost Famous. Her voice has a timeless quality and Matt Ward’s musical prowess compliments her in a way not many could. Volume Two has been getting heavy rotation from me out on my deck while I’m grilling out or working in the yard. A great ‘go to’ music for hanging out and enjoying the spring and summertime weather. The music is absolutely perfect for a late afternoon performance on Friday and will help to set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

READ ON for the four sets Jennifer’s most excited to see…

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Tour Dates: Rhythm On The Road

With all the hub-bub surrounding Phil Lesh and Bob Weir’s latest project Furthur, it would seem easy to overlook that fact that two of their former band mates – Mickey

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