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Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

Arthur Magazine Hits Its Mark

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Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 9:52 AM

As we reported on Friday, the beloved Arthur Magazine issued a panicked email late last week announcing its need to raise $20,000 by July 1 to pay its creditors and keep the enterprise afloat. Well, according to their site, the tally as of Monday morning is at $20,929.00. We're trying to get a hold of Arthur editor Jay Babcock to find out more info, and will let you know what's up when we hear back. For now, enjoy a video from Arthur cover models Sparks.

Friday, June 27, 2008

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Tonight at Sugar in Silverlake, the Mae Shi play at the Spectrum art opening (see below).

The Fleet Foxes, of Seattle, bring their harmonies to the Echo on Saturday and Spaceland on Sunday. Also check out my interview with singer Robin Pecknold in this week's print edition.

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Photos and text by Timothy Norris

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Or as it's known among some in the know: The 2008 Cuervo Black US Air Guitar Tour, Presented By TouchTunes.

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Fans are lined up early. It only happens once a year in Los Angeles and US Air Guitar is back at the Troubadour.

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Contestants get the run down and then chose numbers out of the hat for their time slot. Last years winner, Rockness Monster, gets to choose his position. He chose 19 of 20.

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Damn right the chops are real!

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Holy Shit! The Caplickster brings the fire, and makes the final round.

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Prinz Of Belle Air flying high in the final round.

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The estimable Arthur Magazine, the free-thinking the LA -based music and culture publication that returned from the dead last fall, sent out a call for help yesterday, via its editor/owner/publishter Jay Babcock. It read, in part:

One year ago I ran up my credit cards and borrowed money from friends and family in order to buy out my ex-partner in Arthur. Since then I have maxed out my personal and business credit cards to service that debt and to start up publication of Arthur again. We have worked very hard with very little resources: some of us could afford to work pro bono, others could afford to work at well below market, still others couldn’t afford to work for Arthur but did it anyway.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

You wannabes think it's so easy: take off your pants, put on an AC/DC song, smoke some dope and then just start wailing on an Angus Young solo. Silly amateur. You have no fucking idea what you're doing. You strum, and you finger, and you grimace. But you have no style. You know who has style? Angus Motherfucking Young of AC/DC.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Live in L.A.

Robert Plant / Alison Krauss, Greek Theater, 6/24

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Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 2:15 PM

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Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, Sharon Little,

the Greek Theater, June 24.

By John Payne

Photos by Timothy Norris

It wasn’t all that strange when Led Zep’s iconic hip-swiveler Robert Plant chose to do the duo thing with bluegrass-country diva Alison Krauss. Their musical connections make easy sense, first of all – Plant’s Celtic roots and Krauss’ in Appalachian music were long ago tightly intertwined, and obviously form the basis for much American popular song. And Plant’s a notorious student of roots Americana, which formed the building blocks of Led Zep and much of his solo material. The way I hear it, Plant is the one who sought out a meeting with Krauss, with the idea of collaboration. Whatever the case, it was an inspired and, as it turns out, quite resonant notion, as their recent duo album, Raising Sand, and performance at the Greek Theater demonstrated.

Backed by a five-piece band that included several legends of the Americana scene, including guitarists Buddy Miller and T-Bone Burnett, Plant and Krauss paced their set slowly, deliberately, with a pervasive emphasis on a ‘50s twangy moodiness on several tunes, heightened by drummer Jay Bellerose’s alternately low-boiling and explosive percussive work. The vocal duets on the first song, “Rich Woman,” from Raising Sand, hinted that Plant’s voice would dominate Krauss’ – a puzzling thought, since Plant is a very thin-toned singer – but subsequent songs and solo turns by Krauss showed that she can more than hold her own in the vocal stakes, and is, technically at least, certainly far superior to Plant.

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Sonic Youth Powerless to Blend Over-Priced Coffee with Lame CD Compilations for the Masses

Yet another supposed savior of the recorded music business has spectacularly failed, not that it was ever a very good bet to begin with. Starbucks, which had ramped up their Hear Music imprint to sell CDs, sign big name artists, and even even let customers custom-burn CDs in stores - along with their custom-burned coffee beans (man, that joke never gets old), will ditch music sales by September, according to CNet.

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The idea was that there was a mythical "disenfranchised consumer" who didn't know where to buy CDs anymore, Tom Corson of RCA told the New York Times in March.

Well, to be sure you'd be hard pressed in most towns with a Starbucks to find a place that sold a decent selection of CDs, but it turned out that the people inside Starbucks really just wanted a foamy, whip-cream topped, caramel-infused coffee milkshake. A new Alanis Morissette CD or yet another lame compilation of "Blues Rock", eh, not so much. I guess there just aren't enough surviving Beatles for Starbucks in-house label, Hear Music, to sign to keep it afloat.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

News

EMI Lays Off Ten at Blue Note

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Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 3:16 PM

The troubled major label drops another shoe on a Tuesday, according to The Velvet Rope. More cuts tomorrow at Virgin and Caroline Capitol, says the music biz forum's (unverified) source. (via The Daily Swarm)

News

Three New Beck Songs Streaming Online

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Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 8:07 AM

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If you don't already know by now, Beck has a new album coming out on July 8 called Modern Guilt. In a carefully crafted rollout, the little one with the big hats has dropped a few songs at a time to calm the obsessives. Three have found their way to iLike. They're streams, but they sound okay.

The best of the them, or at least the biggest departure, is "Chemtrails," which draws from the well of both the Beach Boys and Love to create this weird, harmonic, psychedelic pop (not that Beck hasn't found inspiration there before). Produced by Danger Mouse, it bodes well.

Oh, and in case you haven't heard it before, here's Ricardo Villalobos' awesome remix of Beck's "Cellphone's Dead," from The Information.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Widespread Panic, the Orpheum Theatre, June 20

By Jeff Weiss

(photos by Timothy Norris)

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Sometimes, I think music critics hate jam bands for the jokes. After all, on that endless litany of items capable of inspiring comedic rancor, nothing is easier to mock than hippies, save for maybe George Bush, nu-Metal and/or Coldplay. It doesn’t exactly help matters either when the moment that you park in the lot next door to the Orpheum, you’re treated to the spectacle of a group of the heady set inhaling enough nitrous oxide to keep the dentists of Southern California in stock for the next six months.

Click here for more of Timothy Norris' photos from the show.

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