February 28th, 2009

Rollo & Grady // Best Albums of 2009

Rollo & Grady // Best Albums of 2009
William Elliott Whitmore

We were tired of looking at NPR’s list, so here are our picks. Let us hear your picks.

Top 10 Albums of 2009
1.) Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid (Buy)
2.) William Elliott Whitmore – Animals In The Dark (Buy)
3.) Neko Case – Middle Cyclone (Pre-Order)
4.) Pete Doherty – Grace / Wastelands (Pre-Order)
5.) Laura Gibson – Beasts Of Seasons (Buy)
6.) Heartless Bastards – The Mountain (Buy)
7.) Alela Diane – To Be Still (Buy)
8.) J. Tillman – Vacilando Territory Blues (Buy)
9.) M. Ward – Hold Time (Buy)
10.) Andrew Bird – Noble Beast (Buy)

Rollo & Grady // Best Albums of 2009
Pete Doherty

MP3: Heartless Bastards – Early In the Morning
MP3: William Elliott Whitmore – Let the Rain Come In
MP3: Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
MP3: J. Tillman – Master’s House

February 27th, 2009

NPR // Best Albums of 2009…..So Far

NPR // Best Albums of 2009.....So Far
M. Ward

I like the M. Ward, Andrew Bird and Laura Gibson albums. U2’s album????? Thoughts?

NPR Top 10 Albums:
1. The Antlers: Hospice
2. The Decemberists: The Hazards of Love
3. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
4. Laura Gibson: Beasts of Seasons
5. M. Ward: Hold Time
6. Jason Lytle: Yours Truly, The Commuter
7. Andrew Bird: Noble Beast
8. Dan Deacon: Bromst
9. U2: No Line on the Horizon
10. Mirah: Aspera

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February 27th, 2009

Bat For Lashes To Play The El Rey Theatre – June 16th

Bat For Lashes To Play The El Rey Theatre   June 16th

Bat For Lashes (Natasha Khan) have announced their West Coast tour dates in support of
their upcoming album ‘Two Suns’, due out April 7th.

From BFL’s MySpace page:

“Two Suns sees Natasha exploring her creative personas and the world around her in a very different way. Envisioning herself as two separate yet ultimately attached beings, we discover her inner character Pearl, the destructive blonde femme fatale that represents one extreme of her personality.”

Tour Dates:
June 10th @ The Crocodile, Seattle
June 11th @ Doug Fir Lounge, Portland
June 13th @ Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
June 16th @ El Rey Theatre

Pre-Order ‘Two Suns’ (Click Here)


Bat for Lashes – Fur and Gold (iTunes)

February 27th, 2009

NME // The Libertines To Reform In 2010

NME // The Libertines To Reform In 2010

According to NME.com.

“Pete Doherty has said that The Libertines will reform in 2010 – while former band-mate Carl Barat has claimed that the pair are still The Libertines anyway.” (Continue Reading the Interview @ NME.com -Click Here)

February 27th, 2009

Rollo & Grady Interview // Steve Knopper

Rollo & Grady Interview // Steve Knopper

Steve Knopper’s writing career started at age 13 when he wrote a piece for his high school paper about his fellow students’ taste in music. Since then, Knopper has written or edited several books and been featured in countless publications across the country, eventually becoming a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine. He also served as the on-air tech correspondent for Fox News Chicago and appeared as an expert source on several other TV and radio shows. Knopper’s most recent book “Appetite for Self Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age,” recounts the epic story of the precipitous rise and fall of the recording industry over the past three decades.

I recently caught up with Steve to discuss his new book, current industry news and some of the past and present players in the music business.

Rollo & Grady Interview // Steve Knopper

R&G: Can you give me a synopsis of “Appetite for Self-Destruction?”

Steve: It is a narrative that begins with the adoption of the CD in the early ‘80s and tells the story of digital music in the record industry. It has the whole arc from the CD boom of the ‘80s and ‘90s, when everybody was replacing their record collections, all the way up to Napster, iTunes, the crash, the shrinking of the major record labels in recent years and, finally, a chapter on the future.

R&G: You interviewed over 230 people. Who were the most fascinating interviews?

Steve: Off the top of my head, one really fascinating guy that many people have reacted positively to is James T. Russell. He is the physicist who in the ‘60s first patented the technology that lead to the CD, the digital, optical and mechanical aspects of it. He did not invent the CD, but he was the one who discovered it and was later found in court to be the primary owner of the royalties. Unfortunately, by the early ‘90s when the courts made that decision, his lab, which owned the patents, had long since sold them to two or three other people and they were the ones that ended up profiting. Russell never saw a dime from them. He was definitely a fascinating guy.

R&G: Who on the digital side did you find interesting?

Steve: Al Smith was a senior vice president at Sony. He was an old-school guy who had a reputation from the Napster era of completely stonewalling all new technology. They weren’t so much his decisions, but more the way Tommy Mottola, Don Ienner and Michele Anthony ran the label. I wound up doing three or four different interviews with him. He was a really funny, intense, bigger-than-life, bemused kind of character, one of those old-school, humorous record guys that would just go, ‘Ay ay ay ay’ and yell at people. A lot of people talked about him, and I really enjoyed hearing the stories. I was nervous about using them, but I called him back and said, ‘You know Al, people are saying this, this and this, that you did all these things.’ He’d say, ‘Yeah, I guess that’s pretty much true.’ He was great.

R&G: When you were doing your research for the Napster and iTunes chapters of the book, I imagine a lot of people who are still with the labels wouldn’t go on record.

Steve: Yeah, absolutely. There were a lot of people who wouldn’t talk to me. There were some key figures from the Napster and iTunes era that I really would love to have talked to, like Alain Levy, David Munns and some of the current people from Universal like Zach Horowitz. Even though I interviewed some of them over the years at Rolling Stone and was able to quote them from those interviews, for the purposes of this book, I wasn’t able to get a lot of people like that.
Rollo & Grady Interview // Steve Knopper

February 26th, 2009

Do512.com/ Insider’s Guide To SXSW

Do512.com/ Insiders Guide To SXSW

Rollo & Grady are fortunate enough to be included in Do512.com’s SXSW music section. The Austin based online guide that simplifies the chaos of the best music festival in the world. Even if you are not attending the event the site features great articles and information on all of the participating bands (Click here). Love these guys.

Do512.com/ Insiders Guide To SXSW

* The biggest list of free parties on the web, including RSVP-only events.

* Pick official showcases, screenings, and panels listed by hour so you don’t miss a thing.

* Browse through the most comprehensive list of official and unofficial SXSW events on the web, with over 4500 showcases, films, panels, and parties all ranked by popularity.

* Browse recommendations from bloggers and music media, with audio, video, and reviews for over 2500 bands.

* Build a schedule by simply clicking on the artists you like or navigating events by hour.

* Share your schedule with friends by embedding your schedule widget on your blog or Myspace/Facebook page.

* Access your schedule anywhere on your mobile phone or PDA.

* Register to receive Do512’s Top 10 Parties of the Day emails during SXSW week.

* Follow Do512 on Twitter (Twitter.com/Do512) for up-to-the-minute festival updates.

About Do512: Do512 is “What to Do in Austin”, an events and entertainment guide founded over beers by long-time Austinites and festival-goers, Scott Owens and Jimmy Stewart. Scott and Jimmy decided Austin needed a better way to check out bands and find out about the best events, parties, and drink specials in town. Do512 has grown exponentially since its launch in October 2006, and is now the #1 preferred entertainment guide for 60,000 Austinites a month.

Austin’s Finest SXSW Bands:

MP3: Pink Nasty – Away Message
MP3: The Black Angels – Deer-Ree-Shee
MP3: Ume – Hurricane
MP3: Black Joe Lewis – If There’s a Will
MP3: Shearwater – Room for Mistakes
MP3: White Denim – I Can Tell

February 25th, 2009

Union of Knives // We Are All Doing Drugs

Union of Knives // We Are All Doing Drugs
Union of Knives is back with a new track “We Are All Doing Drugs.” The Scottish band received considerable praise for their debut album, Violence & Birdsong. The group is currently putting the finishing touches on a new album with the help of NIN collaborator Atticus Ross.

MP3: Union of Knives – Opposite Direction
MP3: Union of Knives – We Are All Doing Drugs

Union of Knives – Violence & Birdsong (iTunes)

February 24th, 2009

Apple, EMI unveil iTunes Pass

Apple, EMI unveil iTunes Pass
From USA Today:
“Apple has just launched a new service called Pass for its popular iTunes music store. It’s like a season pass for a favorite artist, in this case the electro band Depeche Mode. Fans who pay $18.99 for this first iTunes Pass immediately get two Depeche Mode singles, Wrong and the “Black Light Odyssey Dub Remix” of the new track Oh Well.

Then, on April 21, they’ll receive Depeche Mode’s new album called Sounds of the Universe. Between now and when the pass expires in 15 weeks, fans will also receive videos, remixes and other content, some of it exclusive. All the material is automatically downloaded (in the DRM-free iTunes Plus format) into iTunes. Subscribers receive an email letting you know it’s there.

It’s worth noting that the press release announcing iTunes Pass came from EMI Music, not Apple. Before thinking this is Apple’s entree into the music subscription business, which is something Steve Jobs has pooh-poohed in the past, note that iTunes Pass is quite different.

Under an all-you-can eat music subscription plan at a place such as Rhapsody, you have access to the material only as long as you keep paying a fee. With iTunes Pass, you own the content that has been downloaded, even after the pass expires.

It’s a safe bet Apple will soon extend iTunes Pass to other performers. In the release, Apple Vice President Eddy Cue says, “iTunes Pass is a great way for artists to give exclusive music and video, on their own schedule, directly to their fans. iTunes customers are going to love getting additional content directly from their favorite artists right when they make it available.”

But Apple isn’t saying who those artists are, much less when the material will be available.

Apple also announced the public beta of Safari 4, which is available today for both Windows PCs and Macs. It incorporates a “Top Sites” visual preview feature, as well as the clever Cover Flow feature (for flipping through your Web history and bookmarks) that is familiar to Mac and iTunes users.

I just started testing the new Safari, and it looks positive at first glance. I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve spent more time with it.”

February 24th, 2009

Los Angeles Shows – February 24th – 28th

Los Angeles Shows   February 24th   28th
Dead Confederate

Tuesday the 24th:
Modest Mouse @ The Palladium
Kinky @ The Music Box at The Fonda

Wednesday the 25th:
Ben Taylor @ The Troubadour
Dead Confederate @ Spaceland

Thursday the 26th:
Big Head Todd & The Monsters @ HOB Sunset

Friday the 27th:
Dead Prez @ The Key Club
Mike Watt @ Spaceland

Saturday the 28th:
The Morning Benders @ The Troubadour

MP3: Kinky – Mirando De Lado (KCRW)
MP3: Dead Confederate – Goner
MP3: The Morning Benders – Lovefool (Cardigans Cover)