New Star Wars Film Gets Trump Treatment

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 In a turn of events that has both politicians and citizens up in arms, leading GOP candidate Donald J. Trump gave a speech Thursday morning revealing major plot points of the new Star Wars film. Without any warning and without prompting, Trump made statements saying, “You never know what I’m going to do. So, well, you have that.” After which he grabbed the hat off of a nearby member of the press and refused to give it back until the journalist said “I’d let my mom get the Trump Hump. You are the best.” Trump then snickered and replied “Yeah, I am. Hahaha”

Trumps statements began:

     Last night I watched this new Star Wars film. What’s it called? The Force        Embarks or something. Let me tell you, it’s a real stinker. I mean, if they had made this one first none of you would know the name Star Wars at all. Real suck job. I looked at Milania during the movie and she looked and me and said ‘Donnie, this sucks harder than five models in the judges offices at Miss America.” AND TRUST ME, she knows! Yeah. Yeah. I mean where was Luke? Where was Darth Vidalia, or whatever his name is, Dasvidaniya? Sounds foreign to me, but hey if that’s what Disney and George Lucas want, hey, ya know? They weren’t there. Main characters, gone. Who does that?

 The crowd assembled at Trump Plaza in New York collectively shifted in their seats as Mr. Trump went on:

So I had a lot of problems with this stupid, dumb film. No Luke, no hot Princess Leia – they made her like this old broad who is supposed to be important. If they wanted to have someone with some POWER and some OOMPFH they should have asked ME! But they don’t make smart decisions in Hollywood. They don’t – these people are drug addicts, they’re crazies, they imagine up this stuff and who knows what’s going on in their heads these Hollywood people? I think they need some smarts like mine. I would have made this movie SO MUCH better. It would have had better actors, hotter actresses, the spaceships would have looked like actual penises instead of pointy space dicks. Chewbacca, who dies by the way, would have been an actual Bigfoot not some English guy in a suit – AN ACTUAL BIGFOOT.

 There were audible groans and gasps upon Trump revealing plot points on what is arguably one of the most anticipated films of the year. But Trump did not stop there and did not slow down.

I didn’t care for the black stormtrooper, or the Mexican one, or the ching chang Chinese one – if you ask me, JJ Abrahamsonlon was just trying to upset us with these stormtroopers. He put an Orthodox Jew in there as a stormtrooper. I mean really? Anyway, Han Solo dies, Luke dies, Lando is holed up in Cloud City with a wife and kids – which I didn’t get. I can only assume that was some pro-Black Lives Matter plot twist where they had a black guy home with his kids, am I right? Why the boos? Why are you booing? You know this is true. Hollywood panders to these people.

Even after a portion of the crowd turned on him, Trump continued…

Someone just yelled “Spoiler Alert” what is that? You’re afraid I’m ruining the movie for you? You are such pussy nerd losers that you can’t have some goofball movie ruined for you? Come on. The first one came out 30 years ago, big whoop. This is why we are losing!! WE’RE LOSING ON TRADE, WE’RE LOSING TO MINORITIES, WE’RE LOSING AT TENNIS, WE’RE LOSING OUR HAIR. China is making all the Star Wars toys! Who let that happen? The only people not losing are Thinkgeek.com and Harrison Ford’s dick – which I don’t doubt has something fresh on it ever night. I mean, yes, I mean – he’s a CLASS ACT. He’s the only part of all of this that has any GOOD in it. And I have seen his penis, just a glance, and it is HUGE and LUXUIRIOUS. 

Trump went on for a full 45 minutes discussing the newer characters and even tearing into Star Trek, The Muppets and Lost in Space without realizing they are not part of the Star War universe or even related to the films at all.

I sat through 2 hours of this rotten junkfest and didn’t see Captain Kirk on screen once. They threw him out too along with Luke and the others. I couldn’t believe it. At one point someone mentioned Yakko. You know that dwarf puppet there. He was the WORST Muppet, by the way. If they wanted to make us LIKE these movies put in a GOOD Muppet like Ms. Porky or the other one…umm…you know, the sexy one. There was nothing SEXY IN THIS FILM. Just a lot of robots and ‘Bleep Bloop’ and ‘Danger Will Robinson!’ I almost stopped eating my chocolate crepes. You people eat crepes in the movies? It’s a great experience, you should. I have this crepes guy that comes to the house, makes em right in my home theater…

Several presidential hopefuls have come out against Trump spoiling the holiday blockbuster. At a press conference in Iowa, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush made a statement condemning Trumps actions. “This is more of the same antics from Trump. This movie is something that people hold dear – we all love the cold, heartlessness of the Empire as it crushes the freethinking rebels. Americans look up to Darth Vader and the Emperor -I know I do, my brother did and my family does. We love the Cheneys. If it wasn’t for the Cheney family I wouldn’t be speaking to you today. What were we talkin’ about?”

At a pancake breakfast in New Hampshire Chris Christie took time to comment on Trump ” I think that’s wrong. Just wrong that he did that. – could you just heap a little more of those on the side there, yeah, there’s room next to the sausage – Yeah, Trump is a real jerkwad. Excuse me, I really am feeling my blood sugar drop. If I don’t get a light 2300-3300 calories down right now I’ll be struggling the next two hours until lunch”

Finally, at a campaign rally in South Carolina, Senator Ted Cruz had the most harsh words for Trump ” Let’s be clear about this. When the Ninja Turtles reboot came out I was disappointed. When Transformers 4 came out, it was a letdown. This Star Wars movie is something I have been waiting for since I was a little Canadian kid asking his Cuban grandmother for money to got to buy bubblegum. If what Trump revealed today is even close to the truth as far as plot I am going to cry until all of the Punch and Judy makeup is washed off my pointy face and chin. I will be devastated and you should be too.”

Trump offered no apology for his words and suggested those that are upset “Get a life and stop being such NERD LOSERS ALL THE TIME!”

All Sales Vinyl

All hail the return of the mighty record album

by Drue Klinowski on January 30, 2014  (Printed in Metroland Vol. 37, #5)

There was a time when listening to your favorite music required an appointment. There were no mobile devices, no car stereos and certainly no music recommendation services streaming directly to your Wi-Fi-enabled living room stereo. Music sharing meant you and your friends gathered around your turntable or you managed to convince a friend to lend you an album, which you may, or may not, have returned to them someday. Those precious record albums required maintenance and gentle handling. You didn’t just listen to one song; you listened to the entire album, or at least the entire side.

So what happened? If you ask most people, they’ll tell you that the digital age killed the 33 1/3 LP, first with the introduction of the cassette tape, then the compact disc, with the final blows being dealt by the digital download. But that’s not entirely true. Somehow through these decades of technological advancement and format changes, vinyl has always managed to hold onto a small group of loyal fans. Now those beautiful spinning disks with their groovy tracks and large artwork jackets are seeing their popularity grow once again.

photo by Erin Pihlaja

Last Vestige Music Shop in Albany recently condensed its CD offerings to make room for more vinyl. “Overall, vinyl sales have overtaken CDs in the store,” says owner Jim Furlong. “We still carry them, and have a nice selection, but we’ve dropped prices on them. My vinyl sales have increased online and in the shop. Dramatically.”

Furlong knows the popularity and trends of vinyl records better than almost anyone, having opened Last Vestige on Quail Street in 1989 after his mail-order business flourished and he decided to establish a storefront. He’s weathered every sales trend since. “In about 1993 or so I would say the CD sales in the store comprised 70 to 80 percent of the business and vinyl was 20 to 30 percent. Now that’s more than reversed.”

Vinyl sales nationwide have exploded in recent years, jumping from numbers in the mere hundreds of thousands pre-2007 to 4.2 million units in 2012, and more than 6 million sold in 2013, according to billboard.com and the music tracking service Nielsen Soundscan. However, vinyl’s numbers might be even stronger than that.

“No way. Soundscan’s numbers are 100 percent wrong, says Michael Kurtz, co-founder of the annual Record Store Day. “They’re off by at least 100 percent. Most of the 1,300 independent record stores we deal with don’t report to Soundscan, a lot of online retailer’s numbers aren’t in Soundscan. That number is at least doubled.” Record Store Day, which is observed internationally by record shops, celebrates the culture of independent record stores bringing recording artists, store owners and vinyl enthusiasts together and has become a considerable force in boosting vinyl sales.

“We started in April 2008 with the first Record Store Day and a Metallica promotion and reissues, and got all the stores behind it. The upward sales trend began around that same time, and I have no doubt in my mind we positively impacted sales and have since. It gets better every year,” Kurtz says, adding that record labels have seen vinyl sales skyrocket, which has increased both confidence and manufacturing.

Since 2008, Record Store Day has melded with the artist community now releasing specialty pressings of 400 titles (roughly 2 million units) each year from artists like Paul McCartney, Wilco and Iggy Pop to create excitement around the annual event.

Despite this surging popularity, vinyl still represents only a tiny portion of total album sales nationwide. As of 2013, vinyl accounts for 2 percent of total album sales, paltry in comparison to digital downloads, which account for 40 percent, and CDs, which still account for roughly 57 percent. But vinyl sales have been steadily rising, while CD sales, digital music sales and total album sales have all decreased in the past year. Digital track sales fell 6 percent, and digital album sales fell 0.1 percent from 2012, making 2013 the first year since iTunes came online in 2001 that digital music sales have fallen from the previous year. Total album sales across all formats declined 8 percent.

So how is it possible, in an environment where music sales seem to be shrinking, that vinyl record sales are growing year after year? Furlong says it’s a consistent base of college students, collectors and newcomers. “My business has always relied on the people who come in every week, or a few times a week. More so than the people that might just come out for Record Store Day, for the novelty of it. At Last Vestige we’re here every day, and every day is Record Store Day.”

Furlong says Last Vestige’s wide variety also helps. “I try to keep titles in every department. Rock and jazz are the big, big sellers, and then R&B and blues are a close three and four. I still sell good folk music, and country does alright.”

Regardless of their taste in music, vinyl collectors are passionate. “You can’t be thoughtless. It requires intention,” says Sam Dorrance, a record collector in his 20s. “People say, ‘Vinyl sounds better,’ but I don’t think that’s it, it’s more. Records allow for a lot more connection to the music. It’s the act of listening; you have to take the time.”

Dorrance began collecting records just after college when his musical interests began to wander outside of what was available digitally. “I downloaded digital music for a long time and then I found myself looking for weirder and weirder stuff. That was harder to find online, and it was getting expensive.” He began seeking out record albums because they were a low cost way to explore new types of music.

When asked what’s currently spinning on his turntable, Dorrance’s answer shows his eclectic tastes. “The new Wild Flag album, Hot Hot Heat, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. I’ve almost completed my Ventures and Donovan collections, and lately I’ve been listening to a lot of percussion ensembles. Never thought I’d get so into those, but I like listening to them, I put them on when I’m hanging around the house.”

But wait a minute, Last Vestige and a lot of these independent record stores carry mostly used records. How does that factor into all of this? It doesn’t. Whether you believe the Nielsen Soundscan numbers or listen to Michael Kurtz, neither of those numbers account for the buying and selling of used records.

“The numbers are only based on new and reissued albums” says Seth Frank, CEO of SoundStage Direct (www.soundstagedirect.com), one of the largest online independent record stores. “We only sell new and re-issued vinyl.” Frank’s story is strangely similar to Furlong’s. “I started out of an extra bedroom at my house, selling online only, that was 10 years ago,” he says.

Now Frank’s Doylestown, Pa., operation has 15 employees, a warehouse with inventory of more than 30,000 titles, and even a listening lounge where visitors can come in and test out high-end stereo equipment while perusing artwork by Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones. “We wanted this to be like someone’s living room. Take a tour, grab a beer, relax.”

Frank says booming vinyl sales numbers are due to another factor: “Its people re-buying. You bought that Rockpile album when it came out in the early ’80’s, traded it in and bought the CD in the ’90’s, and now it’s been reissued on vinyl and you’re buying it again because it’s a great album. Part of that helps the used [record stores], and most of that is where those Soundscan numbers come from, along with new releases.”

He agrees that the official numbers are far too low, pointing out that his company does not report to Nielsen Soundscan and they sell thousands of titles each month.

Around the Capital Region, those seeking vinyl have several destinations. Beyond Last Vestige Music Shop, collectors cite Troy’s River Street Beat Shop, Lark Street’s Fuzz Records and Blue Note Records on Central Avenue as being the best spots for new or used albums. Each store offers their own mix of titles and caters to a diverse clientele.

“Blue Note is all new stuff, Fuzz is new stuff for the younger crowd, River Street and Vestige carry new and used,” says Jim Tyler of Colonie. “I go to most of them when I can, and if I can’t find something I’m looking for then I will go online—eBay usually.” Tyler is in his 50s, and has been collecting vinyl records for more than 35 years. “I never stopped buying records. Now I’m glad because with the way my vision is going pretty soon I won’t be able to read the back of a CD case!”

So what’s next in this vinyl resurgence? “We’ve started a Facebook campaign to get the record album inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland,” says Franks. “We’re taking that to South by Southwest [the annual Austin, Texas, music festival] in March and we’re pushing to get thousands of people on board with it, artists and fans. It’s a concept—without the record album we wouldn’t have rock & roll.”

Meanwhile, Kurtz is growing Record Store Day on an international level. “I’m travelling to France with [Doors drummer] John Densmore to launch his new book which we helped get published. This experience has made me realize there are a lot of artists like John that can benefit, and the record stores can benefit, if we get involved in getting their stories published.”

Kurtz also has his eye on impacting record sales in specific musical genres. “Jazz is dead,” he says. “I’m sorry, Frank Zappa, but jazz is dead. That should not be the case, so we’re going to work really hard this year on bringing a focus to jazz music on vinyl.”

Furlong vows to follow the trends like he has always done. “If it’s popular and selling then I make the floor space for it. It’s always been a challenge to keep the store fresh with inventory, but the vinyl has really overtaken sales on a daily basis.”

The Rapture Is / Is Not Funny

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you this, by now you’ve no doubt heard that  “Judgment Day” is coming this Saturday, May 21.  According to the biblical calculations of Harold Camping and the folks at Family Radio, in a mere five days, Jesus will return (!) and set into motion a six-month count down to the end of the world.

Normally  a story like this one, particularly on the topic of religion,  would lead me to write punch lines in hopes of scoring cheap laughs at the expense of these poor, lost folks. But not this time.

While I do believe that those who predict Judgment Day is five days away are laughably incorrect, I don’t believe they are crazy, at least not all of them.  I’ll call them misguided, misinformed, naive, and perhaps even too sheltered, but I can’t call them all crazy.  The ones that drive the doomsday trucks like this one:

Those people are fuckin’ bat-shit nuts.  Since we’re looking at this, please note the circle-slash 2012.  Our misguided friends that believe May21st 2011 is the correct date are in a strong conflict with the Christian / John Cusack film followers that believe December 2012 is the magic date for these events.

Now, I don’t know any Judgment Day supporters personally, but my guess is that they believe that their reasons for believing the end is coming are biblical and sound and good and 100% true.  Again, this is why I cant call them all crazy.

May 21 will come and go like any other day, I’m sure. And when we wake up on May 22, the various leaders of these various Judgment Day movements will have a perfectly ‘biblical’ explanations why all of us aren’t standing before God being judged.  I have some thoughts on this …which are similar to my thoughts on why I own no dog.

Here’s the part where I get sappy about the children….

There’s nothing funny about being misled, misguided, naive, and sheltered.   There’s nothing funny about these “true believers” quitting their jobs, draining their bank accounts or giving away their stuff. There’s nothing funny about kids believing and anticipating the end of the world.  I know that the little kids who believe in May 21st have what they consider to be “ faith in Jesus,”–but trust me, they are scared shitless. They’re nervous. Some of them aren’t sleeping. They’re asking lots of questions. They’re secretly hoping that it isn’t true. But they believe it is and their parents believe this.

And on May 22, while those of us who think that the May 21 Christians are crazy will probably be laughing or poking fun or explaining what we believe to be biblical reasons why they shouldn’t have put a date on God’s Judgment (I know I will!) the May 21st kids will be facing a “day of reckoning,” waking up to realize that their parents, priests, and theologies were somehow wrong. Many of those kids will lose something on Sunday. The questions that many of them will ask will get answered with lies, excuses or worse crappy biblical reasoning. Some of them will be angry with God for not bringing about the Judgment Day. Some of them will lose their faith and yet be unable to escape it due to their surroundings. There are also the ones that will go on like nothing happened and probably end up setting and believing in another date.

And there’s nothing funny about that.

Know your “friends”

Centcom Enters the World of Social Media

In a Guardian UK article found here, there’s some interesting info on the US military contracting to have “online persona management service” software developed to allow up to 500 (which means 500) fake online personas to be operated by military servicepeople. The concept here is that fake personas are created to troll social media sites  like Facebook, Twitter and blogs like this one in order to ‘counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US”.  Mind you, Centcom claims the focus will be on foreign language posts, specifically Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto, and that this technology will not be applied to English language conversations. I’m guessing this is because the REAL terrorists don’t tweet in English, right?

What I wonder is, how useful will these Centcom “sock puppet” personas be out there on the web? The article states:

” The contract stipulates each persona must have a convincing background,     history and supporting details, and that up to 50 controllers must be able to operate false identities from their workstations “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries”.”

This is all fine and dandy, provided the sophisticated adversaries really aren’t all that sophisticated. Most REAL people that have a strong internet presence including social media, blogs, etc. are very entrenched in the internet.  Heavy internet users spread their information across the web leaving trails all over the place. Unless you make a concerted effort to clean up your internet leavin’s you leave a lot of information floating out there (How’s that old Friendster profile of yours doin?) This can be a double-edged sword… A person with no internet presence cannot be “detected” but also cannot be vetted by other members of the online community. A person with a lot of information on the web, if this info is sifted through at length, is very exposed but can also be vetted. Does this all make sense…I’m a little out of practice with my blog postings!

My whole point here is that there is only so much “convincing background, history and supporting details” that can be created before Centcom’s contractors will be creating actual fake people. I’m not suggesting they will be doing this,  I’m simply suggesting that this sounds like they will be going to great lengths and spending shit-tons of money on what will ultimately be a failed project. Wait a second, I’m talking about the US Government here, OF COURSE this will happen!

Sock Puppet personas that can troll the internet looking to “respond to emerging online conversations with a host of co-ordinated blogposts, tweets, retweets, chatroom posts and other interventions.” will run up against the online community not taking them seriously. Its the internet, people. When a random Centcom faker starts intervening on your blog argument how seriously will you take him and of what use will this be to Centcom?  My guess is their first reported finding from this project will read something like this:

” Internet users were unable, or possibly uninterested or unwilling, to detect our false personas. Access was granted into many online conversations about a variety of topics including US and International affairs, financial markets, US foreign relations, the war in Afghanistan and Justin Beiber.

Military agents found some difficulty in obtaining Facebook friends as most members of the online community “didn’t remeber them from high school” Similar problems we discovered with obtaining Twitter followers as most false personas tweets were considered “mundane”, “stupid” or “really gay”.

After several months, many of the personas were found to be spending more time in chat rooms and discussions about Katy Perry’s boobs rather than investigating possible terror threats. While creating a convincing internet presence and usage mapping is important to this project, we did not expect having to invest so much time cleaning spyware and pornography off of the project’s servers.

The project has suffered significantly since most of the “alleged terrorists” in Afghanistan (our primary focus as suggested by the languages we outlined) lack both internet access as well as the ability to write their own language let alone type.”

Drop the Needle: I Like it…You’ll Like It..The Like.


Artist: The Like

Album: Release Me (Downtown Records)

Release Date: June 15th 2010

This album has been out for a month and I’m shocked to find that I am already feeling the need to defend it. I know, those aren’t the first words anyone wants to read on a record review, but it’s become obvious that The Like, their new album Release Me, and their new look and musical direction are confusing some folks. Mind you, I don’t find this much of a surprise since the vast majority of the listening audience these days expects to have their music explained to them well in advance and make no determinations on style, content or “what’s cool” for themselves. When a group such as The Like comes along, the non-thinkers only react with criticism.

That being said, Release Me is a refreshing new album put out by a band headed in a refreshing new direction. For those of you who may have never heard of The Like, the band emerged back around 2001 releasing a few EPs and then in 2005 their first release Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking, which was a very straight-forward indie rock offering from an all female rock act. That first album was great and well worth a listen or two, but with a few changes to the line-up and a new look The Like is really blowing the doors off. In September 2009, The Like announced their new line-up and repackaged look, that of a 1960’s girl group ala The Shangri-Las. This is one of the points of confusion for some people. They have taken their LOOK from the girl groups of the 1960’s, no one said anything about sounding like them. Most of the spoon-fed public expects that since most of the surrounding articles, interviews and photos make reference to The Like’s new look that this means they should be “shooby-doing” and “sha-la-laing” their way through every song. No. No they don’t and no they shouldn’t. This band is well beyond, in both musicianship and content, the girls they pay homage to. There is a ton of 1960’s style pop, psychadelia and Beatles-esqe rock infused in The Like’s music and, lets be honest, and the new look is a great match.

Release Me kicks off with “Wishing He Was Dead” a song which makes it clear that these ladies are not (quite) coming from the “He’s So Fine” camp of bubblegum lovey pop tunes. They’ve got the four piece-rock-act-with-organ down with bassist Laena Geronimo and drummer Tennessee Thomas laying a back beat that rivals any early sixties lineup. Vocalist Elizabeth “Z” Berg has a sexy, sultry voice that is very well suited for lead vocals on these songs and brings an air of early Breeders era Kim Deal. In fact, I think this is one of the best qualities of this album, these are sixties inspired songs delivered with the aggression, sensibility and sexual awareness of a solid alternative band. “He’s Not A Boy”, the title track and ” I Can See It In Your Eyes” are all rolling romps showcasing that The Like know their shit and arent afraid to prove it. Songs like “Fair Game” and “Narcissus In A Red Dress” evoke images the ladies cavorting in Picadilly Circus or riding The Tube while “Square One” is the closest to a Shangri-Las song as we get here. I would be remiss if I didnt point out the strength of the sleeper hit, in my opinion, “In The End”. Thomas pumps out a pure “Pretty Woman” beat which is overlayed with fuzzy guitars and Berg’s strongest lyrics and vocal delivery of the entire album.

All in all, there isn’t a bad song on this album. I promised myself I wouldn’t mention the relatives these ladies have in the music industry and I only bring it up to point out it doesn’t matter. The Like stand on their own merit and it annoys me that every article feels the need to point out who’s the child of who. This is steller execution of 60’s derivative alternative rock, it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s well produced. Speaking of, I was really happy to heard that this album was made by The Like and it was “all us” as they say. No tricks, no computers and no cheating…four girls in the studio cranking it out. I look forward to more form The Like and you should too!!

Last words on this one: Thanks to USAMike (Letters to Cleo) for the hot tip on The Like. Had he not picked up the vinyl in Chicago, I wouldn’t have known about this one! Also, if my review isnt enough to convince you go to YouTube and see The Like performing an acoustic version of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” by The Shirelles and their song “He’s Not A Boy”. Go out and grab Release Me…fun and top notch musicianship.

Rating: 5 out of 5 (As for it on vinyl!!!)

A’we gonna do what they say can’t be done…

…a little “East Bound and Down” Jerry Reed for you folks!

Enchilada!

A quick word of unsolicited advice to start off. Once someone has come to your house for a dinner part and brought to best, most delicious, mouth watering enchiladas you’ve ever had….you can’t EVER go back to the microwave enchilada. Not even the good ones from Trader Joe’s, which are surprisingly good.  It can’t be done.

and Stax o Wax

The CDs and LPs are just piling up on my desk. I have three half-finished reviews and DOZENS to complete including The Charlie Watts Riots (almost there), The Figgs, Dum Dum Girls, District of Columbias, The Like (which I’m constantly playing), the new Alejandro Escavedo album which is fantastic (another spoiler!), some other one…a Brit band, the list goes on and on. If you arent paying attention to music right now, you’re really missing out. That bullshit on the radio doesnt do it for anyone, you need to find the closest indie record store and ask the employees what they’re listening to…that should set you in the right direction. Of course, you should first come here and see if I have posted anything new. There’s alot going on in music and I think you’ll like it….which means ALOT because I’m a bitter, jaded old bastard when it comes to good music.

Thats all for right now, be back later!

Fresh news….and last weeks clean up.

Some outstanding items for this week and some fresh news on new releases and bands about town.

Last week was I very involved with other things and only partially completed the content I intended to post. Therefore, we have some bonus stuff coming up this week!!!

New Reviews in the Hopper:

The Charlie Watts Riots “Long Story Short” :  My latensss should work out for everyone on this, because the album is now conveniently available on iTunes! No worrying about where you can find that pesky, outdated CD format when you can simply download it! Review is first in line to be finished up! These guys bring some Beatles/Superdrag inspired power pop thats sure to blow your doors off! 

The Like “Release Me” :  This all girl trio/quartet – depending on the day – has just release their second studio album and it features somewhat of a shift in style. Make no mistake, this shift is great. 60’s style chick rock with Farfisa and hand claps…and they couldn’t be cuter!

*The Like kick off their UK tour in August hitting both the Leeds and Reading Festivals followed by about a dozen dates across jolly ol’ England (not to mention Ireland and Scotland)

The Figgs “The Man Who Fights Himself” : I am ashamed of how late I am with this review since the band made a point of advancing me a copy all the way back about 3 months ago. As a bonus I will go ahead a include the new Mike Gent CD “Mike Gent” as well as Graham Parker’s “Imaginary Television” since these albums all came it me in one stack.

*The Figgs Next Schdules Show(s): Two “Homecoming” Events, but you have to wait til August:

08/06 Albany, NY – Linda Norris Auditorium (Record Release Show!)
08/07 Saratoga Springs, NY – Putnam Den (Record Release Show!)


New Releases on the way…:

The Doors guitarist Robby Kreiger’s instrumental album “Singularity” comes out June 29th (tomorrow) which will also give me the opportunity to tell the story of the time in 1993 that I met John Densmore (Doors drummer) and he was a complete dickwad to me! Exciting!

REISSUE:    KISS ARMY!! Rejoice!! This week, in fact today June 28th, Mercury/UMe released reissued Vinyl Picture discs of all four SOLO albums by the members of Kiss.  Ace Frehly, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Paul Stanley, respectively released self titled solo albums in 1978. The new vinyl reissue features liner notes and a fantastic picture disc!

REISSUE:  Fans of 1980’s (and beyond) New Wave/alterna rockers XTC can pick up the reissued, 7″ vinly mini-box set of their 2005 release “Apple Venus Vol. 1”  I suppose mini-box isn’t really appropriate since it’s 13 discs!! Also featured are 3 new songs previously only available as digital downloads.

Other FUN STUFF:

Also, keep an eye on Palmdale as their exposure already grows. This past week we saw additional V-Blogs from Kay and Linus released on YouTube, more reviews and their video for “Here Comes the Summer” featured on MTVMUSIC.com.  The duo is currently in the studio recording new material, I know so far “Mean” and “Things I Think About on Planes” are just about in the can.  I should also mention last week there was a Leters To Cleo “reunion” show at club ROOF on the top of the Wit Hotel in Chicago! Those that attended tell me it was fantastic!

Finally, With all of the excitement and protesting going on in Toronto this weekend for thje G20 summit, who else would you expect to roll into town Saturday night but Ted Leo and the Pharmacists! These guys have had a rough two months lately including a somewhat rocky and tiring European tour, lost equipment due to our fantastic airline service (which resulted with Ted’s Gibson being retuned with a busted head) as well as recent van breakdowns, cancelled Canadian dates, rescheduled Canadian dates and even James Canty’s cell phone dropped in a full pint of beer.  It really has been running the range of  issues for Ted and the boys,  so why not round it out with their June 26th date at Lee’s Palace in Toronto being mere blocks from the rioting and chaos on Queen Street.  Fortunately, the band was safe and the gig went off without a hitch. Keep at it Ted, the fans understand it’s been tough to come out and see them lately!

*Ted Leo/RX  Next scheduled show: July 1st at Dicken’s Pub Calgary, AB