Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dan Bejar

Dan Bejar is a Destroyer and a New Pornographer (and yes, that is Dan Bejar up there. Not Sean Lennon with a mass of ragged waves of hair). He has a priceless voice and he writes wonderfully weird words that he speak-sings with that incomparable voice.

Merge Records has announced that they will be reissuing remastered editions of three of Destroyer's early albums on April 20. These three albums, City of Daughters, Thief, and Streethawk: A Seduction, will be available on CD in brand new packaging. Streethawk: A Seduction will also be available on LP.

In other Dan Bejar news, a new New Pornographers album, Together, is due May 4 on Matador. Three of the 12 tracks are Bejar-written (the nine penned by lead New Pornographer A.C. Newman).

Say hip-hip-hooray if you are a Destroyer or New Pornographers fan. The New Pornographers will be performing at Sasquatch! Festival this May. Hopefully Dan will be there, speak-singing his new songs. That would be nice.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rufus Wainwright

This post is for me.

It is fair to say that I am partially, if not completely, obsessed with Rufus Wainwright. What a voice he has, what songs he writes and what a stylish performer he is. He can captivate any room and conquer any project. He has tackled the Judy Garland songbook at Carnegie Music Hall, written an original classical (and French!) opera and, most recently, released a live record of his own material.

Rufus' pop albums, however, are what make me happiest and nerdiest. And, luckily, Rufus is releasing his sixth studio release, All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu, which arrives on April 20. I am quite excited, it is obvious. If I have the chance to see Rufus perform live again, I will not miss it. Few voices can fill a theater like his can.

Thoughts also go out to Rufus after the death of his mother, folk singer Kate McGarrigle.

(P.S. My illustration does not do Rufus justice, so please look at all the lovely pictures of him out there on the wonderful Internet).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Festival Lineups

Don't be fooled. Festival lineups is not a band name. It refers to the arrival of music festival season. A flood of lineup announcements are currently filtering through music news sites everywhere.

Coachella's full lineup has been announced, and Bonnaroo's initial list is out. Tickets are on sale, people, so get them before they are all scooped up. Speaking of scooped up, three-day passes for the Pitchfork Music Festival sold out in under a week. Wowza.

Too many bands to illustrate are set to play these fests, so I had to choose a few: Phoenix is on the bill at both the Coachella and Bonnaroo festivals, The Dead Weather will be performing at Bonnaroo and Gossip is playing Coachella. They will be much more vibrant and lively in person than on paper, so don't miss a chance to go to a festival. It will cost more than few bucks, but there will be more than a few good bands at each festival.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady are set to embark on a Spring tour after a major lineup change.

Keyboardist Franz Nicolay -- the curly-cue-mustachioed, amped-up, vaudevillian entertainer dude of the band -- has left The Hold Steady to pursue numerous other ventures.

Without Nicolay the band will lack his kitschy appeal and dapper vests, but they will chug on. The Hold Steady tour and tour and tour some more, and they will continue to do so without Nicolay aboard the bus.

Frontman Craig Finn and his remaining bandmates have planned a Spring tour of these Northeastern parts of the U.S., and a date at Cleveland's own Beachland Ballroom is set for April 13, so be sure to see this entertaining group of guys live.

They may be a bandmate down, but they are still The Hold Steady: the raging, powerhouse band led by a guy named Finn (no relation to myself I don't think but I'm happy to share my surname with a rock star).