There’s Nothing Pretty: Grant Gee’s Joy Division

Grant Gee’s documentary Joy Division covers the all-too-brief history of the eponymous post-punk band from Manchester. Joy Division was tragically short-lived, only completing two albums before lead singer Ian Curtis’ suicide in 1980, but disproportionately influential. Their sound is all over the early U2 albums Boy and October, and the contemporary band Interpol made a […]

Daniel Lanois Maximizes the Room in Here Is What Is

Daniel Lanois is a unique musician, as gifted a singer-songwriter in his own right as he is a collaborator and producer. I originally came to recognize his name after finding it listed in the credits of many key items in The Dork Report’s formidable music collection, including Peter Gabriel’s So and Us, U2’s The Joshua […]

Low live at Mercury Lounge, New York – September 22, 2008

I hope I’m totally wrong, but I picked up on a few hints that this latest tour by Low might mark the end of the band. My half-baked evidence: Alan Sparhawk seems to be having success with new side project, the Retribution Gospel Choir. This tour is not in support of a new album release. […]

The Swell Season live at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, New York – September 17, 2008

Glen Hansard (of The Frames and The Commitments) and Markéta Irglová recorded an album together called The Swell Season, and now tour under the name. They fell in love while filming the excellent Once, and are now a couple. Interestingly, they got their Oscar-winning song “Falling Slowly” out of the way right away, perhaps to […]

Low get political in David Kleijwegt’s You May Need a Murderer

It may seem overkill for the so-called slowcore band Low to be the subject of another documentary feature film only a mere four years after Low in Europe, but it must be because they’re just so interesting. Filmmaker David Kleijwegt’s You May Need a Murderer could just as well be titled Low in America, as […]

Laura Veirs live at Bowery Ballroom, New York

This blogger has been a big fan of the bespectacled, water-obsessed Laura Veirs ever since first discovering her infectious song “Galaxies” on the late lamented MP3 blog Salon Audiofile in 2005. Why it was not a huge hit, featured in iPod or car commercials and embedded in the denouements of The O.C. or Gray’s Anatomy, […]

26 Albums I’m Told I Should Remove From My Collection

Chalkills, the XTC fansite, wants to help you sift through the detritus of your music collection, pronto: One Hundred Albums You Should Remove from Your Collection Immediately (spotted on DGMLive). I own (or once owned) a whopping 26% of these overrated (so they say) canonical classics! Hey, Chalkhills, what did I ever do to you? […]

Sebastian Schrade’s tour documentary Low in Europe

I came late to appreciating Low, but they have since become one of my favorite bands. I was vaguely aware that trainspotting music critics had christened a new genre to categorize bands like Low: slowcore, the distinguishing characteristics of which being playing very quietly and slowly (an overgeneralization, it turns out, but it never hurts […]

The Musical Box live at Highline Ballroom, New York

The Musical Box is a Canadian group that stages elaborate recreations of entire concerts given by the English progressive rock band Genesis in the early 1970s. They perform closely-observed note-for-note cover versions of the original songs, in the original set list order, with full recreations of the set design, props, costumes, vintage instruments, and even […]

Blue Man Group: The Complex Rock Tour Live

This blogger may have to burn his Rock Snob card, for I just watched and enjoyed the Blue Man Group concert film The Complex Rock Tour Live. I’d long assumed that the Blue Man Group’s seemingly permanent residency on Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan was some kind of tourist trap like Mars 2112 or Jekyll […]

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