Archive for March, 2008


The Pounding of Your Heartbeat Is Keeping the Time

Brian McSweeney

I’ve quietly fallen into another slump since getting sick last week.  I’ve been feverishly combing through my files to post something now that I’m finally healthy.  There’s been a problem though.  None of the songs I have on my hard drive or on disc can compete with the one I’ve had implanted in my head for the last few months. 

Brian McSweeney is someone I accidentally saw on stage a year and a half ago.  I bought tickets to see Charlotte Martin (what’s up, Ken Andrews) with my wife.  Mr. McSweeney graced the stage before Martin’s set.  He blew me away.  He made me wonder why I hadn’t seen him previously.  And he has me wondering if I’ll ever see him again.

A simple search uncovers his former band called Matthew– a Chicago outfit that created some buzz in the late 1990s on the local circuit.  When I saw him, it was just McSweeney with his guitar and his unmistakable self-depricating personality.    Admittedly, there was a Mahaffey-like quality about him as well.

While his Myspace site only has one song to offer, it’s better than anything out there right now.  “Vampire Rock” opens with a simple drum machine loop and a wistful acoustic guitar strum.  His vocals are a bit listless yet earnest to the core as he sings about the internal conflicts of wrong and right as a person on the road. 

Please listen to this track in the dark…

Then the vampires came
To bring desires you cannot feed.
Oh now the day is closing
Waking ravenous need.


go raquel!


My corner is like HBO’s the Wire

One part Neon Neon’s pop-club track, “Raquel” (Welch, that is. Remember the theme of the record?) and the other half is Pitbull’s rhymes put into the blender by local heroes, The Hood Internet. Mash-ups still carry some weight when Boom Bip and Gruff are supplying the backing track. Legitimately or illegitimately speaking, do you own this LP yet?

ABX :: Go Raquel

Also, this farewell letter from David Simon, who is behind the above-mentioned masterpiece of a drama, is worthwhile reading for anyone who became part of the game.


Carbon/Silicon (Mick Jones & Tony James)

Mick and Tony at the Bluebird

Legendary British punk rocker/producer Mick Jones (formerly of The Clash, London S.S., Big Audio Dynamite) and Tony James (London S.S., Generation X, Sigue Sigue Sputnik) performed in their newest incarnation, Carbon/Silicon, at the Bluebird Theater in Denver on Thursday evening.  I was simply awed by being so close and surrounded by old and young fans of both performers.  Carbon/Silicon finally released its first CD last year, despite releasing two digital albums and numerous songs since forming in 2002.  Carbon/Silicon is often credited as being the first band to digitally distribute their recordings for free as Mp3s and to attract a widespread following, especially in their native UK.

I believe this was the band’s first tour of the States and it was my third time seeing Mick Jones live.  I last saw him 12 years ago at The Bayou in Georgetown–a performance shortly after turning the prerequisite 18 that I’ll always remember.  I hope I don’t have to wait another dozen.  I snapped the photo above and the video below of the closing exchange between Jones and James, as they introduce each other to the audience during the encore.  I’ve also posted two of my favorite tracks off their recent album The Last Post.

“War on Culture” — Carbon/Silicon

“What the Fuck” — Carbon/Silicon

Official Website


hit play on the muxtape, kid…


You upload 12 tracks to Muxtape, it becomes public, you link your boys, and they can all enjoy it from their browser. No zip/rar files to download and then decompress; no unnecessary MP3s randomly cluttered all over your desktop; simply, no bullshit. And why didn’t we have the smarts to implement something so necessary to the Internet?

This post wouldn’t be much if I wasn’t contributing my own mix, right? For my first, and most likely not my last Muxtape, I threw 12 tracks together from Chicago-based artists that I practically grew up on. Shit is just as timeless as when I first heard them – some over 14 years ago. There may be a track from a forthcoming album on there. ON REPEAT that one is!

BetterThanAliens – Muxtape 1  (Patience while this site gets their act together)

I could see this site being used as a weekly or monthly resource to post mixes, gentlemen?


“Hooray” for 3rd Album from Delays

The Britpop group Delays have posted a video for “Hooray,” the first single from the group’s upcoming May 5th release, Everything’s The Rush.  With the absense of James and The Verve for most of the 2000s, Delays have been a mainstay in my Britpop diet since their stellar debut, Faded Seaside Glamour, was released in 2004.  Many might know the band for its song “Long Time Coming” featured prominently in the “A Diamond is Forever” ad campaign.


James Ready for a Revival with Hey Ma

I plan to provide a review of James’ (yes, best known for “Laid”) new album in the coming weeks.  It will be released on April 7th.  Much as their last studio album, Pleased to Meet You, was in 2001, I expect it will be brilliant.  I also suspect as much after hearing what appears to be studio takes of two new songs, “Whiteboy” and the title track, “Hey Ma.”  A video featuring the later might soon be removed, as it appears it was put together without the knowledge of James or the British charity it aims to bring attention to,  Help for Heroes.  The video brutally captures some of the horror of the Iraqi campaign after five years.  Help for Heroes raises money for British soldiers wounded in current military campaigns.


“Inverness” – Scott Miller and Aimee Mann

As Jason witnessed first hand at the Empty Bottle, one of my favorite musicians is Scott Miller of Game Theory and Loud Family.  “Inverness” is one of his classic songs and a video of Miller performing the demo in 1990 has recently surfaced on YouTube.  Check it out.  Also, Scott’s friend, the incomparable Aimee Mann, has performed a sublime duet of “Inverness” with him.  Check out that MP3 below too.

“Inverness” Aimee Mann and Scott Miller

Upcoming Shows:


March 2008
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