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Friday, December 01, 2006

A New Beginning

As of this evening Latitude 44.2 North will no longer be updated. Flatlander, author of False 45th, and I have officially merged blogs. I will be writing full time at the new and improved False 45th, which has a new look and address (www.false45th.com, the blogspot has been dropped). Click here to see what Flatlander wrote about the merger a few weeks ago.

This is the 180th post at this site, which began 17 months ago. Within the last year I've received over 25,500+ visits from nearly every corner of the globe. Thank you. Your interest is humbling. It is my hope that the combined blog will allow more consistency and focus, while continuing to deepen and expand my interests. It's bigger, better, and badder.

This blog will stay online, but entirely for historical purposes.

Again, thank you for the ride. Don't forget to visit at www.false45th.com. I'm just around the corner.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

J DiMenna | Radio Bean | November 5, 2006


The J Dimenna show two weeks ago at Radio Bean in Burlington was fantastic. Lap steel guitar was a fantastic addition to every song, the majority of which were new tracks. As with most shows, the songs came off much more honest, direct, and rocking. These dudes (+ vibraphone playing dudette) are the most underated group that I've seen in a long, long time.

More photos here.

More dates here.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Roots Live

The Roots, the Philly-based "hip-hop band" with 8 albums to their credit, the latest of which is the highly regarded Game Theory, have a fantastic website that captures the element that makes them stand above all others. TheRootsLive.com is an archive dedicated to providing free mp3s of Roots' concerts. The site currently hosts approximately 45 shows that go back as far as 1993, many of which contain video. I'm currently digging their March 13, 2003 show at the Roseland Ballroom.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

J DiMenna coming to Burlington

Back in March I gushed about J DiMenna's debut release Awkward Buildings. I gave it the "Elliott Smith, Archer Prewitt, and Jeff Buckley sitting in a cabaret having a drink with Leonard Cohen." Earlier this month his track Prayer Flag was featured on NPR's All Songs Considered. The host, Bob Boilen, said the following " . . . If you like great pop music, the type of music you may hear Elliot Smith or Jeff Buckley write, you should listen to J DiMenna. DiMenna's made a CD that's infectious. Its the kind of infectious music that took time to grab me, the kind of infectious music that I find myself singing and not realizing what it is or how it even crept into my subconscious."

DiMenna and his band are currently taking part in the CMJ festivites in NYC, like everyone else, but will be heading up to VT as part of their 'stick season' tour. The live show includes the hypnotic vibraphone of Brandy Noel, lap steel guitar/trumpet player Joe Novelli, Sean Donnelly on drums, and Kevin Thaxton on bass.

Oct 31 - CMJ Music Marathon - Mo Pitkins, New York, NY
Nov 2 - CMJ Music Marathon - Fat Baby, New York, NY
Nov 4 - Metropolis Records, Torrington, CT
Nov 5 - WEQX – 45th Annual Ski and Snowboard Expo, Albany, NY (1PM)
Nov 5 - Radio Bean, Burlington, VT (8PM)
Nov 8 - Bear’s Place, Bloomington, IN
Nov 9 - Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA
Nov 11 - The Basement, Nashville, TN
Nov 13 - Tasty World, Athens, GA
Nov 14 - Relative Theory Records, Norfolk, VA
Nov 15 - Brillo Box, Pittsburgh, PA
Nov 17 - No Radio Records, Ithaca, NY
Dec 3 - Melody Inn, Indianapolis, IN
Dec 6 - Liberty D's, Norman, OK
Dec 7 - Launchpad, Albuquerque, NM
Dec 8 - Plush Tucson, AZD
Dec 13 - Red 7, Austin, TX
Dec 14 - KRTU San Antonio, TX
Dec 15 - Cell Block Mobile, AL
Dec 17 - The Grey Eagle Asheville, NC

Hopefully the boys will be ready to rock once they get to Radio Bean, as the afternoon show at the Ski & Snowboard Expo in the bowels of the Gattaca-styled Empire State Plaza in Albany will surely be a trip. I grew up going to that event and I can't remeber bands ever playing while I was checking out winter gear and trying to score lift tickets. But a band does what a band has to do.

BTW, the word on the street is that Awkward Buildings has sold out of its original pressing. A second release is planned for December featuring bonus material, including a collaborative video project from J and cover artist Roland Beccera, a video for Raggedy Ann, and additional footage.

All Songs Considered Podcast - Episode 121

J DiMenna - Prayer Flag.mp3
J DiMenna - To Meet You.mp3
J DiMenna - Awkward Buildings.mp3

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Toubab Krewe 2 Nights in Burlington

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Jurado

As I've professed before, Damien Jurado is one of my all-time favs. In celebration of his latest release, And Now That I'm In Your Shadow (out October 10th, but I've been lazy), he's provided a spot-on cover of Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" for Spin Magazine. If the handful of tracks that are streaming on his website and MySpace are any indication, this may very well be one of Damien's best albums.

Two items for the big Jurado fan:
1) torrent of live show from this past summer:
Damien Jurado - 6/10/06 - Lund, Sweden.
2) Audio Blog. Interesting idea, but the latest ones are sort of boring and sad. ie: "there are loud birds everywhere, I don't know if you can hear them. Crickets everywhere too" - October 1, 2006. The earlier entries, on the other hand, consist of some pretty sweet songs that he plays into the phone. Sounds good being all sorts of scratchy: July 18, 2006, July 20, 2006, & July 23, 2006.

Damien Jurado - Pink Moon.mp3 (Nick Drake cover)

And Now That I'm In Your Shadows (Secretly Canadian)
Damien Jurado - What Were the Chances.mp3

What Drugs Will Do To You

Here's a great YouTube find: Dutch prog-rock one hit wonders, Focus, playing "Hocus Pocus" on the Gladys Knight, of Gladys Knight & the Pips, TV show in 1973. This sentimal yodalelic groove rock masterpiece is made more bizarre by the drug fueled performance.


AMG's review:
Perhaps the most inspired bit of looniness to come out of the progressive rock era, Focus' "Hocus Pocus" was an absolutely irresistible combination of heavy guitar riffs, neo-classical organ, and Alpine yodeling. Sure, lead vocalist Thijs Van Leer also threw in some faux-angelic falsetto, plus a memorable break of rapid-fire, almost Muppet-sounding gibberish over a polka beat. But the descending yodeling line that serves as the song's chorus is the instantly memorable hook, ending with an ascending arpeggio whose squarely on-the-beat rhythmic placement turns the melody into a gleeful parody of neo-classical elegance. Although "Hocus Pocus" is nearly seven minutes long, its structure is pretty simple -- guitarist Jan Akkerman powers his way through the song's main riff, which alternates with passages during which Van Leer struts his stuff. And it isn't always yodeling, either -- besides the aforementioned polka gibberish, Van Leer takes two instrumental solos, playing more complex variations on the song's main riff. The first is an unaccompanied, manic flute solo drenched in echo, and the next is a polka-tinged accordion break over which Van Leer whistles energetically; there is a brief snippet of dubbed-in stadium applause at its conclusion. Toward the second half of the song, Akkerman grabs the solo spotlight during his main-riff sections, spinning off hyperspeed pyrotechnics that mesh perfectly with the insanity going on around him. Plus, there are plenty of short breaks for drummer Pierre van der Linden. The whole package is utterly bizarre, yet crazily infectious as well. Originally released on the 1971 album Moving Waves, "Hocus Pocus" caught on in the U.S. during early 1973, when it scraped the lower reaches of the Top Ten -- a feat rarely accomplished by Dutch bands. Although Focus never duplicated the widespread success of "Hocus Pocus" (nor, really, its humor), the song's spirited goofiness and musical virtuosity still sound fresh and unique.

Thanks AE for the find.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Langdon Street Round Up

The Bowmans/Kris Gruen show this past Friday ended up being one of the best shows that I've attended all year. Outside Montpelier's cooperatively owned coffee house was the first snow of the year. Inside was warm, comfortable, and exciting. I caught only the last two songs by The Bowmans, but little was heard as the time was spent talking to friends and settling into my first Organic Oatmeal Stout. Soon after Kris took the stage along with a full 4 piece band. The music was much fuller and expressive then his debut album, Lullaby School, - my head full of comparisons with Jeff Buckley (without the 90s era grunge and rediculous vocal range) and Heartbreaker-era Ryan Adams (minus any hint of pretention and a more prominent blues base to accompany the alt-country twang). I found myself wanting to take back the original "folk" label and replacing it with...I don't know...Americana Rock? That doesn't seem right at all. But the show was far more then a dude and a guitar.
For me it was pretty close to perfect.

False45th should have video and a write-up in the near future.

From Lullaby School
Kris Gruen - Tender Theory.mp3
Kris Gruen - In The Clearing.mp3

Kris Gruen - Further Down.mp3