Friday, October 29, 2010

Tonight In Boston :: Frightened Rabbit

I hope you planned ahead, I really do, becasue Scotland's emotive pop goliath's Frightened Rabbit are back in town tonight to play a sold out show at The Paradise. The band has been on our shores for a second time this year to support their latest long player, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, released earlier this year on Fat Cat Records. We committed our enthusiasm for that record to these pages back in March, and to tell you the truth our appreciation for the album has only grown since then.

Frightened Rabbit will be supported by
Plants and Animals and The Phantom Band from Glasgow.

Check out this interview fellow Boston area blog, Fighting Tinnitus did with Frightened Rabbit front man Scott Hutchinson.

The Winter of Mixed Drinks Review

Band photo courtesy of Dave Gourley

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Steve Mason Announces U.S. Tour

Former Beta Band front man Steve Mason reemerged earlier this year with the release of Boys Outside, on Domino's, Double Six imprint. One of our strong recommendations and essential listens of 2010. We were thrilled to find that he's announced a short U.S. tour that will have him playing shows on the east coast and Canada in December, that includes a show at Great Scott on December 18th.

Steve Mason US tour dates:
December 15 – M Room – Philadelphia, PA
December 16 – Knitting Factory – Brooklyn, NY
December 17 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
December 18 – Great Scott – Cambridge, MA
December 19 – Il Motore – Montreal, QC
December 20 – Wrongbar – Toronto, ON

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Today's Short Bursts ::

New Releases From Crystal Stilts & A Sunny Day In Glasgow

Brooklyn's garage pop stalwarts, Crystal Stilts are back to offer their new 7" single Shake The Shackles b/w Magnetic Moon via Slumberland Records. The new single serves as a preview to the bands next album due early next year and it also marks the bands first release since the departure of drummer Frankie Rose. We've been huge fans of the Stilts ever since hearing the bands 2008 debut Alight of Night, so we are eagerly anticipating the bands 2nd full length and based on the strength of these two tracks there's plenty to look forward to. The single is available now through digital retailers and on limited edition white vinyl at Slumberland.

Crystal Stilts - Shake The Shackles

Crystal Stilts - Magnetic Moon

Order the Shake The Shackles 7"

Philadelphia dream poppers A Sunny Day in Glasgow recently announced that they will give away digital copies of their new album Autumn, Again through their web site at the cost of your e-mail address. The band has also pressed 500 vinyl copies of the album that can be ordered at their site. While writing for ASDIG's 2009 release Ashes Grammar, chief songwriter and lone original member Ben Daniel found himself with a ton of left over tracks. Some of those songs found their way onto the Nightime Rainbows EP released back in June, and several of those tracks appear on Autumn Again. The album also feature one the best song titles in recent memory, This Assclown Eats Ambien or Nobody Likes You (No Art).

Autumn, Again Free Download/Order The Limited Edition Vinyl

A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Drink, Drank, Drunk

A Sunny Day In Glasgow play Great Scott tomorrow night with Candy Claws.

Friday, October 22, 2010

We Were There ::

Belle and Sebastian / The Wang Theatre 10/15/10

One disadvantage of living in the sprawling metropolis that is Plymouth, MA is that it's too damn far from Boston. So last Friday night when team AGP headed into the Wang we had plenty of time to discuss the prospect of not only catching Belle and Sebastian again, but also Dean Wareham performing the music of the seminal Galaxie 500 had us pretty excited as well. So it is with great disappointment that we report due to some poor planning on our part and a some major traffic delays on Route 95, we only saw about 45 seconds of Mr. Wareham set. Not the best way to start the night or a review for that matter, but I believe in full disclosure of such things.

With the release of a new Belle and Sebastian album,Write About Love just three days prior to the Scottish septet's arrival in Boston you would think it would be a safe bet to assume that the evening would rely heavily on the new album, right? Wrong. The band did highlight some of Write About Love's best tracks, but wisely went to their extensive and impressive back catalog for the bulk of the set. As much as I have been bowled over by the bands excellent new LP this cherry picked set list was a real winner. As soon as the band hit the stage the theatre erupted, in fact the guy next to me went into what I first thought was some kind of a seizure but thankfully he was just thrilled to be there, as was I.

The band got things started with I Fought In A War with just Stuart gently strumming an acoustic guitar, before being joined by the rest of the band. On I Didn't See it Coming a few lucky fans were invited on stage to dance with Stuart and dance they did. I guess this has been a regular part of the show during the bands current U.S. tour. At the end of the song Stuart awarded his volunteers with a B&S medallion. A far as front men go, Stuart Murdoch is damn fine one. On several points throughout the night he went into the crowd and ran throughout the venue never missing a lyric and delighting Belle and Sebastian die hards all night,myself included. One of the standout moments of the set came early on when guitarist Stevie Jackson stepped to the mic for I'm Not Living in The Real World amidst a full on audience participation sing along. Normally I don't go for the whole venue signing along with the artists I am paying to see thing, but for some reason this felt right, almost communal.

In the four Boston shows I have seen Belle and Sebastian play over the past 10 years this was by far the most impressive. Due in part to a superb song selection, however the lion share of the credit goes to B&S' superb playing and their consummate front man. Not to mentions the bands endless supply of pop hits.

Set List:
I Fought In The War
Dirty Dream Number Two
Piazza, New York Catcher
I'm Not Living In The Real World
If You're Feeling Sinister
Lord Anthony
I want The World To Stop
Sukie in The Graveyard
We Rule The School
(I Believe In) Travellin' Light
Funny Little Frog
I Didn't See it Coming
The Boy With The Arab Strap
I'm A Cockoo
The State I'm In
Sleep The Clock Around
If You Find Yourself Caught In Love

Live photo courtesy of Nicole Getchell Hamill

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hallelujah The Hills::The Kickstarter Experiment

Earlier today Boston's pop giants, Hallelujah The Hills announced a kickstarter campaign to finance the recording of the bands third and forthcoming long player. The band is currently taking donations/pre-orders for the yet to be recorded album. Based on your contribution you will receive the album in LP/CD/digital formats, a CD consisting of songs recorded by HTH linchpin, Ryan Walsh spanning 10 years, and for those who are willing to dig really deep, a private concert in your home from the band. Learn more and donate at the Hallelujah The Hills Kickstarter page. We've posted the Kickstarter widget (0ver on the right) to promote donations and hopefully help spread the good word on this worthy project.

Be sure to check out this video of the Hallelujah The Hills performing a brand spanking new track,Some Of Them We Lost at The Bug Jar in Rochester, NY last weekend. The new track is slated to be included as the A side of forthcoming limited edition 7". You can also check in on the band working on that same track at The Soul Shop in Medford right here.

Hallelujah The Hills play Great Scott on October 30th with Magic Magic and Boy Without God.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Giveaway :: Belle and Sebastian Vinyl

In celebration of the return of Scottish pop-smith's Belle and Sebastian to Boston we happily announce a B&S vinyl giveaway. We have a copy of the bands just issued Write About Love LP as well as the b-side promo, Suicide Girl/Last Trip 7". For a chance to win, simply send us an e-mail with B&S Vinyl in the subject line to Apologies for the short notice on this but we wanted to wedge this in prior to the bands Boston show. We will randomly pick our winner tomorrow at 4PM. Thanks for playing and Good luck!

Belle and Sebastian play Citi Performing Arts Center/Wang Center tomorrow night with support from Dean Wareham as he plays the music of Galxie 500. A night not to be missed. Expect our full coverage in the coming days.

Update: Congratulations to Peyton Miller from Cambridge. The B&S vinyl is being shipped out today!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Forthcoming:: Giant Sand
On October 25th Howe Gelb will celebrate the 25th anniversary of  the release of Giant Sand's debut LP, Valley of Rain with a flurry of activity. On November 23rd Fire Records will issue a brand new Giant Sand album, Blurry Blue Mountain which follows 2008's critically lauded ProVisions with 14 new compositions. The new tracks were recorded in Denmark as well Gelb's hometown of Tucson, AZ. A Howe Gelb/Giant Sand should be treated as a major event in American independent music, at least that's how we're treating it!

Gelb recently offered some insight on the new album at his official site,

"These recordings were done in the space between the waking world and the sleeping one. there exists a point there with a broad landscape that has seldom been loitered in. as with every previous album, none of this was planned. every record has its own atmosphere. for me they are always a new place to live in and spend some time before moving on. On this album, it happened that every session we were able to record came between work loads that rendered us at that point of sleeping and waking. like the poppy fields in wizard of oz, we went in and out of consciousness at various times during recording. This is not a bad thing. nor does it make the record sound like we’re asleep. it has the momentum of that place between sleep and being awake. and in that narrow slip of existence lies a landscape of reason that most of us hurry past in daily lives. this record is planted firmly there."

Howe recently paid a visit to Fire Records HQ, in London to perform Chunk of Coal off the soon to be released Blurry Blue Mountain.

Howe Gelb - Chunk of Coal (Live @ Fire Records)

In addition to the new album Gelb has begun a massive reissue project via Fire Records that will consist of 30 releases. Albums by Giant Sand, Howe Gelb, The Band of Blacky Ranchette, and Arizona Amp will be remastered and reissued over the next year. See the release schedule below:

27th SEPTEMBER 2010
GIANT SAND - Valley Of Rain (25th Anniversary Edition)

GIANT SAND - Blurry Blue Mountain & Valley Of Rain (25th Anniversary Edition)
GIANT SAND - Blurry Blue Mountain
GIANT SAND - Ballad Of A Thin Man (25th Anniversary Edition)
GIANT SAND - Storm (25th Anniversary Edition)

GIANT SAND - Love Songs (25th Anniversary Edition)
GIANT SAND - Long Stem Rant (25th Anniversary Edition)
GIANT SAND - Swerve (25th Anniversary Edition)

GIANT SAND - Ramp (25th Anniversary Edition)
GIANT SAND - Center Of The Universe (25th Anniversary Edition)
GIANT SAND - Purge & Slouch (25th Anniversary Edition)

GIANT SAND - Backyard BBQ Broadcast (25th Anniversary Edition)
GIANT SAND - Goods & Services (25th Anniversary Edition)
GIANT SAND - Glum (25th Anniversary Edition)

GIANT SAND - Chore Of Enchantment (25th Anniversary Edition)
GIANT SAND - Cover Magazine (25th Anniversary Edition)
GIANT SAND - Black Out (25th Anniversary Edition)

MARCH 2011
HOWE GELB - Confluence
HOWE GELB - ....Some Piano
HOWE GELB - Hisser
HOWE GELB - Dreaded Brown Recluse
HOWE GELB - Sno Angel Wingin It

APRIL 2011
The Band Of Blacky Ranchette - The Band Of Blacky Ranchette
The Band Of Blacky Ranchette - Sage Advice
The Band Of Blacky Ranchetter- Heartland
The Band Of Blacky Ranchette- Still Looking Good To Me

MAY 2011
GIANT SAND - Its All Over The Map (25th Anniversary Edition)

JULY 2011
HOWE GELB - Sno Angel Like You 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Today's Short Bursts ::
Islet, Boston Spaceships,+ NYC UFO's
Cardiff's rising pop experimentalists, Islet have released their new mini album, Whimmy  via Turnstile Music . Whimmy is the bands 2nd mini album this year and the follow up to Celebrate This Place released a mere four months ago. Whimmy is available on 12" vinyl as well as digital formats. Although we searched iTunes and came up empty, however we are hopeful that will change soon. A little noise was made over the summer that the band had no on-line presence, however the band has since launched a site, where they have offered up one of  the new albums best track for free download, behold the awesome, Ringerz!

[MP3/Stream] Islet - Ringerz

Order Wimmy from Rough Trade Shops

Fresh off melting faces in Vegas and leading GBV circa 96' on a reunion tour thoughout the U.S. Robert Pollard has delivered a video for Freedom Rings off  his current bands (one of many) Boston Spaceships' Our Cubehouse Still Rocks LP.This ace clip was directed by William Landers. If you still haven't gotten around to listening to the latest offering from Uncle Bob, we recommend you do so, immediately.

Ever since hearing North Hamptons NYC UFO's on WMBR's Pipeline program  a couple of weeks ago we've been completely obsessed with these guys. Admitedly we don't know a ton about them, but we're willing to learn! The Western, MA four piece specialiizes in fuzzed drenched guitar pop, which of course, is right in our wheel house. NYC UFO's have posted their debut album, Newer Stations at their Band Camp page for free download,  almost criminal. Go get it.

<a href="">There Goes My Ego by NYC UFOs</a>

Newer Stations Free Download

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Matador @ 21:: Days 2&3/Wrap up
Hello there, Dear Reader. Sorry for the delay and filing this report. Stuff happens. Vegas happens. Before we get to days 2 and 3, let’s flash back to the last Pavement show ever. If you’ll recall, I was disappointed with their set. There were some serious bad vibes flying across the stage, and in what felt like a flash back to 1996, Steven Malkmus was clearly not into it. To be fair, there was some significant sound issues. Steve West nearly had a full-fledged hissy fit over what was apparently an issue with his high hat. There were several requests for more or less sound out of the stage monitors, and in what I had originally thought was an SM-Spiral spat, Spiral Stairs nearly lost it after experiencing technical issues durring Kennel District, apologizing several times to the capacity crowd and nearly smashing his guitar in anger. In addition I heard a rumor that SM’s parents were in the audience on Friday night. I guess the man still gets nervous performing in front of Mom and Dad, however this is100% rumor. An old friend of The AGP who was at the show, knows someone, who knows Malkmus’ wife, and she informed this person that Steve hadn’t performed in front of his parents in several years, and that this was the reason for his half- assed performance. Again, this could be complete bullshit, but thought I’d pass along the word on the floor of the Palms last Friday night.

OK. Saturday night. We had a little run at the roulette table @ the Imperial Palace Saturday afternoon that kept us from seeing some of the early acts. However we did see Superchunk, and they killed. They played a  great set, mixing in classics like Slack Mother Fucker and Mower with  Rosemarie, My Gap Feels Weird, and Learned to Surf from their new (and excellent) Majesty Shredding album. One more thought. I couldn’t help thinking during their set that as owners of Merge Records, home to Arcade Fire and Spoon, that Mac and Laura were arguably the most successful people @ the Palms that weekend.  I just really respect Mac and Laura as people who stuck with doing what they love, and hit it big. They still get to make records and rock out like kids, and they have the coolest day jobs that rock musicians could ask for, running their own, very successful label. Also,  I saw Laura at the Palms pool on Sunday, and she was very cool. I had to complement her on her Spaceman 3 t-shirt!
Spoon delivered a polished set and the band was in good form. They did however, leave me a little cold. The set was pretty evenly split between newer and older material, but seemed to draw more from the bands darker, more rhythmic, and less melodic material. I guess I just don’t like The Ghost of you Lingers. That being said, Brit Daniel is a great performer with a distinct and solid voice, and Spoon is a tight as hell live unit. Daniel also gets bonus points for being a nice guy. While waiting for the elevator leaving the disappointing, very Sioxsie and The Banshee-esque, Esben and the Witch show in the Palms Ballroom, we had a simple fanboy-indie star exchange. (I said "good show" and he said "thank you.")  I wasn’t being a hypocrite, it was a good show, I just expected more of their hits than You've got your cherry bomb (which was great, horns and all).
On to Belle and Sebastian, I loved them. Besides Guided by Voices transcendent Sunday night set, this was my favorite of the weekend. Being mildly familiar with their catalog, I knew to expect some pretty folk-pop from the Glaswegians, but was not prepared for their gorgeous and downright inspirational set. This is a band I need to listen to more, and will make sure to see them the next time they come to town, as they too were affected by sound issues on Saturday night. Unlike Pavement (wow, I am really bashing them) these guys did not let the sound issues hold them back from having fun. Stuart Murdoch brought out shopping bag full of autographed Nerf footballs, and proceeded to throw them into the crowd. (He has a stronger arm than you would expect.) Murdoch also bestowed B&S engraved medallions on those lucky fans invited up on stage to provide hand claps (and dancing) on There’s Too Much Love and the classic The Boy With The Arab Strap. Sound issues definitely became a running theme in the Pearl as the weekend went on, with just about every band making comments and requests from the stage. In defense of Matador and their crew, they had their work cut out for them, with a full set change being undertaken every hour, and many bands, like the aforementioned B&S requiring many additional microphone and monitor set ups.

On Sunday we made sure to catch Ted Leo + Pharmacists, The New Pornographers and of course GBV. We were on the floor for Ted Leo, and unfortunately the sound was at it’s weekend low. It was just a treble-drenched and distorted mix. This was the only time all weekend that I was forced to use earplugs. This being said, Mr. Leo was in fine form, sounding especially great on tracks from 2004’s Shake the Sheets, Me and Mia and The Angels Share. While almost every artist thanked and congratulated Matador during their set, Ted took it to the next level. Regaling us with stories of going to high school with Chavez’s Matt Sweeny and sharing a bill with Matador’s infamous first signing H.P. Zinker. He also brought the New Pornographer’s Carl Newman on stage to join him in an ode to Matador, covering Nick Lowe’s I love my label.

Next was The New Pornographers, and though I watched from the balcony , I really enjoyed their show. They had their “A” lineup out there, with Carl Newman joined by chanteuse Neko Case, and someone who I imagine gets a hard time passing through airport security, Destroyer’s Dan Bejar. The New Porns kicked things off with My Slow Decent into Alcoholism, which was especially appropriate for this author on such a weekend. They mixed in the best of the new Together LP with their impressive back catalog, with new gems like Moves as well as Silver Jenny Dollar with Bejar taking one of his too few (in this author’s opinion) turn on lead vocals. They played all the hits, Sing Me Spanish Techno and Letter from an Occupant from their 2000 debut, Mass Romantic were especially great, but the best songs of the night were from the bands "awesome coda collection", with Bejar leading the Pearl through the no, no, no no, no’s on A Testament to Youth and Verse and the awesome, spin-tingling Bleeding Heart Show appropriately closing out the show.
Last but in no way least, was the much anticipated reunion of GBV. By Saturday night, the GBV, Circus Devils, Boston Spaceships, and other miscellaneous Uncle Bob shirts started showing up, and I started to get the feeling that I wasn’t the only one whose number one reason for schlepping all the way to Nevada was to see Guided by Voices. By Sunday night, the anticipation was palpable (and clearly evidenced by the amount of visibly sloppy drunk dudes in the audience) for the long awaited reunion of what’s been dubbed the “classic lineup” , Pollard, Tobin Sprout and Mitch Mitchell on guitars, Greg Demos on bass and Kevin Fennell on drums . The band shambled on stage , kicked things off with A Salty Salute and never looked back. While the audience hoisted their beers to greet Pollard and the band during the opener, any beer left in their cups was thrown into the air when the band slammed into their second song Shocker in Gloomtown. The set drew heavily from Propeller, Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes and the band delved into a couple of rare tracks off Crown Prince of The Menthol Trailer EP, including Johnny Appleseed.

All the classics were played. Miller Lites were downed, and per custom, handed to the crowd. The 96”classic line –up looked pretty happy to be doing this again, Toby was his usual mellow self, but the beaming, fist pumping Mitch Mitchell was the happiest guy in the room. He jumped and spun himself -in between windmill guitar moves, all this after almost being punched-out by Pearl security after running on stage during Yo La Tengo’s set.  Kevin Fennell and Greg Demos, the only practicing attorney/bass player I know of, anchored the classics, while Bob busted out his trademark big kicks and mic twirls. Pollard made sure to honor Matador by saying “we left because we thought we were hot shit and needed someone else to push our shit, but we came crawling back”
The hits kept on coming at a furious pace, Sprout took his turn vocals for spirited versions a Good Flying Bird and Awful Bliss, while Uncle Bob supplied backing vocals. My personal  favorite of the set was a raucous version of My Son Cool. GBV played well past the 1AM curfew and drew the weekend closing's night to a glorious end with what Pollard referred to as “the ballad of Guided By Voices” Don’t Stop Now.  Sure, you've heard Pollard perform most of these tracks with various line ups, but there's something extra special about seeing these songs performed by the nucleus of musicians who recorded them to four-track in a Dayton, OH basement nearly 20 years ago.

Matador @ 21 was a huge success and a celebration of one of, if not the most important labels in American indie rock. Ever since Chris Lombardi started Matador in 1989,  and then was joined a year later by Gerald Cosloy the two men and their label have been responsible for  releasing some seriously great records, not to mention some of our all time favorites. Hey Matador let us know when we can do this again.

~Echos Myron

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Matador @ 21:: Day 1 Recap

Echos Myron with F'd Up's Damian Abraham

Day 2, Post 2
Rest assured, Dear Reader (s?), we are alive and mostly-well. Apologies for the late post. I am up and about and feeling "better" @ 10:45 am local time. Pavement played what was basically a full set, which ended at the east coast equivalent of 4:30 am. So we are sorry to report that we did not catch the F’d up-Ted Leo contest, or anyone else who played in the Palms Ballroom earlier this am. If it's any consolation to the F’d Up fans, I did meet Damian Abraham, (whom I found to be very nice, and even respectful- calling me “Sir”, but maybe I’m just old).

I promise to post again later this am (from my hand held, so expect even more grammatical and spelling errors) but here is a quick rundown of last night’s performers: Chavez- First a funny story, I recall being mildly surprised that my buddy, The Gamester (yes, his real name) was earnestly excited about catching these guys. Coming back to the room for a post-show beer, we discovered that he had confused them for the UK based, Traffic revivalists Gomez! Hysterical. Needless to say, the bands are very different. With Guitar Wolf stuck in an airport somewhere (I guess Mother Nature really does not like them), Chavez kicked-off the weekend Top Pocket Man, and with a tight set of siren-guitar Rock. My crew,Jum and Gamester liked them a lot, though they were a little critical of Matt Sweeney’s vocals, which I never realized a pretty back in the mix. James Lo is one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen (sort of Keith Moon-ish, lots of fills) and Clay Taver should trademark his melodic, siren -like leads he has been creating since his Bullet LaVolta days.

F’d Up- we missed the first song, which I suspect was the awesome “Son of the Father”, but caught the rest of their, as expected powerful set. “Mr” Damian/Pink Eyes sang the next three songs (“Days of Last” was in there) from the floor of the Palms, hugging all comers, with what had to be the longest microphone cord ever deployed. His voice can be tough on newcomers, but the band, with their three-guitar attack, created a wall of melodic noise that was well received by the capacity crowd on the Palms floor. Abraham made a comment about being the youngest band on the bill that was telling. These guys, though firmly ‘hardcore’ are arguably the most viable band on the current Matador Roster, having won the 2009 Polaris Music Prize, and recently,  the opening spot on Arcade Fire’s upcoming European tour.

Sonic Youth- Probably the best set of the night. We moved down on the floor for the rest of the night, and were blown away by these guys. As expected, they ran through tracks that were not hooky or melodic enough for this author to reach for at home, but were awesome live. The set drew largely from material released prior to 95',none of which was released by Matador. So lots of Evol, Sister, and Daydream Nation. Throughout the night, Thurston and Lee Ronaldo, exchanged SY’s signature angular guitar leads, culminating with an actual set ending sword fight.

Pavement- A bit disappointing. What has been so great about the reunion shows, an earnest interest by SM, was clearly missing. On the plus side, the younger set was able to see what Pavement shows could be like (shambling, antagonistic) the first time around. I am running out of time (the boys want to go out) so, more on Pavement later, but as Gamester said last night, it felt we were watching the band break up all over again right in front of our eyes. SM was clearing playing out the sting, his last obligation in the year long reunion. More on what has to be the last Pavement show ever later.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Matador @ 21 :: Getting There

Day 1 , Post:1,

Tower to the sky! While I had originally intended to check in with you, Dear Reader, from the sleek, post-modern confines of Delta’s Terminal @ Logan Airport, Boston, I am writing from an Atlanta-bound , (and likely ancient) Boeing 747 high above the Eastern Seaboard. It seems that Mother Nature is not a fan of Guitar Wolf.

Arriving at the airport to find my flight 2+ hours delayed due to what, in my experience could be best described as a “balmy wind”, I have called the option, Amazing Race –style, traveling to Atlanta, where I will connect on one of two options to Las Vegas. As of right now (!), worst-case gets me on the ground in LV at 5:30, a full hour-and-a-half before the aforementioned Guitar Wolf kick off the ‘mother I’ll be referring to as from here-on-out as “M@21 “, at 7:00PM Elvis-time.

You’ll also notice that I have decided to adopt the “@” symbol used by the Matador folks to market this extravaganza. As in: “while @the baccarat table, My traveling companions, Jum managed to draw the ire of the pit boss” and “Gamester passed- out @ "9:30 PM". Let me know if that gets annoying.

OK, enough with the travel log. Boring, I know. The original purpose of this pre-show post was to get the “housekeeping” matters out of the way, like who I am, why I’m going to M@21, and what’s my favorite flavor of apple. To which, I say, not a fan of MGMT, why not?, and Royal Gala.

What are my goals, you ask?

1.Keeping my wife from getting mad at me. (This includes the following sub-goals- not hurting myself, not getting arrested, not losing the house, not doing something that would get me fired from my real job, and not doing something that would end up in me being barred from my local youth soccer league.

2) Rocking. A lot.

Having seen the Pavement reunion already this fall, when SM and the lads* performed in the cozy confines of BU's Agganis Arena, I can attest to what some of you may have read in the music press, that the Pavement 2010 crowd is predominately men, and split between early-40-something, professional, cycling enthusiasts -putting up a last fight against the ever-encroaching phenomenon of “dad-rock”, and young Williamsburg-residing hipsters who missed the band in its nineties heyday, and are generally annoying spoiled little brats. As you may have already surmised, please put your loyal M@21 correspondent firmly in the former category. (Though judging by the last Wilco album, I’m not sure I’ll EVER fully embrace dad-rock.)

I think my colleagues (!) in the music press will agree with me when I say that the Pavement reunion exceeded all expectations. Having seen the band several times during their initial run, including back-to-back nights on the Wowee Zowee tour, I can attest that the songs sound great. While the band’s detached-cool style could be called more “fun” to see live, shows often veered from “disinterested” into “sloppy”.

Please don’t get me wrong. I consider Pavement my favorite band. Ever. They are at the top of my “top 5”, along with Beatles, Guided By Voices, The Rolling Stones, and the Clash. (Though I like to extend the list to 6 to allow for the inclusion of Radiohead.) While Pavement has been mostly sticking to the “hits”, (here’s hoping they delve deeper into their catalog playing for their most ardent devotees in Vegas) the hits have never sounded better.

So, as SM reportedly has a 2011 Jicks record (with guests by Beck?) and tour lined up, your correspondent is seriously looking forward to what could be the band’s last show for a long time, maybe (gasp!) ..ever.

So, as I still want to prep for tonight by watching “Slow Century”* and my laptop is reporting 62% battery life remaining, I leave you with some thoughts on the rest of the bands playing the first night of M@21:

Guided by Voices- Having seen Pavement a couple weeks ago, this is the show to which I am most looking forward. Though that 6am departure out of McCarran Airport will be a challenge after GBV’s weekend ending set “scheduled” to end at 1am.

F’ed Up- (I’m a dad don’t forget) ..just got into these guys, knowing they were playing M@21. An update on the hardcore punk I grew up on. I expect them to be, in a word, powerful.

Chavez- Never seen them, but LOVE the “ride the fader” record.. I always try to turn my more mainstream music fan friends into them.. they should have been much bigger than they were/are.

Sonic Youth- Never seen them. Only familiar with their top 5-10 songs, (so, here’s hoping the play them!) but one of those influential “respect” bands that you have to like.. looking forward to their set.

Guitar Wolf- would like to check out, but will probably “prepping” with a couple of pre-show watery domestics in the room at the Palms with Jum and Gamester.

Bands that might be playing tonight, but as I’m too cheap to buy the in-flight wi-fi, and forbidden by federal law to power-up my Blackberry, I’m not sure.

Cold Cave- Don’t know them. Supposedly, sort- of Depeche Mode-y (never my cup of tea), but will try to stay up (there playing late/early) and let you know.

Esben and the Witch - From Brighton , England.. which is a pretty cool place- I had lunch there once..I’ll let you know what their like, but they're supposed to be sorta “moody”, which may not be compelling at 3AM on Saturday morning to a dude that’s been up since 5AM Friday.

I am also intrigued by what’s being billed as "F'd Up vs.Ted Leo and The Pharmacists” at 1:30 in a smaller room at the Palms. Leo is not playing a full set in the main room until Sunday night, so it’s cool that he’ll be hanging at the Palms all weekend with the rest of us. This is supposed to be some alternating “band-off”, based in hardcore, (where Leo got his start and still periodically returns with sometimes mixed results) so I’ll try to keep the boys up for this.

Friday nights report is forthcoming. Thanks….

*-someone please notify me if there is some kind of journalistic limit on the use of quotes.

We'll Be There :: Matador @ 21
As I type this our newest member of The AGP team is aboard an aircraft bound for Las Vegas, NV for this weekends Matador @ 21 at The Palms Hotel. Echoes Myron as he's taken to calling himself will be filing reports from Vegas throughout this weekends performances that commence this evening and run through Sunday, when the reunited Guided By Voices (pictured above) bring it to an end and I can only imagine to it's collective knees. The 96'classic line-up kicked off The Hallway of Shatterproof Glass Tour earlier this week with two shows in Texas. Check the video below for proof .

Guided By Voices - Exit Flagger
Live at East Side Drive Austin, TX 9/30/10

In addition to our coverage you can watch most of the performances live as they happen at MySpaceMusic The audio/video stream starts tonight at 8:30 when Chavez take the stage and will feature nearly every performance of the weekend. These streams will also be available the following morning, just in case you have a life and you don't feel like staying up late watching your computer. You should also check in with Bradley's Almanac, for reports from Vegas as well.

Video courtesy of Jay Satellite
GBV rehearsal photo courtesy of Rich Turiel