Ladytron - Live

Ladytron in Boston - Pain in Monotone

Since Ladytron are one of the shapers of the "electroclash" sound, and they are also one of the best (mostly because of their love of a thing called "melody"), I surely forgave them for playing up all the electroclash cliches on "Light & Magic" as they still brought the melodies.



Interpol, Calla
Berbati's Pan, Portland, OR
Feb 14, 2003

I really wanted to do this review without using the J word. I knew it was going to be a struggle, as I have yet to read a review, or any press at all without it being used gratuitously throughout, but I went into the gig with an open mind.


Assassins - Live

Assassins - Schubas, Chicago 01/16/03

This will not be the typical review. I won't go on about songs, I will not go on about reproduction live vs on record, I will not even really discuss the members. I will tell you few basics, because that's all the information I have. ASSASSINS are the current project of Joe Cassidy (Butterfly Child) and four Chicagoans. They consist of two guitarists, (Joe and Merit Lear), one bassist, one drummer and one bloke on several keyboards.

Typical or not, I know magic when I see it.


Underworld - Live

Moving in Brilliant Timing
Underworld live at the Kool Haus, Toronto
October 16, 2002

I generally try to avoid sex and music comparisons, as I tend to find the two incomparable. While they both have uses as entertainment (and indeed may be used together to further their entertainment value), the ways which they provide entertainment are so different that it's usually difficult to draw intelligent comparisons. However, I'm fully prepared to make an exception to that self-imposed rule and say that Underworld's show at the Kool Haus last night was like truly amazing sex with a good friend you haven't seen in a long time.


My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - Elektrik Inferno Live

Thrill Kill Kult are one of those bands that I always seem to miss catching live. They used to play in Rochester all the time, but up through the Raygun tour I was still in middle and early high school and the shows always seemed to fall on a school night, which was a definate no-no according to my parents. Then, once I could go out on school nights, they stopped playing anywhere near me. Earlier this year I had a free ticket to catch the Elektric Inferno tour in Pittsburgh, but wouldn't you know I couldn't get off of work so I had to miss it once again. And now they're on tour again, and of course I have previously made plans for the night they're in Buffalo, so that means either a road trip or missing the Kult in action once again.


Kevin Tihista's Red Terror - Judo

I'm a sucker for Farfisa and Hammond organs. Add in a bit of harmonized vocals and intricate arrangements, and I'm a goner. Chicagoan KEVIN TIHISTA apparently has my number. I must be honest, Kevin plays my favorite bar quite frequently and yet somehow I never managed to go check him out. It wasn't until an acquaintance in London went on about him that I realized there might be something actually going on here in Chicago. What a shame that it takes a Brit to make me appreciate my own musical backyard. I must have seen Kevin's previous band "Triple Fast Action" at least half a dozen times during the mid 90s yet never had their "rock" show given me any indication that their might be more to their silent, smoking guitarist.


Newsflash: Music Doesn't Suck (Any More)

So I went and disappeared again.

Please don't think I've "matured"... that I've evolved... that I've somehow managed to put something together in my life that's more important than geeking out to music, 'coz I can happily report that my social life remains in a state of shit due to my overwhelming consumption of popular (and, quite often, not-too-damn-popular-at-all-really) music.


Future Bible Heroes - Eternal Youth

(Instinct - US Release 20 Aug. 02)

"You know me, I take nothing seriously.
I can see a laughing face in every willow tree."

- Losing Your Affection

I think people often get confused by the many guises that Stephen Merritt shields himself in, I know I certainly do. The always haunting, never off-the-mark music of Mr. Merritt has entertained us as the Magnetic Fields, the 6ths, the Gothic Archies and yes, the Future Bible Heroes. Until this new release, The Bible Heroes were Stephen's collaboration with Boston DJ Christopher Ewan. These two have now transformed into three with vocalist Claudia Gonson (Magnetic Fields contributor).


Saint Etienne - Finisterre

Saint Etienne - Finisterre
(Mantra - UK Release 30 Sept. 02)

"Baby nothing lasts forever."

So one child, two marriages and two years later, they return. Their lives have been all about change, and titling their newest release 'Finisterre' (the end of the world) is a departure from the escapism of 'Sound of Water'. I was not a huge fan of the last album. I needed them to get that German minimalism out of their system, as I've always loved St. Etienne for that perfect pop song they're able to write. If I'd wanted to hear To Rococco Rot with Sarah singing, I'd find a bootleg mix. They've gone a bit further back to their roots with 'Finisterre'. It's always intriguing to me which influences they're wearing on their sleeves during each album. The campy Dusty and Motown influence of 'Good Humor' was such a departure from the Pet Shop (and Beach) Boys perfection of where they'd started with 'Fox Base Alpha' and 'So Tough'. I feel like this disc melds all their musical passion into one glorious beat box anthem.



Pomona, CA, Glass House
June 29, 2002

One of my first online friends made me a tape with several tracks from Sloan's "Twice Removed" album back in 1994 and I've been hooked ever since. You would think that I've seen them a billion times in the past eight years but this past Saturday was my first time at a Sloan gig. It's actually really annoying that I've never seen them. One time I threw a house party on the same night of their gig, and the worst-missed-Sloan-show was when I was talking about how great they were at a club and someone said, "Didn't you see them last week?" I had no idea they were even on tour! Needless to say, I wasn't going to miss this show for the life of me.
The Glass House is actually two venues. One is a normal size club-type venue, the other is a little closet which hold a few hundred people at the most. Sloan played three shows in the area so they were easily a "closet" band.