Tuesday, November 10, 2009

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Emilie Autumn @ The Granada, Lawrence KS

Posted: 10 Nov 2009 11:00 AM PST

Want to go to a show that has it all?

Go see Emilie Autumn.

Seriously. Go. Right now. IMG_8521

Autumn’s “The Asylum Tour: The Key,” promised to bring her Asylum experience to fans who have been waiting to see it for the very first time. Autumn and her sexy, witty all girl band, the (, , The Blessed Contessa and ), instantly grasped and held the devoted audience”

Autumn’s stage set was as elaborate and intricate as the performance that evening. A large, cream colored clock sat at center stage, while a tea and bakery set sat stage right, and Autumn’s Harpsichord sat stage left. Deep reds and light pinks accented the drapery and Autumn’s Asylum signage.

The Crumpets took the stage at 8:15, wearing embellished Burlesque inspired attire. Each woman was dressed distinctly, and wore a corset. One was red; the others were white, black and pink. The Crumpets were covered in frills and lace, and wore stripped socks and ripped fishnets.

Autumn appeared on stage after the Crumpets performed a dance number. Autumn wore a pale, rat mask and an embellished corset. A bright red heart was stitched on the fabric.

Every song was brought to life with performance art. For example, during “Liar,” the Crumpets playfully dismembered Autumn with hatchets and knives while she flailed in a wheelchair. The women brought her back to life using humorous, unenthusiastic resuscitation.

In-between songs the ladies took part in a vivacious tea party where members of the crowd were sprayed with “tea” and various backed goods. Autumn and the Crumpets performed vaudeville inspired comedy bits, too. The dialogue between the women was filled with wit. Some of the Crumpets also entertained with fire breathing, stilt walking, feather fan dancing, burlesque, aerial flying, and acrobatic performance.

The ladies interacted with the audience during the show. They asked for advice, responded to random comments, and invited two lucky young ladies on stage to participate in Veronica’s “Rat Game.”

Autumn’s “Victoriandustrial” music is unique. Autumn masterfully plays the electronic violin and harpsichord. The delicate sound of the violin and harpsichord almost float over each song’s driving industrial beats, while her singing voice and girlish, yet menacing growls, bring each song together in a slightly demented, but beautiful package. Many of Autumn’s songs tell stories of pain and anguish. Her lyrics are incredibly vivid. Listeners can almost feel the performer’s anger and frustration.

Towards the end of Autumn’s performance, she told the audience that earlier in the day she was told that no one was going to be at the show that evening. Autumn normally tours in Europe with stellar results. She said she was surprised and pleased with the show’s turnout. She plans on returning very soon.

Hear, hear, to that.

Set List:
Best Safety Lies In Fear
4 O’Clock
The Art of Suicide
I Want My Innocence Back
God Help Me
Dead Is The New Alive
I Know Where You Sleep
Misery Loves Company
Face The Wall
Mad Girl
Bohemian Rhapsody
Thank God I’m Pretty

Thanks to Emilie’s forum for the set list. While this wasn’t the exact one from the Lawrence show, the order looked similar to the songs’ names I recorded.

Emilie Autumn: myspace

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Butch Walker Covers Taylor Swift ‘You Belong with Me’

Posted: 10 Nov 2009 10:00 AM PST

We love this Butch Walker cover of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong with Me” right down to the annotations. This is a video you don’t want to miss.

Butch Walker: website | myspace | Sycamore Meadows review | interview with | @ grog shop | @ hotel cafe

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Weezer – Raditude

Posted: 10 Nov 2009 09:00 AM PST

Expecting a return to the days of the Blue album or Pinkerton from Weezer?  Quit living in a world of naivety. Weezer doesn't want to be that band. They've been there; they've done that. This new change in direction is due to Rivers Cuomo's new found flair for pop music , allowing the touch of Butch Walker and a cast of pop/rock masterminds such as Tyson Ritter of . I'm here to pose the question that's the elephant in the room, and that would be, is that really such a bad thing? Here me out now, Weezer was always at their best with crunchy guitars and geeky hooks and with this album they offer a glimpse into the promise they can have in a new found world of making pop music. weezer-raditude-aa

While I prefer the Weezer of old, like I'm sure most of you do, I can't help but appreciate Rivers and gang for taking a big, big chance with this change in style demonstrated to a T with the incredibly catchy single (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To.Weezer was never one to add too many things to the melting pot, so with these new found collaborations, one can only imagine the random Rivers has in store for us. I'm referring to those Spinner performances with Kenny G (yes, Kenny G, Chamillionaire and which you can see here

While the flair for pop doesn't always work, I'm looking at you “Can't Stop Partying,” the pop shines through when they let the whoa's fly in “The Girl Got Hot.” One gripe I have is that some of the lyrics are a little too tongue in cheek with their references to partying, clubbing and simple premises, but this definitely is their best album in quite some time following the so-so Red album of 2008 and Make Believe of 2005. For those who lost faith, this album could make you a believer again.

Simply put, Weezer just wants to have fun, won't you join them?

Track listing:
01. (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
02. I’m Your Daddy
03. Girl Got Hot
04. Can’t Stop Partying
05. Put Me Back Together
06. Trippin’ Down the Freeway
07. Love Is the Answer
08. Let It All Hang Out
09. In the Mall
10. I Don’t Want to Let You Go

Weezer: website | myspace | @ maryland heights

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Them Crooked Vultures Stream Self-Titled

Posted: 10 Nov 2009 08:00 AM PST

In response to the leak of Them Crooked Vultures‘ album, the band has made the unprecedented decision to stream the record in its entirety beginning with first track “No One Loves Me & Neither Do I.”

Them Crooked Vultures’ self-titled debut album is due out November 17 in the United States and Canada on DGC/Interscope Records. Its release has been preceded by first single “New Fang” currently streaming at http://www.myspace.com/crookedvultures and “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” now available as a free iTunes download.

Them Crooked Vultures recently announced its first ever shows in California and the Pacific Northwest: November 17 at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, November 19 at the Fox Theater in Oakland, November 21 at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, and November 22 at the Roseland Theater in Portland.The dates expand an itinerary that already includes a December tour of the UK and Europe and January dates in Australia and New Zealand.

For further information, updates, dates, etc., check back at www.themcrookedvultures.com.

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An Interview and History: Cartel’s Cycles Anything But Cookie-Cutter

Posted: 10 Nov 2009 07:00 AM PST

About two hours before doors at Station 4 in downtown St. Paul, a block-long line has formed of fans eager to hear a night of great live music. The bands are a pop-punker's dream lineup: This Providence, The Summer Set, The Bigger Lights, and headliners Cartel. This is Cartel's first tour with their new album Cycles and they are "just happy to be on the road again," states bassist . And apparently the mass amount of fans that keep arriving to the venue are happy about that too. cartel

Originating as a high school/college collaboration among three different bands back in August of 2003, Cartel has gained popularity and a large fan base over the last six years. With the current onslaught of a large number of teenage angst-driven bands to emerge lately, it's pretty phenomenal for a band to last six years in this music scene, let alone release three successful albums within that time. With fans at the show from early teens to late 50s, the band has proven to have a catchy, unique sound that appeals to fans of all ages.

However, as popular as they have become over the years, there is going to be some scrutiny. Referencing the MTV miniseries "Band in a Bubble" (when the band spent 23 days in a partially transparent bubble in New York City and emerged having fully completed their 2nd full length album, Cartel), guitarist Joe Pepper adds, "We got a lot of publicity from that and with any publicity there's people judging all the time. People really liked [the album] and with any album there's always some hate, but I don't think any of it affected any of us too much."

Apparently not, considering Station 4 appeared to fill up to near capacity before the guys even took the stage for their set. The fans were eager to hear old favorites as well as new songs from Cycles performed live for the first time.

With a set list spanning equally across the bands 3 albums (Chroma, Cartel, Cycles) and including fan-favorites like "Honestly," "Say Anything (Else)" and my personal favorite "Matter of Time," the guys are partial to playing songs that are "close to home", says drummer Kevin Sanders. "We love playing 'Deep South,' because it's just so heavy. It has kind of become what "Georgia" and "Burn This City" were to us in the past."

A recent label change from Epic to Wind Up Records has allowed the band a chance to be extremely unique within their new label family and express this "heavier" side. With labelmates like Creed and Seether, the band is able to get the deserved, undivided publicity that is sometimes lost in a label that is chock full of bands from the same genre. Pepper comments, "[Wind Up] doesn't have a lot of bands that are like us. We don't have to compete. When we were on Epic, we were competing with bands like Good Charlotte and Quietdrive; it's time to get radio play though. They can push Creed and us at the same time and not have to worry about stepping on anyone's toes. It just works out better."

After a two year process of writing and recording, Cartel finally released their much anticipated third full length album, entitled Cycles, with Wind Up. With an album full of catchy, upbeat Chroma-esque tracks like "Faster Ride" and first single "Let's Go," ballad staples like "Only You," and even some edgier tunes like "27 Steps," Cartel fans will not be disappointed with their newest debut. Still holding on to the old Cartel sound of pop-punk power songs full of open ended messages, the band has proven to continue to step away from the cookie-cutter songs about high school love and loss and choose to write songs that are open for fans to define their own individual interpretations on the meanings.

With songs like Chroma's "Minstrel's Prayer" and Cycle's "Retrograde," Cartel continues to make the kind of music that allows fans to give a song a personal meaning that can adapt with every situation and shift into something completely different each time the hear a song. The band's hook-driven music is the type that has staying power because it is so easily identifiable with each new fan that turns on their music and hears a song like "Save Us" for the first time. Even the album title can hold many different connotations. When asked about the significance behind the term "Cycles," guitarist Pepper simply stated, "It means whatever you think it means." That fan-powered idea is what has kept Cartel around and relevant for so long.

The band continues to keep their sights high, saying that a dream tour with include . Now, I don't know how compatible those two bands would be together, considering the crowd would be hilariously random, but could we be on the lookout for a tour collaboration with ? If the boys keep churning out hit-making music, nothing is impossible for Cartel.

Cartel: website | myspace

Written by: Sarah Hassan

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