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Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Help Save The Youth Of America

…And back to music. Most of this will be old to you if you’ve been tromping about the blogospher whilst I’ve been tromping about Nippon. But what can I say – I may be 12 hours in the future, but media remains 12 hours in the past. Or something.

Billy Bragg’s recent travels in America seem to have inspired his creative muse – there’s a couple new tracks circulating that are decidedly political and pointed in their content. Both are reworkings of classic tunes – “Bush War Blues” is an update of Leadbelly’s “Bourgeois Blues” and probably requires no further explanation, though Bragg’s new label Anti Records will tell you about it anyway. The other track is based off Bob Dylan’s “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll” and concerns the death of Rachel Corrie, an activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer while protesting in the Gaza Strip and comes to us via The Guardian. Salon has some commentary on both tracks and an exclusive of their own, his seminal tune “A New England”, which you’ve surely heard before but can also stand to hear again. And for more free Billy Bragg downloads, including his still sadly topical “The Price Of Oil”, go here.

MP3: Billy Bragg – “Bush War Blues”
MP3: Billy Bragg – “The Lonesome Death Of Rachel Corrie”
MP3: Billy Bragg – “A New England”

As I hoped, Zoilus has expanded on the interview he conducted with Bragg for The Globe & Mail Bugmenot) a little while back, publishing the full text of it on his own website (and to which I’m happy to provide visuals for, taken at his recent Toronto gig. And finally, Exclam! has an interview of their own with him. Billy, not Carl. His Volume 1 box set came out last month, his Volume 2 box set will be out in October. Again, Billy. Not Carl.

Pitchfork has an interview with Calexico brain trust John Covertino and Joey Burns about their new album Garden Ruin, which will be out next Tuesday. There’s now a video for the first single “Cruel”, which you can view via Prefix.

Neko Case was in town last night. How was it? All I’ve got are features on the fox confessor from The Chicago Sun-Times, The Toronto Sun, City Pages, The Boston Globe and NOW.

In what must be one of the odder bills to come through town in recent memory, Eels will be at the Mod Club on June 17 with Smoosh. I’d like to see Smoosh, but have never been a fan of Eels. What to do what to do. Furthermore. Mary Timony will be at the Music Gallery on May 30. And in town tomorrow night? The Flaming Lips. NOW features these unknown Okies.

So what, I go away for a week and hell freezes over? No, I guess this is only the sixth sign. Armageddon will truly come when Bob Mould calls up Grant Hart and suggests some coffee house Husker Du action. The Replacements’ new song-sporting best-of comp Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was? will be out June 13 and the box set out next year sometime.

24 (last week’s): You know, when you go a couple weeks between episodes and get some perspective, you start to realize what a truly ridiculous show this is sometimes. Just saying. Anyway, so two high-ranking government officials in Walt and Audrey were having an illicit affair in a hotel and they used their own names? I like Edgar’s replacement. Yes I do… And it looks like SHE’S hot for Chloe too. Too bad she’s crazy. “The first rule of engagement is that you have a contingency plan”. Or six. Or seven. Thousand. Jack gets tasered and then some sweet Audrey action in the span of what, 15 minutes? And finally – the Kiefer Sutherland/Julian Sands showdown! Their steely gazes said it all – “You were terrible in The Cowboy Way!” “Two words, bitch! Boxing Helena!”

PS – this was set to go up yesterday, but I mis-entered the publish date… whoops.

np – Okkervil River / Black Sheep Boy

By : Frank Yang at 9:00 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Gram says:

    Neko, on Sunday night at the Music Hall, was pretty fantastic. She was in great voice and filled the room. And having Kelly Hogan on backing vox made it even better.

    Neko and band also did another show last night, a TV taping at the church (or is it The Church?) at Queen E. and Berkeley. Despite being a lot closer, I found it a lot less impactful. The start & stop dictated by the TV machinery didn’t help, but worse was the fact that Neko had a stomach ache and was in obvious distess between songs, getting worse as the evening went on. But it was still pretty kickin’…

  2. suckingalemon says:

    it’s the summer of odd bills.
    matiyasu is opening up for dave matthews and peaches is opening for NIN.

  3. John says:

    I went to see the Eels a couple of years ago despite my ambivalence, and was pretty well blown away by the performance. It was odd, to say the least, but entertaining in every way. By the time they broke into a fantastic (and by that point in the show, not so out-of-place) version of "Whiskey River," the night was complete. So, if you have any interest, you’ll likely find it worth your while.

  4. Matt says:

    hey Frank, please could you delete the post from the nazi dickhead above? this is a music site, not a place to advertise some nasty little bigot blog…

    cheers…

  5. Frank says:

    MAtt -done. I couldn’t access any blogspot sites earlier today, so I couldn’t actually read what the linked site was. I probably could have guessed, though.

  6. Matt says:

    appreciated, frank, thanks…