Sprites - Starling, Spiders, Tiger and Sprites

Sprites - Starling, Spiders, Tiger and Sprites
(March Records)

Once upon a time in D.C. a bunch of self-professed computer nerds started making music. With songs like "The Downside of Computer Camp", "I Have the Password To Your Shell Account" and "Robot Trouble"... these were not your average skateboard punks trying to hammer out a tune. The band was Barcelona. From from the death of one thing spurned another as Jason, Jen, Ivan and Christian aren't making music together anymore. The first offshoot to arise on record is Sprites. (Those of you who were paying attention have already heard a Sprites song on our Flirt compilation... and may have also noted The Positions formed by another former Barcelona Boy.)


Hidden Cameras - Live

 Hidden Cameras
Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
14 June 2003

There are some things in this world that words simply cannot describe in their full glory. Unfortunately for this review, The Hidden Cameras live show and, in fact, the Hidden Cameras in general is one of those things. I'll do the best I can, though.

First off, a little bit about the band. It is the brainchild of Joel Gibb, though in the live setting all eleven members are equally crucial to the performance. Gibb describes their sound as "gay church folk-music", and I suppose that's as accurate description as you're going to get. I certainly can't think of a better one. At any given point in time during a full-band Hidden Cameras show, there is so much going on on-stage [and even off-stage, more on that in a bit] that you can't help but feel at least slightly over stimulated. And it's fantastic.


Spiritualized - Live

Philadelphia, PA

Anyone catch Spiritualized in Philly last night? Or at the field day festival for that matter? Last night Spritualized played for about an hour and 15 minutes at the Trocadero with Phaser as the opening act.


Primal Scream - Live

Primal Scream
Irving Plaza
New York City, NY

Review by Mike Patterson

It may be time to hang it up Bobby.

I hate to be disrespectful, I mean, you are indie rock royalty, you have had some amazing bright spots in your 18 some odd years in pop. I still bow in deference to "Imperial", I have the lyrics to "Higher Than the Sun" on the wall next to me at work. (The boss loves that let me tell ya) and I'll be damned if "Kowalski" still doesn't make me wanna jump up and down and shout, but it seems that these things are best left to memories rather than slugging through high points in the latter half of your brilliant career in the half assed manner that you delivered to Irving Plaza last night.


The Libertines - Live

The Libertines
Club Luxx
Brooklyn, NY

Review by Mike Patterson

I have seen rock's present and it is the Libertines!!!

When I first heard this band in the late fall of last year I was instantly impressed. Struck me as a London Strokes, (which is the way everyone describes them now) but at the time it sounded to me that where The Strokes punked out NYC locals Television and VU, The Libertines did the same with British glam a-la Slade and the Sweet. The cultural parallels were undeniable, at least on record, but those parallels disappear almost completely with the live show these boys put on.


Coachella 2003 Review

Ahh... My fourth Coachella. I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about how great it was, but I've been writing bits and pieces of my review for the past few weeks and I'm finally finished. So click on the 'read more' link to see what went down this year.


The Polyphonic Spree - Live

The Polyphonic Spree
Aladdin Theatre,
Portland OR

My first surprise of the night came when I got to the Aladdin Theatre just before the Polyphonic Spree was set to go on to discover that the theatre was maybe only half full. Quite a bit less than I would have expected given the advance press on this band. My second surprise came with the type of people that were at the show. It was a range from very elderly patrons to very small children. In fact, there were so many children that I thought I wandered into the wrong show.


Fischerspooner - Live

I went to the Fischerspooner show with some reservations. I've heard things about them ranging from brilliant to boring art school wanking.

Adding to the whole experience was the hockey crowd surrounding the venue. It was a big home game and every yahoo from the surrounding 200 kilometers or more were downtown and ready to part-tay. And they all decided to drive. And honk their horns, the whole way there and back.


Cat Power - You Are Free

"Just because they knew your name,
Doesn't mean they know from where you came."
- I Don't Blame You

Chan Marshall has always had a raw and emotional voice that leaves her a glow in a wash of power. 'You Are Free' is her first new material in almost four years, and she's more confident and calculated than with her 1998 release 'Moon Pix'. Beauty in haunted melody and frantic strings; Alluring ballads as addiction itself.


Supergrass/The Coral & Idlewild live in Boston

Well, both of these tours happened to start in Boston this week.

Supergrass were better then when I saw them on tour during the X-ray album. They played lots of songs from "I Should Coco" and most of the new tracks sounded great.  I think the drums rocked a bit TOO HARD. Supergrass don't need this heavy metal arena rock stomp behind them! Nevertheless (furtherthemore), it was an impressive sound. The Coral opened up and even if it's hard to describe their music without saying "sea shanty", they played a surprisingly excellent set with some new songs, culminating in a incredible 10 minute jam on "Goodbye" that I'm kicking myself for not recording.

The next night Idlewild took the stage and played an incredible set - the best I've seen from them yet. The setlist was near perfect (not including "Actually, It's Darkness" is criminal!) and never in a million years would I think they would open up with "You Just Have to Be Who You Are" as a segue into "I Am (What I Am Not)". I did tape this one, learning my lesson with the Coral the night before. I walked in while French Kicks were on, and from what I heard I wasn't too impressed. But yes, do check out Idlewild during this tour.

Setlists (in approx order)
Supergrass :

Mansize Rooster
Sitting Up Straight
Strange Ones
Seen The Light
Rush Hour Soul
Brecon Beacons
Late In The Day
Never Done Nothing Like That Before
Pumping On your Stereo
Richard III
Lose it
Sun Hits The Sky
La Song
Neil Young Cover
Caught By The Fuzz

Idlewild :
You Just Have To Be Who You Are (!)
I Am (What I Am Not)
Little Discourage
You Held The World in Your Arms
I'm a Message
Tell Me Ten Words (sounded pretty good on electric guitar)
A Modern Way Of Letting Go
These Wooden Ideas
I'm Happy To Be Here Tonight
Anihilate Now (!!!)
American English
When I Argue I See Shapes
Live in a Hiding Place
Film About the Future
Listen To What You've Got
In Remote Part / Scottish Fiction