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News and Features

Notes on a Key Change: “You Don’t Own Me” — Lesley Gore

A chromatic climb in key and women’s rights, Lesley Gore sings her heart out with the 1963 hit “You Don’t Own Me.”

When other female pop singers in the ’60s were singing about love, Lesley Gore was singing about relationship independence. This is an incredible song by Philly song writers John Madara and Dave White.

Special note: the original recording was produced by Quincy Jones.

Here’s Lesley performing live from the music film T.A.M.I. Show.

Tony Trov is a lover of saxophones and analog.
His Philly-based studio, South Fellini produces lots of wacky sexy things.

New Video: “Red Red Rose” – Stone Jack Jones

Watch the video for “Red Red Rose,” a song from Stone Jack JonesAncestor.



10th – The Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH
11th – Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
13th – Triple Rock Social Club – Minneapolis, MN
14th – The Mill – Iowa City, IA
15th – The Demo – St Louis, MO
16th – Auntie Mae’s Parlor – Manhattan, KS
17th – Zoo Bar – Lincoln, NE
18th – Moe’s Original – Denver, CO
20th – Neurolux – Boise, ID
22nd – The Tractor – Seattle, WA
23rd – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
24th – Sam Bond’s Garage – Eugene, OR
25th – The Depot at Humbolt State University – Arcata, CA
27th – The Crepe Place – Santa Cruz, CA
28th – Brick & Mortar Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
29th – Leo’s – Oakland, CA
30th – Hotel Café – Los Angeles, CA


1st – Bunkhouse – Las Vegas
10th – Exit / In – Nashville, TN
12th – North Star Bar – Philadelphia, PA
13th – DC9 – Washington, DC
14th – The Bell House – Brooklyn, NY


New Single: “Dark Knight in Shining Armor” – PUJOL

Listen to “Dark Knight in Shining Armor,” a track from PUJOL’s Reunited States of Being, out September 27.


9/12 – St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway

9/13 – Burlington, IA @ The Washington

9/14 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown

9/15 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe

9/16 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theater

9/17 – Green Bay, WI @ Lyric Room

9/18 – Chicago, IL @ Metro

9/19 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall

9/20 – Louisville, KY @ The New Vintage

9/27 – Cincinnati, OH @ Midpoint Music Festival

9/29 – Fort Wayne, IN @ The Brass Rail

9/30 – Cleveland, OH @ Happy Dog

10/1 – Detroit, MI @ PJ’s Lager House

10/2 – Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar

10/4 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory

10/4 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory

10/5 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Dr. Roboto

10/6 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups

10/7 – Chicago, IL @ Logan Square

10/8 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock

10/9 – Spearfish, SD @ Back Porch

10/10 – Denver, CO @ The Lost Lake

10/11 – Boise, ID @ The Crux

10/13 – Portland, OR @ Holocene

10/14 – Olympia, WA @ Obsidian

10/15 – Seattle, WA @ Black Lodge

10/17 – Oakland, CA @ 1234 GO!

10/18 – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern

10/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Los Globos

10/21 – Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room

10/23 – Austin, TX @ Red 7

10/24 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s

10/25 – New Orleans, LA @ Community Records Block Party

10/28 – Nashville, TN @ The Stone Fox

11/1 – Atlanta, GA @ 529

11/2 – Raleigh, NC @ Kings Barcade

11/3 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter

11/5 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s

11/6 – Cambridge, MA @ TT The Bears

11/7 – Providence, RI @ Spark City

11/8 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes



New Single: “Don’t You Know” – Filmstrip

Listen to “Don’t You Know,” a track from Filmstrip’s Moments of Matter.


9/25 Columbus, OH @ Tree Bar w/ WV White

9/26 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland

10/1 Detroit, MI @ PJs Lager House w/ Pujol

10/4 Milwaukee, WI @ Yield

10/9 St. Louis. MO @ Plush

10/11 Cincinnati, OH @ The Comet w/ Fantastronaughts

10/15 Buffalo, NY @ Nietzsches w/ Aircraft

10/16 Syracuse, NY @ Green Gate Tavern w/ Blacklight Dahlia

10/19 New York, NY @ Palisades w/ Ghost Punch, Sink Tapes, and Enney

10/20 Boston, MA @ Middlesex Lounge

10/24 Philadelphia, PA @ Chill Collins Art Space

10/30 Charlotte, NC @ Milestone

10/31 Jacksonville, FL @ The Hourglass Pub

11/6 West Palm Beach, FL @ Respectable Street

11/8 Tampa, FL @ New World Brewery

11/12 New Orleans, LA @ The Circle Bar

11/14 Tuscaloosa, AL @ Egan’s

11/17 Atlanta, GA @ 529 Club w/ The NEC

11/18 Nashville, TN @ The Stone Fox

11/22 Cleveland, OH @ The Happy Dog


Of Modest Mouse and Men

There’s lots going on these days for Modest Mouse fans. A reissue of This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About comes out October 28, a reissue of The Lonesome Crowded West comes out November 4, a visual history (picture book) of the band by Pat Graham called Modest Mouse comes out October 7, and there are still a handful of tour dates scheduled.

If the band had broken up five years ago, I’d be happy about all of this. But it didn’t, and I’m not. All the reissues do is remind me of how much I want to hear the new album. So, reissues in one hand and no new album in the other, I do the only reasonable thing. I stage a Modest Mouse bender. Here are some of the highlights.

Pitchfork did an excellent documentary on The Lonesome Crowded West as part of their Pitchfork Classics series.

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank: a little Smiths, a little Shins, and a whole lotta Mouse.









The video for “King Rat” was on Heath Ledger’s to do list when he died.

This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About: it may be a long drive for someone with nothing to think about, but it’s the perfect three drives for chemistry-bearing college kids.









The band’s appearance on The OC was a good prep for seeing Cormac McCarthy on Oprah.

Portlandia and all of its genius knew exactly how to play it though.

The Moon & Antarctica: Yeah, I know, it’s a pretty good listen, but it’s not Modest Mouse’s best record. If you think it is, you’re just announcing to the world that you read blogs.


Modest Mouse turns in my second favorite cover of “That’ll Be The Day.” To be fair though, Linda Ronstadt’s version is so good, I’m not even sure the man himself did it better.

Good News For People Who Love Bad News: Had all of the pop buzz not come with this one, it would probably be the only one we could all agree on.









As far as the new album is concerned, we’ve heard that Krist Novoselic and Big Boi have been involved in some recording sessions, and we’ve heard some new songs at recent shows. But we haven’t heard The Thing yet.

So it turns out that a Modest Mouse bender goes like most benders. It leads to a few broken hearts, a few mended hearts, and a sincere hope that, in fact, that is not blood in my urine.



A Belgian Jaunt

Young Marble Giant’s Belgian jaunt on 1st November 2008 was bizarre (as I should have known, when getting there from Bristol via Amsterdam went so smoothly). The evening unfolded strangely; having been met on time at Bruxelles airport, I found myself helping the exhausted festival driver navigate out of the car park!

We then purred out into beautiful beech woods, south of the capital, towards our hotel. Up a long drive we came to a minimalist white building like something from a science fiction film (my puzzlement was affirmed later when we discovered it had formerly been IBM’s European HQ). Being a low-level, spread out affair as it was, everything was a long way away. This was exemplified by the amusing spectacle of couples, clad only in white toweling robes and slippers, wandering through the foyer at all hours to get to a spa. It always seemed to be the same couple, though, and they never had damp hair.

Anyway, after a welcomed nap in a splendid room, (the whole place was absolutely spanking new) we left for the venue with hopes for our first square meal of the day. Food, or rather the lack of it, was to be a recurring theme on this jaunt.

The venue at Nivelles was dark, wet, cold, and muddy—a big tent in a remote field miles from the railway station. (The punters had to find their own way there somehow!) However, before being taken to the venue, we were driven to a primary school (!) only to discover that all of the food for the bands, (it was a one-day festival,) had been devoured by the first lot in. Rock’n’roll, and all that. Two small plates of warm quiche between us hardly sufficed, but there was a crate of strong beer which we trousered for later.

On to the gig, and no sound check. The audience (A mere 300 frozen souls huddled forlornly in front of the stage. They must be desperate for entertainment in Nivelles.) watched us set up, plug in, and detune as the freezing air had sharpened our instruments to a semitone above concert pitch. Then off we went, with Alison’s singing producing plumes of steam!

Afterwards, we made a ravenous rush to the sole food stall on the site, a greasy chip van, before returning too late to catch the restaurant, and then to l’hotel, where the ale we trousered earlier spared us from raiding the hideously expensive minibar.

The next morning, after a large buffet breakfast, we were ready to face the day’s journey home, and boy, did we need to be ready. Instead of two flights (onerous enough), we had to get a train from Brussels to Amsterdam and change there for Schipol Airport.

Of course, this was not straightforward. The road to the station was blocked and, when we finally got there, we had to wait 45 minutes for the (local) promoter to unravel the mysteries of which train we needed to take! To fill time, I photographed Alison drinking coffee next to a large, plastic sculpture of a zebra complete with a shirt and featuring prominent genitalia at table level! Well, Belgium is the home of Surrealism.

The train was then delayed, natch, and thrice we had to get off and then re-board due to misinformation over the PA system on the everlasting schlepp into Holland. By the time we got to Schipol airport, at about 6 p.m., we were starving again, despite having a sandwich on the train. We had a three-hour wait for our flight, and hot food was consumed.

Such is the glamourous life of today’s musicians – nothing changes!

To be fair, it was a radical departure from the four-star style we’re used to with our wonderful French agent in charge.

By the way, lest it seem that I’m a moaning ingrate, let me say that I would far prefer to spend the rest of my working life waiting for food and transport in between gigs than do another hour in the “dayjob” – that’s real hardship!

Over and Out.


Single: “Avant Gardener” – Courtney Barnett

Listen to “Avant Gardener,” a song from Courtney Barnett’s The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas.


New Single: “Jane” – Girlpool

Listen to “Jane,” a song from Girlpool’s debut self-titled EP, out November 18.

9/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Rogie’s
9/26 – Claremont, CA @ Scripps College
9/28 – Los Angeles, CA @The Smell
10/7 – San Francisco, CA @ Brick and Mortar
10/10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg
10/18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio
10/19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn
10/20 – Annandale-on-Hudson, NY @ Bard College
10/23 – Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio
10/24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn
10/28 – Purchase, NY @ SUNY Purchase
11/19 – London, EN @ Sebright Arms
12/1 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
12/8 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
12/15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
12/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo


Chronological Musicology: The Misfits in the ’80s

I once got into a heated debate with a friend in high school about The Misfits being a better band than the Beatles. In my mind, I had convincing arguments in favor of the devil-locked punk rockers. I remember thinking, “this guy just likes the Beatles ‘cause everyone else does. There is nothing unique about them.” I really thought that. I thought the band that was wearing skulls and singing about skulls was unique, not the band that pretty much wrote the book.

I now honestly cannot comprehend trying to make this argument with a straight face. It’s ridiculous, obviously. But, that being said, there was a period in the mid/late ‘80s for me that was all about The Misfits. They were my favorite band. It has been years since I have had a favorite band like that, one that would trump every other band in existence in my eyes.

The Pratt brothers introduced me to The Misfits. I was getting into all kinds of different punk/hardcore bands around this time, and a lot of these bands sounded very similar to the untrained ear, mine included. When I heard The Misfits, they kind of just took over for a while. I bought a 3-pack of 90-minute cassette tapes and went to work borrowing my friends’ tapes and dubbing them. I had to find every little thing they put out, which really wasn’t a whole lot now that I think about it (a couple of LPs, a live record, and a few EPs), and devour it.

The band had already broken up when I first heard them. It didn’t matter to me. It didn’t matter that I had no idea what Danzig was saying most of the time either. What did matter was finding out the answer to, “Mommy, can I go out and kill tonight?!?!”

Actually, not knowing what Danzig was saying half the time did matter a little. This was a time before box sets with all of the lyrics included, and all of The Misfits records with lyric sheets were out of print. I had a friend who had an older brother who had all of these Misfits LPs and 7”ers. I remember going over to his place and writing the lyrics down on loose leaf paper in my Trapper Keeper. I struck gold!

I finally knew the answer about going out and killing tonight, and it was pretty brutal. Even more so than I thought. In my 15-year-old mind, it solidified my argument that this band was far superior to the Beatles. “She walks in with empty arms, machine gun in her hand” vs. “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.” Misfits: 1, Beatles: 0.


Mark Fleming

I am 41-years-young. I have played in bands on and off, mostly with my brother Adam, since 1990 (Snowbyrd, The White Heat, B side Project). A few toured nationally, and one still gives me quarterly checks from BMI.

I never bought in to CDs (They came out when I was in high school) and have been buying records since the 80s. I have over 2500 LPs and who knows how many 45s. I’m not really a collector, but I can’t stop with the LPs. I also love vintage tube amplifiers, Fender offset guitars of all kinds, and riding skateboards.

I live with my beautiful wife Robin, my 2 ½-year-old son Pierce, and my 9-year-old step-daughter Penelope. My wife plays bass, and we plan on starting up another band sometime soon (Thee Beat Folks). I still play with two other bands every now and then (Ghost Bitch and Taargus Taargus).



Video: “Love is Colder Than Death” – Dean Wareham

Watch the video for “Love is Colder Than Death,” a song from Dean Wareham’s Emancipated Hearts.

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