THE ORIGINAL dB's REUNITE FOR THEIR FIRST SHOW IN 17 YEARS:
(Assisted by keyboardist Andy Burton, L-R: Chris Stamey, Will Rigby, Peter Holsapple and Gene Holder.)
From the clanging chimes of "Ask For Jill" to the encore of "Neverland," the triumphant return of the influential quartet from Winston-Salem was every bit as invigorating and inspiring as any student of indie rock had a right to expect -- and slightly less ragged than one might expect of a recently reunited band starting with an outdoor charity gig. Indeed, the band's second gig that evening at Chicago's House of Blues had a few technical problems (despite the best efforts of a crew including the ubiquitous Gary-Elvis Schepers) that often left Holsapple hoping he was singing on-key.
The band drew heavily from its two Stamey-era albums, Stands For Decibels and Repercussion, but also previewed material from an album due in early 2006 -- two at the Hideout and an additional two at the House of Blues after band exhausted its rehearsed material during a second encore. Both sets also featured the first song the band recorded -- "I Thought You Wanted To Know," iirc. The longer HoB added a few nuggest from the band's post-Stamey catalog -- "Love Is For Lovers," "Lonely Is As Lonely Does" and "Molly Says."
Oddly, some of the material was (as Holsapple put it) "medlified," including "Living A Lie" and "Dyna-mite." Even more odd was the number of songs the band avoided -- "We Were Happy There," "From A Window To A Screen," "In Spain" and "I Feel Good (Today)," to name a few just from Repercussion. Yet they did play "Purple Hose," an instrumental left off Repercussion (it's on Ride the Wild Tom-Tom). And I thought they might do "White Train," just to give some to the drummer. Even so, it's a mild complaint, given the majestic version of "Happenstance" delivered at the Hideout (complete with sampled crickets) and the rave-out encore of "Amplifier" at the HoB.
And if there was any doubt that the dB's are as big a group of music fans as their own fans, there was a priceless exchange between songs at the HoB. Holsapple decided to depart from the setlist, announcing, "We were going to play something else, but now we're going to play... something else." Stamey interjected, "The entire Kinks album, back to back." Holsapple replied, "That would be face to face, wouldn't it?" Stamey deadpanned, "Our repartee remains as sharp as ever."
Promoting the gigs, Chris Stamey discussed the band's unique brand of "Southern" rock in the Chicago Sun-Times and about recording and producing pop records with Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune. There's a pro-quality pic of the band up on Flickr. Ken King and I picked up cool posters from Cricket Press, which doesn't have it posted yet, but there are plenty of other cool posters in the gallery now. There are more dB's pics.. and a couple of reunited Eleventh Dream Day from the Hideout gig if you click the "Read More..." link at the bottom of today's entry.
PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: I've been following the saga of the troubled singer and his supermodel galpal for some time and it's really paying off. Is the video of Moss snorting coke payback for the superwaif's threat to sue the Mirror over a prior claim that she once fell into a cocaine-induced coma? It hardly matters as the story is now snowballing. Moss has fessed up. Her' millions in fashion endorsements were thought to be in danger. Then stores and fashion brands seemed to back her, fueling some public outrage. Now she is accused of trying to seduce a female personal assistant while under the influence of cocaine. The oh-so-reliable News of the World followed with tales of lesbian threesomes and a menage a trois with Jude Law and his then-wife Sadie Frost, which appears to be causing at least one of Moss' corporate supporters to revisit the issue. The Mirror confronted Moss, Doherty and Moss' family with the pictures and video. Dohery spat at a photographer and later threatened a reporter with a broken bottle. Doherty's ex managers says that Moss was naive to think Doherty's friends could be trusted, even as he tells the press Moss can roll a joint from a tampon cover. Meanwhile, Doherty's former Libertines bandmate Carl Barat is forming a new band, as yet unnamed.
THE HOLD STEADY frontman Chris Finn talks to PopMatters about his lyrical subversion of the classic rock mythos on Separation Sunday: "I do think there is romanticism in it. I just think maybe it's a little more honest, a little less cheery. It's very much a youthful record. I think rock 'n' roll is always kind of connected to the teen years. You're at the age where, I don't want to say you hate your parents, but you want to spend as little time as possible alone with them at home. A car allows you to drive around and smoke pot and kinda have your own little world. So [Separation Sunday] is about that."
THE RAMONES now have their own museum in Berlin.
ERIC CLAPTON is quietly sounding out publishers for interest in an autobiography.
HURRICANE RELIEF: It seems like just about everyone, including Yo La Tengo, Tom Waits, Simon & Garfunkel, Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, and Ted Leo & Pharmacists, are playing benefit shows. And it looks like Elvis Costello will be at almost all of them, but especially at a Madison Square Garden gig including Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint. PLUS: Tipitina's Foundation New Orleans' musicians in exile.
HURRICANE KATRINA: Five Days with Katrina is an excellent photogallery documenting the storm and its aftermath. Among the rations being given to evacuees and relief workers is New Orleans-based Tabasco sauce. Houston police are investigating the use of FEMA or Red Cross debit cards at strip clubs. This follows a report of profiteering ghouls using the debit cards to buy luxury goods, including signature monogrammed Louis Vuitton handbags. Former President Bill Clinton broke with tradition to criticize FEMA's performance. OTOH, Former President Bill Clinton just criticized BBC coverage of the storm, saying it had been "stacked up" to criticise the federal government's slow response. That's our Bill!
BOB DYLAN: An exhibition of early photos opened Thursday in London.
NME'S TOP 100 ROCK MOMENTS: I would certainly disagree with the order.
ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME SHORTLIST has no candidates for 1980, giving hope that moronic voters may be forced to admit the Stooges, the Sex Pistols, Joe Tex, etc.
UK INDIE COVERS: Take Your Medicine is killing music with Coldplay covering "You only Live Twice," Oasis covering "Help," Death Cab For Cutie covering the Stone Roses' "I Want to Be Adored" and many more.
STEPHEN STILLS has nice words for former bandmate Neil Young, but will largely leave the political spotlight to Bono: "I don't have the glasses, and I can actually play the guitar."
NEIL YOUNG: You can stream an extended interview and his upcoming album at NPR.
RINGO STARR'S BOYHOOD HOME is getting the London Bridge treatment.
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH frontman Alec Ounsworth briefly chats with the Bostonist. There's a funny moment involving Stereogum, a blog often linked here.
ON THE PITCHFORK: An anonymous article on Pitchfork at Coolfer decries its influence, particularly of the bad reviews. Speaking of which, reviewers give the the new Dandy Warhols a 1.2 and the sophomore album from CocoRosie a 3.4.
"INDIE" BANDS The new generation of rock bands, recently written up in Newsweek, get more attention from the AP as well as Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune.
FRANZ FERDINAND frontman Alex Kapranos is writing a weekly food column for the Guardian as he travels the globe on the band's world tour.
ART-METAL gets noticed by The New York Times. This is the second such article I've read recently; one more and it's officially a trend.
MOTLEY CRUE SINGER Vince Neil needs less whiskey and more milk.
MRS. RON WOOD says she has to work at her now 20-year marriage. Who'da thunkit?
RENEE ZELLWEGER'S MARITAL WOES may be creating some turmoil for newlywed ex-beau Jack White.
CHARLIE SHEEN told Dave Letterman that he's trying to work things out with Denise Richards.
BRADGELINA UPDATE: Pitt and Jolie are reportedly cosidering a wedding at George Clooney's Italian villa, though I saw Clooney deny this on TV. And Pitt will be quite naked in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
GWYNETH PALTROW: Now that she's returned from Canada, she says she's not moving out of the US (third item). Did somebody just discover that the Internet lets people read what you say in other countries?
THE FONZ played a key role in the creation of the "backend deal" in Hollywood. Who knew?
THE SIMPSONS: Celeb photog David LaChapelle is still on the muscle against Jessica and Ashlee (last item), offerin an aplogy "because I never meant any offense - to either Marge or Bart or Homer or the rest of them. Matt Groening is a genius, and I never meant to offend him by association. Those Simpsons rule."
LIV TYLER is carrying a few extra pounds. The reaction to this by some is part of the reason other starlets go on the Skeletor diet.
SCOOBY-DOO attacked at Universal Studios. Insert "meddlesome kids" joke here.
STEVEN TOBOLOWSKY, character actor (e.g., ned from Groundhog Day) and director, is blogging the production of the independent film Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party and has some choice words regarding the way publicists handled his divorce from actress Mena Suvari (scroll down to "Yin and Yang").
IRAQ: Zarqawi seems to be is drawing growing numbers of Iraqi nationals to his organization. Newsweek has a web-exclusive commentary from reporter Michael Hastings listing good news and trying to explain why he doesn't report it. Cols. H.R. McMaster and Robert Brown talk more about ops in nowrthwest Iraq and the capabilities of Iraqi forces on both sides. Col McMaster, who led the battle for Tal Afar, had blunt talk: "The enemy here did just the most horrible things you can imagine, in one case murdering a child, placing a booby trap within the child's body and waiting for the parent to come recover the body of their child and exploding it to kill the parents... They are some of the worst human beings on the face of the Earth. There is no really greater pleasure for us than to kill or capture these particular individuals."
CINDY SHEEHAN wants President Bush to "pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq."
CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN: Was Mahmoud Maawad a University of Memphis student and pilot-wannabe with a passion for flying small planes or an Arab terrorist looking to duplicate the suicide missions of 9/11? on Thursday, Maaward -- arrested for fraudulent use of a Social Security number -- became the second Memphis resident of Arab descent to be held without bond because of investigations by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. In April, Rafat Mawlawi was jailed in a separate investigation in which prosecutors have linked him to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
SUPREME COURT Chief Justice Nominee John Roberts and his wife go Al and Tipper for the cameras. UW Madison Law Prof. Ann Althouse compares editorials from The New York Times and the Washington Post on the Roberts nomination.
AFGHANISTAN: Publius Pundit rounds up the pariamentary election. The Guardian reports that the brave new face of Afghan politics is young and female. In remote areas, democracy was delivered by donkey. I think Dems here could do something with that.
DEMOCRACY IN SAUDI ARABIA? Saudi women will be able to fully participate in an election for the first time in the ultraconservative Islamic kingdom, after the government ordered a local chamber of commerce to allow female voters and candidates. A small step, but in the right direction.
JIHAD on BURGER KING? The fast-food chain, Burger King, is withdrawing its ice-cream cones after the lid of the dessert offended a Muslim. The man claimed the design resembled the Arabic inscription for Allah, and branded it sacrilegious, threatening a "jihad." London's Sun has pictures the ice cream of the infidels.
DEMOCRACY IN GERMANY: Angela Merkel's conservatives have won Germany's election by just three seats, falling far short of a majority and leaving the country in political limbo. The Geman blog Davids Medienkritik has lots of info and analysis.
THE DANISH GOVERNMENT PROVIDES PROSTITUTES for the disabled. The policy has its critics.
GLOBAL WARMING: The largely unreported story of British Prime Minister Tony Blair apparently stepping back from the Kyoto Protocol.
THE H2N-GEN may cut automobile fuel consumption by 10-40 per cent - and pollutants by up to 100 per cent. I'll believe it when I see it... (earlier versions had reliability problems) but I'd like to see it.
CASHMERE GOATS AND DOG face off during Fashion Week in NYC.
DOG performs Buddhist Temple rituals in South Korea.
BRIDGE FOR SQUIRRELS costing 12K in the Czech Republic is built without consulting the squirrels.
SEA LION UPDATE: The sea lions that sunk a restored 1910 sailboat and have broken windows in Newport Beach, CA are a protected species under federal law and cannot be harassed.
DOG shoots hunter.
PARROT switches his political affiliation.
HARRIET THE TORTOISE, collected by Charles Darwin on his famous Voyage of the Beagle, will turn 175 in November.
SHEEP are starring in an Internet reality show.
BIOLOGISTS ENCOURAGED BY FERRETS' PROGRESS: Prairie dogs not so encouraged.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! A couple of hours before the dB's, the crowd at the Hideout block party were treated to the reunited Eleventh Dream Day.
Mr. Rizzo can still rip loose with those ragged Neil Young-meets-Lou Reed guitar solos; the new material for an upcoming album was pretty good, too.
The dB's opened with a great version of "Ask For Jill," with Chris Stamey turning his hand into a telephone for the imaginary converstaion during the interlude.
Peter Holsapple takes a solo.
Later, at the HoB, he would remark that it was their "first indoor show since... he had hair!"
Chris and Pete rock out a bit.
Drummer Will Rigby got quite a workout on the early hyperkinetic material. But on one of the new songs, the languid "Santa Monica," he was so laid back that I thought he might topple backward off his throne -- very Capt. Jack Sparrow. I have that MC5 shirt also.
Chris in close-up.
Chris takes a solo.