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The Ross Who Knew Too Much

Monday, August 01, 2005

I've moved!

My blog has a new address:

Update those links, etc.!


Thursday, July 14, 2005

New New York Dolls due

The reunited New York Dolls -- another one of my personal SXSW favorites -- has gone and signed a record deal with Roadrunner.

According to this story from Billboard:

The group is at work on its first new studio album since 1974's "Too Much Too Soon," expected to be released next spring.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

On 50 Cent and Jordis Unga

First up, a final note about Tuesday night's 50 Cent concert at the Target Center. If you read my review, you probably noted that the incessant amount of faux gunfire throughout the set was jarring, to say the least.

One tidbit I couldn't fit into the review was the mid-set tribute to Bob Marley -- or, more accurately, tribute to ganja. As smoke billowed from the set, videos showed young men toking up and Marley's largely peaceful music blasted from the speakers, 50 apparently decided -- oh, yes -- to enhance the experience with more simulated gunfire. A curious decision, to say the least.

While at the show, I taped the second episode of "Rock Star: INXS." (Yup, no Tivo for this one. I'm still waiting for Comcast to bring its own Tivo-like service to St. Paul.) And tonight, I caught this week's elimination episode.

Judging by the show's dismal ratings, I'm one of the few to actually to be watching this thing. (I do, however, think it's going to pick up viewers along the way -- it had better, 'cause CBS has plans to air it three times a week through October.)

But, so far, I'm finding it mildly entertaining. I'm watching largely to see how St. Paul's own Jordis Unga fares. Of the two songs she's performed, she's already emerged as a strong frontrunner. The band seems to love her, although she's probably not getting as much non-singing airtime as she could because she's sticking to her plans to not cheat on her boyfriend or get drunk on camera. (If you missed them, CBS is re-airing the second and third episodes Saturday night.)

Could she win this thing? I dunno, but I think it's pretty safe to assume she'll make it pretty far. (Although, full disclosure, I was convinced James was going to win "The Cut", and he got his curly-haired arse kicked off tonight in a rather shocking decision by old frog-faced Tommy Hilfiger. And just how seemingly talent-free former Miss Minnesota Jessica is still on that show is beyond me.)

Of those would-be rockers still on the show, here's who (and why) I expect to get the boot in the next few weeks:
-- Daphna (terrible name, even worse hair)
-- J.D. (former Elvis impersonator, from Canada)
-- Marty (is in a band that opened for Nickelback, who wants a lead singer named Marty?)
-- Heather (considers Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano and Ani DiFranco influences, probably smells like canned soup)
-- Deanna (zero charisma, also from Canada)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Magic Numbers!

Great news: the Magic Numbers -- easily my favorite band from SXSW -- has signed a U.S. record deal.

The album is already out on import, and I've heard Mark Wheat spin a track or two on the Current. With any luck, they'll hit these shores for a fall tour ...

On October 4th, Capitol Records will release in the U.S. the self-titled debut album from The Magic Numbers. The album debuted at #7 on the U.K. album chart this week, and has already reached Gold status there. "Forever Lost," a Top 15 U.K. hit, will be the first single stateside.

London's Sunday Times succinctly summed up their full-length debut as "64 minutes of tear-jerking bliss," while Mojo gave it a five-star, "Instant Mojo Classic" review, saying in part:

"...whether they remind you of Buffalo Springfield, The Mamas And The Papas, The Jesus And Mary Chain's blatant Phil Spector drum-steals or the moment when the Meat Puppets realised it was OK to be country, The Magic Numbers have made one of the records - perhaps the record - that 2005 is destined to be remembered for."

The Magic Numbers are made up of two sets of siblings - Romeo and Michele Stodart and Sean and Angela Gannon. The Stodarts, originally from Trinidad, moved to New York while in their teens and then to the West London district of Hanwell, where they instantly hit it off with the Gannons. Romeo (guitar, vocals) and Sean (drums) played together in local bands for a few years. Then Romeo began writing songs, the two were joined by kid sisters Michele (bass, vocals) and Angela (melodica, glockenspiel, vocals) and The Magic Numbers were born.

Since their first show in the fall of 2002, the band has played an increasingly successful series of gigs and tours, supporting artists such as Saint Etienne, Travis, Ed Harcourt, The Bees, The Concretes, Doves and Athlete. The Magic Numbers recently opened for Brian Wilson in the U.K. and for U2 on two European dates.

The full track listing for The Magic Numbers is as follows:

1. Mornings Eleven
2. Forever Lost
3. The Mule
4. Long Legs
5. Love Me Like You
6. Which Way To Happy
7. I See You, You See Me
8. Don't Give Up The Fight
9. This Love
10. Wheels On Fire
11. Love's A Game
12. Try
13. Hymn For Her

Friday, July 08, 2005

In brief

-- After mucking up its Live 8 coverage last weekend, MTV will air 10 commercial-free hours of performances on Saturday. Make sure you catch the Pink Floyd reunion, if nothing else.

-- Or, if you'd rather, see this site for a guide to watching archived Live 8 performances online.

-- Sigur Ros will play the State Theatre on Sept. 24. Tickets are going on sale through Ticketmaster on July 16, but if you hurry, you can buy pre-sale tickets directly from the band at this link. According to the band: "the seats reserved for these tickets are the best possible seats that each venue can assign to pre-sale tickets. in most cases these are better seats than those sold in the general sale."

-- The Current will air "The Emergence of Bob Dylan" at 6 p.m. Sunday. The two-hour show follows Dylan's early music and career and was produced in association with the Experience Music Project, the garish (but still kinda fun) rock museum in Seattle.

-- If you want to keep even closer tabs on St. Paul's Jordis Unga while she competes on "Rock Star: INXS" (which premieres Monday night on CBS), check out this site. (The show is being aired in 22 countries, so this is meant to act as a sort of "Rock Star" central for viewers around the world.)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Help a (Pernice) brother out

So the Pernice Brothers are hitting the road to support their excellent new disc "Discover a Lovelier You." And they're stopping by the The 400 Bar for a show on July 23.

But as it turns out, they need a little help. This message comes via the group's manager Joyce:
Jose has to skip out on the tour for a couple of days for a wedding, so we're going to be looking for someone to peddle our merch in Minneapolis. Any takers? Free admission to the show, which you may or may not be able to see, depending on the merch table's proximity to the stage!

Interested? E-mail her at (and put something like "I wanna sell merch in Minneapolis" in the subject line).

And, if nothing else, buy the new album. That is all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A curious way to promote your new solo album

Billy Corgan's not-super-great solo debut hits stores today, and to celebrate, he took out a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune announcing the Smashing Pumpkins are getting back together:

"For a year now I have walked around with a secret, a secret I chose to keep. But now I want you to be among the first to know that I have made plans to renew and revive the Smashing Pumpkins. I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams. In this desire I feel I have come home again."

Hmmm. I think it would be better news if he was reforming Zwan. (I'm serious, actually, as that Zwan album was far better than anything Corgan produced in the latter days of the Pumpkins.)