Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Real Estate Live at CMJ 2009

For the first time in 12 years, IRT has missed a CMJ Music Marathon. But thanks to the beauty of online and live taping, we didn't have to miss one of the shows we would have definitely stood in line to catch.

Head on over to our pal NYC Taper (who is featured in our next digital issue of IRT) for a live recording of a set from one of our new favorite bands, Real Estate. Ever since we heard this band's hazy surf-folk-psychedelia via their Atlantic City Expressway EP, we were hooked, and now you can check out their 10/24 gig at NYC's Market Hotel during CMJ last week for yourself by clicking here.

Also, make sure to save the date for their forthcoming self-titled LP, coming out Nov. 17 on Woodsist out of Warwick, NY. Track listing below.

Real Estate
Real Estate
Street Date: Nov. 17, 2009

1. Beach Comber
2. Pool Swimmers
3. Suburban Dogs
4. Black Lake
5. Atlantic City
6. Fake Blues
7. Green River
8. Suburban Beverage
9. Lets Rock The Beach
10. Snow Days

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ron Hart vs. Sean Lennon

When I was a little boy back in the late late 70s, my mom used to take me to an eye doctor on the Upper West Side. While I'm sure a optimologist in Levittown would have sufficed (though I didn't complain, as a trip to the eye doctor for me also meant going to the Central Park Zoo and the Museum of Natural History afterwards), part of me is convinced that she chose this guy, whose name I believe was Dr. LaVall, was due to the fact that he was in close proximity to the Dakota and she had a onside change of running into John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the street during one of my visits.

As anyone in my family would tell you, my mom was a complete freak about the Beatles. If you look at the footage closely, I am certain you can see her in the nosebleeds of Shea Stadium screaming her head off during their legendary concert there in 1965. My cousin Lucille is also quick to tell the story about how she and my other cousin Joanne were right beside her in front of my grandparents TV set when the Fabs played Ed Sullivan back in '64. She had every Beatles album and subsequent solo release, all of which now sit proudly in my own vinyl collection. Every time Let It Be, Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine would be featured on WPIX, you know that Mom and I were watching. She is the only reason why I'm as big of a fan of John, Paul, George and Ringo as I am today. And while she was certainly more of a Paul girl, Mom also had a great love for John, and I remember her always saying how she wished that one day I could become friends with Sean, because we were around the same age.

Although I've met him a few times over the years hanging out in downtown NYC and, just last night, was invited to chill out in the backyard of his apartment to do an interview for an upcoming feature on as well as a cover story for what we hope to be the final print issue of IRT in 2010, I wouldn't exactly say these instances constitute a declaration of BFF status. However, knowing how much Sean's family meant to my family all of these years, being able to sit at his patio and have a conversation with him--something from what he says he hardly does with journalists--is an experience I will never soon forget and stands as one of the great highlights of my writing career.

Not only as a major fan of the music, activism and art created by his mom and dad, I am also a big fan of the amazing stuff Sean himself has crafted as an artist in his own right (if you haven't already, seek out his 2006 album Friendly Fire, one of the 5 best releases of the 00s), and I consider it to be quite an honor that young Lennon not only granted us this rare interview, one of the only ones he is doing this year in print in order to promote his amazing soundtrack to his friend (and frontman of former IRT feature stars Dopo Yume) Jordan Galland's film Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead, but also expressed interest to comission some of his own artwork for the cover and the inside of this forthcoming issue of IRT in concert with the interview.

In the 30-odd minutes I spent at his pad, we waxed philisophic about such wide-ranging topics as his promising new record label he started out of his home, Chimera Music (, the paparazzi, the state of NYC's avant-garde community, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen, his comment about Bruce Springsteen at Glastonbury, he and Yoko's recent guest spot on The View (see video below) and his thoughts on the passing of Michael Jackson, whom he worked with on Jackson's 1988 film, Moonwalker, and even exchanged memories of childhood trips to the Museum and the Zoo, among other things.

Sean, if you are reading this, I can't express how much your time and hospitality meant to me as someone who holds the music of both yourself and your parents so close to my heart. Thanks again, man.

And somewhere up in heaven, I am definitely certain that my mom is beaming with joy over the fact that I at least partially fulfilled her wish. -Ed.

Sean and Yoko on The View:

Friday, October 16, 2009


Here is a rundown of some of the great new and current releases for those of us who still spend our hard-earned dollars on building up our record collections. So if you are perusing your favorite local mom-and-pop this weekend and not sure what to pick up, please consider any of these titles worthy of your economically strapped cashola. –Ed.

Hooverdam (Invisible Hands)

Recorded at London’s infamous Toe Rag Studio in glorious analog, the latest solo release from the onetime Strangler is a barebones affair that is by far his scrappiest set in over 20 years. Though it was originally released in 2008, it has recently been made available stateside at your local independent record store in both vinyl and compact disc. Please note the CD version also comes with a DVD entitled Blueprint that chronicles the making of this most remarkable outing from one of British punk’s reigning icons. And oh yea, Hooverdam is also still available as a free download on Hugh’s Web site. But do yourself a favor and pick up the real thing as well. Your collection will thank you for it.

Featuring the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Children’s Choir (Anti-)

Every now and again you get a celebrity who ventures into the music game and actually comes out with something worth his or her salt in acting chops. As Dead Man’s Bones, indie film darling Ryan Gosling (The Believer, Lars and the Real Girl, Half Nelson), together with songwriting partner Zach Shields and a bunch of kids from the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Children’s Choir create a wholly unique fusion of Odyssey-era Zombies, Nick Cave and the Langley Schools Music Project that is creepy and captivating all at once. It might take a minute to grow on you, but soon enough this Dead Man will have your bones rattling in no time.

Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 (Columbia-Legacy)

Abruptly awakened from his slumber at 2 AM to calm a rabid crowd incited by an explosive performance from Jimi Hendrix moments prior, Leonard Cohen soothingly inoculated a crowd of 600,000 at the 1970 Isle of Wight music festival with a healthy dose of his poetic downer folk; in his pajamas, no less. Filmmaker Murray Lerner, on hand to document the event, captured Cohen’s brilliant, cathartic performance on celluloid while legendary Columbia Records soundman Teo Macero handled the audio. The result is this extraordinary find, beautifully packaged as a CD/DVD set by my pals at Legacy Recordings to be made available for public consumption this coming Tuesday.

Fluorescent Black (Big Dada)

Over six years after allegedly calling it quits as a group, the members of the celebrated IDM rap coalition Anti-Pop Consortium sign to Big Dada and make a surprise return to the recording studio with their tightest album since Tragic Epilogue. Note to Jigga: If you want to hear how to truly stage a comeback on wax, quit hanging out at hipster rock shows and check out Fluorescent Black.

Andy Warhol Presents Man on the Moon: The John Phillips Space Musical (Varese Sarabande)

Yes, yes, John Phillips is a scumbag who banged his daughter. That much we found out just recently. But if you have followed the trajectory of the Phillips brood over the course of their 45 years in the national spotlight, the fact that this is one fucked up family is nothing new. However, just because the man was a demon outside of the studio should not circumvent his brilliance inside the recording booth. The latest entry in Varese Sarabande’s ongoing reissue campaign of Papa John’s amazing solo catalog is a long-in-the-works collection of previously unreleased music from Phillips’ oddball 1975 off-Broadway musical produced by Andy Warhol entitled Man on the Moon. Stripped-down studio recordings and live audio recorded by Warhol himself from the audience of the Little Theatre document this weird and wacky ensemble augmented by a freaky combination of Phillips’ Nilsson-esque songwriting and outlandish Broadway-style numbers.

Abstract Expression (Important)

How to you reach the shortcut in your record collection that takes you from ABBA to Harmonia in just a few measures? By following the trail blazed by Texas art pop maven Dominique Leone, of course. On his second album and first for Important Records, Leone continues trounce such competition as Dan Deacon and The Go! Team with his uncanny sonic collages that contain a more refined songwriting ability than anything he has done prior.

Chicken Switch (Ipecac)

The mighty, mighty Melvins return in 2009 with an album that takes P. Diddy’s boast of inventing the remix by outright reinventing that shit! For Chicken Switch, Buzzo and the boys invite a host of their experimental pals to take one of the many albums from their seemingly bottomless back catalog and whittle the entire thing down to a single track. And while you might not replace Houdini or The Maggot with this in your regular rotation, it is certainly interesting to see how the likes of Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Matmos, Merzbow, Eye Yamatsuka of the Boredoms, Panacea and Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple break down and reconstruct their favorite Melvins album into a span of three- to six-minute increments.

Embryonic (Warner Bros.)

All I have to say about this is THANK GOD. After enduring a full decade of warm, fuzzy cuteness from a group we should expect anything but from, The Flaming Lips make a refreshing return to the kind of paranoid, tripped out psychedelic rock that made you grateful the punk rockers finally started taking acid in the first place. Sorry all you Soft Bulletin fanboys, but Embryonic is the group’s best album since Clouds Taste Metallic. And hopefully we’ll never get to see those cheesy-ass animal costumes ever again.

Childish Prodigy (Matador)

For his Matador debut, Philadelphia bedroom pop experimentalist Kurt Vile makes good on his CD-R salad days with an incredible full-length that submerges the sound of Blue Mask-era Lou Reed into a lo-fi bubblebath of psychedelics reminiscent of vintage Spacemen 3 if they explored more of a drum machine groove. Songs like “Amplifier”, the seven-minute “Freak Train” and a stellar cover of “Monkey” by the Richard Hell-led supergroup Dim Stars is everything that you want the sound of the downtown NYC rock scene to sound like. But since it’s been all sanitized for the boutique-shopping, Blue Condo-dwelling masses, it transplanted itself into the Suburbs of Brotherly Love.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nat Finkelstein 1933-2009

Another great figure of American culture has passed, as Nat Finkelstein, revered house photographer for Andy Warhol's infamous Factory, died in his home in Upstate, NY, on October 2, it was recently confirmed. Please enjoy this sampling of his amazing photo gallery, which can be viewed on his Web site at

Velvet Underground live

Andy Warhol with Bob Dylan

Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison and John Cale waiting for the man



VU Again

R.I.P. Captain Lou Albano

The wrestling world lost one of its cultural icons today, as Captain Louis Albano passed away at his Staten Island home this morning at age 76. He will be greatly missed. Needless to say, Carmel, NY, will never be the same.

Captain Lou vs. Jimmy Snuka at MSG 11/22/82

Captain Lou vs. Gorilla Monsoon 1973:

Captain Lou vs. Roddy Piper on TNT:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


TOM WAITS is set to release Glitter and Doom Live, a collection of outstanding live tracks from his 2008 sold out US and European tour. This two CD set contains 17 live recordings from ten nights along the tour including, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Tulsa, Knoxville, Atlanta, Paris, Milan, Jacksonville, Dublin and Columbus. The second CD entitled, Tom Tales holds nearly 40 minutes of Waits quixotic ruminations on topics ranging from romantic spiders to injured vultures. The CD will also come with a booklet of live photos.

The vinyl version of Glitter and Doom Live will feature gatefold sleeve with live photos from the tour and contain all 17 tracks but no Tom Tales. Inside the LP, Anti- is providing a card w/mp3 download instructions, which will enable the buyer to download Tom Tales as well.

Musically, the live discs encapsulate Waits in all his chug, boom and steam. His shamanistic vocals, innovative arrangements, visionary lyrics, pounding rhythms and emotional melodies are all here. There are dark swampy tribal rhythms, ominous hymns, and cautionary tales all swirling around Waits’ unmistakable howl and croon. The CD has a dead man singing to his widow, a convict’s last words, an instructional dance number, lamenting sword swallowers and bragging pirates. All of the tracks were personally selected and sequenced to give you the feeling of one great night on tour.

On October 12, is set to go live. You are invited to wander and roam through the first ever official website for all things Waits: news, updates on recordings, new releases, tours, films and more. A resource for lyrics, photos, wit and wisdom, strange but true tales, and more imponderables on topics as far ranging as the origin of consciousness, the sexuality of Christ and the lonely journey of the male seahorse.

Track listing is as follows:

1. Lucinda / Ain't Goin Down (Birmingham - 07/03/08) - 5:37
2. Singapore (Edinburgh - 07/28/08) - 5:00
3. Get Behind The Mule (Tulsa - 06/25/08) - 6:26
4. Fannin Street (Knoxville - 06/29/08) - 4:16
5. Dirt In The Ground (Milan - 07/19/08) - 5:18
6. Such A Scream (Milan - 07/18/08) - 2:51
7. Live Circus (Jacksonville - 07/01/08) - 5:04
8. Goin' Out West (Tulsa - 06/25/08) - 3:48
9. Falling Down (Paris - 07/25/08) - 4:21
10. The Part You Throw Away (Edinburgh - 07/28/08) - 5:07
11. Trampled Rose (Dublin - 08/01/08) - 5:06
12. Metropolitan Glide (Knoxville - 6/29/08) - 3:10
13. I'll Shoot The Moon (Paris - 07/24/08) - 4:25
14. Green Grass (Edinburgh - 07/27/08) - 3:20
15. Make It Rain (Atlanta - 07/05/08) - 3:58
16. Story (Columbus - 06/28/08) - 2:02
17. Lucky Day (Atlanta - 07/05/08) - 3:47

Fan footage of the Glitter and Doom Tour in St. Louis:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

R.I.P. Mr. Magic

A true NY radio legend. For anyone who ever tuned into WBLS back in the day, he will be missed.

Check the touching eulogy by DJ Premier, released shortly after news of Magic's untimely passing was made public:

I want to send out the utmost respect and condolences to the memory of John Rivas — aka Mr. Magic.

He passed away this morning of a heart attack.

True hip hop heads know that his history is so long due to him being the first rap mixshow to ever be on commercial radio on New York’s WBLS (107.5) with Marley Marl and Fly Ty in 1982-1984. Then went on to to WHBI in October 1984 and then back to WBLS in 1985 and WDAS in Philly. Simultaneously he paved the way for all radio stations that ever did mixshows and also sparked the career of Boogie Down Productions due to the ids he showed when they came to shop their demo to him and was turned away which then sparked “South Bronx” and “The Bridge Is Over”. He was known for his direct and sarcastic attitude on the air and every artist wanted his approval when it came to breaking new records. He even had songs dedicated to him by the legendary Whodini (”Mr. Magic’s Wand”) which was surprisingly produced by one of my favorite artists, Thomas Dolby.

Shouts out to Marley Marl & Fly Ty for the correct information on this. Rest in Peace Mr. Magic.

- DJ Premier

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Vampire Weekend Song: Horchata

Check out the new Vampire Weekend song here.

The Afro-pop loving preps' new album, Contra, comes out January 12, 2010.


Re: Thom Yorke's New Band

Check out this great blog, Apartment 41, for some MP3s of Thom Yorke's recent, much-ballyhooed show at the Echoplex in Los Angeles, where he debuted his new band featuring Flea on bass, Joey Waronker on drums and longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich on assorted odds and ends. Hopefully a full recording of the complete show will surface soon, but for now, enjoy the taste this great blog provides for us.

UPDATE! Look what I found.

Thom Yorke performing "Skirting on the Surface" at the Echoplex in Los Angeles 10-02-09: