Monday, June 25, 2007

It's the Golden Leahtard's Birthday Party!

Red Blondehead presents
+ Palomar and T-Minus Band
Thursday, June 28 @ 9 pm

Everyone is invited! There will be cupcakes and various party favors. Anyone wearing a leotard in honor of the Leahtard will receive a special prize!

From the LP Voxtrot
Voxtrot - Kid Gloves

From the EP Raised by Wolves
Voxtrot - The Start of Something
Voxtrot - Raised by Wolves

Crack is whack, y'all.

Dear Crackheads who climbed up on the office roof to steal copper from the air conditioner so that we have no air conditioning in our office on this hot Alabama summer's day...yet you only made off with 10 dollars worth of the stuff,

Thanks so much for converting our office into a sauna...and you did it for only $10! While I'm enjoying sweating out impurities in a dark office, you're probably down at Shop-a-Crack haggling with your dealer for a discount on a rock suitable in size for Tinkerbell if she were strung-out on crack instead of pixie dust. So thanks again for your generosity.


p.s. Tomorrow I'm bringing a kiddie pool to sit in so there will be even more steam! You might want to consider installing one during your next office-to-sauna conversion.

Irving - the longest day in the afternoon

Friday, June 22, 2007

(You and) I Better Run (to Bottletree tonight!)

Don't forget about the Rosebuds show tonight! Land of Talk and Lonesome Spirit Device will be should be a fun show.

The Rosebuds - I Better Run
The Rosebuds - Cemetary Lawns

Land of Talk - Speak to Me Bones

A Sunny Teenage Stride in Glasgow

Brookyn band My Teenage Stride are currently spreading their "Eno-fronting-the-Smiths" sound across the US while on tour with A Sunny Day in Glasgow (sadly they are not coming to Birmingham on this tour).

From Ears Like Golden Bats
My Teenage Stride - Terror Bends
My Teenage Stride - To Live And Die In The Airport Lounge

From Scribble Mural Comic Journal
A Sunny Day in Glasgow - The Best Summer Ever
A Sunny Day in Glasgow - No. 6 Von Karman Street

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rocky Votolato be all braggin' and cussin'


Subject: RB Co. Promotion

Secret Assistant to the Regional Mascot Jordan Sowards has been promoted to the new position of Semiregular Guest Blogger while also maintaining his previous title. Please take a moment to congratulate him on this achievement. We look forward to seeing all his future work.

From the Desk of Jordan Sowards, RB Semiregular Guest Blogger

I was introduced to Rocky Votolato with last year's most excellent Makers, and I loved it immediately and completely. This was unexpected, because Makers was sort of a throwback to a time when my musical palate was dominated by acoustic guitar-wielding singer-songwriters, and I just don't really listen to that sort of stuff very much anymore. That's why I have to give crazy mad propz to the guy for even getting my attention.

Rocky Votolato's new album, The Brag & Cuss came out Tuesday. It's a fuller, more band-oriented record, and like Makers it's fraught with lovely, country-tinged pop elegance. The Brag & Cuss didn't knock my socks off right away like Makers did, but I very much look forward to loving the crap out of it in the near future. And hopefully somebody will book this guy at Bottletree, yo.

From The Brag & Cuss
Rocky Votolato - Whiskey Straight
Rocky Votolato - The Wrong Side of Reno

From Makers
Rocky Votolato - White Daisy Passing

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Eleni Mandell

I saw Eleni Mandell open for Great Lake Swimmers last week and judging by the comments heard after her set, I think everyone left a little smitten with her. She's a sultry torch singer with a catalog that alternates between alt-country, jazz, and rock. It's no wonder that Harp magazine named her one of their "Hot Summer Sirens."

Eleni Mandell - Girls (from Miracle of Five)
Eleni Mandell - Easy on Your Way Out (from Afternoon)
Eleni Mandell - Fall Away (from Afternoon)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

BRMC pt. 2

I wish I could be as glowing as Traci in my commentary, but the truth is that I'm an ornery, balding, sharp-tongued elderly man in the body of a 27-year-old, blonde-haired, blue-eyed gal. When we made our way to the front of the venue and the band began playing, I had to immediately head toward the back of the venue where the other tall folks were standing. I was so close to the speaker that it started blowing my hair around like a fan when the band started. I guess that, along with the ensuing ear-ringing and buzzing, is very rock and roll. It looks like I'm NOT very rock and roll though, because I couldn't stand the kitchen heat for longer than about three minutes! (It should also be noted that I was wearing earplugs.)

When I retreated to the back, I could hear very little because of the aforementioned "basstrap." Zydeco has a very low ceiling and poor acoustics, so most people who go there come out complaining about the sound.

None of this, of course, is a reflection on Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. They're terrific musicians, and it's obvious from the enthusiastic crowd response that they know how to put on a kick-ass rock show. Maybe next time they play the 'ham we'll actually be able to hear beyond the throbbing bass and otherwise poor sound.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ Zydeco, 6.12.07

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club arrived in Birmingham Tuesday from their previous tour stop of Orlando ready to unleash their brand of dirty, bluesy rock. It was my first time to see the band live and I wasn't disappointed. Their songs practically slither into your ear and you leave feeling slightly violated but thoroughly seduced.

The venue is known for being a big basstrap but that's not so bad in my mind because I'm a sucker for big bass sounds. Good thing because we were standing right next to a speaker while taking photos. I thought we might leave the show deaf from the RAWK and blind from the monstrous strobes pulsating on stage. But earplugs and one of the band members requesting the strobes be turned off because he was getting shocked saved our two most important senses.

The crowd seemed really into it, especially the middle-aged man in front of me who danced through the whole show and the young guy front and center who kept time by stomping his boot-clad foot on the stage. And it was a foot-stomping show...definitely one worth catching if the band visits your neck of the woods.

The next stop for the BRMC tour is Houston, check out Houston Waiting in a few days for a writeup.

A few more photos...

And more at Flickr.

BRMC Tourzine

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

File update

Our mp3s will be down until tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience, but we went way over our data transfer for the month and have a bill of $110 to show for it. I finally had to shut down the site that hosts our files for a few days to avoid even larger fees.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Some of our mp3 files might be temporarily unavailable for the next few days due to some data transfer problems we are having. If you are unable to access a file, please come back next week. Thanks!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Blonde reclaims her throne with Ray's Vast Basement!

Move over, would-be usurpers, both of you! It is I, the original Blondehead, who has come to reclaim my mighty throne of vapidity and musical snarkiness.

PS--That wig was not flattering on EITHER OF YOU. I MEAN LIKE NOT AT ALL.

Ahem... Helloooo everyone! I am back, and I brought Ray's Vast Basement along with me. Thanks to Jon Polk at Team Clermont for sending me a copy of Ray's Vast Basement's new album, Starvation Under Orange Trees. On first listen I thought this record was "weird," and after listening through I put it away, but something kept me coming back to it.

These songs have a comfortable warmth to them, but ever-present, too, is a dark and ominous narrative undercurrent. Most of the tracks have a literary quality to them and are very much lyric-driven, and singer Jon Bernson's lazy vocals carry the lyrics well. All of this makes sense after reading a label on the record sleeve that says the songs were written for a San Francisco stage production of Of Mice and Men. Perfect, perfect, and I'm sure the songs were a wonderful accompaniment to a modern production of one of Steinbeck's most well known works.

From Starvation Under Orange Trees:

Black Cotton
Tall Bob Smoke

...and my personal favorite:

Work Song

Show Ray's Vast Basement some love on their myspace page

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hold Music

While we're waiting for the votes to be tabulated for our blonde imposter contest, how about a little music for the interim? I guarantee that this stuff is catchier than the muzak they make you listen to when you're usually put on hold.

Architecture in Helsinki will release their third album on August 7. Places Like This is a bit of an evolution from their previous twee pop...the band experiments with some new calypso, electronica, and dance music sounds while building on the diverse instrumentation found on In Case We Die and Fingers Crossed. All together, it's an odd combination of genres but I think they pull it off.

Architecture in Helsinki - Hold Music
Architecture in Helsinki - Red Turned White

Another August release is The New Pornographers' Challenger, which is set to appear in stores on the 21st. The first single "My Rights Versus Yours" has leaked so here's a little taste of what's to come.

The New Pornographers - My Rights Versus Yours

Sure to be the favorite summer album of all fans of onomatopoeia (and babies!), Spoon's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga will hit the streets on July 10. Merge is offering a sweet preorder deal where you get a limited edition bonus disc of 22 minutes of extra music. Gimme Fiction was one of my 2005 favorites with a very high play count, and after a few listens to Ga Ga, I'm sure it will be on my 2007 list.

Spoon - The Underdog
You can listen to other songs from the album at Merge's site.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Jordan vs. Jackson Deathmatch 2007: The Battle of the J's

Not to be outdone by his Secret Assistant, Red Blondehead's official mascot had to submit himself as a candidate for the Substitute Leah position. So here's Jackson, le Love Bear's (formerly known as Jackson, The Fantastic Bear) entry.

Jackson, le Love Bear is superexcited about his new look.

The Cooooomas

In a pure cliché of the mid-2000’s (or whatever this decade is known as), Leah and I had an exchange on MySpace that culminated in my first exposure to The Comas. It started when I noted that I still don’t understand Leah’s unhealthy obsession with The Handsome Family (no hate, bro). She avoided the comment by asking if I understand her newfound obsession with The Comas. “No seriously [gringo], listen to ‘Red Microphones.’” And so I did.

I wouldn’t quite consider them a guilty pleasure, but The Comas are certainly outside my usual listening habits. For some reason, I even tried to find something wrong with their most recent album Spells. I searched for a way to label them the next Sparklehorse or Apples in Stereo rip-off. Slowly nit-picking though each song, the enjoyment started to set in. Well hot damn if I wasn’t being seduced by the cute sassy girl that I had just sneered at.

Somehow The Comas carve their unique power pop niche despite sounding like so many other bands: Ted Leo, Weezer, Grandaddy and the aforementioned Sparklehorse and Apples in Stereo. From fuzzed-out romp to blissed-out ballad, the most consistent quality about The Comas is that they keep things interesting.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in obscure instruments and rampant experimentation that sometimes one forgets about the good ol’ indie rock. Listen to the songs below and come see The Comas at Zydeco on Monday, June 4 or at Bottletree July 31. (RB: We suggest both, but if you can only afford's an easy guess which one we would endorse. heh.)

The Comas - Red Microphones
The Comas - Now I'm a Spider
The Comas - Thistledown

(cheesy announcer voice) The competition is heating up! Who will be crowned Substitute Leah? Whose life will be forever changed by winning? Tune in next week!