— information leafblower

Very excited to see Little Dragon on Saturday at the Black Cat. Empire Ants, which is sung by Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano, was my favorite song on the last Gorillaz album. This LD track, My Step, has been on my heavy rotation on my iPhone.

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I am well known (infamous even) for my undying devotion to/obsession with  Oasis, but truth be told, my first love was Chapel Hill’s Archers of Loaf. Going to college in the Cackalack in the mid-90’s, the Archers were the hottest thing around. Sadly, fame and fortune never found them and they disbanded after White Trash Heroes, their best album, in the early 00’s. Over the weekend the reunited at the Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill for the first of what is rumored to be many reunion shows. They played a 12 song, 40 minute set filled with early material. It’s safe to say I will be taking some time off to see a few of these reunion shows if/when they finally happen.

If you’re interested, go here for a link to the audio from the show.

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Which Bret Easton Ellis book will he steal the plot from this time?

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After taking most of 2009 off from writing, I had the chance to interview quite a few of my favorite bands in 2010 and one of the best photographers in the world.

Photographer Danny Clinch

One of the things I read about you is you got your start back in the day shooting hip-hop artists, back when that was a sort of a new genre.

Yes. I got a couple of assignments from SPIN Magazine, and one of the assignments was to shoot 3rd Bass. And I got the photos back and I was very proud of them. I thought they were really good photos and I thought, “What now? What am I going to do with these photos?” And I decided to take them to Def Jam Records, because they were on Def Jam at the time, and I thought I would take them over there and see what they think of them. So I tried really hard to get an appointment with these guys and they were like “No, no just leave us your portfolio. Drop it off on a Wednesday, pick it up on a Thursday.” And I finally said “I just shot 3rd Bass for SPIN and I got some really good stuff.” And so I finally went over and met with these people at the Drawing Board, which was the name of the art department at the time, and we just really hit it off. They really liked the photos I took of 3rd Bass. Back then in hip-hop, there weren’t big budgets. The bands were very popular commercially, you know 3rd bass, LL Cool J and Public Enemy, but they weren’t big budget jobs, so the big photographers could really care less. And so I started to get some of those jobs and it was a really good thing for me. So I was a young photographer that was getting album packing jobs, and it was really exciting.

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When it’s all said and done next week, I will have seen about 135 concerts in the calendar year of 2010. Even I am surprised by that number. But let’s be frank. These days, for me, going to a concert amounts to staying for 5 or 6 songs before I head home and start editing photos. So keep that in mind when you’re reading this. That said, here are 25 shows that stood out in 2010.

25) Editors @ 9:30 Club
In This Light And On This Evening is more synth heavy than their previous albums, which worried me for their live show, but that wasn’t an issue here. If anything, the band’s new direction just added to the massiveness of their sound.

24) The Soft Pack @ Black Cat
One of my favorite albums of the year led to one of the best shows. These guys will be playing bigger venues very, very soon.

23) Mary J. Blige @ Jiffy Lube
This show was a late addition to the year’s concert calendar and as a result, not many people bought tickets, which was a shame because Mary J. performed like it was the biggest show of her career. It was incredible.

22) George Clinton @ 9:30 Club
This show had such a great vibe. Photogs were allowed to shoot the whole show and I stayed for a good hour or so, watching Clinton and his huge band do their thing. I didn’t know it at the time but this would be my first and only time seeing Garry Shider perform with the band. He succumbed to cancer later in the year. RIP.

21) Grinderman @ 9:30 Club
It’s Nick Cave! Girls were throwing their panties at him. Of course it was brilliant.

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The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
9/11 First Responders React to the Senate Filibuster
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show onFacebook

I generally try and stay away from politics on my various corners of the interwebs (there are many other people out there that do it better than I ever could) but I just wanted everyone to see what great work Jon Stewart is doing here. This is obviously a subject that is very near and dear to my heart.

I lived four blocks from the World Trade Center and living in that neighborhood in the aftermath of 9/11 was not very easy. EPA representatives lied to our faces, telling us the air at ground zero and in our neighborhood was “100% safe to breathe” and we would not risk any health risks by living in the area. Anything to keep panic down and tempers from flaring. It was disgusting and something I’ve never stopped being angry about.

I can’t count how many nights since then I would lie awake and wonder what my health would be like in my 50’s and 60’s after living down there with that smoldering rubble. I am very lucky to be in much better shape than the gentlemen featured above. To deny these guys and everyone else involved in the ground zero rescue and recovery any and all health benefits is beyond comprehension. But I guess the Republicans have other priorities.

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After watching the above video this morning, and also getting a hard copy of Chris Klimek’s 5th annual Magickal Ho-Ho Bag holiday mixtape at last night’s DCist holiday party, I am officially ready to do the damn thing as far as the holidays go.

And fret not if you aren’t on the shortlist for Klimek’s mixtape, you can stream it at the link above.  Check it out!

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I had totally forgotten about this.

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This video for Get Me / Make A Killin isn’t as awesome as his Nuthin’ But A Hero joint, but new Tabi Bonney is always welcome around these parts.

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I’m a sucker for big hooks in my music and I think this year’s Top 10 bears that out.

1) LCD SoundsystemThis Is Happening

Obvs. Not as amazing as their previous album, but still one of my go-to albums during the year. Seeing them play two amazing festival headlining shows sure pounded home the point that these songs are best suited for big crowds and should be played VERY LOUD.

WATCH“I Can Change” on Jools Holland

2) SpoonTransference

I generally abhor artists self-producing thjeir albums, but  Transference is lo-fi in all the right ways. It was going to be nigh impossible to improve upon Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (my favorite Spoon album since Girls Can Tell), but this was damn close.

WATCH“The Mystery Zone” on KCRW

3) The Soft PackThe Soft Pack

Surf rock is generally not a genre that excites me but the energy and immediacy of this album is impossible to deny. Throw in a ton of youthful exuberance and yes, hooks by the truckload, and you’ve got an album that stayed in heavy rotation on my iPod all year long.

WATCH“Answer To Yourself” on Letterman

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