Archive for December, 2008


happy new year from newtunes

Well, looks like we’re closing the books on 2008. Hope it was a great year for all of you and that 2009 is an even better year.

See you around…



gogol bordello and the case of the worst opening band ever

Holy *uck! As amazing as it was to see Gogol Bordello the first three times I saw them this year, seeing them at the Bowery in New York City in the heart of their own turf was possibly the best concert experience in my 30 years of concert going.

In fact, there were a lot of experiences last night at this show that qualified in a milestone in my 30 years of concert going.

First and foremost, Services, the opening band, was, by far, the worst opening band I’ve ever seen in my…

Services is two guys who were able to pick the worst possible band name in the Internet age. After several searches and many Google pages, I gave up even trying to find a website for them. They both play pre-programmed synthesizers. One works a keyboard while the other presses buttons and smashes a cymbal from time to time, which I thought was all of the instruments he knew how to play until he picked up a guitar for two songs.

They were so horribly bad that everyone, and I mean everyone, around us were all laughing at them. It’s hard to describe, but I think it was the combination of lack of talent contrasted against how much the lead singer thought he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand – which he did not.

They also had the most powerful, pulsating, thumping bass that I’ve ever heard in my… It was so incredible that I looked up at the ceiling with very real concern about what might get jarred loose from the bass and fall on us.

I’ve never seen a crowd so actively involved in disliking the opening band and so happy to see them go.

And then Gogol Bordello took the stage. I’ve described their show on this blog again, so I won’t get into the details except to say that if you’ve never seen them, put it on your list of things to do in 2009. You will be rewarded for your efforts.

The highlights of the 2-hour show were clearly the 20 minute version of “Undestructable,” the gypsy caravan-like movement of the entire band from one area of the stage to the other, the excellent transition from a book reading into “we don’t need no education” into “Start Wearing Purple.”

The crowd was huge and my wife was among those seeing them for the first time. By the end of the show, she was dancing on the table with three other women (a Gogol Bordello show will do that to you).

Like every other show, there’s already some video online, so here’s a taste of the environment at Webster Hall…


nothing says christmas like twisted sister

It has been an eventful Christmas so far, to say the least. We arrived in New Jersey, but one of our bags, with all of my wife and kid’s stuff, did not.

After two days of having to shop for the bare necessities in the midst of all those doing their last minute Christmas shopping (it really shouldn’t take 40 minutes in line to buy a toothbrush) and spending hours on the phone with the airlines trying to find the bag, we finally had it delivered to us this morning (thank you to Midwest Airlines who did a screaming-good job trying to solve the problem). The two days without it, though, were very stressful.

Fortunately, I experienced one of those classic, storybook Christmas moments that put everything in perspective and made it all seem okay.

I was sitting with my brother-in-law in the car waiting for my father-in-law to pick up some rolls. We were cruising around the radio dial looking for something seasonal when we happened upon what could only be described as a Christmas miracle…

“Oh Come All Ye Faithful” by Twisted Sister.

I had no idea they had recorded this, but I couldn’t think of a more appropriate song for them to tackle.

While we were basking in the warmth of their rendition, we were discussing what would you follow this up with if you were the DJ. We both came up somewhat empty, as the Twisted Sister song seemed like the perfect encore for this Christmas.

Then, the answer was given to us. “Little Drummer Boy” by Jimi Hendrix. Like the first song, I had no idea this was ever performed by Jimi Hendrix. But it was a great transition and somehow took the edge off an otherwise stressful Christmas.

I hope you all had a similar opportunity to see the light this Christmas.


testing newtunes

Believe it or not, I am, as we speak (metaphorically), testing NewTunes. Developer Joe has been able to navigate through some of the peskier bugs, and it looks like we’re going to be putting this very, very beta version of NewTunes online within the next two days (pre-Christmas, for sure).

Search is moving a bit slower than we would like, and there are still some issues with the search that we’ll be working to clear up – like the seed-song (or song that you entered in the search field) being the first song to show up when you receive your search results (right now it is displaying any song with those words in the title).

Otherwise, it’s just random, undiscovered bugs that we will find during testing or you will find when you cruise around the site. If and when you do find them, I would ask/encourage you to let us know so we can get them fixed as quickly as possible.

That’s right, friends. I know it’s been awhile, but this site is finally going up, and we’re really excited to get your reaction.

Until then, I hope you’re staying warm.



a very cocteau twins christmas

Since I just posted “Frosty the Snowman” from the Cocteau Twins, I figured I’d complete the set by also sharing “Winter Wonderland,” also by the Cocteau Twins.

This one’s a bit more straightforward (and with photos by Ansel Cheesehead).


frosty the snowmannneh

Ah, Christmas time. The time for new versions of old classics.

Just came across this very unexpected version of “Frosty the Snowman” by Cocteau Twins. While definitively Cocteau Twins, there’s a bit too much emphasis on “Snowmannnneh!” for my tastes.

Other than that, an interesting and different take on the song (not to mention a very nice and timely reminder of the brilliance of Calvin and Hobbes)…


this just in – flight of the conchords season 2, episode 1

Well, probably not “just in.” As I tend to be behind all of these things, you’ve probably seen this already. But if not, here’s episode 1 of the new season of Flight of the Conchords (the episode comes on after the preview, so stick with it).

It’s been a long time coming…

(Thanks to Todd for the tip.)

December 2008
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