Concert Review : Why Bother With The Wall?

In case you hadn’t heard, erstwhile Pink Floyd bassist/frontman, Roger Waters, is on the road this summer with a moveable beast known simply as The Wall.

The Wall

Rarely have two simple words been juxtaposed and thereby endowed with such a wallop. Since its release in November 1979, The Wall has been a monolithic presence on the cultural landscape: a rallying cry for unmotivated school children, a target for endless satire, a talisman of passage for college freshmen and the music bed to roughly 5 billion buzzes. (Trying to imagine the number of joints that have been smoked to Comfortably Numb is not unlike trying to contemplate the cosmos themselves.) And while it didn’t end the Cold War, The Wall certainly provided a nifty metaphor for the political turbulence and the eventual reunification of Berlin.

The Wall isn’t the first concept album, and it’s certainly not the best (I would give that honor to Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade). It’s not even the most preposterous. But the fact remains that it has sold over 23 million copies in the Unites States alone. If I were a betting man, I’d say either it or Back In Black will likely be the first record to hit 1 billion in sales, and its success has spawned too many dreadful imitations to count (Hello Black Parade! Bon Jour Operation: Mindcrime!). It has also inspired a major motion picture, endless tributes and a graffiti so easy even your little sister can master it. And did I mention this current incarnation has played 150+ shows in 27 countries for a gross of $218 million? That’s a lot of three-quarter sleeve t-shirts, kiddies.

Obviously, The Wall still resonates with people, everyone from doctors to dock workers. But why? In an attempt to understand the lasting appeal and financial cash cow that is The Wall, MOKB braved the bricks when Waters and company stopped in St. Paul on June 3, and we’ve come up with a few pet theories to explain the endearing fascination.

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Song : Florence + The Machine : Try A Little Tenderness (Otis Redding Cover) + MOKB Presents

We have already heard Florence Welch aka Florence + The Machine’s team up with Queen’s of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme to perform a lovely cover of Johnny Cash and June Carter’s Jackson during an MTV Unplugged episode. We, now, have this great cover of a personal favorite, Otis Redding’s Try A Little Tenderness, from that same session. You can watch the performance below, along with the previously discussed Jackson cover.

MTV Unplugged – A Live Album is available now. You can watch the episode in its entirety here. MOKB Presents will be bringing Florence + The Machine w/The Walkmen to The Lawn @ White River State Park in Indianapolis on July 29th. Tickets are now onsale and you can get the full details here.

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[WIN THIS! Bloomington, IN] : Tickets for Asobi Seksu : 2/15/12

MOKB has plenty of love for Asobi Seksu – we’ve premiered songs and booked them for SXSW parties of yore. If you haven’t checked out their layered gauzy goodness, feast your eyes on their latest video.

Currently on a mini-tour of the midwest, we have one pair of tickets to giveaway for their first show of 2012, courtesy of the fine folks at Polyvinyl. Just tell us your favorite Asobi Seksu song in the comments and we’ll randomly choose a lucky winner for the two tickets at The Bishop in Bloomington, IN by Friday 1/27/12.

Upcoming Shows:
2/15 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
2/16 – Grinnell, IA @ Grinnell College
2/17 – Madison, WI @ The Sett
2/18 – Northfield, MN @ The Cave
2/19 – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Music Joint
Get tickets

MP3 : Asobi Seksu – Trails (Holy Other Remix)
MP3 : Asobi Seksu – Trails (Painted Palms Remix)

New Song : Darla : Drive Around The Lake


Photo credits Neza S.G.

Mark your calendars, folks. Friday the 13th and we have our first great song of 2012.

Darla is a new Minneapolis four-piece, risen from the ashes of longtime MOKB-faves, The 757s, who surely burned out, because I think I would’ve remembered them fading away. The good-lookin’ half of that aforementioned unit (Paul Pirner and Jimmy Peterson) have joined forces with local vets Mike Wisti and John Crist, and if the low wine of their four song debut EP, Drive Around The Lake, is any indication, things have taken a more serious note.

Could our fair-haired boys have finally been cast out of Neverland? Will they continue to wear their trousers rolled?

If you’re looking for touchstones, try Don’t Tell A Soul period ‘Mats meets Ryan Adams circa Love Is Hell. Somber. Atmospheric. Dare I say mature? How about this? If The 757s were a soundtrack for a beer run, Darla is about the wee small hours when you resort to drinking the cheap stuff and contemplate calling that number. Drive Around The Lake, which we’re more than happy to share, is three and a half minutes of ennui-laden pop perfection. Rinse and repeat.

MP3 : Darla – Drive Around The Lake

Of course, things might get a little hairy once the booze starts to flow. All the more reason to make it out to this weekend’s Darla shows, tonight at Hell’s Kitchen (with Red Flags, High on Stress and the Beatifics) and tomorrow at St. Paul’s legendary Turf Club (with the Goondas, Up Jumped the Devil and DJ Knoll Tate).

New Video : Withered Hand : Real Snow

Haven’t has occasion to mention Edinburgh’s Withered Hand in quite a while, but break out the haggis and the top-shelf hooch, because Dan Willson is back with a holiday tune and video that (thankfully) takes it easy on the schmaltz.

[Win This! Twin Cities] : Dawes : Live Session at KCMP, The Current : November 4, 2011

It’s a good time to be a Dawes fan living in the vicinity of the Twin Cities. Of course, MOKB has been pimping the Laurel Canyon lads for ages, and we’ve joined forces with our pals at The Electric Fetus and KCMP (aka The Current) to present a very special (read: VIP) Dawes “Forum Session.”

On Friday, November 4th, the band will be performing live at The Current, and MOKB has procured two pairs of tickets. That’s right kiddies, four of you will attend this exclusive taping, and have a little meet and greet action with the band. Sounds a lot better than spending the afternoon stuck in the office, no? So, bring on the fine print!

Dawes Forum Session Giveaway: Thanks to our buds at The Current, MOKB has two (2) pairs of passes for you to attend an exclusive performance and interview with Dawes – hosted by Bill DeVille. It’s in the UBS Forum on November 4th. Winners receive 2 guest list spots available at the door on Friday, November 4th. Winners need to arrive at MPR Headquarters (480 Cedar STREET in St. Paul) by 1:00 PM. The performance begins at 1:30 PM SHARP, and should last about 30-45 minutes. Bring an ID to verify identity. All Ages. If you’d like to get registered to win, leave your email address in the Comments section. A winner will be chosen next Wednesday.

New Video : Fist Fam : Drinkin’

I’m wrasslin’ with a nasty summer cold this week and have little time or tolerance for highly conceptual works of art. Thankfully, the song Drinkin’ finds San Fran’s Fist Fam paying respect to one of this country’s leading pastimes in a style that got me jonsing a bit, regardless of the fact that it’s not even 8am. In case you’re curious, the video for Drinkin’ finds the Gurp City crew, not in the city by the bay (sorry Steve Perry), but rather on location in the hills and hollers of Philo’s childhood home, Asheville, NC.

Meanwhile, on August 24th, those of you in the Bay Area can check out The Fist Fam with Action Bronson and Richie Cunning at 330 Ritch.

More Fist Fam
Video for S.F. Bay

New Song + Tour Dates : Firehorse : Our Hearts

Photo credit: Sherri O’Connor

Firehorse (no, not Firehose and certainly not Firehouse) is a shiny new project from singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Leah Siegel that is preparing to trot out its debut and so they ran faster… on September 27, 2011 thanks to the upstanding individuals at PledgeMusic Recordings. Ms. Siegel is hardly a household name at this juncture, but that could all change quickly based upon the talent she has assembled for this record, including bassist Tim Luntzel (Rosanne Cash, Loudon Wainwright III) on and drummer Brian Wolfe (Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, My Brightest Diamond), all working under the watchful ear of producer Geoff Stanfield (Mark Kozelek, Sun Kil Moon, Moby).

Ms. Siegel’s evocative vocals recall a more mainstream Kate Bush or Cat Power’s Chan Marshall minus the abstraction, and constantly belie the mechanical musical precision of chippy lead single, Our Hearts. Firehorse might be worth keeping an eye on, starting with a couple live performances at L.A.’s Hotel Café in August.

MP3 : Firehorse – Our Hearts

Firehorse on Tour
Aug 11 @ Hotel Café – Los Angeles, CA
Aug 25 @ Hotel Café – Los Angeles, CA