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Archive for February, 2010

We are proud to announce the first official release for The Dive Poets. We spent some time (probably too much) considering whether it should be an A-Side/B-Side, Double A-Side or 2 song EP release, but in the end it all that really matters that we are releasing TWO songs: Failing Manhattan and The End.

Last fall, we set out to record a few songs with a friend of the band manning the boards. The result is this release. It is almost entirely live tracked, with only vocals, violin and piano overdubbed. We are letting everyone download it for FREE. You can download the songs below and you can download the artwork here. If you want to download both songs and the artwork all at once, you can download a .zip file here.

MP3: Failing Manhattan
MP3: The End

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Show this Friday!

We are playing this Friday, February 26th at (the newly re-opened) The Wedge with friend-of-the-band Abe Chapman.

The Wedge is located at 442 Bates Street, St. Louis MO 63111.

Doors are at 8 and the show is at 9. $5 cover.

It’s a great place to drink cheap beer on a Friday night.

We played a great show there last May, so we are pretty excited about the show. Here’s some footage from that show:

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This week has been a bit of a humdinger, so as a treat to myself for not committing a capital offense l decided to check out the 6 Row Brewing Company for a few after work beers.

6 Row is located in an old Falstaff warehouse near the corner of Forest Park and Grand. Upon entering I was warmly greeted by the barkeep, and saddled up to the copper covered bar. 6 Row keeps six house beers and one guest on tap. I started with the ESB. I found it to be very smooth with a nice malt flavor, though not quite as crisp as Schlafly’s effort. A solid first impression, though. My next sample was the Whale, which is an improbable mix of like ten different malts, hops and fairy dust… as weird as it sounds it was damn good. like a wheat minus the super citrusy quality, but with the bright finish of a pale. good times. I followed this up with an extra pale, which was a solid competitor to Schlafly’s APA and a midpoint to O’fallon’s 5 day IPA in terms of hoppiness.

Any of you who know me understand that I love a good pint of beer. Especially when an abundance of hops are involved. this beer was as clear as a budweiser but still maintained craft brew flavor. Very nice and a good omen for the future of craft beer in Saint Louis.

The real winner of the night was 6 Row’s Porter… smokey without being contrived, but still singing with chocolate and caramel notes, it was a definite treat to finish.

overall I would recommend 6 row brewing co. to anyone who has a passion for good beer and likes drinking it in smoke free no bullshit environment.

The End.

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Thanks to Rich Reese who is filling in for Steve Pick on this morning’s 88.1 KDHX “Sound Salvation” program!  A little Matthew Sweet can go a long way.  It was nice to revisit “I Wanted To Tell You” from the 1991 album Girlfriend.

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Haiku #3

Whiskey is a dog
happiest when friends are near
lonesome when they’re gone

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Wielding an acoustic Guild guitar and a hard-bound notebook filled with set-lists and scribblings, Evan Dando took to the Old Rock House stage last night with his typical insouciant stage presence.  With little more than a “hello”, the Lemonhead’s front-man delved into his prodigious catalogue of songs; playing one song after another (sometimes abruptly silencing the last chord before systematically beginning the next tune – much in the same vain as The Ramones or even Springsteen).  His cool, smooth, and rounded vocals remain Dando’s forte, crooned over sometimes simple and other times elaborate chord structures.  Either way, the iconic Dando remains a songwriting staple for a good many St. Louisans as proved by the generous crowd.

Dando, for me, has been there since the beginning.  My musical taste didn’t necessarily begin with the thunderous Zeppelin-like bands, but more-so the goofy, awkward, teen-angst-inspired medleys of the Blake Babies, Sebadoh, and the Lemonheads.  Throw in a dose of the Cure, the Smith’s, and the Lightning Seeds and I was certainly on a distinct path to start writing a series of bad poems.  The purview of songwriting never quite made sense to me until a few years ago when I sat down with an old friend who “simplified” the process for me.  We began with the country standards, quickly moving forward to the likes of Todd Snider, Adam Carroll, and Slaid Cleaves, who remain for me, the apogee of what every artist is trying to accomplish – memorable melodies and plain, simple, human truths.

Evan Dando and the Lemonheads continue to procure those same emotions, the same TRUTHS that were so evident in my younger years.  His songs (especially played acoustically) resound with timelessness.  They are tinged with a certain song-writer’s history, reminiscent of Steve Earle, Neil Young, and Townes Van Zandt (which he has recently covered on his latest album Varshons).  Without overindulging the evening, Dando reassured me of his greatness – his ability to write catchy, meaningful truths in the form of a pop song.  It is not by sheer happenstance that he remains an éclat of great achievement, in spite of the bibulous days in the early 2000’s when he forced himself upon live Oasis shows as the drunken tambourine player (only to be “fired” by the band when he was discovered throwing glass beer bottles at exiting fans from the venues’ roof).  In many respects, he rudders my very own craft both consciously and subconsciously.  Just listen to “Rudderless” and tell me there is no hint or likeness to the Dive Poet’s “The End.”  And I’ll call you a liar.

* Opening the evening – The Candles.  Check them out here and enjoy a free download: www.redmusic.com/thecandles

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St. Louis is in the middle of a pretty decent stretch of live music that looks to stretch until April. Tonight, Retribution Gospel Choir is playing at The Firebird. RGC is the generally louder and more energetic side project of some of the members of Low. I imagine I would love singer Alan Sparhwk’s voice in almost almost any musical setting. If I was not leaving town early tomorrow morning, I would certainly be at the show. Here’s and RGC video and couple from my favorite Low album, The Great Destroyer.

Retribution Gospel Choir – “Hide It Away”:

Low – “California”:

Low – “Death of a Salesman”:

Low – “Monkey”:

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