Local Rhythms – Summer Festivals Coming

fredfest.jpgForget the recent burst of warm, sunny weather. To my tune-addled brain, spring fever kicks in when summer music festival announcements begin arriving in my inbox.

Get ready to dust off the low-slung lawn chairs, it’s going to be a great season. .

I was a bit worried when Charlie Hunter suggested the annual FredFest, formally known as Roots on the River, might change signficantly this year. The only apparent difference is a new producer, Ray Massuco.

The caliber of music is unchanged.

I’d daresay it’s better, with past favorites Gandalf Murphy, up and comers Red Molly and the awesomely talented Eilen Jewell, local heroes Josh Maiocco and Scot Ainslie, and of course, the many faces of Fred Eaglesmith highlighting a four-day bash that begins June 7 in downtown Bellows Falls.

The next weekend Moodus, Connecticut hosts an all-Cajun/Zydeco festival that’s worth the trip if you need to channel your innner Boozoo. The three day bash, which starts June 15, features 10 perfomers, including Keith Frank, Brian Jack and Step Rideau.

Out in Weston, Vermont the Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival returns, with traditional music from the Gibson Brothers, Leroy Troy, Buddy Merriam and festival hosts the Seth Sawyer Band and the Sawyer Brothers. The long weekend, produced by Candi Sawyer (notice a trend here?), begins June 21.

One of my personal favorites, the Green River Festival in Greenfield, Massachusetts, kicks off with a free Crooked Still/Eilen Jewell show July 19, then begins in earnest with a Zydeco bash featuring the Subdudes and Terence Simian the next night.

On Saturday, there’s hot air balloons and a flat-out amazing lineup of players. Blues legend Buddy Guy headlines, along with cutting edge alt-country from Southern Culture on the Skids, petite powerhouse Erin McKeown, the Kennedys and a performer I would crawl a mile over broken glass to see, Neko Case.

Acts are still being confirmed for the big daddy of regional shows, Falcon Ridge, which starts July 26th at its new home, Dodds Farm in the Berkshires. FredFest performers Red Molly and Gandalf Murphy are set, along with Marshall Crenshaw, Eddie from Ohio, Terri Hendrix and her legendary musical partner Lloyd Maines, and John Gorka.

A Falcon Ridge “Most Wanted” preview tour featuring Ellis, Pat Wictor and the aforementioned Red Molly (who met over a Falcon Ridge campfire), stops at Middle Earth Music Hall May 9.

The best part is you could buy tickets for all of these feastivals for about the price of one good seat for the Police’s Fenway Park concert.

What else is brewing this weekend?

Thursday: Billy Rosen Quartet, Sophie & Zeke’s – This jazz ensemble wowed the crowd the first time they stopped by this downtown eatery, so they’ve been asked back. First-rate players all, they step through standards and give modern songs a special touch. There’s much more music ahead at S&Z’s in the coming months, including the return of Pete Merrigan in May.

Friday: Rock Bottom Band, Electra – If you’re ready for the country, this is the place to go Friday Rock Bottom was named Country Music Band of the Year in 2006 by the New Hampshire Country Music Association, so it’s clear they know their stuff. Put on some cowboy boots, put a crease in those jeans, and practice your Electric Slide moves.

Saturday: Pulse Prophets, Salt Hill – Another interesting “get” for my favorite Upper Valley eclectic music spot, this Burlington band calls their sound an “organic and celestial fusion of funk, fegg, hip hop, Latin, and Afro-beat, with a touch of electronica. This musical stew has been known to pack a dance floor – it’s all groove to me.

Sunday: Red Fox Session Band, Boccelli’s – A local band celebrates the one year anniversary of this Bellows Falls restaurant, an afternoon (3-7 PM) buffet dinner featuring a bountiful table of food and all-around good vibrations. Boccelli’s, of course, is BF’s new home of live music; for a town that’s had its fair share of recent hard knocks, this is a welcome renaissance.

Tuesday: Colin McCaffrey, Canoe Club – This fine Vermont folksinger performs solo tonight in downtown Hanover, but look for his high energy band, the Stone Cold Roosters, at area venues in the coming weeks, celebrating the release of their new CD, “Out of the Woods.”. Their lineup regional all-stars includes Ted Mortimer and (occasionally) Linda Boudreault of Dr. Burma, former Breakway players Peter Riley and Scot Hopkins and many other hot pickers.

Wednesday: Brandi Carlile, Higher Ground – She’s the latest industry full-court press, with a “Grey’s Anatomy” video, Paste Magazine essay contest and stops on all the late-night televison shows, including Leno. Is she any good? Perhaps, but all this hype will probably bleed it out of her. Such is the music business.


Local Rhythms – Banding Together for a Fan


Few can match the music community’s generous nature. It’s amazing – most area players have day jobs, and stuggle to find the time to even practice. But when there’s a friend in need or a cause worth supporting, they won’t hesitate to step up.

For example, there’s the COVER show featuring Jay Ungar and Molly Mason tomorrow at the Lebanon Opera House, and next week’s Farmer’s Market benefit, wit Dar Williams topping the bill.

Sometimes it’s a fellow performer that needs a helping hand, but this weekend in South Strafford, Vermont some of the Upper Valley’s best will band together for a fan.

Health care is a problem that no amount of politics or public agitation seems able to solve. For some, medicine is the greatest luxury of all. That’s the case for the area woman, who’s asked to remain anonymous in the public media, at the center of Saturday’s benefit show at Barrett Hall.

The “Purple Hair Fund Dance” – she’s been known to dye hers that color – features Dr. Burma, Gypsy Reel, Blue Monday, Jeanne McCullough and Friends, Jeremiah McClane and Terry Youk.

In the course of the event’s four hours, others will undoubtedly join in.

Admission is by donation, and proceeds raised will help with the medical costs faced by a person who, says show organizer Ted Mortimer, “all the musicians on the bill know and love.”

Ted Mortimer leads Dr. Burma; he’s guitarist, teacher and all-around good guy. “I’ve known her for 20 years,” he says.

“She and my wife Linda are like sisters.”

“Last month she was diagnosed with a Type IV Glioblastoma,” he tod me in a recent email, “which is the worst variant of the most aggressive brain tumor there is. She had surgery at DHMC about 10 days ago to remove it, but they couldn’t get it all.

“The docs have told her she has 18 months to live if she opts for heavy radiation and chemo; 3-6 months if she doesn’t. She has no health insurance, little savings, and can no longer work.”

Far too often, financial ruin accompanies the physical and emotional devastation of failing health. That’s especially true for a lot of musicians.

The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, for example, pays for things like wheelchairs, hearing aids and funeral expenses for destitute players.

With that in mind, it’s inspiring to know that this weekend, local musicians will be singing for a music lover.

What else is on the calendar?

Thursday: Aztec Two-Step, Boccelli’s – “Music Lives in Bellows Falls.” That’s the new slogan across the river, and they’re proving with show after show. This duo has been entertaining regional audiences since the late Sixties. Their 1972 debut album sat at the crossroads of folk and prog-rock, and was an FM radio staple at a time when such a thing mattered. It’s been over 35 years, and they’re still going strong.


Friday: Blue Monday, Skunk Hollow Tavern – This band, which also plays the “Purple Hair Dance,” got their name from the Monday night Salt Hill jam sessions where they met and found their groove together. Featuring harmonica man Johnny Bishop, Brian Kennell of the Squids, Bobby Gagnier and Ted Mortimer (who’s everywhere and plays everything, it seems), the band covers the gamut of the American blues idiom, and have a ton of fun in the process.

Saturday: Sirsy, Salt Hill Two – If you haven’t seen this two-piece powerhouse, you’re in for a treat. Haling from upstate New York, Sirsy features the awesome lungs of Melanie Krahmer, who can wail, growl and pound the devil out of a drum kit. She’s accompanied by guitarist Rich Libutti, who helps out on snare when Melanie takes a flute solo – did I mention that? This is a duo that’s decidedly greater than the sum of their parts.

Sunday: Jack’s Mannequin, Keene State College – Jack McMahon’s side project is more of the piano-driven indie rock that his band, Something Corporate, has a reputation for – albeit a little wilder and unrestrained. In an attempt to either keep the crowd young or make sure the oldsters pay a price for living vicariously, student tickets are five bucks. Everybody else pays twenty-five.

Monday: Graham Parker & His Latest Clowns, Iron Horse – He emerged around the same time as Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. Early records like “Squeezing Out Sparks” hinted at greatness, but Parker’s star never rose to the level of his English compatriots. One of the punchiest live shows in all of rock. Eilen Jewell opens – she’ll be a bona fide star by summer’s end, mark my words.

Wednesday: Chaos Theory Dance Company, Colby Sawyer College – Student, faculty and guest dancers join forces for two nights of spirited improvisation The “Theory of Everything” dance features music taken from silent movies and Queen riffs. This week’s eclectic pick.

Townes Van Zandt – John Kruth’s Biography

tvzbio.jpgTo Live’s To Fly

The Ballad of the Late, Great Townes Van Zandt

by John Kruth

Townes Van Zandt died young at 52, but he was lucky to have made it past 30. The subtitle of John Kruth’s biography refers to a 1973 album, “The Late Great Townes Van Zandt,” which got its’ title from the time in 1972 that the singer clinically died – twice – after a heroin overdose.

“Many thought Townes’ excessive behavior was deliberate,” writes Kruth, but the Texas songwriter “believed he couldn’t write with validity without firsthand experience … it was hypocritical to sing the blues if you haven’t lived them.”

Through the recollections of Van Zandt’s friends and acquaintances, John Kruth’s biography paints a vivid portrait of a troubled, gifted artist who never achieved the level of personal success he deserved. His songs, said one friend, “stick in your mind like burned beans to a Crock-Pot.”

“If you say Buddy Holly is the father of Texas rock,” says Michael Murphey, “the you have to say that Townes is the father of Texas folk.”

Sadly, Van Zandt’s own records didn’t sell well, a fact Kruth attributes to poor management and the singer’s lack of creative control in the studio. Over the course of his career, Van Zandt re-recorded many of his best songs, both live and in the studio, trying and failing to get the perfect take. Often, says Kruth, excellent work was obliterated by overdubbing.

It wasn’t until tunes like “Poncho and Lefty,” “Tecumseh Valley” and “If I Needed You” were covered by the likes of Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris to Bob Dylan that the world outside Texas began to notice Townes Van Zandt. In death, his reputation as the best songwriter to ever come out of Texas is undisputed.

Kruth’s book is hamstrung a bit by its’ hagiographic nature, conflicting memories and the absence of some key voices. Susannah Clark is working on her own book, so the author had to rely on a few quotes from other sources to communicate her close friendship with Van Zandt.

Some of Van Zandt’s close friends were reluctant to speak with Kruth, a fact used to entertaining effect in an exchange with Guy Clark (married to Susannah). Before agreeing to talk, the songwriter grills him mercilessly, phoning Ramblin’ Jack Elliot in an attempt to call his bluff. “Jack, I got this little Yankee journalist here who says he knows you,” sneers Clark, then hands the phone to Kruth.

There are festering rivalries between many of the principles that leave the reader wondering about the real stories at the heart of the book. Longtime manager Kevin Eggers and Townes’ third wife Jeanene Van Zandt, for example, had a bitter relationship before and after the singer’s death.

Often, each reports a different version of events, forcing intermediaries to provide clarity for certain incidents. Engineer Eric Paul stood between the two while trying to mix a 1990 session using a group of backing vocalists that Jeanene termed “cheesy” and Eggers likened to Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires.

“I did my best!” says the exasperated Paul, who claims that Van Zandt was “quite proud” of the finished work..

The author attempts to solve the problem of multiple recollections by introducing an abundance of voices to Van Zandt’s narrative. This is a problem. As Kruth notest early on, “Townes was everyone’s best friend.” Often, the telling of a single story resembles a gaggle of hung-over drunks trying to explain the events at last night’s party.

That’s a challenging task for the best of writers, let alone an unabashed fan who’s given the singer’s widow “my guarantee that I wasn’t out to lionize her husband for all the wrong reasons.” Any honest biography would suffer from such stipulations.

Still, “To Live’s To Fly” managers to ably gather the threads of Townes’ Van Zandt’s life. But Kruth can’t avoid, as he puts it, “glorifying tragedy.” He’s writing about a subject whose best work was at times utterly morbid, and who wrote lines like “the end is coming soon it’s plain/and a warm bed just ain’t worth the pain (“Tower Song”).

“Townes was a sad soul,” says friend Eric Anderson. “You know how Rolling Stone rates new albums with stars? Well, if a song was really depressing, we’d give it ten razor blades.”

It’s hard to find the silver lining in those words . Says Kevin Eggers, Townes Van Zandt “worked at being a tragedy. That was his full-time occupation.”


Dar Williams Plans BF Farmer’s Market Benefit 4/27

dar-williams-and-jackson-brownep.jpgFolksinger Dar Williams does her part for a local cause next Friday, when she performs at the Bellows Falls Opera House in support of their farmer’s market.

David Francey, a Canadian singer-songwriter who’s built a following through several area performances, opens the show. The Bellows Falls Farmers Market will host a reception in the lobby prior to the concert.

The market, which officially opens May 18, provides a comfortable environment for fruit and vegetable growers from the surrounding counties to sell their wares. It features crafts, canned good, as well as some great local music. Upcoming performers include the Little Hope String Band, Josh Maiocc, Julie Waters, Patrick Fitzsimmons and Jesse Peters.

Show promoter Ray Massucco pitched the benefit idea to Williams at her New Year’s Even show in Northampton. She readily agreed.

“Dar has always been supportive of community-based agriculture,” says Charlie Hunter of Flying Under Radar, who is co-promoting the show with Massucco. It doesn’t hurt that Hunter managed Williams early in her career, and that the two have remained friends. But her commitment to activist causes runs deep in any case.

Many of her songs reflect her political beliefs, from the anti-war sentiments in “Empire,” from her last album, to “Play the Greed,” perhaps the most eloquent ode to green capitalism ever written. It was part of the “Hempliations II” anthology a few years back.

All the while, she’s donated her time to a myriad of interests and issues.

In 2005, she sponsored a group of Dartmouth students who traveled the country promoting alternative energy in a french fry oil-powered vehicle dubbed “The Big Green Bus.” While on tour in support of her most recent album, “My Better Self,” Dar’s “Echoes Initiative” would choose a local charity in each city she played. At her Burlington, Vermont show, fans donating to the Chittenden Food Bank received passes to a post-show meeting with the songwriter.

Last month, she peformed at an anti-war teach-in, and in support of an Ossinning, New York education foundation. Tomorrow, she plays a private concert in conjunction with an event at Harvard’s “God-Free Chaplaincy” honoring the writer Salman Rushdie, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and scientiest E.O. Wilson, among others.

“I expect I’ll receive a very nice tote bag,” quips Williams, never at a loss for levity.

The Farmer’s market show was, Dar says, a natural choice for her.

“I finally realized that local food groups and community gardens provide an approachable microcosm of all the global issues I support,” Williams said in a statement on her web site.

“Also,” she adds, tongue in cheek, “supporting community gardens means –dude!– a lot of free food on the road.”

Local Rhythms – Future of the Album

emiapple.jpgThere are plenty of reasons for the music business to rue iTunes, but killing the album isn’t one of them. If anything, the leading Internet download site is the long-player’s biggest supporter.

Wait, you say – doesn’t the availability of 99 cent tracks make it easy to snap up just that one Fergie tune I like? Yes, but it’s not Apple’s fault if the rest of the record is awful.

I’m a fan of players with more to say than just one song. Every time I tout a performance in this column, you can be pretty sure the artist I’m highlighting is one that goes deep. When I log on to iTunes, I usually buy a whole CD’s worth.

Apple just announced a couple of moves which I think bode well for my way of thinking. Last week they introduced “Complete My Album,” which gives customers credit against the full price of an album for each song they purchase.

Purchase two tracks from Justin Timberlake’s latest, and you can get the rest for eight bucks.

It’s a great way to dabble without getting penalized. You sure couldn’t do that with a CD.

Which leads me to the second iTunes move, which not everybody thinks means good things for the music biz.

EMI, a record company close to bankruptcy, made a bold move last week when they announced they were removing the digital handcuffs from music they sell on iTunes.

It should be noted that other online music stores will likely make the same deal – Microsoft already has tentative plans on their Zune store.

DRM-free songs will be sold at a marked up price, a part of the deal that riled up many. However, the audio quality is vastly improved. Here’s the part that’s so good for album lovers. The price for long players won’t go up under the deal.

It’s a bit of a trick, I admit, and Fergie’s “Glamorous” is still the only decent cut on “The Duchess,” high audio quality or no. But it begins a trend that’s long overdue.

For too long, record companies have treated their customers like criminals, instead of devising creative ways to engage them.

Selling unprotected music should be combined with fan incentives like early access to concert tickets and other goodies. After that, it’s up to the artist to make records that are more than one or two tracks deep. I know they’re out there; I buy (and recommend) them every week.

Here are a few “full length” artists playing locally in the next few days:

Thursday: John Gorka, Flying Goose – Case in point. I would never buy just one Gorka song. The folksinger closes out an abbreviated music series in New London with tunes that can make you weep, laugh out loud or shake your head in emphatic assent. You hear a line like “I live where the bottles break and the blacktop still comes back for more,” and wonder what else he’s got up his sleeve.

Friday: Noche Latina Caliente, Electra – Get lucky on Friday the 13th when you learn the tango, salsa and cha cha cha from some talented instructors. Then dance the rest of the night away to great music from south of the border. Claremont had a night like this a couple of years ago that people are still talking about.

Saturday: Stonewall, Royal Flush – It’s a good Saturday for hard rock fans, with Hexerei and Transcent at the Claremont Moose, but I mention this show for two reasons. One, the Flush touts the quality of the tribute bands it brings in, but this show re-states the club’s ongoing commitment to original local music. Two, Stonewall rocks.

Sunday: Fiddler’s Dream, Latchis (Brattleboro) – Jay Ungar and Molly Mason are joined by fiddling friends Liz Carroll and John Doyle for a night of traditional music. You may not know their names, but you’ll recognize their music from Ken Burns’ PBS documentary “The Civil War.” If you don’t want to make the drive south, the duo is in Lebanon April 20th.

Tuesday: The Greencards, Iron Horse – “New Grass,” a melding of old time traditions and contemporary attitude, is probably my favorite genre of music It’s best exemplified by bands like Nickel Creek, the Bittersweets and Crooked Still. This trio just released a new album which should move them from the litte rooms like the Iron Horse to much bigger stages. See them while you have a chance.

Wednesday: Molly Chernington with Kate Wirsing, Canoe Club – Molly’s a Meriden native who took up music while living in Colorado. She has a spare, Shawn Colvin sound, and tonight she’s joined by slam poet Wirsing, which must be a first for the staid Canoe. Should be fun.

Local Rhythms – Happy Anniversary

photo_062406_0011.jpgThree years ago this week, I submitted the first “Local Rhythms” column to the Eagle Times. My editor at the time had only one question: “can you keep it up every week?” I wasn’t sure – and not because I feared writer’s block.

When I approached the paper, my original idea was to write about the local entertainment scene, in spite of what I perceived as the absence of a robust night life.

How wrong I was.

The things I felt deserving of attention, like the rise of the Internet and the way Claremont in particular had been blessed with a competitive environment which gave unprecedented access to a cornucopia of culture, is still there – it’s growing every day.

However, I wasn’t prepared for the depth of talent beyond my door. Suddenly I found myself thinking, why watch television when there’s so much to go out and see?

With each passing week, I found players who’d been toiling for years in the local clubs, and up-and-comers who dreamed, in spite of the odds, of using their area notoriety as a foothold for a jump to the national stage. Each had something unique to offer.

There’s been an ebb and flow over the last three years; Pub Italiano and Coyote Creek are gone, newcomers like Sophie and Zeke’s and the Imperial Lounge stepped up to take their place.

The Bellows Falls scene has risen, fallen, and risen again. The Tuohy brothers are poised to transform Newport’s music scene on Fridays and Saturdays, and the Royal Flush in Springfield is now home to local stalwarts and plenty of dead ringer tribute bands.

Rockingham is on the rise, and Charlestown is an eclectic’s dream.

Three years ago, as I wrote the words, “each week, I’ll try to highlight the entertainment opportunities this area offers,” I had no way of knowing just what a rich experience that effort would be. I’ve been humbled by the rich array of talent I’ve found in so many unexpected places.

I hope my words provide inspiration for readers to check it out themselves. I’m grateful to have such a rich scene to write about. Every new discovery reminds me that even though I never learned to play myself, there are plenty who can. They’re waiting to entertain me – and you.

Last Friday night,  I witnessed the next generation of singers and players.at the Claremont Middle School’s Talent Show. Make no mistake – in a few years you’ll see at least a few of these kids on a bigger stage.

Speaking of which, what else is keeping the scene vital this week?

Thursday: Norm Wolfe & Peter Concilio, Sophie & Zeke’s – In addition to playing, Norm’s worked with kids in the Hanover and Dresden school districts. His guitar work has graced the North Country over four decades. Bassist Concilio has played with top musicians, as well as producing concerts by Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie. Together, they weave a wonderful musical conversation.

Friday: Cheryl Wheeler/Antje Duvekot, New England Youth Theatre (Brattleboro) – Wheeler’s claim to fame is the regional masterpiece “When Fall Comes to New England,” a song that sums up not only the natural beauty here, but also the many ways the weather affects our life. Duvekot has channeled life’s challenges into a stunningly mature body of songs that belie her youth.

Saturday: Junk, Newport Moose Lodge – Known until recently as “Junk in the Trunk,” this is a band with clever instincts to go with their classic rock sensibilities. This means that along with familiar favorites from the likes of Deep Purple, frontman Rich Cortese will pull some obscurely wonderful tunes by bands like Wishbone Ash or Steely Dan out of his hat.

Sunday: Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon Finale, Center at Eastman – An end and a beginning. Sax player Greg Abate joins the JOSA Ensemble, laying down smooth riffs for trumpeter and vocalist Johnny Souza to improvise around. It’s the last performance of a very well-received season. It also marks Bistro Nouveau’s entree into Eastman. Claremont misses them already.

Monday: Vienna Teng, Iron Horse – Reminiscent of Tori Amos or Sarah McLachlan, this young songwriter/pianist took an odd route to her musical career. She earned a Stanford degree in computer science, went to work for Cisco and then quit to follow her muse. Urgent and hypnotic are two good words to describe her.

Tuesday: Irish Sessions, Salt Hill Pub – A circle forms in the center of Lebanon’s pub on the green every Tuesday at 6:30, and the “seisun” – that’s the Irish spelling – can take just about any form. It all depends on the players, and tonight the dynamic duo of Chris Stevens on concert mandolina and Roger Burridge on fiddle will get things started; before the night ends, many friends will drop by to join in.

EMI To Offer DRM-Free Tracks

emiapple.jpgVia BBC comes word that EMI Music will sell songs unencumbered by Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes on iTunes beginning in May, with more digital music sites to follow. EMI will offer the so-called “premium” tracks at a higher price than the current 99 cents/track. The non-DRM’d tracks will have better audio quality, with a 256K bit rate, which Steve Jobs called “indistinguishable from the original source material.” That’s a debatable claim, but it’s twice as good current 128K AAC currently available.

A couple of pieces of very good news – iTunes customers who have previously purchased EMI tracks can upgrade them, for 30 cents each, to DRM-free. Also, the price to purchase entire albums will be the same. No word how that will work on the recently announced “Complete My Album” feature.

Is this the beginning of the end for DRM? Maybe. EMI CEO Eric Nicoli’s statements on the move are quite extraordinary given the industry’s prevailing attitude on the subject:

“We have to trust our consumers,” he said. “We have always argued that the best way to combat illegal traffic is to make legal content available at decent value and convenient.”

Apple CEO Steve Jobs shared the podium with Nicoli, and had this to say:

“This is the next big step forward in the digital music revolution – the movement to completely interoperable DRM-free music …”The right thing to do is to tear down walls that precluded interoperability by going DRM-free and that starts here today.”

Trust your customers? Tear down the walls? What on earth is going on here? It almost gives one hope.

If customers bite, it means big bucks for Apple and its industry partners, says ZDNet’s Dan Farber and Larry Digman:

Why will the music industry follow EMI’s lead? Let’s do the math.

Say I have 1,000 songs purchased on iTunes with the DRM. Let’s assume all of those songs are EMI tunes. I hate DRM so I’ll spend 30 cents a song to ditch DRM for a total of $300. Multiply that by a million customers and you get $300 million.

That won’t happen overnight, but you can see the sales adding up for the music industry.

For Apple, the math looks like this: More music downloads.

Listen to the podcast. Note: the first several minutes are standard EMI promo stuff, with an advance listen to a Chemical Brothers track.