Damn It All: Fabchannel Is Dead

Fabchannel has been one of my favorite places on the web for years now. Its extensive archive of complete live shows (mainly from clubs in Amsterdam) helped me through countless deadline days, so it was a massive bummer to find this in my inbox just now:

Dear Fabchannel viewer,

After nine passionate and beautiful years of sharing the most amazing concert recordings with you, Fabchannel is stopping. A great number of record labels still won't allow us to record their artists. This prevents us from offering what we need to keep Fabchannel alive.

We want to sincerely thank you for all support through the years! It has been an amazing time, but unfortunately this is where it ends.

With a bleeding heart we're pulling the plug of our online archive Friday 13th of March. Until that time, enjoy your favorite concerts and who knows… we'll meet again.

Justin Kniest, CEO

Honestly, it's not much of a surprise, but it still sucks. We still have a week to spend together, though, so let's make the most of it while we still can. Your Friday can only be improved by this live set from Elbow:

I'll post a couple more of my Fabchannel picks after the jump.....

The Dears (If you watch nothing else from this, check out the first track)

The Arcade Fire

Josh Ritter

Echo & The Bunnymen

Bruce Springsteen @ Giants Stadium, July 31

Sorry about the crappy shaky-cam footage, but it should at least suggest the kind of energy Springsteen shows can still generate. Bruce is 58 now, and his shows still stretch past the three-hour mark. "Badlands" closed the main set, so this was shot after about two and a half hours of solid rocking, and nobody seemed the least bit tired.

Bruce went into the crowd a couple times to grab signs from fans who had written their requests on sheets of poster board, and at various points in the show he would hold one up for the band - the rock version of calling an audible. I never thought I'd hear "Incident on 57th Street " played live, but that was one of the first signs he grabbed. Phenomenal. Or "Jersey Girl," one of my favorite Tom Waits songs, and one that Bruce has made his own. Or "Rosalita," which the band just recently started playing again, and which closed the show.

Check out Bruce's site for the remaining tour dates. You owe it to yourself to see these guys play at least once.

Full setlist:

Summertime Blues
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Radio Nowhere
Prove It All Night
Two Hearts
The Promised Land
Spirit In The Night
Light Of Day
Brilliant Disguise
Pretty Flamingo
Blinded By The Light
Cadillac Ranch
Candy's Room
Because The Night
She's The One
Livin' In The Future
Mary's Place
Incident On 57th Street
The Rising
Last To Die
Long Walk Home

Born To Run
Bobby Jean
Dancing In The Dark
American Land
Jersey Girl

One More Day 'til Rock 'n' Roll Church

Between preparations for a vacation next week and a big move in September, blogging time has been scarce, but right now, I can't even think about those things. My mind is focused solely on tomorrow night's big Springsteen concert at Giants Stadium - the last show of a three-night stand in his home state. I've seen Bruce and the E Street Band once before, in Pittsburgh in 2003, and rock 'n' roll church comes as close as possible to describing what it's like when they really get going. There really is nothing like it. Also, The Boss? Way underrated as a guitarist. Check out this insane "Prove It All Night" from '78:

And then there's this classic, with Bruce in full working-the-crowd mode:

And rest in peace, Danny Federici. It won't be the same without you.

Jarvis Cocker @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Jarvis Cocker

Jarvis Cocker put on one hell of a show last night at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg. Bill has a more detailed write-up over on Sound Bites, but I need to take a second to tell you how awesome this show was. The big music war in 1990s England was between Blur and Oasis, but I'll take Pulp over either of them every time. For me, they're one of the defining bands of the decade - I'm pretty sure albums like Different Class will still sound fresh twenty years from now.

Cocker has moved past his Pulp days, and as much as I love that music, I didn't miss it at all last night. Nobody did, in fact, and it's worth stressing that not one person yelled out a request for their stuff. The set list was a pretty even mix of material from Cocker's solo debut, Jarvis, and new material, of which "Girls Like It Too" was a definite highlight. Main-set closer "Black Magic" just about leveled the room, and I'm not sure "Common People" would have gotten a better reaction from the 550 fans lucky enough to score tickets.

MP3: Black Magic

If you can get into tonight's Terminal 5 show, make it happen.

Photo via Olga Bas @ Flickr

Summer Fridays and Brian K. Vaughan

My friend (and fellow U-92 alum) Bill Pearis knows as much about music as anyone you or I have ever met. He covers new music and NYC shows on his blog, Sound Bites, and he also writes a column for the hugely popular Brooklyn Vegan, which is both a blog and a person. Bill just started a new feature today called Summer Fridays - he's posting a new downloadable mix every week, complete with cover art and fancy segues. The first mix is fantastic, and not just because it features XTC's "Life Begins at the Hop." Don't miss it.

Also, I skipped out of work early yesterday so I could go to Midtown Comics and meet Brian K. Vaughan, who was doing a rare signing (I think it's actually his last for 2008). Vaughan is probably best known for his series Y: The Last Man, about a sudden, catastrophic event that kills every male on Earth but one guy and his pet monkey. He's also a writer and executive story editor for Lost, and I'm not alone in believing the show improved tremendously as soon as he was brought in, late in season three. Other notable works include Runaways, Ex Machina, Pride of Baghdad, and a recent arc about Faith for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8.

The line stretched almost a full city block when I got there, about 15 minutes before the 5:00 start. I turned into a blubbering jackass as soon as I got to the table where Vaughan was signing, but I did manage to ask if he had plans to return to the Buffy series, which picks up after the events of the TV series finale. He said there was nothing official planned but that he would jump at the chance if series creator Joss Whedon asked. (Whedon also took over writing duties on Runaways after Vaughan's run ended, and Strangers in Paradise creator Terry Moore is set to succeed Joss.)

Vaughan is only going to get more popular and successful - he's on my short list of People Who Will Rule the World - so keep an eye out (and pick up the first trade collection of Y, "Unmanned", while you're at it).

Three Songs That Should Be in Grand Theft Auto IV

Yesterday I gave you my favorites from the game, so today we've got three songs I would've liked to see make the cut. To qualify for consideration, songs had to be appropriate for extended car chases, ultra-violent urban crime sprees, or both simultaneously. In the spirit of the game, they also had to include at least one instance of in-your-face profanity (and track three, bless its little heart, features way more than one). Enjoy!