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    The Whigs

    Arriving just 15 minutes before stepping onstage at Philadelphia's tattered Khyber club, Athens, Georgia-based rockers the Whigs find that their reputation has preceded them. "You guys are screamers, right?" asks the club's soundman, fiddling with singer/guitarist Parker Gispert's mic. Caught off guard, Gispert replies, "Um, sometimes." The soundman is right. Two hours later, after the show, Gispert and drummer Julian Dorio sit nursing their shredded throats with beers in a dumpy hotel room. (The band also includes bassist Tim Deaux.) Formed while attending the University of Georgia, the Whigs honed their live chops the DIY, get-in-the-van way. "We'd drive 12 hours up to Philly for a show...and then get back for Monday-morning classes," says Dorio, futzing with his backward ball cap.

  • Whigs Teach Rock'n'Roll 101, Students Fail

    New Yorkers pride themselves on their chameleon-like ability toadapt to any situation, but last night (Dec. 4) at downtown haunt theKnitting Factory, Athens, GA-based trio the Whigsput a cross-section of the Big Apple's concertgoers in their place --one of snooty subdue. Strolling onstage clad in a mix bag of Goodwillspecials, the Whigs kicked out a rusty rendition of "Like a Vibration,"the opening track from their forthcoming sophomore LP Mission Control,as a crowd heavily weighted in industry types stood idle.

  • 50 Cent's Lonely Empire

    The spoils of the hip-hop game have befallen 50 Cent, a.k.a.Curtis Jackson, on galactic levels. Turning a handful of hit albums andsingles, loads of thug cred, and a vitamin water and clothingenterprise into cash money success, Fiddy purchased his fantasy digs in2003 for $4.1 million: Mike Tyson's former 19-bedroom, um, 35-bath(why?) compound on 17 acres in Farmington, Connecticut. But now, itappears, loneliness has gotten the best of ol' Jackson, as he revealedhis sterile, remote, and hotel-esque "kingdom" to MTV's Cribs last night (Nov. 29) in a bid to find a buyer -- all you need is a cool $18 million. Througha security checkpoint and large ornate gate, G-Unit member Tony Yayorolls onto the driveway. He's met by Fiddy, sporting a black robe withhis namesake digits, and the tour begins.

  • Gutter Twins Reveal Release Date, Gigs; Cash Money's 'Birdman' Arrested for Pot, Guns

    Gutter Twins, the duo comprised of ex-Screaming Trees mouthpiece Mark Lanegan (currently on tour with Soulsavers) and Greg Dulli, former frontman of the Afghan Whigs, have announced the March 4 release of Saturnalia, the project's debut album set to arrive courtesy of longtime home, Sub Pop. What's more, is Dulli and Lanegan, also known for their contributions to the Twilight Singers and Queens of the Stone Age, respectively, will perform a handful of gigs prior the album's release, including a Valentine's Day performance in New York! Commenting on the new, much-anticipated record in a statement, Dulli said, "I couldn't tell you what Saturnalia's theme is, but there's a seeking of transcendence that's new," he explained. "I have never written songs like this before...

  • Peter Morén's Separation Anxiety

    Aptly clad in a skinny black tie and sport coat for the landmarkoccasion and snazzy venue -- New York City's intimate Joe's Pub --Peter Morén, a.k.a the frontman of Swede sensations Peter, Bjorn andJohn, strolled on stage last night (Nov. 19) for his first time ever asa solo act. "I usually play with two other guys," said Morén, visiblyanxious beneath a crowd of curious eyes, "but this night is going to beabout my songwriting." Um, sure was -- Morén opened with a soloacoustic cover of Richard Hell's "Time," and it was spot on, settingthe stage for the humorous and musically impressive night ahead. Somepeople clam up, others sweat and stutter, but when Morén becomesnervous, it's all chatter: "I'm going to talk like hell tonight, so beready for it," he said, fidgeting with his guitar strap.

  • Paying Tribute to 'Mr. Tambourine Man'

    From the troubadour's poet outlaw era in the '60s, to his religious southern Baptist transformation, it seems Bob Dylan's only constant is change. And last night, to honor Todd Haynes' forthcoming film and accompanying soundtrack, I'm Not There, an equally eclectic collection of musicians from My Morning Jacket, to Yo La Tengo, to X's John Doe,all turned out to New York City's ornate Beacon Theatre to perform thelegend's songs, many of which have become an integral part of American,if not world culture. Introducing the first performer and film actorMarcus Carl Franklin, who sang "When the Ship Comes In," I'm Not Theredirector Todd Haynes was evidently nervous, his voice cracking as hedished praise unto the evening's absent man of honor, Dylan.

  • Peter and Bjorn, Black Kids Close Out CMJ

    'Save the best for last': a classic mantra that held its ownSaturday night (Oct. 20) as weary and musically boggled concertgoersemerged for one last event in the CMJ arsenal: Spin magazineand Musebox's late night party at Williamsburg, Brooklyn's GalapagosArt Space. Featuring a rapid fire artist showcase allowing each bandfour to five songs, the chiefly invite only event -- some 100 guestspots were reserved for RSVP independents -- drew a fervent crowd,which wrapped around the block as fans hoped to nestle up inside theintimate venue for sets from buzz bands like Morning State, Zambri, Black Kids and one very special secret guest, later revealed as Peter and Bjorn of Swede sensations Peter Bjorn and John.

  • Sweat it Out: CMJ 2007

    Every fall changing winds blow into New York City and disperse theviscous smog of summer, finally cooling temperatures and setting thescene for, oh say, over 1,000 bands and innumerable fans to prancearound the Big Apple sweater-clad soaking up sets from bands, new andold, discovered and not. But as many CMJers are realizing, or slowlyremembering from experiences past, the steadfast metropolitan festivalcan be, um, a little sticky. "Why is it so fucking hot?" said onesnazzy suited hipster Wednesday night (Oct. 17), "I'm sweating my assoff... gross." Indeed. But as seasoned CMJ attendees know, theglory is all in the sacrifice; late nights, sweaty masses, perpetualdrunkenness, and a seemingly endless queue for, well, everything, allin an attempt to catch a glimpse of the next breakout artist.

  • Cobra Starship Cynically 'Smile'

    Though not exactly subjects of some of the blogosphere's scathinggossip just yet, Cobra Starship have certainly seen their fair sharefame, fortune, and celebrity -- in doubt thanks to labelmates and mediatargets Fall Out Boy, the leader of which, Patrick Stump, produced theband's forthcoming LP, ¡Viva La Cobra!. And album gem, theeclectic, dance-floor ready rocker "Smile for the Paparazzi," appearsto be an ode to the hangers on and celebrity whores the band haveexperienced first hand. "Party queens if you want to be seen taking ashit where you sleep then smile real wide for the paparazzi," beltsfrontman Gabe Saporta. The tune, an eclectic mash up of Top 40Latin-flavor and hard rockin' sing-alongs, rolls out with a series ofacoustic snaps, giving way to a thick chorus of fuzzed out guitars,clunky and effected keys and finally a bouncy, funky instrumental.

  • Opening Night: 'Kurt Cobain -- About a Son'

    Forging new ground in the domain of late Nirvana frontman KurtCobain is a trying task; scores of works from the investigational film Kurt and Courtney to the artistic rendering of Gus Van Zant's Last Days hit the circuit of conspiracy theorist and fans ages ago. And upon first glance, Kurt Cobain -- About a Son, featuring interviews compiled for its contextual predecessor, Michael Azerrad's book Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana,rings with redundancy. But as many discovered at its premier at NewYork City's Greenwich Village IFC theatre last night (Oct.

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