Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Welcome To My World of Kinky

Posted by xneverwherex on February 15, 2015

Kinky
2/12/15 – Mezzanine
2/13 – The Catalyst (Santa Cruz)

Rock en Español/Latin American rock whatever you want to call it, has never been better. The bands that I have recently seen coming from below us always put on incredible shows. So, its really no surprise that the quintet from Monterrey, México Kinky put on one hell of a show. I knew in roughly the first 5 minutes, that I would be off to Santa Cruz for night 2! The band had just released MTV (unplugged) which seems to contain songs from all their different albums.

Kinky

Kinky

With the opening notes of “Después Del After“, you could already feel the surge of electricity emanating from the crowd. Omar Gongaro, would be the first to appear, somewhat hidden behind his ginormous drum set. One of the few drummers that Ive seen play standing up for the full performance. Then came their out bassist Cesar Pliego (who is just pure energy) and Carlos Chairez (lead guitar). Cesar was already dancing around in his tejana (cowboy hat) and boots and was ready to get the show started. By the time lead singer Gilberto Cerezo came out on stage the entire crowd was dancing and singing along. Adding to the craziness of their set is Ulises Lozano keyboardist/programmer and sometimes accordionist.

Unlike the Santa Cruz set, Mezzanine is a small tight club with everyone pressed into each other. The stage is way too small to incorporate the band and their theatrics to really appreciate the entirety of their show. The video screen in the background was nearly impossible to see from the sides of the Mezzanine and it proved to be an integral part of their show (as I witnessed at The Catalyst). The spaces couldnt have been more dissimilar from each other. The Catalyst was a really wide open spot with a fairly large balcony that surrounds the stage. The stage is up pretty high – with a good 3′ gap between the stage and the audience. So there is definitely a bit of a barrier between audience and band. While Mezzanine seemed a much more intimate experience (up close and very personal), the band definitely thrived on the larger stage and took full advantage of it.

Kinky

Kinky

While, Id guess that most of their fans are Spanish speakers, it really doesnt matter if you can/cannot understand the songs. You end up just losing yourself to the music. They do a blend of songs in Spanish and English infusing electronic beats into full on rock songs. The band is pure energy and its a non-stop dance party. With songs like “Alma de Neon“, its impossible to not be moving around. Keeping it going, they move straight into the funkadelic “Hasta Quemarnos“.

By the time the band got into even the more upbeat/electronic/dance/rave “Cornman” followed by “Coqueta” with COWBELLS played by Ulises the crowd was a frenzy of arms, flailing and everyone moving. The songs are beyond catchy and when played back to back it just begs for a full on dance party. Adding to the fun of it all was bassist Cesar who by now was jumping around and dancing nonstop hopping on one foot in circles. Plus, we got to have even more accordion playing during “Cornman” with the all too perfect lyrics “Welcome to my world… welcome to my world”. Somewhere in all this were the unforgettable beats of Prodigy‘s “Smack My Bitch Up“. There’s not many bands that can pull this off so smoothly.

The band is incredibly talented incorporating so many different styles along with so many instruments. Gilberto has an incredible voice and such charisma and gives a commanding performance that its hard to even look away from him. Thursday night I was in front of Carlos and he was incredible to watch. Tucked away behind keyboards and guitar strapped to him he was amazing. Friday night was in front of Cesar and he tore it up. He worked the entirely massive stage, sweat dripping constantly from beneath his hat and a huge smile that never left his face. He was also constantly spitting onto the floor; he just left it all out there.

If the music isnt enough to intoxicate you, then lets add visuals. Because this band is nothing short of an aural/visual combination. In the beginning of their set it was usually just the song titles that were flashing on the screen but as the set went on, the visuals became something from a movie. At times it felt like I was caught in a Stanley Kubrick film – with images of a person about to shoot up (oddly enough this not shown during “Smack My Bitch Up”), but to the song preceding it. There’s an arm just laying there as the background morphs into other images. The images were just hauntingly beautiful.

For more on their visual / film love – a great interview is here.

Also, they threw in some norteno melodies and folk music (as I learned from a friend). I was in love with their beautiful version of Los Cardenales “Soy Lo Peor”. They completely changed it up and its just gorgeous. And of course, the entire crowd sang along. It just gives me chills each time its performed – the lush vocals of Gilberto and I’m swooning. Throw in the rhythm section and an upright bass that Cesar just plucks away at and its quite possibly one of the most beautiful songs Ive ever heard.

The band would come back for an incredible encore. All to fitting was Wall of Voodoo‘s “Mexican Radio” which would become pure chaos. The crowd in SC went insane. There was lots of pushing and shoving, pits breaking out and of course a few girls who were beyond determined to get on stage along with security guards working overtime to contain the raucous crowd. And of course, everyone was singing along yelling it out at the top of their lungs. When I first heard it in SF (not having heard it since my high school days at the very least) it was one of those blasts from the past. In SF, a girl easily managed to get on stage and it took 2 of their techs to get her off the stage. Probably a good thing the girls from SC were not at that show (or not close enough to get on stage).

By the time the band got to the signature bass lines of “Mas“, it was hard to imagine that there would be an even bigger blast of energy. The rocked out song with heavy guitars was brilliant. Everyone was singing the lyrics that are all too fitting, “Vamos queriendo mas y mas, mas y mas, mas y mas,” which roughly translates to, “We want more and more, more and more, more and more!” It was hard to not want this to end. If the energy of the show was already at a 10, by this point it had eclipsed that. The band laid it all out and left everyone clamoring for more. And it seemed like the band could have kept going and going.

I hadn’t been to a larger Latin American rock concert since my NYC days when I volunteered a day or two at the Latin American Music Conference. I had really forgotten how much I had enjoyed these shows and how unbelievably awesome they were. Unlike typical American audiences, everyone was there to dance, have fun and let loose. By the end of the show, one of the women constantly trying to get on stage had her arms around me as we were pogoing like no tomorrow. And the crowd in SC rocked. While it was insanity for parts of it, it was an incredibly great show and people thankfully even looked out for each other (at least the women). And if SF was the place to smoke up, Santa Cruz really put it to shame. From the moment the band went on, the place reeked of pot. It just got stronger and stronger.

While the band was insanely awesome, their audiences might have been even more so. If you haven’t yet seen them, go go go. pronto pronto pronto!

Mezzanine 10/10
Catalyst 12/10

The openers were both quite good, but the SF openers Bang Data were nothing short of awesome. The band, from the Mission (SF), also got a guest appearance from Kata of Locura(another SF band). The band, made even more famous from Breaking Bad, really brought the energy. They had the crowd pumped up with their blend of ska meets samba-cumbria infused beats and throw in some hip-hop and the band is banging. Throw in some other songs that are Spanish-English infused and more of the bossa-nova sound and it wont take long before your hips are moving to the afro-electro sound or youll be jumping around in no time. Plus, the lead singer skanks on a song or two. Now that is something rarely seen these days.

Moon Cadillac from Santa Cruz were entertaining enough. They had more of a disco-funk sound and brought out a would-be dance party, if anyone was actually interested. Sadly, they seemed to be a bit stiff on stage and just didnt have as much stage presence as Bang Data to really get the crowd pumped. But nonetheless, they were still good.

Set List Kinky (SF):
Después del after
Alma de neón
Hasta quemarnos
Soun tha mi primer amor
Ejercicio #16
Negro día
Cornman
Coqueta (Intocable cover)
Una línea de luz
Huracán
Para poder llegar a ti
Yo soy lo peor (Los Cardenales cover)
¿A dónde van los muertos?

Encore:
¿A dónde van los muertos?
Sister Twisted / Mexican Radio (Wall of Voodoo cover)
Bien pedo, bien loco
Más

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Buzz Band Catfish & The Bottlemen Conquer SF

Posted by xneverwherex on February 11, 2015

Catfish & The Bottlemen
Wild Party
The Independent
2/10/15

The much hyped Welsh band, including a test-tube baby born lead singer with the born to be rockstar name Van McCann, Catfish & The Bottlemen lived up to everything and more. Its hard to actually believe the hype as all too often there is such a big letdown. But in this case the 4-some came to San Francisco and were ready to play their hearts out.

Catfish & The Bottlemen

Catfish & The Bottlemen

The band opened with the very catchy “Rango” off their debut album The Balcony. Van wasted no time with amping up the audience. With a lot of kicks and jumps, he worked the stage taking all of their songs a level up. They were harder and heavier in concert, not sounding quite as poppy. And the heavier sound worked perfectly. The packed show (surprisingly not sold out) had everyone singing along like they had been fans of the bands for years. It was hard to believe that this was their first time in San Francisco.

The band then went into the even more catchy “Pacifier” with catchy guitar riffs and Van’s lovely vocals. It has a bit more of a pop sound and had the crowd dancing and rocking out. Van’s head was constantly bopping up and down, his floppy hair all over the place.

Van is very reminiscent of Luke Pritchard of The Kooks. The way he moves, the way he takes over the stage and his whole presence reminds me of the band. You can almost imagine them playing around the same times. The band exudes energy and its infectious and everyone around me was smiling and clearly into it.

There was also a lot of stage banter with him calling out to a Liverpool fan who ended up singing their football anthem. There were clearly a lot of ex-pats in the crowd last night. There was talk about pies and what makes a perfect one and what to put it one (I think Van was not talking about a pizza pie). And it went on. He was so peppy and so full of life.

The other guys of the band left for a couple songs (which I guess could be an encore of sorts) and Van played “Homesick” on his own – along with a crowd sing along. It then went into the acoustic version of “Hourglass” which is beautiful. A girl next to me freaked out about not being able to video the song which was somewhat amusing. The band emerged again for “Cocoon” and “Tyrants” and included the awesome moves of Van sliding up and down the mic stand, resting his head against it as well as sliding his guitar up and down nearly using it as a slide. He just exudes coolness.

This is the band to see – so if youre on the East Coast – find yourself a ticket pronto. Most shows are/will sell-out and you will have no regrets.

Wild Party

Wild Party

The openers Wild Party from San Antonio, Texas are also a band not to miss. The bands are pretty different sound-wise from the heavy guitar rock of Catfish to the lighter, pop sounds of Wild Party. But each of them have the energy. It will be no surprise to see Wild Party around a lot more often.

Lead singer, Lincoln Kreifels tried to get lots of dancing going on and was really engaging. It was clear the band was excited to be in town. They have the same catchiness of Rooney who sadly never became bigger. Power-pop guitars, dance-y songs and in no time you’ll be dancing along to songs like “Outright“. The bass lines of Ethan Kaufmann are beyond catchy esp on songs like “Connect the Dots“. He’s excellent and the band is great to watch. In their ever tight skinny jeans, the band seems almost too jaded and cool, but its clear they’re all just having a good time.

Their music just makes people happy. Everyone around me seemed so into it and just having a great time. I remember missing them at SXSW last year and thinking eventually Id see their name. And I was so glad that I finally caught them. Its one of those bands to just go out and see and you wont regret it.

The combo is one hell of a two-some. Its hard to get two incredible bands with different styles, yet it works just fine. They’re a perfect opener, getting the crowd ready to go and then leaving it all to Catfish & The Bottlemen to take it to the next level.

I expect to be seeing both bands around a lot more often.

Set List: (Catfish)
Rango
Pacifier
Sidewinder
Fallout
26
Business
Kathleen
Homesick
Hourglass
Cocoon
Tyrants

Set List: (Wild Party)
Nicely Done
Lo-Fi Children
New Light
Connect the Dots
Chasing Honey
When I Get Older
Life’s Too Short
Outright
Take My Advice

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SF’s Soft White Sixties Should Be Huge!

Posted by xneverwherex on January 31, 2015

The Soft White Sixties
Mahgeetah
Coo Coo Birds
Brick & Mortar Music Hall
1/28/15

San Francisco’s The Soft White Sixties finished off their month-long residency at The Brick & Mortar Music Hall this Wednesday night. And what a show it was. With birthdays on hand, the boys were ready to celebrate.

I had been meaning to see TSWS since coming across them last year as they were playing SXSW. Why this band is not bigger is beyond me. The band is pure infectious energy and took control of the stage. They started off the set with “Queen of the Press Club”. Ryan‘s bass lines are just impressive. Its a full-on rock song with some great solid guitars. And the drummer, Joey Bustos, was out of control, just tearing it up. With his arms all tatted up and big smiles he just went crazy on the drums.

The Soft White Sixties

The band has a solid garage-rock sound meets psychedelic, 60s sound and are so loud. Its pure, raw explosive energy. The band will have you rocking your head off and bouncing around in no time. The band next went into “Lemon Squeezer” which is more of a catchy song with a great chorus that will have you singing along in no time. Filled with a catchy keys section, its got a more dance-y vibe to it. By the time the guitars come in, you will be dancing your ass off!

Lead singer Octavio Genera is nothing short of impressive. The way he works a stage and commands an audience is something most artists can only dream of having. He danced across the stage so many times, whipping that microphone around and pulling off some excellent moves. He was so engaging and has gorgeous vocals.

Its a band that can be seen over and over as they clearly love doing this and its evident in their show. By the end of the show, the crowd and the band were spent with it being insanely hot and sweaty in the club and so much dancing.

It was also a special show in that it was Octavio and Joey’s birthday. In true SF fashion, a “burrito cake” was brought out with candles and all. Lots of champagne was flowing and lots of drinking was had. It was one hell of a fun celebration.

Openers Mahgeetah seem to have a huge following. While their music is good, it just seems so boring. There was only so much I could take before really hoping it would end. They are quite talented guys, but theres just something a bit lacking in the band. Perhaps with a better stage show, the band would be awesome.

Coo Coo Birds

Coo Coo Birds

Coo Coo Birds were pretty awesome. Fun garage rock, psych-pop hip shaking songs. Throw in some gritty guitars/bass and make it a little dirty and youve got yourself one hell of a band. Add some throaty vocals and youre set. The band is not to be missed and will remind you of the 60s (in hair and looks) and puts on one hell of a fun show!

Set List
Queen of the Press Club
Lemon Squeezer
Wont You Come With Me
When This All Started
Treat Me
Don’t Lie To Me
Up to the Light
City Lights
Children of the Revolution (T Rex cover)
Knock It Loose
Kick Me Back

The Boys are Back in Town (Thin Lizzy cover)

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Battlefield … WTF is this Mess… Earth

Posted by xneverwherex on January 31, 2015

Battlefield Earth
The Dark Room
Why oh why – Jan 11, 2015

So I was asked? to write about this – as it was beyond entertaining. And I use entertaining in the worst possible way. So for the uninitiated The Dark Room has Sunday nights filled with the worst movies ever. Much like MST3K, there are some people who organize this and are clearly the joke-makers (comedians?, ummm no). So it started out with potential. Hey, there is free popcorn. But after 5 minutes, I already knew this was going to be a trainwreck. With a roughly 10 minute introduction for the host and the same joke repeated ad nauseam, it could only get better WORSE. WAY WORSE!

So Battlefield Earth inexplicably starts in German (well I think it was German, mine isnt too great), and the subtitles are in another language. Maybe the film would have been entirely better in another language. Then it switches to English, thankfully? Theres a few stock jokes – like how many times a word is said (i already forgot this word, and im afraid to look it up); and how many “middle” wipes are used. (you ask about these so-called middle wipes – youll wish you didnt – a lovely use of transitioning where the image parts in the center of the screen and scrolls off to each side, like Moses parting the Red Sea) So let the counting begin…. (there were a lot – like so many that I wondered who the hell made this film and had they ever actually watched other films)?!

First off a few things to note: this is somehow related to Scientology (i do NOT want to know); Forest Whittaker is in it (and i think it was mentioned about how his eye was better – majorly f-ed up joke – one of the more hilarious ones), naturally John Travolta is in it and then even more inexplicable is one Barry Pepper. Oh, and lets not be surprised, there are no women. Actually, women are f’ing smarter than this shit, enough said!

The humans are now enslaved – the year 3000. The Psychlos are running the world (hell if I know what really happened) and somehow Barry Pepper is going to save humanity. They encounter a more dystopic Denver and prob some other cities. I was never too sure about where anything was or what was actually happening. The jokes got worse, hell can you even make any good ones for a movie that is *this* bad. Honestly, I was more entertained by the drunk girl next to me, who I am pretty sure was going to be sick most the time (by the time she had the hiccups I nearly was out the door). She was giggly and making her own stupid jokes. The jokes were so bad – that early on (the only sane people there, clearly) took off like 20 minutes in. Of course they were chastised, but as I mentioned the only people who were smart enough to leave.

I think at one point or maybe 2 I fell asleep, because honestly its the only thing to explain what happens in the film. I seriously wasted an hour, going WTF is this mess. They chase each other, kill each other, probably blow each other sorry I mean blow up each other. Actually, its probably all the same if you ask me, because Im guessing its the only way people signed on to this mess. Seriously, this has got to be the worst film Ive ever seen! (and I see a lot of films)!

Apparently, Travolta had high hopes and was hoping to do a sequel. Mind Blown! My date, Ben, was the one who suggested going, so I can really only blame him, but he was also so kind as to agree to leave with me an hour in. With that being said, I have no clue how it ended, nor did we care. We reached the bar next door and had a good laugh!

What can I say… a perfect date ;)

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Hooky, JD, New Order = Paradise

Posted by xneverwherex on November 24, 2014

Peter Hook & The Light
Performing ‘Brotherhood’ and ‘Low-Life’
Mezzanine
11/21/14

After hitting up the Castro theater on Friday night to see Pulp’s new documentary – and clearly get me in the mood for a night of dancing – I made it down to Mezzanine. I somehow got there about 5 minutes before Peter Hook would grace the stage. Thank god for Muni and quickness – because no joke – the best part of the set hands down was the Joy Division material.

Minus Ian Curtis’ haunting vocals, the band was on fire. The guitars (Hooky and son mainly) were sounding amazing. Their full sound filling up the room. Starting with the opening chords of ‘Dead Souls’ it would only get better. The bass lines hauntingly beautiful – a recognizable sound most anywhere. The crowd was really into it, with people moving around slowly, feeling the music. It just seeped into you and would only get better. They worked their way far too quickly the songs but ‘Transmission’ into ‘Isolation’ and finally into ‘She’s Lost Control’…. wow!! It just could not get better.

Hooky

Hooky

Sure Peter Hook might not be the best vocalist, but for whatever reason I felt like his band really kept the essence of Joy Division more than Bernard Sumner’s New Order. Ive heard people tend to like either one or the other, but the intimacy of the show, the fans all moving/dancing together, was incredible. Granted, New Order is playing at the Fox which does tend to not have the greatest acoustics.

Regardless. the night was awesome. The guitar tracks were sounding great and Peter Hook was every bit the show man. He worked the stage playing his guitar close to the fans in front. He then climbed on top of some speakers reaching the far left of the stage. People were just loving it. His son, Jack Bates, seemed a bit more subdued but was a fully competent and excellent player. He isnt showy like his dad in any way, but would look out and smile on occasion and you could tell he was enjoying it. The keyboardist, Andy Poole, was incredible and that really kept the music going. If you cant have the vocals, surely you can get all the music itself done perfectly, and thats just what the band did.

My only real complaint is when Hooky stopped singing on a few songs and gave the duties over to David Potts, formerly of Monaco. His voice just seemed so out of place that at first I was wondering who on earth was possibly singing. And sadly, no Monaco songs.

Although, after a fully awesome Joy Division set, the band went into a really great New Order set. It started with 2 songs not off either the albums before going right into Low-Life. It was never one of my favorite NO albums, but it did sound quite good. And it does have one of my favorite NO songs “Perfect Kiss”. In no time at all the crowd was dancing tons and really into the set. After completing the album and a short break, it was time to dive into Brotherhood. ‘Paradise’, ‘Weirdo’ and ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ – I felt like I was back in high school, but this was so much better. I mean Bizarre Love Triangle really had the crowd dancing.

Peter Hook & The Light After 2 amazing albums, it was hard to ask for even more, but of course there was an encore. And the encore topped the whole show off. ‘Confusion’ into ‘True Faith’ (never sounding better!) and finally my favorite song ‘Temptation’. A crowd singing along, dancing, Hooky working it through the set and finally ripping off a wet “Jackass” shirt and throwing it into the crowd — yeah it was that good. And of course, it had to end with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. What show would not be complete without that as a finisher. Nearly 3 hours later – and I was left a hot, sweaty mess, departing into a cold rainy night. Somehow, it couldnt have been more fitting.

Set List:
Dead Souls (Joy Division)
Komakino (Joy Division)
Something Must Break (Joy Division)
Transmission (Joy Division)
Isolation (Joy Division)
She’s Lost Control (Joy Division)
Shadowplay (Joy Division)

Murder (New Order)
Lonesome tonight (New Order)
Thieves Like Us (New Order)

Low-Life (New Order)
Love Vigilantes
The Perfect Kiss
This Time of NIght
Sunrise
Elegia
Sooner Than You Think
Subculture
Face Up

Brotherhood (New Order)
Paradise
Weirdo
As It Is When It Was
Broken Promise
Way of Life
Bizarre Love Triangle
All Day Long
Angel Dust
Every Little Counts

Encore:
State of the Nation (New Order)
Confusion (New Order)
True Faith (New Order)
Temptation (New Order)
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division)

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Blonde Redhead @ The Regency Ballroom

Posted by xneverwherex on November 15, 2014

Blonde Redhead
Dot Hacker
Regency Ballroom
November 11, 2014

New York’s Blonde Redhead was in town on Tuesday night for their new album Barragan. This was the trio’s first album in what seemed like a long awaited 4 years. While I don’t think the album holds a candle to earlier work, hearing it performed live was a whole different story. As a whole, the band has never seemed more connected.

Kazu - Blonde Redhead

Blonde Redhead – Kazu

Kazu was having such a great time, working the stage, dancing it up like crazy. The band seems to have found a perfect balance between old and new – and between the shoegaze, indie pop art sound its just pure bliss. Theres something transformative happening when they play. And the crowd was way into it. Plus lots of older material and a good chunk from 23. And a double encore. I mean, seriously, what more can you ask for.

The band also has such chemistry on stage — its like they can just read each other and it makes for a real good mood/vibe. Guitarist Amedeo sounds amazing live. His vocals interspersed with Kazu’s on some of the songs was just beautiful, but even on his own he sounds equally enchanting. His twin brother Simone on drums kept the beat going and just connects it all together.

Their encore was pretty incredible. They came back to the stage playing the shoegaze-y, guitar heavy, dance-y “Spring and By Summer Fall” which had the crowd dancing up a storm. Lots of swaying and heads bopping and everyone moving. The first encore ended with “23” which had the crowd yelling for more. Kazu’s voice has never sounded so lush and beautiful. She was also tearing up the stage, working her way all over it dancing up a storm. As one guy told me, the best dancer of all the indie bands these days.

It would have been perfect even if they just ended it there, but the band clearly were having so much fun they had to come out for more. Kazu was saying how much fun she was having and enjoying playing for us so we were given a second encore with an additional song ‘Equus‘. And it was *that* awesome.

Ive seen them a number of times and they just get better with age. Like that perfect glass of wine, just aging in style.

Set List:
Barragan
Lady M
Falling Man
Hated Because of Great Qualities
Love or Prison
Mind to Be Had
No More Honey
Doll is Mine
Melody
Not Getting There
Dripping

Spring and by Summer Fall
The One I Love
Defeatist Anthem (Harry and I)
23

Equus

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Its Time To Wake Up – La Femme

Posted by xneverwherex on November 2, 2014

La Femme
Sego
Future Twin
10/30/14
Slims

Paris-based La Femme was in town on Thursday night, the last night of their US tour, and were ready to start the Halloween party a tad bit early. The band came on stage around 11pm and played for nearly an hour and 45 minutes, properly bringing in the holiday. Sasha graced the stage in what looked like a lounge-y housecoat and pajama bottom styled pants, with the housecoat very open revealing a very naked chest. So it only took moments before the crowd (men and women) were yelling for him to take it off.

La Femme

La Femme

La Femme was perfect for California bringing their surf-electro-wave music to town. If they werent singing in French, they might be mistaken for a California surf punk band. They definitely have perfected the style but made it their own. At times they had the sexiness of Serge Gainsbourg (the breathy sultry music) complete with some great dancing. The band members all worked the stage dancing across it lost in the music.

The band turned Slims into one hell of a chaos infused dance floor. There was more moshing/circle pits than dancing (a pity), but the crowd was very into it. Only real complaints were the ginormous guys who were crushing the females in front – I walked out of the show with a bloodied up elbow and a fair amount of bruises including bruised ribs. (note: Im so not cut out for this). There was some stage diving as well as a few band members joining in on the fun on the floor. “Its Time To Wake up (2023)” really had people moving — with a great mix of vocals sung together, an electro meets psychedelic vibe and a lot of pot smoking. Their songs seemed to last forever and at times it was trance like. “Sur La Planche 2013” was as catchy as ever with plenty of people singing along.

I did notice a lot of French people in attendance and a lot of French speaking which isnt seen all that often. The band, keeping true to their album title Psycho Tropical Berlin, played a set encompassing all the different styles. From Berlin cold-wave, to the beach tropical sounds, deep into the psychedelic – lots of keyboards (lots!) and a good amount of guitars. The band was insanely brilliant.

LA via Provo, UT band Sego was one of the openers. And they really killed it. Reminiscent of Bloc Party, minus the catchy choruses, infused with LCD Soundsystem and you pretty much get this band. Their music was fun with lots of catchy bass lines and a keyboardist that was going crazy. Dance-punk at its finest, I expect to be seeing a lot more of this band.

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Ex Hex ‘Rips’ and Killed It!

Posted by xneverwherex on October 22, 2014

Ex Hex
Wild Moth
October 14, 2014
Rickshaw Stop

Finally! A show at the Rickshaw Stop that did NOT start at 11pm. It must be a sign that Im getting old as those shows are always so insanely late. I guess those are just Popscene nights.

Ex Hex

Ex Hex

DC-based Ex Hex was in town ‘opening’ up for Speedy Gonzalez who I didnt stick around for. Its hard to believe that Mary Timony’s new band was not the headliner as everyone was there to see her and her new band. Mary Timony, of Wild Flag, Helium and her own band, as well as others, had formed a new trio with other DC natives Laura Harris (kick ass drummer) and Betsy Wright (bass/vocals).

The band was awesome. On tour for their new album Rips the trio played a fast power-punk-pop set. It had the all-girls feeling of The Go-Go’s if they were a bit more punk. The band started out with new single ‘Dont Wanna Lose’ which is catchy, fun, jumping goodness. Its just awesome. They wasted no time as they went from song to song with insane guitar playing and incredibly catchy bass lines. Betsy and Mary have great chemistry on stage and feed off each other, playing up close to each other, leaning against each other and playing the hell out of their instruments. Betsy has amazing vocals and sounded amazing on the songs she sang on.

Ex Hex

Ex Hex

It was a bit of a bummer when the sound totally cut out right after “All Kindsa Girls” and the girls were left on stage to fend for themselves. Perhaps its amusing because right before they played that they dedicated it to the bartenders and said ‘yes – we are really going to play this song’. Then, a total absence of sound techs (or pretty much anyone that worked at the club) and they had to kind of wing ‘Outro’. So instead it became an instrumental guitar heavy song with lots of drums and no vocals. I recall Mary trying to sing some and even in the front it was hard to hear a thing. I could watch them mouthing words, but it was pretty sucky. I knew at one point Mary was about ready to give up, but Betsy kept telling her to play on. Was so glad that they did and managed to do one more song. And somehow the mic started working again.

It was a really awesome set and the trio were awesome together. Theyre still on tour and making their way back to the East Coast again, so if you havent seen them and are a fan of either Mary or just incredible guitar playing/power-punk-pop music, make sure to see them.

SF-based Wild Moth opened the show. Sadly, it was impossible to make out vocals with such insanely loud guitars. It sounded so muddled that I couldnt figure out if the sound system was just awful at Rickshaw Stop or this was the bands sound. If theyre on another set, Ill definitely see them again to see if its any better.

Set list:
Dont Wanna Lose
Waterfall
Waste Your Time
How You Got That Girl
New Kid
Hot and Cold
Beast
Radio On
You Fell Apart
All Kindsa Girls (The Real Kids cover)
Outro (minus vocals)
Everywhere

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, DC, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Summer Ends with The Raveonettes

Posted by xneverwherex on September 24, 2014

The Raveonettes
Coves
Rich Girls
Bimbo’s 365 Club
9/22/14

The now LA-based Raveonettes made their way up the sunny coast of California to begin their tour in San Francisco at the lovely swanky old club Bimbo’s 365 in North Beach. Apparently, a regular stomping ground for them when they come to town. And, I could see why. Acoustically, the band sounded amazing. The noise was beautifully contained in the small club and regardless of where I stood it still sounded great (sight-lines is a whole ‘nother story).

The Raveonettes

The Raveonettes

The Danish duo were here in support of their new appropriately titled Pe’ahi (a place on the north shore of Maui). Their new album reflects some of their new home of LA — a more pop, surf-rock layered in guitars/fuzziness sound. Sure, in the beginning Sharin Foo, bassist & vocalist, had a bit of sound problems, but it was quickly worked out. Soon enough, plenty of loud gritty guitar. Sune Rose Wagner, lead vocalist & guitarist, was not too talkative but did introduce a few songs and excitedly would announce when they were playing an older one.

The band jammed through their hour long set with 3-minute 60’s wall of sound fuzzed out garage pop. “Love in a Trash Can” never sounded better with plenty of distortion and driving beats. Im in love with the song “Summer Ends” which they fittingly played after announcing it was the official last day of summer. Its a perfect end of summer song if your summer ended in heartbreak except for the fact its a catchy lighter shoegaze pop song with biting lyrics. “You said you come a-running when I need you
I said go fuck yourself I don’t believe you”. Enveloped in lots of strobes and dark lights the band played a great set of songs including “Uncertain Times”, “Chain Gang of Love”, “Apparitions”, “Sisters” (from the new album), and so many more. With 3 minute short songs, they seemed to just rip right through them.

The Raveonettes went out with a bang with their dirty gritty guitars on “Aly, Walk with me” and “Recharge & Revolt”. They sounded perfect in there and walked off the stage with the crowd definitely wanting more…

Rich Girls

Rich Girls

Openers Coves from the UK had to bow out due to visa issues (dont get me started on that one). San Francisco locals Rich Girls filled in for them at the last minute. And they were awesome. Fronted by Luisa Black, this 3-piece band performed a noisy guitar-heavy, drum heavy set. They sounded awesome, dirty and gritty garage rock, and had some really great songs. They were a perfect opener for the Raveonettes.

Posted in Blogroll, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Are Things On the West Coast? – Interpol

Posted by xneverwherex on September 22, 2014

Interpol
Rey Pila
Fox Theater
9/20/14

Interpol

Interpol

4 years later and Interpol was finally back in town and Im so glad that I ended up with a friend’s ticket. The band had finally released a new album, El Pintor. The album is brilliant and is a nice reminder of where they came from having a very similar sound to Turn On The Bright Lights. Sure, theres no Carlos D(engler) and the sound had to change some but its distinctly Interpol.

While I usually seem to loathe the sound at The Fox, for whatever reason it worked with Interpol and they sounded great. The guitars sounded a bit muddled at times, but it worked and added texture to their songs. Paul’s vocals were haunting over the lush guitars swirling in the background as the band started playing ‘My Blue Supreme’. It was a great way to start the set and then without disappointing they went straight to their first album to play the catchy-fast paced ‘Say Hello To the Angels’. The crowd quickly got into it with lots of hand clapping and fist pumping. And then straight into the even more catchy ‘Evil’ which had everyone singing along and dancing. Their music is just perfect and so easy to get lost in with the guitars and the drums thumping along keeping the timing.

Interpol NYC

Interpol NYC

Interpol also had their live debut of one of my favorite new tracks ‘Everything is Wrong’. Paul Banks: “That was ‘Everything Is Wrong’… that was the *debut* of ‘Everything Is Wrong’…as a matter of fact.” Enveloped in red lights and different imagery on the screen, the band played the hell out of the song. The band never sounded more gorgeous than during ‘NYC’ with the images of the skyline swirling in fast motion behind them. Paul’s vocals were hauntingly beautiful with the pulse of the guitars filling the air. Plus, Narc, Not Even Jail and Slow Hands right before they went into an encore. Yowzers! It does NOT get better than that.

The band did an awesome mix of songs and really catered to older fans of the band focusing on the brilliant album ‘Antics’. The breakdown consisted of 6 songs off of El Pintor (the painter in Spanish) but also an anagram of Interpol; 5 songs from ‘Antics’ and 3 songs from ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’. Then one each from the other album. Of course, theres always bound to be a disappointment and it would have been great just to hear ‘How are things on the west coast?’ (the opening line to Heinrich Maneuver). Ah well. I seriously could not complain about the set. It was short as I had expected it to be, they were never a band that played for a very long time. But they packed the set with a punch.

Interpol has had a few changed with members over the years, but has added to the mix Brandon Curtis (mostly known for Secret Machines) on keyboards and vocals as well a new touring bassist, Brad Truax. The additions were great. And yes, its hard not to miss Carlos D. (he was insanely great on bass), Brad held up his own. He sounded excellent with his hair flying all over the place as he tore through the songs. Brandon Curtis is also a great addition and sounded like he’d been playing with the band all along (granted Secret Machines toured with them a bit, so it was already a great fit). Daniel as always worked the stage going back and forth and doing quite a bit of dancing. Clearly always enjoying himself. And Sam Fogarino sounded great on drums, always keeping the band connected.

If youre on the fence about seeing them and enjoy their new album, its quite worth it. With such a great mix of songs, its hard to leave disappointed.

Rey Pila

Rey Pila

Rey Pila, from Mexico City, opened the set. The poor lead singer forgot where he was off the bat and said something to the effect of being so glad to be in Sacramento! Doh! These things do happen, and he tried to play it off and ask about the Raiders. The crowd was not having it. I was a huge fan of them at SXSW and their music still sounds great. Clearly a throw-back to the new wave 80s, they had totally reminded me of a new version of The Cars. One with much more guitars but still plenty of keyboards. Not quite as funky as I had remembered them, I still enjoyed their set immensely. The lead singer was dancing up a storm and worked the stage. He even hopped down below more than a few times to be closer to the fans. Clearly enjoying himself, and getting over his faux-pas. Definitely not one of the more typical Interpol openers, but really great.

Set List:
My Blue Supreme
Say Hello to the Angels
Evil
My Desire
Length of Love
Breaker 1
The Lighthouse
Anywhere
Everything is Wrong (live debut)
Lights
Narc
Not Even Jail
Slow Hands

All the Rage Back Home
NYC
Obstacle 1

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Blogroll, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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