Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category
Posted by xneverwherex on June 18, 2013
The Dandy Warhols
June 15, 2013
Saturday was a complete day of all things Dandy Warhols. It started out on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Amoeba Records in the Haight. I had planned an earlier arrival, but it worked out just perfectly regardless. About 30 mins prior to showtime, the place was still fairly empty. The band still hadnt arrived and some random store employees were testing out equipment. Finally, Zia was there – her hair all done up in braids and started talking to friends and getting things ready. Then, unbeknownst to me, Pete was right in front of me looking very scruffy.
Dandy Warhols @ Amoeba
It was soon announced that Courtney was MIA – hadnt yet arrived and was still hung over from the prior night of partying in LA. Good times! About 20 mins later – theyre good to go (or as good as things will be). They do a short set with songs from 13 Tales. I remember ‘Horse Pills’
‘ but Im also quite sure ‘Godless
‘ and/or ‘Mohammed
‘ was also in there. And they ended the set with ‘Big Indian’
. Hard to complain for a free show that was right before their show that night.
The plus in Courtney’s lateness — Zia, Pete and Brent — all were happy to sign whatever people had. Brent kindly told me ‘I took that pic on the cover. Its Pete’s shirt’.
Saturday night was a very different scene. Much more professional, the band was all there on time. They played 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia in its entirety. Im pretty biased as its my favorite album ever. So seeing it played from start to end was pretty awesome for me. From the first guitar notes of ‘Godless’ it sucks you in. The first 3 songs were just designed to play together. ‘Godless’, ‘Mohammed’ and ‘Nietzsche’ sound excellent when played back to back. They just blend together perfectly. And then it really starts going and picking up speed. ‘Country Leaver’ and ‘Solid’ are sounding as excellent as ever. People are singing along, dancing and everyone is having a good time.
I have to say I am mystified about the crowd. A lot of kids are there and they only want to hear ‘We Used to Be Friends’. Its annoying. Plus they want to mosh. Really – some of these songs are just not made for moshpits. Fights were breaking out – people were incredibly rude and honestly – I wished everyone had smoked a lot and chilled out. This was not the right crowd that one normally gets. Zia had to yell down to tell a girl to shut up who wouldnt stop screaming (she was punched in the breast). I guess if I were her, that guy wouldnt have been walking straight. The guy (at maybe 16/17?)’s argument ‘we’re at a rock concert’. Ive heard a lot of things – but there are things as personal space and groping people anywhere will likely get you arrested (esp if thats your lovely argument).
Other than that, Zia is as charming as ever. She was pretty polite even with people yelling her name every 5 seconds. Rocking out in her Guns n Roses shirt, she was having a great time dancing a bunch, playing guitar and tambourine. The band was in great spirits and after the initial 13 Tales set came back for a pretty awesome set of a few songs off DROK. Of course, now between sets we’re treated to the acoustic version of ‘Every Day Should Be A Holiday’ with just Courtney and a guitar and an excited crowd singing along. Some of the others included ‘Lou Weed’ and ‘Ride’. We also got to hear ‘Good Morning’, ‘Theyre Gone’ (off the last album), ‘Last High’ and a really great revved up version of ‘Boys Better’. Now that was just awesome. I cant remember if ‘Be-In’ actually was played, but theres a good chance that it was.
Courtney, Fathead and Pete @ The Fillmore
Of course, a Dandys set in SF is never complete until Zia sings a song on her own. I usually get to hear her ‘Daisy’ song, but this time it was even better. She wanted to give tribute to one Janis Joplin and how fitting it was that she ended the set with ‘Mercedes Benz’. A lot of people joined in and Zia looked super excited that the crowd was so into it.
Overall, the show was pretty awesome. It was great to finally hear my favorite album in its entirety. Over the time (97 was my first show of theirs), Ive seen some incredible shows (their 3 hour sets were insane), and some that werent so great. This was definitely one that prob won’t ever be repeated and for that reason alone it was pretty special.
The Shivas opened the set. I guess I had higher expectations. Not sure if I understood the need for 2 drummers (the female was insanely awesome). Some of their garage rock songs were pretty awesome and Ill prob try and check them out again sometime. They didnt say much but seemed excited to be on the set.
13 Tales from Urban Bohemia
Bohemian Like You
Every Day Should be A Holiday (Acoustic/Courtney solo)
Holding Me Up
Lou Weed (somewhere in the set)
Mercedes Benz (Janis Joplin cover) (Zia solo/acoustic)
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia, 6/15/2013, alternative, concert, Courtney, indie, live, music, Portland, San Francisco, The Dandy Warhols, The Fillmore, The Shivas, Zia McCabe | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 10, 2013
Esben and The Witch
Brick & Mortar Music Hall
April 4, 2013
The Brick & Mortar Music Hall is one of those venues that is barely noticeable. I had walked and driven by it too many times and didn’t even know it existed. Right down the street from a gas station, it just blends into the block. With that being said, the venue is quite cool. Its a pretty small spot with a bar directly in front of you as you walk in and a stage off to the left. Lots of seating available and a very low-key crowd.
Esben & The Witch
Hailing from Brighton (UK), Esben and the Witch
are a 3 piece band that puts on a great subdued show. I had seen them open up for Foals and was curious about their show on its own. The band hardly spoke to the audience but did have a few ‘thank yous’ after the songs. They introduced themselves oh so quietly and then just tore into their set. Rachel Davies, who has a striking resemblance to Keira Knightley, has an amazing voice. Her vocals are reminiscent of Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance) or even Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins). While their sound can be described as gothic, the band definitely has some of the shoegaze influence.
During much of the show, it felt like you were transported to somewhere else. Stuck in a movie that just keeps on going, youre swept away. The music is hauntingly beautiful with guitars that soar. The band had hardly any interaction with each other and played the 45 minute set with hardly any breaks between songs. The band was on tour in support of their awesomely named album, ‘Wash The Sins Not Only The Face’.
Simply put – the show was wonderful.
The semi-local, but mostly Brooklyn, Heliotropes opened up the show. It was their San Francisco debut. At least one of the girls was from Foster City and possibly others. The lead singer seemed excited to be performing for the first time for her mom and sister and friends. The band was very excitable and were having a really great time.
In contrast to the headliners, this girl band was the exact opposite. They were very talkative about their songs, their new album (coming out in June) and just how excited they were to be on tour. Their short set was fast and punchy and balls out rocking. While I wasnt totally into them, it was easy to become swept up in their excitement.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 4/4/13, Brick and Mortar Music Hall, Brighton, Brooklyn, concert, Esben and the Witch, Heliotropes, indie, live, music, rock, San Francisco, shoegaze, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on October 10, 2012
Run Run Run
I was pretty lucky that I had ended up with a New Order ticket. It had sold out so quick and so many of us were unlucky. Thanks to Val’s boyfriend having to travel, it made me one lucky girl.
Friday night in Oakland was insanely busy. I can only assume that there was some sorta festival going on. There were bands on the street, djs spinning and people everywhere. Plus some sort of protest march going on. And the Fox Theatre was right in the middle of it all.
It seemed to take forever but New Order finally came out. The stage was quite dark as they started into their first song. And then BAM! The lights started going, strobes coming on and off and the beginning to what would be an insane light show the entire night. I was convinced my friend Will was their lighting designer.
Their second song, ‘Age of Consent’, really got the crowd revved up. They introduced the band via video screen. The band didnt do a whole lot of moving around, and Gillian barely left her keyboards. Bernard Sumner did some moving around and jumping around while Stephen Morris for the most part remained behind the drums. On occasion, he’d walk to the sides to play what looked to be a drum machine. There were a few other members rounding out the touring band, but couldnt remember who. It was definitely a loss to not have Peter Hook on bass.
The first half of their set was mostly songs I hadnt remembered and probably a few newer ones. It seemed I was recognizing one for every few. I was a bit disappointed. At least the seongs all had a catchy synthy beat and they were easy to get into. But then it was like all of a sudden all their most popular hits. True Faith was followed by Bizarre Love Triange, complete with the original video on the screen. The crowd went nuts with people dancing in the aisles, next to their chairs, wherever they could make room. And then they threw in ‘Perfect Kiss’ and ‘Blue Monday’. Lastly, there was ‘Temptation’. They were so great and the crowd was singing along. But then Barney was saying last song and everyone looked confused as it was barely over an hour at that point. It seemed a bit unreal. But then it happened, and the band was off the stage. It was hard to believe that after an hour and 15 minutes the show was nearly over.
Of course there was an encore. It was a short, but sweet, 2 song encore of Joy Division songs. The first was ‘Atmosphere’ and the set was closed out with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. The songs arent quite as dark and moody as Joy Division, but still had that feel to them. Its hard to hear the songs and not imagine Ian Curtis’ voice, but its cool to be able to hear them played at all.
While I guess I had higher expectations, it didn’t totally disappoint. I heard some great songs live and they were performed with great execution. But just a few more songs would have been nice. I definitely would have loved to hear a song or two off of ‘Technique’. More of anything would have been great from a band that has countless albums and songs. C’est La Vie.
Age of Consent
Isolation (Joy Division Cover)
Here to Stay
Your Silent Face
Bizarre Love Triangle
The Perfect Kiss
Love Will Tear Us Apart
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 10/5/12, Bernard Sumner, CA, dance, electronic, Fox Theater, Gillian Gilbert, live, Manchester, music, New Order, Oakland, Stephen Morris, synthpop, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 28, 2012
It seemed forever that I had last seen Maximo Park. Their last tour somehow didnt end up coming to NYC, so it was about time they finally came back. And the band seemed to really enjoy being in San Francisco and playing Slims. Paul had so much energy that you could feel it bouncing off the walls. He posed lots and had lots of great movements and his dancing has definitely improved and increased. I definitely miss the scissor kicks, but theres still lots of jumping. Lukas is still as insane as ever on the keyboards. He kept pulling them towards him as he’d jump around and even jump on them. Very awesome.
The songs off their new album, ‘The National Health’ are quite catchy. ‘Take Me Home’ should be a total hit. They started their show off with the always fun and energetic ‘Graffiti’ and then jumped into the title track which was also really catchy. But it was really their older songs that got the crowd super excited and jumping and singing along. While their other albums have been quite good, nothing has compared to ‘A Certain Trigger’. Although, the guitar riff from ‘Girls who Play Guitars’ has never sounded better.
It was awesome when Paul said he had a song to sing about where we were. People screamed out songs, but I knew it had to be ‘The Coast is Always Changing’. What an awesome song and what a perfect San Francisco song. ‘Graffiti’, ‘Limassol’ and ‘Kiss You Better’ still sound amazing live. It was great to hear Paul sing part of ‘The Acrobat’ which he had to stop singing due to the lack of anyone remembering it
Paul & The Park
The band played nonstop for about 90 minutes before announcing it was down to their last songs. He mentioned how Americans love encores (really?), but that on this tour there wouldnt be any. They put their heart into the set and left it all on the floor. Naturally, some people (who I guess didnt believe the band), yelled for an encore. A 20 song set was hard to be disappointed with and for the most part they played nearly everything I would have wanted to hear.
Paul talked about how he had a few days off from the tour and how they went to Coit Tower and visited other sites. Paul was pretty talkative and wanted to tell stories, but for some reason many people in the audience just yelled out songs and wanted them to play. A pity as he’s a great storyteller.
LA’s The Neighbourhood
were surprisingly quite awesome. The guys looked quite young and were very excitable. There are definitely some hardcore influences along with hip hop. Its a great combo and makes for a great show. The lead singer, who is covered with tattoos, is hard to take your eyes from. Even if the music is not your scene, just stare at his arms/neck for awhile and youll be entranced.
NYC’s Zambri played a quite short set. They tried to do something unique with a lot of microphones that didn’t quite work. It definitely had an electronic feel and reminds me of School of Seven Bells. I still find them a bit forgettable but they’re fine to watch. Im not quite sure how they ended on this lineup but it made for a quirky interesting night.
The National Health
Girls Who Play Guitars
Hips and Lips
Questing, Not Coasting
The Coast Is Always Changing
Write This Down
Books From Boxes
The Kids Are Sick Again
Take Me Home
Now I’m All Over the Shop
This Is What Becomes of the Broken Hearted
I Want You to Stay
By the Monument
Waves of Fear
Apply Some Pressure
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: britpop, indie, LA, live, Lukas, Maximo Park, music, Newcastle, NYC, Paul, San Francisco, Slims, The Neighbourhood, UK, Zambri | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 7, 2012
Great American Music Hall
I guess the summer holiday is officially coming to an end, so it seemed fitting that it ended with Wild Nothing. Wild Nothing had finally made it back to the West Coast according to Jack. It sounded like it had been quite awhile and the way Jack told how San Francisco was his favorite city, reminded me of the way I had felt about NYC.
The band, by way of NYC (Brooklyn for Jack — and Athens for a few others — as well as one guy still in VA?), are on tour for their second album, Nocturne. I wasnt sure how the album would hold up compared to Gemini (one of my fav albums quite possibly ever), and it does. And quite nicely. Maybe with a few more spins it’ll end up in that same category.
From what I had learned from their new lighting guy – the band is kind of all over the place when it comes to where they live. Im not sure how it works as it seems that Jack isn’t fully in control over every part of the music, but it does work. And dare I add, quite well.
Their music just takes you away to a dreamy far away land with swirling guitars, lush vocals and darkened lights that just add to the visual. For an hour or so, it feels like youre off in your own land dancing to infectious indie pop hooks. It still has the hint of shoegaze but its like the Cocteau Twins of the 80s and the pop sounds of The Sundays.
The guys all moved around aimlessly with the bassist jumping up and down for a lot of the songs and the guitarist moving back and forth in his own world. Jack, who doesnt say much, had some interactions with the guys but mostly he just played his heart out. He was definitely excited to be there and you could feel the energy from the crowd. As the first guitar chords begin on ‘Chinatown’ an excitement builds in the crowd. ‘Live In Dreams’, which has always been a favorite, has never sounded better. Everyone sang and danced and moved in a hazy dreamlike nature.
In contrast to the Pains show, this was a different experience where people were there just wanting to hear the music. The only real complaint was the sound itself. At times the guitars were just too loud and muddy and took away from the vocals, but for the most part it worked itself out.
And just because Im selfish – how about bringing back one of the best Kate Bush covers ever. Cloudbusting is such an amazing song; its rare that a band can do her music justice. But its one of the best covers Ive ever heard. And this coming from a music snob
DIIV (pronounced Dive and formerly known as Dive), another band from NYC, were one of 2 openers. The guys looked impossibly young and it was hard to believe they were even 16. The crowd were so into them and that was quite awesome. Some of their music reminded me of Explosions in the Sky but not as big as a sound. Lots of heavy guitars and a few songs with minimal vocals.
I remember liking Holy Shit and at the same time thinking what a horrible band name or thinking when is Holy Shit Fuck going to be a band. The band, which used to have Ariel Pink in it on the first album, is now a few guys from San Francisco. They play lo-fi experimental-ish jams and put on a great, really tight set. It was over so quickly that by the time you were into it, that was it.
Overall — one hell of a night with 3 great bands!
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: Athens, Brooklyn, concert, DIIV, dreampop, GAMH, Great American Music Hall, Holy Shit, indie, live, music, NYC, San Francisco, shoegaze, Virginia, Wild Nothing | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 6, 2012
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
A B & the Sea
Perhaps age and more than likely perhaps living in NYC has made me somewhat jaded about shows. Or perhaps I have been spoiled with seeing many of these bands earlier in their career that sometimes it just doesnt pay to see a show.
A B & The Sea
Arrived at Popscene, (which is not the popscene I had remembered from the 90s — oh the people and times have changed) long gone from the very cool warehouse like 330 Ritch and now over at Rickshaw Stop – a smallish tightly packed club, to a long long long line. It was a bit confusing at first as no one seemed to know where to go. Then of more things crazy – they let the ticket buyers (not holders) into the show first. So we had to wait an additional 30 mins or so just to move an inch. Of course, Popscene is now filled with a very young high school crowd who were more excited about seeing each other late at night and high fiving each other for being in the very front. The whole thing just was weird. Id like to take this moment to say I really hope I was not that obnoxious in high school at shows (then again everywhere was 21+), so it was usually The Warfield and Shoreline.
The club was pretty packed by the time friends and I arrived. The Popscene DJs were spinning the same stuff youd hear on Live 105. No one danced and it was just a tad sad. As we had waited outside so long, at least it wasnt too long a wait for A B & the Sea to come on. Plus, random videos on the screens made it go by a bit quicker.
San Francisco’s A B & the Sea put on a pretty awesome performance. Some of the songs were beyond catchy and had a sunny California pop sound. It just made you want to dance and sing along. Songs like ‘California Feeling’ are guaranteed to be a pop hit. Its fun and light. ‘Constant Vacation’ is another very catchy dance-y song. They make you feel like summer is in the air and its going to be a great night. The only problem with their music is that they are all over the place. There are the total pop songs that are light and fun and then a lot of their music is in a totally different direction. It was like the band wasnt sure which way to go. A pity. The crowd was really into their lighter feeling songs.
Either way – Id see them again if theyre playing in SF.
Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Brooklyn’s Pains of Being Pure at Heart
had finally come back to SF after about 5 years. The crowd was beyond tightly packed inside and even at the beginning everyone was pushing against each other. Their fun dream pop sound that I had come to love from their first self-titled album was somewhat gone. With another guitarist added to their stage performance, it became a lot more loud and a lot more guitar driven. I somehow missed hearing their earlier stuff and the dream pop sound that had made them popular. And mostly I missed more of Peggy singing. Perhaps she was just overshadowed by the loud guitars?
Their new album ‘Belong’ has some great numbers and it was great to hear it live. The band was excited to be there. It seemed that Weekend (the band) was around and that the 2 bands had decided to switch coasts. Well actually, only Weekend is moving to NY. As the band mostly played tracks off their new album, the crowd got more insane. First the moshing began with people getting shoved to the ground, guys grabbing girls and just pushing them into the pit, and then the crowd surfing. Ive certainly been to plenty of shows with all that, but its rare for a guy to repeatedly try and grab me and push me into a pit.
Overall, it was a bit of a disappointment — but at least the opener gave me something to look forward to. And the cheap ticket… oh yeah that made it all the better.
So the question is, would I see the Pains again? Im not sure if it was the crowd, the music, their new direction. But, at this point, Im not sure I feel a real need to. I loved the first album when it came out and couldnt get enough of it. Ive listened to Belong a number of times, and it lacks something for me. Everything I loved seemed to be gone.
Thankfully I had Wild Nothing to look forward to.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, San Francisco | Tagged: 8/30/12, A B & The Sea, Brooklyn, California-pop, concert, indie, indiepop, live, music, NYC, Popscene, Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, The Pains, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on August 28, 2011
Dramarama makes for a good night out. Years later, they still make and bring back the best memories. Its hard to complain when they lead to the perfect unplanned date. Now, getting back to the music.
A bit older, but definitely not wearier, Dramarama rocked the club. John Easdale looks exactly the same (perhaps a bit less hair), but still comes out in his trademark sunglasses and cowboy hat. The band which seemingly seemed larger with lots more guitarists, sounded as great as I remembered them in the 90s. It was very awesome that one of the guitarists now has a LA Kings logo on the face of his guitar.
Their set included much of their older songs, and had the mostly older crowd rockin’ out. In prior years, that might have meant a crazy pit, but now people just appreciated it with lots of head bopping and dancing. Their set which never followed a setlist was all about what the band wanted to play. John noted that the prior night that he played very few songs that were written down, and this time he’d try to do better. He continued with his great dance moves and over-the-top choreography which also included a fall into the audience nearly toppling me over. He played it off and never missed a beat.
It was great to hear hits like “Stuck in Wonderamaland” and “Spare Change”. Like shows from the past, sure enough on “Spare Change” a few coins hit the stage. Their fans have definitely not changed. The night ended as John said his voice couldn’t handle much more. “Last Cigarette” had the crowd singing and dancing and cigarettes littered the stage. John picked one up and thankfully one of the guys in the audience gave him a light. The rockstar in him could _not_ be stopped!
It should be noted that instead of drinking a whole lot of alcohol, he drinks _a lot_ of Tab. A drink that some people didn’t even recognize, but it was a cola that was quite popular in the 80s.
The show ended with a 2-second reprieve saying ‘this is the encore.’ The RXP DJ, Rich Russo, who set up the show comes on stage to “introduce” ‘Anything Anything’. It couldnt have been a show without that song, considering the DJs show is called ‘Anything Anything’. And with that, the crowd and band gets the DJ to sing the song. It was pretty awesome when there was a short pause in the song and John tells everyone to start singing. Sure enough everyone starts singing along ‘When I was young I learned a game… I got wasted she got mad…’ No matter how long it had been, everyone still knew the words like any classic rock song!
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 8/20/11, Bowery Electric, concert, Dramarama, glam, indie, John Easdale, live show, music, rock, Wyldlife | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on June 29, 2011
June 27, 2011
The Kooks finally made it back to this side of the pond after what seemed like a long hiatus. They have a new album coming out in September – Junk of the Heart. From what they played live of their newer stuff, it sounds like it has a lot of promise. Its easily similar to their earlier works and equally poppy.
Luke Pritchard is always quite the front-man. A bit quiet, with guitar in hand, a red tight vneck with tight jeans; he looks every part the rock star. He never has too much to say but it really doesnt matter. The crowd loves him regardless. Anytime he approaches the edge of the stage, people want to pull him to them. Its alike for men and women.
By the time I got there, a bit after the said doortimes, the floor was already half packed. I was quite surprised, but managed to work my way to the front and side. Aside from some pushy guy, who asked way too many questions, the show was good.
I was a bit surprised that the set length is still just a bit over an hour. It hasnt increased much in time even with more songs. Luke did promise to play the favorites and he delivered. A lot of the crowd up front, were singing along to every single song, as Luke pointed out. ‘Do you wanna make love to me?’ was great and had the crowd dancing. He joked about the crowd knowing some of the songs as he broke out into ‘Naive’ and it was a sing-along.
The encore was quite great as Luke came out on his own and did a stripped down version of ‘Seaside’. Im pretty sure this is standard now, as I could have sworn I had seen it before. Either way, still sounds great. The Kooks early stuff still sounds great and its hard to want to hear new stuff when its just as satisfying to hear all of their early music.
Opener Smoke Signals was pretty bad. I was surprised that so many people were so into them. Had a country-ish vibe to them with a pop sensibility. They played for nearly 45 minutes and it was (seemed to be) the longest 45 minutes ever. Wish they had rapped it up sooner and given the Kooks more time. No clue if they might have played longer, but one can hope.
Always Where I Need To Be
See The World
She Moves In Her Own Way
Junk Of The Heart
Is It Me
Do You Wanna
How D’Ya Like That
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 6/27/11, Bowery Ballroom, britpop, concert, East Sussex, indie, live, Luke Pritchard, music, NYC, The Kooks, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on June 21, 2011
Sharon Van Etten
What could have turned into a miserable evening, with a huge rainstorm that dampened us all, turned out to be one of the most lovely evenings in Brooklyn. To get it out of the way – yes there was a double rainbow. My friends had been looking for rainbows after the storm had passed and soon enough theyre screaming ‘OH MY GOD. Its.A.Double.Rainbow. Film.It!’ No, there was no way in hell we were recreating that video. But, yes, there was indeed a double rainbow and lots of rain!
Beirut (Zach Condon and Co.) played an amazing set. Not playing with a full orchestra (oh how I miss your church shows), he did have 4-5 other guys playing with him doing double duty on the instruments. Playing in the outside, facing the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, their sounds filled the nighttime air. People living nearby came out to listen to the show from their roofdecks. Their new songs sound so beautiful, that I had forgotten how much I had loved their music.
People were in good spirits, but I was surprised that more people werent dancing at all. A lot of people just stood with their arms crossed looking bored out of their minds. The setlist contained many of their staples with “Postcards From Italy,” “Sunday Smile”, “Elephant Gun,” “Nantes,” “Scenic World,” and “Mount Wroclai”. Their indie/gypsy/balkan/romanian sound makes for a good change from the many same-sounding bands in Brooklyn. The horns are always such a great addition for most bands. They played for about an hour and 15 minutes and had an encore with just Zach Condon playing “The Escape” which he noted he hadnt played in a very long time. It was a beautiful way to end the night.
Sharon Van Etten was an incredible opener. I had only known her by name, but a friend had told me her voice is amazing. That cant even possibly describe her strong vocal performance. She hurried her way through a set which seemed like it was over way too soon. She thanked her Dad (it was Fathers Day that Sunday) for coming all the way out from New Jersey. And along the way thanked her other family members for coming out to support her. Towards the end of her set she brought out Ben Lanz and Aaron Dessner of The National. He is producing her latest album and he added some guitar to her songs.
Yellow Ostrich started out the show and I must have had them confused with another similar sounding band name. I was pretty sure it was just one person, but turns out it was a full band. They were really good and had some really catchy songs. They seemed excited to be playing towards a bigger audience.
It was a great combination of bands. All of them were really good and it was definitely a show where you would not want to have missed any of them. I will definitely be checking out Sharon Van Etten again soon. Ive seen her name all over the place, but after hearing that, she is fully worthy of the hype.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Blogroll, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 6/17/11, Aaron Dessner, balkan, beirut, Brooklyn, concert, double rainbow, gypsy, indie, live, McCarren Park, music, Sharon Van Etten, The National, Yellow Ostrich, Zach Condon | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 19, 2011
The Pinker Tones
April 17, 2011
Its always quite odd when you show up at a venue – about 15 minutes before the band comes on and NO ONE is there. Ok – there were a few people (friends of the band?) there eating/drinking, but really – that was it. 9pm rolls around and the band isnt coming on. A friend inquires and learns that within 15 minutes – people or none – the band is going on.
Sure enough 15 minutes later The Pinker Tones come out. It seems theyre a band that either no one knows of – or they had a serious lack of promotion. Ill go with a bit of both. Sunday nights are a hard sell and the Highline isnt quite ideal if you dont live on the west side. With all that being said – the band put on a fun show. Maybe 100 people max showed up but everyone seemed to be having a great time. The band dedicated a song to the Land of the Rising Sun – and then made sure to tell us it was Japan. So naturally it meant they were playing the beyond catchy “Tokyo”.
The band did play as if it were a full venue. They were energetic and came out with sunglasses and similar outfits, black pants/white shirts. They did a combination of speaking in Spanish and English. I was surprised that they did so many English-speaking songs when a good chunk of their music is in Spanish. After all – they are from Barcelona its to be expected. They even did a song and broke up the small crowd alternating the bops or whatever we were yelling out. At best it was pathetic but hopefully we could all laugh about it. They played some of their earlier songs off their first album but focused mostly on Modular. Estirado al Sol and Invisible are quite catchy. A lot of the songs became sing alongs. Its just a pity that their music is somewhere between 80s synth pop/dancey and then they just have other songs that are not even in the same vein. So the question is – who are they?
The band ended with a small dance party and started mixing up their own songs. Throwing in some 70s songs and it was fun. The most amusing part was the song/dance that could have been the macarena. Between the pointing to the head, the world and I forgot the rest of what we did I felt like a total kid again.
The band tried their best to be in good spirits. They cut their encore short which was pretty amazing that they even bothered with one. Its gotta be frustrating to come over from Europe to have a nearly empty club. But they came out and played a good show. I was glad that I saw them – Im sure they needed all the support they could get!
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music | Tagged: 4/17/11, Barcelona, concert, dance, Highline Ballroom, indie, live, Meatpacking District, music, NYC, pop, synth, The Pinker Tones | Leave a Comment »