Archive for the ‘Random Ramblings’ 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 May 24, 2013
Shout Out Louds
Great American Music Hall
May 22, 2013
One word can easily describe the set last night. Awesome! Or maybe its happy! Its been about 3 years since the Shout Out Louds were last on tour. Its true that Adam (lead singer) was here last year with his side project – We Are Serenades – but really, its not the same.
The band, hailing from Sweden, were here for their new album Optica. I spoke with the lead singer’s brother, Robin, for a bit and I made him do the honors of picking out which cd I should get from them. I know I never had bought Work, and I couldnt remember if I actually owned Our Ill Wills. He convinced me that the new album is brilliant and prob his favorite album of theirs (as he said completely biased). We then got to discuss The Serenades and of course their excellent Christopher Cross cover and who even knows who he is anymore. We both laughed as people around us looked on with a ‘who?’ look across their face.
As always, The Shout Out Louds put on a really great set. Its hard to not leave feeling completely happy. I had only heard a few songs off their new album before the show but was pleasantly surprised with how well they fit in with their earlier songs. The band wasted no time with going to earlier songs and started their 3rd song with the ever recognizable intro to ‘The Comeback‘. The crowd went nuts as people started jumping up and down, dancing and really getting into it. Everyone was so excited and Adam seemed to be having a lot of fun on stage. Bebban, who rarely seems to acknowledge the audience, took a few moments to wave to people and seemed pretty into it. Its hard to know with her, as she always is looking either down or at other band members.
The band worked out a pretty amazing setlist and made sure to hit upon songs from all of their albums. I was still glad that there was plenty off of Howl Howl Gaff Gaff as its always been a go-to album for something shiny, fun and upbeat. So it was awesome when they played “Please Please Please“, my favorite song of theirs.
Must point out that the crowd was quite nice and friendly. I met some really awesome people and had fun dancing and talking with others. The band was in top form and Adam did a little walk through the middle of the venue dancing and taking photos as he went on. They ended the show with the hugely catchy song ‘Tonight I Have to Leave It’ and its fun and a great sing-along. And who doesn’t love a lot of cowbells. Everyone on stage was dancing and moving and really into it.
The opener Haerts, living in NYC but from England, Germany, wherever else were just brilliant. The band could not have picked a better opener. Indie dream pop, catchy songs and very dance-y reminding me a bit of the movie Drive. If you havent seen it, it could be them doing the music. Their music was meant to be on an 80s soundtrack and the lead singer — she has amazing vocals and a powerful voice. She transports you and you feel like a teenager again dancing alone in your room. It was their first show in SF and I really hope they come back. How I forgot to buy their cd for just $5 is what the real travesty is. I cannot say enough good things about this band, except to check them out. Just lose yourself for a bit, dance a lot, and forget it all.
Its hard to go wrong with 2 amazing bands. If you havent yet seen either, do yourself a favor and make sure you do, soon! In the meantime, check out Haerts and pretend youre just a kid dancing in your room with the music up loud.
Walking in Your Footsteps
Candle Scurrned Out
Chasing the Sinking Sun
Blue Ice/Where You Come In.
Please Please Please
Tonight I Have to Leave It
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 5/22/13, Brooklyn, concert, dance-y, Great American Music Hall, Haerts, indie, indiepop, live, music, NYC, San Francisco, Shout Out Louds, Sweden | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on May 2, 2013
The Sporting Life
April 24, 2013
The Veils always put on a great show. I had seen them in NYC a few times and they never disappoint. So, of course I was excited to see how it would be on the other coast. I spoke with their merch girl (from New Zealand, naturally) who I had actually met before. We talked about prior shows, their love of Prince (who was also playing that night) and how another friend of mine from New Zealand had to see them in NYC.
It was starting out a great night. I was surprised to see that when the opener came on – The Sporting Life – there was only me and one other girl in the area standing and giving support. While I know people were not there for them, it never ceases to amaze me how people act oblivious and not at all interested. At least by the time the Veils showed up on stage, the crowd had come forward a bit and the venue filled up.
The band, originally hailing from New Zealand and now based out of the UK, seems to be ever changing in their line up. Last time they had a wonderful female drummer from Germany (if I recall correctly) and now they have added a brass section (Americans), and a new drummer (possibly from Germany, maybe from the UK?) and a few other guys to round out their sound (also from European countries). This addition is great and the brass really adds to their songs.
Finn Andrews, lead singer, has such an impressive voice. You can feel the raw emotion as he sings and his face is entirely expressive – the look of a tortured soul/artist. Everything is shown on his face and its hauntingly beautiful. This is just one of the many thigns I like about him/the band. He didn’t have much to say, but a few thanks for the liking of his hat and he seemed cheery enough to be in SF. Sophia, bassist, always comes across as shy and more often than not, plays with her back to the audience. When a woman commented on her awesome boots, she got super excited and more talkative. As always, she sounded awesome on bass.
The band played quite a bit of new songs off their album ‘Time Stays We Go’. After hearing it online a bit, I was impressed with the songs live. They sounded amazing. It was great to hear ‘Calliope’ which always sounds amazing. And their final song of the night ‘Jesus For the Jugular’ sounded as great as ever. It was gut wrenching with one hell of a guitar solo that probably normally ends with a guitar on the ground (at least in the past it has). It was so intense and it was one hell of a way to end the show. It left you wanting more but completely happy with what you got.
If you havent yet seen them (theyre headed to NYC any day now), you really should. The band never disappoints and with this new album sounding incredible and with rave reviews, this might just push them over the edge into major star quality. Not that Finn doesnt already have that quality!
Oh and as far as the merch – Finn designed the shirts. So its worth it to get one (or two).
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 4/24/13, band, concert, Finn Andrews, indie, live, rock, San Francisco, SF, The Independent, The Sporting Life, The Veils | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 22, 2013
The Call (featuring Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
DJ Dan Mancini
April 11, 2013
Its not often that a show touches your heart and is so endearing. But this show was just that. It took a year and a half for the show to be put together. It appeared that The Call’s music was not the easiest to learn, but Robert did one hell of a job to follow in his father’s foot steps.
Robert Been, bassist and singer of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, came together with his father’s band The Call to perform their music. It was one of two shows that the band will be playing. His father, Michael Been, died a few years back on tour with his son’s band. It was sudden and way too soon. So this was a perfect tribute to his father, bassist and singer, of The Call.
The band seemed very excited to be playing. Their music still sounded incredible and they definitely still knew how to rock. Their 80s alternative U2-esque sound was amazing as they opened up the set with ‘Everywhere I Go’. The crowd was enthusiastic with lots of cheers. Tom (Dickie), the guitarist, was right in front of me clad in a BRMC shirt. It was fitting and he was full of smiles. He smiled at me a few times, easily one of the younger people in the audience. The guys next to me were pumped up as they yelled out songs and talked about their first time seeing the band. Scott, the drummer, was on top of it, pushing the band through the music. Jim was great on keyboards, having a really fun time.
The band seemed to be racing through songs and they all sounded incredible. While I only recognized a handful of songs, it was easy for me to want to be there to support this special night. Their songs are easy to get into and their music still has a current sound to it. The gents next to me gave Robert a hard time about messing up a few of the songs. Robert was cute and nervous and some of the songs were clearly more difficult than others.
One of my favorite bits of the night was the crowd heckling him for not quite getting the songs right. He commented on how hard they were to learn and why it took so long for them to have this night. He told a heart warming story about his dad’s bass being stolen. Then one day he gets a call from a pawnshop in Santa Cruz with the owner being a huge fan of the Call and realizing that it was Michael’s bass. It landed back in Robert’s hand and he’s been playing it. He comments about it being very hard to stay tuned, but that it was special.
I was beyond excited to hear ‘Let The Day Begin’. I had recently heard it when BRMC had played it, but it was just incredible to hear the band play it. The crowd sang along and clearly was having a great time. The lyrics still seem so relevant. The set ended with ‘Walls Came Down’ and it sounded even better live. With everything that had been going on, the song just seemed so fitting. They ended the set with Uncovered which was just Robert singing and it was just hauntingly beautiful. It was great that they kept playing and didnt leave the stage right at 11. They pushed on and said to hell with last calls/closing times. Its a joke anyway – I sure dont remember this when I last lived here. (Apparently its a new thing – with some place moving in and wanting to change it up – thank you gentrification).
Robert definitely tried his hardest and wanted to please the band and his fans. A guy commented next to me, ‘well he’s definitely not his father, but he’s holding his own’. Robert sounded great and albeit a bit nervous, he was clearly having fun. The guys were all good natured and poking fun at him. His father definitely had to be smiling down at him. The band clearly missed Michael but this was the best tribute anyone could have asked for. It was just heartwarming and endearing and Im glad that I got to be there to be a part of it.
Jeffertitti’s Nile, the opener, is a 4 piece band from LA and a friend of Roberts. The lead singer came out clad in skin tight jeans, that looked like they were painted onto him. He had a mop of blonde hair hanging in his face reminding me of a surfer. But a surfer band they were not. The other guys came out in long shirt/dresses and pants and longish hair stepping out of the 60s. It was fitting that they played psychedelic-garage-bluesy-glam rock. They kind of flowed all over the stage. The real awesomeness was the drummer and his hair which exceeded Brent (fathead of The Dandy Warhols). This guy had the most awesome head of hair, only sadded by the fact that the drums hid it. People seemed to really enjoy them. They were pretty quiet with not much to say, and when they did say something it was all distorted through the mics. This is one band that I cannot wait to see again.
Setlist (from LA – and prob the same in SF)
Everywhere I go
I Still believe
I dont wanna
Into the woods
Turn a blind eye
you were there
tore the old place down
swim in the ocean
let the day begin
whats happened to you
…same old story
you run (acoustic)
walls came down
I feel alone lyrics
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 80's, alternative, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, BRMC, concert, indie, Jeffertitti's Nile, LA, live, Michael Been, music, psychedelic, Robert Been, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, SF, The Call, U2 | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 18, 2013
The Airborne Toxic Event
April 11, 2013
I hadnt seen the Airborne Toxic Event in quite a few years and hadnt remembered their prior sets quite so lively. The band did not disappoint. They put on a really great rock show. Mikel Jollett, lead singer, wasted no time at all before climbing on the stacks on the far left side and singing to the audience all over there. He really worked the stage using every bit of it – making rounds to each side.
Airborne Toxic Event – Mikel
By the 2nd or 3rd song, he jumped into the audience and started playing from the crowd. The crowd was really into it and were singing along and dancing. There was so much energy from the entire band. The guys moved from different instruments throughout the set which was pretty cool. Mikel was often times on top of the drum kit and playing from there. The other band members each had their turn up there. There were some pretty incredible guitar solos as well as bass solos. Mikel gave each member a shout out and plenty of time to show off how talented they were.
The set just flew and before I knew it, they were onto the encore. Some of the highlights during the set were ‘Numb’, which it didn’t seem a lot of people knew or were into. Their cover of the Magnetic Fields ‘Book of Love’, was just beautiful and sounded really incredible and fresh. They ended the night with a raucous encore of a medley of songs that had the crowd going nuts and singing along. It started out with their own song “Missy” which then became Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ and then turned into Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl’ and then they did a quick pause. Mikel talked about the next song being a huge protest song and how most people in this country have no idea what the song is about. Of course, it was Bruce Springstreen’s ‘Born in the USA’. By the time it was done, they had taken it back to ‘Missy’. It was a real incredible way to end a really amazing set.
I definitely had missed seeing a balls-out rock show that just rocked! By the end of the night, everyone was a sweaty mess from dancing and singing. It was great fun and a band I will definitely be seeing again.
The opener Midnight Air, also from LA, were a harder edged rock band. While they were good, I wasnt blown away by them. One of the band members was in Film School which I had really liked but this was definitely not the same band. The band clearly had a great time and were excited to be playing in SF for the first time. They were talkative and friendly and fun! The band was also excited to be playing their last show with ATE and clearly had a great time on tour with them. Im guessing theyre playing Coachella about now.
If youre on the fence about seeing the ATE, and theyre heading East – Id definitely say not to miss them. You definitely will have a great time!
Happiness is Overrated
Does This Mean Youre Moving On?
Half of Something Else
Sometime Around Midnight
All I Ever Wanted
All at Once
The Book of Love (Magnetic Fields cover)
The Graveyard Near the House
Missy/Ring of Fire/American Girl/Born in the USA/Missy
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 4/11/13, Airborne Toxic Event, concert, indie, indie-rock, LA, live, Mikel Jollett, music, Nightmare Air, rock, SF, Warfield | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 14, 2013
Johnny Marr & The Healers
April 13, 2013
Johnny F**kin Marr, as his tshirt states, is a force to be reckoned with. An already great show went over the greatness by the time the encore hit. So I’ll just start there as its too impossible to still not be reliving. Johnny starts telling a story of growing up in Manchester and at age 13 meeting some really amazing kids. And one kid, in particular, is in a band and had made it. The others, yeah not so much. This kid turned out to be Billy Duffy, guitarist of the Cult. These long-time friends had never played a stage together before tonight. And, honestly, they need to do it more often as this was melt your face off unf’ingbelievable.
The two of them (both guitar gods as far as Im concerned) performed one hell of a version of the Clash’s ‘I Fought the Law’. It was powerful and full of raw energy. Johnny let Billy take the spotlight and on his white guitar he tore it up. The two of them continued into a really rocked out version of ‘How Soon is Now’. The song has never sounded so amplified with so many guitars filling up the room. It was awesome and one hell of a way to close out the set.
And for those interested in their friendship – and random factoids – there is a great interview here.
Prior to that insane encore, the set itself was beyond great. Johnny Marr & The Healers are a great band. While its clear that this is Johnny’s band, he seems to really like working with his band. The guys looked quite young but all seemed to be having a great time. It would be hard not to. Johnny Marr is charismatic and charming. He thanked SF quite a bit, and spoke of the acupuncture he had done. He had lots of chi in him and apparently it really helped on his guitar solos.
The songs off his solo album sounded really great and fresh. And had a very current sound. They use a lot of guitars, but it never sounds too heavy. The Smiths songs received huge applause and everyone sang along. ‘Big Mouth Strikes Again’ sounded every bit as great as The Smiths. While at first it was a bit odd to hear Johnny sing these songs, (he doesnt have Morrissey’s moodiness nor vocals), he did sound quite great overall.
Johnny Marr is an unbelievably talented guy. He still has the boyish good looks so reminiscent of English bands. Its pretty amazing to watch him and remember how many bands he’s been in and how talented he truly is. I was fortunate to having seen him play with Modest Mouse. Its easy to forget that he was also in Electronic and The The and even toured with the Cribs. It makes sense then that NME gave him the godlike genius award.
One hell of an amazing show. Yeah, that sums it up!
Theres not many guitar gods out there anymore so if you can still see him, you owe it to yourself to not miss this show.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 4/13/11, Billy Duffy, concert, guitar, guitar god, How Soon is Now, I Fought the Law, indie, Johnny Marr, Johnny Marr & The Healers, live, music, rock, The Clash, The Cult, The Fillmore, The Smiths | 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 March 13, 2013
Great American Music Hall
The night had finally arrived and I was finally going to see Efterklang. I had somehow missed them in NYC even after I had tickets. I don’t even want to know why/how/what I was thinking. With that being said – after waiting for what seemed like forever – the band came out and put on one hell of a show.
The 3 piece band from Denmark (touring with an additional 3 people), were nothing short of incredible. Casper is an incredible front-man. He was very excited and beyond happy to be playing once again in San Francisco. Their bassist, Rasmus, had a huge smile on his face for nearly all the songs. He just beamed pure happiness. The biggest highlight of the night was easily Katinka. Her voice was just magical and it was surprising how well an opera singer fit in with the band. She just blended so great the way her sound mixed in with the songs.
Their new album, Piramida, is quite simply beautiful. Everything about the organic sounds, the way the music emotes, and how it comes together is just amazing. The band took field recordings while out in Spitsbergen (between Norway and the North Pole) and it fits so amazingly into their music. All these organic sounds layered on top of keyboard pieces is just something else to hear. You feel like youve actually been transported into this world — of a faraway place with nothing just you and nature and probably a lot of cold and ice. While its not dreary in the least, it does have that dreamy hazy sound.
The band opened with Hollow Mountain (off of their new album) with the haunting vocals/sounds from Katinka. The sound slowly grew with some sort of metal being hit (thanks to amazing work done by Mads) and then Casper joined in. It was a great song to open with. Casper is theatrical making great use of his hands and body. The set continued pretty quickly and included Apples (which really reminded me of The National) and Sedna off the new album. A lot of what they were playing was off Piramida, and really if you dont own it, you should. Or at least give it a listen.
One of the cool things about the show was when Casper started to read ‘cards’ left from other shows to people/friends and just SF in general. Some were about making sure to enjoying the beach – laying out in the sand – to others about friends missing each other – and my favorite about how awesome the band is and the friend was so grateful for sharing it. Those kinds of things are just awesome. Casper also shared the lovely smells of Big Sur in the form of a rock (or maybe piece of wood) that he shared with an audience member. And lastly, the show had one of the youngest people ever enjoying it. A little boy who might have been 4-5 showed up with his mom and asked to stand in front for a song or two. It was pretty exciting.
Nightlands opened the show. Their set was quite great and reminiscent of another Philly band – Sun Airway. Their songs had a great dreamy/psych sound to it. Some of the songs felt like they could have been from Snow Patrol with big sounds and harmonies. And it was great when Efterklang’s drummer, Tatu, joined them for a song. You could tell there was a lot of appreciation between the bands for each others music.
Nightlands w/Tatu of Efterklang
I wish I could be seeing them again — and next time hopefully they will play with a full orchestra. Now that would be something else!
I Was Playing Drums
The Living Layer
Between the Walls
Cutting Ice to Snow
And to the guy from last night – I will have the pics posted in the next day or two. These were off my phone. I apologize – but check back (or just go to flickr).
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 3/11/13, Denmark, dreampop, Efterklang, experimental, GAMH, Great American Music Hall, indie, indiepop, live, music, Nightlands, opera, Philadelphia, psych-pop | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on December 26, 2012
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
December 19, 2012
The Bay Area is lucky to call BRMC their own. The band announced a few West Coast shows to prepare for their upcoming tour in support of their new album. San Francisco was the first of these one-off shows and what an awesome night it turned out to be.
The band started the show out with Santa Cruz’s The Call’s ‘Let the Day Begin’. Robert sang that song and what an awesome way to start out the show as Robert’s father was the singer. Apparently Santa Cruz was treated to the song with a former band member. The band continued on into a new song ‘Funny Games’ and then the crowd pleasing dirty gritty jangly ‘Beat the Devil’s Tattoo’. It sounded great and the crowd was energized and singing along.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Some of the other stand-outs were the guitar-heavy and oh so catchy ‘Berlin’ which had everyone singing along to the chorus. ‘Aint No Easy Way’ off of Howl stood out with the awesome harmonica sounds of Peter. The alt-folk jangly pop song is always a toe-tapper.
The songs off their new album had the bluesy/garage neo-psychedelia rock sound of their last album. The songs sounded tight with lots of great guitar work from Robert (who was in front of me). It was always a delight to see Peter whip out his harmonica and start tapping his feet and playing along in some of the more folkier sounding songs. It was harder to see Peter but he always sounds great and his guitar work always sounds impressive. The addition of Leah, drummer of The Raveonettes, is a great add-on. She fits right in with the guys and always seemed to be having a really great time. Her drumming is top-notch.
Their show was a good 90 minute set if not longer. The setlist contained everything that one might expect/want to hear. The band seemed very excited to be playing Slims and such a small club as they tend to play bigger venues these days. They wasted no time with getting through their music and didn’t even bother with an encore just playing all the way right through it.
The set ended with ‘Lose Yourself’ and everyone seemed to be dancing to it, with heads bobbing, moving back and forth and singing along. The crowd was really into it and the band couldn’t have ended on a higher note.
The opener Cellar Doors
from San Francisco was discovered on their last tour when BRMC needed an opener. They had only played one show (maybe?) and were asked to join them. The band quickly learned all their songs for the tour and joined them in San Diego. Its great to see that the band is still around and sounding strong.
The band has a similar sound to BRMC with their heavy garage rock sound mixed with a bluesy influence. Their songs were infectious and I found myself easily getting into their music. The lyrics were catchy and they had some great hooks. The 3 piece pulled out an awesome 45 minute set that you just didn’t want to end.
I’ll definitely be checking them out at their show at Bottom of the Hill next month and so should you! If you missed BRMC and love their sound, for now this is the best thing to get your fix!
Let The Day Begin
Funny Games (new)
Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
Aint No Easy Way
Red Eyes and Tears
Six Barrel Shotgun
Spread Your Love
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 12/19/12, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, bluesy rock, BRMC, Cellar Doors, concert, garage rock, indie, Lafayette, live, music, neo-psychedlic, San Francisco, Slims, SOMA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on October 16, 2012
David Byrne & St. Vincent
(Love This Giant)
October 15, 2012
Somewhere between The Lion King, The King and I and anything else with King (according to David Byrne) is this show. The Orpheum Theater was nice enough to squeeze in a non-show between it all. And I could only be so lucky to see more shows performed there.
The Orpheum Theatre is a really beautiful theater with exquisite views. I have a feeling that whereever you are seated, you will have a great sightline. I was in the mezzanine and for once I was happy I wasnt in the orchestra. To watch all of the moves and see every last thing was worth it.
David announced from the beginning that the use of cell phones, cameras, videos, etc were definitely ok. He didn’t seem to mind anything, but said we might want to enjoy it without a black box in front of us. He was definitely right. The crowd, for the most part, rarely used their phones/cameras – sneaking it out once in a while to get a picture or two. And what a crowd it was. A respectful crowd that was beyond appreciative and beyond excited.
Finally, around 8:15 David Byrne comes out with St. Vincent (Annie Clark). Him sporting a white/black suit and her in a blue dress that might have been 2 separate pieces. They both looked great. The band, a 10 piece brass orchestra, also was sporting black/white attire. The band is more or less led by Kelly Pratt of Bright Moments, a Brooklyn band. He has also played with Beirut, Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem. The entire orchestra was comprised of members of other Brooklyn bands. Most notably was a trumpet player from Yellow Ostrich.
David Byrne/St Vincent
The show itself was simply awesome and beautiful. The songs off of ‘Love This Giant’ sounded great, even better than what I had heard streaming. The stark dance moves mostly seemed robotic. It was clearly choreographed and most times the band members were nearly stalking their prey (David and Annie). They would move around them, the horns blaring into their faces, as they circled them and taunted them. It was like being in the jungle as the performers all had their own moves. At times, Annie would lean against one of the guys and go to work like a mad scientist on her guitar. It was raw and it was passionate.
A lot of the songs were performed with either Annie or David at the mic. The other almost disappearing into the background, but then they’d join the other, and as quickly retreat. This really got to showcase all of their talents. He is the perfect frontman and great leader. He took the band from song to song. The highlight (not speaking of all the covers!), was ‘Cheerleader’. The band, save for Annie and Rachel (another band member), was lying on the floor and soon were playing their instruments lying on their backs. It was pretty incredible watching these trumpeters play on their back. They slowly got up and the whole piece was extraordinary. Annie’s vocals were nothing short of impressive. ‘The Forest Awakes’ also showcased Annie’s talents and her smoky, raw vocals sounding almost like she should be in a burlesque bar. Its hard to not be captivated by her.
I was never a huge St Vincent fan, and I had seen her a bunch of times, but in this she was perfect. She was robotic, spastic, her moves not quite polished. She was shaky, with a nervous energy the way she moved and it worked out perfectly. Her own songs had never sounded better with the backing band. Her guitar playing not as overly aggressive as can be.
And of course, David Byrne. Having never seen him perform before, I wasnt sure what to expect. But he delivers. With his shocking head of white hair, he is an entertainer. He’s talkative, funny and clearly having a great time. And it was great that there were some Talking Heads songs sprinkled in. ‘This Must be the Place’ is a really catchy Talking Heads song and got the crowd singing along. A girl in front of me started dancing with reckless abandonment. It started something, because when St Vincent played her solo songs, 2 guys started dancing clearly enjoying every moment of Annie’s voice.
All in all it was a great set. It was great to hear Annie talk about first hearing The Talking Heads in ‘Revenge of the Nerds’. As she said ‘the best song placement ever’, when referring to ‘Burning Down the House’. She also talked about an aunt/uncle in the audience who helped her become who she is and getting her into music. You could see the show meant a lot to her.
The band had 2 encores and the crowd never let up. Enthusiastic till the very end. Dancing throughout the theater and everyone having a good time. And a congo line for ‘Road to Nowhere’… seemed way too fitting as they closed out the set.
Weekend in the Dust
Save Me from What I Want (St Vincent)
Strange Overtones (David Byrne)
I Am an Ape
Marrow (St Vincent)
This Must be the Place (Naive Melody) (Talking Heads)
The Forest Awakes
Like Humans Do (David Byrne)
Cheerleader (St Vincent)
Lazy (David Byrne)
I Should Watch TV
Northern Lights (St Vincent)
The One Who Broke Your Heart
Outside of Space and Time
Cruel (St Vincent)
Burning Down the House (Talking Heads)
The Party (St Vincent)
Road to Nowhere (Talking Heads)
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 10/15/12, alternative, Annie Clark, David Byrne, indie, live, Love This Giant, music, Orpheum Theater, San Francisco, St Vincent, Talking Heads | Leave a Comment »