Posts Tagged ‘NYC’
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 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 July 24, 2012
Fountains of Wayne
Great American Music Hall
It seems like every time I see Fountains of Wayne its the summer. They are the perfect summer band, so it works out quite nice. The band came here via Japan and were still jet-lagged from the plane ride. They joked about the questions the Japanese asked them and clearly they had a great time. While maybe a bit tired, you never once got that feeling from them during the set.
The band played with so much energy. The crowd just loved Adam – who doesnt – and throughout the show you could hear various people yelling out his name. The crowd was beyond energetic and everyone around me was singing and dancing. There was just so much love for the band.
The band, who seems to have not stopped touring since summer of last year, was here promoting the new album Sky Full of Holes. Its great that the band manages to play songs from all of their albums. My favorite album has always been Utopia Parkway – so its always good to hear “Denise” and “Red Dragon Tattoo” (perhaps my favorite song).
The night seemed to go by at record speed. Their catchy power-pop songs felt like they were played at a frenetic 3 minute speed (they might have, actually). The guitars as always really add to the show. Im pretty sure the entire crowd was rocking out. I couldnt wait for the ‘Radiation Vibe’ medley which seems to always occur now. The real surprise is what songs will they mix it up. The guy behind me was nearly going into cardiac arrest yelling ‘Billy f’ing Squier’. Hah! Its hard to argue with the following mix tho – Radiation Vibe/White Wedding (Billy Idol)/Everybody Wants You (Billy Squier), Rock’n Me (Steve Miller Band)/Jet (Paul McCartney & Wings)/Sister Golden Hair (America)/Radiation Vibe. Im a huge fan of America (I make no apologies) and this was just insane. The crowd is driven to insanity and then bam – band leaves the stage.
Thankfully the band came back out with a 5 song encore. Of course, Stacy’s Mom (has got it going on) and Sink to the bottom was on it. Its hard to imagine a show without either of them (not sure it can happen).
Always great to see a NY local band along with FoW. I think it must be a staple for them. Mike Viola was an opener not to be missed. He had really catchy pop songs – so it wasnt a surprise to google him and find out that he composed songs for movies “That Thing You Do”. The 2 other guys accompanying him were a great addition, but he alone would have been fabulous. He’s definitely an artist worth checking out.
Bought for a Song
It Must Be Summer
Someone to Love
Red Dragon Tattoo
The Summer Place
Richie and Ruben
Valley Winter Song
A Dip in the Ocean
Bright Future in Sales
Radiation Vibe Medley: Radiation Vibe/White Wedding (Billy Idol)/Everybody Wants You (Billy Squier)/Rock’n Me (Steve Miller Band)/Jet (Paul McCartney/Wings)/Sister Golden Hair (America)/Radiation Vibe
Sink to the Bottom
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 7/19/12, CA, concert, Fountains of Wayne, Great American Music Hall, indie, live, Mike Viola, music, NYC, pop, powerpop, San Francisco | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on January 18, 2012
The Good Natured
Sarah McIntosh makes up 1/3 of The Good Natured. She is pretty much the face of the band and can’t be more adorable. With a soft spoken British accent, she is just pleasant to listen to. Tonight shes come out in skin tight purple satiny pants with heels that are to die for. She moves around the stage looking like she came out of an 80s goth video. This time around, her hair is more akin to looking like she’s a new Robert Smith (The Cure) and she cant look better. With thick black eyes, she just might be the new Siouxsie Sioux.
Vocally the band brings out the dark emotions of the 80s goth bands (Siouxsie, The Cure) but then puts an electro spin on it, and they become a mix of them and the likes of Ladytron. She describes her music as pop music with heart which it can definitely be, if you like your pop music a bit on the darker side.
Tonights show started out with their new single ‘Video Voyeur’ which is quite catchy and then went into the even more catchy pop song ‘Be My Animal’. Sarah wasted no time getting off the stage and dancing in the crowd. She definitely plays off the energy and just loves to get the crowd to dance. She managed to get into the crowd 2x during the set; the second time was during the oh so sexy song ‘Dead on the Dancefloor’.
The set was a good mix of newer and old songs. The only real disappointment was the set itself was beyond short at just 8 songs. It might have been 20 or 30 minutes but there was still a crowd left wanting a lot more. And who wouldnt, when it comes to watching Sarah on stage and being captivated and mesmerized.
Nicos Gunopened up the set. Philly surely knows how to make good dirty electro funk. And this band always delivers when it comes to that. It was nearly a year since I last saw them, and while some of my favorite songs were not played, its hard not to love everything that they do. They know how to make their songs sound just a bit dirty and add a lot of the funk to it. The band seemed to be having an awesome time really getting into the songs. It seemed the band was having more fun than most of the crowd, which was a pity. While they are a completely different band than The Good Natured they were definitely on par with them in a different style.
The lead singer exuded sex and his 70s inspired vest couldnt have looked better on him. He has the swagger of the other lead singers from the 70s and knows how to work it. The other guys in the band feed off his constant energy. Their set was pretty awesome nearing about 40 minutes. Its always a bit interesting when the opener has a longer set the headliner. I guess when its 2 bands who are both starting out, you just never know what youll get.
This was really an awesome show and theyre definitely worth checking out. For anyone in the SF/LA area theyll be west in a couple days!
The Good Natured Set List:
Be My Animal
Your Body is a Machine
Dead on the Dancefloor
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 1/16/12, concert, funk, goth, indie, live, Mercury Lounge, music, Nicos Gun, NYC, Philadelphia, pop, rock, Sarah McIntosh, The Good Natured, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on December 31, 2011
So my last show of 2011 was a cross between a really fun show and also a really obnoxious show. It was like all the frat boys and every single hipster around the 21 year age mark, showed up. If I never heard “that whats Im talking about” again at a show, Id be *very* happy!
Penguin Prison never disappoints. While he is technically a one-man artist, he does play with a full band. But its definitely his show. He wastes no time with engaging the crowd and by the time the first song has started he’s working up a frenzy dancing in the middle of the crowd. Everyone crowds around him trying to snap pics, while the band continues to play.
He starts with “Golden Train” that is beat-synth-heavy and his very high vocal range. It works to get the show starting. Not coming on too strong, but giving people a slow(ish) groove to start the dancing. Soon enough hes back on stage, guitar in hand, and is playing “The Worse It Gets”. The crowd gets into it by the time the chorus comes and he dances on stage.
He keeps the tempo building in the show, building up the groove in each progressive song. The crowd is non-stop dancing. Its fun booty-shaking music. “Dont Fuck With My Money” is when it really begins to get even more dance-y. The song, which sounds like it should have been around in the 80s (Jackson years), must be one of the catchiest songs of the year. As Penguin Prison takes to the floor again, hes playing right in front of me, a coy smile on his lips. Hes completely charming and its hard not to get swept up in the entire act.
By the time the show is near closing, he busts out an even more catchy song. If you werent dancing before, there is no way you werent when this song comes on. It feels like Chic came alive and by now the 70s and 80s are in full force. Its as if New Edition, Prince and all those bands came together to create this song. Its brilliance!
The two openers were very different bands. The second band Vacationer was from the lovely state of Hawaii. The guys were the most chill, cute guys ever. Their music was pretty catchy in a chill-wave/relaxed sorta way. They definitely would have fit great on a set with Best Coast or plenty of bands like that. Their music didnt quite fit with the upbeat dance heaviness of the other two. Would still easily recommend checking them out.
Chicago is home to some of the best dance-y bands. Gemini Club is yet another reminiscent of Hey Champ and Flosstradamus (no surprise that they remix each others songs). As I was coming from a work party, I missed part of their set. So disappointing as they were easily by far one of the best bands that I came across in 2011. With pounding dance beats, and a darkish dance-y sound, they sounded incredible. Surprisingly not many people were there, but those of us who were totally were engaged and loving it. “Mary’s Day” is fun, catchy and oh so danceable. One band that Ill be looking for more of during the next year.
Happy New Year! Stay safe! And till next year. With hopefully lots more great shows!
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 12/15/11, Chicago, concert, dance-y, Gemini Club, Hawaii, indie, live, Mercury Lounge, music, NYC, Penguin Prison, Vacationer | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on December 15, 2011
Sharon Van Etten
The National have returned home (well across the river anyway) to finish up the year with 6 nights at the Beacon Theatre. These are the final shows for the latest album, High Violet. It seems like they have been out supporting this album now forever. But the time has come, and this is it.
The National came out to what felt like the longest version of Duran Duran’s ‘Wild Boys’. Finally, after the entire song had played the guys came out to a fairly sedated theatre. They opened the set with ‘Start A War’ which is a pretty slow song and not a bad way to start the set. Continuing with the Boxer album, they went right into ‘Brainy’ which was beginning to get the crowd excited. Slowly, people started getting on their feet.
Matt joked about the prior night with some people standing, some sitting, random parts of the theater doing their own thing. And encouraged us to do what we wanted. At this point everyone was standing in the orchestra. Sadly, it was not the case for the upper levels. The sound was just beautiful in the Beacon. It filled the entire room with Matt’s soaring vocals. The Dessner brothers sounded really great on guitars and keyboards.
As with most of their shows, there were a few special guests. Conrad from Takka Takka was an additional drummer who played the entire set. At one point it sounded like they were introducing an ‘Andy’ Clark, but nope it was actually Annie Clark of St. Vincent. While she isn’t Sharon Van Etten (who is, really?), she did add some nice harmonies. She performed with them on ‘Im Afraid of Everyone’ and ‘Sorrow’. I wasnt sure those songs needed her (well esp I’m Afraid of Everyone), but it was great to see her accompany them.
As always Matt made a few appearances in the crowd. He did come over to the section that I was at and was hanging on the stairs but no one even seemed to pay him any mind. It was sad and beautiful all at once and then he was back in the front singing in another corner. It always has a nice feel to it, even if its become part of the stage show.
The visuals and lighting worked out quite great. Unfortunately for Sharon Van Etten, there was a heavy spot light on her, that had you seeing dots in your eyes after about 5 seconds. But that was gone, thankfully! With the backdrop screen of images of the band members and the crowd, you were always able to see the entire band and the guests.
It was great to hear them introduce Sharon Van Etten who came out for a proper encore with them on ‘Think You Can Wait’. And from that they went straight into ‘Fake Empire’ which always sounds amazing live. Other highlights included ‘Abel’, but really to the girls behind me, how do you talk through that whole song. The crowd was revved up and peoples hands in the air and singing along. It is one of my favorite songs performed live along with ‘Mr. November’. Sure, theres songs I didnt get to hear ‘Mistaken for Strangers’, but with all the times Ive seen them, I seriously cant complain.
Easily the very last song was the crowning moment. The band had left the stage only to come back center stage with Annie Clark, Sharon Van Etten, and of course, Wye Oak. I wasnt entirely sure it was them but it sure was! ‘Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks’ was just beautiful. Sans microphones and the entire band huddled together was a pretty awesome way to end the night.
And while Ive mentioned her a few times, I can say that Sharon Van Etten always sounds amazing! She has some of the strongest vocals. Her songs are great and kick-ass and her new guitar, oh yeah, looking pretty sweet. And of course, it meant we were treated for a song or two with Aaron Dessner. The pair of them make beautiful music together.
For those hoping for one last time, (for now), its highly recommended. The shows arent sold out and theres an abundance of tickets around. Not that Im one to actually promote using stubhub or the like, but since theres so many shows now, it seems you can get same day tix for $17. Either way, if you havent yet seen them, there still is time.
Start a War
Afraid of Everyone
I Need My Girl
Think You Can Wait
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks
Posted in Live Music, Random Ramblings, Uncategorized | Tagged: 12/13/11, Annie Clark, Beacon Theatre, Brooklyn, concert, indie, live, music, NYC, Sharon Van Etten, St Vincent, Takka Takka, The National, Wye Oak | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on November 4, 2011
20 years ago, Matthew Sweet came out with one of the best albums ever Girlfriend. Its quite hard to believe that it was so long ago. But, it was surely worth the wait to see the album played in its entirety. Matthew Sweet, albeit a bit bigger, sounded as great as he did all those years ago. I had only seen him once previously, for the 100% Fun tour, and wasn’t sure what I’d get this many years later. One thing I can say with certainty – I’m so glad I decided to check out this show.
Due to a 2nd show later that night, the opener was (thankfully) cut short and soon enough Matthew Sweet was appearing. He seemed more than comfortable on the stage at City Winery now going on his 3rd night. He was chatty and said how energetic the crowd was. For a seated show, it was great to see people getting up and and cheering and a lot of fist pumping. The fans were just beyond excited to be there.
Ive always been a huge fan of power pop bands and the guitars were sounding great. From the opening chords of ‘Divine Intervention’ the band gave it everything they got. Some of the songs were filled with so much guitar and it seemed like they really went off on the guitar solos. It was brilliantly awesome.
Matthew walked us through the album – Side 1 (on vinyl/cassette whatever you had) clearly had the punch of the album. All the singles were in the beginning. Its insane when the album goes from ‘Divine Intervention’ to ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ and then ‘Girlfriend’. I mean, what more can anyone want. As side 1 seemed to disappear quickly, soon he was telling us about the deep cuts of side 2. And there are some gems on that side. ‘I Wanted To Tell You’ is pretty amazing! The great thing about this was the album is 15 songs. For that time anything about 12 or so was considered too much. So the last 3 songs were meant to be the hidden tracks – so if you kept your record (or cd) running long enough they just kind of appeared. Or on cassette they were just there. Most of us didnt even know they were hidden, so now theyre just considered part of the album. Great VH1 pop up info.
As the show was coming to an end, he told us he’d be playing a song off of 100% Fun. Its hard to imagine a show without ‘Sick of Myself’. The guitars were so loud and full on that song. Easily one of my favorite songs and everyone sang along. It was so great to have a full album of ‘Girlfriend’ and then ‘Sick of Myself’. I couldnt have asked for a better show (maybe longer). He did manage to even put in an encore and included a song from ‘Altered Beast’, the more popular ‘Time Capsule’. I wished he had time for more, but another show had to go on!
The openers from Atlanta. Oy! The Shadowboxers were one of the most
boring cliche/light FM album rock bands I had ever seen live. It was verging on being painful and the only thing that made it relatively ok was that it was short. They were just so forgettable that its about all I can even say.
If youre old enough to remember this album, and loved it then, do yourself a favor and be sure to see him if he’s not already come to your town. He is so worth the money and the album is so amazing to hear performed live. Will easily be one of the best shows that I saw of 2011. And for those wondering, no Richard Lloyd (Television) is not currently playing with him.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 11/2/11, 1991, 20th anniversary, alternative, City Winery, concert, Girlfriend, guitars, indie, live, Live Music, Matthew Sweet, NYC, powerpop | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on October 25, 2011
10/21/11 & 10/22/11
Friday and Saturday moved so quickly and so late that I barely had a chance to recover. Even tho the nights werent insanely late, the subways always made it that much more fun.
The best set of the festival – hands down – nothing came even remotely close – was Casiokidsfrom Norway (I actually thought Swedes, but alas theyre Norwegian). Casiokids were fun and creative and did I say fun. Their synth-pop/electronic sound was fresh sounding and it always felt like they were creating music on the fly.
Who knows if they were – but it all seemed so original. I loved the fluidity of the band members as they all rotated on instruments from guitars to keyboards to drums. Well the drummer was usually one guy, but lots of percussion was always added – often times in the way of fruits. Shaking pineapples and red peppers. I think there was a cucumber too. The band had everyone clapping and dancing and just having a great time. It was a pity the set had to end as it should have gone on for at least another hour.
Thanks to Spike Hill for having one of the best showcases and free too! Its hard to go wrong with that. The UK had some great bands around too. Its pretty hard to go wrong with bands from across the pond (as a generalization – not a rule). Jonquil, from the hometown of
Radiohead, err Oxford, were a catchy 4 piece. They have a great indie pop sound with infectious hooks and catchy melodies. Their music has a sound that is quite reminiscent of Vampire Weekend. For great britpop, this band is definitely the way to go. The guys were cute and talkative and I could see them getting quite big.
The BMI/MCT showcase over at Bowery Electric also had some great bands. The day started off early with Tall Shipsfrom Brighton. These 3 guys certainly can make a lot of sound. Comprising of heavy guitars and drums with minimal
vocals they were a surprise that I couldnt get enough of. I really liked the set with the drummer grabbing part of the drum set and sitting in the middle of the floor. He was then joined by the bassist who went towards the back and the singer who joined in. It was so impromptu and spur of the moment. They all then had one hell of a session with drums culminating in a spastic fun set.
And with all things UK – it would be hard to omit the lovely boredish lads of Viva Brother. They ended up being a surprise guest and they never seem to disappont live. Their music is energetic and has the feel of the 90s britpop bands. Unfortunately, the band just didnt seem as into it. The drummer seemed pissed, the guitars were somehow not on the stage but in the front of the stage in the audience. Their poor tech had to go back and forth giving people instruments. Im not sure if their set didnt play out as well due to a lack of sound checks. Their music is still damn great tho, so no matter how they looked on stage it was hard not to enjoy it. A bit sad that it was so short, but hell it was free and one awesome surprise.
Washington (state) had a great band in Beat Connection. Continuing in a similar sound to Best Coast the band comes off as tropical and fun. With never ending sound problems plaguing their set, they laughed about it and continued as best as they could. Their music is catchy and has a lo-fi electronic sound to it. I loved the use of their colored neon lights surrounding the keyboards that would alternate in colors. Most of their songs were sampled with lots of keyboards and drums but the vocals that were used (Id imagine their own) sound really great. ‘In The Water’ makes you feel like youre
sitting out on a beach and just in your own place grooving out. Its gotta be the catchiest song out there right now. I could listen to them over and over.
Billy McCarthy has since moved on from Pela (very sad!) to form We Are Augustines. I had wondered why this band kept emailing me new things, but that explained it all. I really didnt pay that much attention and had liked their stuff but seeing them live solidified it all. Rock music at its finest and a band that loves to play for fans. What more could anyone want. When told they had one last song, Billy went with a 10 minute jam that was purely awesome. Lots of guitars and rocking out they were easily a favorite of the night.
Bands that left a lot to be desired: Fallulah from Denmark. Im not sure which was worse the Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover in which she stated they were her favorite band. Or the fact that maybe she wanted to be Karen O. Im not entirely sure, but I found them pretty unbearable. The band itself was interesting but her as a front woman made me cringe. Chrome Sparks, from Michigan and California, just seemed a bit young and odd. Their music sounded ok, but the woman singing just seemed bored and not really into the show. And their music was a tad bit boring. Enough to stand around for 20 minutes, but thankfully it wasnt longer than that. Ambassadors, who I appreciated a bit more knowing their keyboard player was blind, had some great songs. Overall, I find their music hit and miss. Some stuff is incredibly catchy while others just dont seem to go with the sound.
Savoir Adore is already a pretty big name here and they never disappoint. One of the last bands of the day they were a fun set with catchy songs and toe tapping and just leave you feeling in great spirits. Its hard to ever go wrong with them. The guy/girl vocals always work so well and a few mess-ups and laughter ensued.
All in all, maybe Im getting more selective with what I go see, but for the most part there were some great bands that really stood out. CMJ was yet another success!
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 10/21/11, 10/22/11, Ambassadors, Beat Connection, Billy McCarthy, BMI, Bowery Electric, Brighton, Brooklyn, Casiokids, Chrome Sparks, CMJ, concert, dance, Denmark, Fallulah, indie, Jonquil, live, MCT, music, Norway, NYC, Oxford, Pela, Savoir Adore, Spike Hill, Tall Ships, UK, Viva Brother, Washington, We Are Augustines | 2 Comments »