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 Live Music, Adventures in the Big City, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: music, concert, indie, live, U2, psychedelic, alternative, 80's, LA, San Francisco, SF, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, BRMC, The Call, Michael Been, Robert Been, Santa Cruz, Jeffertitti's Nile | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 4, 2012
The Polyphonic Spree
Sweet Lee Morrow
Great American Music Hall
My first show in awhile and my first show since moving back to SF. I couldn’t have chosen a better band for my first show here. The GAMH is a super awesome space. The ceiling is quite ornate in the shape of a woman’s body (thank you, foursquare). Its quite the intimate spot with tables wrapped around the venue making it a great place for dinner and a show.
Sweet Lee Morrow, keyboardist with the Spree, opened the show with a folk acoustic set. He sat down in the middle of the stage with just a lone chair and guitar. He sang a few songs, made some quips about songs not for the young ones (ah the ever great all ages shows) and finished the set in a fast 20 minutes or less. Next up, New Fumes. I was surprised that the audience didnt seem so into it, and for just one guy he had some great beats. An electronica set with interesting beats and Star Wars as a backdrop, not bad. Oh yeah, and danceable music. I was quite loving it.
A few minutes before 10pm and a red sheet/screen is covering the stage. Its a wonder how many members are in The Polyphonic Spree these days and how will they fit them all on the stage. Right away you could tell 2 players would be high up above the others. Soon, a heart is cut out and out pops Tim DeLaughter’s head. The rest of the sheet is then cut and pulled off and GAMH has turned into a stage filled with at least 13 members (although I swore there were more). Way high up above would be the cellist and guitarist. In the center are 2 rows of choir members that are beyond giddy. Of course, my favorites, the horns comprising a french horn, trombone and trumpet.
The Polyphonic Spree
Its a whirlwind pace of a show with white robes swooshing and a big red heart stitched into the middle. Who wouldn’t want to be a member of that
band. Musical director/lead singer Tim DeLaughter takes us on a tour of the Spree’s musical catalog. Directing the instruments and choir it begins to feel like a gospel baptist church. Its hard to not get caught up in the euphoria that the band brings. Everyone swaying and dancing with hands extended into the air. Plenty of peace signs flashed throughout the show along with heart-shaped hands.
Some of the highlights included ’2000 Places’ which early on got the crowd moving and dancing. The new single ‘Bulls Eye’ sounds quite great. The Who medley was pure brilliance as Tim leads the band through a nearly 10 minute performance that includes a rockin’ ‘Pinball Wizard’. The french horn and cello got lots of play during that. ‘What Would You Do’ had the choir doing some great harmonies and vocals.
So soon they’d be off the stage. Tim said how awesome it was to be in SF again and how they’d be back again real soon. As in one month, maybe one night, and then he said theyd play again today at 7:30am and asked if we’d be there. Obviously, if there was a 7:30am show we’d all be there regardless.
The band then left the stage for a few minutes before coming on and doing a march through the crowd. The band members kept on coming – high-fiving the crowd and waving hello. The encore consisted of ‘Together we’re Heavy’, crowd favorite ‘Light & Day’, ‘We Sound Amazed’ and ‘The Championship’. It is one hell of a one-two punch when oen of the last songs you’re singing is ‘Follow the day and reach for the SUN!’ – which should be an anthem for the band (and prob for most of us in general). The band finally left the stage (after a nearly 2 hour set) for good with each member walking off the stage and waving goodnight. As the band members left soon it was the cellist, who seemed to be having a hard time getting down from the riser and 2 singers and Tim. As each person left it got a little quieter, but the audience got louder. Soon it was just us and Tim singing ‘All in good time, we’ll come round, raise our voice, make another sound’. And then it was just us and the audience continued singing that line and simply put… it was beautiful.
Posted in Live Music, Random Ramblings, Uncategorized | Tagged: 4/3/12, Dallas, GAMH, Great American Music Hall, music, New Fumes, psychedelic, San Francisco, SF, Sweet Lee Morrow, Texas, The Polyphonic Spree | 1 Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 23, 2011
The Olivia Tremor Control
The Music Tapes
Le Poisson Rouge
Athens, GA lost a fine, fine band yesterday — “Its the end of the world as we know it” (well not quite) — REM. It was somewhat bittersweet that I just happened to be seeing another Athens band that same night, The Olivia Tremor Control. The Olivia Tremor Control – part of the Elephant 6 collective – played a really great show at Le Poisson Rouge. While I wasnt a fan of them (more like had no clue of them) in the 90s, Im glad that I came across them through Of Montreal. Better late than never, even if they rarely play and havent released albums in pretty much forever.
After seeing The Elephant 6 Collective earlier this year, I knew that I had to see The Olivia Tremor Control. I was never a huge fan of Neutral Milk Hotel (sacreligious to write, I know!) and I loved The Apples in Stereo, so I figured this might be a once in a blue moon type thing. I had always throught their music was much more pop, but last night proved otherwise. While they have catchy songs and great melodies, I never realized how much of a psychedelic sound they had. Psychedelic pop has never sounded better. They have some great jam songs and the crowd just seemed to love it. Lots of people swaying, lots of dancing and some sorta pit happened.
The band seemed beyond happy to be playing together. As they finished off the set and left the stage, the crowd grew louder and wanted them back. The band was very excited to come out for an encore, and mentioned how they werent yet ready to leave. The encore was great and by the end they seemed quite happy with the show.
The openers – The Music Tapes – another band in the Collective (or at least has some of the other band members) played an interesting set. Much like the Elephant 6 Collective some of the set was the same. Great stories about Romanian circus freaks – and lost dissolving cities – and some sorta magic. Some great songs in between and one of the best parts of the set – the 7′ tall metronome (that mostly worked!)! There were some cool interesting songs that definitely had some sorta gypsy Romanian flair.
A 7' Tall Metronome
A Peculiar Noise Called “Train Director”
I’m Not Feeling Human
Memories Of Jacqueline 1906/The Giant Day (Dusk)
Define A Transparent Dream
A Place We Have Been To
The Game You Play Is In Your Head, Parts 1, 2, 3
Green Typewriters (suite)
I Have Been Floated
No Growing (Exegesis)
A Sleepy Company
The Sylvan Screen
Holiday Surprise 1, 2, 3
The Opera House
Posted in Live Music, Adventures in the Big City, Random Ramblings | Tagged: music, NYC, indie, live, psychedelic, Le Poisson Rouge, gypsy, The Olivia Tremor Control, Athens, GA, psych-pop, Romanian, The Village, The Music Tapes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on May 24, 2011
School of Seven Bells
May 19, 2011
White Lies, hailing from London, finally made it back to this side of the pond and couldnt have been more excited. I hadnt seen the band in a couple years and I wasnt sure how it would be in a big club. But the times are a-changing and more importantly so is lead singer Harry. Trading in his dark clothes and gold nikes – hes now donning a suit. I might have thought for an instant they were going down the Interpol lane, but that is definitely not the case. Harry was more talkative than I had ever seen him before. I think he spoke more in 5 minutes than he had in any other prior show. He was happy to back in New York, one of his favorite cities ever. He was glad that more people showed up than he had anticipated – he wanted us to sing along, clap along, make more noise. It didnt stop. And the smile was HUGE! I guess success has hit him big time.
The band has now added yet another band member to tour with. They were always noted as a 3-piece band, yet from the moment I saw them on their first trip to the States, there was always 4. At this point, they have added another guitarist/keyboardist/singer. The guy is quite talented and seems to be doing it all. Jack seemed farther back and I really missed all the interactions that used to go on between the band and him. But Jack was still as awesome as ever and still looking ever-so-cool. Charlie’s bass lines still sound as great as ever – and loving him singing backup on what felt like more songs.
The band opened up with ‘A Place To Hide’ and its a great opener. The bass lines are instantly recognizable and it had the crowd singing along in no time. The crowd was loving every minute of every song. Guys were going crazy – and I would have thought it was the second coming of
Jesus err The Beatles. Everyone wanted to be up close and was pushing – which is expected of the girls – but was more surprising with the guys. They followed it up with ‘Holy Ghost’ off of the new album. And then they went back into the older songs with ‘To Lose My Life’ which everyone knew and had Harry happy that we were all singing along. Was pleasantly surprised that right after that ‘EST’ would still be played. One of my favorite songs.
This was an excellent show. The band sounded awesome but its hard to get used to this new happy version of White Lies. Their music and lyrics definitely feels like a much darker band – but apparently they might be going to a happier version of themselves.
New York’s own School of Seven Bells were nice to have around. It was interesting to see them as a 2-piece. I definitely missed having the other sister there who left the band in October due to personal reasons. It seems their music isnt quite as interesting as it was, but regardless they still sounded great. They still had the same dark sound and vocals that arent that easy to understand, but that doesnt matter. Its this beautiful sound and it makes you just want to close your eyes and enjoy it and feel it. There wasnt much interaction – but a band who zipped through a 30 minute set trying to play as much as they could.
Sun Airway – one of my favorite new bands – from Philadephia benefited from playing such a huge venue. The soaring vocals were perfect in Terminal 5. Their songs sounded even bigger and darker and the guitars were sounding even fuzzier. A perfect shoegaze band complete with images shown on a white curtain behind them. It felt like they could have just kept playing and playing, but soon their 30 minutes were up too.
Definitely a show not to have missed – I was just happy that I managed to win tix to it and was able to appreciate it, not just once, but twice!
White Lies Setlist:
A Place To Hide
To Lose My Life
Price of Love
Farewell to the Fairground
Peace & Quiet
Power & Glory
Bigger Than Us
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: "School of Seven Bells", "White Lies", britpop, concert, Hells Kitchen, indie, live, London, music, NYC, Philadephia, psychedelic, shoegaze, Sun Airway, Terminal 5, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 8, 2011
A friend had recommended to me that I check out Nicos Gun. She was already pretty sure I had seen them, but wasnt positive. But she knew Id just love them! And right she ever was. Nicos Gun is thankfully getting away from where so many bands are heading. These boys from Philly are embracing the 70s roots and punk sounds. At times a bit like the Velvet – and at times sounding like T Rex/Bowie – these guys can rock. They throw in some keyboards on a lot of songs and make really great rock music. Instead of taking it too synth-y they balance it out and keep it funky and rockin’. Their lead singer is charismatic and really has that rockstar quality. He comes out with his fur jacket (which so reminded me of Ian Brown – Stone Roses) and has that same swaggart. Wearing a Led Zep shirt and so many rings and necklaces – hes the epitome of cool. Their cover of “Heart of Glass” was one of the best covers I had heard. It still had that same edge and same cool as Blondie would have sang it.
And after talking to their drummer – they sounded like the group of musicians youd want to hang out with. They clearly have a love for music and love talking about it. And it seems I just might have to go to Philly to really appreciate what theyre all about.
Headliner Morning Teleportation from Portland was interesting. Their music is pretty out there – in a psychedelic druggy sorta way. At times sounding like Modest Mouse – they have cool beats and it makes it fun and dance-y. The guys seem really young and a bit goofy (if not totally stoned). They clearly are having a great time on stage. Unfortunately, at times it seemed they were more interested in drinking with their friends – the drunk girls who sang along to every song at the top of their lungs and who created a dance a thon for every song. And then they tried to talk to them throughout the set. At this point – I had pretty much lost much interest in the band. They did have a culminating number that was pretty drone-y and went on and on finishing out with the bassist and singer on top of one another and the bassist taking off the shoes of the singer.
I have to say it was weird at best. I wasnt really sure what to make of the whole show but I was just glad it was over. Nicos Gun was the band to see!
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music | Tagged: 4/7/11, 70s, concert, indie, indie-rock, live, Mercury Lounge, Morning Teleportation, Nicos Gun, Philadelphia, Portland, psychedelic, rock | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on November 6, 2010
The Dandy Warhols
The Bell House
I must say that it will be really hard to top tonight’s show. An incredible 2 hour set that went through most of their albums (more DROK please) and was high on the fun factor. Zia is managing to look younger as she gets older and is always as cute and nice and friendly as ever. Fathead looked pretty out of it from the moment on stage – him smoking up on stage also added to it – and Courtney and Pete not much had changed.
The set opened with Be In and as always its a great intro to start things up. It was immediately followed by We Used to Be Friends and the crowd was really into it, jumping around, dancing and singing. Im not even sure if the setlist was followed as it seemed so many other songs were played, but its hard to remember it all. Zia was dancing around and shaking like no tomorrow and soon enough she was stripping out of her tights. In all fairness, it was a sauna in there and no doubt I should have done the same.
Some of the highlights included, during Zia’s pee break, Courtney going on about how he doesnt understand what she is saying most the time. After that we had a choice of what we wanted (but since the crowd agreed on choice 1 – no clue what our second choice was) and were treated to an acoustic version of ‘Every Day Should be A Holiday’ complete with a crowd-sing along. Yeehaw! F’ing awesome and it sounds beautiful stripped down.
The other cool things – the Dandys mention of how this was their first show EVER in Brooklyn (its not Park Slope – Blue Giant – we’re in Gowanus). With the crowd yelling for ‘Lou Weed’, we were given a short story about how this is NY and of course theyd play it. It was also interspersed in the song with some anecdote about shopping in a grocery store, buying vegetables and seeing Lou Reed Around this time Pete and Fathead couldnt stop laughing as the story got more and more involved and who knew where Courtney was going.
The band sounds as tight as ever and still seem to love touring as much as they ever have. Its great to see them all get into songs like ‘Rave Up’ and get into for about 10 mins long. Its been too long since Ive heard that played and it still sounds as great. Equally great that two members of Blue Giant joined in on the song with some added tambourines and more dancing!
Zia is definitely a bigger part of the band – but it’d be nice for people to stop yelling at her to take her shirt off. Her playing harmonica is a nice touch to some of the songs. The remixed version of a lot of their songs make them sound fresh and new and its a great way to go.
Was glad that I missed the fight that nearly broke out behind me, which apparently was pretty out of control. Also was nice to hear their thoughts on encores – how some bands write 2 encores into their set and its so forced. Naturally there was no encore tonight – when it was done it was done. Its hard to argue with a 2 hour set. In that respect they remind me of the Manic Street Preachers. More bands should take note – or at least dont write every encore into your set list
Blue Giant were an interesting opener, also from Portland, OR. An alt-country band that had some great harmonies. Some of their songs were quite catchy and they had a nice long 1 hour set. Zia joined in on a few of their last songs and it was nice to see the camaraderie between the bands.
It is their only show in NYC as theyre headed back to the west coast and will rejoin the Dandys when they return. Tomorrow night we will get NY’s Hopewell – and I cannot wait for them!
Set List (which may not be in order) — I cannot remember where Lou Weed or Every Day Should Be A Holiday fit in
Used to be Friends
I Love You
(You Come In) Burned
Its a Fast Driving Rave Up With the Dandy Warhols Sixteen Minutes (maybe 10?)
Bohemian Like You
Pete Int’l Spaceport/Boys Better
Zia Solo: Daisy
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 11/5/10, Blue Giant, Brent, Brooklyn, concert, Courtney Taylor Taylor, Dandys, Fathead, Gowanus, indie, indie-rock, live, live shows, music, NYC, OR, Pete, Portland, psychedelic, rock, setlist, The Bell House, The Dandy Warhols, Zia | Leave a Comment »