Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for October, 2006

The Districts Awake! Music Festival

Posted by xneverwherex on October 31, 2006

10/28/06 – Bishop Allen, Forget Cassettes and Pela – DC 9

For the first year ever, DC has a music festival called the DAM Fest. There were a lot of good bands that were playing the festival, but unfortunately I could only make one night. But it turned out to be a great night. Hannah and I ventured on down to DC 9, and luckily got a great parking spot. Always a great way to start the night. Granted it was still early, 8:30, and we thought doors were at 8pm. But alas, we got there and doors were at 9. Saw Megan who I had not seen in awhile. Of course the 9pm thing didnt happen either. So around 9:45 we shuffled upstairs.

 The first band was Pela. A small band from Brooklyn, NY. They put on an awesome set that was about 30-45 mins long. The crowd was really into them with lots of dancing going on the front. Billy, the lead singer, worked the small stage and everywhere in front of the stage. He has a great voice with very catchy songs. Smoking a cigarette as the band played, he appeared to be very thrilled with the show. The band was clearly enjoying themselves and it was evident by the crowd response who were just as into the show. Needless to say, a great way to start the night. Once their set ended (and I really wish they could have played longer), I happened to meet Billy. He was standing right next to me, putting his stuff away, and I tapped him on his shoulder (he is damn tall), and asked if he’d be playing CMJ. I also went on to tell him how awesome his set was. He was such a nice guy, it added to the image of this great band. He came back over to me after a moment, and asked me my name. Thanked me for coming out and introduced himself. Definitely a class-act. Ok – so I read he’s from Santa Cruz. It must be the California thing going on 🙂

Next up, Forget Cassettes. Forget Cassettes is from Nashville, TN. They consist of 3 people. The female lead singer/guitarist, a drummer who is incredible and a keyboard/bassist. Well I will say the drummer was incredible but clearly didn’t belong in this band. They were pretty heavy at moments, and then would change the sound completely based on the singer. Unfortunately, she could not sing at all and just in general was irritating. She made a comment to the crowd asking “is that all you got?”, to which I really wanted to respond, “is that all youve got?”. She was just insulting, and the fact that she could not sing nor play made it equally awful. They seemed a bit chaotic on the stage, never knowing what song to play. Luckily the set was roughly 20 mins. which seemed incredibly short, but when youre not digging a band, it was plenty of time. Definitely would not recommend seeing them. Unless you dig music that goes somewhere between heavy one moment, then really slow the next. Definitely not my thing!

And the final band of the night (more did play, but we left) was Bishop Allen. Bishop Allen is another band from Brooklyn, NY. I was really excited to see them again, as I had not seen them since June. I must say, continuing on with the awfulness, a girl decides to stand right in front of Hannah and I. We were just a tad away from the stage as Bishop Allen had put all their instruments there. So she finally turns around and asks us, “Oh, Did I take your spot, and are you here to see Bishop Allen?”. To which I wanted to respond, well I’ve been here all f’ing night, and what difference does it make who I am here to see. We both said yes, and her response was “REALLY?”. Like total utter shock. Some people just irritate me, she went beyond. Luckily the band didn’t seem to happy with her.

Justin, who is an amazing front-man and even better story-teller, seemed very excited to be in DC. This was the beginning of their tour. The September EP has just come out. And for those that arent following, Bishop Allen is releasing an EP every month of the year. They started the set out with “The Monitor”, and by far its more amazing, energetic in concert than hearing it on the EP. The band gels so well together, and they just have a really great time playing together, and it shows while they play. Justin had a story to tell about the song “Same Fire”. “Click Click Click Click” is beyond catchy with the chorus, “take another picture with your click click click click camera”. And yeah, as you’d imagine lots of flashes were going off at that point. The set was entertaining, fun, quirky pop/indie music. Good stuff and they are definitely not to be missed.

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The Rapture/Presets

Posted by xneverwherex on October 31, 2006

10/30/06 – Webster Hall with Luke

Luke and I saw the presets (who on myspace i didnt care for) and the rapture. the presets were easily the highlight of the night. the boys were so terribly cute, and aussie 🙂 they had adorable accents, but what i really liked was the energy on the stage. they were so into the show and clearly were having the best time. it was awesome. i mean the energy radiated through the crowd. in ways it reminded me of the guys in the jaxx. one of them was all over the stage, dancing, singing, walking to the edge of the stage where you could just nearly touch him. the drummer was awesome, and also having a great time. they really pumped up the crowd for the rapture, which is what any opening band should do. and they clearly acknowledged how psyched they were to be playing with them. always awesome! So they bring the crowd to this soaring high, everyone dancing, getting really into music.

So The Rapture comes on nearly 30 mins later. And while they were not necessarily bad, they just didnt have the same energy as the presets. The guys looked so terribly young, and it just seemed a bit awkward for them. The bassist needs a bit of help. The sax was so terribly out-of-tune it was awful. And I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to sound that bad, but I sure hope not. The lead guitar just didn’t seem to fit in. As a whole the band didn’t seem to fit together. While some of the songs were definitely catchy and the crowd seemed to be enjoying it, there was just something missing. It seemed the band themselves didn’t feed off of each other’s energy. And energy is something that was really needed. Needless to say about 30-40 mins into the set I went off wandering to another bar in Webster Hall. They were playing better music down there than the show itself. Not long after the crowd started seeping in downstairs. What was more disappointing – while the show was not cheap – the show was barely an hour long. I guess I expect more from bands when I am paying the bigger bucks. Would I recommend them, not in the least. Now the Presets on the other hand. A definite go-see! They are making The Rapture better then they are.

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I’m Considering a Move to LA…

Posted by xneverwherex on October 20, 2006

Ok friends, lets not get too excited! I’m really not considering a move to LA, see below for reference. Although, right about now that Cali weather is sounding quite nice! So here’s a bit about last night’s show.

Art Brut/Spinto Band/Annuals – Irving Plaza – 10/19/06

heres my take: annuals – so badly wanted to like them, but just couldnt get into them. they didnt excite me, their music didnt blow me away, a bit disappointing.

spinto band – ive officially seen them tooooooooo many times. they were good, but nothing great. they seem almost gimmicky at this point. the first few times it was fun, now im bored. the act doesnt change, and they need new stuff. ive seen them since they first released an EP, and werent on a label. they finally released a cd, and ive still been seeing them. time for new stuff before i make another venture.  For those that have never seen them, they are worth seeing, don’t get me wrong.

art brut – eddie is fun! but this being my third time in a few months, has become too much. like spinto band, its the same stuff. the first time was by far the best. its worn off a bit, and their new songs as eddie mentioned are no longer new if youve seen them in concert. so its all the same stuff. he jumped into the crowd during ‘move to LA’, or maybe that was ‘modern art’. either way its always amusing watching eddie figure out what direction LA is. too bad he was pointing south, and would have gone to Florida, but that song is ridiculously catchy. ‘im considering a move to LA, he’s considering a move to LA’. as i only saw some of the songs, i did hear ‘bang bang rock & roll’, which I somehow blanked out and ‘Formed a Band’. Art Brut will always be entertaining, and any band that refers to themselves in third person is quite cool in my book. Besides Eddie in ratty old socks (and he has BIG feet), never wearing shoes is always a cool site. And he was waving to us in the front row before the show started. Awwww, what a guy! Jasper – excellent as always. He seems like such a cool person, clearly having a great time. And he’s ace on guitar. I felt Eddie’s vocals weren’t as loud as they should have been and often times were drowned out by the guitars. Not necessarily a bad thing when he does say ‘and this is my singing voice’. 🙂

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A night out with the Aussies…

Posted by xneverwherex on October 19, 2006

10/19/06

Headed down to the Mercury Lounge. Wasnt sure about catching Mess Hall, as I wasn’t all that impressed with their music that I heard off of myspace. As I opened the doors to the Mercury to where the band was playing, a rush of loud guitars came right out at me. Having been dealing with major ear problems, this was not so cool. But I quickly slipped in some earplugs, and was fine. It was pretty crowded, but the crowd seemed pretty subdued. Everyone was standing towards the back, while the front was empty with a bunch of people taking photos. There were a few Aussies rocking out. Mess Hall consists of two guys: guitarist and drummer. A true rock band, and in fine form the front were all rocking out to their music. It sure grew on you after awhile. And they were cute guys. The drummer, who should be called fathead, reminded me of fathead from the dandy warhols, with a huge head of hair. I thought that they would have played off of each other a bit more, as at times it seemed like they were two separate entities playing on stage together.

Next up — You Am I. I must admit, I mostly saw this for my Australian friends who said I had to see them. I had only heard their earlier stuff, (Thanks Matt) and had always enjoyed it. And when I refer to earlier stuff, I mean we’re talking close to 96 if not earlier. I met a really nice guy at the show, who came up to me and started talking about seeing the band. Full of excitement. I then met the girl who was standing next to me (I’m sure they all knew each other), and she was beyond excited, telling me how a roommate of hers (Australian, naturally) had gotten her into the band. The last time they had toured the states was 2002. Tim Rogers reminds me of a mod boy from the 60’s. Him and the guitarist looked styling with their skinny ties on. Tim is amazing live. Very charismatic, chatted up the crowd, made some snide comments, and was just fun to watch. The music speaks for itself. The show seemed like it was all of 30 mins. but I’m sure it ranged between 1 1/2 – 2 hrs.  At times they reminded me spot-on the replacements. Davey Lane was right in front of me, and besides being adorable to stare at, he has a great voice and is one hell of a guitar player. The whole band seemed thrilled to be back in the states. It’s too bad they never gained more popularity here. With the outbreak of Wolfmother, you’d think surely You Am I, should be able to break the states. Alas, its my good fortune, because it means I can still see them at small clubs like the mercury. All in all, brilliant show. Most of their stuff was played from the new album: Convicts. Some of the songs include: Thank God I’ve Hit Bottom, It Ain’t Funny That We Don’t Talk Anymore, Thuggury, Secrets?, Gunslingers, Constance George, and I’m a mess. I know i have missed a whole bunch of other songs, so if anyone was at the show – feel free to leave a comment.

Pics should be posted soon.

Off to see Spinto Band, Art Brut and Annuals tonight!

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Wheres Your Head At!

Posted by xneverwherex on October 12, 2006

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10/11/06

Where’s your head at… wheres your head at..where’s your head at.

 So, maybe you are asking yourself why that sounds so familiar. It was in an advert not long ago (or maybe long ago) for a car. Probably volkswagen, but I’m entirely not sure. Anyway, the guys behind the music are Basement Jaxx.

Went home from work last night to miserable weather. Forgot my umbrella, and my white blouse was now sheer. I was so tired that I went to lay down on the couch and woke up to Dancing with the stars, freaking out wondering what time it was. Needless to say I was running late. Finally made it to Webster Hall to a line of people in the pouring rain. Met up with Luke, and got into the club to catch The Double. The Double was an interesting band. They were plagued by all sorts of sound problems, and it seems they could barely get through a single song. When they finally were playing, it was good stuff. Lead singer has a voice reminiscent of Morrissey. Guitar was weak at best (more problems), but they were good. One thing which I couldn’t escape, were gay guys on either side of me making out to the full extreme. I was pretty sure there was going to be full on sex at any moment. I guess one couple got so carried away, because they grabbed their stuff and ran off. I’m not one to mind PDAs but to that extent I was a bit put-off. I really wanted to tell them to grab a room, but I guess they got the idea. The good part is, once they left I had an amazing view in the very front.

10:15 – Basement Jaxx take the stage to Intro. The crowd goes crazy, the screams envelop the club. The Jaxx performed with a brass section – trumpet, trombone and sax (in kilts and make up no less), and an abundance of singers/dancers. I think at any one time there might have been at least 8 people on the stage.  A BBW takes the stage in this striking blue gown. And she has one hell of a voice. Next 2 women come out, dancing and singing up a storm to the Jaxx’s amazing beats in the background. The dance music is going strong, with each new song a new costume appears and sometimes new singers. The dancing is contagious, the crowd so loves them.  And the crowd is as diversified as the singers on stage. Everyone on the floor is either dancing, singing, or jumping. “Take me back to ur house” was catchy, and the woman who sang on it, might have been the one from the album. She actually reminded me of the singer from the opening band the night before with Lily Allen. (Lily Allen should have been there last night, after all she is in the city) She had one hell of a strong voice (the only white woman to be singing that night).  And the crowd loved her. The costumes were amazing, from gowns, to other such outfits, with a rapper wearing a cape that was partially filled with a UK flag and the other side a Jamaican flag. The highlight of the night was the single “Wheres your head at”. The intro is awesome, with just the beats, and then finally Felix leaves from behind his mixing board area, and comes to the center of the stage mic in hand, singing ‘wheres your head at’. He’s jumping all over the place, one of the singers comes out with him, and her voice complements his. Felix is getting the crowd to go crazy, jumping, dancing. At this point I thought for sure the stage was collapsing. I have never felt it so powerful. The song lasted a good while and was pure dance entertainment, especially when the gorillas (the brass section) came out onto the stage, reminiscent of their video.

During one part of a song, one of the women went over to the brass section, got down on her knees and looked up their kilts. And then teased the audience pulling it up ever so slightly. The guys looked so embarrassed. The Jaxx had one encore, a song off their new album, that I can’t think of at the moment. The show ended with all the performers coming together on stage and dancing and taking a bow at the end (in true Broadway style)!

And lucky for me, I managed to get another setlist for the collection.

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Ash x2

Posted by xneverwherex on October 6, 2006

Strange that I just realized the title really does refer to two things:

1. I am seeing Evil Dead (the Musical tonight). (hence the name Ash 🙂 )

its only $3, so for $3 I’m sure ill think its awesome, and its right down the street from me. 🙂 even better.

2. I saw Ash last night. Last night was a bit of drama (as if my life never has any). I had an interview last night, and it went quite long. then i raced home (more like anthony picked me up while i was walking down the street) so I could see the band Cities. So took a super quick shower, went down to the knitting factory, and learned that a) cities was sold out and b) the show wasnt an 8pm show, it was 10:30. so i was pissed. but instead went to 1@1 an irish bar. must have been an irish sorta night. got pretty trashed with one drink (anthony and i both decided it was pure alcohol) his margarita was so strong, the tequila wasnt helping either. anyway then found out couldnt get into the club till 11 – Ash was coming on at midnight – so walked around the lower east side and found some really cheap bar. got a beer till we left about 15 mins later. was a pretty cheesy bar, but if i had gotten any more drunk i swear id have been on the table singing those really bad 80’s songs. think – boston (more than a feeling), and lita ford, ac/dc.

Anyway, The Annex (club where it was in the lower east side) was pretty packed just around 11:15/11:30. Wide mix of people and lots of older people. Ash came on pretty close to midnight. Tim looks pretty shaggy. Sad that I forgot the other 2 guys names in the band. They played a short 40 min set or so. Their new stuff is what most stood out in my mind. Sounded very well rehearsed. I found it amusing that they could nto play “jack names the planets” as a 3-piece band. they said they hadnt rehearsed it. they did play girl from mars, burn baby burn, petrol, and quite a few other songs in between. was a good set. Tim sounds great, and the guitars were sounding really good. As a 3-piece like before they still sound great. Although I must say I do miss Charlotte. It was lots of fun. Im sure we could have met the band, as we went down some wrong stairwell and it turns out that was where the band was hanging out. In the downstairs part of the club. Tim did comment on how much fun that he was having that he could have played another 2 hours, but didnt know any more songs. Too funny. Anthony got some good shots, while I left my camera as I just didnt feel like taking it. My cell phone pics are probably nothing all that great.

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