Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for July, 2007

WS, TMBG & WT (aka White Stripes, They Might Be Giants & War Tapes)

Posted by xneverwherex on July 27, 2007

7/24 – Tuesday 

Saw the White Stripes on Tuesday night. I won tickets to this show thanks to Warner Records and Reprise (I believe) from Siren Festival. What can I say, but Jack is incredibly talented. Somewhere during the set i was trying to figure out if  “big sister”  meg could really drum or what. Shes cute, im just not sure i was blown away by her. musically the two of them are really talented. their encore was incredible. They played a
near 2 hour set and i couldnt complain. even tho i recognized only a chunk of the songs (and all the encore songs – i think), it was easy to just go along with it. Their covers, which I did recognize, were done really well. And ending with “7 Nation Army” was a pretty sweet way to end the night.

A friend’s comment on the White Stripes – to my above comment regarding Meg – “And I think the secret to Meg’s drumming is that she’s like the heartbeat in the song. So her simple beats accent Jack’s crazy mad skills on the guitar.”

Wed. 7/25

I just got home from one of the many they might be giants residency shows from Bowery Ballroom. The show was great. another 2 hour set. having noted that this is a residency show, no 2 shows are alike. so tonights show was called songs from the 90’s we never played live 🙂 hahaha excellent. so many great songs, added some new ones. and ended up with the classics ‘birdhouse in your soul’,  ‘twistin’ and even played ‘i palindrome’. the ace part is when someone taps me on the shoulder and says ‘hey rachel’. i turn around, and im staring at this guy, and i think i mutter ‘holy shit’. and he starts laughing – and he says ‘noah, you know we work together’. i respond of course i fucking know who you are, this is awesome. apparently he LOVES tmbg, but better yet, loves fratellis, maximo, kaiser chiefs, etc. he f’ing rocks! Even better, during the show hed tap me on the shoulder and tell me which stuff was off their new album.

john and john are still as entertaining as ever. phone calls to the dead and all the other quirky things theyve done over the past are still as silly. and musically (with some of the dans) they still hold up. On that note, I’m already trying to figure out if I can see their show next week. I must point out, that 2 wed from now, the really talented Oppenheimer from Belfast are opening for them, and no one should miss them!


Last night’s show was probably even better than the prior nights. well ok – its hard to top the white stripes at the moment. but it started out with one of my new favorite bands War Tapes, from LA. Although after one listen, and you will be surprised theyre from LA. They’re sounding like a lot of the British bands coming out. Perhaps some editors, mixed with interpol, and the darkness of Joy Division. I dont think I have ever seen such tight clothing worn either. These boys had their skinny tight jeans plastered onto them. and it was HOT!

Sadly, I was one of 20 people at the show (this is at the bowery), if 20 were there. i was in the front, totally into it, and others looked perplexed. so i got lots of great pics. the lead singer kept bending down in front of me and singing directly at me. was rather cool. the band was way crazy with loads of energy. Their guitarist is out of control and insanely good. The drummer gets so into it, its really fun to watch. The bassist, she just kind of stands there looking pretty. I havent seen such goth-looking boys with so much energy in awhile.

After their set, I was talking to the singer for a while. Told him it was such an awesome set and that I came out for their set. He was really cool, asking me how I knew of them. Said thanks to SF and the people there, I knew of them. So yeah, my California connections are always coming in handy. Before he left, he said ‘oh by the way, im neil’. So I said ‘Im Rachel’. And he said something like, im so glad to meet you Rachel, and I’m glad you liked it.

I think I fell in ❤

The next band was really great too. I only came out to the show for the openers. Mainly to see War Tapes because at the moment I think they are just brilliant. But Liam & Me, who i had seen before I knew wouldnt disappoint.

The guys are from Philly, and are probably in their early 20’s. Doesnt hurt that a bunch of 30-year olds I was hanging out with, decided we all wanted to do very naughty things with them, and lots of nakedness [Big Grin]

Liam & Me plays very dancy, indie-pop music. Each song gets more dancy than the next. And I was hanging out with a bunch of folks from the UK who were terribly drunk. We were all in the front, dancing a lot, the guys were jumping around – banging into each other, and those nearby skirmished to the sides. The band loved it, and wanted everyone to get in on the action. My only real complaint is a 30 min set or less. I know their stuff is quick and fast, but we wanted to keep on dancing. Their fans are really young, and no one was even legal. Granted sometimes I throw all morals out the door.

Last band was The Automatic. I only really knew the song “Monster” which is getting a lot of airplay and is quite catchy. At least Im assuming its how I know of it, but I dont listen to the radio. Regardless, its their single. The Automatic is much heavier compared to both the bands. They are playing on the Warped Tour. Penny, on synths, some small redhead guy, is out of control. Jumping higher than humanly possible, banging the hell out of his keys. Incredible to watch. Filled with so much energy. The whole band is just one big ball of energy. That gets more intense as they keep playing. I think they played a 40 min set that had everyone around sweaty.

The UK guys didnt disappoint. No one was even near us, because it was so out of control. If I didnt know them, Id have been nowhere near, but they were courteous to me, to not totally bang into me. Penny started yelling at the people upstairs that they were a bunch of pussies. He jumped into the crowd numerous times to rock out with everyone. He also jumped from speakers that were so insanely high, at one point he left the show for 3 songs. He didnt get up for a long time, that people wondered if he was ok. I think that might have not helped the set, because the band looked concerned. Needless to say, there was no encore.

But if youre looking for some great rock music to really get into and mosh to, go check out them. Theyd love it if more people did that.


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Redheads Take Over The Subway??

Posted by xneverwherex on July 24, 2007

From those wacky folks at Improv Everywhere, check out the link below. I happily participated in the riding of the ever-so-packed subway uptown. Im telling you, people might give about 50 redheads a second-look, but it really had no impact. Im sure a few of them had a chuckle as the guy walked through the train selling sunscreen from about 30-50 SPF 🙂 Yes, we redheads need it.

Also included is our protest of the Wendy’s logo/image from none other than Wendys. Youd be surprised the looks people give when seeing people protest things as frivolous as Wendy’s. All in all, it was a great time.

And this is like ‘Where’s Waldo?’ So, obviously if you know me, you can spot me, and if not, good luck on finding me! im the redhead!  

 For those of you redheads who made it out to the mission, you guys were wonderful.  It’d be awesome if you could share your story in the comments section of mission report.http://www.improveverywhere.com/2007/07/24/redheads/

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Weekend w/Locals Low Lustre, Siren Festival and Summerstage

Posted by xneverwherex on July 23, 2007


So – are you tired just reading it? I am! No, seriously I’m dead tired. But probably because Im the one who did all of this. So lets go back to Friday.

On Friday at work, I get an email from Mark. Mark is the drummer of Low Lustre, a very likeable band from East Williamsburg/Bushwick. Low Lustre has that rock feeling of early U2, which is not a bad band to get comparisons too. Well Mark tells me his band is playing over at Pianos with West Indian Girl and I realize I MUST go see them. So, I figure out a way to see some of South Street Seaport and the bands playing there, and then making a trip to the LES to Pianos.

South Street Seaport is just a great place to hang out. Im telling you, if theres water nearby, you can find me there. Its as simple as that. You can take the girl out of California, but you cant take California out of the girl. So I meet up with someone from a meetup group and we hang out watching Rock Plaza Central, hailing from Toronto. They’re a bit out there, and very quirky playing loads of instruments. I wouldn’t even know how to describe them. As I’m standing around, I see the drummer of We Are Scientists hanging out with his girlfriend. Naturally Im in the right place, Bishop Allen is headlining the night.

Before, Bishop Allen goes on, I must take off to see Low Lustre. I bring some friends with me to the show and we all came out of it saying ‘oh yeah, lots of talent’.  Definitely a great rock band with that early U2 vibe. Yay! I also should add, Mark is a great guy. Very friendly and SO very nice! Trust me – he’s not paying me a cent to say this. And since he’s so nice, I feel compelled to put out his band name as much as possible. I’m sad to say I didnt stay for West Indian Girl as it was a busy night of shows.

Saturday is Siren Festival. I head over there around 11am so I can see the first band – Twilight Sad. Twilight Sad is a bit heavier sounding than I realized, and I saw them later described as a wall of sound. This is a very great description of how they come across. Lots of very loud guitars.

The awesome thing about the festival is that I arrived there plenty early, and managed to get right in front. I met the nicest guy next to me, a school teacher from Vegas named Wil, and chatted him up for a bit.

After Twilight Sad, Dr Dog came on, and it was an enjoyable set. Great music. I did come to realize that I get entirely distracted at festivals. Its like I have 0 attention span and just cant focus on the bands. I noticed the lead singer of The Noisettes in front of me, and everyone was more interested in her than the band. She was so cool, signing shoes for people, taking pics, shaking hands. She was the epitome of the friendly, cool rockstar. At that moment I so wanted to be a Noisettes fan. I think I was converted just by her presence.

After seeing the two bands, I took off to find some friends of mine there. We hung out and talked for a bit. Then we all went our separate ways. I caught a few more bands, but not complete sets. Walked around Coney Island which was pretty cool, before I headed over to the Cyclone‘s game. The Cyclone’s are the minor league team of the Mets. It was an enjoyable game, but I found myself staring into the ocean vs concentrating on the game. But we all had a great time. Cyclone’s kicked some major a$$ and the pitcher (2nd of the game) was on fire.

Nearing the 8th inning, I get a call from a number I dont recognize. I take the call anyway, and cant hear a word, so send a quick text, to let them know its way loud, but text me whats needed. Not 2 seconds later I have a text saying “youve won White Stripes tickets”. At that moment, I get up from my chair, excuse myself and go running through the streets of Coney Island back to the festival. Can I just say IM GOING TO THE WHITE STRIPES FOR FREE!!! This was exciting news. It still is exciting news. I called some friends, like an insane girl yelling how excited I was.

Sunday was a great day too – minus the fact I am still sunburned. Went down to Central Park to meet some friends for Summerstage to see The Cat Empire. Luckily for me, we had all decided we’d be sitting in the stage. So we head to the bleachers and find a spot towards the back where a guy is sitting there by himself. We go up there and I ask him if he is saving the spot. He says no, and nicely moves down the bleacher. So friends and I start talking a bit, and the guy next to me randomly asks me if im from NYC? So one thing leads to another, and we start talking and talking and talking. Great guy, and his brother went to UCSB and now lives in DC. Even better. Turns out Jacob is Jewish no less. So as my luck would have it, hes from Utah (well living there). Man – all the guys I’m meeting as of late are from the West coast. I must say I do wonder if this means something.

The Cat Empire take the stage and they are incredible live. It just makes me so mad each time that I missed them at Bowery Ballroom. They bring in influences from all sorts of music and its just a fun band. It can be described as a fusion of middle eastern influences, Latin (think salsa or tango), along with jazz, ska, funk and rock. And when you put it all together, you get this amazing sound with about 7-12 guys (it ranges with tours) playing all sorts of instruments, bringing the crowd to a dancing frenzy.

It can only be said that its a band you surely wont want to miss. I’m already figuring out how I can go see them again 🙂

Sadly, Jacob caught a plane on Sunday night and Wil I’ve not heard from. Im sure if they ever found this, they’d either be completely freaked out, or think how cool. I did invite Wil to see the White Stripes. I figured why not, he was nice and friendly and hanging out and chatting with me during the Siren Festival, so I could do something nice. I dont think that will happen, but its ok. Music somehow brings us altogether, and one of these days I’ll probably run into either of them again 🙂 Just maybe at a Cat Empire show.

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Explosions and Swedish Bands…

Posted by xneverwherex on July 19, 2007


Im here at home normally at this time I’d be at work. But thanks to exploding water pipes in Grand Central, my work is closed. Seriously, as much as I joke about it, I missed it by 15 mins. which kind of freaks me out. Having all of my friends call me up to make sure I was ok, I did realize how gravely serious this all was. Its natural that one’s first thought is 9/11 all over again. But thankfully, I am really OK. I am just sitting here on this gorgeous day about to pop in a movie.

In the meantime, I started reading a blog about bonnaroo from John Roderick of The Long Winters. Seriously, genius I muttered to myself a few times. I love the way he writes and experiences the shows.

In other news – I missed a few bands last night because I seriously thought I’d pass out. My whole thing of trying to see so many bands in one week is just not possible when one holds a day job, and said bands are all over NYC (Jersey included).

So lets go back to Tuesday night. Meet some friends at Barcade in Williamsburg. I must say that this is an awesome bar. It looks like a warehouse and its just a big empty space with arcade games surrounding the bar. And these were the games I grew up on. And at only $.25 you cant go wrong. Challenged my friend to Ms. Pacman in which he beat me in terms of score 34,000 (and change) to my 32,000 (and change), but I got farther along in levels. So I’m still saying I won 🙂 Met some other ‘regulars’ at the bar who told me I should go hang out with them on a regular basis. I think one guy professed something about being the lone black guy in the place. How can you not have a small chuckle.

After it was off to Luna Lounge. Now lately I have become a big fan of the place. Im not a fan of the super late start times (and yes, i know this is music), but shows advertised to start at 8:30 are now starting at 9:30. Well technically were going on at 9. But what can you do. And the first band was rather catchy. They are called Saturday Looks Good To Me. Hailing from the great state of Michigan. Now what I found most bizarre was the drummer who came out wearing flip flops. I just don’t understand how some people show up to a show looking like – well like they just dont care. And the kid was a cute kid, but perhaps I’m secretly appalled when people wear those shoes on a stage at a show. Regardless of what the kid was wearing (and he looks really young, but lord knows so do I, so I shouldnt write that), the band was quite good. Catchy, upbeat music. The lead singer and guitarist looked down and smiled at me. I was happy! And the aforementioned drummer, did break out on guitar on one song, and he was talented 🙂 I couldnt help but watch him most of the set. So yeah, when you can check them out. I think Im more blown away by them after hearing them off their website.

Lead singer does have a really great voice and the keyboardist is quite talented as well. Great lyrics, catchy songs, what more can you want. And I should have known – they were on the Polyvinyl label, which I’m madly in love with these days.

Now this next review is even more biased than my others. I cant explain my love for The Shout Out Louds. When I first came across “The Comeback” I was in love with them already. When Howl Howl Gaff Gaff came out I listened to it all the way through over and over. Sweden knows how to put out the best pop bands and Shout Out Louds fully delivered on Tuesday night.

Its worth it to have a listen to their new stuff, because I’m pretty sure Adam is channeling Robert Smith through the new stuff. If you think of the poppy sound of “Friday I’m In Love”, you might have the newest version of The Shout Out Louds. Adam is a great musician and has an excellent voice. And anyone can rock out in white pants is A-OK with me. The band recognizes faces in the crowd, acknowledging the fans who came out. And their fans are a loyal bunch. Everyone seemed to know the lyrics to all their songs and were singing along. But it wasnt over the top annoying. Ande aside from a guy who decides he should try and do some crowd surfing, which landed his ass on the floor, it was a relatively calm crowd with lots of dancing.

And now the setlist which I couldnt have asked for a better night of music:

    Time Left – a new song, that is really catchy
    Comeback – oh and if youre not familiar with the song, the intro is from the game Pole Position by Atari. Now if only Barcade would get that game!
    Suit Yourself
    Please Please Please – another one of my favorites off the first album
    South America
    My Friend
    Hurry Up – another brilliant song!
    Parents Living Room
    100 degrees – which I have the whole video for and just might be my favorite song
    Tonight – their newest song/single

    Very Loud

The keyboard player sometimes seemed in her own world, but every once in awhile she’d look out and smile and you could tell she was having a great time. The other band members are great, and there is such great chemistry among the band members its great to watch them. Without a lot of talking between songs, and just a solid set of music just over an hour or so long, it proved out to be a great night and probably one of my favorite shows. Like I said, I already loved the band, but they kicked ass! This video should show it.

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Wait Until December…(The Decemberists)

Posted by xneverwherex on July 17, 2007


Now, please don’t ask me how whenever I hear the name the Decemberists, I dont think about the Russian revolutionists, but I think of the 80’s band Until December. And they don’t sound anything alike, but I digress.

So, last night I was very lucky to have a friend phone me this weekend and invite me to the show. His friend was unable to make it. Now, to be perfectly fair, I could have seen them long ago, but I was convinced I couldn’t stand them. But a) this was a benefit show for the Summerstage Festival in Central Park  and b) it was free, so naturally I went. The money goes to Central Park so that there can be free shows throughout the summer. I really recommend checking out their website if interested in the shows. I assure you, I will be attending a few of them.

My friend and I arrived there just around 6pm. Trains were a nightmare, but what more can be said about the Transit. We secured spots on the bleachers, as the front was already packed with doors at 5pm. We had a great view of the stage. I had really wanted to see Land of Talk, so I was very glad that we arrived in time to see them. And they did not disappoint. Definitely made for the club type venues, it was hard to sit back and just enjoy the music without jumping around. It was a bit heavier than Decemberists music, but the 3-some performed well together. The woman lead singer had a great voice. It was a 30 minute set that just flew by.

Next up – Grizzly Bear. If I wrote *snoozefest* that’d describe my summation of them. While musically, they are very talented, their songs were quite long and were drawn out. I am not sure that they were the right band to open, as about half way through their set, their music was drowned out by all the talking.

The highlight of the night was The Decemberists. Is it too late to jump on the bandwagon? To all my friends who I just never understood with their huge liking of the band, I now can see why. Their live performance was phenomenal. While the lead singer of Land of Talk and Grizzly Bear lacked stage performance, Colin Meloy is one hell of a front-man. The band played a tight set and were very time conscientious. Colin said early on that there’d be less banter than usual, so they could play more music for us. All of the shows at Summerstage have to be done by 10pm. Needless to say, most bands have to rip through material to get through all of the stuff.

 Colin gets a lot of credit for keeping the set going at a rip-roaring pace and getting lots of tunes in for a 90 minute set.  They opened with July, July and what a way to start the night. He told us from the get-go he was going to make this set as summery as possible, which is kind of funny considering some of their songs. The set list consisted of:

1. July, July
2. Billy Liar
3. Summersong
4. The Perfect Crime #2
5. The Sporting Life
6. From My Own True Love (Lost at Sea)
7. The Engine Driver
8. The Crane Wife 3
9. The Island: Come & See / The Landlord’s Daughter / You’ll Not Feel the Drowning
10. O Valencia!
11. Sons and Daughters

12. Red Right Ankle
13. Oceanside
14. Chimbly Sweep
15. The Mariner’s Revenge Song

 I LOVE the song Perfect Crime #2 and live it was amazing. While I’ve read that people have been very disappointed with their sound and instruments aside from Meloy’s voice, I would disagree. For an outdoor venue, Meloy’s voice was exceptional, but I also thought John (drummer) sounded really great, along with the guitars, banjos, cellos, violins and every other instrument that was used. The only thing I really missed out on, is that they dont have an orchestra playing with them. I can only imagine how amazing that would have sounded, but for my first experience I wasnt complaining.

There were some crowd sing-alongs that worked out perfectly, but I was surprised it didn’t seem louder than it was. I also loved the intro to O Valencia! How can I not chuckle when he’s talking about the gangs on Valencia in SF.

Chimbly Sweep should get a standing (or would that be laying down) ovation. Colin puts each of the band members to sleep on stage, as one by one they fall over. And if that wasnt enough, he does the same for the audience, and gets everyone at the show to sit down in the grass, to a near dead silence. As the music crescendos the place erupts and everyone is jumping around. It was pure brilliance!

Now, that could have been the way to end a show, but at 9:50 they begin the Mariner’s Revenge Song, and my friend comments to me the song is 10 minutes long. And what a great song it was. Definitely a song made to played live, with audience participation as well as we’re being eaten by the whale, with hand chomping movements to go along with it. Just think Moby Dick.

Brilliant show and I was so glad I made it out. I am pretty sure I became a huge fan after this performance!

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Dmitri from Paris…and Maximo Park?!?

Posted by xneverwherex on July 16, 2007


Fran Healy made 4 years definitely worth waiting for. With music filling The Fillmore (aka Irving Plaza) from Rocky, Fran runs from the back of the venue to the front in a boxer’s robe with boxing gloves. The fight is on. He gets to the stage and with arms widely extended stands in front of us, as the crowd gets into a frenzy. The show opens up with the single from their new album “Selfish Jean”, which is catchy and gets the crowd into a groove.

Fran gets bonus points for noticing all the people in the front who were beyond hot with lack of AC and no fans, and started throwing out water bottles throughout the show so no one would lose their spot. It was also great to see Andy jump in the crowd and jam out on his guitar!

Their set list is nearly a best of with songs from all of the albums. Fran was very chatty with the crowd and promised an even longer set than the prior night as a fan posted on the message board that they were disappointed that Travis had only played for an hour and a half. So we got a bit longer! Cant complain.

Here is a set list from the show:

Selfish Jean
Eyes Wide Open
Writing to Reach You
Love Will Come Through
As You Are
Pipe Dreams
Big Chair
My Eyes
Good Feeling
All I want to do is Rock

Flowers in the Window
Selfish Jean (again!)
Humpty Dumpty Love Song
Why does it always rain on me

Fran’s voice is sounding as great as always. It was nice to hear that “My Eyes” was written when he learned he would be a papa 🙂  The reprise of “Selfish Jean” was a real highligh as Dmitri from the Jon Stewart show made an appearance and helped on the song performing a video that he made for the song. It consisted of him taking off shirt upon shirt and then towards the end stuffing his face with a plate full of cookies. If you listen to the words it all goes together. Klaus, from Sweden, was also a great addition for Travis on the keyboard. He was quite good. I have loads of pics and lots of great video. 🙂

And to end the set, Travis performed “Why Does It Always Rain On me?”  This was great as Fran stopped the song half way through to talk to the audience insisting that we all pogo at once together as high as we could. As the song crescendos you could feel the crowd all getting into it, and by the time the chorus came about we were all jumping in unison. And what a way to go out!


 Thursday night my friend from DC came up to see Maximo Park. I hadnt seen them since one of the first times they had come to the States so it was a real treat to see them again. Paul and company started off the set with “Graffiti” which got the crowd really going. The crowd, which was mostly British, were so excited to see them, with lots of pogoing, hands flying in the air and dancing. Paul was all over the place on stage, with his trade-mark jump that is beyond high. Lucas, on keyboards, was dancing all over the place behind his keys and on a few songs was more prominently on the stage dancing.

The set consisted of most of their fast-paced, catchy pop songs interlaced with some of their slower songs, which were greatly needed just to catch a breath. It was an excellent show and I just wish I could have made it to their show in Toronto. Heres to next time. Below is the set list along with a video just to see the intensity of the show. Please note: sound quality sucks!

‘A Fortnight’s Time’
‘Now I’m All Over The Shop’
‘Our Velocity’
‘Parisian Skies’
‘The Coast Is Always Changing’
‘Girls Who Play Guitars’
‘I Want You To Stay’
‘Karaoke Plays’
‘Books From Boxes’
‘By The Monument’
‘Apply Some Pressure’
‘Your Urge’
‘The Unshockable’
‘Going Missing’

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White Rabbits Top of the Pops…

Posted by xneverwherex on July 10, 2007


Well … if you don’t get the above reference, youre clearly not a fan of Art Brut. But thats ok, because you should be.

Last night was interesting. Went down to Highline Ballroom begrudingly to see White Rabbits. all my friends bailed at the last minute, and since ive seen art brut half a dozen times in 1 year, they werent high on my list. so i figured, white rabbits is really good and ive wanted to see them since cmj last year. so im walking down 16th and i walk by this guy, and realize its a friend of mine. so i asked him where he was going, and he said he bought a ticket, but thought it was will-call and left the hard ticket at home. so i offered to sell him mine for half price. then we remembered the show was not sold out, so he went and bought a ticket at the show. and the guys at highline told him to call ticketweb later to get a refund on the ticket he had already purchased. sweet deal. and its something good to remember. note: this is ticketweb (not tickets.com or ticketmaster).

anyway, he was telling me how brilliant white rabbits were and indeed they were. Im really into bands with lots of people. I think its always fun to watch them perform on stage. This band had at least 6 people if not more guys in the band. Great, catchy indie-pop music and the drummers were really good. i ended up picking up their album after the show. They really remind me of Mason Proper, but I think White Rabbit’s show is just a bit better 🙂

Art Brut was at the top of their game yet again. jasper is quite the character with facial expressions that cant help but make you burst out laughing. eddie is a trip himself. the crowd (mostly brits) were really into the show, and lots of dancing and even stage diving from eddie. for once i was glad i wasnt near the front. i forgot about his stage diving. they went through art brut staples, and ‘move to LA’ I always find hilarious. Eddie has to discuss which direction LA is and inevitablly its never the right direction. He mentioned in Brooklyn that everyone flipped him off, which didnt help. hahaha.

Good Weekend with a mix of Formed a band was the last song. Naturally at the encore the chants turned into ‘art brut top of the pops’. which led to that as the encore ‘white rabbits top of the pops… we are scientists top of the pops’, etc. emily kane is always a classic now, seeing what eddie interjects when the band stops playing. either way, their new material is as top notch as their last album.

i find people either love them or hate them. so if youre on the love side, its definitely not worth missing them. And if Art Brut is your thing, be sure to catch them on Conan. They are on his show the 11th 🙂 

 Ready Art Brut!

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Lots of Great Shows…

Posted by xneverwherex on July 9, 2007

So – lately Ive been fortunate enough to see some brilliant shows on Broadway (off broadway too). and stuff that I’d really not recommend. For the stuff I wouldn’t recommend, I won’t even post it on here as the play has left the building 🙂

 So – lets see – going back about 2 weeks ago (yes, Im really slow yet again), I saw the musical 110 In The Shade over at Studio 54. First off, I have been to Studio 54 and had seats in the mezzanine when I saw Three Penny Opera (another brilliant musical). But this time, for HALF price, I had these amazing seats in row H center orchestra. This has got to be the best venue to see a show. A stage that is nothing short of impressive, hardwood floors and comfortable seats. Truth be told, I’m in love with the theater.

Secondly, Audra McDonald is nothing short of phenomenal. Her voice is amazing and she can sing. She is a 4-time Tony winner, and this production shows why. The other actors (with a few well known names) are also equally as good, but Audra is the show. Although Starbuck comes close to stealing the show.

The story follows Lizzie (McDonald) in the 1930’s in a Texas town. She has just returned home and is worried she’ll become an old maid. She has a secret crush on the Sheriff, but her world is turned upside down when Starbuck enters her world.

This is a must-see performance and its closing at the end of the month.

The next show – another must see – is Inherit the Wind, starring Brian Dennehy and Christopher Plummer. This is a limited engagement and is closing this coming week. One of the main reasons to see this play, is to see the show-down between these two genius actors. They are superb in this scene, and throughout the entire play.

The play is the loose story about the Scopes “Monkey” Trial that took place in Tennessee, in which Scopes went on trial for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Surprisingly, what is best about this play, is that it’s still so relevant to this day.

Mr. Dennehy plays the role of attorney Matthew Harrison Brady (based on William Jennings Bryan), and Mr. Plummer plays attorney Henry Drummond (based on Clarence Darrow).

 This play moves quickly and with a running time of 2 hours (with an intermission), its soon the intermission before you even realize how much time has lapsed. Its hard to not love a play that can engross you for 2 hours and when you come out its nice to see everyone so impressed. Easily a 5 Stars.

The last musical I saw (last night 7/8), was In The Heights. This is a small little off-broadway musical, that has done so well that it will be on Broadway very shortly. The music, which is very mainstream as it is rap, hip-hop and everything combined, keeps the story to this day.

The story is about life in Washington Heights. At the top of Northern Manhattan, three generations of people are living together in Washington Heights. This is their story over three days, showing the hardness of trying to make a living there, and just the every-day living of life in the heights.  And it probably helps if you know a bit of Spanish, as some of the musical is in Spanish, but they do make a habit of letting everyone know what is being said.

My only complaint about this musical (which will I’m sure only get better on Broadway), is that because for the most part every word in the musical is sang, if you miss some of the words to the songs, sometimes it feels like you miss a bit of what is going on. Its hard to have to try and pay attention to every word, but the meaning does come through.

Regardless, I’m sure it will be a hit on broadway. And unfortunately, Broadway needs to have some great stuff come out.

Oh – and before I forget – saw Spamalot on the 4th of July. And for lovers of Monty Python, this is a blast. Its a completely over-the-top story with music and dancing and bringing together everything a Broadway show is known for having. Great numbers and great costumes with songs that are outrageously funny. For a good laugh, this is a musical to be seen.

And I still love “The Knights who say ‘nee'”. This will always cause a big laugh for me. I will admit some of the stuff is so ridiculous, but its hard not to laugh at the silliness of it all. Granted if you love Monty Python, there is no reason that you wouldn’t love this.

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