Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for August, 2007

Sharp = $3.50 w/The Rentals

Posted by xneverwherex on August 24, 2007

8/23/07

I happened to come across this sweet deal, where I was able to obtain Rentals tix for $3.50. And seriously, for that price how could anyone say no. So I invited 3 other people to come along with me from my meetup group.

The night started off with a band called Goldenboy who apparently is friends with Matt Sharp. He played on one of their songs later in the set. Goldenboy played a bit too long for an opener, and it was a bit slow. It was good music, but it just didn’t have anything to get me excited about the Rentals. Nearly 45 mins later and they were finally done.

Next up was Copeland. I wasnt familiar with their music, had a familiar name, and one of the guys is convinced its a reincarnation of Radiohead. I must say I’m not sure I agree on that one. The lead singer has a great voice and their music is very catchy. It was easy to just get into their music with a very familiar indie-pop sound. Only major disappointment was a 35 MINUTE set. I was completely blown away, as I really thought they were much better than the first band. Truly, it seemed completely backwards. And besides, the guys were quite nice to look at 😉

Around 10:30pm The Rentals came on. Now truth be told, aside from Matt Sharp (formerly bass player in Weezer) fronting the band, I really didn’t know any of their songs. I knew the song “Friends of P”, but wasn’t sure I’d recognize anything else.

Instead, I was blown away to one hell of a performance. Very catchy songs that were quite recognizeable, combined with likeable performers consisting of a woman on violin, a woman on bass, and a whole bunch of other people in the band. A filled stage with lots of dancing and truly a band having a great time. Matt is an incredible front-man, making use of the entire stage, going back and forth to opposite ends, truly playing to the crowd.

He had some very funny banter about their trip to Minneapolis and some mention of Purple Rain and Prince. Along with the drummers mustache reminding people of Hall & Oates. Why they didnt play “Maneater” one will never know – but the crowd surely wanted it. It was enjoyable and even more funny.

It was a great crowd, although I’m not entirely sure about the pushing/shoving/mock mosh pit. Was truly annoying more than anything, and it cleared out the crowd in parts of the room. But these guys truly enjoyed their music as they were all singing along.

The set ended at midnight and Matt clearly didn’t have enough time to play everything he had wanted. I guess it means that they will have to return soon. Was awesome to hear “Friends of P” live. The crowd went insane! What a set it was and I will surely be seeing them next time they come around. Great company and great band = sharp time!

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Lets Dance to Joy Division- Those Marsupials Rock!

Posted by xneverwherex on August 16, 2007

To describe a band as cute and cuddly would probably horrify most bands, but when you call yourselves The Wombats and show up to the gig with a stuffed animal, what can you expect. While they might look cute and cuddly they sure do rock. Infectious jangly hooks with post-punk/pop-punk melodies and somewhere in that you have The Wombats.

The Wombats, hailing from Liverpool, performed their first show in the states last night at The Annex. Wooo! If New Yorkers were happy that this was their first stop, the band seemed even happier to be playing in the States. They were headed off to the West Coast to play Popscene in SF tonight.

Their show started out as a Barbershop Trio (or is that triplet?). The 3 guys came out and sang a really catchy song (sans instruments) about marsupials! yay marsupials! It was hard not to be singing it along with them. Once that was done, they all went to their instruments and started playing like there was no tomorrow. With songs like “Lets Dance to Joy Division” and their single “Kill The Director” – its really hard not to start dancing.

The lead singer was very talkative and mentioned things about how we should do the waltz to one of the songs, and whoever waltzed best would win either a shirt, or a dirty nappy of the drummer. Sadly, no New Yorkers claimed to be doing the waltz. Next, he asked about swinging? Naturally, a few cackles were heard in the back, whether it was for actually swing dancing or other things, one will never know.

The show was just what was expected. With some songs sounding reminiscent of Maximo Park, it made for a great night of fun. The bands were asking for hand-clapping and lots of dancing and the crowd didn’t disappoint. Wombats are rumoured to be back in February so if you werent fortunate to catch them this time around, Feb is just around the corner.

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Lollapalooza 2007 – Day 3 !!! (Chk Chk Chk)

Posted by xneverwherex on August 9, 2007

Sunday started out by looking a bit overcast. So it was really hard to guage the weather. Needless to say, I really chose the wrong clothes to wear. Black in the heat of the sun is never a good choice.

Started my morning under the trees at the BMI Stage yet again checking out local band (Springfield, IL) The Graduate. The lead singer has a bit of the Mark McGrath (of Sugar Ray) thing going on. Good looking, great voice and to me, had that cocky attitude. Not a bad thing. This music is guaranteed to be on Top 40 radio. Its pop friendly, easily listenable, but for me, easily disposable. Enjoyable for what it was.

From there headed into the hot hot sun and caught some of The Postmarks set. The lead singer has a great voice, but their music just wasn’t getting me energized. Her music was low-key and a bit slow-going, so I have a feeling its a band I must see in a club. On the stage behind I could hear Juliette Lewis (yes, the actress) from Juliette & The Licks going crazy, so I had to check it out. She was working the crowd into a frenzy, running back and forth on the stage in her skin tight clothes. The band was great that was backing her up. From what I saw of her set, I was very entertained and the crowd loved it.

Slowly meandered from Juliette Lewis to the big stage to catch The Cribs. I somehow managed to get right in front of the big opening, and was very surprised. Lollapalooza Day 3 - The Cribs I should mention that at this time the weather is oppressive.  The stage felt a bit too big for them, but they managed best they could. Definitely a band better fitted to be playing a club. Liked what I had heard, and can’t say I’m a huge fan of them, but really enjoyed their set. With the hot weather, I lasted about 30 mins before heading to an open spot in the grass, grabbing some water as it dripped everywhere. Closed my eyes, and The Cribs took me away.

As I got some much needed food, I listened to Dios in the background. I really wasnt familiar with their music, but for background music it was quite nice. Then it was time to see Rodrigo y Gabriela. 2 guitarists from Mexico who are nothing short of being amazing live. Gabriela’s fingers fly over the guitar, making it seem effortless. Add the two of them together and its near magic. As they went from their own songs to breaking out into Hendrix, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Zepp, etc. it was easy to see how talented they really were. It was great as they played “Wish You Were Here” as the crowd attempted to sing with them. Somewhere during the set, Rodrigo mentioned as they played their new song that we should feel free to get naked. Ah, what a moment it was. Be sure to check them out if you can appreciate some great guitar work.

After this headed over to see Scotland’s own – Los Campesinos! Lollapalooza Day 3 - Los Campesinos!
I had just started listening to their stuff and easily loved their catchy, indie-pop music. Great stuff to dance to, so it wasnt that surprising when 6 of them were on the stage and just wanted to dance and have a great time. It was great when by the end of the set the lead singer had jumped into the crowd and was dancing with them. The only real down-fall is that they were having awful sound issues. They didnt start on time plus had problems in the beginning. They did make mention of their neighbor Amy Winehouse who was playing at the stage nearby.

Found myself looking for shade and swung back to the BMI Stage to check out The Diffs. Really wasn’t into their loud, thrashy music and headed to check out Blue October. Was having too many issues with sound bleeding over from The Annuals so had to leave. From what I could hear of Blue October, I did like them and it was catchy music. Caught bits and pieces of Paolo Nutini and Apostle of Hustle.

As I met with friends and grabbed some food, Kings of Leon filled the background. Recognized some of their music, but can’t say I’m a fan of their described ‘Southern Rock’ sound. So instead, headed over to proceed to get very close for !!!. Nic Offer is definitely the epitome of fun. Ridiculous dance moves  to music that cant help but make you dance. He made his way back and forth across the stage, jumping into the crowd, which apparently pissed off security. In tight blue shorts a bright blue shirt with a mop of curly hair, he entertained the crowd. Lollapalooza Day 3 - !!! Shannon, who has quite the voice too, danced it up and also managed to pour a can of beer down her body before proceeding to rip off her top. Danced and danced till I felt like I was going to pass out. “Must be the Moon” sounded great!

Needless to say, by the time TV on the Radio came on stage, I was sure at any moment I’d pass out from exhaustion. My great spot on the rail soon got moved back. Albeit, a very short set, the crowd was jumping and singing along with the band. I managed to get further back and could properly enjoy their last song ‘Staring at the Sun’. What a way to end the set!

As I headed towards the next stage for the last show of the night – Pearl Jam would soon be heard. And it could be heard even far out from the park. Eddie Vedder’s most catchy song of the night was his ‘Dont go to BP/Amoco’. As always, he said some great things that should have sunk in and were a perfect way to end the festival. But yes, it is important that we save Lake Michigan. It’s more important that the oil companies quit spilling oil into our lakes. Enough said. The set consisted of a mostly greatest hits set and it was great. Daughter and Even Flow live were simply amazing! The area was packed and everyone was singing along and really rocking out.

So what a way it was to end the 3-day festival. I’m already thinking about next years, wondering how on earth anything can top it.

And as a side note: Pearl Jam’s concert was edited by AT&T cutting out his Anti-Bush statements. Please join Rock The Net – Musicians Support Network Neutrality. To read about the Pearl Jam show, click here.

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Lollapalooza 2007 – Day 2 – My Love for Gary…

Posted by xneverwherex on August 8, 2007

Day 2  

Saturday started out by being a relatively nice day, on the cool side, but nothing crazy. Oh how Chicago weather can change in the blink of an eye.

Started out the morning by catching some of Dear and the Headlights set. Loved their sound, but was sad to say only caught the last 2-3 songs of their set. It was a slow start on a Sat. so unfortunately missed a bit of it. They are definitely worth another listen as I enjoyed their music so much.

Then on my way wandering over to the next show, I managed to catch a small bit of Arckid. Arckid is from Leeds (now living in nyc and royston (singer) is married to Liv Tyler) and previously made up most of the band Spacehog. Their sound is somewhat similar and is very catchy britpop/rock music. Good stuff from the few songs I was able to hear.

Finally, I was able to hear Sherwood, whom I had been wanting to catch for quite a while. They are from San Luis Obispo, CA, and it seems apparently the band went to Cal Poly. Not big of a surprise. So, I was very excited to see some sunshine-y Cali pop rock, to get me dancing and clapping and having a great time. Unfortunately, had to get moving as other shows across the park were awaiting.

Then it was off to see I’m From Barcelona, who are of course from Sweden. Great band with 30 or so members. Some of them were dressed up in costumes, and they all were dressed sunshine-y and colorful. Pic below. IMG_8862.JPG Their music is very indie-pop sounding, bright and cheerful. The whole set was basically a dance party, bursting into songs about the Chicken Pox, their band name, and the like. At one point balloons were pouring onto the crowd. And it was amusing to hear the singer ask if anyone from the band of Montreal were there, because he had apparently ‘stolen’ Kevin’s red guitar strap 🙂 Lots of fun and great music to dance along with.

Next, was Tapes ‘n Tapesfrom Minneapolis. They put on a good enjoyable set, but didnt find myself really getting into their music. Some of the songs seemed to drag out a bit to long, but in general it was good indie rock. Caught a bit of Silverchair who were apparently rocking out, but couldnt be bothered to go farther up and get closer. I did like what I managed to hear.

After all that was the nightmare that I call Cold War Kids. CWK was on a very small stage and as they are opening for Muse have quite a big following. Needless to say, the stage was way too small for them, and the crowd was everywhere. There was nowhere to stand and really get a great view. From what I could hear, I wasn’t impressed. Just wasnt quite the sound that I was expecting.

The show I had been long awaiting was CSS and unfortunately (or fortunately) they cancelled. Instead I was treated to Cage The Elephant – enjoyed their set. Definitely rocked out. But the BIGGEST surprise was a band from Isle of Man called Back Door Slam. Back Door Slam is a blues/rock band but what makes them stand out is the guys in the band. The lead singer, who comes across as very shy and almost embarrassed, plays guitar as if he’s possessed and has become Stevie Ray Vaughan, and for all we know, that could have happened. Words cant describe how talented he is, and as he closes his eyes and the music envelopes him, something beautiful happens. As the music filled the area, people came by to see what it was, and everyone walked away a changed person. This quote sums it all up: “I heard the spirit of Jimi Hendrix, it was Back Door Slam from the Isle of Man” – Seattle Times

Pic of lead singer of Back Door Slam

Lollapalooza Day 2 - Back Door Slam

So what a high that was to go and see Gary next. The Gary above would be one Gary Lightbody, lead singer of Snow Patrol. Snow Patrol did not disappoint. Gary is a great frontman, talking to the crowd, dedicating songs to “Spiderman with the Irish flag”. This is one band that is clearly used to playing for huge stadiums and crowds. Their music soared from the first song “Hands Open” and just drew people in. Everyone was yelling out the lyrics and singing along. It was a real treat when Nikki (from Silversun Pickups) was brought on for “Set the fire to the third bar”. Last time I had seen this perform it was with Martha Wainwright (who is also used on the album), but Nikki definitely held her own. It was a great setlist and read like a best-of including “Chasing Cars”, “Run”, “Spitting Games” and “How to be Dead”.

Finally, the long awaited-last band was here. I waited for over and hour to be up front and finally hear new Interpol live. Interpol took the stage as the skies grew darker and rain came and went. But can anyone imagine seeing Interpol in a better setting. Interpol was as brilliant as ever. Carlos D’s bass lines could drive any crowd into a frenzy. Paul, hidden behind his locks, muttered barely a few words to the crowd, aside from acknowledging that we were all standing in the rain. The band stood there in their fashionable black threads, and played through a setlist that had me yearning for more. It was great to hear a good dose of their first album, and a smattering of hits off their second. By the time “Slow Hands” came on, the crowd was going nuts. Everyone screaming out the lyrics, jumping, dancing, having the times of their lives. Does it really matter that Interpol doesn’t do much on stage? HELL NO! They deliver the music they put out, exactly as one would expect. But from the moment the lyrics “Rosemary, heaven restores you in life” I knew we were in for a treat. Everyone sang along to ‘Evil’, and I must say I figured more people would know the first album, but it seems they didnt. Crowd surfing began, to which I wondered what band they had really come to see. I mean can you imagine surfing to ‘NYC’. And ending the set with Stella was simply put – BEAUTIFUL!

Here is the entire list of their 70 min set. And yes, I am most excited to be seeing them again in NYC! Ill be front and center baby!

Pioneer to the Falls
Slow Hands
NARC
Say Hello to the Angels
Rest My Chemistry
Mammoth
Hands Away
No I In Threesome
Heinrich Maneuver
Evil
Not Even Jail
PDA
NYC
Obstacle 1
Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down

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Lollapalooza 2007 – Day 1 – DAFT PUNK IS PLAYING AT MY HOUSE!

Posted by xneverwherex on August 8, 2007

I got back yesterday from Chicago and what a time it was! I must say this is definitely going to turn into a yearly event with my great friend Hannah. We had an amazing time and saw more bands than I could have possibly imagined, and had fun throughout the time. Albeit, sucky weather at times made it harder to enjoy some sets, it still turned out to be an amazing weekend. Without further ado –

DAY 1

Fratellis – This was my first show of Lolla and I have wanted to see the Frats since first coming across them and not being able to see them play the Mercury Lounge. The album is nothing short of brilliant, so you can imagine my high expectations. Perhaps too high, because they didnt deliver. I was expecting a very fast, catchy, jangly, bouncy set that I’d be dancing around too – much like the Kooks I had guessed – but didnt get that. Perhaps it was just too early and the lead singer couldnt function, but I left feeling a bit disappointed.

The Switches – While technically I didn’t see this band, I was in line waiting to get in when they went on stage. From what I could hear of them, they were brilliant. Loved the sound, and was immediately drawn into their music. Good Stuff! Be on the look out for them. They were everything I had hoped The Fratellis would be. Ah well.

Ghostland Observatory was up after that. As the day was already getting hot, sat on the lawn to watch them. Not sure how much I was really into the music, but the lead singer was amusing. With his two long braids swishing back and forth, and dance moves that were insanely wild, he was so entertaining to watch. Naturally the other guy who was dressed up in all blue (perhaps a ghost), was just as amusing. So a hot day in the sun and them in the background was not a bad thing. At this point, I was able to meet up with Joseph which was pretty cool, as I hadnt seen him in a few months as he moved to Minnesota.

Walked across the park after that to catch The Polyphonic Spree. This by far was one of the most amazing shows I had seen. The whole band came out walking through the park, up to the stage. All 30 of them joined up on the stage and burst into their music, such as “Running Away”. The lead singer was all over the stage, including plenty of times when he jumped into the crowd. The back up singers/dancers, had great voices and just added to the whole show, added to that, a lot of the different instruments that were used. Heavenly! They even had a dress change in which they changed into their well known white robes. Lollapalloza Day 1 - Polyphonic Spree Were joined by some tap dancers from Chicago who were as entertaining to watch. Their sunny, happy music had everyone singing and dancing together. If ever was there a time that I felt the 60’s San Francisco vibe was alive and well it was at this moment. By the time they started playing Nirvana’s cover of “Lithium”, I was already blown away. During this song, I was sure I was transported into another world. Everyone jumping together as one, singing the words, dancing having a great time, showed me that this happiness in the world could be possible. if there was a cult for the P-Spree, I guarantee I’d be first in line. This was exactly the kind of experience I was looking for at a festival, and they delivered. Be sure to check out my pics!

After seeing them, I wasn’t even sure anything would compare to that afterwards. But I ventured on over to the Adidas stage, which unfortunately was out in the boiling hot sun, and caught some of Sparklehorse’s set. They were not what I had expected, which in no way is a bad thing, and were really rocking on out. With it being so hot, I lasted about 15 mins before I had to find some shade.

Found some shade and some food, and caught Electric Six playing on the other side of where I was. Some of their stuff was quite catchy, but then it just got repetitive, and luckily for me I was soon headed off to find someone else to check out. I couldn’t tell if they were serious about being a band, or if most of this was a joke, was the only real problem I had.

Finally found the best place to see bands – called the BMI Stage. It was between the two big stages, but on the far side of the park. It was surrounded by trees on each side, and very shaded in. By far, it was the coolest place to see a show (weather wise, but band wise as well). Strolled up to the stage to catch the band Inward Eye playing. I didn’t think I had liked them, but catching them live was an experience. The band consists of 3 brothers from Winnipeg. It was nice to see some Canadians come out and support them, draped in the Maple Leaf flag. The band was excited as well, and proceeded to rock like there was no tomorrow. Each brother brought something to the show. Anders did an amazing job on drums while standing at times, Kyle insane on guitar, Lollapalooza Day 1 - Inward Eye and Dave, a charismatic lead singer. The crowd loved them, and they showed us some love as well, by handing out a sampler CD at the end of the show. What a way to win my heart over. So if you love rock n roll – such as The Kinks, The Jam or that style, you deserve to do yourself a favor and check them out!

Following Inward Eye, was Chicago’s own Wax on Radio. I had been wanting to check them out since CMJ, but now was the first time I had a chance to. I didn’t quite remember what they sounded like, and I wasn’t blown away by their music, but as musicians they are very talented. The drummer is just amazing and it was hard to take my eyes off of him. Prog rock is a good way to describe them, so it probably just wasnt my cup of tea.

Needed a bit of rest after all this, so headed on over to where LCD Soundsystem would be playing later. In the background, I could hear Perry Farrell’s voice, which is what I needed. I had really wanted to see Satellite Party, but knew I wanted to be near the stage for LCD. I found myself instead wondering if I was at a Jane’s Addiction concert. I was treated to Stop, Been Caught Stealing, and the always great Jane Says. What a band to hear while waiting for another. I was blown away, as this was the closest I would have ever come to seeing Janes. Thank you Perry – for another great year, and a great set!

The show I had long been awaiting was finally here. LCD Soundsystemtook the stage and proceeded to have a dance party. James Murphy isn’t necessarily the best frontman, but he sure knows how to make music to get us dancing. Lollapalooza Day 1 - LCD Soundsystem He started the set with “us v them” which is always a crowd pleaser, but better yet ‘DAFT PUNK IS PLAYING AT MY HOUSE!’ And not 40 mins later, but Daft Punk would be playing. What a night! Danced and jumped around like crazy when this came on. ‘Yeah’ seemed a bit long, as if it could have gone a little shorter, and at a point I just felt I had enough. Couldn’t go wrong dancing, but there came a point, when I was just ready for some Daft Punk. and sure enough….

DAFT PUNK WAS PLAYING AT MY HOUSE! There must have been several gods there that night, but perhaps they were just in some pyramid, producing the amazing music that Daft Punk is known for. They looked like they were from outer space, and I seriously wondered what was going on in that pyramid, but whatever it didnt matter. IMG_8834.JPG As words were splayed across the pyramid during my favorite “technologic”, i couldnt imagine being anywhere else at that moment in time. If P-Spree made the world a sunny, happy place to be, Daft Punk turned it into a full on rave/dance party. The set consisted of all their hits from “Around the World” to “One More Time” to “Da Funk” to lots of their other brilliant songs (Im not sure what other songs were singles). It consisted a lot of songs off their latest album Human After All which is pure genius. ‘Human After All’ was great to hear, but the best part was dancing like there was no tomorrow. Dancing with strangers nearby, jumping around in unison, and by the time Daft Punk was playing ‘One More Time’ again, the crowd had gone nuts. A light show that was out of this world, making it seem the world was a futuristic place, I was sure that nothing would top Lollapalooza. And by the time Daft Punk was leaving, high-5’s were all over the place of strangers we had met that night. This was the place to be, and Im ready to do it again!

for those seeing Daft Punk on Thursday at Keyspan Park in Coney Island, check out their myspace page about recording the show!

Day 2 – COMING TOMORROW!

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