Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for September, 2009

Into the wilds of Brooklyn

Posted by xneverwherex on September 25, 2009

So its been a pretty busy week. Im not sure how Id be coping if Maximo Park hadn’t cancelled their tour, but actually Im really beyond bummed. Which reminds me — concertmaps SUCKS! I just want my $75 refund, and they still havent given it to me. Must make some calls.  evidentally, either my credit card company or the actual company made my money come back to me! YES! All is right with this world again.

So with Maximo Park cancelled, my Monday ended up freed up. Which was really just a good excuse to stay home and watch BAD tv. Then Tuesday rolled around like a whirlwind.


And on Tuesday I made it into the wilds of Brooklyn. As a friend so nicely called it. Actually, The Bell House isnt that remotely located but Gowanus isnt that populated either.

Fanfarlo would be there that night. I had missed them on Monday night, so was glad to finally see them again. Last time I saw them at a hole in the wall club in the LES, at least this time they had a big enough stage for the band. I just love their style of indie-quirky-folky-pop music. They have the harmonies down perfect and everyone in the band sings quite well. They all eject random quips during the show and better yet, they dont dress like the hipsters. Definitely have their own thing going on.

It seems each band member must be required to play no less than 3 instruments as they all rotate throughout most of them. They have a trumpet, a sax, a violin, a maudlin, and Im sure Im forgetting most the others in addition to their guitars and drums. The addition of a saw used with a violin bow was awesome. Its amazing how they produce sound. The crowd was super into them and it worked well with the band.

Finishing off their whirlwind week tour of shows, this would be their final show (for now). They were a bit tired and the lead singer was slowly losing his voice. But they pulled off an awesome set and then amidst the cheering that wouldnt die down threw in a cover from Netural Milk Hotel. Definitely an influence of theirs.

Main Set

  1. Drowning Men
  2. Im A Pilot
  3. Finish Line
  4. Harold T. Wilkins, Or How to Wait for a Very Long Time
  5. Atlas
  6. The Walls Are Coming Down
  7. Waiting in the Wings (new song)
  8. Comets
  9. Luna

Encore 1

  1. Ghosts
  2. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel cover)

Wildbirds and Peacedrums from Sweden made for a different opener. The 2 people in the band definitely are into sounds and noises and it turns out to be more of an artistic performance. A lot of hand clapping and foot stomping and mic-less singing of just ‘oohhs and aah’ and filled in with a drum. It somehow worked for the band.


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Rules for Setlists?!?

Posted by xneverwherex on September 25, 2009

So by now, you’d think Id have seen it all. I go to enough concerts to make up for most of us, and I love my set lists. Perhaps next job is to scan them all or take pics of them all. One thing at a time.

So anyway, last night I ventured on down to the Mercury Lounge to catch the Rifles. I have to say that the crowd was pretty cool and I ended up knowing more than a few people there. And for those I didnt know, I somehow met most the people in the front area.

Met this cool couple from Brussels (the place to go, btw, not Amsterdam) who told me about seeing bands in Brussels and how I must visit. They also told me they had seen The Rifles a ton of times, and this would be awesome. Then met some other huge Rifles fans and other people I knew showed up. It was like a small little party.

The Rifles put on a great show. They have a lot of energy and the crowd definitely feeds off of it. Everyone was jumping around, pumping their fists in the air and singing along. The lead singer just loved it, and I think half the crowd either came from England or were from there to see them. And I really appreciated the football chants too. We dont get enough of that here in the states.

The only main problem seemed their vocals were set too low so the lead singer was hard to hear. Then again with the loud powering guitars Im not sure it mattered that much. I just love “The Great Escape’ and it sounded amazing live. Its still hard to listen to them and not have your foot tapping along or your head bobbing along. It really is music that you just wanna scream out and sing along.

So — rules for setlists? I know youve been waiting to hear my newest gripe 😉  So I was talking to their roadie and asked for the drummer setlist and this woman next to me starts going off on me. I was so perplexed thinking wtf did I do. Rule #1 – if you come from England to see a band you ARE ENTITLED TO THE F’ING SETLIST! I mean what about the folks from Brussels. Hell they traveled farther than her. I had never heard of such lunacy. But oh it gets better. So I asked to take a picture of the setlist – a pretty mundane request. Instead of a simple yes, she says she would scan the setlist and email it to me. Seriously! all this for a setlist I asked for!

Well there is no way I was going to let this get to me, and so I met up with friends at the bar. Good times, but all these people wanted to hang onto the guys in The Rifles. That is so not my scene. So I ended up meeting up with a friend at Arlene’s Grocery.

So, I didnt know anything about the next band save for a few facts. First, the band Apefight has members from other bands – Radio 4 and Elefant. Secondly, he told me remember this is kind of a joke band and its total ‘cock-rock’. Honestly, I wasnt sure what to think, but thought this should be either a train wreck (that I HAD to see), or it would be the awesomest thing Id ever seen.

Lets just say FIGHT THE FIGHT! Im so on board with Apefight its not even funny. So the music is hysterical. Its so sexual in a way a 13-year old would write it, and their songs are ridiculous. I think one song is about bongs and beer, another one about drink enough beer youll get laid, or something to that effect.

The cool part is its clear the guys are loving it. They have too much fun and its hard not to laugh at it (even when youre one of 3 women in the place). They come out in white robes (ala The Polyphonic Spree) and masks. The lead singer yells at the crowd about clapping (or rather not clapping), saying stuff like “Are we not cool enough to be Art Brut?” – hahaha – and he just yells about everything. When the video screen went down, he yelled at the guys for not helping the chick manning the projector to put it back up.

And then to top it off, a friend described it as reverse karaoke. Basically we’re seeing the lyrics to the songs and the pictures that go with it, as the band sings it. Trust me DONT sing along. This is their show and its all for them. We’re just observing it, being idiots?? Im not entirely sure. Regardless it was awesome!

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A Night Left to the Fates

Posted by xneverwherex on September 20, 2009

That sounds like a good title for a Decemberists song, right? Well dont worry – this is about the Decemberists 🙂

Ive decided that Im going to get back on the game (or is that the horse) and start to update this on a regular basis. Theres so many great concerts out there – and so many Ive seen.

According to The Decemberists website this is what we would get – Decemberists will perform a set that will be entirely left to the hands of fate — we will draw songs from a lottery and dutifully play them, regardless of their quality or presence in our memory. Decemberists songs, naturally, but you do never know what bizarre cover songs or strange commands may end up in the pile.

And yes – this was a set left entirely in the hands of fate – along with also the hands of John Wesley Harding. As emcee of the show, he did quite a good job. He was a little too talkative for my taste, as Id have preferred to have heard more songs. And I definitely was not a fan of him throwing out songs at the end. What no “Engine Driver”, which happens to be one of my favorite songs. But he was entertaining and had to throw about some other ridiculous requests. Not sure how many other crowd surfing requests there actually were.

Decemberists did their best to keep things in order. The only thing actually not in order was they did play Crane Wife 3 and then went straight into The Island. And that worked out quite well. It was great to see Laura Veirs on Yankee Bayonet as the last time this was supposed to happen their show was cancelled. The songs were pretty all over the place and Id have loved to have heard even more of their popular songs, but – as left to the hands of fate you never know what youll get.

The Tain was definitely interesting and lasting 20 mins. Im quite sure this will be the first and last time I ever get to hear it played. Colin did write a song about The Hudson River, NYC and Sully and considering it was on the fly, it was pretty damn awesome. Marcel did some crowd surfing which was pretty funny and yes, even Nate and John made out, although Im almost sure there was no tongue. I was right in front of Jenny and she was looking like she was having a great time as always.

The final song was just awesome. Im a big fan of ELO, hahaha, and this was an awesome cover. I got some great video of it and Colin hopping around.

The good: hearing songs Id never have heard otherwise and in general an awesome idea. it was the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect crime!

The bad: not enough music. 15 songs in 2 hours really. Not much of Colin Meloy talking 😦 and way too much John Wesley Harding talking.

Laura Veirs was a good opener. She plays a folky-indie style of music and has a great voice. Her backing band is also quite good. Plus, without her we’d not have her wonderful addition on “Yankee Bayonet”.


  1. Yankee Bayonet (w/Laura Veirs)
  2. July July
  3. The Raincoat Song
  4. Bridges and Balloons
  5. From My Own True Love
  6. Bachelor & The Bride
  7. Rake Song
  8. Culling of the Fold
  9. Marcel crowd surfs to a waltz
  10. I Was Meant For The Stage
  11. The Island
  12. Crane Wife 3
  13. Annan Water

Encore 1

  1. Nate & John Make Out
  2. Colin Writes a Song
  3. The Tain
  4. The Perfect Crime 2

Encore 2

  1. Mr. Blue Sky (ELO cover)

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