Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for November, 2009

12 Memories of Urban Bohemia

Posted by xneverwherex on November 13, 2009

11/10/09

Fran & Andy (of Travis) @ Joes Pub

a. Fran Healy & Andy Dunlop rock!

2. Travis music is really really awesome! I sometimes forget how much I really like their music. I’ll dismiss it for a little while but whenever i come back it fits like an old glove and makes me happy.

C. 12 Memories of Urban Bohemia might be the best album title ever (thanks Dandy Warhols – 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia is my favorite album ever, sorry Travis).

4. Andy is awesome! When I met him he immediately said “We’ve met before”. And he was convinced we had met, Im pretty sure we hadnt. Like he said, maybe in a past life and then he said something about a snail. Must be a Scottish thing – Im still perplexed.

d. Fran is really charming. Did I just say charming – I need to add REALLY CHARMING. He gave me a big hug upon leaving and then a huge kiss on the cheek. I think I floated out the door.

E. Fran telling me about the drunken assholes in the very front. It was just random conversation which led to him telling me how obnoxious they were. I had already wanted to throw my beer at them, but Im sad to hear they fucked up his set by singing so loudly and just being pure obnoxious.

2 dudes (if you ever read this) its fucking Fran and Andy’s show, not yours. Youre at Joe’s Pub not some huge club where he cant hear you. He can hear every single f’ing thing now be polite or get the hell out!
(sorry for my rant)

7. Me telling Fran I drank his glass of wine. yes its true- he had a glass of wine on the stage for him. And he left without ever taking a sip. Upon asking their roadie/tech guy for his setlist he also asked if I’d like Fran’s wine. Of course I said yes. And the wine was delicious; and more importantly Fran told me he was glad I drank it.

X. Fran warning Sally and I he might spit into our food. Our table was so close (thats an understatement) to him it was a bit unreal. Maybe he should have spit into my cake, it was way too dry and could have used something to make it more moist 😉

9. Andy disappearing between songs and Fran panicking about what happened to him. This is just so not the stuff that happens at shows. Andy was in the loo and yes he was ok 🙂

Y. Sally (my new friend thanks to Craigslist) is awesome. Aside for buying my dinner as a thank you and for scoring the best table ever, is also super cool. She showed me her picture of her and Ovie and I nearly died. Wait! A hockey fan and Travis fan. For real. She was also at the Manics – Sally scored major bonus points!

Z. Walking home at 2am in Hells Kitchen was surreal The streets were beyond empty and it was eerie and I started wondering if I was in a Zombie movie. I was picturing something like 28 Days later and picturing how they were all going to appear and they werent slow zombies they were fast. Needless to say I was f-ed and got the hell home fast 😛

and finally #12. The best memory ever was that this was easily my favorite show of this year and probably would rank easily in my top 10.

The slideshow, the pictures, the maps and the picture of his adorable boy really made them human. They were real people at that moment and not these huge rockstars. And it told the story of the music of Travis and how so much of it came about. And I just love the stories of him going to the cinema as a kid with his granddad and seeing Bad Lieutenant. Some things Ill just never forget.

And Im so making a sign next time they come here saying ‘S(w)ing’. It’d be awesome. And a few people would totally understand where it came from.

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CMJ 2009 from NZ to UK to Iceland

Posted by xneverwherex on November 2, 2009

10/20 – 10/24 – CMJ Music Marathon

Tuesday: New Zealand Showcase @ Red Bull Space – SOHO

The first night of CMJ was almost a failure. Thankfully some friends of mine who get off of work earlier managed to get a great place in line. Unfortunately, so many people werent able to get in. The great thing about this was once you were inside, it wasnt painfully crowded. There was so much alcohol (thank you 42below!) flowing. Better yet, they created their own drink concoctions which were beyond potent. The vodka was insanely delicious but the redbull combination was enough to do anyone in. Oh and free food all night long! All in all – easily the best CMJ showcase I attended (and it didn’t hurt that it was free). 🙂

Now – lets get to why we’re all really reading this. The music. New Zealand never disappoints when it comes to bringing in bands. Think: Cut Off Your Hands. And this year, there were a lot of great bands from there.

First up at the ridiculously early hour of 6:30pm was Surf City. They were beyond insanely hyped and were playing everywhere at CMJ. I have to say it was unreal how many shows they had. Unfortunately for the band, their first night they had a lot of sound issues. Vocals were non-existent and everything was so insanely loud and muddy. It just sounded like 30 mins worth of noise and it was not pleasant. (not to fret – I saw them Wed night too and they killed it!).

Motocade was up next and they were the band that I was really looking forward to. Very catchy hooks and that oh-so familiar britpop sound had me really excited. And they were good and catchy and the lead singer was charming. They were fun. I would definitely see them again.

At this point, with plenty of drinking going on, it was a great time to have Bang Bang Eche come on. Hard to believe that the band is comprised of what seems to be teenagers. I cant imagine they’re more than 17 years. But didnt matter. They played their hearts out and were jumping around all over the place, into the crowd and really had the energy. A sort of synthy-electro sound with lots and lots of keyboards and guitars. Nice to see the guys of Die Die Die in the crowd supporting them.

Ive decided that Kingston is my new Electric Touch. Indie-power-pop music at its finest. A lead singer that is very charismatic and has the personality and looks to engage everyone. All the women wanted to be near him and touching him. Their music is very catchy and will have everyone dancing along in no time. The lead singer managed to climb up on top of nearly everything from the bar to the speakers and even did some crowd surfing. Very cool and not something you see all the time. With songs like “You Want It”, youll definitely be singing along in no time…. You want it, You got it! Kinda sums them up. Theyre playing at Pianos in a week or so, so dont miss them. Will be a fun show if anything.

Last up for the night was Die! Die! Die! They definitely continued on where Kingston left off, in a total different direction. Their music is definitely not nearly as pop-sounding as Kingston’s. But their brand of electro-experimental-punk definitely had people moving and jumping. Soon enough a pseudo-mosh pit broke out featuring a lot of Bang Bang Eche. Lots of keyboards, heavy guitars and nearly shouting for vocals was a great way to end the night. Everyone was involved and walked out a sweaty mess.

I then ventured onwards to The Suffolk and had regrets about my last vodka/redbull. I was beyond wired and jittery and it was an awful combination. I was so irate with The Suffolk people who pretty much knew nothing when they told me The Lovemakers was not going to be free. So I ended up taking me and my buzz home for the night.

By far the New Zealand showcase killed it! Overall it was the best group of bands that actually remotely sounded like they should be on one bill. Most other shows were so many random bands it was easy to walk out after just a few.

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BAM! Halloween w/The Deal Sisters and Dessner Brothers

Posted by xneverwherex on November 1, 2009

10/31/09

The Long Count – a multimedia piece by Aaron & Bryce Dessner (of The National) and artist Matthew Ritchie at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Oddly enough – a preview for the movie 2012 came up on my television. Ironic in the sense that its based on this premise that the Mayan calendar ends at 2012 and theres a lot of speculation what will happen at the end of the world.

And this is part of the idea behind The Long Count. The Long Count is based on a narrative poem titled the Popol Vuh about the hero twins and how the Long Count began. Its hard to explain, and I remember learning about this when studying Latin American Studies in college. It was long ago but this still makes sense in its own way.

This combines the World Series of baseball (1975/1976 – the year the Dessners were born) when the Reds vs Yankees were playing in the playoffs. Interestingly, the Yankees are playing again right now. The Mayan ball game was also a huge part of life although the losing team played a far higher price (beheadings were all too common). The beheading is also how the twins were born.

All of this leads to the idea of time and space and the way they believed in time and the power of the Sun/Moon and the earth and the way cycles work. And the idea of twins play heavily into this – they were very revered.

In this case, one set of twins, the Dessners, inspired another more famous set of twins (the Deals) to all come together and to work on this performance piece. What transpires has to be the most innovative show Ive seen in a long time. Easily my favorite show of this year. The art is massive and dark and invokes feelings of blood and earth and cycles. Things come, go, and move onward. Then you add the lovely Shara Worden whose voice was made for this and she invokes the goddess Venus as she sings about the sun and the moon. Her voice is powerful and strong and in the headdress youre moved into another world.

The Deal sisters add a whole nother pow to the show. Kim Deal’s voice is incredible and raw and add the violin pounding of Kelley and kabam! Its intense and the screeching of it hits you hard.

The real treat is the orchestra. Each person is beyond talented and if you read the bios have played with artists like the Arcade Fire. The violins are powerful, the saxophone is intense and the guy in front of me hitting the keys hard of the piano helps take you to this other world.

The music and lyrics are mostly written by the Dessners and its hard not to argue that they might be the most talented guys out there. I was fortunate to get to see them talking with Matthew Ritchie of the making of this art performance. It was interesting the way they came up with the idea and where it was going to go. They are talented guys who have transcended far beyond The National.

All I can really add – if this ever does a worldwide tour, it’d behoove you not to see it. The National are great to see (and Matt does perform one song – and his low voice might have been one of the best voices of the night) but this takes everything to a far greater place. Besides who wouldnt want to see the Deal sisters along with the Dessners together. It was insanely awesome!

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