Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for January, 2011

D-Plan Reunites @ The Black Cat

Posted by xneverwherex on January 31, 2011

Dismemberment Plan
Tereu Tereu
Black Cat
January 21, 2010

DC’s beloved band, the Dismemberment Plan (commonly called “The Plan”) played to an overly enthusiastic crowd on a Friday night. I had only seem them once before – at one of their last shows at the Black Cat in 2003. Now maybe age has gotten to me, or Im totally cynical or the crowd sucked – but my friend and I ended up leaving early.

Firstly – I dont understand when it became cool to grope chicks you dont know at a show. Drunk or not – it was obnoxious.

Second – while the Black Cat was crowded there was plenty of room that you didnt really have to get behind me and literally push your groin into my ass. Again – youre not my boyfriend so get the f*** off of me.

Now honestly – all these drunks guys on me prob didnt help. I shoved one guy – who asked me why I hipchecked him. Ummmm — yeah you keep pushing into me over and over and theres plenty of room all around us – so not cool. I dont know how much dancing space one needs at a D-Plan show, but seriously – bumping into me over and over. so not cool.

Other than that – I didnt remember their music being _sooooooooooooooooo_ happy. I felt like I was at a NKOTB show with all the dances that felt like they were choreographed. The hands in the hair, the pseudo-rap stuff. Oh man. A friend (who didnt know who they were) said he thought he was at a Barenaked Ladies show. I thought they had some sorta edge to them, but if there was any it wasnt at the Black Cat.

To be fair – maybe it got better later on – I left at 12:30 after realizing I was tired of the grope sessions.

Im tempted to sell my ticket at Webster Hall (which I didnt end up doing), but I seriously cant imagine a NYC crowd doing all these dance moves and it being the same. Maybe I thought it was fun years ago, and Im prob a jaded cynical hipster or something – but I just didnt get it.

The opener, Tereu Tereu, was really great – I liked them a lot. and the 2nd band, Bluebrain, was pretty cool – until it turned into a DJ set. I did love all the horns in the beginning tho.


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Islands, Man Man, Sun Airway and Michael Cera!

Posted by xneverwherex on January 30, 2011

Mister Heavenly
Sun Airway
Little Shalimar
Bowery Ballroom

Close your eyes. You can hear it around you – stars sparkling, a night that makes noise. It envelopes you – takes you somewhere. The only clue you have that youre not dreaming is your standing in front of a stage at Bowery Ballroom. The soft haunting vocals evoke a dream-like state. Everytime I hear Sun Airway – that is the feeling that overcomes me. Im not quite here, I’m floating off somewhere.

And then their music becomes a bit more pop-sounding – at times evoking Chris Martin (Coldplay) vocals and a big sound. Its only fitting that the wall behind them shows images of lights swirling, different colors, adding to the space-y feeling.

By now Ive seen Sun Airway quite a few times. Im barely able to count the times on one hand as they seem to be popping up everywhere in New York. Its not a complaint – I cant get enough of them and theyre the draw for a bunch of other bands – that I might not check out.

When they opened for Mister Heavenly – one of those new “super bands” – I saw their name on the bill and of course it was a much easier yes. Mister Heavenly surprisingly works quite well with Honus Honus of Man Man, Nick Thorburn of Montreal’s Islands and Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse. Theyve also recently added Michael Cera on bass. Yeah – one and the same – the actor who plays bass in Nick and Nora’s Infinite Wedding and the even more likeable Scott Pilgrim vs The World.

The band sounded excellent. Nick was quite talkative telling stories about being at airports, some anecdote about Chili’s and it being chilly, something about street corners in NYC (or maybe Brooklyn), etc. He seemed at ease and having a great time. He had amazing chemistry with Honus Honus who the crowd was going nuts for. I cant figure out if it was his birthday or not – but there was a bottle of Maker’s Mark on the stage and he was drinking it up and sharing with the band members. The 2 guys alternated on vocals and each sounded great. Having not been familiar with their music, aside for one or two songs, it was all a surprise for me.

I did know that Michael Cera might be making an appearance, but that wasnt even a certainty. He plays with a certain aloofness, never quite interacting with the audience and for the most part playing with his back to us. Nick tried to bring him out, leaning against him, playing their guitars facing each other. Either way – its Michael Cera and hes pretty damn cool.

Their music is very catchy and very pop-friendly. They’ve described their music as ‘doom wop’ which is oh so fitting. With lots of doo-wops of the 60’s sounds but lyrics about doomed love songs – theyre creating their own niche. Ill be expecting for them to blow up sometime very soon (regardless of if Mr Cera plays with the band).

Pics coming soon.

Mister Heavenly
I am Hologram
Hold My Hand
Harm You
Reggae Pie
Diddy Eyes
Pineapple Girl
Bronx Sniper
Yer Girl
Doom Wop
Wise Men
Bad Men

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Science & Fiction – A New Year of Shows

Posted by xneverwherex on January 15, 2011

Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals)
Eleanor Friedberger (Fiery Furnaces)
Rockwood Music Hall

Its a new year which of course means lots of new shows. And its easy to judge a year seeing how the first show was.

Well, aside for the fact that I am not a fan of Rockwood Music Hall (for various reasons), it is a great place to see shows. Its small and intimate and seeing a show with maybe 100 other fans is pretty special.

Gruff Rhys definitely does not disappoint live. On stage was just him, a table and a chair. The tables were covered with records and a tiny keyboard along with a few other things. One of the great things about seeing him live is that he really works with the music. He changes things up and makes it interesting if not becoming totally bizarre.

The first song started out with him just putting on a record which he said was Birds from Finland. And sure enough, it was just birds chirping along. He slips on his guitar and starts with the slower songs. As he said, he needed to get these out of the way. “Science & Fiction” was pretty beautiful with just his vocals, a guitar and birds chirping.

Each song was a bit different with other things he’d add to it. He’d wind up a metronome to keep time and you would just hear the click click as it went back and forth before he’d start a song. He always had some funny things to say and was quite funny. He also played a few songs in Welsh, telling us so kindly what he was singing about.

“Candylion” was a definite highlight to the show. As he told a story about a missing CD, which was also on a broken computer, which led to him playing the song with his own 12″ record. With all things crazy, only the first 15 secs of the song had just the drum beats. So he’d start the song on record, sing his vocals, and then he’d have to lift up the needle and go back to the beginning. It was confusing at best, hilarious as hell, and was creative as all get up.

His use of a kids keyboard that lit up when the keys were touched was quite cool. He tried to originally create a song with ‘Gangstas Paradise’ (one of the pre-programmed beats), but ended up using a different beat. His use of playing with sounds, looping his vocals, changing them up and adding his own things to each – really made his music stand out. If anything, Gruff proved to be a hilarious and humble guy and was just having a great time.

Gruff brought along with him Eleanor Friedberger of Fiery Furnaces, a band from NYC that the Super Furries had previously gone on tour with. I knew nothing of them (aside for the fact she used? to date Alex of Franz Ferdinand). Her music was quite good – it was just her and a guitar. She seemed a bit nervous at first but then quickly warmed up to the crowd. She was totally humble and self-deprecating – telling the crowd how she knew we only wanted Gruff. She played some songs of Fiery Furnaces and then some new song she wrote. It was a really short set – maybe 20 mins, but quite enjoyable. Her songs did have the problem in that they werent very distinguishable. Regardless, she was awesome to watch and had a great voice.

All in all – 2 great people – and 1 great night.

Btw – leaving the venue to finding about 20 police surrounding the building and not letting people out of the other doors was pretty crazy. Still trying to figure out if a drug-bust was going down or will it be another LES venue that has doors temporarily shuttered?

Science & Fiction
Sophie Softly
Shark Ridden Waters
Cryndod Yn Dy Lais (Super Furry Animals B-side)
Lonesome Words
If We Were Words (We Would Rhyme)
The Court of King Arthur
Gyrru Gyrru Gyrru
Sensations in the Dark
Cycle of Violence
Rubble Rubble
Gwi Mi Wn
Shark Ridden Waters

Gruff Rhys @ Rockwood Music Hall

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