Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for February, 2011

Wild Nothing Takes Fan Down

Posted by xneverwherex on February 14, 2011

2/13/11
Wild Nothing
Abe Vigoda
Minks
Bowery Ballroom

Bowery Ballroom was a crowded hot mess last night. Once Abe Vigoda finished (how did people decide not to check them out?), a huge crowd of model-types storm the front of the stage. They push and shove like they’ve been there all night, angling to get to the front middle of the stage. Its rough and the room gets hot instantaneously. About this time, I decide I have to get some water so I dont pass out. Being short in a room full of tall people, as they suck the air out is a nightmare.

As I angle my way back to my spot in the front, I get people yelling at me about its not fair that Im there. Yes, they just showed up and would have known I had been there for every band that night. But I digress, lets talk about Wild Nothing.

For one thing, I try and never miss Wild Nothing when they play. Its always a great time for shoe-gazey dance pop. Jack Tatum doesn’t have much to say but does comment on the crowd being so silent that its creepy for him. He works through his songs with his hazy vocals on most songs with the beautiful guitars accompanying him. The crowd seems to love the music and everyone dances along in unison. Favorites like “Chinatown” and “Live in Dreams” gets lots of cheers. The crowd truly adores them. The show is all going smoothly until the guy next to me starts to rock back and forth with his eyes closed. Two seconds later and he’s fallen backwards and is passed out. A huge crowd forms, security is nowhere to be found and the band is shocked. No one quite knows what to do – Jack tenatively continues the song only to comment after he finishes ‘I hope he’s ok’ and then adds a quip of how he hopes his music didnt make him pass out.

It was a great set. Their Primal Scream cover was pretty awesome even thought it was one of the shortest songs of the night. Its a shame Cloudbusting hasnt made an appearance in quite some time. Kate Bush would be proud. Then again, so would Primal Scream.

Abe Vigoda (not to be confused with the actor) played a great set before them. Hailing from LA, these boys have surfer/skater hair cuts and sound like California guys. “You people are soooooo nice”. They were humbled and geniunely happy to be playing with Wild Nothing. They mentioned it was one of their favorite bands and it was great to see bands who genuinely liked each other.

Abe Vigoda from what I learned totally changed their sound from their first album to the second. This show was focused on mostly songs from their new album Crush. With some synth beats and influences from the gothic/cold post-punk rock leanings of Joy Division, they make it work. Some songs are quite catchy and more dance-y but most are guitar heavy with some beats thrown in. It works and is really likeable and grows on you quickly. The guys seem to be so happy and friendly and enjoying themselves so much, its hard not to like them.

Brooklyn’s Minks started out the night. Unfortunately for the band, the 2 female members have no stage presence. One girl didnt look up once from her keyboards the whole set while the other seemed to not even realize there was a crowd in front of her. Thankfully for the band, they had added a guitarist and bassist who at least seemed to want to be there. With an 80’s sound, not far behind Wild Nothing and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, they could be a really awesome shoegaze band. And I did find when I was staring at my shoes, dancing along, not paying attention to the fact there was a live band, their music surprisingly worked.

All in all – 3 great bands that came together very well. It was a great fit musically with everyone complementing each other.

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Friendly Fires Finally Playing New Material

Posted by xneverwherex on February 8, 2011

Friendly Fires
The Hundred in the Hands
Bowery Ballroom
2/7/11

Friendly Fires has once again crossed the pond to bring the dance party to New York. Their shows are always a good time and its one of the new shows that can get nearly an entire place to move. A lot of the audience in the front tried out their new best dance moves. Im not sure it works in a sold-out venue, but its hard not to move.

Their setlist was still largely based on their first album with a spattering of new songs in between. One of the changes with their new material is it doesnt have that same catchiness upon first hearing as something like ‘Paris’ or ‘Jump In The Pool’. At times a song or two reminded me of ‘Odessa’ from Caribou with the same beats and other instruments brought into the music. It still has a dance-y feel, but it almost feels like youre transported into a jungle. Perhaps it happened when they played with a Brasilian samba school as you now get the samba and calypso vibe.

Needless to say, it seems the new tunes might take some getting used to and lots of play. Ed perfected his dance moves which is now even more undulations, gyrations and is starting to look more stripper-esque. There is no denying he can work those hips, and those slow moves had the girls in front swooning. But he still is amazing to watch – esp when he gets really into it and he just starts working the stage. Ending with an extended version of ‘Kiss of Life’ that just kept Ed going and going was a great way to end the set.

I do miss some of the songs that hopefully have not yet been retired. Sad to no longer hear ‘Strobe’ and ‘In The Hospital’, but hopefully the new songs catch on.

The Hundred in the Hands were a nice surprise. Their music is really great live. With a catchy retro 80’s feel (think Pat Benatar/Belinda Carlisle), this Brooklyn duo has made the 80’s seem relevant. Electro-dance-pop at its finest, by the time you add some guitars and keyboards it will be hard to not be tapping your foot, shaking your head. They were the perfect opener for Friendly Fires getting the crowd warmed up (too bad most the crowd didnt seem to appreciate them) 😦

Friendly Fires Set List:
Blue Cassette
True Love
On Board
Running Away
Chimes
Skeleton Boy
Hurting
Jump in the Pool
Pull Me Back To Earth
Show Me Lights
Paris
*********
Love Sick
Kiss of Life

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Does It Offend You… We Are Rockstars

Posted by xneverwherex on February 4, 2011

Does It Offend You, Yeah
Deluka
Infernal Devices
The Bell House
2/3/11

Nu-metal… wtf? Nu-rave… oh hell no. The conversation went something like that when discussing DIOYY. DIOYY made a pit stop in Brooklyn while being on tour with Linkin Park. Yes, seriously youre not misreading that last sentence. I said the same thing when they announced they were playing MSG. I wondered what kind of sick joke it was, but surprisingly with their new material Im not all that surprised. They would make a great opener. (and this is not a bad thing)

Their set was raucous and absolute insanity at its finest. From the moment James walked on stage – he wanted the crowd jumping and moving. At one moment he wanted us all hanging from the chandelier. The crowd mostly obliged and during some songs all you could feel was everyone jumping. Their new music sounds mostly the same with the same-ish beats. And then James started throwing/dropping his keyboards – keys flying all over the place. The rest of the band took over duties with James jumping around, moving, singing his heart out.

By the time someone lit up – and the haze of the smoke covered the stage – the guitarist seemed to be asking everyone around him for some pot. It was quite amusing – and no clue if he ever scored. I dont think so – as he looked so disappointed.

Their encore began with “Dawn of the Dead” which was completely stripped down turning into a much slower version with the crowd singing most the vocals. By the time they were playing their final song “We Are Rockstars”, it was just a mess of a keyboard all over the place. Being slammed against the floor, against the drums, a bass flying, no clue what happened with the guitar – but it was pure insanity. The band members were all jumping and crashing into one another. They definitely worked up the crowd to the point that when the set ended people were clamoring for any memory from the show. Friends fighting over drumsticks in the bathroom – where a conversation went something like – “Im going to steal that from you when you sleep at night”. Wow! I didnt know their fans were so obsessive and I couldnt figure out if it was endearing or just damn right creepy.

Deluka was one of the openers. I could have sworn I had seen them with Viva City, but it turns out they didnt even make that show. I was surprised when 4 people showed up and clearly had an English accent. This great band from Birmingham were really great. The lead singer was very charismatic with a great voice. With her super tight skirt and her really tight shiny leggings and boots, she reminded me of Liela Moss of The Duke Spirit complete with the same attitude.

They have this really great electronic sound with great catchy lyrics. Their music is quite dance-y with really great beats. Their bassist is really great, aside from the fact that by about the 2nd song he broke a string on his bass. So naturally he borrowed Chloe’s bass (of DIOYY) and naturally – he breaks a string. With a great spirit, explaining he was completely jet lagged, he fixed the string on his bass and carried on. They seemed so appreciative to be playing in New York and the crowd seemed to really like them. And it seems they’re now listing Brooklyn as one of their homes – so its about time you got out there and saw them.

Lastly, the show could not have been complete without Williamsburg’s own Infernal Devices consisting of Mark and Andy. I met them after the first time I saw Viva City and theyre just great guys. But I was sad to see they retired their ‘time machine/tesla coil’ as my friend and I called it. But their new equipment is pretty f’ing cool with all these awesome lights and wires.

Their music is beyond catchy electronic beats that will have your toe tapping and body moving from the opening beats. The almost breathless vocals of Mark fill the room. He fills the stage moving from side to side working like no tomorrow to get the crowd moving. Each song has a unique slightly dark sound, so they dont all sound the same. Seriously – its a tough sell – as unfortunately DIOYY’s fans are not quite the same.

Highly recommend the beyond catchy “Fast Enough”. Once youre addicted to it as much as I am make sure to come see them. They do not disappoint. Im highly hoping that theyre put on as an opener for someone like White Lies which might be a great pairing.

All in all – an interesting night of music. The bands were all super nice and friendly and chatty.

For a great interview with James and Matty of DIOYY- check out the boys talking about their line of underwear – complete with skidmarks. Hell I cant even make this stuff up. The intervierw with ID is also great – talking about their own line of jackets! Count me in whenever they start designing them!
http://wp.me/p13HuN-fM

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