Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for March, 2011

Daft Punk Is Playing…

Posted by xneverwherex on March 30, 2011

After that last post – it made me want to remember some of the greatest moments Ive had with LCD Soundsystem. Its hard to pick a greatest show (of any band), and the greatest memories can be harder. But without a doubt here are some of the best.

Chicago – Lollapalooza – August 2007
Indeed – Daft Punk was playing at my house. If my house is Grant Park and Im living in Chicago. For those couple of hours life was unreal. LCD Soundsystem played one hell of a set with staples like ‘All My Friends’ but at the moment that they played ‘Daft Punk…’ it was nearly surreal. My friend and I were jumping around like no tomorrow. Moments later Daft Punk was playing on the stage next to them and that was a dance party like I had never seen before. Will anything ever be that great in my concert-going history. As far as a duo – unless Daft Punk shows up on Saturday night – Im not sure anything will surpass that moment. Even still – a festival in Chicago – a gorgeous night – two awesome bands playing back-to-back. Unforgettable.

Baltimore – Virgin Freefest – Sept 2010
Going to a festival that is free is awesome regardless. LCD Soundsystem headlining that same festival is even more awesome. It was a packed house that night, but somehow friends and I made it to the front of the stage. It was a dance party up there and ‘Yeah’ was a highlight. Everyone was friends for an hour or so dancing along and singing along. It was great! The band had seemed so happy to be playing that night. It was hard to imagine not long after theyd announce that they were calling it quits.

Webster Hall w/Yacht – May 2007
If I recall dates correctly, this was my first time finally having the chance to see them. I remember showing up with a group of friends and being close enough to the stage. While I dont remember most of the set itself, I do remember it being a dance party. Everyone was dancing up a storm and it was prior to Webster Hall renovating. The floor moved and it felt like it would crash at any moment. It was so enjoyable and the band was so fun. It really didnt matter what they played.

It turns out it was also the guitarists last night playing with the band. Interestingly enough – I can say I saw that twice. One with the band before he left – and the last time the band ever will play together (until the reunion shows start out).

This setlist was quite good as well:
US v Them, Draft Punk, Time To Get Away, NA Scum, All My Friends, Get Innocuous, Tribulations, What The Tapes, Movement, Yeah…Someone Great, NY I Love You

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NY, I Love You But Youre Bringing Me Down

Posted by xneverwherex on March 30, 2011

LCD Soundsystem
w/Liquid Liquid
Terminal 5
3/29/11

If youre calling it a day its best to go out at a) the top of your game and b) on your own terms. LCD Soundsystem is doing just that.

At first I was skeptical when I learned that there were new shows added prior to the farewell show this coming Saturday night (April 2). But of course, like so many others, I had to see what LCD Soundsystem would do at Terminal 5. And I have to say, if I didnt have a ticket on Saturday night, I would be ok (better than ok – just great). Their show at Terminal 5 was AWESOME!

I didnt read much about the prior nights show as I wanted some surprises, but I did know they opened with ‘Dance Yrself Clean’. And what a way to open. The following night they kept to somewhat of a similar setlist, but the changes they made were to my benefit.

‘Dance Yrself Clean’ is a brilliant way to start a set. I could almost see Kermit sitting on a rooftop singing and envisioned the rest of the Muppets on stage. Unfortunately, James Murphy doesnt quite resemble a green frog – but his vocals – oh yes! At the start of the set we get a lone James Murphy dressed in white & black, a spotlight just on him, and him singing. Then the band comes on stage along with a choir and other instruments. It was awesome! And it should be noted that everyone on the stage was in white (maybe some black)?

From the balcony I had a great view of the entire stage and the crowd. The audience was starting to dance and jump around and really getting into it. By the time the song picks up, everyone was dancing and moving. From there it was straight into ‘Drunk Girls’ and the dancing continued.

The setlist was mostly a blur and just lots of fun all around. It seemed the first set of the night just flew. Clocking in at 3 hours with 24 songs, plus a 2 song encore was unreal. The light show was amazing with laser lights for parts of it and a wall of LEDs. The disco ball was good fun as well. The second half, which was heavy on 45:33 and included Reggie Watts for a song, was the biggest drag. It just felt like an extended remix that just kept going and going. But it was also a good time to get a bit of a breather and people watch.

Thankfully part 3 was even more awesome than the beginning. After reading the setlist Im not sure thats possible. I mean seriously – at that point we even had ‘Daft Punk is Playing At My House’. I wasnt sure much could top it, but by the end I was wishing I was in shorts and a tanktop. It was a sweaty, fun, dancing mess of a time. Us vs Them was a great way to start it out and North American Scum! Also included ‘Tribulations’, ‘Yeah’ and ‘Losing My Edge’.

My only regret was ‘All My Friends’ was the last song of the first set. The lyrics alone would have been perfect to end the night with. And with friends like the drummer from TV on the Radio and Aziz Ansari (of Parks & Recreation) dancing and having a great time, I think you cant ask for much more.

James Murphy is truly a great frontman. It was great to see band members coming and going during the different songs. He made a point to announce some of them – their original guitarist. He thanked everyone profusely (us and the performers). Sang Happy Birthday to his sis during the encore and was just genuinely happy. Its hard to ask for more than that. Plus, he gave us 3 hours and a setlist that left me incredibly happy. And anyone who acknowledges the world we live in – the one where everyone wants to record every minute of a set – he told us ‘maybe just be here’.

So really, what can Saturday bring?

Liquid Liquid played a pretty short 30 minute opening set. They were pretty good and seemed to be playing some classic songs (Im not even sure if I knew they were their songs). They were fun and dance-y and you could definitely see the influences that they had on LCD SS.

Setlist

Set 1
Dance Yrself Clean (with male choir)
Drunk Girls
I Can Change
Time to Get Away
Get Innocuous (with male choir)
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
Too Much Love
All My Friends

Set 2
45:33 Part One
45:33 Part Two (with Reggie Watts)
Sound of Silver
45:33 Part Four
45:33 Part Five
45:33 Part Six

Set 3
Us Vs Them (with male choir)
Freak Out/Starry Eyes
North American Scum
You Wanted A Hit
Tribulations
Movement
Yeah
Someone Great
Losing My Edge
Home (with male choir)

Encore:
All I Want
New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down

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Brother – Another Britpop Band??

Posted by xneverwherex on March 27, 2011

Brother
The Dig
@ The Rock Shop
3/24/11

Where were you when Brother came to town? Its probably going to be the question that comes up next time they’re here. It wont be a surprise when the band (who is already getting lots of hype) becomes the next big thing.

Brother, hailing from Slough (outside of London), might be starting the new revival of britpop bands. At times sounding a bit like Blur, they might be more closely seen as the next Oasis. Lead singer, Len, has the same swagger as Liam of Oasis. He’s chatty with the audience – tells us to remember where we were when we first saw them – and is sure theyre going to be huge.

Len might come across as a bit arrogant and self-assured but the music speaks volumes. Theyre catchy and the crowd (who seems to be a lot of bloggers and photographers) is in awe of them. People dancing and singing along – the band does a hurriedly 30 minute set. Its fun and the band is great together. It comes across as a bit odd that there is a back up woman dancer/singer, but in some ways it works.

If you blended the Stone Roses, Oasis and Blur together, throw in some of the other catchy 90s bands and youd get Brother. It was seemingly awesome and yes, seeing them at a small stage at The Rock Shop is definitely something none of us will forget. And yes – they are destined to be that huge.

Openers The Dig have some great songs as well. I seemed to remember them a bit differently from when I first saw them open for The Editors. They seemed to pick up more of a bluesy sound. While some of it works quite well, a lot of the songs started sounding same-y and it became a bit much after awhile.

Both the bands seemed in much appreciation of the other. Each being so generous and throwing out compliments. It was definitely a nice thing to see as you dont always get that.

Either way – Brother is back in a month or so and Id highly recommend *not* missing them.

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Elephant 6 Comes To Town

Posted by xneverwherex on March 27, 2011

Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour
March 23, 2011
Le Poisson Rouge

What happens when a huge group of guys (and gal) come together for just a few nights?? Well you get something quite special and extraordinary.

The Elephant 6 Collective has spawned so many bands over time and more still seem to arise. From Olivia Tremor Control to Neutral Milk Hotel to The Apples in Stereo and more recently Of Montreal and Hawk and a Hacksaw it seems to be ever going.

The night seemed like it could have been one gigantic circus and we were the captive audience. Julian Koster was great fun listening to his stories about his Romanian Circus Family and disappearing cities.

The show got even more creative when it had audience members using a wind up snowman arm to aim balls at the ‘moon’. Whoever got the ball through the moon would get to choose the band’s next song. (Of any song in the entire world).

From what I saw of the 2+ hours, it was phenomenal. Everyone in the band sounded great. Different people singing on the songs were quite fun (depending on which song was being performed). The OTC songs were great and Elf Power songs were really catchy. It was great to see BP Helium singing so many songs (I cant ever recall if he sings with Of Montreal).

Overall it was a great night – even if I missed another hour. Even knowing so few of the songs (if any), it was still an awesome night and probably one that I wont see again. Its not too often that you can see so many different band members come together to play music from so many prior bands. It just doesnt happen (unless youre seeing Broken Social Scene – but then its still only BSS music for the most part).

The highlight by far was the snowman song. Was truly awesome seeing the band rock out to “Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath. Will I ever see that again… Id guess that’s a negative.

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The Lines Bring Back The 90s

Posted by xneverwherex on March 23, 2011

The Lines
Polock
Ravens & Chimes
Pianos
3/22/11

SXSW always proves to be a great time of year, regardless if you actually make it to Austin and provided you live in NYC. Most the bands will make an appearance here at some point either on the way home or before. Not bad.

The Lines from Wolverhampton, Midlands, should be all over NME and the UK press. Its a bit crazy that they didnt explode in the likes of The Arctic Monkeys. Perhaps its better so that most of us will get to see them in a small club. The Lines are reminiscent of all things 90s. They have the power of the Stone Roses and at times have an Oasis vibe. Haircuts could have been seen on Tim Burgess. Alex Ohm’s soaring vocals at times are spot on for Bono. And some of the intros with the heavy guitars could have been heard on a Ride album. Its not a bad mish-mash of bands to be compared to. The Lines played for a crowd of maybe 30 people and you would have never guessed it. Alex was all over the stage working it as if it were a big club. He commented on the (small) stage and how there was nowhere for him to move with all the wires.

The band sounded incredibly tight. The band members have unbelievable chemistry. It was a great way to end the set with Alex in the audience and 2 drums waiting for him to play. He was able to move around like no tomorrow and really put an end to the show. When they come around next time, do not miss them! Their songs on album do not do them justice for what they do live!

Following The Lines, came the Strokes-esque Polock. Hailing from Valencia, Spain, the boys announced it was their first time in NYC. They seemed quite excited to be here, if not a wee bit tired. Their manager was as excited as they were and took a bunch of photos of her drinking as Polock played.

Polock has the same sorta vibe and at times sounds like The Strokes, but they’re probably closer sounding to Phoenix. The lead singer could easily be mistaken (vocals-wise) for Thomas Mars. Their pop sensibilities give them that same fun sound, that has everyone dancing and singing along. The guys have great harmonies and complement each other well.

They finished the set with their single ‘Fireworks’ which might be one of the catchiest new songs Ive heard in a long time. After a listen or two, you feel like you know the song and are singing along with them. They were definitely a great way to end the night.

The first band on the set was locals Ravens & Chimes. At this time there were maybe 20 of us (if we’re lucky) there to see the band. Considering that most everyone was in the other bands – it was basically a show for me and 3 friends. Its hard to complain about that.

The band seemed a bit lackluster and you could tell SXSW had hit them hard. They had just gotten back and will actually be headed out on tour straight-away. They were pretty subdued on stage with very little banter. It seemed the keyboardist didnt even want to be there, but they did their best to get through their set. At best their boy/girl harmonies could be likened to the playfulness of Stars. And those were great pop songs. Their real problem is their music is all over the place. It feels like they hadnt yet figured out which direction they will be going in, and their music reflects that.

Some really great songs, mixed in with some not-so-great songs made their show hit-or-miss. They wouldnt be a bad opener per se, but Id probably not go to a show *just* to see them. BUT, the lead singer was very cool and came up to me and started talking to me right away. Perhaps it was me taking photos of him, or maybe I looked like a nice face. He was friendly, told me about their upcoming tour and SXSW. Which means, I definitely wouldnt miss them if they were opening for another band I was seeing!

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Godspeed plays The Church

Posted by xneverwherex on March 19, 2011

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Kurt Wagner
Church of St. Paul The Apostle
3/17/11

Words are indescribable for this concert. It might have been one of the best shows Ive ever seen. In a darkened church with several candlelights overhead and just a stream of projections that had minimal images – it was just us and a band. A band that you could barely make out – but the sound was overpowering. It echoed off the walls  – the acoustics are amazing in there!

And with that – here is what I wrote during the show. I have no clue what song was what – and if these were distinct different songs – but here were my thoughts (solely based on imagery and the music).

1 – Hope Hopelessness Despair war desert dry sad

2 – happiness flowers hope hopefulness uplifting sky crescendo

3 – cat animal nature dark moonlight peace ocean road tree wind gray cold water nowhere heavy thunder rain bird warning leave get out impending doom

4 – the anatomy of melancholy solemn tired weary forward new life future awakening rebirth alive crawling screams falling disaster

5 – strength up pushing escape running faster locomotive tracks end racing too fast taut black death fear agony ‘why dont you just fucking kill me’

6 – exodus leaving odyssey ‘weve arrived’ new trip oceanliner titanic massive lonely seas ‘not going to make it’ calm solemn ‘at peace’ hope a rescue ‘save us’ ‘so close’

7 – beauty desert longing burning eternal engulfing sucking air ‘no breath’ finality overpowering

8 – bombers overhead chills destruction emptiness gone

9 – ‘a slow wakeup’ red haunting homeless decay apocalypse ‘there but not here’ media 2.4 hrs ‘Wall Street’ ‘fall of economy’ clashes anarchy ‘fall of society’

Setlist:
hope drone
gathering storm
monheim
albanian
moya
09-15-00 outro
chart #3
world police and friendly fire
the cowboy
the sad mafioso

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