Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for April, 2011

Who Are The Pinker Tones?

Posted by xneverwherex on April 19, 2011

The Pinker Tones
Highline Ballroom
April 17, 2011

Its always quite odd when you show up at a venue – about 15 minutes before the band comes on and NO ONE is there. Ok – there were a few people (friends of the band?) there eating/drinking, but really – that was it. 9pm rolls around and the band isnt coming on. A friend inquires and learns that within 15 minutes – people or none – the band is going on.

Sure enough 15 minutes later The Pinker Tones come out. It seems theyre a band that either no one knows of – or they had a serious lack of promotion. Ill go with a bit of both. Sunday nights are a hard sell and the Highline isnt quite ideal if you dont live on the west side. With all that being said – the band put on a fun show. Maybe 100 people max showed up but everyone seemed to be having a great time. The band dedicated a song to the Land of the Rising Sun – and then made sure to tell us it was Japan. So naturally it meant they were playing the beyond catchy “Tokyo”.

The band did play as if it were a full venue. They were energetic and came out with sunglasses and similar outfits, black pants/white shirts. They did a combination of speaking in Spanish and English. I was surprised that they did so many English-speaking songs when a good chunk of their music is in Spanish. After all – they are from Barcelona its to be expected. They even did a song and broke up the small crowd alternating the bops or whatever we were yelling out. At best it was pathetic but hopefully we could all laugh about it. They played some of their earlier songs off their first album but focused mostly on Modular. Estirado al Sol and Invisible are quite catchy. A lot of the songs became sing alongs. Its just a pity that their music is somewhere between 80s synth pop/dancey and then they just have other songs that are not even in the same vein. So the question is – who are they?

The band ended with a small dance party and started mixing up their own songs. Throwing in some 70s songs and it was fun. The most amusing part was the song/dance that could have been the macarena. Between the pointing to the head, the world and I forgot the rest of what we did I felt like a total kid again.

The band tried their best to be in good spirits. They cut their encore short which was pretty amazing that they even bothered with one. Its gotta be frustrating to come over from Europe to have a nearly empty club. But they came out and played a good show. I was glad that I saw them – Im sure they needed all the support they could get!

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Nicos Gun Rocks It!

Posted by xneverwherex on April 8, 2011

Morning Teleportation
Nicos Gun
Mercury Lounge
4/7/11

A friend had recommended to me that I check out Nicos Gun. She was already pretty sure I had seen them, but wasnt positive. But she knew Id just love them! And right she ever was. Nicos Gun is thankfully getting away from where so many bands are heading. These boys from Philly are embracing the 70s roots and punk sounds. At times a bit like the Velvet – and at times sounding like T Rex/Bowie – these guys can rock. They throw in some keyboards on a lot of songs and make really great rock music. Instead of taking it too synth-y they balance it out and keep it funky and rockin’. Their lead singer is charismatic and really has that rockstar quality. He comes out with his fur jacket (which so reminded me of Ian Brown – Stone Roses) and has that same swaggart. Wearing a Led Zep shirt and so many rings and necklaces – hes the epitome of cool. Their cover of “Heart of Glass” was one of the best covers I had heard. It still had that same edge and same cool as Blondie would have sang it.

And after talking to their drummer – they sounded like the group of musicians youd want to hang out with. They clearly have a love for music and love talking about it. And it seems I just might have to go to Philly to really appreciate what theyre all about.

Headliner Morning Teleportation from Portland was interesting. Their music is pretty out there – in a psychedelic druggy sorta way. At times sounding like Modest Mouse – they have cool beats and it makes it fun and dance-y. The guys seem really young and a bit goofy (if not totally stoned). They clearly are having a great time on stage. Unfortunately, at times it seemed they were more interested in drinking with their friends – the drunk girls who sang along to every song at the top of their lungs and who created a dance a thon for every song. And then they tried to talk to them throughout the set. At this point – I had pretty much lost much interest in the band. They did have a culminating number that was pretty drone-y and went on and on finishing out with the bassist and singer on top of one another and the bassist taking off the shoes of the singer.

I have to say it was weird at best. I wasnt really sure what to make of the whole show but I was just glad it was over. Nicos Gun was the band to see!

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Weekend Gets Loud

Posted by xneverwherex on April 7, 2011

Weekend
Little Girls
Mercury Lounge
4/6/11

Weekend apparently is one of the new buzz-worthy/blog-worthy bands. It was hard to figure out if everyone there was seeing them because they loved the band – or if it was just the new band to check out. It was packed by the time they hit the stage. A friend commented – they had a review on their new album in Sports Illustrated. With their album titled – Sports – it indeed got a review – and a good one at that.

I commented to my friends – I know they should be loud – but really its only 3 guys. Well those 3 guys from San Francisco proved that they could be beyond loud. The lead singer/bassist had really great vocals that worked well with the loudness of the bass. At times the vocals seemed almost muted but it was very apparent that the vocals had their own place. The guitarist never seemed to be able to stay still and was moving non-stop – getting more and more into each song. He’d be kneeling on the stage and playing his heart out – in between sips of water. The drummer is equally loud and keeps the band moving at a great pace.

Their post-punk influences are easy to be seen. At times feeling like they could be Joy Division – dark but not nearly as gloomy. And the heavy guitars are oh so reminiscent of Jesus & Mary Chain. While their album material is great – the crowd seemed very into their newer songs that they had just written. As they introduced their song ‘Little Girls’ they cheekily noted – no its not for the band its the name of the song. It was a great solid set and their 40 minutes seemed to fly by.

Openers Little Girls from Toronto were interesting. They mentioned casually about them having to use Weekend’s gear and something to do with visas. That they probably would rather not have mentioned. We’ll leave it at that. While some of their songs were really great and had a dance-edge/pop sound – musically it was like they hadnt yet figured out what direction they were heading. So you never knew quite what you were going to get. The guitarist seemed to be having consistent problems with the sound/feedback and just couldnt seem to get on with it. After nearly every song it seemed there was a new problem.

Perhaps theres a bit of potential in them, but at this point, Im not sure I can totally see it.

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LCD Did Not Lose Their Edge

Posted by xneverwherex on April 4, 2011

LCD Soundsystem
Liquid Liquid
Madison Square Garden
4/2/11

The night had finally arrived and it was finally time to say goodbye to LCD Soundsystem. It was a bittersweet farewell and the band couldnt have gone out any better.

With hopes of Daft Punk coming out, we would be surprised with another band. LCD greeted us with some other Northerners instead for “North American Scum”. How fitting that it was The Arcade Fire. Win, Will, Regine and Jeremy came out and helped LCD sing the song. It was truely awesome watching the band excitedly sing along and jump with enthusiasm.

The band treated us to a 3.5 hour set that was reminiscent of the shows at Terminal 5. It was broken out into 3 sets with the first and second set being almost identical to the others. It was great to begin the show with ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ which brought the floor to a frenzy. Watching from above, as the first note came on the crowd went into overdrive. Everyone was there to have a great time and presumably dance themselves clean.

James is an awesome frontman and took the crowd through an awesome first set. There wasnt much banter as he went from ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ right into ‘Drunk Girls’. The set continued at a frenzied pace and included ‘Daft Punk Is Playing At My House’, ‘Time To Get Away’, ‘Too Much Love’ and of course, the natural show closer (which it is not) ‘All my Friends’. What was more surprising is that ‘All My Friends’ wasnt even the last song of the first set. It makes for a beautiful closing song.

All of a sudden an hour was gone, and it was that much closer to the end. 45:33 brought out Reggie Watts and a great brass section that sounded amazing. ‘Freak Out/Starry Eyes’ sounded really great and everyone was dancing up a storm during that song. It seemed that for parts of the other it was a little more subdued, but it was definitely needed before the third part came in.

The set would soon be closing – but LCD packed in as much as they could. They played one song (I believe it was Bye Bye Bayou) for the first time. My friend was beyond excited, but I could have sworn he said it was something else. Arcade Fire (as previously mentioned) showed up on ‘North American Scum’ and we got a very loud ‘Us vs Them’. Crowd favorite ‘Yeah’ had everyone singing and dancing.

It was great to see LCD bring out their first guitarist who played on a few a songs. The drummer looked oh so comfortable in his shorts and considering how hot and sweaty it was, he was very prepared. James Murphy started a countdown of the last few songs. Much like New Years Eve, it was never meant to be sad, it was just meant to be a huge dance party. And soon it was only fitting that they would play ‘New York, I Love You But Youre Bringing Me Down’ for one last time.

Who knows if we’ll get a reunion in 3-4 years, but this couldnt have ended better. My only gripe was the ticket fiasco – it was great people got tix at the door for face and on the floor. For those of us who managed to get any early, the angles were quite bad and it was hard to see at points with the rig for the lights. It seemed we were barely acknowledged till the end. Regardless, I had one hell of a time. It was great to see that most the crowd abided with James’ request for the black/white dress code. Boo to those of you in the front floor with a RED shirt on. It just screamed for attention.

SETLIST

Set 1:
“Dance Yrself Clean”
“Drunk Girls”
“I Can Change
“Time to Get Away”
“Get Innocuous!”
“Daft Punk Is Playing At My House”
“Too Much Love”
“All My Friends”
“Tired”

Set 2:
45:33 Part One
45:33 Part Two (ft. Reggie Watts)
“Sound of Silver”
45:33 Part Four
45:33 Part Five (ft. Shit Robot)
45:33 Part Six
“Freak Out/Starry Eyes”

Set 3:
“Us V. Them”
“North American Scum” (w/ Régine Chassagne, Win Butler, Will Butler & Jeremy Gara of Arcade Fire)
“Bye Bye Bayou” (Alan Vega cover)
“You Wanted A Hit”
“Tribulations”
“Movement”
“Yeah”

Encore 1:
“Someone Great”
“Losing My Edge”
“Home”

Encore 2:
“All I Want”
“Jump Into The Fire” (Harry Nilsson cover)
“New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down”

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