Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for June, 2011

Do You Wanna??

Posted by xneverwherex on June 29, 2011

The Kooks
Smoke Signals
Bowery Ballroom
June 27, 2011

The Kooks finally made it back to this side of the pond after what seemed like a long hiatus. They have a new album coming out in September – Junk of the Heart. From what they played live of their newer stuff, it sounds like it has a lot of promise. Its easily similar to their earlier works and equally poppy.

Luke Pritchard is always quite the front-man. A bit quiet, with guitar in hand, a red tight vneck with tight jeans; he looks every part the rock star. He never has too much to say but it really doesnt matter. The crowd loves him regardless. Anytime he approaches the edge of the stage, people want to pull him to them. Its alike for men and women.

By the time I got there, a bit after the said doortimes, the floor was already half packed. I was quite surprised, but managed to work my way to the front and side. Aside from some pushy guy, who asked way too many questions, the show was good.

I was a bit surprised that the set length is still just a bit over an hour. It hasnt increased much in time even with more songs. Luke did promise to play the favorites and he delivered. A lot of the crowd up front, were singing along to every single song, as Luke pointed out. ‘Do you wanna make love to me?’ was great and had the crowd dancing. He joked about the crowd knowing some of the songs as he broke out into ‘Naive’ and it was a sing-along.

The encore was quite great as Luke came out on his own and did a stripped down version of ‘Seaside’. Im pretty sure this is standard now, as I could have sworn I had seen it before. Either way, still sounds great. The Kooks early stuff still sounds great and its hard to want to hear new stuff when its just as satisfying to hear all of their early music.

Opener Smoke Signals was pretty bad. I was surprised that so many people were so into them. Had a country-ish vibe to them with a pop sensibility. They played for nearly 45 minutes and it was (seemed to be) the longest 45 minutes ever. Wish they had rapped it up sooner and given the Kooks more time. No clue if they might have played longer, but one can hope.

Set List:
Always Where I Need To Be
Eddie’s Gun
See The World
Carried Away
Ooh La
She Moves In Her Own Way
Junk Of The Heart
Is It Me
Do You Wanna
Naive
Saboteur
Eskimo Kiss
Shine On
Stormy Weather

Encore:
Seaside
How D’Ya Like That
Sofa Song

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Double Rainbows and Beirut Oh My!

Posted by xneverwherex on June 21, 2011

Beirut
Sharon Van Etten
Yellow Ostrich
McCarren Park
6/17/11

What could have turned into a miserable evening, with a huge rainstorm that dampened us all, turned out to be one of the most lovely evenings in Brooklyn. To get it out of the way – yes there was a double rainbow. My friends had been looking for rainbows after the storm had passed and soon enough theyre screaming ‘OH MY GOD. Its.A.Double.Rainbow. Film.It!’ No, there was no way in hell we were recreating that video. But, yes, there was indeed a double rainbow and lots of rain!

Beirut (Zach Condon and Co.) played an amazing set. Not playing with a full orchestra (oh how I miss your church shows), he did have 4-5 other guys playing with him doing double duty on the instruments. Playing in the outside, facing the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, their sounds filled the nighttime air. People living nearby came out to listen to the show from their roofdecks. Their new songs sound so beautiful, that I had forgotten how much I had loved their music.

People were in good spirits, but I was surprised that more people werent dancing at all. A lot of people just stood with their arms crossed looking bored out of their minds. The setlist contained many of their staples with “Postcards From Italy,” “Sunday Smile”, “Elephant Gun,” “Nantes,” “Scenic World,” and “Mount Wroclai”. Their indie/gypsy/balkan/romanian sound makes for a good change from the many same-sounding bands in Brooklyn. The horns are always such a great addition for most bands. They played for about an hour and 15 minutes and had an encore with just Zach Condon playing “The Escape” which he noted he hadnt played in a very long time. It was a beautiful way to end the night.

Sharon Van Etten was an incredible opener. I had only known her by name, but a friend had told me her voice is amazing. That cant even possibly describe her strong vocal performance. She hurried her way through a set which seemed like it was over way too soon. She thanked her Dad (it was Fathers Day that Sunday) for coming all the way out from New Jersey. And along the way thanked her other family members for coming out to support her. Towards the end of her set she brought out Ben Lanz and Aaron Dessner of The National. He is producing her latest album and he added some guitar to her songs.

Yellow Ostrich started out the show and I must have had them confused with another similar sounding band name. I was pretty sure it was just one person, but turns out it was a full band. They were really good and had some really catchy songs. They seemed excited to be playing towards a bigger audience.

It was a great combination of bands. All of them were really good and it was definitely a show where you would not want to have missed any of them. I will definitely be checking out Sharon Van Etten again soon. Ive seen her name all over the place, but after hearing that, she is fully worthy of the hype.

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