Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘alternative’

2015 Ended and The Greatest Rock Band Played the Greatest Show…x3

Posted by xneverwherex on January 2, 2016

The Dandy Warhols
Joel Gion
Miranda Lee Richards
December 1 & 2, 2015

The greatest rock band played the greatest show… The End.

Sadly, time some times gets the best of us. And then the year ends, and you get to reflect on all the shows you saw and how the year ended. It was a crazy year – I saw Ride the day after the Paris attacks and I remember being unsure about going to a concert. And then I thought of how many awesome bands I had seen over time – and fuck it – ISIS, terrorists will never win.

Zia

Zia

As Zia ended the concert – she said it was one of the greatest rock concerts ever. Ive seen The Dandy Warhols so many times, that at times the shows start to blur. There was the string of the 3 hour long sets (some of the best I had ever seen), and then there was December 2. The energy in the club was amazing. The place felt alive and it had been a long time since I felt that feeling in a show (let alone in SF, ever!). And the energy in the club reflected with the band who was as tight as ever. It was like everything converged for that perfect storm.

A co-worker (who was at night 1) and I discussed the rules of music/bands and what happens when a band plays 2 nights. The obvious answer is … you go to both shows. The other answer is — when in doubt always go with night 2. There’s a lot of reasons night 2 always wins out – but to keep this succinct the rule of thumb is the band is all warmed up, they’ve been in town for a bit and everything is all worked out. This happened with The Mountain Goats (I didnt see show 1, but according to those who saw both – night 2 kicked ass) and I’ve seen it with other bands. (Testing this theory out on Sunday night with A Place to Bury Strangers – will report back). So while night 1 was pretty awesome, night 2 killed it.

The obvious – Zia no longer had a migraine and was in great shape. The band was tight and mostly the crowd was ridiculously awesome. Truthfully, with the frat bros pushing forward (and apologies now – never judge a book by its cover yadda yadda yadda) and needing to be front center and not shutting up I wasnt sure what would happen. Turns out – these guys were insane die hard fans.

Zia came out to a crowd that loves her – with everyone chanting her name. CTT likes to talk about how everyone loves Zia and she does a little dance. She looked super comfy in flowy pants and a black tank. CTT – who wasnt in a BJM shirt – was more chatty than usual. And Peter and Brent seemed like they were having an awesome time. I noticed Brent and Zia talking it up quite a bit with lots of smiles.

Dandy Warhols

Dandy Warhols

So what makes it a show that stands out from other shows:
* the crowd can make or break a show. Any crowd that upon request for a song to play actually has people yell out songs with explanations is pretty f’ing amazing. The guy next to me yelling out “Little Drummer Boy” with Zia stating maybe later – and the guy pleading ‘its December – its the right time to play it’ was quite convincing. Courtney ixnayed it and pretty much every song to state that he’d be sticking to the setlist.

* during the band’s “break”, CTT led the crowd in the loudest sing-along ever for “Everyday Should be A Holiday“. He mentioned that whenever this is played he alawys asks for a sing-along and its never really loud. So this time, when we weren’t loud enough, he asked for it even louder. The whole place must have been singing along. Perhaps one of the greatest moments ever.

* CTT sounding better than ever. ‘Chauncey P’ is a really great song live as well as ‘Some Things You Got To Get Over‘, two of the bands newest songs and so worth a listen.

* Zia dancing and playing the entire set and never stopping (minus the pee break). Plus her awesome dance moves as the crowd chanted her name. Migraines be gone!

* Zia stating it was one of the greatest rock n roll shows ever.

* Pete on guitars in the opening of PIA with some of the greatest guitar work ever – and then his windmill playing. Plus – the droning guitars that go on and on and straight into ‘Boys Better‘. How does life get better than that – and then you end the show!

—–

And while not to dismiss night 1 – that was awesome too and they were really good. Sure, Zia wasnt in the best of spirits but she looked to be having an awesome night. Plus – we got a Kristen Hersh (Throwing Muses) cover – “Your Ghost” – which was incredible. Also, CTT waxed poetic about SF and him loving the city. And also about how while SF was changing the TL would never change no matter how they try to clean it up.

I should also state that the openers – Joel Gion especially – put on a really great show. If you love psychedelic music – you have to see them. I got to talk to Christof after the show (guitarist in Joel’s band as well as Miranda Lee Richards) and besides being insanely talented he was charming. Him and a few of us were talking about both the nights shows and how he thought the 2nd night for his band was so much better (possibly more drugs?) but how as an audience it seemed the first night was much tighter. Perhaps because the band had so little space to perform, they seemed so connected. Either way – the band was awesome on both nights and Joel (of Brian Jonestown Massacre percussionist fame) has one hell of an awesome band. Definitely a band not to be missed.

Set List:
Mohammed
Crack Cocaine Rager
Get Off
Somethings You Got To Get Over
I Love You
The Last High
Everyone Is Totally Insane
Plan A
Down Like Disco
Good Morning
Shakin’
Every Day Should Be a Holiday – CTT Solo
Chauncey P vs All the Girls in London
We Used to Be Friends
The Legend of the Last of the Outlaw Truckers a.k.a. the Ballad of Sheriff Shorty
Bohemian Like You
Godless
Pete International Airport / Boys Better

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Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas w/Aimee Mann

Posted by xneverwherex on December 7, 2015

Aimee Mann & Ted Leo Holiday Show
w/Special Guests Liz Phair, Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick
Bimbo’s 365 Club
12/6/15

In a random twist of events, I ended up at Bimbo’s last night for the Aimee Mann, Ted Leo Holiday show. Let’s just say that there might be hope for Tinder, really. The guy was from Chicago, so obviously he’s already got cool points because thats where Liz Phair is from and well it’s Chicago, and he’s obviously got great taste in music. I had always wanted to go to this show, but just never bought tickets and it seems it usually sells out. All I know is that it’s fully worth the money and next year (assuming it’s happening again), I’m all over it.

I had seen Ted Leo quite a bit in NYC but not on a tour like this and I had missed The Both (his and Aimee Mann’s collaboration). It was a really great set consisting of some really bizarre Christmas tunes and just some great stories. Apparently Ted was running for office in the North Pole as FrosTED the snowman (costume too) (term limits came into effect), and as Aimee mentioned – another white guy running for office and he had a platform/campaign with an awesome poster. Him and Aimee have great chemistry on stage and just feed off of each other.

Holiday Show w/Aimee Mann, Ted Leo

Holiday Show w/Aimee Mann, Ted Leo

With so many great guests coming together (hello Liz Phair) it was an awesome experience. She came out early in the set to perform “Supernova” along with Aimee and Ted. It sounded as great as ever and maybe better with the addition of the two of them. I did really enjoy the holiday songs that Aimee and Ted performed with Aimee’s lovely voice on “Winter Wonderland” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas“. Perhaps the best of the night was Jonathan Coulton‘s help on a new rendition of “Superstar” from Jesus Christ Superstar – with new lyrics “Jesus Claus” “Santa Christ” it was blasphemous and hilarious and so worth seeing.

I’m not sure the show got better than the moment that Aimee came out to sing “Save Me” which was haunting and beautiful as ever. So much pure, raw, emotion. Ted helped out with guitars and vocals and missed the 2nd half of the song as he got so enrapt with Aimee’s vocals and just listened in and forgot to sing. It was *that* special. Plus, she even did the “original” version of “Voices Carry” from Til Tuesday. Apparently, the original version is not what we ever heard on the radio which was about trying to get presents from her step-dad. But, apparently it didnt go well with radio peeps with lyrics like “Hush hush / He’s your dad now / This is Gary”. I think this song will be forever tainted in my head with these new lyrics.

Aimee and Ted clearly have a wicked sense of humour and really play off of each other well. And John Roderick – and a song about Atari 2600 called “2600” was pure awesome. Lots of talk about Atari vs ColecoVision and other ancient video games. It clearly wasn’t necessarily a show for the young hipster crowd, as even my date didn’t even recognize Til Tuesday. Also, there was a great rendition of “You’re A Mean One Mr Grinch” which really showcased Aimee’s beautiful vocals.

In their 2 hour set, it seemed so much happened and was learned. Aimee was once married to Santa Claus (he had no time for her), Ted Leo learned the elections were not happening, he also has a dad who cries mysteriously when some Christmas donkey song is played (report back NYC when he brings his dad on stage for this), Jonathan Coulton (who was initially dressed as Santa Claus) is really Jesus, and the lovely Liz Phair goes all out for decorating the tree so much that you can’t even find her family. What can be better than a night spent like that, hearing lovely stories and laughing a lot and bringing in the holiday spirit.

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I’m In Love… With That Song – The Replacements

Posted by xneverwherex on April 14, 2015

The Replacements
John Doe
Masonic Auditorium
4/13/15

20+ years later and The Replacements were back in San Francisco for the “Back By Unpopular Demand Tour”. The much-adored Minneapolis ‘Mats broke up all too soon in 1991 and it was hard to imagine that this day would come. It was even harder to come by with a ticket to this oh so sold-out show which seemed to have sold out in mere minutes of their onsale time. But pretty much any price would have been worth it to see them. I had pretty much given up on going to the show and opted for a ticket to another reunion show Ride over at The Warfield. But my heart was always in it to see The ‘Mats.

Mats

Mats

It was interesting to see them in a nice, polished club with ushers at the doors and ‘bartenders’ in their tuxes selling way overpriced drinks. But I will say the sound at The Masonic was pretty amazing. While I cant say Im a huge fan of Nob Hill (is anyone really?), it was a pretty sweet venue and one Id gladly go back to. So it was amusing when Tommy Stinson commented about how they used to play in the ‘lowlands’ (referring to the I-Beam in the Haight). And naturally Paul Westerberg could barely remember it. And that was just the kind of show it was.

Some bantering about the songs, the area and how we needed to break the Portland curse. And if that wasnt broken after that, Im not sure what would have unbroke it. The band started out the night just right with ‘Takin a Ride‘. The crowd was jumping and bouncing and it was pure energy with lots of fists punching into the air. It was hard to go wrong when that was just the opening song. Of course, it was over all too soon with what felt like 2 minute songs of pure raw-punk energy. Headed right into ‘Favorite Thing‘ kept the audience moving and it seemed that energy would never stop.

The band sounded as great as ever. Sure, theyre a little older (or a lot!) as we all are. Forgotten lyrics, shortened songs, clips of songs that didn’t finish, and even Paul singing ‘Androgynous‘ from inside of a tent. It just would not get better than that, but of course it did. While the band didn’t necessarily have hits, they did manage to play a lot of their more popular songs along with their deeper cuts. It should have appealed to nearly everyone in some way, shape or form. They really mixed it up with playing songs from their early albums Hootenanny and Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash plus their later albums.

And best of all, the band still had that grittiness/dirt to them. They still had an edginess to them and Paul might be a little grayer but hell a lot of us are now and he still sounds as great as ever. The energy from Tommy on bass is still electrifying. Dave Minehan on guitars was f’ing brilliant. He had so much energy and was an awesome fit. (Original ‘Mats guitarist Slim Dunlap is recovering from a stroke; while original drummer Chris Mars ixnayed the reunion tour). On drums was Josh Freese who was pretty kick-ass having played in oh so many other bands. Its a great fit and they seem to have chemistry.

The show was one of those things where it was either going to be insanely awesome or it would just suck. Thankfully, it was f’ing brilliant. I couldnt have asked for a better time, better company and a most awesome crowd. Everyone singing to “Bastards of Young” is one of those moments that will be hard to forget. The excitement of finally hearing “Kiss Me on the Bus” live was beyond awesome. Plus, Paul playing “Skyway” acoustically was just gorgeous. And then you add in other popular songs like “Ill Be You“, “I Will Dare” and of course the final encore of “Alex Chilton” along with the entire crowd singing along and it might be one of the most perfect sets.

Mats

Mats

I may regret not taking more photos (really hardly any), but hell if it was way back when none of us would have even had them. It was nice to see for most the set that there werent a whole lot of people recording/filming every second of it. We were all caught up in a time and moment together, and fuck it, why bother trying to replicate it. It will never be better than that moment. With that being said, the photos on here are all from Ben Graham and theyre quite a fitting way to remember the show.

Opener John Doe (of X) opened up the show and like many a punk-rocker these days, he has gone the alt-country-folk route. And they were quite good and the woman in his band had amazing vocals. He changed the lyrics to a song to reflect a SF club and that was a nice touch. And he even played some X songs as well so that is a pretty cool thing. Plus, its f’ing John Doe opening and it seemed a very fitting opener.

Set List:
Takin a Ride
Favorite Thing
Hangin Downtown
Treatment Bound
I Don’t Know/Buck Hill/I Don’t Know
(Elvis “Little Sister” tease)
I.O.U.
“Poetry Tent” (Paul reads in a tent to “Take Five,” Brubeck
Androgynous
([with Paul singing from inside a tent)
Kissin’ in Action
((with Tommy playing Black Sabbath Iron Man intro at the end))
I Will Dare
Kiss Me on the Bus
20th Century Boy / Bang a Gong (Get It On) / All Shook Down
Nobody
Take Me Down to the Hospital
I’m in Trouble
I Hate Music
If Only You Were Lonely
I’ll Be You
The Ledge
Color Me Impressed
Maybellene
(Chuck Berry cover)
Anywhere’s Better Than Here
Sixteen Blue
Can’t Hardly Wait
Bastards of Young
Within Your Reach
Seen Your Video

Encore:
Skyway
(Paul solo acoustic)

Encore 2:
Left of the Dial
Alex Chilton

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Hooky, JD, New Order = Paradise

Posted by xneverwherex on November 24, 2014

Peter Hook & The Light
Performing ‘Brotherhood’ and ‘Low-Life’
Mezzanine
11/21/14

After hitting up the Castro theater on Friday night to see Pulp’s new documentary – and clearly get me in the mood for a night of dancing – I made it down to Mezzanine. I somehow got there about 5 minutes before Peter Hook would grace the stage. Thank god for Muni and quickness – because no joke – the best part of the set hands down was the Joy Division material.

Minus Ian Curtis’ haunting vocals, the band was on fire. The guitars (Hooky and son mainly) were sounding amazing. Their full sound filling up the room. Starting with the opening chords of ‘Dead Souls’ it would only get better. The bass lines hauntingly beautiful – a recognizable sound most anywhere. The crowd was really into it, with people moving around slowly, feeling the music. It just seeped into you and would only get better. They worked their way far too quickly the songs but ‘Transmission’ into ‘Isolation’ and finally into ‘She’s Lost Control’…. wow!! It just could not get better.

Hooky

Hooky

Sure Peter Hook might not be the best vocalist, but for whatever reason I felt like his band really kept the essence of Joy Division more than Bernard Sumner’s New Order. Ive heard people tend to like either one or the other, but the intimacy of the show, the fans all moving/dancing together, was incredible. Granted, New Order is playing at the Fox which does tend to not have the greatest acoustics.

Regardless. the night was awesome. The guitar tracks were sounding great and Peter Hook was every bit the show man. He worked the stage playing his guitar close to the fans in front. He then climbed on top of some speakers reaching the far left of the stage. People were just loving it. His son, Jack Bates, seemed a bit more subdued but was a fully competent and excellent player. He isnt showy like his dad in any way, but would look out and smile on occasion and you could tell he was enjoying it. The keyboardist, Andy Poole, was incredible and that really kept the music going. If you cant have the vocals, surely you can get all the music itself done perfectly, and thats just what the band did.

My only real complaint is when Hooky stopped singing on a few songs and gave the duties over to David Potts, formerly of Monaco. His voice just seemed so out of place that at first I was wondering who on earth was possibly singing. And sadly, no Monaco songs.

Although, after a fully awesome Joy Division set, the band went into a really great New Order set. It started with 2 songs not off either the albums before going right into Low-Life. It was never one of my favorite NO albums, but it did sound quite good. And it does have one of my favorite NO songs “Perfect Kiss”. In no time at all the crowd was dancing tons and really into the set. After completing the album and a short break, it was time to dive into Brotherhood. ‘Paradise’, ‘Weirdo’ and ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ – I felt like I was back in high school, but this was so much better. I mean Bizarre Love Triangle really had the crowd dancing.

Peter Hook & The Light After 2 amazing albums, it was hard to ask for even more, but of course there was an encore. And the encore topped the whole show off. ‘Confusion’ into ‘True Faith’ (never sounding better!) and finally my favorite song ‘Temptation’. A crowd singing along, dancing, Hooky working it through the set and finally ripping off a wet “Jackass” shirt and throwing it into the crowd — yeah it was that good. And of course, it had to end with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. What show would not be complete without that as a finisher. Nearly 3 hours later – and I was left a hot, sweaty mess, departing into a cold rainy night. Somehow, it couldnt have been more fitting.

Set List:
Dead Souls (Joy Division)
Komakino (Joy Division)
Something Must Break (Joy Division)
Transmission (Joy Division)
Isolation (Joy Division)
She’s Lost Control (Joy Division)
Shadowplay (Joy Division)

Murder (New Order)
Lonesome tonight (New Order)
Thieves Like Us (New Order)

Low-Life (New Order)
Love Vigilantes
The Perfect Kiss
This Time of NIght
Sunrise
Elegia
Sooner Than You Think
Subculture
Face Up

Brotherhood (New Order)
Paradise
Weirdo
As It Is When It Was
Broken Promise
Way of Life
Bizarre Love Triangle
All Day Long
Angel Dust
Every Little Counts

Encore:
State of the Nation (New Order)
Confusion (New Order)
True Faith (New Order)
Temptation (New Order)
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division)

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Dandy Warhols – 13.13.13. (13 Tales)

Posted by xneverwherex on June 18, 2013

The Dandy Warhols
The Shivas
The Fillmore
June 15, 2013

Saturday was a complete day of all things Dandy Warhols. It started out on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Amoeba Records in the Haight. I had planned an earlier arrival, but it worked out just perfectly regardless. About 30 mins prior to showtime, the place was still fairly empty. The band still hadnt arrived and some random store employees were testing out equipment. Finally, Zia was there – her hair all done up in braids and started talking to friends and getting things ready. Then, unbeknownst to me, Pete was right in front of me looking very scruffy.

Dandy Warhols @ Amoeba

It was soon announced that Courtney was MIA – hadnt yet arrived and was still hung over from the prior night of partying in LA. Good times! About 20 mins later – theyre good to go (or as good as things will be). They do a short set with songs from 13 Tales. I remember ‘Horse Pills’ and ‘Shaking‘ but Im also quite sure ‘Godless‘ and/or ‘Mohammed‘ was also in there. And they ended the set with ‘Big Indian’. Hard to complain for a free show that was right before their show that night.

The plus in Courtney’s lateness — Zia, Pete and Brent — all were happy to sign whatever people had. Brent kindly told me ‘I took that pic on the cover. Its Pete’s shirt’.

Saturday night was a very different scene. Much more professional, the band was all there on time. They played 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia in its entirety. Im pretty biased as its my favorite album ever. So seeing it played from start to end was pretty awesome for me. From the first guitar notes of ‘Godless’ it sucks you in. The first 3 songs were just designed to play together. ‘Godless’, ‘Mohammed’ and ‘Nietzsche’ sound excellent when played back to back. They just blend together perfectly. And then it really starts going and picking up speed. ‘Country Leaver’ and ‘Solid’ are sounding as excellent as ever. People are singing along, dancing and everyone is having a good time.

I have to say I am mystified about the crowd. A lot of kids are there and they only want to hear ‘We Used to Be Friends’. Its annoying. Plus they want to mosh. Really – some of these songs are just not made for moshpits. Fights were breaking out – people were incredibly rude and honestly – I wished everyone had smoked a lot and chilled out. This was not the right crowd that one normally gets. Zia had to yell down to tell a girl to shut up who wouldnt stop screaming (she was punched in the breast). I guess if I were her, that guy wouldnt have been walking straight. The guy (at maybe 16/17?)’s argument ‘we’re at a rock concert’. Ive heard a lot of things – but there are things as personal space and groping people anywhere will likely get you arrested (esp if thats your lovely argument).

Other than that, Zia is as charming as ever. She was pretty polite even with people yelling her name every 5 seconds. Rocking out in her Guns n Roses shirt, she was having a great time dancing a bunch, playing guitar and tambourine. The band was in great spirits and after the initial 13 Tales set came back for a pretty awesome set of a few songs off DROK. Of course, now between sets we’re treated to the acoustic version of ‘Every Day Should Be A Holiday’ with just Courtney and a guitar and an excited crowd singing along. Some of the others included ‘Lou Weed’ and ‘Ride’. We also got to hear ‘Good Morning’, ‘Theyre Gone’ (off the last album), ‘Last High’ and a really great revved up version of ‘Boys Better’. Now that was just awesome. I cant remember if ‘Be-In’ actually was played, but theres a good chance that it was.

Courtney, Fathead and Pete @ The Fillmore

Of course, a Dandys set in SF is never complete until Zia sings a song on her own. I usually get to hear her ‘Daisy’ song, but this time it was even better. She wanted to give tribute to one Janis Joplin and how fitting it was that she ended the set with ‘Mercedes Benz’. A lot of people joined in and Zia looked super excited that the crowd was so into it.

Overall, the show was pretty awesome. It was great to finally hear my favorite album in its entirety. Over the time (97 was my first show of theirs), Ive seen some incredible shows (their 3 hour sets were insane), and some that werent so great. This was definitely one that prob won’t ever be repeated and for that reason alone it was pretty special.

The Shivas opened the set. I guess I had higher expectations. Not sure if I understood the need for 2 drummers (the female was insanely awesome). Some of their garage rock songs were pretty awesome and Ill prob try and check them out again sometime. They didnt say much but seemed excited to be on the set.

Set List:
13 Tales from Urban Bohemia
Godless
Mohammed
Nietzsche
Country Leaver
Solid
Horse Pills
Get Off
Sleep
Cool Scene
Bohemian Like You
Shakin
big Indian
The Gospel

Every Day Should be A Holiday (Acoustic/Courtney solo)
Good Morning
Theyre Gone
Holding Me Up
Last High
Ride
Boys Better
Lou Weed (somewhere in the set)

Mercedes Benz (Janis Joplin cover) (Zia solo/acoustic)

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Michael Been of The Call is Celebrated

Posted by xneverwherex on April 22, 2013

The Call (featuring Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
Jeffertitti’s Nile
DJ Dan Mancini
Slims
April 11, 2013

Its not often that a show touches your heart and is so endearing. But this show was just that. It took a year and a half for the show to be put together. It appeared that The Call’s music was not the easiest to learn, but Robert did one hell of a job to follow in his father’s foot steps.

Robert Been, bassist and singer of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, came together with his father’s band The Call to perform their music. It was one of two shows that the band will be playing. His father, Michael Been, died a few years back on tour with his son’s band. It was sudden and way too soon. So this was a perfect tribute to his father, bassist and singer, of The Call.

The Call

The band seemed very excited to be playing. Their music still sounded incredible and they definitely still knew how to rock. Their 80s alternative U2-esque sound was amazing as they opened up the set with ‘Everywhere I Go’. The crowd was enthusiastic with lots of cheers. Tom (Dickie), the guitarist, was right in front of me clad in a BRMC shirt. It was fitting and he was full of smiles. He smiled at me a few times, easily one of the younger people in the audience. The guys next to me were pumped up as they yelled out songs and talked about their first time seeing the band. Scott, the drummer, was on top of it, pushing the band through the music. Jim was great on keyboards, having a really fun time.

The band seemed to be racing through songs and they all sounded incredible. While I only recognized a handful of songs, it was easy for me to want to be there to support this special night. Their songs are easy to get into and their music still has a current sound to it. The gents next to me gave Robert a hard time about messing up a few of the songs. Robert was cute and nervous and some of the songs were clearly more difficult than others.

One of my favorite bits of the night was the crowd heckling him for not quite getting the songs right. He commented on how hard they were to learn and why it took so long for them to have this night. He told a heart warming story about his dad’s bass being stolen. Then one day he gets a call from a pawnshop in Santa Cruz with the owner being a huge fan of the Call and realizing that it was Michael’s bass. It landed back in Robert’s hand and he’s been playing it. He comments about it being very hard to stay tuned, but that it was special.

I was beyond excited to hear ‘Let The Day Begin’. I had recently heard it when BRMC had played it, but it was just incredible to hear the band play it. The crowd sang along and clearly was having a great time. The lyrics still seem so relevant. The set ended with ‘Walls Came Down’ and it sounded even better live. With everything that had been going on, the song just seemed so fitting. They ended the set with Uncovered which was just Robert singing and it was just hauntingly beautiful. It was great that they kept playing and didnt leave the stage right at 11. They pushed on and said to hell with last calls/closing times. Its a joke anyway – I sure dont remember this when I last lived here. (Apparently its a new thing – with some place moving in and wanting to change it up – thank you gentrification).

Jeffertitti’s Nile

Robert definitely tried his hardest and wanted to please the band and his fans. A guy commented next to me, ‘well he’s definitely not his father, but he’s holding his own’. Robert sounded great and albeit a bit nervous, he was clearly having fun. The guys were all good natured and poking fun at him. His father definitely had to be smiling down at him. The band clearly missed Michael but this was the best tribute anyone could have asked for. It was just heartwarming and endearing and Im glad that I got to be there to be a part of it.

Jeffertitti’s Nile, the opener, is a 4 piece band from LA and a friend of Roberts. The lead singer came out clad in skin tight jeans, that looked like they were painted onto him. He had a mop of blonde hair hanging in his face reminding me of a surfer. But a surfer band they were not. The other guys came out in long shirt/dresses and pants and longish hair stepping out of the 60s. It was fitting that they played psychedelic-garage-bluesy-glam rock. They kind of flowed all over the stage. The real awesomeness was the drummer and his hair which exceeded Brent (fathead of The Dandy Warhols). This guy had the most awesome head of hair, only sadded by the fact that the drums hid it. People seemed to really enjoy them. They were pretty quiet with not much to say, and when they did say something it was all distorted through the mics. This is one band that I cannot wait to see again.

Setlist (from LA – and prob the same in SF)
Everywhere I go
I Still believe
I dont wanna
Floating Back
Into the woods
Turn a blind eye
oklahoma
you were there
tore the old place down
red moon
swim in the ocean
let the day begin
reconciled
modern romans
whats happened to you
…same old story
you run (acoustic)
walls came down
uncovered

I feel alone lyrics

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This Must Be The Place w/David Byrne & St Vincent

Posted by xneverwherex on October 16, 2012

David Byrne & St. Vincent
(Love This Giant)
Orpheum Theatre
October 15, 2012

Somewhere between The Lion King, The King and I and anything else with King (according to David Byrne) is this show. The Orpheum Theater was nice enough to squeeze in a non-show between it all. And I could only be so lucky to see more shows performed there.

The Orpheum Theatre is a really beautiful theater with exquisite views. I have a feeling that whereever you are seated, you will have a great sightline. I was in the mezzanine and for once I was happy I wasnt in the orchestra. To watch all of the moves and see every last thing was worth it.

David announced from the beginning that the use of cell phones, cameras, videos, etc were definitely ok. He didn’t seem to mind anything, but said we might want to enjoy it without a black box in front of us. He was definitely right. The crowd, for the most part, rarely used their phones/cameras – sneaking it out once in a while to get a picture or two. And what a crowd it was. A respectful crowd that was beyond appreciative and beyond excited.

Finally, around 8:15 David Byrne comes out with St. Vincent (Annie Clark). Him sporting a white/black suit and her in a blue dress that might have been 2 separate pieces. They both looked great. The band, a 10 piece brass orchestra, also was sporting black/white attire. The band is more or less led by Kelly Pratt of Bright Moments, a Brooklyn band. He has also played with Beirut, Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem. The entire orchestra was comprised of members of other Brooklyn bands. Most notably was a trumpet player from Yellow Ostrich.

David Byrne/St Vincent

The show itself was simply awesome and beautiful. The songs off of ‘Love This Giant’ sounded great, even better than what I had heard streaming. The stark dance moves mostly seemed robotic. It was clearly choreographed and most times the band members were nearly stalking their prey (David and Annie). They would move around them, the horns blaring into their faces, as they circled them and taunted them. It was like being in the jungle as the performers all had their own moves. At times, Annie would lean against one of the guys and go to work like a mad scientist on her guitar. It was raw and it was passionate.

A lot of the songs were performed with either Annie or David at the mic. The other almost disappearing into the background, but then they’d join the other, and as quickly retreat. This really got to showcase all of their talents. He is the perfect frontman and great leader. He took the band from song to song. The highlight (not speaking of all the covers!), was ‘Cheerleader’. The band, save for Annie and Rachel (another band member), was lying on the floor and soon were playing their instruments lying on their backs. It was pretty incredible watching these trumpeters play on their back. They slowly got up and the whole piece was extraordinary. Annie’s vocals were nothing short of impressive. ‘The Forest Awakes’ also showcased Annie’s talents and her smoky, raw vocals sounding almost like she should be in a burlesque bar. Its hard to not be captivated by her.

I was never a huge St Vincent fan, and I had seen her a bunch of times, but in this she was perfect. She was robotic, spastic, her moves not quite polished. She was shaky, with a nervous energy the way she moved and it worked out perfectly. Her own songs had never sounded better with the backing band. Her guitar playing not as overly aggressive as can be.

And of course, David Byrne. Having never seen him perform before, I wasnt sure what to expect. But he delivers. With his shocking head of white hair, he is an entertainer. He’s talkative, funny and clearly having a great time. And it was great that there were some Talking Heads songs sprinkled in. ‘This Must be the Place’ is a really catchy Talking Heads song and got the crowd singing along. A girl in front of me started dancing with reckless abandonment. It started something, because when St Vincent played her solo songs, 2 guys started dancing clearly enjoying every moment of Annie’s voice.

All in all it was a great set. It was great to hear Annie talk about first hearing The Talking Heads in ‘Revenge of the Nerds’. As she said ‘the best song placement ever’, when referring to ‘Burning Down the House’. She also talked about an aunt/uncle in the audience who helped her become who she is and getting her into music. You could see the show meant a lot to her.

The band had 2 encores and the crowd never let up. Enthusiastic till the very end. Dancing throughout the theater and everyone having a good time. And a congo line for ‘Road to Nowhere’… seemed way too fitting as they closed out the set.

Set List:
Who
Weekend in the Dust
Save Me from What I Want (St Vincent)
Strange Overtones (David Byrne)
I Am an Ape
Marrow (St Vincent)
This Must be the Place (Naive Melody) (Talking Heads)
The Forest Awakes
Optimist
Like Humans Do (David Byrne)
Lightning
Lazarus
Cheerleader (St Vincent)
Lazy (David Byrne)
I Should Watch TV
Northern Lights (St Vincent)
The One Who Broke Your Heart
Outside of Space and Time

Encore:
Cruel (St Vincent)
Burning Down the House (Talking Heads)

Encore 2:
The Party (St Vincent)
Road to Nowhere (Talking Heads)

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Go Baby Go Go – Garbage

Posted by xneverwherex on October 8, 2012

Garbage
Screaming Females
Warfield
10/1/12

Monday night women rocked the house. Shirley Manson and “the boys” brought along Marissa Paternoster and Co. (aka Screaming Females). What a fearsome two bands it turned out to be.

It had been over 10 years since I had last seen Garbage. Somehow I had forgotten what a show it would be. Shirley came out in a long black cape like top and some awesome heeled boots. She walked around in big circles taking over the stage. She was ferocious, commanding attention.

Garbage

She started out the set with a charged up ‘Supervixen’ and then went straight to ‘I Think Im Paranoid’. It was an awesome start to the show and Shirley’s dance moves to Paranoid were spot on. The crowd was excited with lots of fists pumping in the air, lots of ridiculous bright red hair wigs and the like. About 30 mins into the set, Shirley stops by Butch Vig to change her shoes and put on way more comfy flats. She ran around, did even more funky dance moves – robot moves were just awesome – and was having a great time.

It was even a more special night for Shirley as the last time her mom saw Garbage perform live was at The Warfield. There were also a few more tributes for other people that had passed away and a really heartfelt one to Christopher, whose daughters were at the show. It was definitely moving and she played ‘Special’ for them, which had never sounded better. You could see that it meant a lot to her and and the band.

The band played a solid 2 hour set that just flew by. I had forgotten how many hit songs they had. #1 Crush, Only Happy When it Rains, Queer, Stupid Girl, etc. Eric Avery (Of Janes Addiction), who looks to be having a great time on tour with the band, veoted Shirley’s idea of a crowd picking the song. It was a competition of a ‘favorite’ or a ‘new’ song. Shirley went on about how some like risks and it was quite cute till Eric decided theyd play the new song. It worked out well, I think most appreciated hearing a new song. Shirley also mentioned a story about how one of the songs was about losing her virginity, but it was always assumed to be about something else. For what its worth, it wasnt good.

Screaming Females

As mentioned earlier, Screaming Females of Trenton, NJ opened the set. Many people had never heard of them and didn’t know what to expect. Marissa, in a dark dress, played the hell out of her guitar. The songs were tight, fast and short reminiscent of Nirvana. Grunge has never sounded better. The band, as always, had few words to say and made the most out of their 30 minute set. And from where I was standing, she definitely impressed a few of the guys with her amazing guitar-playing skills. She thanked Shirley and Garbage a lot and you could tell she was genuinely happy to be opening for them.

This was definitely one of the best shows of the year.

Set list:
Time Will Destroy Everything
1. Supervixen
2. I Think I’m Paranoid
3. Shut Your Mouth
4. Why Do You Love Me
5. Queer
6. Stupid Girl
7. Hammering in My Head
8. Control
9. #1 Crush
10. Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
11. Blood For Poppies
12. Special
13. Milk
14. Battle In Me
15. Push It
16. Only Happy When It Rains
17. Vow
Encore:
18. Bad Boyfriend
19. The One
20. You Look So Fine

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100% Fun w/Matthew Sweet

Posted by xneverwherex on November 4, 2011

Matthew Sweet
The Shadowboxers
City Winery
11/2/11

20 years ago, Matthew Sweet came out with one of the best albums ever Girlfriend. Its quite hard to believe that it was so long ago. But, it was surely worth the wait to see the album played in its entirety. Matthew Sweet, albeit a bit bigger, sounded as great as he did all those years ago. I had only seen him once previously, for the 100% Fun tour, and wasn’t sure what I’d get this many years later. One thing I can say with certainty – I’m so glad I decided to check out this show.

Due to a 2nd show later that night, the opener was (thankfully) cut short and soon enough Matthew Sweet was appearing. He seemed more than comfortable on the stage at City Winery now going on his 3rd night. He was chatty and said how energetic the crowd was. For a seated show, it was great to see people getting up and and cheering and a lot of fist pumping. The fans were just beyond excited to be there.

Matthew Sweet

Ive always been a huge fan of power pop bands and the guitars were sounding great. From the opening chords of ‘Divine Intervention’ the band gave it everything they got. Some of the songs were filled with so much guitar and it seemed like they really went off on the guitar solos. It was brilliantly awesome.

Matthew walked us through the album – Side 1 (on vinyl/cassette whatever you had) clearly had the punch of the album. All the singles were in the beginning. Its insane when the album goes from ‘Divine Intervention’ to ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ and then ‘Girlfriend’. I mean, what more can anyone want. As side 1 seemed to disappear quickly, soon he was telling us about the deep cuts of side 2. And there are some gems on that side. ‘I Wanted To Tell You’ is pretty amazing! The great thing about this was the album is 15 songs. For that time anything about 12 or so was considered too much. So the last 3 songs were meant to be the hidden tracks – so if you kept your record (or cd) running long enough they just kind of appeared. Or on cassette they were just there. Most of us didnt even know they were hidden, so now theyre just considered part of the album. Great VH1 pop up info.

As the show was coming to an end, he told us he’d be playing a song off of 100% Fun. Its hard to imagine a show without ‘Sick of Myself’. The guitars were so loud and full on that song. Easily one of my favorite songs and everyone sang along. It was so great to have a full album of ‘Girlfriend’ and then ‘Sick of Myself’. I couldnt have asked for a better show (maybe longer). He did manage to even put in an encore and included a song from ‘Altered Beast’, the more popular ‘Time Capsule’. I wished he had time for more, but another show had to go on!

The openers from Atlanta. Oy! The Shadowboxers were one of the most boring cliche/light FM album rock bands I had ever seen live. It was verging on being painful and the only thing that made it relatively ok was that it was short. They were just so forgettable that its about all I can even say.

If youre old enough to remember this album, and loved it then, do yourself a favor and be sure to see him if he’s not already come to your town. He is so worth the money and the album is so amazing to hear performed live. Will easily be one of the best shows that I saw of 2011. And for those wondering, no Richard Lloyd (Television) is not currently playing with him.

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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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