Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘concerts’

And There Were 14 … Moving Panoramas

Posted by xneverwherex on May 21, 2016

Moving Panoramas
Rabbit Quinn
Upstairs at DNA Lounge
May 18, 2016

You know that moment, that you walk upstairs into a club, and you barely hear a sound… and you walk through the door and realize you are one of the only people there… now, imagine that you are the band.

Austin trio, Moving Panoramas, could tell you all about that kind of night.

The one question I repeatedly get asked (and wonder why people feel inclined to ask) is “did the band play” and “did they play like there was a full crowd”. First off, if a band has people at a show – I have never seen a band just walk off because there weren’t enough people at the show and secondly, I have been the only person at a show (which was awkward) and the band still played like they would play for a full house. Naturally, it means I also make even more noise than usual. So yes, they a) played and b) it was seriously kick-ass.

Moving Panoramas

Moving Panoramas

The trio of women were remarkably cool and funny about the show. The band addressed it early on and the crowd for the most part kind of sucked. The band said hello – and no one said a thing – I said ‘hi’ back and they joked that ‘well at least one person is here to see us’. But pretty much they just played all their songs and were so into it that they barely said much to us. Sure there were jokes about how we should all get to know each other as well as at the next show it would be so packed we’d have to push our way to the front but could totally say ‘i was there when …’. So yeah – the band was pretty f’ing awesome!

Singer/guitarist Leslie Sisson has this really beautiful dreamy voice that blends so well into their shoegaze-dreampop sound. And they have one of the most fitting names for a band. Their music has this feel of beautiful, moving landscapes that you can just lose yourself to. The guitar and bass just meld into one full sound. Add the harmonies from drummer, Karen Skloss and it just completes the band’s sound. And while the club was empty, their music filled that emptiness. It filled all the voids with its simplisticness.

Their album, One, is just a perfect blend of indie-guitar-dreampop/rock. With just enough guitars, bassist Rozie Castoe, adds a bit of the fuzziness of the shoegaze sound but still manage to keep it more on the dreamy side of things. Songs like “Magic” and “Tonight” get you lost in their sound. It’s the perfect music to just close your eyes to – hop in your car – and drive for awhile and get lost in this perfect ambient sound. I feel like the best part of their songs is the emptiness within. They were really smart with their songs in that not every moment has to be filled with vocals and it leaves a lot for the listener to fill in.

It was pretty amusing in that when Leslie wanted to dedicate a song to the newly married couple, that she noted that all their songs were way too dark. I think in the end, they chose “One” and said to kind of change the lyrics around or think of it in a different way. Sure their songs are dark and sad, but if you read Leslie’s stories between kidnappings and friends killed, etc. in some ways it makes perfect sense. Regardless, their band is one not to miss – even if you find yourself in a club with just 13 others.

Sometimes it’s about those awkwardly intimate performances where you both know that it’s just you and them. But if you’re lucky enough, the band will put on such a show, you will forget that it was just the 14 of you. Plus, by the end, you will all become friends and even get to talk to the band.

Rabbit Quinn

Rabbit Quinn

The other huge bonus to the show was the opener, Rabbit Quinn. A local woman who joked about wearing fairy wings and sneaking into the DNA when she was younger. From the moment she stepped behind the piano, and started her first song, I knew it would be good. She was the reincarnation? of Tori Amos. She was sorta like a cornflake girl, with great stories that were hauntingly beautiful.

Her vocals just filled the room and managed to hush the room with the few people who were talking. She commands attention with both her piano playing as well as her vocals. Her debut album, Lost Children, is dark and eerie and seems to be a story of fables. While it could be mistaken for a long, lost Tori album – she definitely is putting her own spin on it. She has some quite catchy songs that have you singing along. And it’s always great when a singer asks what you want to hear and then plays a song showing that she’s fully in control of the music and the set. She knew how to play to the audience as small as it was and knew how to have fun. One hell of a talented woman. Oddly enough, you can also see Rabbit, performing the national anthem at the A’s games these days. She’s really one to check out if you notice her name at any of the local venues.

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Black Violin. BEST.LIVE.SHOW

Posted by xneverwherex on March 13, 2014

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Wednesday night (3/12) in a word was all over the place. Ok so a few words. I started panicking around 945 or so as I was jumping venues. But then something … someone’s …. happened.  A band called “NO” from L.A. which has band members from everywhere. And this is where the change happened.

The swan dive is an awesome bar on red river. Its got tables surrounding the outter wall and lots of chairs. I met a guy from Germany who told me no would be great. Man he was not lying.

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The six piece band, who met in la, are from everywhere around the world. They were dressed very sharp with all of them clad in black pants, nice shirts and their best 12 eyed doc Martens.  The lead singer has a nice baritone ala Matt Berninger of the National.  Their sound is post punk a nice mix of the National meets the editors meets interpol.  They blend it all and they have a really nice full polished sound. Their songs are catchy and in no time at all will you be singing along. The lead singer has great energy and really works to get the crowd involved. A very solid band you dont wanna miss.

They’re signed to the great label arts and crafts and are currently on tour with the Darcys.

Rey pila from mexico city brought on the funk and dance. They infused it all and they were great fun. Their lead singer came into the crowd and danced it up big time. Really a band you dont want to miss at sxsw.

Black Violin came on around 130 to a fairly unpacked club. It was a good mix of people in the audience making for an awesome night.

The band is 2 black guys who met in high school some 15 years ago in orchestra class. They have remained tight friends ever since. The band, from Miami, also has a dj spinning beats and a solid drummer (with an awesome shirt).

The guys on violin are just BRILLIANT!! They have transformed the violin into this awesome instrument that at times sounds just like a guitar. The way they play and put to use the violins is mesmerizing. They should be the new heroes for music classes everywhere inspiring the youth today to turn towards playing the violin.

The music at times is straight out of a symphony but with a rock infusion. Then they will immediately go into something very different. They will keep you on your toes. They ended the set with one guy introducing us to ‘Tiffany’ his violin and doing some pure shredding (do you shred on a violin?). The set ended with a great medley of some of the catchier radio songs from ‘Radioactive’ to ‘Blurred Lines’ then straight into Daft Punk’s song of the summer ‘Get Lucky’. It was SICK! The crowd loved it with everyone getting down and dancing. It was non-stop entertainment and kept us going for the night. BEST.BAND.OF.SXSW.2014.

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Just Announced Shows:

Posted by xneverwherex on October 30, 2010

PRINCE – 5 Purple Days in December went on sale today. The pre-sale tix rather sucked so Im hoping to get some better seats tomorrow (at 10am they go on sale). Looks like December is turning into quite a great month 😀

12/2 Warpaint – $15 @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
12/3 George Clinton & The P-Funk Allstars – $37.50 @ BB Kings
12/3 Freezepop – $10 @ Mercury Lounge
12/4 Body Language – $10 @ Glasslands Gallery
12/4 Jeff Tweedy – $45 @ Bowery Ballroom
12/7 Chief – $13 @ Bowery Ballroom
12/14 Ben Folds – $39.50+ @ The Beacon Theatre
12/14, 15, 17 Prince – $20.10 @ IZOD Center
12/16 Fran Healy (Travis) – $30 @ Bowery Ballroom
12/17 Bear Hands – $13 @ Bowery Ballroom
12/17 Steve Mason (Beta Band) – $15 @ Mercury Lounge
12/18, 29 Prince – $20.10+ @ Madison Square Garden
12/30, 31 Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings $39.50/$55 @ Best Buy Theatre
12/31 Guided By Voices – $72 @ Irving Plaza
12/31 The Roots – $85 @ Brooklyn Bowl
1/1 Gogol Bordello – $35 @ Terminal 5
1/4 Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven – $22 @ Highline Ballroom
2/4 Tapes n Tapes – $15 @ Mercury Lounge
2/13 Pat Benatar – $45+ @ Wellmont Theatre
3/18 Crystal Castles – $25 @ Terminal 5

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CMJ 2009 from NZ to UK to Iceland

Posted by xneverwherex on November 2, 2009

10/20 – 10/24 – CMJ Music Marathon

Tuesday: New Zealand Showcase @ Red Bull Space – SOHO

The first night of CMJ was almost a failure. Thankfully some friends of mine who get off of work earlier managed to get a great place in line. Unfortunately, so many people werent able to get in. The great thing about this was once you were inside, it wasnt painfully crowded. There was so much alcohol (thank you 42below!) flowing. Better yet, they created their own drink concoctions which were beyond potent. The vodka was insanely delicious but the redbull combination was enough to do anyone in. Oh and free food all night long! All in all – easily the best CMJ showcase I attended (and it didn’t hurt that it was free). 🙂

Now – lets get to why we’re all really reading this. The music. New Zealand never disappoints when it comes to bringing in bands. Think: Cut Off Your Hands. And this year, there were a lot of great bands from there.

First up at the ridiculously early hour of 6:30pm was Surf City. They were beyond insanely hyped and were playing everywhere at CMJ. I have to say it was unreal how many shows they had. Unfortunately for the band, their first night they had a lot of sound issues. Vocals were non-existent and everything was so insanely loud and muddy. It just sounded like 30 mins worth of noise and it was not pleasant. (not to fret – I saw them Wed night too and they killed it!).

Motocade was up next and they were the band that I was really looking forward to. Very catchy hooks and that oh-so familiar britpop sound had me really excited. And they were good and catchy and the lead singer was charming. They were fun. I would definitely see them again.

At this point, with plenty of drinking going on, it was a great time to have Bang Bang Eche come on. Hard to believe that the band is comprised of what seems to be teenagers. I cant imagine they’re more than 17 years. But didnt matter. They played their hearts out and were jumping around all over the place, into the crowd and really had the energy. A sort of synthy-electro sound with lots and lots of keyboards and guitars. Nice to see the guys of Die Die Die in the crowd supporting them.

Ive decided that Kingston is my new Electric Touch. Indie-power-pop music at its finest. A lead singer that is very charismatic and has the personality and looks to engage everyone. All the women wanted to be near him and touching him. Their music is very catchy and will have everyone dancing along in no time. The lead singer managed to climb up on top of nearly everything from the bar to the speakers and even did some crowd surfing. Very cool and not something you see all the time. With songs like “You Want It”, youll definitely be singing along in no time…. You want it, You got it! Kinda sums them up. Theyre playing at Pianos in a week or so, so dont miss them. Will be a fun show if anything.

Last up for the night was Die! Die! Die! They definitely continued on where Kingston left off, in a total different direction. Their music is definitely not nearly as pop-sounding as Kingston’s. But their brand of electro-experimental-punk definitely had people moving and jumping. Soon enough a pseudo-mosh pit broke out featuring a lot of Bang Bang Eche. Lots of keyboards, heavy guitars and nearly shouting for vocals was a great way to end the night. Everyone was involved and walked out a sweaty mess.

I then ventured onwards to The Suffolk and had regrets about my last vodka/redbull. I was beyond wired and jittery and it was an awful combination. I was so irate with The Suffolk people who pretty much knew nothing when they told me The Lovemakers was not going to be free. So I ended up taking me and my buzz home for the night.

By far the New Zealand showcase killed it! Overall it was the best group of bands that actually remotely sounded like they should be on one bill. Most other shows were so many random bands it was easy to walk out after just a few.

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Into the wilds of Brooklyn

Posted by xneverwherex on September 25, 2009

So its been a pretty busy week. Im not sure how Id be coping if Maximo Park hadn’t cancelled their tour, but actually Im really beyond bummed. Which reminds me — concertmaps SUCKS! I just want my $75 refund, and they still havent given it to me. Must make some calls.  evidentally, either my credit card company or the actual company made my money come back to me! YES! All is right with this world again.

So with Maximo Park cancelled, my Monday ended up freed up. Which was really just a good excuse to stay home and watch BAD tv. Then Tuesday rolled around like a whirlwind.

9/22

And on Tuesday I made it into the wilds of Brooklyn. As a friend so nicely called it. Actually, The Bell House isnt that remotely located but Gowanus isnt that populated either.

Fanfarlo would be there that night. I had missed them on Monday night, so was glad to finally see them again. Last time I saw them at a hole in the wall club in the LES, at least this time they had a big enough stage for the band. I just love their style of indie-quirky-folky-pop music. They have the harmonies down perfect and everyone in the band sings quite well. They all eject random quips during the show and better yet, they dont dress like the hipsters. Definitely have their own thing going on.

It seems each band member must be required to play no less than 3 instruments as they all rotate throughout most of them. They have a trumpet, a sax, a violin, a maudlin, and Im sure Im forgetting most the others in addition to their guitars and drums. The addition of a saw used with a violin bow was awesome. Its amazing how they produce sound. The crowd was super into them and it worked well with the band.

Finishing off their whirlwind week tour of shows, this would be their final show (for now). They were a bit tired and the lead singer was slowly losing his voice. But they pulled off an awesome set and then amidst the cheering that wouldnt die down threw in a cover from Netural Milk Hotel. Definitely an influence of theirs.

Main Set

  1. Drowning Men
  2. Im A Pilot
  3. Finish Line
  4. Harold T. Wilkins, Or How to Wait for a Very Long Time
  5. Atlas
  6. The Walls Are Coming Down
  7. Waiting in the Wings (new song)
  8. Comets
  9. Luna

Encore 1

  1. Ghosts
  2. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel cover)

Wildbirds and Peacedrums from Sweden made for a different opener. The 2 people in the band definitely are into sounds and noises and it turns out to be more of an artistic performance. A lot of hand clapping and foot stomping and mic-less singing of just ‘oohhs and aah’ and filled in with a drum. It somehow worked for the band.

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2008 – the shortest recap ever

Posted by xneverwherex on January 11, 2009

since i didnt post a single thing here in a year – its tragic really – i wasnt altogether absent from reviews and such. if i have time ill one day add them here, but you can read about my adventures in the city on my flickr page. all the concerts come with recaps and what not. www.flickr.com/photos/xneverwherex

and heres to lots of shows in 09. im starting on a great note with the winterpills. and this week liam & me. awesome awesome awesome!

HAPPY NEW YEARS!

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Its Friday Night at The Apollo

Posted by xneverwherex on November 19, 2007

11/16/07

Friday night at The Apollo! Actually I think it’s really Saturday night at The Apollo – but you get the gist. And yes – really – its that Apollo Theater up in Harlem. Home of Slick Willy (err Bill Clinton).

So for those not familiar with Harlem – its definitely not what I had ever envisioned it to be – but the Theater is exactly how it should be. This strip of Harlem 125th Street is now just store upon store mixed in with every fast food joint you can think of. But it has a nice vibe to it, and I always like being up there.

The Apollo is filled with ushers throughout the theater – taking you to your seat. Asking you to kindly fill out surveys and everyone is uber-helpful. I could get spoiled by this. I was even more spoiled with my seat in the second row. When you look up above behind you from that close to the stage – the feeling is amazing at how big it is. When you think of all the blues/jazz artists (and everyone else in between) that has played there – you can almost feel the intensity. But I digress…

The show started out with Simple Kid (an Irish bloke) who plays a kind folksy-artsy 6-7 songs. The first few songs were ok – but somewhere it just caught and each subsequent song was fabulous. The highlight by far was hearing him say ‘this song is about being Irish’ and starting to play ‘Its Not Easy Being Green’ – featuring yes – Kermit the Frog! Oh that was awesome (I should say this was my first record I ever owned – the Muppets – with Rainbow Connection). His other songs included a song about Elton John – that has a great story to go along with it and the ever catchy Seratonin – which even featured the words on the screen behind him. For a one-man show he did his job and I am ready to go purchase his CD.

Finally – Spiritualized took the stage. I had heard so many stories about them playing live and how amazing it was – that I could only hope it would be that good. Jason was looking pretty thin wearing dark sun glasses the entire night. I was in the unfortunate section with a guy yelling ‘take off your glasses Jason, I want to see your eyes’. I really wanted to say “shut your mouth dude, I want to hear Jason sing’. Maybe I should have, but to interrupt the music would have been sacreligious.

Jason was joined on the stage by the organ player (who with his long able fingers – was a joy to watch), accompanied by a 5 woman orchestra – all in long dark skirts, and a choir comprised with about 5-6 women. The Apollo has the feeling of being in a gospel church and these songs were perfect for it. His voice carried through the theater with the women’s back up vocals creating the perfect fit for him. Jason was pretty quiet throughout the set – just going through each song. At the end he stood up and waved and that was about all you got from him.

It works tho. His music didnt need anything else done to it. Some bands need the theatricals to make the show what it is – but when you have a voice that sounds like Jason’s, songs that are beautiful – about redemption, etc., and you are playing with an orchestra/choir, you dont need more than that. It was delivered to us as it should have been – and hands down – this was the show of the year!

The set list is as follows:

The setlist:

  • Sitting On Fire
  • Lord Let It Rain On Me
  • True Love Will Find You
  • Cool Waves
  • Amen
  • Going Down Slow
  • Feel So Sad
  • Soul On Fire
  • Walking With Jesus
  • Stop Your Crying
  • All Of My Tears
  • Baby, I’m Just A Fool
  • Anything More
  • Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
  • Broken Heart
  • I Think I’m In Love
  • Encore: Lord Can You Hear Me
  • Oh Happy Day

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CMJ 2007 Recap (in a nutshell)

Posted by xneverwherex on October 23, 2007

10/16 – 10/20 – CMJ 2007

CMJ as always seems to be a clusterphuck and it always seems that you are missing someone. It never fails; but then you catch that one band that sticks out that wasn’t even on your list, and you realize that this is why it is so worth it. CMJ is 5 days of shows throughout NYC showcasing some of the newest, hottest bands out there that you have never heard of. It also manages to get some top names that you can also catch in tiny venues.

This year CMJ was a bit of everything for me. I caught some hyped up names and some bigger names and then the names that are unheard of. I rely heavily on word of mouth (thanks Hannah) at shows to know who are so worth seeing. We all have our favorites, but my friends picks are usually so right on – that once I hear I *have* to see a show, inevitablly I see the band.

So lets waste no more time and begin. Tuesday night the festival began and knowing I had an insane week of shows I ended up foregoing who I had wanted to see. Surprisingly it was ok as most the bands I had just seen. The highlight of that night was to be Hot Iqs which I ended up catching on Wednesday. All hope was not lost.

Wednesday was Day 1 for me. I started out by catching a free show over at Club Midway Hot IQs. What a way to begin the festival. Catchy songs that are so danceable. A lead singer with a quite low voice in the realm of The National. A female drummer who is kick-ass who plays barefoot and looks like Lana of Smallville (Kristin Kreuk). I was so glad that I got to catch this band as they’re from Denver and only had a few shows. After the set the band invited me to Brooklyn with them and I had wished I could go. They were also handing out free CDs, so I plan to give them a listen or two. As you can’t go wrong with catchy pop melodies.

After that it was off to The Delancey. I was hoping to be catching Five O’Clock Heroes, but at some point it got switched up (is all I’m guessing). Instead I got to hear BM Linx not once, but somehow twice. They sound quite OK on myspace, but live I just wasnt so into them. They definitely had the New York vibe going on looks wise with a guitarist who looks like he just stepped out of a new wave video. Cant comment much more on them, as they were easily forgettable, which in my book is never a good thing. After that was The Wildbirds from Wisconsin. The lead singer has a sexy, sultry voice and the band has the classic rock/bluesy sound. I basically would describe them as sexed up rock, which was all I could think of during their set. 4 guys with longish hair that have the typical rocker look, with tight jeans that are oh so hipster. But their music is far from that which is indeed a nice change. Finally was the band that had a lot of hype that I had been waiting for. Cut Off Your Hands is from New Zealand, which apparently is the ‘it’ place to be from right now as far as bands go. They had about 8 showcases (if not more) that they were playing. Nick Johnson, lead singer of the band, has for one the best haircut in the bands playing these days. But regardless of his indie hipster look with tighter than tight jeans, has this amazing voice – reminiscent of Morrissey’s from The Smiths days. He’s beyond spastic when he sings and dances, and goes from standing to falling to the floor to hanging off beams in clubs and climbing on things. He’s got so much energy that their 25 minute set is the most intense set that could be seen at CMJ. Its fast, bouncy, post-punk rock at its finest. If you liked The Smiths, I dont think there is any way you can not like them. Likeable guys in the band who were so excited to be there, proved that this is what CMJ is about. And if thats not enough, any lead singer who can go through 3 bottles of water – pouring them down his back and over his head – should give you an indication of just how much heart he puts into each set. Besides, anyone who shoves a cameraperson away gets extra points with me.

After that it was off to The Canal Room. I caught Air Traffic from the UK which put on a good, tight set. Its a little too Coldplay-lite for me and too much like all those other bands from the UK. This is not a bad thing as I love Coldplay, Travis, etc. but I find that I wont remember them from anyone else, especially at a festival. I would add that if you can see them on their own, it’d be worth it. After Air Traffic was the band I was super excited to see. I caught Division Day from LA. The last time I had seen them was at CMJ a year ago with Birdmonster. I’m a huge fan of Division Day so this time I knew nearly all of the songs. Great catchy hooks, sing-along-choruses, and keyboards that will get you on the dance floor. Each song is seemingly different from the prior one, yet each has its own hook that will get you dancing. Rohner has an amazing voice and their new album, Bear Trap Island, is as catchy and as great as their prior one. So definitely go out and buy it.

And finally the continuation….

Thursday was a bit of craziness with friends coming to town, and trying to coordinate everything. I started the day off by catching Division Day at the former Mo Pitkins (sadly it closed that Saturday for good). Division Day now has a reputation for playing places that somehow end up closing soon after (it was sin-e for them last year). Again, another great show.

After some wandering around the Lower East Side I ended up catching some stuff at Pianos. There was a DJ set with San Serac that was quite entertaining. After that set, I think I caught some of someone else but cant remember. I met up with Hannah and it was off to the Fader party and get some food! The Fader party was good but but it was only open for those who rsvped. They had DJs between sets and free drinks. Always a good thing. I caught Cut Off Your Hands again and it was as good and as out of control. So loved this band! After they finished up – I rushed over to Club Midway to catch The Warlocks. Really no need for rushing as they were behind schedules. The lights went down (near pitch black), with the only glow from the neon lit floor. The guitars kicked in, the noise filled the room, swirling, lush sounds. It was hard to stay awake (surprising with how loud it was), but I was dead tired, and in the near pitch black with just guitars it was pretty peaceful. I should say that The Warlocks were on my bands to see list. Being a fan of the Dandy Warhols, nearly everyone who likes them, are huge fans of The Warlocks as well. And they did not disappoint!

After all this I headed uptown to Town Hall to see Stars. This was not a part of CMJ. Stars, from Montreal, put on an incredible set. Amy Millan’s vocals were right on and she sounded amazing. Torq sounded great also and had such a bubbly personality. They played a set consisting of songs from all the different albums. People were in front of their seats dancing and it made for a great time to get away from CMJ for just a bit. Their set was nearly 2 hours or so and it made for a great time. One of the highlights was when Amy messed up the lyrics to the song, and they went into a big production over having to restart the song. It was even better the second time.

After their set, I rushed back to the LES, and caught the end of Wintersleep‘s set. It was so loud is all I can really remember, and the vocals were near impossible to hear. Fat Baby was having a Canadian night with all bands from Canada. I was there to check out the Toronto band Uncut who I keep on managing to miss. It was a good thing I got there, because Im not sure Derek would have been happy with me anymore 🙂 Uncut put on a really great set. Their new-ish stuff is sounding really great. Ian’s vocals were right on. Their new guitarist Chris fits right into the band. If you like your music with heavy guitars, very loud, great songs this is the band to check out. “Kiss Me” sounds like something that Jesus & Mary Chain would have put out sometime ago.  And that rounds out my Thursday night.  

Its hard to imagine that those were only 2 days. Next day it was onto work (barely functionable), and then after work it was time to rush back down to the LES and catch more bands. I made it down to the Fader Party to catch yet another band from New Zealand. The Checks who were so full of energy and had some very catchy blues rock. They were definitely a band not to miss. And it was quite dancy as well, which made for an even better time. After that, it was over to Fat Baby for probably the biggest let-down of the festival. I honestly think though something happened when I listened to the bands, because I really thought they were supposed to be good. First was The Alarmists from Minneapolis. Now they were fine – but a little boring. Didnt do much on stage, but the music held its own. Catchy indie pop, but nothing out of the ordinary. The next set went even more down hill which was Spouse from Northampton, MA. Way boring indie pop that the band barely seemed all that into. It seemed they were bored on stage, which definitely didnt help. Next was Minneapolis’ The Melismatics. Now I really like the way they sound online, but live I was mostly appalled with the scene. I felt like they were trying so hard to be just another indie hipster band. Which is unfortunate, because they did seem to have some talent. Their music wasnt bad, but just seemed like any other band you could see in Williamsburg (and no – this isnt a slam on Williamsburg – but when youre seeing a ton of bands, youre hoping for something at least memorable). On their own outside of a festival, I think theyd be damn good.

About this time I got really worried about who I was seeing. My only consolation was – I had RSVP’ed to Crash Mansion and was on the guest list and could get in for free. Now their show would not disappoint. First – Crash Mansion is an amazing venue. It is huge and it is _very_ swanky. Its basically a place to go to be seen. Hardwood floors, stone walls, minimal lighting, tables scattered throughout the place and a DJ spinning in the corner of the main room. Plenty of bars with great drink specials, and acoustics that are amazing.

The first band we caught was Zambri. Mostly women in the band playing rocked out dance type music. Its quite likeable music until the woman singing goes off-key and is hitting notes she should have never tried to hit. Its ear pitching screams would make me never want to hear them again. Thats fine – I had no clue who they were and werent there to see them. Next up was House & Parish that I was looking forward to. And they were nice guys to look at, with a really good guitarist, and some good crowd interplay, but overall a wee bit boring. Just didnt seem so into the show. I was worried tonight was a big bust. UNTIL…  WILD LIGHT. 4 guys make up the band and the great thing about them is the 3 guys (minus the drummer) rotate instruments throughout the set. They all take turns singing lead vocals, but mostly there is a lot of harmonies that shows off their truly impressive vocals. Very catchy indie pop songs that even without knowing the words – will have you singing along in no time. They were easily one of the most likeable bands that were playing. It was great when at the end of the set – they said that they had some very good news. They were just asked by the Arcade Fire to come on tour with them in Europe. I recommend checking out Red House which shows off their amazing harmonies.

My night had been saved by these great guys from New Hampshire. And after that I had the great fortune of finally catching Foreign Islands. I have been a big fan of this Brooklyn band for quite awhile, it was just more amazing that I had never seen them live. Foreign Islands tore it up – had the crowd dancing within seconds and a band that was as wild on stage. They played a pretty revved up 25 minute set that ended with the singer throwing his mic straight at a lamp that went shattering everywhere. Needless to say, whether the show was meant to end at that moment or not, the show was over for them. Damn intense!

And finally, we reach Saturday. Im just tired remembering all this and typing it up – I dont know how I did it all. Saturday started out with some day shows. I caught a bit of The Pierces who were way behind schedule at Club Midway. I dont understand how you can be behind schedule after only one band. I guess nothing started on time. A pity as I was going to catch Foreign Born. Instead I ended up heading to Pianos to catch Turbo Fruits. I had heard that they were friends with The Checks and it makes sense (musically wise). They both play similar music with bluesy rock music. A great set with some catchy stuff, although I found The Checks just a tad more appealing. Im now getting strange looks from people that I work with over the music.  Next up was Foals – from the UK. They put on an amazing dancy set that just kept going and going. They really worked the crowd up – with the guys jumping into the crowd with their guitars. Lots of keyboards and lots of fun. I really cant wait to catch a full set from them, as 25 minutes was not nearly long enough. After that was The Maccabees who I had been longing to see after I saw them several months back. They seemed a bit tired, and it was only fitting with all the shows they had been playing. Their music was good, but not as good as they were previously. Catchy, British-post punk rock in the same genre as The Rakes. Still love the band – will just have to wait till they can play a full set.

After that it was back to The Fader party. Im not even sure who I was trying to see there, but I know I had missed them with the problems that Foals were having. I did end up seeing Yeasayer (and another band that I dont even know who it was). Yeasayer played a good set but I really wasnt so into the music and was getting tired.

From there I had to head back uptown to check out the new Terminal 5. The name doesnt lie – and it has the coldness of a terminal feel to it. The club isnt yet finished and the walls are just stark white and smell of paint. Sightlines are atrocious, so it helps to go up to one of the other floors to have a perfect view. Midnight Juggernauts opened the set and unfortunately with the sound problems they didnt sound that great. Some of the songs sounded really good, while others were horribly muddled. 70’s prog rock sounds, spaced out sounds, with amazing vocals (when properly heard) and you get a really great band. Electronic rock is here to stay. Cant wait to see them at a smaller venue (which Im hoping will one day soon happen). Unfortunately this great band is from Australia, so who knows when that will happen.

They opened for Justice – who claim that Midnight Juggernauts is one of the best albums. Justice put on a DJ set for over an hour that was pure dance party crazy. I was upstairs and watching the crowd flying back and forth – everyone moving with each other I was pretty surprised. I expected it to be wild, but I wasnt expecting what I saw. It was an amazing view, and it was a great set. A real pity that they didnt come out for a 2nd encore after the crowd was chanting “We are your friends, Youll never be alone again, Well c’mon”. Its hard to imagine with a whole club singing along, that there wasnt another encore. The band did come out upstairs to acknowledge the crowd. Overall it was a great set – but unlike their fellow countrymen Daft Punk – they just didnt blow me away in the same light.

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Dancing With Hot Hot Heat

Posted by xneverwherex on October 17, 2007

10/13/07

I don’t think its possible to see a Hot Hot Heat show without dancing. And this show was no different than any other show. Steve and company put on a great show that had everyone bouncing and jumping and dancing. He even made the comment that he could feel the stage shaking. And that is exactly how it felt on the dance floor – a stage that might eventually collapse to the other floor. Its kinda like an earthquake – and definitely not a feeling that you can get comfortable with.

Their set comprised of a good mix of songs off of all their albums. The unique thing about their set was above the stage were lightbulbs hanging all over the stage area. As the band would play the different lights would flicker on and off and throughout different songs Steve would lightly tap them and send them flying through the air. Steve also has amazing stage presence, as he’d work the room, bending down in front of people as if he were singing to them. He used the stage to his advantage – and it worked!

Crowd pleasers definitely included the likes of ‘Bandages’ (so messed that up when I wrote Damages – not sure where my brain was) and ‘Goodnight, Goodnight’.  As always the band did not disappoint.

The openers for the set included Nashville’s De Novo Dahl. I had heard such great things about them, but wasnt blown away by them. The lead singer had a unique voice and they had a little bit of a country-ish twang to them. Not necessarily a bad thing, but their music wasnt quite as dancy as I had been told.

The other band was another band from Canada – Bedouin Soundclash. They had a unique sound and it was a mix of indie rock mixed with reggae beats to it. It seemed to work well – and their music was good – but nothing memorable, unfortunately.

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