Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘dance’

Stereolad = !!!

Posted by xneverwherex on December 6, 2015

!!!
Stereolad
Slim’s
12/4/2015

It was one of those nights that was just bizarre. While waiting in front of the club, a woman comes up to me and asks me if I want dinner tickets to the show. I tell her that I already have tickets, and she says she has no one else to give them to. So now – Ive got 4 tickets. Because the show isn’t sold out, nor even close to it, and there arent people roaming around I talk to the bouncer/security guy and he is game to help me out. He agrees to text me if it does sell out so I can come back out and sell my tickets. I won’t even spill the guy’s name, because I am sure that this is not supposed to happen. Wouldnt matter anyway, as that did not happen.

But, I did get a free dinner out of it. So, I cant complain too much, especially because it meant I didn’t really have to hear the first band which I just wasn’t enjoying, nor really paid much attention to.

Stereolad

Stereolad

As excited as I was to see !!! again, I was even more excited when I realized/hoped that Stereolad was indeed a Stereolab cover band (with the members of !!!). Im not sure if it was a better thing that I had read up on this, or the surprise in person would have been better. Either way, it was simply brilliant and maybe even the highlight of the show. Oddly enough, Laetitia Sadier, lead singer of Stereolab, had just performed in concert a few months ago.

Its so worth checking this out, especially if you’re a fan of Stereolab. Stereolad does not disappoint in the slightest. Nic Offer (lead singer of !!!) comes out in an too short checkered dress with big flowers on the pockets and even puts on a great French accent. He nails it and gets the whole French attitude all so perfectly. With 2 other women singing, alongside him, it almost feels like a Stereolab concert. They have perfect harmonies and opening with ‘French Disko‘ is just about as perfect as it gets. With heavy keyboards, some great droning guitars and Offer singing back-up vocals in addition to him on guitar, their music sounds perfect. Its that perfect amount of indie-pop sung in French and English and has everyone dancing along. How can anyone not dance to ‘Jenny Ondioline‘. I couldn’t have been happier to hear “The Noise of Carpet” off Emperor Tomato Ketchup (which was one of my favorite albums of theirs), especially since the women really killed it on the vocals of that song. Perhaps the best moment is when Nic announces that soon !!! (or pronounced in a French accent – cheek cheek cheek) will be out soon. Never sounded better! The set was just perfect and if you can’t get Stereolab, you definitely can’t go wrong with Stereolad.

French Disko
Transona 5
Jenny Ondioline
Our Trinitone Blast
The Noise of Carpet
Lo Boob Oscillator

!!!

!!!

And soon enough Brooklyn via Sacramento band !!! (chk chk chk) would take to the stage. Nic opted out of his dress and came back with his short blue board shorts (TM). And the band was ready to go in a whole different direction from Stereolad.

The band is on tour for their new album As If. It didn’t take long for them to get the crowd dancing with hands in the air. Sure, maybe the music has changed over the years and has lost the dance-punk edge, but the 80’s dance music is hard to go wrong with. They opened with the ever catchy “Sick Ass Moon” off of their new album. It starts off slow but has a nice build to it and is a good way to begin the show which is obviously going to be a sweaty hot dance mess. “All U Writers” is by far a bit more catchy and it was good that they kept the songs going more upbeat and really working the crowd into a frenzy. The back-up vocals were pretty awesome, although I have no clue on the woman’s name who sang. All I can say is – first time in SF and she was having an awesome time – and killing it. I love that the band now has solid dance routines down for the band members. It’s just so much fun to watch.

Nic Offer !!!

Nic Offer !!!

And Nic’s moves are always sweet. He knows how to work a stage, hands and arms going back and forth, legs moving non-stop. While they may never change, it surely doesn’t matter. It works and everyone loves him for it. Nic clearly was having a good time and spent a good chunk of time in the dance pity on the floor. He worked the entire floor moving all through it really getting the crowd to dance. He was so engaging.

Bam City” was great to finally hear. It’s a total rock party song and everyone was singing along with it. And lots of keys and guitars are always refreshing to hear. It had been awhile since I had heard “Must Be The Moon” performed, so it was really awesome to finally hear it again. The crowd was going pretty crazy and everyone was jumping. Nic was leading the crowd in the pogo-ing and it worked. Plus the keyboardist was really into it. He had a lot more solo dance moves last night and was really into it.

Freedom! ’15” is a song perfect for now – political enough but with dance beats it always seems a bit more light-hearted. And then right into the even more fun “One Girl/One Boy” was perfect. Everyone singing along and dancing to it was just perfect. It’s beyond catchy and has lots of great guitar parts so Nic could catch a breather.

But the highlight by far had to be the encore, “i feel so free (citation needed)” – which more people seem to know it as ‘say it ain’t so’. It starts with just Nic singing and then as he song goes on he says ‘its too quiet without kickdrums’ and sure enough they come in – then the same for guitar. It just builds and builds and its just a huge dance party with the whole floor moving – arms flailing in the air, everyone having a great time together – and dancing all as one. As Nic would lean over the stage, people would rub his head – all sweaty big hair and curls. He would get really into it. And at one point, he messes up, and just starts laughing and laughing and cant stop – then says ‘well thats never happened before’. And that kind of sums up the show. It was just pure fun and to all the blogs/writers out there giving this album mediocre to bad reviews – if you cant get past that the band is all about making great dance music – and sure maybe the punk is gone – but who cares. They put on a show like no one else – and some days that’s all I want in my music.

Set List:
Sick Ass Moon
All U Writers
Except Death
Ooo
Fast One
Bam City
All the Way
Must Be the Moon
Freedom! ’15
One Girl/One Boy
Slyd

I Feel So Free (Citation Needed)

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Welcome To My World of Kinky

Posted by xneverwherex on February 15, 2015

Kinky
2/12/15 – Mezzanine
2/13 – The Catalyst (Santa Cruz)

Rock en Español/Latin American rock whatever you want to call it, has never been better. The bands that I have recently seen coming from below us always put on incredible shows. So, its really no surprise that the quintet from Monterrey, México Kinky put on one hell of a show. I knew in roughly the first 5 minutes, that I would be off to Santa Cruz for night 2! The band had just released MTV (unplugged) which seems to contain songs from all their different albums.

Kinky

Kinky

With the opening notes of “Después Del After“, you could already feel the surge of electricity emanating from the crowd. Omar Gongaro, would be the first to appear, somewhat hidden behind his ginormous drum set. One of the few drummers that Ive seen play standing up for the full performance. Then came their out bassist Cesar Pliego (who is just pure energy) and Carlos Chairez (lead guitar). Cesar was already dancing around in his tejana (cowboy hat) and boots and was ready to get the show started. By the time lead singer Gilberto Cerezo came out on stage the entire crowd was dancing and singing along. Adding to the craziness of their set is Ulises Lozano keyboardist/programmer and sometimes accordionist.

Unlike the Santa Cruz set, Mezzanine is a small tight club with everyone pressed into each other. The stage is way too small to incorporate the band and their theatrics to really appreciate the entirety of their show. The video screen in the background was nearly impossible to see from the sides of the Mezzanine and it proved to be an integral part of their show (as I witnessed at The Catalyst). The spaces couldnt have been more dissimilar from each other. The Catalyst was a really wide open spot with a fairly large balcony that surrounds the stage. The stage is up pretty high – with a good 3′ gap between the stage and the audience. So there is definitely a bit of a barrier between audience and band. While Mezzanine seemed a much more intimate experience (up close and very personal), the band definitely thrived on the larger stage and took full advantage of it.

Kinky

Kinky

While, Id guess that most of their fans are Spanish speakers, it really doesnt matter if you can/cannot understand the songs. You end up just losing yourself to the music. They do a blend of songs in Spanish and English infusing electronic beats into full on rock songs. The band is pure energy and its a non-stop dance party. With songs like “Alma de Neon“, its impossible to not be moving around. Keeping it going, they move straight into the funkadelic “Hasta Quemarnos“.

By the time the band got into even the more upbeat/electronic/dance/rave “Cornman” followed by “Coqueta” with COWBELLS played by Ulises the crowd was a frenzy of arms, flailing and everyone moving. The songs are beyond catchy and when played back to back it just begs for a full on dance party. Adding to the fun of it all was bassist Cesar who by now was jumping around and dancing nonstop hopping on one foot in circles. Plus, we got to have even more accordion playing during “Cornman” with the all too perfect lyrics “Welcome to my world… welcome to my world”. Somewhere in all this were the unforgettable beats of Prodigy‘s “Smack My Bitch Up“. There’s not many bands that can pull this off so smoothly.

The band is incredibly talented incorporating so many different styles along with so many instruments. Gilberto has an incredible voice and such charisma and gives a commanding performance that its hard to even look away from him. Thursday night I was in front of Carlos and he was incredible to watch. Tucked away behind keyboards and guitar strapped to him he was amazing. Friday night was in front of Cesar and he tore it up. He worked the entirely massive stage, sweat dripping constantly from beneath his hat and a huge smile that never left his face. He was also constantly spitting onto the floor; he just left it all out there.

If the music isnt enough to intoxicate you, then lets add visuals. Because this band is nothing short of an aural/visual combination. In the beginning of their set it was usually just the song titles that were flashing on the screen but as the set went on, the visuals became something from a movie. At times it felt like I was caught in a Stanley Kubrick film – with images of a person about to shoot up (oddly enough this not shown during “Smack My Bitch Up”), but to the song preceding it. There’s an arm just laying there as the background morphs into other images. The images were just hauntingly beautiful.

For more on their visual / film love – a great interview is here.

Also, they threw in some norteno melodies and folk music (as I learned from a friend). I was in love with their beautiful version of Los Cardenales “Soy Lo Peor”. They completely changed it up and its just gorgeous. And of course, the entire crowd sang along. It just gives me chills each time its performed – the lush vocals of Gilberto and I’m swooning. Throw in the rhythm section and an upright bass that Cesar just plucks away at and its quite possibly one of the most beautiful songs Ive ever heard.

The band would come back for an incredible encore. All to fitting was Wall of Voodoo‘s “Mexican Radio” which would become pure chaos. The crowd in SC went insane. There was lots of pushing and shoving, pits breaking out and of course a few girls who were beyond determined to get on stage along with security guards working overtime to contain the raucous crowd. And of course, everyone was singing along yelling it out at the top of their lungs. When I first heard it in SF (not having heard it since my high school days at the very least) it was one of those blasts from the past. In SF, a girl easily managed to get on stage and it took 2 of their techs to get her off the stage. Probably a good thing the girls from SC were not at that show (or not close enough to get on stage).

By the time the band got to the signature bass lines of “Mas“, it was hard to imagine that there would be an even bigger blast of energy. The rocked out song with heavy guitars was brilliant. Everyone was singing the lyrics that are all too fitting, “Vamos queriendo mas y mas, mas y mas, mas y mas,” which roughly translates to, “We want more and more, more and more, more and more!” It was hard to not want this to end. If the energy of the show was already at a 10, by this point it had eclipsed that. The band laid it all out and left everyone clamoring for more. And it seemed like the band could have kept going and going.

I hadn’t been to a larger Latin American rock concert since my NYC days when I volunteered a day or two at the Latin American Music Conference. I had really forgotten how much I had enjoyed these shows and how unbelievably awesome they were. Unlike typical American audiences, everyone was there to dance, have fun and let loose. By the end of the show, one of the women constantly trying to get on stage had her arms around me as we were pogoing like no tomorrow. And the crowd in SC rocked. While it was insanity for parts of it, it was an incredibly great show and people thankfully even looked out for each other (at least the women). And if SF was the place to smoke up, Santa Cruz really put it to shame. From the moment the band went on, the place reeked of pot. It just got stronger and stronger.

While the band was insanely awesome, their audiences might have been even more so. If you haven’t yet seen them, go go go. pronto pronto pronto!

Mezzanine 10/10
Catalyst 12/10

The openers were both quite good, but the SF openers Bang Data were nothing short of awesome. The band, from the Mission (SF), also got a guest appearance from Kata of Locura(another SF band). The band, made even more famous from Breaking Bad, really brought the energy. They had the crowd pumped up with their blend of ska meets samba-cumbria infused beats and throw in some hip-hop and the band is banging. Throw in some other songs that are Spanish-English infused and more of the bossa-nova sound and it wont take long before your hips are moving to the afro-electro sound or youll be jumping around in no time. Plus, the lead singer skanks on a song or two. Now that is something rarely seen these days.

Moon Cadillac from Santa Cruz were entertaining enough. They had more of a disco-funk sound and brought out a would-be dance party, if anyone was actually interested. Sadly, they seemed to be a bit stiff on stage and just didnt have as much stage presence as Bang Data to really get the crowd pumped. But nonetheless, they were still good.

Set List Kinky (SF):
Después del after
Alma de neón
Hasta quemarnos
Soun tha mi primer amor
Ejercicio #16
Negro día
Cornman
Coqueta (Intocable cover)
Una línea de luz
Huracán
Para poder llegar a ti
Yo soy lo peor (Los Cardenales cover)
¿A dónde van los muertos?

Encore:
¿A dónde van los muertos?
Sister Twisted / Mexican Radio (Wall of Voodoo cover)
Bien pedo, bien loco
Más

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How Does It Feel?? New Order

Posted by xneverwherex on October 10, 2012

New Order
Run Run Run
Fox Theatre
10/5/12

I was pretty lucky that I had ended up with a New Order ticket. It had sold out so quick and so many of us were unlucky. Thanks to Val’s boyfriend having to travel, it made me one lucky girl.

Friday night in Oakland was insanely busy. I can only assume that there was some sorta festival going on. There were bands on the street, djs spinning and people everywhere. Plus some sort of protest march going on. And the Fox Theatre was right in the middle of it all.

New Order

It seemed to take forever but New Order finally came out. The stage was quite dark as they started into their first song. And then BAM! The lights started going, strobes coming on and off and the beginning to what would be an insane light show the entire night. I was convinced my friend Will was their lighting designer.

Their second song, ‘Age of Consent’, really got the crowd revved up. They introduced the band via video screen. The band didnt do a whole lot of moving around, and Gillian barely left her keyboards. Bernard Sumner did some moving around and jumping around while Stephen Morris for the most part remained behind the drums. On occasion, he’d walk to the sides to play what looked to be a drum machine. There were a few other members rounding out the touring band, but couldnt remember who. It was definitely a loss to not have Peter Hook on bass.

The first half of their set was mostly songs I hadnt remembered and probably a few newer ones. It seemed I was recognizing one for every few. I was a bit disappointed. At least the seongs all had a catchy synthy beat and they were easy to get into. But then it was like all of a sudden all their most popular hits. True Faith was followed by Bizarre Love Triange, complete with the original video on the screen. The crowd went nuts with people dancing in the aisles, next to their chairs, wherever they could make room. And then they threw in ‘Perfect Kiss’ and ‘Blue Monday’. Lastly, there was ‘Temptation’. They were so great and the crowd was singing along. But then Barney was saying last song and everyone looked confused as it was barely over an hour at that point. It seemed a bit unreal. But then it happened, and the band was off the stage. It was hard to believe that after an hour and 15 minutes the show was nearly over.

New Order

New Order

Of course there was an encore. It was a short, but sweet, 2 song encore of Joy Division songs. The first was ‘Atmosphere’ and the set was closed out with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. The songs arent quite as dark and moody as Joy Division, but still had that feel to them. Its hard to hear the songs and not imagine Ian Curtis’ voice, but its cool to be able to hear them played at all.

While I guess I had higher expectations, it didn’t totally disappoint. I heard some great songs live and they were performed with great execution. But just a few more songs would have been nice. I definitely would have loved to hear a song or two off of ‘Technique’. More of anything would have been great from a band that has countless albums and songs. C’est La Vie.

Set List:
Elegia
Crystal
Ceremony
Close Range
Age of Consent
Isolation (Joy Division Cover)
Here to Stay
Your Silent Face
Bizarre Love Triangle
586
True Faith
The Perfect Kiss
Blue Monday
Temptation

Encore:
Atmosphere
Love Will Tear Us Apart

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Best of the Rest @ CMJ

Posted by xneverwherex on October 25, 2011

10/21/11 & 10/22/11

Friday and Saturday moved so quickly and so late that I barely had a chance to recover. Even tho the nights werent insanely late, the subways always made it that much more fun.

The best set of the festival – hands down – nothing came even remotely close – was Casiokidsfrom Norway (I actually thought Swedes, but alas theyre Norwegian). Casiokids were fun and creative and did I say fun. Their synth-pop/electronic sound was fresh sounding and it always felt like they were creating music on the fly.

Casiokids

Who knows if they were – but it all seemed so original. I loved the fluidity of the band members as they all rotated on instruments from guitars to keyboards to drums. Well the drummer was usually one guy, but lots of percussion was always added – often times in the way of fruits. Shaking pineapples and red peppers. I think there was a cucumber too. The band had everyone clapping and dancing and just having a great time. It was a pity the set had to end as it should have gone on for at least another hour.

Thanks to Spike Hill for having one of the best showcases and free too! Its hard to go wrong with that. The UK had some great bands around too. Its pretty hard to go wrong with bands from across the pond (as a generalization – not a rule). Jonquil, from the hometown of Radiohead, err Oxford, were a catchy 4 piece. They have a great indie pop sound with infectious hooks and catchy melodies. Their music has a sound that is quite reminiscent of Vampire Weekend. For great britpop, this band is definitely the way to go. The guys were cute and talkative and I could see them getting quite big.

Jonquil

The BMI/MCT showcase over at Bowery Electric also had some great bands. The day started off early with Tall Shipsfrom Brighton. These 3 guys certainly can make a lot of sound. Comprising of heavy guitars and drums with minimal

Tall Ships

vocals they were a surprise that I couldnt get enough of. I really liked the set with the drummer grabbing part of the drum set and sitting in the middle of the floor. He was then joined by the bassist who went towards the back and the singer who joined in. It was so impromptu and spur of the moment. They all then had one hell of a session with drums culminating in a spastic fun set.

And with all things UK – it would be hard to omit the lovely boredish lads of Viva Brother. They ended up being a surprise guest and they never seem to disappont live. Their music is energetic and has the feel of the 90s britpop bands. Unfortunately, the band just didnt seem as into it. The drummer seemed pissed, the guitars were somehow not on the stage but in the front of the stage in the audience. Their poor tech had to go back and forth giving people instruments. Im not sure if their set didnt play out as well due to a lack of sound checks. Their music is still damn great tho, so no matter how they looked on stage it was hard not to enjoy it. A bit sad that it was so short, but hell it was free and one awesome surprise.

Washington (state) had a great band in Beat Connection. Continuing in a similar sound to Best Coast the band comes off as tropical and fun. With never ending sound problems plaguing their set, they laughed about it and continued as best as they could. Their music is catchy and has a lo-fi electronic sound to it. I loved the use of their colored neon lights surrounding the keyboards that would alternate in colors. Most of their songs were sampled with lots of keyboards and drums but the vocals that were used (Id imagine their own) sound really great. ‘In The Water’ makes you feel like youre

Beat Connection

sitting out on a beach and just in your own place grooving out. Its gotta be the catchiest song out there right now. I could listen to them over and over.

Billy McCarthy has since moved on from Pela (very sad!) to form We Are Augustines. I had wondered why this band kept emailing me new things, but that explained it all. I really didnt pay that much attention and had liked their stuff but seeing them live solidified it all. Rock music at its finest and a band that loves to play for fans. What more could anyone want. When told they had one last song, Billy went with a 10 minute jam that was purely awesome. Lots of guitars and rocking out they were easily a favorite of the night.

Bands that left a lot to be desired: Fallulah from Denmark. Im not sure which was worse the Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover in which she stated they were her favorite band. Or the fact that maybe she wanted to be Karen O. Im not entirely sure, but I found them pretty unbearable. The band itself was interesting but her as a front woman made me cringe. Chrome Sparks, from Michigan and California, just seemed a bit young and odd. Their music sounded ok, but the woman singing just seemed bored and not really into the show. And their music was a tad bit boring. Enough to stand around for 20 minutes, but thankfully it wasnt longer than that. Ambassadors, who I appreciated a bit more knowing their keyboard player was blind, had some great songs. Overall, I find their music hit and miss. Some stuff is incredibly catchy while others just dont seem to go with the sound.

Savoir Adore is already a pretty big name here and they never disappoint. One of the last bands of the day they were a fun set with catchy songs and toe tapping and just leave you feeling in great spirits. Its hard to ever go wrong with them. The guy/girl vocals always work so well and a few mess-ups and laughter ensued.

All in all, maybe Im getting more selective with what I go see, but for the most part there were some great bands that really stood out. CMJ was yet another success!

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CMJ Begins…The Good And Not So Good…

Posted by xneverwherex on October 19, 2011

CMJ – 10/18/11

So many bands, so little time! It seems its the same thing year after year with CMJ. Ive got a complete schedule that ends up useless in the first 5 minutes. Bands either fail to deliver or theyre so great – I end up seeing other bands on the showcase I might have passed up. Unfortunately, there are also times when you’d rather just shoot yourself and call it a night when disappointments continue.

The Good:

The Duke Spirit

The Duke Spirit – technically, they shouldnt even be included in this. Theyre established and damn good! Of course, they were the highlight of the night – and I fear if I continue to see them not much else will compare. Liela looking smokin’ hot as usual is always great fun to watch. She has so much energy when she performs and she commands the stage. Its hard to take your eyes off of her when she moves as she glances around the room. Her voice is perfection as she growls through the songs.

Surprisingly, they played their older songs instead of playing newer songs. Perhaps it was due to a really tight schedule in which they were needing to be in Brooklyn. They played a way too short set of about 8 songs but it couldnt have sounded better. The dirty, muddy sounding guitars were a great complement to Liela’s voice. The garage rock psychedelic sounded great in the posh Bowery Hotel. It couldnt have been a greater set.

Hands, from LA, took the stage prior to The Duke Spirit. They had a pretty big turn out with what seemed to be lots of friends (or maybe girlfriends) from Cali.

Hands

They sounded incredible and much better than I could have expected. The backing of the psychedlic, lush sounding keyboards and guitars filled the air, with a similar sound to Sun Airway. The vocals are strong and it seemed like if Division Day (another LA band) had continued and made their songs a bit more dancey this is what youd get.

The drummer, playing barefoot naturally, keeps the beats going. The keyboards nearly swallowing the lead singers voice on some songs works out beautifully. The music, the vocals and the guitars all blend so perfectly well together it gives such a complete sound.  If youre not sure of who to see during CMJ, this band is definitely not to be missed. They have a show on Thurs afternoon at Pianos which should be great.

Alamo Race Track – who I actually saw on Monday (pre-CMJ) are also a band that you dont want to miss. Hailing from The Netherlands, it seemed the Dutch contingency came out in full support for them. I had never seen so many insanely tall people in my life. The band started off a bit shaky, and its hard to say whether or not it was the band

Alamo Race Track

or the actual songs they chose, but as their set continued the music definitely got better. They have some great melodies and their voices play off each other’s quite well.

“The Northern Territory” which they ended with was easily one of their best songs and definitely more popular. A lot of people were singing along and its catchy and fun. It sounds so much better live, that its worth seeing them just to hear that song. Its a punchy, fun toe-tapping awesome song. “Black Cat John Brown” was also another highlight. The other band members broke out with other instruments during the song. It seems they’re all quite talented players going back and forth on instruments.

They’ve got a free showcase on Thurs over at The Delancey with some other Dutch bands. If youre not doing much – its worth checking out.

And the well — not so good and you might walk out on bands.

Marcellus Hall – now if youre quite into country music, youd probably find the band quite good. They had a good sound and the lead singer was pretty amusing – so this alone made it better. As Im not a fan of country music – this was pretty painful and it seemed each song kept getting longer. Thankfully when soon there were only 3 songs, it became 2. And naturally, they’re all about love and relationships. The woman on violin did sound pretty awesome and it was her birthday – so cheers to that!

The Silent Comedy – which has such an awesome band name – so disappointed. I couldnt wait to get out of the show and it couldnt happen fast enough. Sounded like some sorta folky-bluegrass jangly type thing with banjos and all. Maybe they should have played after Marcellus Hall insteaad of spacing it out so oddly. Perhaps that was the original set- but with The Duke Spirit having to be in Brooklyn lots of things were changed. Either way – meant an early night.

And oh New Zealand – I had such high hopes for you. Andrew Keoghan, who was oh so nice to look at, was a little underwhelming. The guitar and drum thing had so much potential, but it was more of just a singer-songwriter act. Not bad sounding all, just a bit boring.

Princess Chelsea was interesting. The women had good voices and the way the band mixed it up on instruments was pretty cool. Their first song, which I knew from online, was very catchy, but then it just sounded like more of the same. It really seemed like 2 girls on their computers, mixing it up with sounds and beats and 2 guitars who added a bit more, with a drummer occasionally filling it in. Not a bad thing, just a bit slow and was near sleep inducing. Prob a great band to end a night with.

Heres to Day/Night 2. Hoping for some great things!

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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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Friendly Fires Finally Playing New Material

Posted by xneverwherex on February 8, 2011

Friendly Fires
The Hundred in the Hands
Bowery Ballroom
2/7/11

Friendly Fires has once again crossed the pond to bring the dance party to New York. Their shows are always a good time and its one of the new shows that can get nearly an entire place to move. A lot of the audience in the front tried out their new best dance moves. Im not sure it works in a sold-out venue, but its hard not to move.

Their setlist was still largely based on their first album with a spattering of new songs in between. One of the changes with their new material is it doesnt have that same catchiness upon first hearing as something like ‘Paris’ or ‘Jump In The Pool’. At times a song or two reminded me of ‘Odessa’ from Caribou with the same beats and other instruments brought into the music. It still has a dance-y feel, but it almost feels like youre transported into a jungle. Perhaps it happened when they played with a Brasilian samba school as you now get the samba and calypso vibe.

Needless to say, it seems the new tunes might take some getting used to and lots of play. Ed perfected his dance moves which is now even more undulations, gyrations and is starting to look more stripper-esque. There is no denying he can work those hips, and those slow moves had the girls in front swooning. But he still is amazing to watch – esp when he gets really into it and he just starts working the stage. Ending with an extended version of ‘Kiss of Life’ that just kept Ed going and going was a great way to end the set.

I do miss some of the songs that hopefully have not yet been retired. Sad to no longer hear ‘Strobe’ and ‘In The Hospital’, but hopefully the new songs catch on.

The Hundred in the Hands were a nice surprise. Their music is really great live. With a catchy retro 80’s feel (think Pat Benatar/Belinda Carlisle), this Brooklyn duo has made the 80’s seem relevant. Electro-dance-pop at its finest, by the time you add some guitars and keyboards it will be hard to not be tapping your foot, shaking your head. They were the perfect opener for Friendly Fires getting the crowd warmed up (too bad most the crowd didnt seem to appreciate them) 😦

Friendly Fires Set List:
Blue Cassette
True Love
On Board
Running Away
Chimes
Skeleton Boy
Hurting
Jump in the Pool
Pull Me Back To Earth
Show Me Lights
Paris
*********
Love Sick
Kiss of Life

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Viva! Viva City!

Posted by xneverwherex on October 29, 2010

Its not too often that I’m so lucky that I can see a band 3x in a week. Especially one that hails from Newcastle! You know, that place where ale comes from! Viva City was here for CMJ and then is off on a small tour throughout the U.S. Currently they’re playing somewhere in Texas. Luckily for all of us, early next year this 4-some from the UK will be on this side of the pond.

I discovered Viva City when listening to the plethora of bands that were here for CMJ. Not many stood out, but from the first song I heard – it was HOOK, LINE, SINK! Their electro beats are enough to get anyone on the dance floor and add catchy lyrics and youll be singing along as well. The guitars on most the songs give it a grittier feel adding some edge to something that could have become just another boring keyboard electronic act. Their song ‘Switch’ could be an even better version of Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” is all that I could think upon hearing it.  Its heavy and intense sounding with a pulsating beat that drives the song along. “Hot Wax” is beyond catchy and insanely awesome to hear live. Well – I could say that about a lot of their songs (its always hard to choose a favorite).

Most nights sadly they played to near empty clubs, but at least on most nights there was some dancing. The guys do bring enough energy to each of their shows regardless of crowd size. Trev and Ali dance up a storm on stage and are awesome to watch. Trev is usually glammed up – with glittery make up, black polish and some sorta glittery shirt and dancing like crazy behind the keyboard. He looks the part of rock star but thankfully is quite charming when talking to him. Ali was equally charming and our conversation about SF made me want to spend a few hours with lots of beer chatting the night away.

Cant wait till they come back! Might just be my favorite band of 2010!

Setlist:
Fontana’s – 10/26/2010
(if anyone can fill in proper song titles – itd be most appreciated – no clue on some of their writing 🙂 )
Sound of Youth
Hotwax
C4 (cavalcade?)
Brother
Sleep Together
2 Lazers
Vice Audio Ends
Her Royal Hedonist
Remove Money Maker
Heat It Up
Ends

Some pics from the show. All photos and video by Tear-n Tan! DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION!

Trev & Ali

Viva City Rocks!

Sound of Youth –

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Oh those lovely Parisians

Posted by xneverwherex on October 11, 2009

So — in the past 2 weeks Ive seen a _ton_ of shows.  So lets start – a show at a time for the past 2 weeks. Or I should say – the shows that stood out.

Fri – Sept 25 – Phoenix & Passion Pit @ Central Park (Summerstage)

So, I was lucky enough to get into the show since it was sold out. But I volunteered for Summerstage, so I had an easy in. Of course, it really meant that I was working at the show. So I got there early and got to hear Passion Pit doing their soundcheck. They were already sounding great. A quick text to Andrew (one of the guys who works for them, and is also a friend of mine) to let him know how it sounded.

I was assigned to the ‘mobility -impaired’ section as its now called which is right in the front of the stage area on the right hand side. Great spot with a great view and also right next to the VIP section.

Passion Pit played a good set. I cant say I had the same feeling after seeing them in Chicago, but they were enjoyable. But Im a big believer in the fact that they need to just play their faster/upbeat stuff in concert, as their slower stuff doesnt translate as well. And honestly, I can only take so much falsetto. But their catchy songs do work live and the crowd was really living it up.

Phoenix would come on next. And me, being totally forgetful, couldnt understand why my friends were getting all excited. And behind me was Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst and Sophia Coppola (wife of Thomas Mars – lead singer of Phoenix). How on earth I didnt think for 2 secs she might show up, I dont know. But sure enough they were all there leaning up against the same fence I was. They seemed friendly enough, but you could tell they did not want to be bothered. And Simon nearly had to jump in and help me do security and get some guys out of the area.

Anyway, after all my celebrity gawking, Phoenix finally hit the stage. And the boys from France never disappoint. Their new stuff sounds great live and starting off with Lisztomania is a great choice getting the crowd really involved in their show. They played stuff from each of their albums, and it was really great to be hearing ‘Funky Squaredance’, although for all I know they play it at all of their shows. But its always a great song – Im just amazed how many people dont know it. Their encore had some of their other hits with Everything is Everything and If I Ever Feel Better. Thomas even did some songs by himself which was a nice change. Overall, they sounded great and what an awesome way to end the summer. Out in the park with gorgeous weather and the boys of Phoenix.

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