Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘guitars’

Wye Oak – Watching and Waiting

Posted by xneverwherex on July 17, 2016

Wye Oak
Tushka
Great American Music Hall
7/15/16

Baltimore’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack (aka Wye Oak) came to town last night and for so many reasons it was a show not to be missed. I hadn’t seen them since my NYC days (why, I still do not know) and they did not disappoint. It was fairly amusing to see Jenn come out in a tank top, bent over plugging everything in and setting herself up for the show. With no crew, the band is a minimalist act in nearly every way possible.

One of the things I most appreciated (and it seems like perhaps I hadn’t seen/heard this in far too long), was a band who clearly was doing this because they loved it more than life itself. Before playing ‘Civilian‘, and having a very out of tune guitar, she mentioned they were too poor to afford a guitar-tech. She went on to talk about how thankful she was people still came to see them play and people still paid for shows. She mentioned how this was an artist’s life and how if it was not for the fans coming out, they clearly would not still be doing this. Thankfully, Wye Oak still has a big enough fan basis.

Wye Oak

Wye Oak

While the GAMH was not sold out, it was still quite full and even with quite expensive tshirts, there was still a line after the show ended for shirts and records and other things. Probably the best $25 I spent, assuming the band took 100% of profits.

I hadn’t been in a mood to write about shows for a long time. Sure, there’s been good shows (I’ll do a rundown in another post), but none were leaving me with this blissful feeling. Perhaps it comes with humility and a band that does everything for themselves. When I left the show, I felt like I had just seen something even better than expected.

The band opened with “If You Should See“, a very dreamy-pop song that brings back the haunting vocals of Harriet Wheeler of The Sundays. The song is off their new album Tween (a new album of sorts “mini-album” of out-takes between Civilian and Shriek). Their new album is not quite as guitar heavy as their other album but is bringing in some synths to the mix giving it a more light, dreamy feel.

The band’s next song “Better (for Esther)” also off of Tween is a great mix of the old meets the new. When the guitar comes into action it gives the band a nice full song plus shows off how great Jenn is on the guitar. She loses herself in the guitar, just shredding away, head moving to the music. It’s moments like these that the crowd really got into the performance.

Wye Oak played a good mix of their work from the newer to the older. I was never a huge fan of their last album, Shriek, which was more synth-pop. It drifted almost too far from what I had liked about them, but “The Tower” did sound quite great live. This new album has grown on me quite a lot. Dance-y dream-pop songs had never sounded better and Jenn’s vocals were just soaringly beautiful on “Watching the Waiting”. Lyrics that so perfectly rang true, “And there is nowhere I need to go. And there is nothing left to do. And I am sitting watching myself. Watching you. Watching the waiting”.

Wye Oak - Jenn

Wye Oak – Jenn

It was really great to hear their older songs which are just so full and loud with Jenn tearing it up on the guitar. She is so powerful on “Hot As Day” and “Civilian” and gets lost in the music along with the crowd. It’s a lot of noise for just a two-some. Her vocals on these songs have always reminded me of Sharon Van Etten, sultry, powerful and full. “Civilian” had never sounded better, the guitars were so full and loud, the words just pouring out of her, it was pure raw, emotion.

It was an encore so that actually felt so worth it. Jenn and Andy both came across as so appreciative. Plus, it wasn’t just the hits that they came back to. “For Prayer” was great to hear, a much earlier track that fans really appreciated. Ending the set with “Holy Holy” was quite awesome with Jenn shredding the guitar and the crowd energized and dancing along. It was a perfect way to cap off the performance.

Tushka opened the set. Another duo, comprised of two brothers from North Carolina. Phil was in the band Bowerbirds. A mostly electronic R&B pop was a fun opener. The brothers seemed to have a lot of fun on stage and were really getting into the music. Would definitely check them out again if I see their name around.

Setlist:

If You Should See
Better (For Esther)
Shriek
The Tower
Watching the Waiting
Trigger Finger
Before
Sick Talk
Hot As Day
Civilian
No Dreaming
Logic Of Color
I Hope You Die

Encore:
For Prayer
Holy Holy

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Summer Ends with The Raveonettes

Posted by xneverwherex on September 24, 2014

The Raveonettes
Coves
Rich Girls
Bimbo’s 365 Club
9/22/14

The now LA-based Raveonettes made their way up the sunny coast of California to begin their tour in San Francisco at the lovely swanky old club Bimbo’s 365 in North Beach. Apparently, a regular stomping ground for them when they come to town. And, I could see why. Acoustically, the band sounded amazing. The noise was beautifully contained in the small club and regardless of where I stood it still sounded great (sight-lines is a whole ‘nother story).

The Raveonettes

The Raveonettes

The Danish duo were here in support of their new appropriately titled Pe’ahi (a place on the north shore of Maui). Their new album reflects some of their new home of LA — a more pop, surf-rock layered in guitars/fuzziness sound. Sure, in the beginning Sharin Foo, bassist & vocalist, had a bit of sound problems, but it was quickly worked out. Soon enough, plenty of loud gritty guitar. Sune Rose Wagner, lead vocalist & guitarist, was not too talkative but did introduce a few songs and excitedly would announce when they were playing an older one.

The band jammed through their hour long set with 3-minute 60’s wall of sound fuzzed out garage pop. “Love in a Trash Can” never sounded better with plenty of distortion and driving beats. Im in love with the song “Summer Ends” which they fittingly played after announcing it was the official last day of summer. Its a perfect end of summer song if your summer ended in heartbreak except for the fact its a catchy lighter shoegaze pop song with biting lyrics. “You said you come a-running when I need you
I said go fuck yourself I don’t believe you”. Enveloped in lots of strobes and dark lights the band played a great set of songs including “Uncertain Times”, “Chain Gang of Love”, “Apparitions”, “Sisters” (from the new album), and so many more. With 3 minute short songs, they seemed to just rip right through them.

The Raveonettes went out with a bang with their dirty gritty guitars on “Aly, Walk with me” and “Recharge & Revolt”. They sounded perfect in there and walked off the stage with the crowd definitely wanting more…

Rich Girls

Rich Girls

Openers Coves from the UK had to bow out due to visa issues (dont get me started on that one). San Francisco locals Rich Girls filled in for them at the last minute. And they were awesome. Fronted by Luisa Black, this 3-piece band performed a noisy guitar-heavy, drum heavy set. They sounded awesome, dirty and gritty garage rock, and had some really great songs. They were a perfect opener for the Raveonettes.

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Everybody’s Under Your Spell – The Duke Spirit

Posted by xneverwherex on June 5, 2012

The Duke Spirit
Hacienda
Slim’s
6/4/12

What a great night of bands. I hadn’t been to Slim’s since the late 90s and oddly enough it was exactly as I had remembered it. Had that nice welcome home feeling. Even better than that, the bands did not disappoint.

The Duke Spirit

Liela – The Duke Spirit

The Duke Spirit hadn’t played San Francisco in quite a long time and Liela and the gang were happy to be there. Throughout the entire set, she had a really big smile and played to the crowd. The crowd just adored her making it all the better. As usual, she had on black tights with heavy black boots and a sort of mock shirt dress/cape. Always one to look cool, it looks like she’d have been a fashion designer.

The band sounded really loud and crisp. The guitars were tight and gave off a nice shoegaze-y sound almost as loud as a Jesus & Mary Chain show. The sound reverberated throughout the club as everyone danced and got really into their music. Liela’s vocals never disappoint – a sexy growl as she takes over the stage.

Liela tends to fly around the stage. Her hands expressive as she runs back and forth – her body wrapping around poles on the stage. She plays to the audience and with songs like ‘Everybody’s Under Your Spell’ she really engages the crowd.

The set consisted of a good chunk of songs off the newest album ‘Bruiser’. I was familiar with a lot of the songs from their set at the Bowery Hotel last October but it was great to hear even more of the album played.

The only real disappointment was the set was so short. After 40 minutes they had already left the stage for an encore. It was rather unreal. They came back for a 3 song encore – sad to see that Lassoo was cut from the set. The encore was so kick-ass tho, Im not sure it mattered. ‘Red Weather’ was a real highlight. The guitars just kept going and going, it seemed like they could just play on forever. It was a total perfect frenzy between the vocals and guitars. Was beyond sad when it ended.

The Duke Spirit

Was pleasantly surprised about how awesome Hacienda was. I had only heard one song and thought they were so pop-sounding. It was great to hear that this band from Texas were playing some real Southern Texas with a bluesy rock sound. Im not usually a fan of it, but the guys were having a great time. The music was infectious and had some really great hooks. Would easily see them again and recommend people to check them out.

Set List:
Procession
Everybody’s Under Your Spell
Bodies
Hello To the Floor
Neptune’s Call
Glorious
De Lux/Don’t Wait
You Were Born
Surrender
The Step and the Walk
Love Is An Unfamiliar Name

This Ship
Red Weather
Cuts Across the Land

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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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