Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘gypsy’

REM Says Goodbye, The OTC says Hello…

Posted by xneverwherex on September 23, 2011

The Olivia Tremor Control
The Music Tapes
Le Poisson Rouge
9/22/11

Athens, GA lost a fine, fine band yesterday — “Its the end of the world as we know it” (well not quite) — REM. It was somewhat bittersweet that I just happened to be seeing another Athens band that same night, The Olivia Tremor Control. The Olivia Tremor Control – part of the Elephant 6 collective – played a really great show at Le Poisson Rouge. While I wasnt a fan of them (more like had no clue of them) in the 90s, Im glad that I came across them through Of Montreal. Better late than never, even if they rarely play and havent released albums in pretty much forever.

After seeing The Elephant 6 Collective earlier this year, I knew that I had to see The Olivia Tremor Control. I was never a huge fan of Neutral Milk Hotel (sacreligious to write, I know!) and I loved The Apples in Stereo, so I figured this might be a once in a blue moon type thing. I had always throught their music was much more pop, but last night proved otherwise. While they have catchy songs and great melodies, I never realized how much of a psychedelic sound they had. Psychedelic pop has never sounded better. They have some great jam songs and the crowd just seemed to love it. Lots of people swaying, lots of dancing and some sorta pit happened.

The band seemed beyond happy to be playing together. As they finished off the set and left the stage, the crowd grew louder and wanted them back. The band was very excited to come out for an encore, and mentioned how they werent yet ready to leave. The encore was great and by the end they seemed quite happy with the show.

The openers – The Music Tapes – another band in the Collective (or at least has some of the other band members) played an interesting set. Much like the Elephant 6 Collective some of the set was the same. Great stories about Romanian circus freaks – and lost dissolving cities – and some sorta magic. Some great songs in between and one of the best parts of the set – the 7′ tall metronome (that mostly worked!)! There were some cool interesting songs that definitely had some sorta gypsy Romanian flair.

A 7' Tall Metronome

Setlist:

A Peculiar Noise Called “Train Director”
I’m Not Feeling Human
Memories Of Jacqueline 1906/The Giant Day (Dusk)
Define A Transparent Dream
Courtyard
A Place We Have Been To
The Game You Play Is In Your Head, Parts 1, 2, 3
Jumping Fences
Grass Canons
California Demise
Green Typewriters (suite)
NYC-25
Paranormal Echoes
I Have Been Floated
No Growing (Exegesis)
A Sleepy Company
Mystery
Hideaway
The Sylvan Screen

Holiday Surprise 1, 2, 3
The Opera House

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Double Rainbows and Beirut Oh My!

Posted by xneverwherex on June 21, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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