Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

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Posts Tagged ‘indie-rock’

The Music Revolution Has Begun… Again

Posted by xneverwherex on April 21, 2016

The Last Shadow Puppets
Alexandra Savior
The Fillmore/The Catalyst
4/17, 18/2016

It was only 8 years ago that I had last seen The Last Shadow Puppets. At the time, I was raving about how brilliant their album was. It was also a show that had stayed with me. I remembered seeing them upstairs in the Hammerstein Ballroom. Even then, I knew it had to be too small for them. So, I am still a bit dumbfounded that The Last Shadow Puppets aren’t huge and can still play venues like The Fillmore. It’s not a bad thing, at least as a fan. But they came back stronger than ever with their second album, Everything You’ve Come To Expect.

TLSP - Alex Turner

TLSP – Alex Turner

Long story short, Alex Turner and Miles Kane, should be that huge with this band. It’s a departure from the Arctic Monkeys, but this is by far the better band. The two of them are the ultimate crooners. The way they sing to you, as if you’re the only person in the crowd, is pretty amazing. With their suits and dapper look, I was instantly reminded of some of the best – an homage to the Rat Pack – straight with Alex Turner combing his hair back as he takes a rest while Miles Kane sings. Throw in a bit of the cool swagger of Tom Jones and the emotion of Morrissey and you get Alex Turner. He has charisma and charm in a way that only Morrissey exudes. I don’t think I had been to a show in that long of a time in which the girls were screaming like this was The Beatles. The girls were going crazy for Alex – including throwing things on the stage (please say it was a bra or panties). Their high pitched screams and giggles if Alex looked their way, was amusing. Sure, he’s attractive (he knows it), but my god – when he sings – he becomes even more attractive. And Miles, is the much louder, brasher of the two commanding attention. But the two of them together work perfectly. And when the two sing together – arms around each other – it really shows their fondness of one another.

I was telling a co-worker about last night’s show and his comment was “from the sounds of your description – they sound amazing and someone not to be missed”. And that is what I walked away with. I wasn’t even supposed to be at the show on Sunday night at The Fillmore (Lush had to cancel) and it worked out that I was there, and honestly, having 2 shows back-to-back made me fully appreciate the band even more.

Onto the music – TLSP added a strings section to their show. It was needed to add another element to the band. They begin the show with just the strings, violins and cellos which sounded so beautiful. Just a small group of performers really added to the show. The moment TLSP got on the stage, the whole floor of The Fillmore just lit up in billows of smoke. Im sure the band was stoned by the end of the show if they weren’t already. The band also seemed beyond excited to be playing in San Francisco. Miles and Alex must have yelled out something about SF every few minutes and incorporated SF into some of their songs. They were so incredibly tight and I felt their set in some ways was a bit better. The mix/order of the songs felt a bit more succinct at the Fillmore.

TLSP - Miles Kane

TLSP – Miles Kane

Most of the songs were the same, save for “Used to Be My Girl” – which is pure sexy, sultriness. The melodies from Miles and Alex in that song are just perfect. Their voices blend together so beautifully; it’s a song they should always play. “She Does The Woods” (with the intro from Arctic Monkeys “Joining the Dots” was also missing). Alex sounds so great on that song with Mile’s breathy vocals joining him.

Really, the one thing missing was the talkativeness of the band. They must have mentioned/asked ‘How you doing SF’ almost after every song and were just saying how excited they were. In retrospect, the Santa Cruz crowd was insane and way more into it. People were beyond excited for this show with a line wrapped around the block and down the street (this was over an hour prior to showtime). The crowds were polar opposites with the Santa Cruz show filled with a ton of college students and younger. Perhaps, SF has become the ‘cool scene’ where people just don’t show emotions. Regardless, both shows were incredible.

Some of the stand-outs from the evening were easily off the first album The Age of the Understatement with the ever catchy ‘My Mistakes Were Made For You‘ showing just how awesome of a vocalist Alex Turner really is; ‘Standing Next To Me‘ (easily one of my favorite songs) and having some of the best harmonies ever especially as they go into the chorus; ‘The Age of the Understatement‘ which was my first foray into the band – and has the best build-up of any song – always making me think of a bull fight as it just gets more and more intense – it’s pure brilliance; and possibly my favorite TLSP song ever ‘Meeting Place‘. With the strings opening the song and played throughout it just adds to the emotion of the song – coupled with Miles Kane softer vocals to Alex, who really works the song with all of his moves and hip shaking. The lyrics are just heartbreaking, but so beautiful.

The Last Shadow Puppets

The Last Shadow Puppets

It’s also pretty awesome that they still play pretty much everything off each of their 2 albums. They could have cut their shows short, but they really put on quite the show including a Beatles cover that is quite impressive ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)‘. ‘Dracula Teeth‘, which is Alex singing with Miles playing the hell out of the guitar is quite the pretty song. And the single ‘Bad Habits‘ is the ultimate in catchiness and has Miles doing one hell of a scream while Alex does more of his slides and dance moves as he plays the guitar. Just brilliant.

Alexandra Savior opened the set. She collaborated with Alex Turner on her album and he co-wrote most of the songs with her. I noticed at the Santa Cruz show, he stood by the side and watched her perform and seemed quite pleased. While she does have good vocals, she seemed a bit too precious/twee for me. She was almost too cute, but at times she did have a sultriness/sexiness to her and that made her quite appealing. If she toned down the preciousness and upped the sensuality, I think she’d made for one hell of a performer. Regardless, she still put on really captivating show and is definitely one to watch.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to see The Last Shadow Puppets, or can see them at one of the festivals this year, you really shouldn’t miss them.

Set List The Fillmore:
Everything You’ve Come to Expect (Extended string intro)
Sweet Dreams, TN
Meeting Place
Miracle Aligner
Dracula Teeth
Calm Like You
Used to Be My Girl
Aviation
She Does the Woods (Arctic Monkeys’ “Joining the Dots” intro)
Bad Habits
Only The Truth
The Element of Surprise
The Age Of The Understatement
Pattern
My Mistakes Were Made For You
In My Room

Encore:
Standing Next To Me
The Dream Synopsis
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (The Beatles cover)

Set List The Catalyst Club:
Black Plant (Live string intro)
Calm Like You
Bad Habits
The Age Of The Understatement
The Element of Surprise
Separate And Ever Deadly
The Chamber
Miracle Aligner
Pattern
My Mistakes Were Made For You
Only The Truth
Dracula Teeth
Everything You’ve Come to Expect
Meeting Place
Aviation
Sweet Dreams, TN
In My Room

Encore:
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (The Beatles cover)
The Dream Synopsis
Standing Next To Me

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Buzz Band Catfish & The Bottlemen Conquer SF

Posted by xneverwherex on February 11, 2015

Catfish & The Bottlemen
Wild Party
The Independent
2/10/15

The much hyped Welsh band, including a test-tube baby born lead singer with the born to be rockstar name Van McCann, Catfish & The Bottlemen lived up to everything and more. Its hard to actually believe the hype as all too often there is such a big letdown. But in this case the 4-some came to San Francisco and were ready to play their hearts out.

Catfish & The Bottlemen

Catfish & The Bottlemen

The band opened with the very catchy “Rango” off their debut album The Balcony. Van wasted no time with amping up the audience. With a lot of kicks and jumps, he worked the stage taking all of their songs a level up. They were harder and heavier in concert, not sounding quite as poppy. And the heavier sound worked perfectly. The packed show (surprisingly not sold out) had everyone singing along like they had been fans of the bands for years. It was hard to believe that this was their first time in San Francisco.

The band then went into the even more catchy “Pacifier” with catchy guitar riffs and Van’s lovely vocals. It has a bit more of a pop sound and had the crowd dancing and rocking out. Van’s head was constantly bopping up and down, his floppy hair all over the place.

Van is very reminiscent of Luke Pritchard of The Kooks. The way he moves, the way he takes over the stage and his whole presence reminds me of the band. You can almost imagine them playing around the same times. The band exudes energy and its infectious and everyone around me was smiling and clearly into it.

There was also a lot of stage banter with him calling out to a Liverpool fan who ended up singing their football anthem. There were clearly a lot of ex-pats in the crowd last night. There was talk about pies and what makes a perfect one and what to put it one (I think Van was not talking about a pizza pie). And it went on. He was so peppy and so full of life.

The other guys of the band left for a couple songs (which I guess could be an encore of sorts) and Van played “Homesick” on his own – along with a crowd sing along. It then went into the acoustic version of “Hourglass” which is beautiful. A girl next to me freaked out about not being able to video the song which was somewhat amusing. The band emerged again for “Cocoon” and “Tyrants” and included the awesome moves of Van sliding up and down the mic stand, resting his head against it as well as sliding his guitar up and down nearly using it as a slide. He just exudes coolness.

This is the band to see – so if youre on the East Coast – find yourself a ticket pronto. Most shows are/will sell-out and you will have no regrets.

Wild Party

Wild Party

The openers Wild Party from San Antonio, Texas are also a band not to miss. The bands are pretty different sound-wise from the heavy guitar rock of Catfish to the lighter, pop sounds of Wild Party. But each of them have the energy. It will be no surprise to see Wild Party around a lot more often.

Lead singer, Lincoln Kreifels tried to get lots of dancing going on and was really engaging. It was clear the band was excited to be in town. They have the same catchiness of Rooney who sadly never became bigger. Power-pop guitars, dance-y songs and in no time you’ll be dancing along to songs like “Outright“. The bass lines of Ethan Kaufmann are beyond catchy esp on songs like “Connect the Dots“. He’s excellent and the band is great to watch. In their ever tight skinny jeans, the band seems almost too jaded and cool, but its clear they’re all just having a good time.

Their music just makes people happy. Everyone around me seemed so into it and just having a great time. I remember missing them at SXSW last year and thinking eventually Id see their name. And I was so glad that I finally caught them. Its one of those bands to just go out and see and you wont regret it.

The combo is one hell of a two-some. Its hard to get two incredible bands with different styles, yet it works just fine. They’re a perfect opener, getting the crowd ready to go and then leaving it all to Catfish & The Bottlemen to take it to the next level.

I expect to be seeing both bands around a lot more often.

Set List: (Catfish)
Rango
Pacifier
Sidewinder
Fallout
26
Business
Kathleen
Homesick
Hourglass
Cocoon
Tyrants

Set List: (Wild Party)
Nicely Done
Lo-Fi Children
New Light
Connect the Dots
Chasing Honey
When I Get Older
Life’s Too Short
Outright
Take My Advice

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Inform. Educate. Entertain. w/Public Service Broadcasting

Posted by xneverwherex on February 22, 2014

Public Service Broadcasting
Kiev
Slim’s
February 20, 2014

Inform – Educate – Entertain is not only the name of the first album from Public Service Broadcasting, but also seems to be the mission of the London-based duo. And that they did. The band’s backdrop/screen is a continuous reel of archival news clips and some “educational” information which was probably shown in schools forever ago – which is really propaganda. Those were the days. But the band takes this material and adds their own music to the pieces. While it might seem that it wouldn’t or shouldn’t work, it does. And I did learn (thanks to a guy from England standing next to me), that the first image is what the Public Broadcasting Service used to use before their announcements.

Public Service Broadcasting – J. Willgoose, Esq.

The duo consists of Wrigglesworth on drums and the ever dapper J. Willgoose, Esq. on everything else (as is pointed out very cheekily). Willgoose dresses in a bowtie and horn-rimmed glasses and looks like a lawyer of yesteryears. He seems to be the educator of the band while Wrigglesworth keeps it very entertaining with on-going drum beats — sometimes speeding it up and creating a more dance-friendly song.

Some of the images that seemed to stick out were soldiers during wartime marching down the streets with crowds out to cheer them on (reminding me of Hitler’s Nazi Germany). The band seemed to have the perfect song to accompany it, keeping it more down-beat. Willgoose tends to use a lot of banjos and guitars in the mix of the songs and the blends work out just perfectly. The ending of Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mt. Everest was perfect with a more dance-y track that had some of the audience really breaking a sweat. It was upbeat and seemed to signify a victory to the end of the show.

This was nothing but pure original brilliance. I cannot recommend seeing this band enough as they will delightfully surprise you for an hour or so taking you on an informative musical journey through English history. While the band never utters a word on stage, the band does have their computer ‘voice’ (not siri, mind you) who does add quips throughout the show and one of the total highlights to hear him say ‘thank you. (long pause) San Francisco’. And just like that, the crowd bursts out in cheers and applause.

Kiev

The opener, Kiev, played their first show ever in San Francisco. It was rather hard to believe as they’re just our ‘neighbors’ down in the O.C. (Orange County). They were surprised to not get boos from saying that, but then again, half the crowd was probably their family/friends. So much for the SF/LA rivalry.

The band was surprisingly insanely loud. It was hard to figure out where the reverberations were coming from (as theyre far from a solid guitar band), but it seems that from the dueling keyboards and the guitars in between it made for a lot of sound (or else the mix was really bad). The stage was shaking and you had to step back as you could feel it pulsate through your body.

It was a bit too loud, as would have loved to hear the saxophone in several of their songs which got drowned out. The band was quite good and as it got towards the end, their music had more of a dance-electronic feel to it. They definitely ended the show on a high note and are worth checking out again.

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Wood Shoppe … Free Music!

Posted by xneverwherex on November 8, 2013

Strange Talk
Battleme
Aan
Brick & Mortar Music Hall
November 5, 2013

Wood Shoppe is a free night of music that’s held monthly at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall. I had wanted to go another night, but of course, I had a show that night and as it turned out the band I had wanted to see had to cancel. But I will be returning as it was awesome – and they had a really great line-up.

Strange Talk

The headliner, Strange Talk from Australia, was a band that I had been wanting to see for ages. And one, that I would have gladly paid money to see. I somehow kept missing them at CMJ. The band did not disappoint. They came out, introduced themselves by mentioning their Aussie accents (hence the band name) and then quickly proceeded into the ever-catchy ‘Cast Away’. The crowd quickly got into their music and soon there was lots of dancing.

The band which mostly uses keyboards/synths, did use guitar on some of their songs. Their music is very similar to fellow Aussies The Presets/Cut Copy with even more dance-y electro pop songs and their ultra-bright sneakers. As the night progressed, their music started to have more of an edge as more guitars came out and they started sounding like they could be the new version of Innerpartysystem. The lead singer sounded really great and has a smooth sound to his voice.

As they ended the set there was a pretty decent sized dance pit for this small club. The crowd really got worked up during ‘Falling in Love’ and ‘Sexual Lifestyle’ which also included a couple getting a little too into it. They ended their set with their first single ‘Another Day’ and even had a crowd sing-along. It was fun indeed and I’m sure in no time they will be playing the larger venues. Definitely a band worth seeing if you enjoy their music.

My favorite band of the night was Battleme from Portland. I had listened to a few songs and they tended to have more of an acoustic folk sound on some of their songs, but live —- its a whole different story. They killed the set with tight, hard-fast rock-n-roll with a bluesy/psych rock sound. The band, which primarily uses guitars, looks like 2 bands in one. The drummer and keyboardist, who were more clean-cut, looked like members of Strange Talk while the other guys (the guitarists) had tattoo sleeves and long hair. It didn’t matter – they sounded like one tight kick-ass band.

Battleme

Lead singer, Matt Drenik, has amazing vocals with a sultriness to his voice. The band really reminded me of the 90s bands like The Replacements, yet also had the melodies of the power-pop bands (Fountains of Wayne/Matthew Sweet). ‘Just Weight’, the single off the new album, is my favorite song with a very catchy sound and when the gritty guitars sink it, its just the perfect blend.

The band really got into songs with Matt really working every inch of the small stage. While their songs can be loud, thrashy and heavy they were also quite melodic. Their music really had the crowd rocking out. They ended the set way too early (or so it seemed) and had the crowd wanting more and calling for an encore. They finished out their last song asking the crowd if they’d want a slow or fast song … we went with fast and it was fast, loud and powerful and was one hell of a way to end their set. Definitely a band that needs to be seen again!

Aan, another Portland band, started out the night. Their sound tended to be a bit here and there with some songs sounding very emo and some being more pop. It was kind of all over the place and its hard to pin-point them with their musical style.

While some of their songs were catchy and fun, a lot just didnt seem to fit in with the others. At least the band seemed to be having a great time on stage and they were pretty decent (just hard to live up to the other 2 bands). And their name as they said is ‘on – spelled aan’.

Set List – Strange Talk:
Cast Away
Take Me As I Am
Is It Real
Wanted
Eskimo Boy
Cosmic
Sexual Lifestyle
We can pretend
Falling in Love
Climbing Walls
Another Day

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Stereophonics Take on San Francisco Bay

Posted by xneverwherex on October 12, 2013

Stereophonics
The Wind + The Wave
The Fillmore
October 8, 2013

It felt like it had been forever since the Welsh band Stereophonics graced the shores on this side of the pond. They were in town for their 8th studio album, Graffiti on the Train. I was incredibly tired after having come home from DC – and the place that should be known as hell on earth (Atlanta airport) – and wasnt sure I’d be able to last the entire night. But I should have remembered the energy that the band brings to all their shows.

Stereophonics

The band was at the end of their tour with just 1 more date left after the SF show. The band had so much energy and clearly loved being in San Francisco. They started off with ‘Catacomb’ off the new album which was the perfect intro on a fairly dark stage and gritty guitars and Kelly’s incredible gruff vocals. It had a hint of BRMC and was so fitting for an intro. The band then went into ‘Superman’ which had the crowd dancing and singing along.

Kelly Jones, lead singer, wrote this album and is one of the greatest storytellers in his songs. Its easy to get lost in the lyrics. So it was really great when he started talking about the song he wrote in the San Francisco bay (obv Have a Nice Day). He reminisced about writing the song and the cab ride. It was great as everyone sang along to that song.

The band played nearly the entire new album and played a lot off their prior albums. Kelly sounds as great as ever with the most powerful lush vocals Ive ever heard. Ive always said he had one of the greatest voices live – and its really hard to compare most to him. He sounds as great live as he does on album and thats a rarity these days. Adam Zindani, lead guitarist, is just an amazing guitarist. He was really into it and would occasionally grace the middle of the stage with some insane playing. The crowd would go nuts. He is such a charmer, smiling at everyone and just having an awesome time. He even made sure to give the kid in the front his guitar pick (as well as the drummer).

Some of the highlights of the night for me was my favorite song “Local Boy in the Photograph” — which has always been such a beautiful, sad song. “Vegas 2 Times” is always a great song to hear and Im glad that this was played. I’ve always loved the album Just Enough Education To Perform so its great to still hear so many songs from that album.

The show itself was just awesome. So many great moments in the show from Kelly talking about the fan in the shirt that stood out (prob red?) – and then playing Dakota for him at the end was quite awesome. Talking about the great times in San Francisco — it was all just so great. He even took a moment out to thank the openers.

The Wind + The Wave

The Wind + The Wave from Austin were really great. A duo, who commented on their lack of drummer (some sorta ‘inside’ joke about twins and death), were really entertaining. The band had lots of personality and the guy had some zingers! The woman, Patti? maybe, had a really great voice. They had a bluesy, alt-country, sound and were so easy to fall in love with and just really enjoy. Theyre on my ‘must-see’ list to check out whenever they come around again. And how awesome that it was their first show in SF ever and the crowd seemed to love them – even if it was only drunk guys ogling over the singer. At least they made noise and were enthusiastic.

If you havent heard them, let alone see them, theyre VERY worth checking out. Their first album will be out this January (or maybe February), but it is definitely worth giving them a listen.

Setlist:
Catacomb
Superman
Thousand Trees
Graffiti on the Train
We Share The Same Sun
Indian Summer
Have A Nice Day
Vegas 2 Times
Mr Writer
In A Moment
Same Size Feet
Nothing Precious At All
Maybe Tomorrow
Roll the Dice
Violin & Tambourines
Been Caught Cheating
Just Looking
Local Boy in the Photograph

Caravan Holiday
I Stopped To Fill My Car Up
The Bartender & The Thief
Dakota

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The Airborne Toxic Event Rocks The Warfield

Posted by xneverwherex on April 18, 2013

The Airborne Toxic Event
Nightmare Air
The Warfield
April 11, 2013

I hadnt seen the Airborne Toxic Event in quite a few years and hadnt remembered their prior sets quite so lively. The band did not disappoint. They put on a really great rock show. Mikel Jollett, lead singer, wasted no time at all before climbing on the stacks on the far left side and singing to the audience all over there. He really worked the stage using every bit of it – making rounds to each side.

Airborne Toxic Event – Mikel

By the 2nd or 3rd song, he jumped into the audience and started playing from the crowd. The crowd was really into it and were singing along and dancing. There was so much energy from the entire band. The guys moved from different instruments throughout the set which was pretty cool. Mikel was often times on top of the drum kit and playing from there. The other band members each had their turn up there. There were some pretty incredible guitar solos as well as bass solos. Mikel gave each member a shout out and plenty of time to show off how talented they were.

The set just flew and before I knew it, they were onto the encore. Some of the highlights during the set were ‘Numb’, which it didn’t seem a lot of people knew or were into. Their cover of the Magnetic Fields ‘Book of Love’, was just beautiful and sounded really incredible and fresh. They ended the night with a raucous encore of a medley of songs that had the crowd going nuts and singing along. It started out with their own song “Missy” which then became Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ and then turned into Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl’ and then they did a quick pause. Mikel talked about the next song being a huge protest song and how most people in this country have no idea what the song is about. Of course, it was Bruce Springstreen’s ‘Born in the USA’. By the time it was done, they had taken it back to ‘Missy’. It was a real incredible way to end a really amazing set.

ATE

I definitely had missed seeing a balls-out rock show that just rocked! By the end of the night, everyone was a sweaty mess from dancing and singing. It was great fun and a band I will definitely be seeing again.

The opener Midnight Air, also from LA, were a harder edged rock band. While they were good, I wasnt blown away by them. One of the band members was in Film School which I had really liked but this was definitely not the same band. The band clearly had a great time and were excited to be playing in SF for the first time. They were talkative and friendly and fun! The band was also excited to be playing their last show with ATE and clearly had a great time on tour with them. Im guessing theyre playing Coachella about now.

If youre on the fence about seeing the ATE, and theyre heading East – Id definitely say not to miss them. You definitely will have a great time!

Set List:
Gasoline
Happiness is Overrated
Does This Mean Youre Moving On?
True Love
Changing
Something New
Half of Something Else
Numb
Safe
Wishing Well
Timeless
Sometime Around Midnight
All I Ever Wanted
All at Once

The Book of Love (Magnetic Fields cover)
The Graveyard Near the House
Missy/Ring of Fire/American Girl/Born in the USA/Missy

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Enjoy Yourself – The Dandy Warhols

Posted by xneverwherex on May 18, 2012

The Dandy Warhols
1776
Sleepy Sun

The Fillmore
5/16/2012

The Dandy Warhols started off the US tour in San Francisco on Wed night. Touring for their 8th studio album, This Machine, the band was in great spirits. Courtney Taylor-Taylor was as chatty as always and had quite a few stories to share with the SF audience. He reminisced about playing house parties in the 90s in the Mission and also how it took some 3 years for them to finally head up north to Seattle to play a show. SF was lucky to say the least with them playing all the time.

The show started with ‘Be-In’ which might just be the best intro song ever for a band to start a show with. From there it just went non-stop into ‘We Used to Be Friends’ and ‘Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth’. It would be hard to disappoint from that start. The crowd was singing along with lots of cheers for Zia throughout the show. Courtney talked about his shirt ‘Brian Jonestown Manager’ which Anton had asked him to wear for the show. The Brian Jonestown Massacre had just played SF a few nights before.

The Dandy Warhols


The band played hits from most of their catalogue. It was great that there is still an abundance off of 13 Tales that is still played. ‘Shakin’, ‘Mohammed’ and the crowd-pleasing ‘Godless’. The intro chords to ‘Godless’ had the crowd in a frenzy as the audience cheered them on.

About half way through the set Zia said all the vibrations made her need to use the bathroom. Soon enough Brent and Pete followed her off stage. Par for the course, Courtney had the crowd do an acoustic version of ‘Everyday Should Be A Holiday’. Stripped down to a guitar and the audience, the song always sounds great. The chorus really filled up the entire venue as everyone shouted and sang along.

Zia

Their new music fits in nicely with their older songs. 4 songs were played off the new album and they couldnt have sounded better. They had a nice blend of songs with their droning, shoegaze guitar sounds as well as their faster pop songs ‘Get Off’. ‘Lou Weed’ was played for someone in the audience and Courtney remarked that song had the most words of any of their songs and he was out of breath. As he put it, ‘guess I had a lot to say about Lou Reed’.

Other things: Pete always looks cool esp when he’s doing his wind up arms on guitar; Zia is now playing guitar on a song (or 2) off their new album; and Fatheads hair always looks so awesomely huge. Im pretty sure that this band just gets better with age.

After about 2 hours the band finally announced the last song. With their ‘fake’ encore (ie no one leaves the stage – mock cheers), they were back for one last song. They talked about the carnival scene in Amsterdam which would have been perfect for ‘Autumn Carnival’, but they had already played that. Instead we got a really great version of ‘Country Leaver’ which worked quite well. It was fun and quirky and one hell of a way to end the show.

Openers 1776 (who are on tour with them) looked like they had just stepped out of the 60s/70s with long shaggy hair sounding like The Byrds. They played about 20 minutes of loud rock music – not much talking to the point someone yelled at asking for the name of their band.

The other opener Sleepy Sun were quite catchy sounding a bit shoegaze-y indie pop. Their set dragged on a bit and the lead singer seemed to expect more crowd participation. He was really working the stage going back and forth with big arm movements that I felt like I was watching Snow Patrol. Maybe one day they will be big that they wont have to say their name.

Setlist:
Be in
Wutbf
Junkie
Shakin
I love u
ride? (did they play this?)
Last high
Holding me up
Edsbah
Enjoy yourself
You get me right down to the floor..sad vacation
Mohammed
Lou weed
And they’re gone. New song
Autumn.carnival
Pills
Boho
Get off
Godless
pia/Boys better

Encore

Ill tell.you I.understand. country.leaver

Sent from my Android.

(the setlist might be a bit inaccurate – really couldnt remember if ride was played)

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Arm Wrestling with Yo La Tengo

Posted by xneverwherex on May 4, 2012

Yo La Tengo
Mystic Theatre
Petaluma, CA

May 2, 2012

It was quite a show for the threesome from Hoboken, NJ. It was their first time playing at the Mystic and their first time in Petaluma. I am sure after the show they had learned a lot more than they would have ever expected.

The show started soon after 8pm and Ira announced that they would be having a q and a. He explained it that we could ask questions between songs and he’d answer them (well the band). Sure enough there were questions galore that covered most topics. It’d be hard to recap most the questions but some that stood out were – what were the band members first album purchased. James talked about his first album bought with his own money at 9 years old being Deep Purple. Because of course, at 9 years old, that is the first album _every_ kid should buy. Georgia, who was seemingly beyond quiet, didn’t want to answer?! Thankfully, Ira coaxed her into telling us the first albums she could remember listening to which were the Monkees. Ira’s was Let’s Spend the Night Together. Ah the Rolling Stones. Hard to go wrong.

Yo La Tengo

Of course, it meant that there would be a Monkees song or 2. There were quite a few covers with ‘Im A Believer’ and ‘Gonna Buy Me A Dog’ from the Monkees. A Velvet Underground song ‘She’s my Best Friend’ also was played. The covers they played were really well done.

They were asked about SFMOMA (pronounced svmoma (one word)) which led to the band pronouncing almost every word bizarrely. Someone asked Georgia about the drums on ‘Saturday’ (then it was played). They talked about working in parking lots and all the music that they consumed (Robyn Hitchcock and Grand Funk Railroad). Oh and yes, is it torture to play a baby Grand Funk Railroad and some sorta bizarreness.

While I really wasn’t familiar with most of their songs – the encore ‘Sugarcube’ was really well done. All 3 of them have really strong vocals. Sexbeat we learned was the first cover song the band (although it was just Ira and Georgia at the time) to have played live, at a friends party.

They played a song from the Hal Hartley film Amateur. It turns out that their name was misspelled in the film itself. Doh! There was a cover of Neil Young’s ‘From the Turnstyles’. ‘Big Day Coming’ was really great and the lyrics stuck in my mind.

As the night came to an end we were rewarded with the best question/statement ever. Apparently, Petaluma is the arm wrestling capitol of the world. The band quipped they thought it would be most known for its chickens. I dont recall seeing a lot, but it is more farmland I suppose. As they returned from the encore, sure enough, Georgia and Ira had an arm wrestling competition. Quite naturally, Georgia won! 🙂

Its really hard to top a night that ends with that. While I cant say I was very familiar with Yo La Tengo’s work, I was happily surprised with the entire night. It was fun and quirky and a bit odd, just like the band seemed to be.

Oh and yes, there was mention of Snooki and the gang being denied from filming in Hoboken. The band clearly was enjoying themselves as much as the crowd. Would highly recommend checking them out for anyone that has the slightest interest.

Randomness of what was played written in my phone:

Beatles
Saturday
SF Moma movie song
Sexbeat – first cover
Song from dump? – its smaller than you are
Going Home
There’s a big day coming, I can hardly wait
All the turnstyles
Amateur – Hal Hartley film
The Monkees ‘Im A Believer’
Im Gonna Buy Me a Dog
Velvet Underground ‘Shes my Best Friend’
Im On My Way
On The Course of Change, try to more aware
Whatever you want from me, tore me down – encore

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Nicos Gun Rocks It!

Posted by xneverwherex on April 8, 2011

Morning Teleportation
Nicos Gun
Mercury Lounge
4/7/11

A friend had recommended to me that I check out Nicos Gun. She was already pretty sure I had seen them, but wasnt positive. But she knew Id just love them! And right she ever was. Nicos Gun is thankfully getting away from where so many bands are heading. These boys from Philly are embracing the 70s roots and punk sounds. At times a bit like the Velvet – and at times sounding like T Rex/Bowie – these guys can rock. They throw in some keyboards on a lot of songs and make really great rock music. Instead of taking it too synth-y they balance it out and keep it funky and rockin’. Their lead singer is charismatic and really has that rockstar quality. He comes out with his fur jacket (which so reminded me of Ian Brown – Stone Roses) and has that same swaggart. Wearing a Led Zep shirt and so many rings and necklaces – hes the epitome of cool. Their cover of “Heart of Glass” was one of the best covers I had heard. It still had that same edge and same cool as Blondie would have sang it.

And after talking to their drummer – they sounded like the group of musicians youd want to hang out with. They clearly have a love for music and love talking about it. And it seems I just might have to go to Philly to really appreciate what theyre all about.

Headliner Morning Teleportation from Portland was interesting. Their music is pretty out there – in a psychedelic druggy sorta way. At times sounding like Modest Mouse – they have cool beats and it makes it fun and dance-y. The guys seem really young and a bit goofy (if not totally stoned). They clearly are having a great time on stage. Unfortunately, at times it seemed they were more interested in drinking with their friends – the drunk girls who sang along to every song at the top of their lungs and who created a dance a thon for every song. And then they tried to talk to them throughout the set. At this point – I had pretty much lost much interest in the band. They did have a culminating number that was pretty drone-y and went on and on finishing out with the bassist and singer on top of one another and the bassist taking off the shoes of the singer.

I have to say it was weird at best. I wasnt really sure what to make of the whole show but I was just glad it was over. Nicos Gun was the band to see!

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Science & Fiction – A New Year of Shows

Posted by xneverwherex on January 15, 2011

Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals)
Eleanor Friedberger (Fiery Furnaces)
Rockwood Music Hall
1/13/11

Its a new year which of course means lots of new shows. And its easy to judge a year seeing how the first show was.

Well, aside for the fact that I am not a fan of Rockwood Music Hall (for various reasons), it is a great place to see shows. Its small and intimate and seeing a show with maybe 100 other fans is pretty special.

Gruff Rhys definitely does not disappoint live. On stage was just him, a table and a chair. The tables were covered with records and a tiny keyboard along with a few other things. One of the great things about seeing him live is that he really works with the music. He changes things up and makes it interesting if not becoming totally bizarre.

The first song started out with him just putting on a record which he said was Birds from Finland. And sure enough, it was just birds chirping along. He slips on his guitar and starts with the slower songs. As he said, he needed to get these out of the way. “Science & Fiction” was pretty beautiful with just his vocals, a guitar and birds chirping.

Each song was a bit different with other things he’d add to it. He’d wind up a metronome to keep time and you would just hear the click click as it went back and forth before he’d start a song. He always had some funny things to say and was quite funny. He also played a few songs in Welsh, telling us so kindly what he was singing about.

“Candylion” was a definite highlight to the show. As he told a story about a missing CD, which was also on a broken computer, which led to him playing the song with his own 12″ record. With all things crazy, only the first 15 secs of the song had just the drum beats. So he’d start the song on record, sing his vocals, and then he’d have to lift up the needle and go back to the beginning. It was confusing at best, hilarious as hell, and was creative as all get up.

His use of a kids keyboard that lit up when the keys were touched was quite cool. He tried to originally create a song with ‘Gangstas Paradise’ (one of the pre-programmed beats), but ended up using a different beat. His use of playing with sounds, looping his vocals, changing them up and adding his own things to each – really made his music stand out. If anything, Gruff proved to be a hilarious and humble guy and was just having a great time.

Gruff brought along with him Eleanor Friedberger of Fiery Furnaces, a band from NYC that the Super Furries had previously gone on tour with. I knew nothing of them (aside for the fact she used? to date Alex of Franz Ferdinand). Her music was quite good – it was just her and a guitar. She seemed a bit nervous at first but then quickly warmed up to the crowd. She was totally humble and self-deprecating – telling the crowd how she knew we only wanted Gruff. She played some songs of Fiery Furnaces and then some new song she wrote. It was a really short set – maybe 20 mins, but quite enjoyable. Her songs did have the problem in that they werent very distinguishable. Regardless, she was awesome to watch and had a great voice.

All in all – 2 great people – and 1 great night.

Btw – leaving the venue to finding about 20 police surrounding the building and not letting people out of the other doors was pretty crazy. Still trying to figure out if a drug-bust was going down or will it be another LES venue that has doors temporarily shuttered?

Setlist:
Science & Fiction
Sophie Softly
Shark Ridden Waters
Cryndod Yn Dy Lais (Super Furry Animals B-side)
Lonesome Words
If We Were Words (We Would Rhyme)
The Court of King Arthur
Candylion
Gyrru Gyrru Gyrru
Sensations in the Dark
Cycle of Violence
Rubble Rubble
Gwi Mi Wn
Shark Ridden Waters

Gruff Rhys @ Rockwood Music Hall

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