Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘Le Poisson Rouge’

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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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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Elephant 6 Comes To Town

Posted by xneverwherex on March 27, 2011

Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour
March 23, 2011
Le Poisson Rouge

What happens when a huge group of guys (and gal) come together for just a few nights?? Well you get something quite special and extraordinary.

The Elephant 6 Collective has spawned so many bands over time and more still seem to arise. From Olivia Tremor Control to Neutral Milk Hotel to The Apples in Stereo and more recently Of Montreal and Hawk and a Hacksaw it seems to be ever going.

The night seemed like it could have been one gigantic circus and we were the captive audience. Julian Koster was great fun listening to his stories about his Romanian Circus Family and disappearing cities.

The show got even more creative when it had audience members using a wind up snowman arm to aim balls at the ‘moon’. Whoever got the ball through the moon would get to choose the band’s next song. (Of any song in the entire world).

From what I saw of the 2+ hours, it was phenomenal. Everyone in the band sounded great. Different people singing on the songs were quite fun (depending on which song was being performed). The OTC songs were great and Elf Power songs were really catchy. It was great to see BP Helium singing so many songs (I cant ever recall if he sings with Of Montreal).

Overall it was a great night – even if I missed another hour. Even knowing so few of the songs (if any), it was still an awesome night and probably one that I wont see again. Its not too often that you can see so many different band members come together to play music from so many prior bands. It just doesnt happen (unless youre seeing Broken Social Scene – but then its still only BSS music for the most part).

The highlight by far was the snowman song. Was truly awesome seeing the band rock out to “Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath. Will I ever see that again… Id guess that’s a negative.

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