Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

Efterklang Entertains

Posted by xneverwherex on March 13, 2013

Efterklang
Nightlands
Great American Music Hall
3/11/13

The night had finally arrived and I was finally going to see Efterklang. I had somehow missed them in NYC even after I had tickets. I don’t even want to know why/how/what I was thinking. With that being said – after waiting for what seemed like forever – the band came out and put on one hell of a show.

The 3 piece band from Denmark (touring with an additional 3 people), were nothing short of incredible. Casper is an incredible front-man. He was very excited and beyond happy to be playing once again in San Francisco. Their bassist, Rasmus, had a huge smile on his face for nearly all the songs. He just beamed pure happiness. The biggest highlight of the night was easily Katinka. Her voice was just magical and it was surprising how well an opera singer fit in with the band. She just blended so great the way her sound mixed in with the songs.

Efterklang


Their new album, Piramida, is quite simply beautiful. Everything about the organic sounds, the way the music emotes, and how it comes together is just amazing. The band took field recordings while out in Spitsbergen (between Norway and the North Pole) and it fits so amazingly into their music. All these organic sounds layered on top of keyboard pieces is just something else to hear. You feel like youve actually been transported into this world — of a faraway place with nothing just you and nature and probably a lot of cold and ice. While its not dreary in the least, it does have that dreamy hazy sound.

Casper/Efterklang


The band opened with Hollow Mountain (off of their new album) with the haunting vocals/sounds from Katinka. The sound slowly grew with some sort of metal being hit (thanks to amazing work done by Mads) and then Casper joined in. It was a great song to open with. Casper is theatrical making great use of his hands and body. The set continued pretty quickly and included Apples (which really reminded me of The National) and Sedna off the new album. A lot of what they were playing was off Piramida, and really if you dont own it, you should. Or at least give it a listen.

One of the cool things about the show was when Casper started to read ‘cards’ left from other shows to people/friends and just SF in general. Some were about making sure to enjoying the beach – laying out in the sand – to others about friends missing each other – and my favorite about how awesome the band is and the friend was so grateful for sharing it. Those kinds of things are just awesome. Casper also shared the lovely smells of Big Sur in the form of a rock (or maybe piece of wood) that he shared with an audience member. And lastly, the show had one of the youngest people ever enjoying it. A little boy who might have been 4-5 showed up with his mom and asked to stand in front for a song or two. It was pretty exciting.

Nightlands opened the show. Their set was quite great and reminiscent of another Philly band – Sun Airway. Their songs had a great dreamy/psych sound to it. Some of the songs felt like they could have been from Snow Patrol with big sounds and harmonies. And it was great when Efterklang’s drummer, Tatu, joined them for a song. You could tell there was a lot of appreciation between the bands for each others music.

Nightlands w/Tatu of Efterklang

I wish I could be seeing them again — and next time hopefully they will play with a full orchestra. Now that would be something else!

Set List:
Hollow Mountain
Apples
Sedna
I Was Playing Drums
Step Aside
The Living Layer
The Ghost
Black Summer
Between the Walls
Dreams Today
Raincoats
Modern Drift

Encore:
Monument
Cutting Ice to Snow

And to the guy from last night – I will have the pics posted in the next day or two. These were off my phone. I apologize – but check back (or just go to flickr).

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Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dead on the Dancefloor

Posted by xneverwherex on January 18, 2012

The Good Natured
Nicos Gun

Mercury Lounge
1/16/12

Sarah McIntosh makes up 1/3 of The Good Natured. She is pretty much the face of the band and can’t be more adorable. With a soft spoken British accent, she is just pleasant to listen to. Tonight shes come out in skin tight purple satiny pants with heels that are to die for. She moves around the stage looking like she came out of an 80s goth video. This time around, her hair is more akin to looking like she’s a new Robert Smith (The Cure) and she cant look better. With thick black eyes, she just might be the new Siouxsie Sioux.

Vocally the band brings out the dark emotions of the 80s goth bands (Siouxsie, The Cure) but then puts an electro spin on it, and they become a mix of them and the likes of Ladytron. She describes her music as pop music with heart which it can definitely be, if you like your pop music a bit on the darker side.

Tonights show started out with their new single ‘Video Voyeur’ which is quite catchy and then went into the even more catchy pop song ‘Be My Animal’. Sarah wasted no time getting off the stage and dancing in the crowd. She definitely plays off the energy and just loves to get the crowd to dance. She managed to get into the crowd 2x during the set; the second time was during the oh so sexy song ‘Dead on the Dancefloor’.

The set was a good mix of newer and old songs. The only real disappointment was the set itself was beyond short at just 8 songs. It might have been 20 or 30 minutes but there was still a crowd left wanting a lot more. And who wouldnt, when it comes to watching Sarah on stage and being captivated and mesmerized.

Nicos Gun

Nicos Gunopened up the set. Philly surely knows how to make good dirty electro funk. And this band always delivers when it comes to that. It was nearly a year since I last saw them, and while some of my favorite songs were not played, its hard not to love everything that they do. They know how to make their songs sound just a bit dirty and add a lot of the funk to it. The band seemed to be having an awesome time really getting into the songs. It seemed the band was having more fun than most of the crowd, which was a pity. While they are a completely different band than The Good Natured they were definitely on par with them in a different style.

The lead singer exuded sex and his 70s inspired vest couldnt have looked better on him. He has the swagger of the other lead singers from the 70s and knows how to work it. The other guys in the band feed off his constant energy. Their set was pretty awesome nearing about 40 minutes. Its always a bit interesting when the opener has a longer set the headliner. I guess when its 2 bands who are both starting out, you just never know what youll get.

This was really an awesome show and theyre definitely worth checking out. For anyone in the SF/LA area theyll be west in a couple days!

The Good Natured Set List:
Video Voyeur
Be My Animal
Wolves
Your Body is a Machine
Lovers
Sting
Dead on the Dancefloor
Skeleton

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White Lies – Part 2 DC

Posted by xneverwherex on May 24, 2011

White Lies
Asobi Seksu
Sun Airway
May 20, 2011
9:30 Club

Oh DC. How sometimes I love you so much, and other times I dont. The 9:30 Club tends to be a great venue, but after Friday nights show I was left feeling a bit disappointed. Ive gone there enough times, and to be asked to take out almost everything your purse, including keys was a bit odd. Then I was asked to unzip random things on my bag that were clearly decorational. C’mon its a woman’s purse – what do you expect. The woman was just left baffled. I dont know what she was looking for – drugs, alcohol, my camera, iphone … hell Im guessing it was the camera as she pretty much did the same to my friend who had a much smaller bag (read: only holds pretty much id and lipstick). I was going to ask if she wanted to strip search me too, but I figured Id rather not get ejected from the club.

Sun Airway opened up the night and it was already not looking good. Plagued with sound problems they could barely get through the first song. Way too much feedback, everything sounded off and it sounds like the keyboards were causing lots of problems. Sadly, on a 30 minute set this did not help them much. But, by the time they were finishing up their set the sound was perfect and their last song – lots of loud guitars and a big soaring feel – was awesome! I wanted more. Sadly, not going to happen.

Instead of another night of School of Seven Bells – we got Asobi Seksu instead. Now I cant tell if she was having sound problems as well as her vocals were pretty much indeciperhable. It sounded ok enough, but something was lacking. It didnt seem there was much enjoyment and maybe at 25 minutes they were onto the last song. I dont know if that was the club’s doing – but it seems that their sets have become quite short. At least ‘Thursday’ was played and sounded good.

White Lies came on with their same big sound from the previous night. They started again with ‘A Place To Hide’. It sounded as great as the night before. Harry was talkative again, but not nearly as talkative as he was in New York City. He did make the comment about how they just got to DC from the UK and were so happy to be there. It was a bit odd hearing that, as Im sure a lot of people knew they were actually just in NYC. So that huge long trip over – heh – not so much.

The band seemed a little less energetic than the night before, but unless you could compare the two, it definitely wasnt too noticeable. They played the same setlist which is a nice balance of the new and the old. The newer stuff is growing on me more and more and seems to have a more electronic feel to it. Some of the songs “Bigger Than Love” feel like they should have been on the prior album. It fits right in. Live it sounds awesome and its a perfect encore.

The crowd was interesting. Most people stood there with their hands to their side, feigning interest, while a few were really into it – making up for the others. For a non-crowded- show (ie not sold out), the crowd was typical with pushing directly into you when there was no need. People felt entitled to push into you – even tho they had plenty of space to dance in. Ill never fully understand a DC crowd. It really didnt matter tho. I had an awesome time, singing along, dancing and enjoying it. They definitely know how to put on a great show and their music is not to be missed live. The whole chatty, happy thing might not totally work for their music, but the music does speak for itself.

Set List:
1.A Place To Hide
2.Holy Ghost
3.To Lose My Life
4.E.S.T.
5.Is Love
6.The Price Of Love
7.Streetlights
8.Farewell To The Fairground
9.Peace & Quiet
10.Bad Love
11.Death
Encore:
12.Unfinished Business
13.Power & Glory
14.Bigger Than Us

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, DC, Random Ramblings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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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