Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

2015 Ended and The Greatest Rock Band Played the Greatest Show…x3

Posted by xneverwherex on January 2, 2016

The Dandy Warhols
Joel Gion
Miranda Lee Richards
December 1 & 2, 2015

The greatest rock band played the greatest show… The End.

Sadly, time some times gets the best of us. And then the year ends, and you get to reflect on all the shows you saw and how the year ended. It was a crazy year – I saw Ride the day after the Paris attacks and I remember being unsure about going to a concert. And then I thought of how many awesome bands I had seen over time – and fuck it – ISIS, terrorists will never win.

Zia

Zia

As Zia ended the concert – she said it was one of the greatest rock concerts ever. Ive seen The Dandy Warhols so many times, that at times the shows start to blur. There was the string of the 3 hour long sets (some of the best I had ever seen), and then there was December 2. The energy in the club was amazing. The place felt alive and it had been a long time since I felt that feeling in a show (let alone in SF, ever!). And the energy in the club reflected with the band who was as tight as ever. It was like everything converged for that perfect storm.

A co-worker (who was at night 1) and I discussed the rules of music/bands and what happens when a band plays 2 nights. The obvious answer is … you go to both shows. The other answer is — when in doubt always go with night 2. There’s a lot of reasons night 2 always wins out – but to keep this succinct the rule of thumb is the band is all warmed up, they’ve been in town for a bit and everything is all worked out. This happened with The Mountain Goats (I didnt see show 1, but according to those who saw both – night 2 kicked ass) and I’ve seen it with other bands. (Testing this theory out on Sunday night with A Place to Bury Strangers – will report back). So while night 1 was pretty awesome, night 2 killed it.

The obvious – Zia no longer had a migraine and was in great shape. The band was tight and mostly the crowd was ridiculously awesome. Truthfully, with the frat bros pushing forward (and apologies now – never judge a book by its cover yadda yadda yadda) and needing to be front center and not shutting up I wasnt sure what would happen. Turns out – these guys were insane die hard fans.

Zia came out to a crowd that loves her – with everyone chanting her name. CTT likes to talk about how everyone loves Zia and she does a little dance. She looked super comfy in flowy pants and a black tank. CTT – who wasnt in a BJM shirt – was more chatty than usual. And Peter and Brent seemed like they were having an awesome time. I noticed Brent and Zia talking it up quite a bit with lots of smiles.

Dandy Warhols

Dandy Warhols

So what makes it a show that stands out from other shows:
* the crowd can make or break a show. Any crowd that upon request for a song to play actually has people yell out songs with explanations is pretty f’ing amazing. The guy next to me yelling out “Little Drummer Boy” with Zia stating maybe later – and the guy pleading ‘its December – its the right time to play it’ was quite convincing. Courtney ixnayed it and pretty much every song to state that he’d be sticking to the setlist.

* during the band’s “break”, CTT led the crowd in the loudest sing-along ever for “Everyday Should be A Holiday“. He mentioned that whenever this is played he alawys asks for a sing-along and its never really loud. So this time, when we weren’t loud enough, he asked for it even louder. The whole place must have been singing along. Perhaps one of the greatest moments ever.

* CTT sounding better than ever. ‘Chauncey P’ is a really great song live as well as ‘Some Things You Got To Get Over‘, two of the bands newest songs and so worth a listen.

* Zia dancing and playing the entire set and never stopping (minus the pee break). Plus her awesome dance moves as the crowd chanted her name. Migraines be gone!

* Zia stating it was one of the greatest rock n roll shows ever.

* Pete on guitars in the opening of PIA with some of the greatest guitar work ever – and then his windmill playing. Plus – the droning guitars that go on and on and straight into ‘Boys Better‘. How does life get better than that – and then you end the show!

—–

And while not to dismiss night 1 – that was awesome too and they were really good. Sure, Zia wasnt in the best of spirits but she looked to be having an awesome night. Plus – we got a Kristen Hersh (Throwing Muses) cover – “Your Ghost” – which was incredible. Also, CTT waxed poetic about SF and him loving the city. And also about how while SF was changing the TL would never change no matter how they try to clean it up.

I should also state that the openers – Joel Gion especially – put on a really great show. If you love psychedelic music – you have to see them. I got to talk to Christof after the show (guitarist in Joel’s band as well as Miranda Lee Richards) and besides being insanely talented he was charming. Him and a few of us were talking about both the nights shows and how he thought the 2nd night for his band was so much better (possibly more drugs?) but how as an audience it seemed the first night was much tighter. Perhaps because the band had so little space to perform, they seemed so connected. Either way – the band was awesome on both nights and Joel (of Brian Jonestown Massacre percussionist fame) has one hell of an awesome band. Definitely a band not to be missed.

Set List:
Mohammed
Crack Cocaine Rager
Get Off
Somethings You Got To Get Over
I Love You
The Last High
Everyone Is Totally Insane
Plan A
Down Like Disco
Good Morning
Shakin’
Every Day Should Be a Holiday – CTT Solo
Chauncey P vs All the Girls in London
We Used to Be Friends
The Legend of the Last of the Outlaw Truckers a.k.a. the Ballad of Sheriff Shorty
Bohemian Like You
Godless
Pete International Airport / Boys Better

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The Singer Addresses His Audience – The Decemberists

Posted by xneverwherex on May 5, 2015

The Decemberists
Lucius
The Greek Theatre
5/1/15

Portland, OR The Decemberists were in town for their latest release What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. The band performed one of their best shows ever to a sold-out crowd in Berkeley. It was the bands first time playing at The Greek, and they had never sounded better. The acoustics were fabulous in the amphitheater and their sound filled the venue.

The Decemberists

The Decemberists

The setlist focused mainly on their newer material (which is nothing short of awesome) but also had a few songs from the impressive Hazards of Love. Overall, they did a song here and there from their prior albums. Of course, its always great when they are playing songs from their earlier material. Plus, Colin Meloy wanted to focus on California and all things/songs California – which meant we got the ever fitting ‘Grace Cathedral Hill’. He also seemed to start to wax poetic about Los Angeles before commenting on the rivalry between the two areas. Regardless, it was pretty awesome to hear ‘Los Angeles, Im Yours’.

Of course, any Decemberists show without the charm of Colin Meloy, would really not be a show. Colin was in great form and oh so talkative. He talked about writing the song ‘Calamity Song’ and how it was much better when it was initially written to be “Hank Eat Your Oatmeal” which is obviously a classic. Written to get his son to eat oatmeal, the song was just that line but oh so precious. And of course, the worst song to ever be written ‘Dracula’s Daughter’ is always pretty awesome even if its just a small clip.

But really, there were two major highlights of the night. The first and very unexpected surprise was the band performing “The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle The Thistles Undone). I really didn’t think I would ever hear it again live after seeing it performed with Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) back in 2009. Nor, did I ever think it could be that impressive. If you’re not familiar with the song, right about now you need to be hearing it. But, Kelly Hogan KILLED it! Thats an understatement, Kelly (Neko Case’s partner in crime aka a vocalist in her current band) has a wonderful voice. And her addition to the song was nothing short of beautiful. So that was a very pleasant surprise. Plus, it turns out some friends know her and couldn’t have enough praise for her and how thankful/excited she was. Seriously, this is beyond awesome.

And if that wasn’t enough, ’16 Military Wives’ (which I just love), got all the better. During the ‘la di dahs’ towards the end of the song Colin had a lot of crowd participation from getting the audience to sing along, to engaging all parts of the amphitheater from the very front to the grass on the hill. He singled out a few people getting them to do individual performances plus also in typical Colin format, telling the crowd to be quiet because ‘Im a professional’ and naturally he can do it better. But one of the best parts was when he told the crowd to stop singing and be quiet and don’t think about the song, but think about the song ‘Sailing’ from Christopher Cross and to sing it to yourself (which naturally he did) and then forgot the lyrics and of course, it couldnt have been more amusing.

The Decemberists

The Decemberists

The band was tight and the back-up vocalists were awesome. Chris Funk was having a great time as always switching it up from the banjo to the guitar to some mandolin. Colin, vocally, has never sounded better and of course the harmonica playing was all the better; but seriously no concert is ever complete without Jenny Conlee – naturally kicking ass on the accordion and piano. But all the better when she adds her vocals to a song and Colin will typically take a moment to applaud her. The crowd just loves her!

Sadly, the band was running out of time which meant they had to cut their set short. Always a pity as theres so much material to want to hear. Of course, no show is complete without having ‘The Mariner’s Revenge Song’ as the finale/encore. So of course, with roughly 15 minutes left before 11pm, the band announced it would be their last song and dove right in. And the song was as fun as always – with a couple practice rounds of screaming … how often are most of us eaten by a whale, so you definitely have to prepare. He said us Californians would probably be more used to dealing with this (sharks in an ocean??) and gave us a practice round. Of course, it wasnt quite good enough but with 2 rounds we were ready to go. And just like that the quintet began the journey. It felt like you were on a ship going down, and you could feel the crowd going back and forth like being on the ocean. As the song continued, soon enough the whale (which seems to have grown), came out and swallowed us all. Obviously, there were survivors (hence the song), and the song continued. Nate Query on stand-up bass and Chris on mandolin and of course Jenny providing backing vocals all sounded amazing! The song just couldn’t possibly have been better.

The show was just brilliant. Ive now seen the band a handful of times and this show might have been the best. The band was in top form and Colin just seemed so happy. And of course, the crowd loves him. Berkeley ended up being a great night for them.

Plus, Lucius opened. The two women who sing (who dress the same, yet aren’t sisters) also sounded really great. The Brooklyn based band has an indie-pop-folk sound with some of the most beautiful harmonies. They also at times sound like a 60’s girl band and add a bit of guitar and you get a perfect pop band. They will definitely get big and opening for the Decemberists is sure to help them out. A perfect complement to the Decemberists and it made for a special night.

Set list:
The Singer Addresses His Audience
Cavalry Captain
Down By The Water
Hank Eat Your Oatmeal/Calamity Song
Grace Cathedral Hill
Anti-Summersong
Make You Better
The Wrong Year
The Island
Los Angeles, I’m Yours
Carolina Low
The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle the Thistles Undone) w/Kelly Hogan
A Bower Scene
Won’t Want for Love
The Rake’s Song
16 Military Wives
Dracula’s Daughter/O Valencia
A Beginning Song

The Mariner’s Revenge Song

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20 Years Later and The Dandys (Still) Rule OK

Posted by xneverwherex on April 26, 2014

The Dandy Warhols
The Warlocks
The Independent
April 23, 2014

Its hard to believe that the Dandy Warhols have now been together for 20 years. The band was in town on Wed night to kick off their new tour celebrating 20 years. The Independent (which was of course a sold-out show – apparently selling out in some 5 mins according to Courtney), was a perfect place for the band. Still quite small, it seemed that most of their older fans were in the crowd. A few of the people had remembered seeing the band at house parties around the Mission.

The band, mainly CTT, reminisced about the long ago time in which they were playing shows to a few of their friends. Since then, they’ve opened for some amazing bands/artists (hello Bowie!, The Charlatans, and countless others) and have played some really awesome shows (3hr shows, 13 Tales album, etc). It was pretty great to see all of them feeling so at home and so comfortable. As Zia mentioned, she was just so comfortable that they would do whatever they wanted for us, including one of the Warlocks playing tambourine on ‘Bohemian Like You’ (if I recall correctly).

The Dandy Warhols

The Dandy Warhols

The band really went old school for the show and played a ton of early material (so happy to hear TV Theme Song after what seemed like years) and also CCR, White Gold and so many others. And they even went more old school to play a cover from Eddy Grant (whereby CTT talked about the Clash and Desmond Dekker! and then even went farther back to discuss his band The Equals). It was one of those kinds of nights, where you wished it never ended.

And what can I say about their fanbase. Some of the best fans Ive ever seen and met. As always, met some very awesome people in the crowd. People were very into sharing all their smokes and it was just a very great environment. Even for new fans, the older ones are always very cool and never ‘too cool for school’.

An awesome show indeed — and the best part The Warlocks opened the show.

The Warlocks

The Warlocks

The Warlocks, from LA, started the night out in fine fashion. With some slow droning guitar rock, that changed into more shoe-gazey and even had some pop bits. Guitarist Earl, who was in front of me, is one hell of a musician. He is *incredible* on the guitars and you get mesmerized just watching him. The band is really incredible and plays a really tight set. Its the type of band that just takes you on a trip for an hour as you really feel the music and it just takes a hold of you.

One of the best openers I had seen in a very long time. The only thing Im most sad about is the fact that I did not have plans to attend Austin Psych Fest which has the most amazing lineup ever.

Pseudo-set List (I know this isnt correct order and songs are missing)
Be-In
Shaking
Used To Be Friends
TV Theme Song
Ride
Last High
Now Ya
Sad Vacation
theyre gone
Gotta get over
holding me up
come back
girls
ccr
horse pills
bohemian like you
dreamt
godless
get off
white gold
pete/boys better

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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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Dandy Warhols – 13.13.13. (13 Tales)

Posted by xneverwherex on June 18, 2013

The Dandy Warhols
The Shivas
The Fillmore
June 15, 2013

Saturday was a complete day of all things Dandy Warhols. It started out on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Amoeba Records in the Haight. I had planned an earlier arrival, but it worked out just perfectly regardless. About 30 mins prior to showtime, the place was still fairly empty. The band still hadnt arrived and some random store employees were testing out equipment. Finally, Zia was there – her hair all done up in braids and started talking to friends and getting things ready. Then, unbeknownst to me, Pete was right in front of me looking very scruffy.

Dandy Warhols @ Amoeba

It was soon announced that Courtney was MIA – hadnt yet arrived and was still hung over from the prior night of partying in LA. Good times! About 20 mins later – theyre good to go (or as good as things will be). They do a short set with songs from 13 Tales. I remember ‘Horse Pills’ and ‘Shaking‘ but Im also quite sure ‘Godless‘ and/or ‘Mohammed‘ was also in there. And they ended the set with ‘Big Indian’. Hard to complain for a free show that was right before their show that night.

The plus in Courtney’s lateness — Zia, Pete and Brent — all were happy to sign whatever people had. Brent kindly told me ‘I took that pic on the cover. Its Pete’s shirt’.

Saturday night was a very different scene. Much more professional, the band was all there on time. They played 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia in its entirety. Im pretty biased as its my favorite album ever. So seeing it played from start to end was pretty awesome for me. From the first guitar notes of ‘Godless’ it sucks you in. The first 3 songs were just designed to play together. ‘Godless’, ‘Mohammed’ and ‘Nietzsche’ sound excellent when played back to back. They just blend together perfectly. And then it really starts going and picking up speed. ‘Country Leaver’ and ‘Solid’ are sounding as excellent as ever. People are singing along, dancing and everyone is having a good time.

I have to say I am mystified about the crowd. A lot of kids are there and they only want to hear ‘We Used to Be Friends’. Its annoying. Plus they want to mosh. Really – some of these songs are just not made for moshpits. Fights were breaking out – people were incredibly rude and honestly – I wished everyone had smoked a lot and chilled out. This was not the right crowd that one normally gets. Zia had to yell down to tell a girl to shut up who wouldnt stop screaming (she was punched in the breast). I guess if I were her, that guy wouldnt have been walking straight. The guy (at maybe 16/17?)’s argument ‘we’re at a rock concert’. Ive heard a lot of things – but there are things as personal space and groping people anywhere will likely get you arrested (esp if thats your lovely argument).

Other than that, Zia is as charming as ever. She was pretty polite even with people yelling her name every 5 seconds. Rocking out in her Guns n Roses shirt, she was having a great time dancing a bunch, playing guitar and tambourine. The band was in great spirits and after the initial 13 Tales set came back for a pretty awesome set of a few songs off DROK. Of course, now between sets we’re treated to the acoustic version of ‘Every Day Should Be A Holiday’ with just Courtney and a guitar and an excited crowd singing along. Some of the others included ‘Lou Weed’ and ‘Ride’. We also got to hear ‘Good Morning’, ‘Theyre Gone’ (off the last album), ‘Last High’ and a really great revved up version of ‘Boys Better’. Now that was just awesome. I cant remember if ‘Be-In’ actually was played, but theres a good chance that it was.

Courtney, Fathead and Pete @ The Fillmore

Of course, a Dandys set in SF is never complete until Zia sings a song on her own. I usually get to hear her ‘Daisy’ song, but this time it was even better. She wanted to give tribute to one Janis Joplin and how fitting it was that she ended the set with ‘Mercedes Benz’. A lot of people joined in and Zia looked super excited that the crowd was so into it.

Overall, the show was pretty awesome. It was great to finally hear my favorite album in its entirety. Over the time (97 was my first show of theirs), Ive seen some incredible shows (their 3 hour sets were insane), and some that werent so great. This was definitely one that prob won’t ever be repeated and for that reason alone it was pretty special.

The Shivas opened the set. I guess I had higher expectations. Not sure if I understood the need for 2 drummers (the female was insanely awesome). Some of their garage rock songs were pretty awesome and Ill prob try and check them out again sometime. They didnt say much but seemed excited to be on the set.

Set List:
13 Tales from Urban Bohemia
Godless
Mohammed
Nietzsche
Country Leaver
Solid
Horse Pills
Get Off
Sleep
Cool Scene
Bohemian Like You
Shakin
big Indian
The Gospel

Every Day Should be A Holiday (Acoustic/Courtney solo)
Good Morning
Theyre Gone
Holding Me Up
Last High
Ride
Boys Better
Lou Weed (somewhere in the set)

Mercedes Benz (Janis Joplin cover) (Zia solo/acoustic)

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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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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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Be In

Posted by xneverwherex on November 6, 2010

The Dandy Warhols
Blue Giant
The Bell House
11/5/10

I must say that it will be really hard to top tonight’s show. An incredible 2 hour set that went through most of their albums (more DROK please) and was high on the fun factor. Zia is managing to look younger as she gets older and is always as cute and nice and friendly as ever. Fathead looked pretty out of it from the moment on stage – him smoking up on stage also added to it – and Courtney and Pete not much had changed.

The set opened with Be In and as always its a great intro to start things up. It was immediately followed by We Used to Be Friends and the crowd was really into it, jumping around, dancing and singing. Im not even sure if the setlist was followed as it seemed so many other songs were played, but its hard to remember it all. Zia was dancing around and shaking like no tomorrow and soon enough she was stripping out of her tights. In all fairness, it was a sauna in there and no doubt I should have done the same.

Some of the highlights included, during Zia’s pee break, Courtney going on about how he doesnt understand what she is saying most the time. After that we had a choice of what we wanted (but since the crowd agreed on choice 1 – no clue what our second choice was) and were treated to an acoustic version of ‘Every Day Should be A Holiday’ complete with a crowd-sing along. Yeehaw! F’ing awesome and it sounds beautiful stripped down.

The other cool things – the Dandys mention of how this was their first show EVER in Brooklyn (its not Park Slope – Blue Giant – we’re in Gowanus). With the crowd yelling for ‘Lou Weed’, we were given a short story about how this is NY and of course theyd play it. It was also interspersed in the song with some anecdote about shopping in a grocery store, buying vegetables and seeing Lou Reed 🙂 Around this time Pete and Fathead couldnt stop laughing as the story got more and more involved and who knew where Courtney was going.

The band sounds as tight as ever and still seem to love touring as much as they ever have. Its great to see them all get into songs like ‘Rave Up’ and get into for about 10 mins long. Its been too long since Ive heard that played and it still sounds as great. Equally great that two members of Blue Giant joined in on the song with some added tambourines and more dancing!

Zia is definitely a bigger part of the band – but it’d be nice for people to stop yelling at her to take her shirt off. Her playing harmonica is a nice touch to some of the songs. The remixed version of a lot of their songs make them sound fresh and new and its a great way to go.

Was glad that I missed the fight that nearly broke out behind me, which apparently was pretty out of control. Also was nice to hear their thoughts on encores – how some bands write 2 encores into their set and its so forced. Naturally there was no encore tonight – when it was done it was done. Its hard to argue with a 2 hour set. In that respect they remind me of the Manic Street Preachers. More bands should take note – or at least dont write every encore into your set list 🙂

Blue Giant were an interesting opener, also from Portland, OR. An alt-country band that had some great harmonies. Some of their songs were quite catchy and they had a nice long 1 hour set. Zia joined in on a few of their last songs and it was nice to see the camaraderie between the bands.
It is their only show in NYC as theyre headed back to the west coast and will rejoin the Dandys when they return. Tomorrow night we will get NY’s Hopewell – and I cannot wait for them!

Set List (which may not be in order) — I cannot remember where Lou Weed or Every Day Should Be A Holiday fit in

Be In
Used to be Friends
Shakin
Junky
Last High
I Love You
Good Morning
New Country
(You Come In) Burned
Its a Fast Driving Rave Up With the Dandy Warhols Sixteen Minutes (maybe 10?)
Trucker
Horse Pills
Solid
Bohemian Like You
Godless
Get Off
Pete Int’l Spaceport/Boys Better
Country Leaver

Encore:
Zia Solo: Daisy

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A Night Left to the Fates

Posted by xneverwherex on September 20, 2009

That sounds like a good title for a Decemberists song, right? Well dont worry – this is about the Decemberists 🙂

Ive decided that Im going to get back on the game (or is that the horse) and start to update this on a regular basis. Theres so many great concerts out there – and so many Ive seen.

According to The Decemberists website this is what we would get – Decemberists will perform a set that will be entirely left to the hands of fate — we will draw songs from a lottery and dutifully play them, regardless of their quality or presence in our memory. Decemberists songs, naturally, but you do never know what bizarre cover songs or strange commands may end up in the pile.

And yes – this was a set left entirely in the hands of fate – along with also the hands of John Wesley Harding. As emcee of the show, he did quite a good job. He was a little too talkative for my taste, as Id have preferred to have heard more songs. And I definitely was not a fan of him throwing out songs at the end. What no “Engine Driver”, which happens to be one of my favorite songs. But he was entertaining and had to throw about some other ridiculous requests. Not sure how many other crowd surfing requests there actually were.

Decemberists did their best to keep things in order. The only thing actually not in order was they did play Crane Wife 3 and then went straight into The Island. And that worked out quite well. It was great to see Laura Veirs on Yankee Bayonet as the last time this was supposed to happen their show was cancelled. The songs were pretty all over the place and Id have loved to have heard even more of their popular songs, but – as left to the hands of fate you never know what youll get.

The Tain was definitely interesting and lasting 20 mins. Im quite sure this will be the first and last time I ever get to hear it played. Colin did write a song about The Hudson River, NYC and Sully and considering it was on the fly, it was pretty damn awesome. Marcel did some crowd surfing which was pretty funny and yes, even Nate and John made out, although Im almost sure there was no tongue. I was right in front of Jenny and she was looking like she was having a great time as always.

The final song was just awesome. Im a big fan of ELO, hahaha, and this was an awesome cover. I got some great video of it and Colin hopping around.

The good: hearing songs Id never have heard otherwise and in general an awesome idea. it was the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect crime!

The bad: not enough music. 15 songs in 2 hours really. Not much of Colin Meloy talking 😦 and way too much John Wesley Harding talking.

Laura Veirs was a good opener. She plays a folky-indie style of music and has a great voice. Her backing band is also quite good. Plus, without her we’d not have her wonderful addition on “Yankee Bayonet”.

Setlist:

  1. Yankee Bayonet (w/Laura Veirs)
  2. July July
  3. The Raincoat Song
  4. Bridges and Balloons
  5. From My Own True Love
  6. Bachelor & The Bride
  7. Rake Song
  8. Culling of the Fold
  9. Marcel crowd surfs to a waltz
  10. I Was Meant For The Stage
  11. The Island
  12. Crane Wife 3
  13. Annan Water

Encore 1

  1. Nate & John Make Out
  2. Colin Writes a Song
  3. The Tain
  4. The Perfect Crime 2

Encore 2

  1. Mr. Blue Sky (ELO cover)

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Blown Away By The Helio Sequence

Posted by xneverwherex on October 10, 2007

10/8/07

Lots of great bands as always at The Mercury Lounge on this past Monday night. The first band of the night was Sleeping States from the UK. Markland, the genuis behind Sleeping States, put on an amazing set. He was simply adorable as he’d say before a number of songs ‘This is (insert song), and heres how it sounds’. Then on occasion they’d mess up, and he’d say “This isn’t how it sounds. This is how it sounds”. The band had a small 8″ tv set (maybe smaller?) on the edge of the stage playing various clips. Alien Resurrection stood out in my mind as they use a lot of the ambient noise in their music. Experimental is a great way to describe the style as they bring in all sorts of random objects that make noise and amplify their sound during the set. It was definitely something quite different to see and mix that up with sparse vocals, a great drum beat and heavy guitars and you’d get Sleeping States.

Markland proved himself to be quite the cool guy, as I stopped to congratulate him on a great set and asked him if they’d be playing in DC. I mentioned a great friend of mine lived there and she’d love to see their stuff, and he said ‘tell your friend she HAS to come see us’. Very charming, with a great British accent, how can you not fall in love.

Next up was Kill The Lights from Canada. Kill The Lights has 4 guys and 1 female in the band. I wasnt blown away by them, but some songs were really great. The vocals were really hit or miss and between the songs that sounded like they were screamed through, to songs that had more melodies it felt like 2 different bands at times. I’m not sure I’d see them again, but it was a good addition on the set.

NYC’s own Benzos is whom I was most excited to see. I have been a big fan of them since I first saw them opening for Elefant. And have seen them several times since, so it was great to finally be seeing them again. Their 2nd album continues where their first album left off and brings together heavy swirling guitars with gorgeous unassuming vocals from Christian Celaya. Their music is still as brilliant live as it was last I had seen them. Their music still flows through your body as you close your eyes and let it take you to wherever as Christian’s vocals fill the air and lush guitars complement his voice.

Definitely a band not to miss. They are playing 4 shows at CMJ, if not more and for those who have never seen them, be ready for some great dreamy indie rock to transport you. Besides Christian is quite the nice guy as I got to talk with him for a bit after his set while deciding which album to buy. Actually I hadnt listened to the first album in so long, I didnt even know which one I had owned. He told me which was new while telling me I had to come see them again at CMJ. And I was *completely* won over!  – Yeah such a fangirl Im turning into!

Lastly was the brilliant Helio Sequence. I am convinced that some of the most amazing bands come out of Portland, OR. It must be something in the water. Everyone had told me it was a show I couldnt miss and everyone was right. The Helio Sequence is 2 guys – a drummer and guitarist. Ben and Brandon.

Their show went from being good to better than great! I thought it started off on the slower side, and it could have been the fact that I was so annoyed by the guy in front of me who was drunk off his ass and thought he was in the band. I think the band might have been annoyed too, or at least the drummer appeared to be. This guy would bang on the drums and finally security told him to stand back. I guess that wasnt good enough, because he wanted to continue.

Aside for that mess, and getting beer spilled all over me twice, I had the most amazing time watching them, dancing. It was hard not to stay still as the drummer went crazy on the drums, and the lead singer filled the room with his guitar and voice. Long guitars that carried most the songs without a heavy abundance of lyrics is what really had me into the music. The guitars would sweep you off your feet, while the drums kept you grounded moving to the music. About an hour and 15 minutes the band played, and everyone wished they would have kept on playing. Now, Im just waiting till they return again, as there’s no way I’ll ever miss them again.

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