Sunday, October 16, 2005

Wooden Wand & Mt. Eerie 10/14/05 @a dumbo loft

and with this post i am finally back up to date, hooray!
after being mad about the FF i called a friend and she said that i would totally be able to make it to the mt eerie show in dumbo so i did just that. i really wish i couldve seen more of toddp's dumbo shows this weekend but i had to work through them and i hate that shit. so i got to this crazy huge top floor of a this loftspace and was able to see wooden wand in the vanishing hand's entire set. this is a great experimental collective. they played all kinds of interesting noise, they had some cool home made instruments. one girl had a harp-esgue box that she fingerplucked. another girl had a guitar on her lap that she played with one of those things that keeps reverberating one string without having to pluck it, another guy was on the floor manipulating dials, knobs and tapes while he sang into his headphones and the drumming was very light and tribal. it was a very ethereal sound that just seemed to flow so well.

I have never seen the microphones/mt eerie in the flesh before but love the records especially the live one. the singer is one of those personalities that is just so humbled that people actually enjoy what he does. they are these really great guitar songs that are driven completely by his vocals, with a little drumming accompaniment just for good measure. he just seems like a great person that you are very happy that he can produce such good music. way to go champ. the highlight was a singalong right at the end of the show that actually had the audience providing the background while he sang other lyrics on top, it was like magic and totally restored my faith that was lost earlier in the evening. i never shouldve doubted you, music.

The Fiery Furnaces & The Childballads 10/14/05 @ Town Hall

I have been awaiting my beloved fiery furnaces to come back to town for about 6 months now and with all the controversy surrounding thier new record i wanted to hear it for myself and make my own judgements.

The Childballads were great, they played really good alt country type songs with vocals that brought steven malkmus to my mind. the lead singer was very exicted to be playing at such a famous venue, you could tell by his chain smoking. he was very excited to dedicate every song to some one different, one was even dedicated to rows 4-9, and that included me! for all the suckos that got there late you missed an exciting set from an up and coming band. theyll be all over pitchfork soon.

I am very torn about the fiery furnaces set i witnessed this evening. on one hand they played a great set that brought many great songs back from the dead, they played many of thier songs very close to the forms they take on thier albums, which isnt something i have seen them do before, they are usually going back and forth between them and coming up with completely new music arrangements that are really great to hear and very specific to each time ive seen them. the songs from the new album were incredible the only complaint people reviewing the new album have is that the furnaces grandmothers voice is unlistenable, and this may be so, but hearing the songs live got me very excited to hear them again. the encore included inspector blancheflower and blueberry boat done by just matt and elenor. those were the good things, but the bad almost seemed to outweigh them. first of all sitting down for this show was a terrible idead, FF are not a sit down band by any means. the seating at town hall is very bad and if any one slightly tall is in front of you, you miss out because the stage is lower than eye level. the sound for the childballads was fine, i had no complaints, but for FF the sound was some of the worst concert sound i have ever seen, it was way to heavy on the low end, bass and drums were overpowering elenors voice as well as her guitar and matts keyboards at times were almost inaudible, i payed 30$ for this ticket when i used to be able to stand up and see and hear them great for 1/3 that. my last complaint is thier addition of two new members when the bass and drums they had before were amazing, these two guys were very by the book and didnt have sun with it like the other guys did, i dunno what the problem was, but i want them back. so i really am pissed off about this show for many reasons but am still a huge fan of these guys, i just dont think ill be back at town hall for quite a while, just because dylan played there 40 years ago doesnt mean the place is still worth it.

oh and ps: i tried to take some more pics but some usher shined a flashlight in my face and told me to put it away, fuck you buddy, you and your yellow jacket!

The Organ 10/09/05 @Pianos

after i saw the teeth i ran over to pianos to catch the organ and i was really glad that i did. The organ are 5 super cool ladies that rock out like they were a modern day joy division. i cant really think of anything else besides that, imagine female vocals on joy division and youve got this band, but instead of being like, well that nothing new. youre like, why didnt joy division have strong female vocals in the first place. it totally works and you can dance around to it like crazy or, like many people at the show preffered to do, you can stand still and look as cool as you want, just like im sure is what happened at joy division shows. thier record, grab that gun, should be grabbed soon because they have a new full length in the works and you dont want to be behind do you?

The Teeth 10/09/05 @the knit

I got to the knit early to try and catch the teeth, four guys from philadelphia that have a really good sound. they have an ep out on park the van that i picked up a few weeks ago it really reminded me of some kinks and on the vocal end i got a kind of talking heads vibe so i wanted to check them out and it was really worth it. they arent the most energetic people on stage, but its the songs what matter with this band you have to hear it to see what i mean, i bet thier new album carry the wood is gonna turn a few heads. (meaning to look at them not like look the other way or anything)

Regina Spector & Michael Leviton 10/06/05 @NYU

Im glad i know people who can help me into nyu events they have some really good shit going down there most of the time and this was no exception.
Michael Leviton was a real surprise, i had never heard of him at all and at first glance he doesnt seem like much, but he plays nautical love songs on a eucalali and thats it. they are terrific songs and he has very fun stage banter in between, i cant think how hard it would be to come up with only nautical analogies, but when you think about it the sea can represent many things. he plays around town a lot. hes also on myspace.

Regina Spector is an amazing person, she is like fiona apple, but with 10x more talent, her voice is unbelievable and her piano skills are incradible. she is so soft and sweet and her lyrics are arranged in a way that seems like it would only fit her music, it is unlike anything else, they are so personal and specific that you can sometimes understand exactly what she means and others have no idea because its such personal statement that maybe just she or one other person will ever know what she means. she is very cute and playful with her live show. very humble for the amount of talent she puts forth. she had an upright and keyboard set up as well as a guitar she rocked out on for one song. it was great when she switched to the keyboard because she played with the settings a bit and made her piano into a quire. and the smile never left her face, i only wish she couldve played longer. the greatest moment for me was when she sang "love is so fickle it starts with a flood and ends in a trickle", that lyric just reaches into your soul and makes your heart explode. and because it was yam kipur she decided to blow a chaffeur, but it took her like ten tries, and she couldnt stop laughing about it. she seems like one amazing human being.

The Decmberists & Cass Maccombs 10/05/05 @Webster Hall

I have got to admit that i have been trying to steer clear of webster hall for as long as i possibly could. i went there once a few years ago for some afterparty and the place was an awful bridge and tunnel dance club. so i have passed on many shows that have come through there, but i am tired of missing the decemberists so i bit the bullet and you know what, it isnt so bad, the space is pretty big and i really dont have any complaints about the sound, but thats probably because they have the people from bowery and the knit on the boards.

Cass Maccombs played thier brand of light indie songs of love and loss. its not really my thing, the whole sufjan crowd, although there are a few acts that get my goat, these guys arent one of them, while i respect it and can listen to its beauty its not really my cup of tea, it seems very run of the mill, like you could have a bill with about 8 of these acts and blindfold people and ask them which band it was and theyll get it wrong. the music is barely there, and the lyrics dont grab you with thier intamacy, i hate to go on about i, but i feel that way with as little disrespect as possible

The Decemberists dazzled the crowd as they have been known to do, they clock in at a little over 1:15 and it was filled with great sounds coming from its six players, thier style of large melodic rock is something that tickles the ears the right way and collin melloys nazally voice grabs your attention over the top of all of the swelling sounds. i really cant believe that he hasnt had a band before, maybe he has but in my searching i have found no info about it. he just seems to know exactly what to do even though the decmberists have only been a band for around 3 years. from the first ep to picaresque i cant think of a song that is no good. the set was filled with great stuff from all albums,leslie ann levine, eli, the sporting life, we both go down together, and sixteen military wives has never sounded better. the mariners revenge song as always was the highlight and they have even added some special effects: the multi-instrumentalist guy comes out with a big set of whale jaws to swallow up the crowd. they encored with a cover of mr blue sky, an ELO song i didnt think i would ever hear again, and i was meant for the stage.

The Oranges Band & Rahim 10/02/05 @the Knit

I picked up Rahim's ep, jungles, out on french kiss the other week and was very impressed by it. Its only four songs long and it goes from having a very punky sound at times to a slow passionate sound that brings the smiths to mind. they are a tight little trio and live they played a bunch of other songs that were really good, these guys play around town quite a bit since they are from here and they are definately worth checking out, check you local listings, and word is they will have a full length at the begining of next year.

I hadnt heard the oranges band before except for a few comp tracks, but i read in a few places that they were like lookouts answer to the shins, but this is not really the case i was pretty unimpressed with thier brand of watered down pop songs. they are really more like lookouts answer to the bodeans.

The Numbers, Limited Express (has gone?) & Child Abuse 09/30/05 @Rockys

I know i just saw these bands at cmj, but that didnt matter to me, they were great and i wanted to see them again.
Child Abuse kicked it off right with thier heavy ass keyboard and drums thrash rock. i have seen them a few times around town, always as the first band and it seems like they should be more than the band every one misses because they come late, it has a different feel to it, almost like a psycho circus in some ways and not the kiss kind at all.
Limited Express were, in my eyes, the breakout band of cmj, but it seems like not many others thought so or not enough people talked about them because the show wasnt that packed and sadly this was thier last night of us tour and it was a shambles whoever does the sound at rockys is an asshole, cut and dry. the set was plagued with problems from begining to end, mic problems, level problems, at one point they stopped for a few minutes because there were no vocals and i heard one of the sound guys ask if they really needed vocals. what the fuck is that shit. regardless of the problems they tried making the best of it and danced around to thier girl fronted japunk stylings. its to bad that they didnt have more fun.

The Numbers set was also plagued with sound problems. the main vocals come from the drummer, and no matter how many times they asked for them to be turned up nothing was done, the guitarist and drummer even switched mics at one point and that worked for a few minutes, but then the levels got changed (somehow) and were back to the guitarist way over powering the drummer, sure her voice is softer, but that doesnt mean a mic cant pick it up. other than that, the music was good, but i just cant take when a band sounds really bad and it isnt thier fault. I wont be running back to rockys in the near future.

The White Stripes & The Shins 09/24/05 @Keyspan Park

Oh how i long for the days when i saw the white stripes in tiny venues, but hey i cant complain because everytime i go see them, i am just in the mindset that they arent going to be as good, but they make me wrong every single time. they have yet to disappoint me besides the fact that thier ticket prices get larger each time, but hey when youre carting around a full piano and kettle drums its gonna coast a little bit more.The Shins opened up and while i very much enjoy the shins on record thier live show definatley leaves something to be desired, they are the standered shoegazing indie rock band and when you play before the white stripes you better do something interesting if you want any one to give you a second thought and the shins just didnt do it.

See how far away i was, this is my only other problem with seeing the stripes, i want to be right there, but it doesnt matter vibe wise to be that far back, its still like jack is grabbing you by the collar and singing right in your face. The kids ripped through an amazing rock set, playing very few of their lighter jams in favor of rocking my socks clear out of the park. and every one always rips on meg for being not that great a musician and sure, say what you want, but imagine trying to be a more intricate drummer when you have to answer to every slightest bend of a note to race into an entirly different, time signature, beat, etc. it would be pretty fucking hard, but that why they are so good, they are so unpredictable and so all over the place, that where ever jack is steering the tone of the show, he can spin around and go in a completely different direction. jack was also carting around that marimba, and its was nuts when he played it to, the man just recently picked it up and hes already doing crazy extra fills and spinning the sticks in his hand. and probably the funniest part of the night was when meg was laughing at jack for something and he was like, oh whats funny i wanna know, whats so funny, and then he started playing in the cold cold night as a punishment. long live the white fucking stripes. i ripped the setlist from productshop, but just look at this things it still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up just reading it:

Black Math / Blue Orchid / Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground / Passive Manipulation / Jolene / My Doorbell / Cannon -> John the Revelator / Screwdriver / Passive Manipulation / The Nurse / Forever for Her / Death Letter / Hotel Yorba / Hardest Button to Button / I Think I Smell a Rat -> Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" -> I Think I Smell a Rat / Walking With a Ghost (Tegan and Sara) / Ball and a Biscuit / Hello Operator / Union Forever // I'm Lonely (But I Ain't That Lonely Yet) / Red Rain / Loving You / In the Cold, Cold Night / Let's Shake Hands / We're Going to Be Friends / Little Ghost / Ball and a Biscuit / Seven Nation Army / Bo Weevil

that was the best i could do for the distance i was at, but fuck it, at least i remember what they look like.

Japanther & Copra 09/23/05 @some clothing store in the meat packing district

I think this was a really cool idea. Some puppet artist decided to take some of japanthers artwork and bring it to life in a play entitled "dump the body in ricki lake" which is of course also the name of one of japanthers records. the play was made up of the dialogue on the tape loops that come between some of thier songs. crazy gangsta rap musings coming out of oversized bad ass cats and dogs was fucking awesome.

of course the band played the songs in between the puppet fight scenes. and it made for a really good setting for them to do it, the back of some chi chi clothing store was made up to look like a ghetto block and the lighting was provided by a bulb inside a trash can suspended from the ceiling and swung around accordingly. they played 2 sets that were for the most part the same, but after the second one they played a few more fan favorites and at the end the puppets killed them dead.

In between there was this crazy spazzed out band called copra who were a trio of drums bass and vocs, the drums and bass were in a very japanther-esque style, but the guy on vocs was crazy, he was screaming and shoving all these people who had never heard them before, which makes me wish i knew the music more so you could get as crazy as he was getting, but since it was the first time i was just like yikes im scared. good times.

Thunderbirds are now!, Mommy & Daddy, and Oxford Collapse 09/21/05 @Mercury Lounge

Oxford Collapse is a great band. I cant understand why they arent getting more attention, they are from the city and have seen them a few times, the last time was an incredible set opening for the coachwhips, that blew me away. This time they were playing in support of thier new full length, A Good Ground, while it does have its good qualities in doesnt hold a candle to thier last effort, Some Wilderness. The set was filled with mostly new songs that sound better with the bands live twist and a couple of old favorites, i have trouble describing thier sound kind of a more noodley pavement but with some more of a classic rock edge, it doesnt sound like a good description so check out some mp3's here.

Mommy and Daddy are of course a duo, that have a really good dance rock sound, they alternate vocals, drum machine and bass and have just put forth thier second effort on kanine recs, from what i heard at the live show its gonna be another good one, but to me its more of something you need to see live then listen to at home, daddy just has so much energy bouncing around the stage, and thier chemistry is some voodoo magic there.

sorry, it was dark and mommy was wearing black

Thunderbirds are now! blow me away! seriously i bought justamoustache a few months ago and got thier first effort the last time i saw them and they are great records, got kind of a devo edge to them, but sped up a few notches and thier live show is something that needs to be witnessed, it was my second time and there were definately more people into it this time, they blasted through most of justamoustache and only played one song from their first one, but it was the best song off of that. They played 3 new ones and they were kick ass, i swear, they even invited the guys from Rahim to join them for a song, it was a good sing along number. The highlight was when the keyboard player donned a cat mask and scratched the shit out of some toilet paper, seriously these guys give out so much energy you cant help but give back, they will be back on 11/7 opening for the hold steady @ webster, ill see you there.

Final NYC Q and not U show 09/20/05 @the Knit

Q and not U is a band that i fell in love with after hearing thier first record no kill no beep beep back in the summer of 01. sadly i went overseas for a while and was unable to see them in thier early days, but i did have the record and that was worth something, while i was away they released thier second effort, different damage and while it was a good record it was missing something the first one didnt have. the band lost thier bass player, i never found out why, and he took with him some of thier spazz rock edge that i enjoyed so much. i got to see them soon after returning home and while i had a good time, the show was just missing something, i have seen them three times since then and have missed something each time, while the bands final effort, power, was very good it wasnt the QanU i fell in love with. even from the first time i saw them they didnt play much from the first record and that was a problem for me because i think it would have translated better to a live show to get people going then thier softer songs did. for thier final two nyc sets they really did give a lot of energy and ended up playing over 2 hours total, only 3 tracks from thier first effort at most. but a great representation of different damage and most of power. the bands members are already working on other projects so it wont belong until your seeing them on the stage once again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

since i been gone (part 2)(cmj)

ok so cmj was more than i couldve expected this year i didnt have a badge, but have since learned its fun even without one. i kicked it off on tuesday afternoon by going to the museum of television and radio because kexp, that radio station from seattle, was having a free broadcast of langhone slim, there were very few people there, he played a few songs in 30 mins, one new one that was real good, but the best part was a story that he told about his tour with eugene merman. it started like he was cleaning out the van and left his guitar by the wheel and forgot about it, merman went out later to move the car and he crushed the heriloom guitar that belonged to his uncle. ouch! well things are okay now, but its a rough ass tour story that fo sho.

that night i went to the knit to catch fiest do her canadian girl thing, and she did it well to a sold out crowd. playing a lot of her record, but also playing a good amount of new things and some variations on her songs that were welcome, and she played 2 encores, i think its been a while. check out a terible pic:

(knit lighting is terrible for pics, to bad most of the good shows are there now)

wednesday brought me to the ace fu showcase @rothko. acid mothers temple had to back out due to customs problems, but as sad as that is thats probably the reason it wasnt sold out before i got there. its fun to be at a 21+ venue for cmj and see kids get turned away because mommy and daddy boutght them a badge haha FUCKYOU! so anyway, i missed the occasion sadly, but i got there just in time for we are wolves and they fucking rocked out, they are so asskickin the drummer has to stand hes so excited, and the bass drum has to be on a machine, theres just no way around it.

after that was the octopus project who i had never heard before and that mightve been good because they play these crazy tangling vocallesss indie rock soundscapes that are totally amazing to see, but i am unsure how it would translate to cd, the live energy was all ther and they came out with these crazy block headson:

and they dressed the speakers up like big scary ghosts that shuddered with every bass thump:

they had all kinds of cool synths and effects and a great theramin solo. check em out!

next was the band i came for, the mighty man man! who ive seen a bunch and am totally in love with thier sea chantys from outer space. a little bit tom waits a little bit frank zappa, they have reworked thier line up a bit, but it is still a great white whale of a show. complete with grunts, slide whistles and those pianos you play with your mouth. honus even played a spatula for a bit.

to kill us off was the mighty AN ALBATROSS who was playing a lot of new licks, i guess they have some kind of album coming out soon maybe. they did their normal riot act, but not many people were going insane as many of the albatross shows ive seen before ending in blood. but they didnt give a shit either way. they need to play on the floor, and all those dudes are short, but i guess you cant be a metal guitarist and shred unless youre pissed about your height...

after they were done, which was rather quick i walked over to the knit to check out the 3am performance from outkasts hip hop purist, BIG BOI and friends. it took them forever to get out there, but when they came they brought that shit southwest atlanta style. they pumped a lot of new shit because BB is releasing a new comp called got purp, they kicked it off with the new single called, kryptonite, and interestingly enough it has nothing to do with superman, but rather that green shit you know and love. sleepy brown, killer mike, rock-D and others were there puttin it down, we got some whole world, southernplayalistic, like the way you move, and a few other kast classics, and when it was all over i wasnt even tared, but killer mike had to sit most of the set out due to all the killing i would guess its gotta fatigue ya herd?

-thursday brought us the ployvinyl showcase at the knit i missed aloha, but ida was interesting, very light fluffy stuff, that was not good to keep me going, but i would give it another listen if i were trying to entice a lover, but only if our bellies were sluggish with goat meat. after they were through saturday looks good to me rifled through a short set, but they were definatly winners, they have that polyvinyl sound, they middle it out, not as hard as apollo sunshine, but around there.

hail social played downstairs to much admiration, i picked up thier record a little bit ago, its good, but to see them live is to hear thier rocknroll sounds a bit more, they are more radioactive in a live setting.

XBXRX brought thier shit like crazy, thier spazz rock stylings were a very welcome wake up call to a sleepy crowd, and you figure most bands, especially one so different than anyone else playing that night would get sucha good response, but they said get on the ground and every one there got the fuck down. they rocked thier pink sailor suits til the wheels fell off, i have since got thier new record sixth in sixes ans i am not disappointed in the least it is a half hour of pure mayhem, i feel like i should wear earplugs under my headphones.

the billy nayer show was shoved away downstairs for a short set that had the few people there super excited, these guys are a great band and if you need any proof just check out thier masterful movie the american astronaut, shit is a rocknroll space western, and they do the soundtrack to match. guy rocks out on an autoharp for shits sake.

of montreal finished off the knit show excellently, those guys are alright on record but there live show is done up so right its not even funny. great costumes, great breaks, great choreography, sadly while i was down watching the bns the place filled up like mad with fucking cmj badges and i was way in the back and it wasnt even worth trying to take pics, not that most of tonights were any good to begin with. anywho go see this band.

after that got out i raced to scenic in the village for the secret constantines gig, i am so glad that this happened because there big ass subpop showcase was way sold out due to wolf parade being on the bill, they are good, but i dont think they deserve all this crazy hype, but who the fuck am i. so yeah about 2am constantines took the tiny staged and played a lot of the old stuff, and a good amount of stuff off thier new one tournament of hearts, that comes out soon if not now, i wasnt big on it at first but of course live they make you understand what it means, the lead singer has such a great sprinsteenish vibe to him and he just growls the whole show right in your face, it was incredible as usual. second best performance of cmj easily.

-friday was the end for me and it was my fourth night in a row at the knit for the kill rock stars extravaganza. slumber party began the night with their light indie-girl-pop sounds of beauty, many from thier new album out now.

slim moon played his first show with a badn downstairs and it showed, i enjoyed it but boy was it sloppy and the last song consisted of him saying fuck the presidant at least a hundred times.

limited express (has gone?) was the #1 surprise blowout performance of the week, there were things i knew would be good and things i knew would suck but thie band made my eyes pop out of my head, they are jap-punks a long way from home but that doesnt stop then from blowing your head off, the music is insane and the singer catches you so offguard between songs, because shes one of those stereotype cute softspoken girls and then she just starts wailing and you cant help but just be like what the fuck i cant stop jumping up and down

BARR brought his funny ass freestyle rapish spoken word musings to a tiny crowd downstairs with his beat machine in tow, his performace is really great and funny, its like a performance piece, but its good and he actually plays different characters and the only way you know if because he has a sweater on his head. he was big on pushing his upcoming release on krs

the numbers new record is a departure from those past, but in no way is that a bad thing, they are just more accessible now, but they still play old stuff and its great girl fronted (even though shes in the back on the drums) rock tunes, with great melody from erik on the keyboards.

the makers would be good anywhere else i guess, but at this show i couldnt really take them, its kinda mooney suzuki-ish but it sucks and the lead singer is not mick jagger nor is he wayne kramer. i had to suffer through them because i wasnt gonna miss one second of the next band, check out those sweet matching vest and shirt combos!

cmj was all an excuse for me to not think about how awesome the gossip were going to be i had to see other shows to rev me up because if i just showed up out of the blue to see some gossip rock action my head and balls would explode on the first lick. hannah billy has really complimented the band well her beats are tight as hell, and brayce is still rocking that geetar, and beth ditto is still the beautiful hunk of woman from my dreams that could put most other singers of this day to fucking shame, they would just leave the building after hearing her belt out the gutteral voice that is the gossip, this set was amazing from start to finish, you know how sometimes bands play new tunes and you just cant really get into them, it was like i had heard them a hundred times already. i even brought my dad to this show and he fucking freaked too, he said beth is like mama cass, whatever the fuck that is. they fucking rocked my shit away, im just babling now, thats what they did to me, i cant make real word anymore. gossip good! evrythign else not as good! pictures now!

and as if cmj couldnt get any better miss beth was kind enough to get a pic with me and to be as cool as she could be she put her back pack on the front.

see you later cmj!
ps the gossips new dance 12" came out today its called standing in the way of control, go get it!