Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Blurbs or Woops!

Well here we go again (on my own) I have done the letting down once again, and once again I will say that I am going to remedy this in the future, but I most likely wont. so here it is, most of the shit I have seen in the past four(4) months. (ill post feb shows in a few days) to infinity and beyond:


1/26/06 Bent Outta Shape w/Common Vision & International Anthems for Irrational Numbers @ Tommys

This show was a quick one off, and the last time bent will perform for a while, looks like they have some line up issues to deal with before they can continue to soldier on, bunt the bent house is still rocking some ass kickin punk shows over on bartlett st.

International Anthems for Irrational Numbers:

Some horn heavy political punk/noise you kinda get that hippie vibe, but it doesnt turn you off, this is the first time these guys had played together in quite a while, they were from ashville I think, or was it bloomington? same difference, am I wrong?

Common Visions

Spazz/Freek rock at its finest, a power trio that makes you want to convulse across the floor.

Bent Outta Shape

You could tell there was some descent among the ranks. they have already had to replace the bass player, but its seems their second guitarist just isnt feeling it anymore which is to bad because I think their rawness is something really amazing, but im glad jimbo has to decided to keep it going because the records are great and the live energy is something people keep coming back for.

1/21/06 Matt and Kim Video Shoot @Pratt
This was a really fun time. I got an email a few days before with the invite from kim and I couldnt wait to check it out and it was fucking worth it. The video is for "5k" which is definitely the best track off of "to/from" and the premise goes a little like this. matt and kim are playing a house party in someones kitchen and every ones having a blast and for some reason matts arm starts growing ridiculously long, to remedy this kim cuts it off and duck tapes it back on the right length so that they can finish the song, but then of course it starts happening to both of her arms, and matt uses the same solution as kim did. Meanwhile the crowd is getting covered in fake blood. it went well, I only have a few good shots due to the fact that I was getting shot with blood every few minutes, suckapants has some great shots though, probly cause he stayed clean. but heres a few of mine:

1/18/06 Ghost Mice @Stain Bar
This was great, I found out about this show like the day before, GM just decided to take a trek before their next europe trek, it was at this tiny little coffee house in brooklyn and since it was just announced there were only like 20 people there, they played a 30-40 min set with their new third member pascal, who plays eukalele and squeezebox. got to hear some tracks off their new record "europe" and hear a great anecdote about how pascal was trying to enter the country and the customs asked him why he was there and he told them it was to play music with his friends, and they asked him why he couldnt just play music in his own country, nice representation of our society, thanks dudes. oh man and while I was there I picked up a copy of the plan-it-x comp and let me tell you it is worth so much more than the $3 it costs, even if you only like one pix band you will fall in love with at least 4 more and thats a promise.

1/17/06 Matt and Kim w/Meneguar @Tommys
This was matt and kims last real show before they headed out on their endless tour which will keep them busy through most of april, good for those kids, get the hell out of here. Meneguar played a really great set, but I am 100% sold on them, I need no more convincing, some friends feel otherwise, but every time they check em out they like em a little more. you really need to pick up their record "I was born at night" a handful of awesome.

I cannot express my undying devotion to matt and kim, something about their popness, the ramshackle style, its perfect and its cute and its raw and its innocent and its pure. Matt has the best stage banter I have seen in years and kim has never stopped smiling since I can remember seeing them for the first time a little over a year ago. let me see if I can convince you in picture form:

1/15/06 The Redcoats are Coming w/Dan Freal (mem of parts and labor) @ the knit(old office)
This was part of some big benefit show. but I only hung out for the downstairs action, p&l were supposed to play, but their drummer got sick I think, so dan stepped in and did his soundscape thing, I cant begin to imagine how he puts these things together live, but he just holds that board and its got a drum maching and a keyboard and random effects peddles and it comes out as a lush wall of noise.

I had been wanting to see the redcoats are coming for a while, it is great stuff, three ladies with guitars and some keys and its just really guttural voices and some sounds that make you shake and shiver and their stage presence is really excellent, im sorry I am not being ultradescript, the fact is I cant really remember the deats of this one, but I know I was really impressed, I will catch them again soon and ill write you a term paper ok, now get off my back.

12/17/05 Japanther, Aa, Matt and Kim, and The Good Good @the coz
Killer fucking house show, absolute killer. this place is right next door to the woodser(which has just recently reopened for business after a few months of remodeling) and just as kick ass. If some one wanted a great sampling of nyc this is what they need to see, I might add a few more bands, but this is rawsome enough for a beginner, you dont want someones heart to explode. The good good has been going through changes as of late, not to its core, but to its lineup and tweaking of how they work it is still very all over the place sounding, in a good way lots of interesting instruments and sounds come from them, they have some bigger gigs coming up soon too, north6 in april.

Matt and kim played another wonderful set with few hitches, the crowded rioted for and encore, but m+k dont do that shit all you get is six songs so deal with it buddy. Look at those keys!

Aa has gone through a drastic lineup shuffle as well, they have wittled down to 4 guys and it was the tightest I have ever seen them, it was great, before my only complaint was that it just seems to wander around and not go anywhere, but that has changed there is a start and a finish and its a big one too.

Japanther played great as usual, they kind of have more of a routine of what they play now, they have really narrowed it down to their shit that translates best to the live show, some of the album tracks, just dont come across as well, not to say they are bad songs, they just dont coheese with the rough stuff they like rippin through and rip they do. whats everyone looking at?

12/15/05 Blood on the Wall w/Jah Division @the knit
Blood on the Wall are fresh off the release of their second album, "awesomer" (oh and it is) psychic ills opened up for them and I was a bit disappointed, but that has since been remedied, I saw them again and they seemed to have it a lot more together. BotW played a great set, but it only lasted a little over 30 mins and it was really heavy on the news stuff, but I kind of thing both their efforts are great listens, it always reminds me of the pixies mixed with the poppier sonic youth, not to sound like a shithead, but thats really how I feel. maybe its because he sounds like frank black and she sounds like kim gordon.

Jah Division played the after party downstairs and they just played on along really great track with three drummers battling for superiority, it felt like it was all improvised, but the drums went together so well I almost feel that it wouldnt be possible maybe they are just super tight.

12/5/05 Pretty Girls Make Graves @the knit
PGMG are back and with a keyboard, they lost a guitarist, but they gained a pretty cool keyboard player, I have managed to nab 3 track from the new album and I am pretty excited for it, the sound has changed but only slightly, they still rock it out, but its seems like there are some more layers in there, the set was great especially since they have dropped off the face of the earth for the past year or so, im glad to see them back in action. andrea gave her all to a crowd of pretty big fans, I was glad to see that they have the power to keep a fanbase really interested after 2 and a half albums. the new tracks sounded really great, but they are both a great live band and a great studio band, so im interested to see what they throw into the mix for "elan vital" due out in late march I believe.

11/22/05 Hey Willpower! @the knit
Boy oh boy I love hey willpower! I didnt think I would go crazy over it, but its great dancy pop music, this was my second night in a row as youll see below. but I couldnt get enough after the first night, its pop that gives Jtimb a run for his moanay. its very sexy stuff, but its gender neutral, you can use it for cute ladies and sweet dudes alike. just grab that crush a tell them you want to be their magic window. the dance ep is out now and there is a kick ass duet with annie available on his myspace page. oh and did I neglect to mention his dancers. the whole set is choreographed hardcore, and there is even some audience participation and who doesnt love that, when your watching will and co. you cant help but laugh, but youre not laughing at him, its with him and if youve ever talked to will the dude can barely stop laughing so you know its all in fun.

11/21/05 Matt + Kim, BARR, Hawney Troof and Hey Willpower! @the glasshouse
Amazing show, for reels. absolutley unbelievable. This was the first night of my hey willpower! assault, it was umcredible. his dancers really added to the seduction, he really sells you on his sexuality, good times.

Hawney Troof, is vice cooler, and only vice cooler. Regularly hes the leader of XBXRX, but now hes flyin solo with some big booty beats. he put on a really great performance even though he blew the amp out once or twice, it was kind of like this crazy spazzglam. lots of crowd infiltration and a lot of good stories about the tour he and barr were in the middle of. and his choice words of wisdom had to be "if you want to dry hump, be prepared to be dumped"

What can I say about BARR besides the fact that he is fucking amazing, his music is him singing, but really more like talking with very minimal beats,but its the lyrics that take you in, always incoherent, but sometimes forming a story or even a chorus if youre lucky, barr has to be seen to be believed, he just doesnt translate to cd as well as I thought he could, its still good to have a recording though, because you can listen to it and think about the performance you just saw, or the one you are anticipating next, and when barr is on stage I cant stop laughing the shit is the best.

Matt and Kim somehow became the headliners of this show, and by no stretch of the imagination am I complaining. they played a new song on this night of nights and it was super cute because kim totally wasnt ready to play it for an audience, but instead of it getting her down she just smiled that huge kim smile and it was all ok. and also it was one of the last times I saw matt play with glasses due to the fact in his rockness he threw them off of his face and they flew behind some of the artwall and after the show as im leaving I see kims legs kicking in the air as she was wedged between sections and she was pulled to freedom with matts glasses in hand.

11/19/05 Oxford Collapse @ the knit
Oxford Collapse played a somewhat disappointing set on this late night double bill. the chromatics played after them, but after about a song and a half the girl decided she didnt want to perform anymore, but as I was standing there I didnt see anything strange happen she just took off, I have seen the collapse like 10 times and this was the least impressive, I just prefer their older album, some wilderness, to the new stuff.

11/17/05 Elf Power & The Kings of France @ the knit
Kings had been receiving alot of positive buzz around the city and I could see why, it was a really energetic indie show. Some good songs of love and loss. I would recommend them for a nice evening in which you dont want to get to agitated.

Elf Power continues the legacy of the elephant6, with pride, through their dense live soundscapes and their positive energy. This show was extraspecial due to the fact that jeff mangum was in attendance and he even jumped on stage to sing about six seconds of music, but when he did my jaw was on the floor and I thought my ears were going to blow up, it was unmistakable, that nasal howl cracked open my skull, and shot tingles down my spine, I swear this happened. and then after that he faded back into the crowd, the people there(the venue was less than halfpacked) wont soon forget it.

11/14/05 Black Lips w/king khan +bbq show & the DC Snipers @ Maxwells
Sometimes you gotta leave the city, I think it was a good choice, even though black lips play here it seems like every 3 weeks. its always interesting to go to a bar that people smoke in these days, because at first youre like this is fucking crazy, but then you remember where you are, the dirty jerz.
DC Snipers fucking brought some hardcore shit, swapping vocal duties through the set, these guys ripped it up and really pumped the crowd for some lips.

King Khan & the BBQ show was some crazy bluesy surfy rock stuff, they seemed to have a following out there, or everyone was just really excited, bbq was rockin aome guitar that brought back all that 50s surf style begging for johnny to be good, and king khan rocked double duty drums and guitar. about halfway through the set for some reason bbq decided to change into a dress, which of course meant the dude from black lips would have to simulate oral sex on him/her and he did.

Black Lips I had loved for quit a while, I had their second effort on Bomp! Records for close to a year and kept it in rotation and since I had already missed them a handful of times I didnt want to keep making that mistake and im glad I didnt. the show was raukus, at one point some one threw a strip of 100 firecrackers, which wouldve been a fine trick except for the fact that there is little ventilation in there so it was impossible to breathe for a few songs. they played all the things I loved off of that album, I managed to grab their other 2 records with in a few weeks of that show and now work my way through the catalog when I can. go see em, toddp is always booking show for these dudes from atlanta. and the trek from maxwells wasnt even that bad, worth the commute.

11/11/05 Modey Lemon w/the Apes @ Cake Shop
It was good to see the Apes again although they got a new lead singer which is offputting to me most of the time, it took me a bit to get used to the change and luckily I did the new frontman is fucking crazy (no haggars here) he adds to the live show. apparently the old singer wanted to go have babies, but its his loss, he was in a rockass band, but the players are the same and they still blow it away. whats in the rock water in DC.

Listen to Modey Lemon they are incredible, just really rockin shit some synths thrown into the guitar mix. I came for the apes, but the real money was on this band, seriously I was really impressed, listen to it ASAP, speechless.

11/8/05 The Joggers @ the knit
These guys are a pretty strong band, I really enjoy their record, with cape and cane, its sometimes straighforward indie sound, but then sometimes they try some unorthodoxed sounds for their type of music, but it works out very well for them, and the live shows energy just adds to it, they werent even the headliner, but I didnt even feel the need to stay.

11/7/05 DFA1979, Japanther, Child Abuse, No Dynamics, Matt + Kim, and Meneguar @ club exit
This was without any doubts the best club show I saw all year. I was blown away everytime a new band hit the stage, granted I have seen most of them before, but does that mean they rock me any less? the answer is holy fuck no.
I have stated before that I am a big fan of meneguar and it was good to see them on this large bill, to bad only a fraction of it was filled up, but they played their hearts out and if I was the only one who loved it than so be it.

Matt + Kim played the lapdance lounge, which is in the side of the venue and much smaller than the mainstage so it got packed up fast, and this was the first time some of my pals had seen m+k and 5 of 6 of them flipped their shit, and rightfully so I am a big advocate but sometimes people dont listen, but you cant ignore it when its rocking your socks off right in your face.

No Dynamics was the only band in the mix that I wasnt screaming for, not to say they were bad, I just wasnt blown away by these canadian dance-popish band, the problem was all the other bands were straightforward rock actioneers and these guys mellowed the mix a bit to much, but maybe if they were in some other context it would be better, sadly the crowd felt the same way and offered them little to no respect.

Child Abuse is that crazy spazz duo you love to feel indifferent about, but tonight was one of the best slices they have ever served up, drums and synth really do make a killer combo and tonight was the night for killer combos, 4 of 6 bands, you cant beat that with a stick. if only lightning bolt and the helio sequence were there.( and the white stripes and the evens for that matter, I could go on)

Japanther, what the hell are you doin? awesome, it always seems like these guys are coming back from tour, or getting ready to leave for a tour, so its a always, a triumphant return or a spirited send off, but that doesnt bother me, because they always play a great set, this was no exception, in fact it was one of the longer sets I have seen from them. it was really long, and it was one of the thickest japanther crowds, and everyone was loving them, the perfect pump before the main event. best/worst part was, at the end of the set ian threw his drum set over his head into the crowd and my buddy gene caught a cymbal to the face, but hes better now.

DFA1979, what can I say. ill say this, the last time I was lucky enough to get a ticket to see this band was at the merc and it was a sold out show, had been for two weeks so I was ready for shit to go down, I made my way up to the front and I proceeded to freak out at their majesty for the next hour+ (they covered danzig) but to my dismay I was the only one who was moving at all, they put on one of the heaviest, most rockin shows ive seen from a duo and I was the only one in awe? I was really just angry at the whole shitty nyc scenesters, of which I myself could be considered, but I rock out im not like that other trash, so I wouldnt want to be in their company. so ANYWAY I was ready for the same thing to go down here, but to my delight, it was the opposite. every one came and rocked out, I was so exhausted by halfway through I didnt think I could keep up, but I powered through and incredibly long set, with many many songs I had yet to hear needless to say my faith had been restored, I was so incredibly happy I had to lay down. but not before I got a copy of the new japanther cd, yer living grave, in my opinion their best one yet.
~let your spirit free~

ps here was the ticket design from todd:

11/6/05 The Constantines w/Oxford Collapse @ Bowery Ballroom
Oh gob do I love the sound at bowery, that night was amazing, oxco put on the best show I have ever seen them play, its strange, I really enjoy this band, but there really is something to the live show that I cant put my finger on, sometimes I am a bit bored by it and other times I am completely enthralled and I am never sure what I am getting. I can understand them being excited to open at bowery its a big venue for them. anyway they are well worth it as I have stated at least 10-15 before.

Now the constantines are another band that I have written about here a few times and I am going to reiterate that you cannot touch this band. they should be able to play an arena because thats one of the best things about them they have this arena rock feel brought down to a club level. I cannot get enough whether it be recorded or live I want to hear that howl. this performance kicked off like crazy...they played the first track off of the new album, tournament of hearts. if you havent heard the track it starts out with a very driving drum beat, just repetition of a floor tom that slowly builds into the whole band, live they turned that mother out they brought out like 5 more drummers to bang along, and it just psyched you up so hard for a great show and I wasnt disappointed. they played for well over an hour that included the best cuts from all three albums and they encored with a cover of niel young's "dont be denied" that included a guest appearance by the singer from oakley hall. it was wonderful, look if you dont believe me:

The setlist:

11/3/05 Dirty Projectors, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Dear Nora & Ballet @ the Glasshouse Gallery
Ballet was a very fun bklyn band that I had never heard of before, I found out that it was because this was their first show, and it didnt seem that way, they really had it together, its cutsie synthpop stuff that still has an edge to it through the guitars, they play around quite a bit, see em now before they go places, like away.

Dear Nora is actually not this solo ladies name, I forget what it actually is but I think that is really confusing to the casual observer, you know she gets called nora all the time. She played a very sullen minimalist guitar with painful break up lyrics, peppered with really funny stories as well, funny and sad is definitely a good way to get some one to listen, she gets my vote.

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone was incredible, seriously this guy blew me away, he carts around half a dozen different toy pianos in various levels of disrepair along with some pedals and drum efx and he seriously makes it work, the production value is low while the content value is the polar opposite. its very heartfelt and simple, but so lush at the same time. you cant hear him without thinking of a tom waits with electronics. hell be back on 3/21 and 22 you really should witness him in a smaller setting for maximum enjoyment. and definitely check out his duet with dear nora called "hot boyz" and man and I almost forgot he finished off the night with the coolest cover of "going to graceland" ive ever heard. kick ass,

Dirty Projectors played only a handful of songs he said they were mostly early planning stages of some new tracks, normally he has a laptop with crazy effect and he floats around with a microphone but this time it was just a man and a guitar. it went very well with the rest of the evenings performances.

10/31/05 The Mountain Goats w/Grizzly Bear @ the knit
sorry no pics on this one, I was to far back, but all im gonna say about grizzly bear is I really dont enjoy them that much on record, and the live show to an even lesser extent. what erks me most is that two of these guys are in another band called fast fourier that I think are way better than GB but they havent played in so long because of GBs fame. and their record has been done for at least a year and narnack is sitting on it for some reason, the only glimpse you can get is on that narnack comp that came out a while ago. so keep an eye out, rant over.

John Darnielle put on one of the best shows I have ever seen, I know I say that every time, but its true every time. he was dressed as a priest for halloween, and to his left was his bass player dressed as death. sidenote: no one at this show dressed up except for me, most of the staff of the knit and the bands that played, this crowd can suck it. anyway back tmg. I cant say anymore he was amazing, I wish he would play for hours and hours, I wouldnt get bored, enough of this flattery.

10/29/05 Direct from Hollywood cemeteries, Green Milk from the Planet Orange, Rah Bras & Measles Mumps Rubella @ the Kingsland Tavern
Measles Mumps Rubella will their day soon enough, I love these guys, they have this crazy spacy sound, it reminds me of super hero rock sometimes, the singer has such a bassy voice that is just commanding justice, while the rest of the band just delivers the rockin new wave sounds he deserves to have behind him and why dont you throw in some trumpet ofr good measure, I just picked up their new album and its definitely a winner, check out "algorithm of desire" for a good time.

Rah Bras also play a very new wavy style of music, and they have great theatrics to go along with it, to bad I was in the back for most of it. I did get this one snap when the singer dove out into the crowd.

Green Milk from the Planet Orange disappointed me, not to badly, but I just wanted more of a japanese noise assault that never came, they are definitely talented, but they seem tame when I think about bands like DMBQ and Afrirampo. those bands could beat the shit out of GM. they still played a very energetic show with some killer guitars.

Direct from Hollywood cemeteries is a halloween band that plays every once in a while, they have another one of those great stage shows, this time it included a standing coffin the singer cut through to enter the show, then there was a giant snake sacrificed in the audience that was paper mache filled with toys and candy and jack chick pamphlets. they play a very heavy punk misfits style rock. they even cover last caress. happy halloween to them.

10/27/05 The Gossip, New England Roses @ supreme Trading
I heart Gossip. lets get that out of the way since the next 4 posts include gossip perfs I am not going to keep telling you how much I love them, ill just show you the pics.
New England Roses are a super group that includes JD from the tigre and Barr of Barr fame. they play very loose songs that wander around for a while, its an experiment that I am not the biggest fan of, I just want a beat sometimes especially if I need to gear up to see some goxxip, I cant just go at it cold I could collapse.

gossip were great, only problem was that the PA blew halfway through the set and they had to stop. but their costumes were the best, two vaginas and a hand.

10/22/05 The Gossip & Erase Eratta @ the bottom of the hill (SF)
This was the last night of my three day gossip fest up the california cost and it was definitely the best night of the three, it was also the last day of this tour, so they turned it out.
Erase Eratta played a great set, I hadnt seen them before, but they have gone through some line up changes and the singer learned to play guitar so she can pull double duty instead of having another member.

gossip, need I say more:

and I got the setlist:

10/21/05 The Gossip & Sharp-ease @ kooz (OC)
Sharp-ease were some great punky stuff, they have some local popularity, I dont really hear their name much on this coast.

g to the o to the s to the s to the I to the p

10/20/05 The Gossip & We are Wolves @ the troubadour (LA)
WaW were great once again, I had caught them a cmj a month earlier and I had more fun this time around. this is a band that I want to see before the gossip because they get you just excited enough as to not blow a gasket, I think these dudes arent just canadians, but french-canadians.

so this place had the best lighting ever for gossip, to bad beth had a panic attack 2/3 of the way through and had to stop the show, but its all good.

alright, that took forever ok so now we are good through January, to bad its not midmarch, I am leaving for sxsw on monday and so ill start on feb and march when I get back, but hopefully I can be fully up by the end of march but lets give me about a week into april just so I dont disappoint, but trust me I got some killler reviews on the way, in the mean time, dance your fucking ass off. bye. and thanks for reading.