Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Forest City was pretty awesome. They play a mix of rock and country and are a lot of fun. Once they play a few shows and tighten up their sound a bit they're going to be awesome. All of the components are there already. And frankly any band with Jamen on drums has a pretty good chance because he's the best damn drummer in Brooklyn, and you can quote me on that.
After Forest City's debut an older ska band came on. Yes, a ska band at Union Pool. Turns out one of the dudes in the ska band is the brother of one of the Boogie Boarders. I should mention now that I hate white-boy ska. Of all the genres of music it's the only one where I don't like a single band (except Pilfers, but their singer is Jamaican). So it pains me a bit to say this but they were good, really good. They were playing tons of instruments and beat boxing and other weird shit. They were clearly well practiced and experienced musicians which is rare these days. I don't know what they were called but they were good.
The only issue with the ska band was they played for a very long time. The reason why was that Boogie Boarder was short a member. Will was playing at Bruar Falls with Tony Castles. Everyone hung out for awhile and then Will came barging through Union Pool with guitar in hand and made straight for the stage.
This was my first Boogie Boarder show, which is kinda crazy all considered. I heard they're one of the best live bands in BK and based on the four or so songs I heard they're certainly up there. Unfortunately because they started so late I had to leave halfway through the set. But what I saw I liked, a lot! And Cyrus is a fucking beast on drums. Between the deranged look on his face and the extreme violence he hits his kit with you would think that a drum set murdered his puppy when he was a kid or something.
I'm sorry I had to bail early but I had fun while I was there. Oh and the Union Pool taco truck needs to get their shit together. The tacos have sucked lately and they're smaller. WTF?
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
- Wavves @ Market Hotel: Wavves are pretty awesome and when I saw them at Bowery Ballroom the whole time I was saying to myself "This would be so much better at Market Hotel". $10
- Suckers & Wild Yaks @ Glasslands: Somehow I haven't actually seen Suckers yet. I don't understand how that's possible. But Rob from Wild Yaks swears that they're amazing and that's good enough for me. $6.
- Team Robespierre @ Legion Bar: This is my FUCK YEAH show of the night. A free Team Robes show at Legion Bar. Sign me up! VICE and Colt are involved too so there's going to be free beer. I may or may not hit the other shows but I will def be at this.
- Netherfriends @ The Glass Door: Netherfriends are an awesome band from Chicago. I thought I exchanged some emails with them a few months back but I can't find them so maybe I hallucinated the whole thing, damn you peyote. Anyway, this is a house party and my homeboy DJ Full Time Fun is spinning too. Also, Purple Crush is playing but I can't remember if I like them or not. $5, 98 Moore Street 2nd Floor.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
11/7 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
11/8 Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
11/9 Tampa, FL @ State Theater
11/11Houston, TX @ Meridian
11/12 Austin, TX @ Red 7
11/13 Oklahoma City, OK @ Conservatory
11/14 Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
11/16 Tempe, AZ @ Clubhouse
11/18 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
11/19 Los Angeles, CA @ Key Club
11/20 Anaheim, CA @ Chian Reaction
11/21 San Francisco, CA @ Slim's
11/23 Portland, OR @ Satyricon
11/24 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
11/25 Bellingham, WA @ Wild Buffalo House of Music
11/27 Edmonton, AB @ The Starlite Room
11/28 Calgary, AB @ The Warehouse
11/29 Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret
12/1 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
12/2 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
12/4 Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
12/5 Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop
12/6 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
12/7 Montreal, QC @ Foufounes
12/8 Worcester, MA @ Palladium (Upstairs)
12/9 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
12/10 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
12/11 Richmond, VA @ Alley Katz
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I survived the summer of 2009, ie. The Summer Of Death. OK, so the whole summer of death thing is bullshit and totally blown out of proportion but nonetheless it's a great excuse to celebrate being alive. So on October 9th come to Tommy's Tavern to celebrate my birthday. This is the first public bday party I've ever had so let's make sure it doesn't suck horse turds.
I chose Tommy's Tavern because I want everyone to be able to have an excellent time. What I'm saying is it's cheap ($2 Shaefer), you can dress however you want, and they let you have a good time. But most importantly it's not some pretentious club or lounge in Manhattan, which seem to be the preferred birthday spots for some reason.
While I hate to charge a cover for my birthday party I need to pay the bands so it's going to cost you $3. The entire door goes to the bands. I'm not making a fucking penny off this show, I just want to have a good time. Also, if you can afford to chip in an extra couple bucks for the bands at the door then you're a good person.
Invite Yer Friends
About a year ago I was in Philly visiting my brother and he gets a text message from an unknown number. It said something along the lines of "Someone broke into my van and took a shit!". I checked if I had the number stored and turns out it was Jamen. Only it wasn't a nice smooth turd like my brother came across - it was gnarly diarrhea blasted all over the walls and roof of his van. Someone must have ate a lot of tacos that day. Anyway, if you notice in the video the walls are stripped, that's because it was easier to just rip out the lining then clean the anal blast.
So that's my story, much funnier if you know these people. Nonetheless it points out the apparent BK trend of breaking into and shitting in vans.
Monday, September 21, 2009
- Wild Yaks are playing an acoustic set at KGB Bar. It appears to be free but that's not 100%. KGB Bar is an interesting place so this should be quite fun.
- Spanish Prisoners have been added to the Decibully show at Bruar Falls. $8.
- Knight School is playing at Silent Barn tonight. No idea what this cost but I'm going to take a guess, $6?
Friday, September 18, 2009
Little Boots w/ Yes Giantess and The Plastiscines
@ The Bowery Ballroom
Headed over to the Bowery the other night mainly to check out Yes Giantess as I was familiar with Little Boots already and truthfully had no idea that The Plastiscines would even be playing. Here's how it went down:
I had a quick chat outside with Yes Giantess' lead vocalist and songwriter Jan Feldman before heading in. Pretty cool dude. Seemed very optimistic about getting New York's classically stoic crowd to dance. I was pretty sure he would manage it because I'd heard some of their tunes before coming out and generally liked what I'd heard.
But I wasn't dancing, I just wanted to sit. I ended up in the balcony near the VIP section. Never been up there before. Every time I come to the Bowery it's usually always front and center. But I had a great view from up there, at any rate, and was blessedly off my feet.
French girls all made up to look retro in their gold sequins, black tights and Ronnie Spector hair. They threw their bodies around stage carelessly. A bit of punk rock and soul twisted together is what I took away from it. They played well, seemingly just as vested in getting the crowd to move as Jan was.
It wasn't quite the full house it was going to be later on when Little Boots came on, but there were already a number of people there. Most of us were doing the head nod/foot tap bit, which didn't seem enough for Katty Plastiscines (lead vocalist/guitar) Because she threatened to hold up the show if we didn't give her what she wanted: full on ass shaking. She wanted us to scream for them. Well, after a few dozen tries to initiate a more than just warm enthusiasm out of us during a spirited cover of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walking", she finally gave up and ended the set. Mumbling about how French people "do better than this." Ok, well...
We liked the girls, seriously. They were pretty good. Very high-energy; great performers. They're songs are decent - "Barcelona" "Shake" "Bitch" "Lost In Translation" - and we weren't NOT entertained. But this is New York. Unless we're wildly drunk and you are bigger than life, all you're getting is some modest crowd participation. Sorry.
Besides that, punk music is more of a thrashing kind of thing. Too much for this crowd. A lot of them were a little sophisticated (read: older) I noticed. What we needed, really, was heavy fucking beats and a synthesizer overload.
Enter the boys of Yes Giantess. Not seconds out of the gate, they unleashed a maelstrom of synthpop on the fattening crowd. Yeah, we were very happy. It was just kind of blinding. First, if you're a fan of dance music, you have to understand the thrill of hearing a good beat blasting out of a sound system over your head.
Though, initially, I wasn't too keen on Jan's vocal style, I have to admit. You could tell they designed their songs around that whole college party crowd. Kids who listened to emo in their spare time when they think no one's looking. That hi octave whine was starting to creep in there. But what was produced around it was so enjoyable, my initial irritation with it ebbed away, and dude had me moving in my seat like crazy.
Three synth keys, two computers and a drum kit rocked the house off it's foundation with heavy hitters "Tuff n' Stuff" "Can't Help It" "The Word". By the end of the set, everybody was pumped for Little Boots.
She came from Irving Plaza playing Perez Hilton's show with Ladyhawke, Semi Precious Weapons, Frank Music and others. Dressed in blue sparkles. She was phenomenal. She got the crowd hype all over again after about a twenty minute wait while she got from point A to point B.
She dropped fan favorites "Remedy" "New In Town" "Stuck On Repeat" "Meddle" and "Love Kills" among a few others. It was a non-stop pounding adrenaline rush. Complete with flashing lights. How many times can you say the same thing? The crowd swelled to capacity, everybody danced and sang along.
I liked looking down on the sea of people rippling in her wake. I'd never seen her live. Listening to her tracks I'd felt she was just a slight notch up the Kylie Minogue ladder. Watching her on stage, I found her to be a bit less plastic. She was a warm and vivacious performer. Of course, this was not an arena, and there were no costumes or dancers. Boots has enough of an edge that she could fit easily in with a Ladyhawke and a La Roux, as opposed to say, a Britney Spears. She doesn't need an auto tuner, in other words.
She did get me out of my seat.
Alright, no pictures ( I have a good d excuse this time!) Plus ones were cut and my photog was a casualty to the massacre. But, I did spot Nicky Digital there and said hey to him. He was hold up in the balcony with me a good portion of Yes Giantess and Little Boots set. And since I watched his camera bag for him, I think I've earned the right to tell you to head over there and peruse his pics. Oh, wait, that works out for him too...
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Boredoms Present 99 Boadrum @ Terminal 5
w/ Special Guest Lichens
So, it took me a few days to process what I witnessed at Terminal 5 the other night. I had no clue of who Boredoms were and definitely hadn't heard of this fellow Lichens either. But now that I've witnessed them each in action, I feel as though I won't likely be forgetting them. Boredoms I don't think anybody could be accused of forgetting just for the spectacle and elation they leave in their wake. Lichens' artistry though, burns an imprint into your psyche, so the damage is permanent. Dude sort of side swiped me, and that is a rare thing nowadays.
I didn't know where this dude came from, so I did a little digging. His name is Robert Lowe. He apparently used to play bass for 90 Day Men. Around 2004, after the band released Panda Park, they sort of called it quits. Lowe then began to pursue a solo career. Ambient, experimental deep-listening mood music is what he has produced thus far. His vocalizing is wordless and makes up a great portion of each piece. I refer to them as 'pieces' because calling what he produces 'songs' seems too simplistic and underwhelming to me.
He performed one piece at Terminal 5. Opening for Boredoms to a completely captivated audience. The piece he performed seemed like a culmination of a few of the tracks from one or both of his albums (The Psychic Nature of Being and OMNS) because I couldn't find a single one that sounded exactly like what I heard on Wednesday. God Speed You Black Emperor popped into my head while I was listening to one of his pieces, the exasperatingly titled "M St R Ng W Tchcr Ft L V Ng N Sp R T". What he did for Boredoms seems like a merging of that with another piece of his called "Faeries". This is what it seems like to me, anyone who knows better, please correct me.
What the man did was sit in a chair, make some joke about being glad his microphone worked, and then remain there quietly, (meditating?) for what seemed like a few extra long minutes before opening his mouth and ushering forth sound. There were no instruments. No one else on stage with him. No players. He made sounds with his mouth that mimicked birds twittering in a forest. Chants as from some temple high on a mount somewhere. Then ghostly wails that pierced the very quiet, very still audience. The sounds would catch in some device he was using (I am quite stupid when it comes to knowing the names of these things and what they do properly). It caught his sounds and looped them, so that he was free to move to the next layer of sounds in order to sufficiently bring to life the piece he was creating right in front of our eyes. It started off quietly at first, then began ascending slowly until the whole building was filled, his voice echoing off the walls and the two empty upper levels.
He was exercising spirits up there. And nearly as soon as it began, it was over. We all came out of our daze long enough to applaud. He thanked us quietly, bowed gracefully and swept away. My descriptions does this guy no justice. He hasn't released an album since 2007, it seems. But if you ever have an opportunity to see him perform, do it man.
Apparently these dudes have been around a long time. Long enough to have impressed members of bands like Nirvana and Sonic Youth back in the 90s. They were formed in 1986 in Osaka, Japan. Their line-up has gone through a roster of changes since then. They make experimental indie noise rock using a variety of instruments (some improvised from parts of others) but the star of the show are the drums. I'm not going to go into their entire history though.
I want to get to the drums. And how there were nine of them. And how the lead singer (Yamataka Eye) played a wall of what looked like guitar (and sitar?) handles along with his synth keys. How he leaped in the air and screamed every five minutes. How the drummers played practically none stop with little more than a few seconds break at a time. Yamataka sort of the ring leader of this magnificent circus, giving cues, fading them out, fading them in. The man never lost his voice or his infinite energy, and neither did any of the drummers. Only two of which are apart of the actual band, the other seven extremely happy looking white guys so pumped up and jazzed to be a part of it, they did everything right and then some.
It fucking rocked. Noise rock isn't really my thing. But this sounded like a mash up of traditional Japanese battle music (complete with war cries) and alternative music. It was surprisingly pleasant to the ears and not nearly as inaccessible as one would think. At times intense and aggressive, a little maniacal, but in a good way; the whole thing could change directions quick-fast and lull you into a false sense of ease. Then Yamataka would scream, and cymbals would crash, and he'd jump and the drums would be off again. The coolest bit was how the main drummer (Yoshikawa Toyohito) was carried in from the back, through the crowd on a platform shouldered by revelers.
If Lichens was exercising spirits, these guys were exercising demons. They also win the award for most awesome encore ever. It went on forever, but it was worth it. Apparently it's a rare occurrence to see them play here in the States. Next time they cross the ocean and descend upon us from the east, be on the look out.
My tweeted three word review on the night of was "epic epic epic". BrooklynVegan picked that up and posted it along with eight others from Twitter to appropriately honor the night. They also have 99 amazing pics of the occasion. Head over there and check them out because I am the last reject on planet earth that doesn't have a picture taking device.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Chairlift w/ John Maus and Here We Go Magic
@ Bowery Ballroom
Missed John Maus by a hair, but from outside it sounded like the world was coming to an end and Maus was issuing a proclamation from heaven with a little machine and a microphone. Very experimental, loud booming, omnipresent vocals distorted appropriately by some (I don't know the name of) machine breathing over space-aged sounds. I had no idea what he was doing in there, I couldn't see for the brick wall smack in front of me, but it sounded epic and pleasing.
I was left to imagine elaborate costumes, make up, hair, lights, puppets. I don't know what, something theatrical to fit the taste that the avant garde, extreme, noise pop was putting in my mouth.
When I finally got inside, however, and caught the last dying seconds of his act, I was disappointed to find one average, ordinary looking dude standing there, center stage, not channeling Bowie. Sweaty, hair-covered face pressed to the microphone, fist clenched in the midst of some emotion I missed out on. The last sound died out and he disappeared.
Here We Go Magic:
"We've been living in a cabin all summer." he declared just before showing us what that actually meant. 'Stream-of-consciousness', psychedelic, indie-folk - all apt descriptors for such a trippy jaunt through Luke Temple's simultaneously calming and enthralling world.
Their set seemed short to me, but quite the tick up the level of enjoyment by great leaps and bounds. I watched from the back, intrigued. Unfamiliar with their songs and unable to snag a set list, I couldn't tell you specifically what they played. "Tunnelvision" "Ahab" and "Only Pieces" must have ended up in there somewhere.
They played what seemed like a handful of endless, ascending tracks that built you up and then came crashing down on you. Intimately involved with each piece to the puzzle, it was like watching a hobbyist in practice with extreme concentration, manipulating the pieces and creating a perfect picture. So subtle, so loose, then so intense and all encompassing in one singular stretch of time. Everyone involved played as much for themselves as they did for us, becoming lost in what they were doing.
It was a very good set and quite the primer for Chairlift.
Who turned out to be one of the most amazing bands I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing on stage. Caroline Polachek (vocals, keyboards), Aaron Pfenning (guitar, synths, vocals) and Patrick Wimberly (keyboards, drums).
Most times now days going to see someone you've never seen before, there's usually always something commercial to attach them to. "Bruises" is that thing for them. But it is by no means the highlight of what they gave us.
Caroline all but cut herself open and offered up her blood for our consumption. She was raw and vulnerable and absolutely present for each offering. Backwards white washed jeans, sweaty tank top depicting the clouds, she danced around bumping into keyboards, smacking a cow bell with a drumstick, crawling on her knees and singing, singing. Her voice never wavered or lost pitch, always perfect, reverb and all.
Aaron spent a great deal of time on his knees as well, making adjustments to his effects machine. Patrick was busy hopping from drums to bass, and back again. A drum machine filled in for him when he was out of his seat. There was another dude up there, all but invisible, positioned strategically directly behind Caroline at an angle.
They tore through their set, everybody's hair in their faces. Performing:
They also played an encore of two songs. "Somewhere Around" and "Make Your Mind Up". The latter song kind of blew mine away. It was brutal and tinged with emotion. It created a perfect, haunting echo left standing in its wake after they cleared the stage for the final time and left us in the dark.
Catch them on tour with Phoenix and The Killers if you can.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Wolfmother secret show has just been added to the lineup of The Guild's show tonight at the .New Yorkers: A
Doors open at and tickets are only available at the door, so get there early.