Thursday, March 31, 2005

Short run/Long run

Tonight The Album Leaf are at Mercury Lounge. That album has been the soundtrack to my workdays for months now. Very nice. The 22-20's, a band who's been getting a TON of buzz recently, are also playing a benefit at Tonic. Nether show is sold out as of yet.

Tomorrow there are a few shows worth checking out. Firstly, Lightning Bolt is at Club Exit in Greenpoint. Wherever that is. Next, Bay Area rapper Lyrics Born is at Southpaw with local Park Slope favorites Nuclear Family. Nukfam is one of the few hip hop acts that I can not only tolerate live, but actually enjoy going back to see every time. Yeah, I went to highschool with these guys...but believe me when I say they're legit. Finally, my buddy Wynn Walent is playing a midnight show at the C-Note with his new band. Check it out.

In the future, make note that Pinback will be at Irving Plaza on May 24, The New Pornographers will be at Maxwells on June 23, and Calla is playing a free show at The Knitting Factory on April 25. Mark the Dates.

Change your life...

As previously reported, (and previously assumed) The Shins are playing one more show at Webster Hall on April 25th. Tickets are on sale today at noon. They'll likely sell out quick. Again.

(Thanks Kristen for the heads up!)

Code 46

What a great movie! How come I barely heard anything about it? I was in bed early last night flipping through the on demand movies and saw it on channel 1000. I like Tim Robbins, the plot looked interesting, and I briefly remembered hearing about it, so I gave it a shot. It was really really good. What stood out was the way in which the film framed itself in the future. Aside from the textual explanation of what the actual “Code 46” was at the beginning, they left pretty much everything else up to the viewer to figure out. All of the laws and intricacies of a globalized and genetically sanitized world were played out almost matter-of-factly. You learned how that world worked just by watching it in action, rather than taking particular scenes when characters had to explain the simpler aspects of their life. It was like the movie was made for people who already lived in the future. Very smart. The result is a much more natural view of the future and a stronger focus on the actual story, which turned out to be quite epic and engaging. I’m not the biggest sci-fi guy out there, but this movie transcends those stereotypes and tells a great story. One that just happens to take place in a different time. Big recommendation from me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Got a lot of work, and not much time to read or post anything, but I did wanna mention that Death From Above 1979 at Mercury Lounge (5/1) and Eisley at Bowery Ballroom (6/24) are both on sale now. These might get a bit buried with all the other big shows going on sale today, but are worth noting. Check em out.

Thats about it for now.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Quickly, before blogger dies again.

Bright Eyes (5/21-26)
Rilo Kiley (5/27-28)
Spoon (6/8-9)

Are all going on sale tomorrow afternoon.
More info at Bowery Presents (Webster Hall)
(Thanks Pete for the heads up!)

Come on come on, let's get things done…

The Walkmen are hard for me to describe. Their live show is a tough one to swallow, but I leave each time liking them more and more. I'm not sure if I can really pinpoint what it is about them. I think I can just relate to these guys more than your average hipster quintet. They all look like the people I grew up with. They seem real to me. Not just some jaded indie caricature.

Hamilton shouts lyrics that, while vague, feel oddly familiar. I can hear what he's saying. It hits home somehow. These are angry, violent, tragic and frustrating songs performed by people who look like they should have their shit together. There's something oddly refreshing about watching a show like this. It's like punk for the Upper-Middle class. Everyone's got their own problems.

This is music for the kid leaving the loft party at 5:30AM trying to piece together the parts of the night before passing out. You can almost taste the stale cigarettes and see the first hint of daylight over the buildings when you listen to this stuff. It’s the most authentic New York sound I’ve ever heard. With his shirt unbuttoned and hair ruffed up, seeing it live makes it all the more vivid.

It took me over a year to get into Bows and Arrows. It's abrasive music, and with the exception of the near-perfect single, The Rat, there isn't a lot on the album that's instantly catchy. I think over time, hearing the songs on shuffles, seeing them on the OC and then finally in person, they really grew on me. Once you start listening beyond the yelps and howls to the actual desperation in these songs, they are really hard to get out of your head.

(picture via i rock i roll)

What's that they say about glass houses?

Brandon Flowers calls out The Bravery for ripping off his style! He even publicly called out Endicott's Skabba the Hut roots! Classic! Note the understated photo caption claiming "(This) would be the wussiest fight imaginable..." Indeed.

By the way, glad Simon Le Bon was unavailable for comment at press time. Love the album, thrilled it got so popular, but originality is not the first thing that pops into my head when I hear one of your songs. Lets be reasonable here.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Oxegen Festival Update

Last summer I went to the Oxegen Festival in Ireland. Had a fantastic time. I saw a ton of bands and met some really great people. It was probably one of the most memorable weekends of my life.

This year's festival is beginning to take shape. Perhaps not an earth-shattering lineup as of yet, but it looks pretty solid and will surely expand and improve as the date approaches. (There were 80 bands on 5 stages last year)

Saturday, July 9th

Green Day
The Frames
The Prodigy
Snoop Dogg
Queens Of The Stone Age
Erick Morillo
Kaiser Chiefs
Ian Brown

Sunday, July 10th

Foo Fighters
The Killers
New Order
The Streets
Jimmy Eat World
James Brown
The Beautiful South
Josh Ritter

It is certainly a more laid back, less crowded alternative to Glastonbury, T in the Park and the such. I highly recommend it. Read more at the Oxegen Website.

Back at Work

Not thrilled to be here. Should be a relatively relaxing week ahead tho.

Friday night I went to go see the Kaiser Chiefs at Bowery and loved them just as much as I did back at Northsix. I still think they're the most fun live band playing right now, and even on one leg, Ricky Wilson was able to jump around and stir up the crowd more than any other band I've recently seen. They all genuinely seem to be having a lot of fun on stage with each other. I just love them. Another terrific show.

The rest of the weekend was pretty laid back. Got my taxes done, watched some movies, went out for a bit. Tonight I'm going to Ben Kweller and The Walkmen and The Album Leaf on Wednesday. I can’t believe March is already over.

Sunday, March 27, 2005


There were some real horror stories from the Flaming Lips 'event' last Thursday night, including one on a popular Flaming Lips message board from Lips' drummer Kliph Scurlock:

"...I was almost beaten up by one of those steroid-amped dickheads. My friend Curt and I went outside to smoke where we were told that we were not allowed to smoke on the sidewalk in front of the building. So, we walked across the street and smoked. Then we walked back and the guy said "no re-entry." I showed him our All-Access/Band passes and he yanked them from my hand and said "those are obvious forgeries. Get lost before I hurt you." I explained that I was in the band and there would be no show without me, at which point he grabbed me by the throat and shoved me up against the wall and was about to take a swing at me when someone yelled "he's in the band. Let him go." So, I got back in but had to sneak Curt in through the back. Then I played like shit because I was all shaken up."


There are many other awful stories at that board, as well as a very earnest and heartfelt apology from Kilph for anybody who was given a hard time at or outside the party.

As we were leaving the event, A friend of ours decided to confront the aforementioned bouncer regarding his behavior toward the crowd. He retaliated by shouting obscenities, punching the cab and spitting at us (pictured above). Classy.

If anybody outside was able to snap a picture of that guy, please send it my way. I'd love to plaster his pathetic face all over the internet.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Flaming Lips at Gotham Hall

Last night I saw The Flaming Lips play in a half packed banquet hall full of what I guess were mainly Mazda executives, people claiming to be from the media and, according to the AP, "New York City tastemakers". I'm absolutely at a loss of words. Read all about it at Catherine's Pita, Brooklyn Vegan and Daily Refill.

A special thanks to Uber-Scenester Joey ToTC, who got the scoop in the first place to check this thing out. It was an incredible and absolutely indescribable time. There'll be more pics to tell the story once BV gets around to hosting and posting.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Shins sell-out...

Yesterday The Shins sold out two shows at Webster Hall almost immediately. I have already heard from several people upset about missing out on the sale. While the popularity of the band is clearly growing, I don't think many could have expected them to clog up the Ticketweb servers like that and sell out two shows this fast.

Anyway, for those who missed out, take note: A quick glance at the The band's tour page shows one open date before and two after their stint at Webster Hall. Should we expect some extra shows being added? Perhaps. If you missed out this time, keep your eyes open for an added date or two in the New York area. Here's hoping for a Maxwells date on April 25th.

Conor Oberst back in New York

He's gonna be playing 5 nights at Webster Hall, May 21-25 in support of the Digital Ash album. The Faint with Nick Zimmer will be his backing band. I'm really not a very big fan of his music, but this album I thought was somewhat better than his other new one. If the tickets are cheap, (not likely) I may go.

Also, The New Pornographers will be playing Prospect Park for the Celebrate Brooklyn Series on June 25. Tough to think about outdoor shows right now, but it'll be nice out again soon.

Both bits of news via More Cowbell

You can't do the same card trick twice...

I went out to see The Go! Team again last night at the Canal Room. I had been held up all day in my apartment because of the weather and was itching to get out and do something. Despite my negative reaction to their show on Monday night, I had to give them another shot. I mean, this was perhaps my favorite CD of the last 6 months. There has to be more to the live show...right?

There wasn't. It was the EXACT SAME SET. Except the drinks cost twice as much and the line was around the block. Even down to the between song banter, it was a complete rehash. I simply couldn't "awoop awoop" any longer. I stepped back and watched the set from afar. Everybody seemed to be having a good time. I noticed a couple of people shooting looks at each other as if to say "what the fuck is this?", but overall, people looked to be genuinely enjoying themselves. So what do I know? I just wasn't sold.

I say there's one simple remedy to fixing their show, and that is to scrap the backing tracks and get a trumpet player. I honestly think much would be fixed by adding this one live element. Let Ninja run the show if you want. You can keep everything else as is, but lose the recording and let us hear all the instruments. That's what I was hoping to see, and that would have been a great show. Hopefully next time. From the sound of their new untitled song they played as an encore, we'll be hearing and enjoying a lot more of these guys in the coming years. They'll get another chance from me for sure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Party Update

I put up some New MP3s and Videos up over on the sidebar. I'd like to particularly draw attention to the R.U.O.K. track, Arms Length. So good. They are playing at Pianos on Friday night, so go check them out if you're looking for something to do. They are really good.

Feel free to e-mail me an MP3 of your band or of bands you like/know. I'll do my best to keep those links over there more updated.

Listen to Feist

(Photo from BrooklynVegan)

I saw Feist at Joe's Pub last night. She played a great set, backed by a full band and performing a handful of songs off her record "Let it Die." Anyway, she has been pegged as the opening act for the two upcoming British Sea Power Shows at Bowery May 14th and 15th. The Saturday show is already sold out, but tickets for the Sunday one go on sale today at Noon. It you were on the fence about this one, Fiest should tip you over to the GO column. I, however, will be in Miami for a wedding, so will have to regrettably pass.

Other shows on sale today are a second, later, "Superwolf" show on April 21, and the aforementioned Doves and Shins shows at Webster Hall.

Spring Break!

From the look of it outside, the beach is out of the question.

I'm on a mini-vacation y'all. Not going anywhere, just taking a week off, get away from work, hang out around the city, whatever whatever. Very excited.

Seeing The Thermals last night was the PERFECT way to kick off a fake spring break. They are a ton of fun live, as anyone who has seen them can attest. Unfortunately, I was completely wiped after running straight from work to see Feist, then from there straight down to the Knitting Factory. I made it through the main set, bouncing around the balcony and singing along to songs I didn't even think I knew, but before we gave them a chance to come out for an encore, I was in the back of a cab heading home, drenched in sweat and about ready to fall asleep. I can't think of any other band that could have kept me that engaged last night. Great Show.

Kind of a pussy way to kick of Spring Break, I know. Home by 12:00 and right to bed. I'll get better as the week progresses.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Starbucks has Guero?

As a bonus from a generous vendor that my firm deals with, I occasionally receive Starbucks cards with $5 each on them. I don't drink coffee, but I happened to go in the one in my office building this afternoon to get an Odwalla juice and a piece of cake. I was surprised to see that the new Beck album was prominently displayed in the store by the cash register a full week before the scheduled release date. I went upstairs to grab a few more gift cards and came back down to pick up a copy.

I'm not really complaining, but did Beck authorize Starbucks to release his album a week early? Was this common news? Or is my local Starbucks just a bit confused as to the release date? Anybody else see this around town? Very curious. Regardless of the timing, between this and the OC episode, Beck looks to be one iPod commercial away from the modern-day album hype trifecta. Bravo.

And as for the record itself? I'm about 7 songs in and I really love it so far. Earthquake Weather and Girl are instant favorites. This album may be the perfect remedy for the current indie post-punk blues.

UPDATE:According to comments, it looks like it was put out early by mistake. By 6:30 when I left the office to go home, they had already taken it off the rack.


More Cowbell lists the upcoming Spoon dates, and it looks like they'll be in town for two shows at Webster Hall on June 8th and 9th. Nobody's a real big fan of Webster Hall I don't think, but I think it got its bad rap as a venue from the shows that got bumped out of Bowery (Arcade Fire in particular). There are many many worse places to see a show. If two nights at Webster Hall becomes the new one night at Hammerstein (see: Doves, Shins) then I can live with that.

And speaking of worse places to see a show, Weezer is doing two shows at Roseland on May 11 and 12. Ick. The Presale is going on tomorrow, and the password is BELIEVE. I think I'll just settle for just seeing them at Coachella. (via the-wicked)

UPDATE: Just noticed The Soundtrack of Our Lives are playing at the Knitting Factory late Thursday night. Tickets are expensive, but still available. I don't know much about these guys, but I've been hearing their name a lot recently. Seems like a good alternative if you're looking for something to do that night.

I also just realized last night that I'm flying out to L.A. the same day that Stars are playing Bowery Ballroom, so I’m gonna have to miss them. Rats. Kinda pissed I blew this one, since I could have flown out Thurdsay just as easy, But I'll live. I got to see them once already recently.

Samples in a Jar

Last night I was less than impressed by The Go! Team live. Their CD is just about the most favorite thing I own, but this show didn't do it for me. I just felt the songs all fell a bit flat when being played by live instruments. And Ninja, the frontwoman, was a little too involved for my tastes, mumbling echoed rhymes over songs that were previously, to my knowledge, only instrumental. Maybe (most likely) my expectations were too high for a band I love this much, but I was really hoping to be completely blown away by these guys, with the horns and fanfare that the record suggests. Instead I heard a lot of prerecorded sounds underneath some rather dull drum and guitar and an overbearing vocalist. I left the Mercury Lounge just wanting to go back home and listen to their CD again.

I'm going to see them Wednesday as well, so maybe I'll leave there with a better impression. This time around, however, I was underwhelmed.

Check out a couple pictures of the show over at Brooklyn Vegan and a review that shares many of my same sentiments at Productshop.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I re-watched Garden State this weekend

I was up really early on Sunday, so I watched it again for the first time since it was in theatres. Still think everything from the time they leave the house at the bottom of the quarry till the end is lame, but the rest of the movie was better than I remembered. Perhaps because my expectations had been lowered. Anyway, the point is...

Shins tickets for Webster Hall on April 23-24 will go on sale this Wednesday at noon. The price is $22A/25D, which methinks is a bit steep, but still worth it. I'm gonna go, but I wish I could wait to see who the opener was before totally committing. It'll likely sell out too quick. I think Hysterics should submit a tape and try to get on one of these bills. It'd be worth a shot.

(Thanks Peter for the heads up!)

Keeping up with reality

Pitchfork is a now a Blog! How about that? Good for them. I wonder if they're gonna start posting IM conversations and Cameraphone pics too?

Of course, just because the newswriters CAN post at all hours of the day isn't quite the cure-all for Pitchfork's biggest ails. I mean, having the ability to report the news in real-time does nothing to fix the major problem that their news is not just couple hours late, but at times several weeks behind other blogs (heh) scooping the same thing. So clearly this is a step in the right direction, and more importantly gives some legitimacy to the Real-Time/Blog format, which is nice, because it IS a pretty good format.

Did anyone go see the Robot and MTV hyped Band Hysterics at Crash Mansion Last night? Well, you can read their story and watch the You Hear it First bit here if you're curious. They're a group of High School kids from Brooklyn (my rival high school, in fact) who play Rouge Wave/Shins-esque pop. From what I've heard it's pretty damn good, too. They played their first gig Sunday at Crash Mansion to a crowd of swooning High Schoolers and proud relatives (one being a good friend of mine who is the lead singer's cousin.) For now these guys are a bit of a novelty, with Ollie the main songwriter being only 15 and all, but they are well connected and appear to have quite a bit of talent. Give them time and they'll surely have opportunities to prove themselves. I've been hearing about them from my friend for a while now, and it's pretty exciting to see people talking. I'd prolly go see then next time they get a gig together. You can listen to a couple MP3's At Music for Robots.

The Highs and the Lows

At 2:30 yesterday afternoon I thought I was the smartest motherfucker on the planet for predicting Texas Tech, West Virginia and NC State all going to the Sweet 16. But by the time Arrested Development came on, it was over. I was busted. Two of my Final Four teams (Georgia Tech and Florida) were bounced. I was just another sucker. But there was a brief time...for like 5 hours...when I was brilliant.

Besides watching a remarkable amount of basketball, I also got out to see The Name of the Play is Talking Heads Saturday night. It was good. Much deeper and darker than I expected, but it was extremely well written and highly entertaining. It's running through next Saturday and some tickets are still available.

Also listened to a lot of the New Fiona Apple Album (love it), walked around for a while on Saturday in hopes of maybe finding a new pair of pants (no luck) and ate about three quarters of a loaf of my roommate's father's banana bread (delicious). Not a particularly exciting weekend, but I got out of the house a little bit. It was relaxing.

Tonight there is a whole slew of shit going on, with The Go Team at Mercury, the Red Wine Boys at Pianos, Aqualung at Bowery and Queens of the Stone Age at Virgin Megastore. Tomorrow Feist is at Joe's pub and The Thermals are at The Knitting Factory. Wednesday The Go Team again at the Canal Room. Thursday they The Bravery are at Rothko and Friday The Kaiser Chiefs are playing Bowery. Most of these shows are sold out, but they are all really worth trying to get to. Actually, you could probably do without seeing The Bravery, but if you're planning on spending the summer talking shit about them, you really should see for yourself why they are so shit-talk worthy.

Friday, March 18, 2005

I think I'm in for the night...

Just came across a radio rip of the new Weezer song. Have a listen, I really like it! (right-click/save)

Weezer - Beverly Hills

Not nearly as corny as the title makes it sound...but enough to get the point across.

Also, BIG UPS to Bucknell for proudly representing the Patriot League and taking down the perennially overrated Kansas earlier tonight! I honestly think they have a descent chance at taking down a lousy Wisconsin team on Sunday and moving on to the Sweet 16. Equal ups to the UVM Catamounts, who will also get a shot at an overrated Big 10 team in Michigan State.

Finally Friday

On the OC...

Once they got past the self-depreciating self-aware shit in the first scene where they tried to explain how and why the show SUCKED for the last 4 months, it was actually a pretty good episode. The characters were remarkably believable, with the kids acting like actual teenagers for once. I was especially impressed by Ryan, who, despite a throw-away line here and there, actually seemed really natural for once. (Nice wrist cuff?? Classic line! If only I didn't have to ask my roommate what he had said.)

Anyway, I wish (and am still hoping) they get more out of this Julie Cooper porn scandal. That's the best thing they've had all year. And maybe they could, instead of bringing in a new character, bring back a beloved old one? That'd be nice.

So anyway…

For those patiently waiting for Shins tickets to go on sale...The Bowery Presents website has updated the info for the shows to say the sale date is TBA. Not breaking news I suppose, but I do think it means they'll give us ample heads up when, in fact, they do hit the public.

Doves tickets at Webster Hall go on sale next Wednesday at noon. There was a presale I completely flaked on yesterday, but I'm not too worried these shows will sell out. At least not right away. Eventually, they will for sure.

Morning Theft is playing their first ever set at Mercury Lounge on April 5th, sharing a bill with former (and maybe current still? It's been a while) Superdrag leadman John Davis. Now that the Post-Punk/New Wave revival appears to be on it's way out by way of The Bravery, is there any doubt that a guitar rock driven "Grunge Revival" of sorts will be next? I don't see why not. Morning Theft's got the goods...I guess it's really only a matter of time now.

This weekend I’m genuinely looking forward to just chilling out and just doing nothing. That’s not to say I’m not insanely jealous of all y’all who are down in Austin this weekend, but I’m ok with having nothing on my plate for a few days. Tonight there is a very slim chance I’ll end up at Xiu Xiu. I don’t think I can put up with that kind of thing today. Tomorrow I’m gonna go see The Name Of This Play Is Talking Heads, which I think will be a lot of fun. Then Sunday I’ll doubtfully leave my apartment all day, maybe give MaxDelivery a shot. Next week I’m only working two days before taking a mini-vacation to recoup, rest up, and give some serious thought to what I wanna be doing professionally in the near and distant future. I've about had enough at this current gig. (any ideas, please feel free to e-mail me.) I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Zee Life, it is good!

Two things today…Whole Foods and Brazilian Girls.

I went to Whole Foods on my way home from work yesterday. It was my first time and was more or less everything I had come to expect. I got a delicious Steak Dinner to-go (with twos sides!) for a scant $13, and it was actually very tasty. I mean, it’s as tasty as a $13 take-out steak could be I suppose. But since previously the best option was a $40 Rib-Steak from Strip House, this adds a significantly more reasonable meat option to the walk home.

The whole place definitely felt new. Everything was sparkly clean and everyone was chipper and happy and talkative. (I actually could do without three different people telling me how good my meal was gonna be. Just let me go and fucking eat it please?) There must have been 30 check out counters open last night, and some creepy team member very calmly filtered the customers to the next available checker outer with the efficiency of a Soviet ski-lift attendant. All in all an enjoyable experience, tho I didn’t actually do any real grocery shopping. It’s still nice to have a Supermarket upgrade in the neighborhood, even if it drives away Wholesome Market and Garden of Eden in the process.

Last night I also went out to see Brazilian Girls for my buddy Colin’s birthday. The audience was noticeably older than most of the shows I see there. I sensed a very “I read about them in the New York Times last week so they must be good” type crowd. Despite this however, they really were fantastic. Every cheesy thing you may or may not have read about them over the last six months or so is pretty much true. I found them extremely unique, yet oddly familiar sounding. It was nice to see a real performance from them on stage, including a remarkably tight sound for the high level of complexity and variation they have in their music. I think anyone getting tired of the current post-punk/new wave etcetera etcetera should find relief in these guys. (not that I don’t still love that shit, but we’re all starting to see the repetition set in.) This was A+ show. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I have no pants

I'm not kidding. Yesterday I threw away my only three pairs of khakis cause they all developed gigantic holes in the seat. For a while I could still wear them out, but it got to the point where these things became completely unacceptable. Two pairs didn't even make it into the laundry bag yesterday morning, and one came back with an irredeemable hole, so they went into the trash as well. Now I'm down to a pair of sweatpants, two pairs of chords and a couple pairs of dressier pants for work(Which haven't been to the cleaners in god knows how long.) Tough shape. I'm gonna have to get to a store this weekend I think. There's too big a gap till I can get shorts back in the rotation...


Doves were lovely last night. I was a bit tired and burnt out by the time we got there, but I still thought they played an excellent set. They'll be back at Webster Hall on May 18th and 19th with Mercury Rev if you missed em last night.

Congrats go out to the Winner of the SAT, who was selected for the oh-so-prestigious "Blog of the Day" spot in yesterday's NY Metro (pg. 14).

I really have no big beef with Pitchfork (except for the fact that they continually claim sole responsibility for The Arcade Fire's popularity, which is just silly and wrong), but I did find it amusing that they reviewed the Kidz Bop "Float On" the other day. Needless to say, if it wasn't for this one, nobody listening to the original would have known it existed. So...thanks? I guess?

It doesn't look like The Shins are going on sale today after all. Some other interesting shows at Bowery, however…Eagles of Death Metal, Mike Doughty, and Earlimart.

Also, The Raveonettes will play three sets at Mercury
at the end of April. Two are on the 26th (early and late), and the third is with Morningwood and Saints and Lovers on the 27th.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

"Almost-hump day"

That's what they called it this morning on Cold Pizza (still watch it, yes). How awful is that a way to describe a day? The week is almost half done? Jeez. Anyway. I just prefer plain old Tuesday.

Ended up at a PACKED Rothko last night to see Maximo Park. Really can't stand that place when it's crowded. I mean, I can genuinely enjoy myself there when it's like half full, but on nights like this, added with the upside down and backwards smoking policy, it can get extremely unpleasant inside. And as for the band...See, it's not that I didn't like them. I think they are OK. They have one great catchy pop song and a handful of others that sound like The Futureheads without the complicated vocal overlays. Or the Kaiser Chiefs without the razor-sharp hooks. It was a little too transparent as to what they were going for, and while that alone shouldn't sink a band, it wasn't quite good enough for me to see past it. An A+ single, but a C+ body of work.

Other news...

As many may have already noted, The Shins are playing at Webster Hall on 4/23 and 4/24. Tickets are likely to go on sale tomorrow sometime around Noon. Believe it or not, this should be seen as a smallish show for them, considering the other venues they are playing in different cities.

Cocteau Twins are no longer on the bill for Coachella, claiming personal reasons as to why they will not reunite. I won't miss them, but am more curious about who's gonna fill those big 2nd tier headliner shoes? Is someone gonna be added? Will someone get boosted up? Developing...

Finally, be sure to go get tickets to the Go Team at the Canal Room next Wednesday. Only 5 Bucks!

Monday, March 14, 2005


(Pic of UTB via Stereogum)

So it's SXSW week and I'm staying put. Tonight there are two very hot shows, but due to a busy weekend, I might have to pass on both. The GLC are playing at Mercury Lounge tonight. Also, Maximo Park is at Rothko. Both bands aren't in America much, so it's a tough choice. You might be able to make both, but it'd take some hustle and some luck, and I'm not sure if I'll be up to it.

Tomorrow I'm going to see Doves at Bowery. Been listening to them more and more of late (including the immaculate acoustic recordings that Jed's got posted). Really excited. Wednesday it looks like Brazilian Girls, who for a band that is allegedly so hyped, I don't hear much about these days. (Aside from Coolfer's extensive review of the album). Friday I may go see Xiu Xiu, tho I've heard some horror stories about his live shows, so if I'm not up for it I may pass. Then Saturday I'm gonna go see that VH1 Talking Heads play everyone's been talking about. Next week is a whole nother story.

A couple quick links...

Coolfer posted a very well written piece this weekend that started about I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, and ended up summing up the current state of indie music, and how much longer it can hold on as it is before falling off. Worth a read. Prolly worth another read once The Bravery become huge and everyone denounces everything that sounds like them (see: Jet, Garage Rock Revival)

Brooklyn Vegan posts a shitty-ass Bright Eyes cover of Feist's "Mushaboom". This all but confirms that I really don't like Bright Eyes at all. His voice, the music...does nothing for me. On top of that, I just have a hard time taking someone that young, rich, talented and successful too seriously. Regardless of my personal opinions on the guy, this cover butchers the original.

Gawker reports that Lindsay Lohan is going to be dangerously close to the Central Village for the next few days, filming some wack new movie. I remember this week when I was Lindsay's age, I spent St. Patrick’s Day down around where she'll be at the McDougal Street Ale House, watching my school get destroyed by Temple University in the first round of the tournament.

In any event, if you're in the area, keep your eyes peeled for a nip slip.

Everything's running late

Friday night I was at Crash Mansion for Nora's birthday. Great time, tho the place just felt a little...weird. Something was off with that club. As was the theme of the weekend, all the bands went on late (No fault of theirs, of course). They were all good, tho I'm afraid I didn’t really give them my full attention all night.

I was excited to go see The Wrens at Maxwells, but I kinda slacked on checking out the details of the show. Went off the info on my ticket that said 9:00 doors, 9:30 show. Last time I went out there it was for Britt Daniel and the place was so packed we got stuck around the corner near the bar the whole time. I was hoping to get there a little early to snag a good spot. Well, at 9:15 when I showed up (It really doesn't take very long to get to Maxwells if you're near a path stop, fyi...) and the band was still on from their earlier set. They didn't even get off the stage till after 9:30 I'd guess. Around 10:00 they reopened the doors, and me and maybe fifteen other people wander into the otherwise empty club. Hmm. This was a very sold out show. I was really thinking I had missed a memo about this thing. Later I was told that there would also be an opener, which I also did not expect. Then around 10:45, this band called Koester came on, who I actually thought weren't too bad, but it fely like they played way too long and I was getting tired and antsy.

So finally, at around 11:30...A full 2 hours after my ticket said they would be going on stage, The Wrens finally come out. And they were fantastic. Easily made up for the wait. I don't think any of them stopped smiling the whole set. When a band has that much fun playing together, it always rubs off on the audience. Despite going on stage around the time I was planning on being back in the city, it was really hard to complain. A great set.

Yesterday I went out again to see Atmosphere at Bowery. I've never really been a fan of any of the live hip-hop shows I've ever been to, but this one was different. Maybe it had to do with that he had a live band backing him. Or I just like his songs a whole lot better than most of the other acts I've seen. Perhaps I just get a kick out of a dude from Minneapolis who can drop a line like "Houston and Ludlow, Maxfish, Vampire" without it sounding forced or pandering.

He is the kind of artist who has the full attention of every single audience member in attendance. Lyrically, there aren't many better from any genre, and as far as putting on a live show, there is no other rap act I’ve ever seen who can match the fun, heartache and intensity that Slug does. If I could expect all hip-hop shows to be more like this, I'd be a much bigger fan of the genre.

And yeah…Atmosphere went on about 90 minutes later than I expected them to due to an extra opener who was added to the bill.

Friday, March 11, 2005


The briefs are halfway out the door, and it looks like the last two weeks of crazy hours and busy days may be finally coming to an end for now.

Last night I got out of here at 10:00 and jumped in a cab right down to Bowery for Death From Above 1979. A significantly better experience than the last time I saw them, but they are by no means my new favorite band or anything. I am impressed by what they are able to accomplish with so little on stage, and it certainly is worth seeing them once to realize that. The thing is...It’s Metal. I haven’t listened to or spoken about Metal since 8th grade I don’t think, but I can still appreciate that they are good at what they do and put on an entertaining show. I enjoyed myself.

Dunno what else to talk about. I'm sure everybody has heard the Ted Leo cover of "Since You've Been Gone" by now. I wasn't too impressed. The original is far far superior.

The KEXP studio sessions are mostly full, but I was able to snag passes to Phoenix, Dogs Die in Hot Cars, and The Fiery Furnaces on April 6th. Gonna take the day off and make a day out of it.

Gang of Four tickets are on sale now for the two shows at Irving. I assume they will sell out fairly quickly, so hop on it. (thanks Ashley)

I have a busy weekend ahead of me. Tonight is that party at Crash Mansion...Be sure to RSVP at to get in for free before 12. I've never been to Crash Mansion before...always kinda seemed like a strange scene walking by it, but they're putting on a remarkable show tonight, so I guess I'm gonna find out for myself. Morning Theft goes on at 11, Snowden at 11:45, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at 12:30. Open bar from 11-12, and $2 Pabsts (7 for $10!) all night. More info here.

Tomorrow night I am ecstatic to go see The Wrens at Maxwells. Then Sunday Atmosphere is at Bowery.

Seeing The Wrens come up brings up the debate "what bands would you travel to Maxwells to see?" I can honestly think of very few. The Wrens are one of them, cause they tour so infrequently.

The better question may be, who would you go out to see at Continental Airlines? I'm sure there is some band out there that would get me out there, but I can't think of anyone. Not even a fictional back-from-the-dead reunion show. I'll have to give it some more thought, but seriously, is there a less desirable, more out of the way venue? Maybe Nassau? I dunno.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

If it's not one thing...

The sidekick's more or less back in "top" form, but blogger's been out all fucking morning day and now I'm swamped with work. Hopefully I'll get out of here in time to see those puppydogs DFA '79 at Bowery tonight.

...And by the by, I don't even know what Libation means.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Sonic Youth at NorthSix Presale

I lied. Here's some relevant ticket info:

There will be a presale tomorrow (Thursday) at 10:00 for Sonic Youth at NorthSix on April 12. The password is esrun(nurse backwards). Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday morning.

Also, UltraBand Louis XIV is playing Bowery on April 26th. Tickets are on sale now.

More later maybe...

I had six too many drinks last night...

Stars did not disappoint. They were actually a lot more charismatic and entertaining live than I expected, tho I think any band led by an effeminate 5'7 redhead in a double-breasted suit is something I can dig. They put a lot more into their songs than I really thought they would. The singers work the whole stage, getting up and out over the crowd at times with real emotion, rather than the sedated, head-to-the-side lulling that I expected. I'm a bit of a sucker for bands that have the guy/girl back and forth dynamic, and these guys do it better than anyone right now. (My favorite Postal Service song is "Nothing Better" and I love that "True Love is Blind" song by Louis go figure)

Anyway, I was all the way up front, right under the right speaker, which is not the best place to get the ideal listening experience, but they still sounded great. I left the club with both of their old albums in hand. Can't wait till the Bowery Show.

Sidekick still not at 100%. Got what the kids are calling the "three dot dance” compared to the inferior “two dot” variety, but I still don't have my e-mail, IM or web working yet. Am hearing reports of service almost fully returning to some this morning, so hopefully I'll be back in full force sometime today.
UPDATE: At 10:57, I got a full "G7", as well as 4 days worth of e-mails. This lasted for 3 minutes before I got dropped back down to the two-dot dance. Wack.
UPDATE2: At 11:15, everything finally seems to be completely up and running. Hooray.
UPDATE3: Bah. At 11:45 it's back down. No more updates till I'm sure it's really back for good.

Pitchfork has a nice little profile on Owen Pallett, who, as Final Fantasy, really impressed me in opening for The Arcade Fire last month. BV has much more on the guy, who has some really really great songs off his newest album. (Check out “Win and Regine” and “The CN Tower…”. My two favorites.)

Nothing of too much personal interest going on sale today, but if something new jumps in and surprises me, I'll post.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Sidekick Blackout Update

Still no email or IM, tho there was a brief period this afternoon where I was able to sign on. It's now been 2 full days without service. I'm getting antsy. T-Mobile does not seem to be at fault here, believe it or not. It's the Danger network that all this data runs off of, and that's what's all screwy.

Apparently it looks like I'm online all day, so if you've IMed me and I haven't hard feelings.

Lets hope for everything getting back up by tomorrow.

I'm not sorry there's nothing to say

I think I've fallen in love with Stars at just the right time.

I've had their newest album on my various iApps for maybe a month now? But for some reason I hadn't given it enough of a chance until last week. Now I'm just listening to the thing pretty much every chance I get. At home, on my commute, at work streaming off the Arts and Crafts website. It is an overwhelmingly beautiful record that manages to balance catchiness, emotion and grace in a way few albums I've ever heard can. How I was able to ignore this for so long is beyond me, but now I could not be more excited to see them play tonight at Mercury Lounge.

I was happy to see that Rob Sheffield at Rolling Stone rewarded it with a four star review recently, which I believe still means something. I'll simply say that it's one of my top three albums of the year so far.

Craigslist looks rough for tonight, but be sure to get a ticket to see them at Bowery in April. Jen is also hosting my favorite song off the album called your ex-lover is dead, so download that if you remain unconvinced. It's a good one.

BIG news via Curbed...A Kozmo-like service is coming back to New York!

Introducing, a one hour online delivery service that begins running its beta testing in Lower Manhattan on March 15th. Kozmo and Urbanfetch were my livelihood back during the golden age of the internet. I am very excited to try the new system out. Bring on the free T-Shirts and cookies!

As for TV last night...

Fat Actress: official verdict is...pretty good! Clearly not in the same league as Curb, but it had its moments. Some scenes felt a little forced, but overall it was not bad at all.

24: Awesome. I'm glad they've thrown reason completely out the window and just focused on making an engaging action show. This season has been very entertaining, and we're only half way through! Michelle's return was so so obvious, and I don't like it. But they've still got me guessing as to what the main terror plot is. A suggestion from a friend watching with me and a brief clip in the scenes from the next is that the terrorists are trying to fuck with the Army from the inside out. I dunno how or why, but that's my official guess...for now.

Also, via Spinach Dip, I read this article summing up, in detail, why the OC has been so...inconsistent this season. If brings up 7 impeccably worded points as to what went wrong this season, and what can be done to remedy it. Worth a read if you are at all interested in the fate of what was once my favorite show. There's still hope, but it's gotta start getting back on track now. Hopefully the recent purge of all extraneous characters will be a step in the right direction.

Monday, March 07, 2005

T-Mobile is wonderful

Seriously. Anyone who has a Sidekick may have noticed the "network outage" affecting the online Internet/IM/e-mail/etc. stuff on your phone. Well, if you call T-Mobile, they will be happy to credit your account with $5.00 or 50 minutes for the inconvenience of what they are calling a "global system outage". No word, however, on when the service will be coming back. Fingers Crossed.

Barely Legal

Fun weekend. Unexpectedly ended up seeing the Secret Machines/Moving Units/Autolux show Saturday night. I normally wouldn't go out of my way for this show, but a friend of mine came up with an extra free ticket, so I took it. SM really do give a great performance, with the lights and smoke and the whole production. They are by no means a favorite of mine, but I really do like what they do live much more than what's on the album.

Was most impressed by Autolux that night, however. One of the most devastating drummers I've ever seen in person. I couldn't take my eyes off her. Simply unreal. These guys play a very tight and together style of noise pop, with lots of guitar effects and soft vocals. I always say it takes an extra something for me to take a band from L.A. seriously, but these guys got it. I'd strongly recommend seeing them next time they are back east. I even bought their album after their set, which is great as well..

Other than that, there were a few other underage-themed happenings this weekend, including catching the tail end of a High School House Party at my buddy's parent's loft in Soho and some sort of magazine premiere in what appeared to be a Middle School roof gym on Eldridge Street.

Sunday I sat in front of the TV all day, watching back episodes of Law and Order and some college basketball. Thought the Simpsons were remarkably funny for the first time in a long time, and the Morrissey DVD premiere on HDNet was unspectacular at best. Didn’t think the setlist was all that strong.

This week I'm really looking forward to seeing Stars tomorrow night ( pun intended), but then a lot of hopefullies and maybes following till the weekend. Wednesday I may go see Rainer Maria at Mercury Lounge, or if someone has an extra ticket, I might go to Hot Hot Heat at Bowery. Then Thursday I'm almost definitely going to see DFA '79 to give them another shot. The weekend is a lot more straightforward. Friday there's the thing at Crash Mansion with Morning Theft, Snowden and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Then Saturday I’ve got The Wrens at Maxwell’s. Been waiting to see them again for what seems like forever. Sunday I'm giving live underground Hip Hop another shot with one of my favorites, Atmosphere, at Bowery. Busy busy busy.

Friday, March 04, 2005

It's over, for now...

I'm afraid to say that Sleater Kinney kinda bored me. There was one song that really stood out, but now I can't remember what it was or how it went. Honestly, I was more fascinated by the random contingent of New York comedians (Barry, Mirman, Armisen) out to take in the girls last night. Odd. Jen's got a few real pictures of the show (and the pregame events), so check um out. I think that shot of the band (above) pretty much sums up my experience, however.

So I know I said the other day that I'd elaborate more on The Frames, but I don't really know what else to say. They just put on such a great show on Tuesday. Their music, stage presence, and personality sum up every positive opinion I have about Irish people as a whole, and I really wish they'd come to New York more often, cause, while they aren't the kind of band that'll necessarily become international superstars, I simply can't imagine somebody not enjoying them live. And it always helps to have a loyal and dedicated fanbase who's willing to sing along to every song. A great experience overall. Take a listen to the opening (and my favorite) track off their live CD called Setlist:

The Frames - Revelate

Anyway...As for upcoming shows, I hope everybody goes to see Out Hud at Bowery on April 23. They're like !!! but better! I loved them at Mercury Lounge a few months back.

Also, there's another presale for NIN tickets at Hammerstein (5/15 and 16) today at 3:00. Then tickets go on sale to the public at 5:00. It's kinda like getting that pass at Disney World that gets you in the park an hour early to beat the crowd. The password is newyork. Good luck. The last presale was impossible, but maybe this one will be better.

OMR has a great preview of the Calla/Palomar show tonight that really makes me wanna go check it out. It's been a rough week tho, so I'll see how I feel later on. Other than that I'm kinda hoping for an easy weekend.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Last Night's unemployment line Party

I was all set for a big woo-hah fuck the world party night last night in between what will likely be two of the most miserable days at the job...but the world caught up with me at Happy Ending around 1:45 a.m. So now I'm up and tired and certainly not looking forward to work today.

Interpol was awesome are RCMH. Blonde Redhead was even better. These bands really sounded great in the big hall.

Looks like another busy day for me. Hope I don't get stuck at work too late. Brooklyn Vegan sums out a whole bunch of upcoming check that out. I'm gonna go see Sleater Kinney tonight hopefully.

The Bravery baffle the mind sometimes. Are they really ready to be doing an acoustic version of Honest Mistake??? I say no way, but they went ahead and did it anyway. Have a listen, via Torr.

The Bravery - Honest Mistake (acoustic, w/interview)

Maybe more later...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Busy Day...

I'll write more about The Frames later, but lemme say now that they are a real treat to see live. I hope they come back soon.

Also, NME's got the scoop on Glastonbury tickets. On sale April 3 @ 9am. Read here.

More later!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

There's always another coming right up behind...

I'm not sure if anybody's really mentioned it, but Elkland is opening for Erasure on their current tour, including about 6000 shows at Irving Plaza next month. This is so perfect cause I've always thought Erasure sounded like their greatest influence. Maybe perhaps their best chance to break out and finally reach some sort of audience? I just hope they are on the top of their game for these shows, cause if they mail in a performance like they did at Movable Hype a few weeks ago, they'll miss a golden opportunity to expose themselves to what should be a very important fan base for them (that being Erasure fans. Like really gay people, I guess). I wish them all the luck in the world.

I saw this the other day…

"I never listened to that band; I don't know their music, I've never heard them."
-Paul Banks on Joy Division
NY Post, Feb. 27. (Via Largehearted Boy)

Hmmm...I see. I don't see any reason to lie about it tho. I always thought the comparisons to JD were a bit of a stretch to completely take for granted. And yes, I'm going tomorrow night to see them at the Music Hall. Blonde Redhead is the real sell tho. Or rather the combination of the two is. Without the other being there, I'd just as well stay home and count my money.

And finally, The NIN presale was a bust for many I assume. Ya either just got stuck on the login page, or got thrown to the "Object reference not set to a blah blah... " page. Oh well. Good luck trying to get them at the public sale this weekend. This is starting to feel like Green Day at Irving all over again. Anyway, if you're bummed about getting shut out, cheer yourself up with some tickets to go see The Decemberists at Irving. They're less than half price and significantly more pleasant.

Since you've been gone...

Anyone ever watch any of the non-movie on demand channels? Thanks to a tip from my mom, I've been watching the AOL music video channel a lot the last few days. Channel 1002 i think? or 1003? There's all sorts of stuff up there...Home and Garden OD, Golf OD, CNN OD. Lots. Anyway...the point is I've been watching a lot of Avril videos on there recently, including a live one filmed at Webster Hall. Just made me realize how fast I'd jump on tickets if she was playing a club show in New York. Very Fast.

Two shows you've likely already heard about of now, but thought I'd mention anyway.

Nine Inch Nails are playing two nights at Hammerstein May 15th and 16th. You can go here today at 4:00 to try and get presale tickets.

Garbage is also playing Hammerstein on April 19th. There is a presale this Thursday, and the password is SHIRLEY.

So while it's all well and good that these acts are playing Hammerstein, and not Roseland or (god forbid) the Garden, it's gonna cost. Garbage tickets will run you $33.00 and NIN are going for $45.00. All this before service charges, too. Ouch. I guess you gotta expect to pay to see acts like this, but it's still a lot of money. Don't know yet if I'll go to one, the other or both, but I guess I gotta decide soon, cause these shows will sell out instantly.

Is it weird that I wouldn't hesitate to drop $50 to see Avril at Hammerstein, but I am for these guys? Yea, a little I guess.

And don't get me started on the new Kelly Clarkson...