Fun Weekend. Saturday morning I inexplicably woke up on the Upper East Side, and figured while I was already up there, it’d be the perfect opportunity to finally go see the illustrious Gates. I had been getting emails threatening to suspend my blogger account if I didn’t post a picture of them before today, so I figured it was a wise thing to do.
Of course they were kinda boring. I was talking to my parents over dinner at Five Points the night before, and they described it more as a sociological experiment rather then an art exhibit. It was something EVERYBODY had to talk about. Like we are almost forced to. It was THE destination. The likes of which we rarely see in this already-too-crowded city. This aspect was certainly more interesting and impressive then the actual art, which really didn’t do anything for me. (or many, I’d imagine.)
After walking down to 60th street on the east side, I decided to head west on CPS and check out another uptown destination I had never been to: The Time Warner Building. I was even less impressed with this “mall” than I was with The Gates. Not a single shop there had any interest to me. But it was still early, and I was trying to time myself so that I could get back down to Union Square right at 1:00 to catch the box office at Irving opening. I grabbed a quick lunch at BarMasa upstairs before grabbing the N train back downtown to grab Walkmen and Built to Spill tickets and the Upwelling EP at Virgin before finally heading home.
That night I went down to Rothko to see I Love you But I’ve Chosen Darkness, who I really was impressed by, but my god has Rothko become intolerable on a weekend! For starters, they’ve stopped selling Sparks behind the bar, to which I was like fuck that! I had a long day walking about the upper-boro, and it was exactly what I needed to make it through the night, but the mere suggestion was greeted by a dismissive pfft by the bartender. Wack. They, once again, completely overbooked the venue, and it was so uncomfortably crowded I was pinned back almost in that dark little hallway behind the merch table for most of the show. I thought the band was really good tho, and was glad to have caught them while they were in town and all, but shit, it was tough to enjoy.
Yesterday I watched a lot of the pre-Red Carpet shit on E! while playing the new MVP Baseball, which is a ton of fun. An extra treat is that, at least on paper, The Mets are really really good! They are ranked 6th overall (Yankees 2nd, Red Sox 1st) and are a really fun team to play with. Another bonus is the soundtrack, which is remarkably relevant. It features songs from The Bravery ("Honest Mistake"), The Zutons ("Pressure Point"), Hot Hot Heat ("You Owe Me An IOU"), …Trail of Dead ("Let It Dive") and Louis XIV ("Finding Out True Love Is Blind"). I’m not normally a big fan of LXIV (It takes a lot for me to take a band from LA seriously), but I really love that song. Listen below:
Louis XIV -Finding Out True Love Is Blind (right-click/save)
Last night I went down to Bowery somewhat reluctantly because of the Oscars, but when I realized I had basically seen NONE of the nominated movies besides Closer and Eternal Sunshine (Which were barely nominated themselves) I decided to blow them off. Was glad I did. Luna was so impressive live, playing impeccably tight songs with enough (but not too much) guitar meandering for my tastes. Big thumbs up from me. I only wish I was more familiar with their stuff.
UPDATE:Check out a real review at the always excellent One Louder.
This week I’m gonna go see The Frames tomorrow, Interpol and Blonde Redhead play a small club show at RCMH Wednesday and Sleater Kinney on Thursday. And today at work I’m playing through all the Luna albums available on Rhapsody…hence the title to this post.
West of the East Village, East of the West Village, North of Washington Square, South of Union Square...Central Village
Monday, February 28, 2005
Friday, February 25, 2005
Thank god it's over. Lovely episode, but what made it best was that almost all of the stale story-arcs are done. Lindsay and Zach are gone, and Alex has just one Episode left (ALSO...Did you know the actress playing Alex's real name is Olivia Cockburn? Cockburn??? are you kidding?? And she went to Andover too! Who woulda thunk?).
So now we're all back at the beginning. A fresh start. Sandy too. And let it be said I didn't dislike the new characters...but they just added so little to the story and their motives and plot points were always so transparent and dull. Lets hope for a better second half of the season.
If you haven't already, check out Bill Simmons' head-to-head on the OC v. 90210. Classic. Have a good weekend.
Best times roll points out that The Walkmen, Ben Kweller, and The Features are all playing a show together on March 28 at Irving plaza. And it only costs $5. What? I don’t know the reason or the necessity for such an inexpensive show (Do you have to sign up for the Army or something?) but we’ll see. Tickets go on sale on Saturday at 1:00, so after you’ve spent the hour trying to figure out why The Bravery Tickets are all sold out before they were supposed to go on sale, you can hop over to this and buy tickets for another (and better) cheap show.
As for other Irving shows, Built to Spill tickets for May 11, 12, and 13 are on sale now. As are New York Dolls tickets (4/28) for…$35.00. Youch. I'll pass on the latter.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
I started writing about the shows I've been to recently, (Devendra, Futureheads and Aesop Rock) but I got kinda bored with that, so I'm gonna lay off it for now. They were all pretty fun in their (very) different ways.
Tonight I'm going out to see a friend of mine's new band play. His name is Wynn Walent and, tho I've only seen him play solo before, he's apparently gotten a real band together (drums, bass, keys and cello, plus himself on guitar). I'm a sucker for strings, so I think this'll be good. He's a truly gifted songwriter, so I am very excited to see what he's gotten together. Tonight they'll be at Otto's Shrunken Head at 10:00 (14th Street b/w A and B). There's no cover, and if you wanna come by and say hi, I'll buy you a drink. Who knows...we might have the next Sea-Ray on our hands :)
One Louder points out that Joanna Newsom is gonna be on Jimmy Kimmel tonight, which is PERFECT, because Milk Eyed Mender has gotten a serious second wind from me of late. I'm setting my Divo if I can't stay up.
Go! Team tickets for both shows (Mercury and Southpaw) are now sold out. I decided to default on the second night in P-Slope, so now I can go see The Thermals instead. Been listening to Fuckin A a lot again recently as well.
I think The Bravery at Rothko is sold out already? Either that, or they've taken tickets off sale till the official on sale date (Saturday @ noon). Developing... (Thanks to Jonathan for the heads up on this)
Via Spinach Dip, I see that Handsome Boy Modeling School is playing at Irving Plaza April 20. Tickets after charges inch up towards $30, tho. That’s a lot of money. I don't think it's gonna sell out any time soon at that price, so I'll have to think about it.
Lost was great last night. Anybody got an idea why Hurley was on Korean Television?? I think next week's ep. is about him, so maybe we'll find out. He's the last primary character we haven't gotten a flashback about, no? Anyway, it's good to see the show back on track after a dragger of a previous episode.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Lots. All of a sudden.
M. Ward and CocoRosie @ Bowery April 10 go on sale today at noon. I'll try and get a real post up re: Devendra Banhart and The Futureheads later today when things quiet down around here.
ALSO...KRock is having a show at Rothko March 24th featuring The Bravery and 2 other bands. Despite the website claiming tickets go on sale Saturday at Noon, they are, in fact, on sale now. Buy them up. This'll be a hot show, considering it took these guys about a week to sell out 2 shows at Bowery in April.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
And so it continues...
I rarely say this, but that actually felt like a long weekend. I feel a bit rested and detached from the week before, which is so nice. Lets see how this one lasts.
Productshop reports that the lovely Sondre Lerche is opening for Elvis Costello at the Beacon Theatre on April 22. Tickets are already sold out tho, so...sorry about that. They were too expensive anyway. Tix still available for their show together at the Borgata in AC, if you're a real diehard.
The Wicked (way too off-the-cuffly, I might add...) mentions that Built to Spill are playing Irving for three nights in May (11-13). That'll be fun.
I also got word that Morning Theft will be playing a show with Snowden and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Crash Mansion on March 11 to kick off their tour. Great lineup and an interesting venue, which is suddenly beginning to appeal to a slightly less Evan and Jarron-esque crowd. And it's free! I think. So save the date. I'm really looking forward to this one.
Caribou (formerly Manitoba) and Junior Boys add a Bowery show to their stop in New York May 4th. Unfortunately, it's the same night as The Decemberists at Irving, so it looks like I'm staying with Northsix show the night after.
As others have reported, there is a Benefit (for what? I dunno) at Rothko featuring Asobi Seksu, Benzos, aaaaannnd Elkland. Unfortunately, this is the same night I'm seeing Sleater Kinney (3/3), so I'm gonna have to pass. Otherwise, it's a can't miss show.
Finally, Snow Patrol is playing Roseland on May 20th. There's a presale on Thursday at 9AM. The password is WINTER. I like the band, but not nearly enough to have to put up with Roseland on a Friday night. But enjoy if you're down.
Monday, February 21, 2005
Like Drinking Poison...
I had a really low key weekend, involving a lot of delivery food and a virtual recreation of my apartment and life via The Sims 2. Little did I know that all this time, Hillary Duff was swarming the various indie hotspots around Lower Manhattan looking to score some blow from a pre-op. (She must have a REALLY good fake id or something...)
This sort of came to a head on Sunday night, when we headed out to Motherfucker in the snow to go see Bloc Party at the Roxy. I think it is clear that if you wanna bypass the typical NY indie stereotype and actually get the kids to dance, feeding them free Redbull and vodkas for an hour before the band comes on is the right way to go. It was a fucking ruckus. We somehow found ourselves up front right next to the left stack during the first song (literally painful), then squeezed through the massive sweat-soaked crowd till we were right up front and center, with the band clearly having the time of their lives. (Despite their apparent distaste for American Kids...)
They played through most of Silent Alarm and the EP, dedicating each song to a different group. (Those there from England, those at the Knitting Factory show, etc). Even while bouncing around in a sea of dapperly dressed indie kids, the LAST thing I would suspect would be to get kicked in the back of the head by a motherfucking croudsurfer, but sure enough they were out last night too, loving every single song, and reaching out for a chance to touch the band.
After BP destroyed their drum kit and said their final goodbyes to the crowd, we headed to the gated area out back, alongside a very sweaty and flustered looking Hillary Duff, who was surely on her way to the next hipster jaunt (Sway for Morrissey night, according to Gawker)
We stuck around for a while after, carousing about and taking in the scenery before heading back home. A spectacular end to a perfectly banal weekend.
(all pics via Cameraphone, obviously)
My heart dropped right through my body when I read this. It's way too late and I've had a long night, but this is absolutely awful news.
Author Hunter S. Thompson fatally shoots self
Read his final column here, which was one of my favorites. The quintessential Highdea.
Rest in piece, Mr. Thompson.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Does Jamba Juice actually serve juice?
Or just smoothies?
The Central Village/Union Square location opened for business this morning. I was hoping for more juice, and less sherbet smoothie in mine, but I guess it’ll take a few weeks for me to work out exactly what I'm looking for.
OC was nothing special last night, tho next week looks exciting (It rains!). I thought it was odd that, at the end of the show when they do the “Music in this episode” bit, they showed the cover of Lali Puna’s "Faking the Books", but said it was Stars. I didn’t recognize either band during the episode so I was stumped. I kinda felt like a loser trying to explain the issue to my friend last night tho, (what? who?) so I’m just gonna leave it at that.
UPDATE: Stereogum says (as expected) both bands were played on the show. Their most popular songs, too. Usually I'm more on top of this shit.
Also, Coolfer’s got the news on a New OC mix. Once again, it’s really good...no matter how much you wanna hate it.
Caught 24, which was awesome. A bit of a staller episode, but it had it’s moments. L&O was pretty weak, despite the fact that it had rent control and NBA basketball plotlines.
Grambo has the trailer for the new Bynes flick, Lovewrecked, co-starring everyone’s favorite meatpacking billboard boy Chris Carmack as the hunky rockstar. I’m not gonna go see this movie, nor will I likely rent it, but when it’s on Showtime HD, I’ll watch it every time it’s on, no doubt.
GoldenFiddle blocked?! Imagine my surprise browsing around this morning and getting a Lingerie and Swimsuit message from my office content filter on my favorite media blog. Bad bad news.
Anyone else really jealous that Leslie Feist is touring with Stars and AoH out on the west coast? What gives? When’s she gonna come to NY?? In fact, anybody really jealous of the week of March 20th at The Troubadour in LA? Kaiser Chiefs, MorningWood, Bloc Party, Louis XIV, 2 nights of the Arts and Crafts kids, then 2 nights of Ash and The Bravery? Sounds like a good time.
That’s all. Enjoy the long weekend, and for god sakes, go down to Othermusic and get yourself a ticket to see Bloc Party on Sunday! It'll be fun!
Those of us in New York who enjoy live music are very very lucky. We get more interesting bands through here in a month than most towns and cities would be lucky to see in a year. Recently, I've been going out to see a TON of shows, and while this is fine, I often find myself with a ticket or two to a show that, by the time the date comes up, I just don't feel like going anymore. So, I thought I'd make a little guide to try and figure out which upcoming shows I really wanna go to and which ones I can prolly take a pass at. Feel free to disagree, or try and convince me otherwise...
I'll prolly end up going to them all anyway.
2/20 - Bloc Party (Roxy - Motherfucker)
Gotta get dressed up...but it's worth it.
2/21 - Devendra Banhart (Tonic)
Can't wait. Never seen him live, and Tonic is a perfectly intimate place to hear him.
2/22 - The Futureheads/Shout out Louds (Bowery Ballroom)
Still listening to their album regularly...curious to hear the SoL's too.
2/26 - ...Chosen Darkness (Rothko)
Love the EP, cant wait to see them live.
2/27 - Luna (Bowery Ballroom)
Have never seen them, and I have a ticket, so I'm there. Their next to last show ever.
3/01 - The Frames (Bowery Ballroom)
So much Irish Hype, I wouldn't wanna miss them.
3/02 - Interpol/Blonde Redhead (Radio City)
Actually excited to see both bands in such a large hall. I think they'll sound great there.
3/03 - Sleater Kinney (Mercury Lounge)
Got tickets, never seen them before.
3/12 - The Wrens (Maxwells)
One of my favorite shows last year. Not to be missed whenever you get a chance to see them play.
3/13 - Atmosphere (Bowery)
My favorite rapper. Isn't in New York too often, either.
3/14 - Goldie Lookin Chain (Mercury Lounge)
Lots of fun. Rarely come to the States.
3/15 - Doves (Bowery Ballroom)
A good friend's favorite band. Will be fun to see them play at Bowery.
3/21 - The Go! Team (Mercury Lounge)
If they are a quarter as fun live as their album is, it'll be not to be missed.
3/25 - Kaiser Chiefs (Bowery)
The most fun band on the planet right now, tho some weren't quite as impressed as I.
3/31 The Album Leaf (Mercury lounge)
Has been the theme music to my workdays for weeks now. Love the album.
4/07 - Fiery Furnaces (Northsix)
One of the most unique bands you can see live. Are better in a small venue.
4/08 - Bloc Party (Bowery Ballroom)
The last step before taking over the World.
4/18 - The Bravery/Ash (Bowery)
It'll have been 6 months since the last time I had seen the Bravery. And I gotta see Ash while they're in town.
4/19 - Erasure (Irving Plaza)
They won't be doing this for much longer.
4/30 - Coachella (Cali)
Got a ticket, pegged the vacation time...can't wait.
5/04 - Decemberists (Irving)
My favorite band right now.
5/05 - Caribou/Junior Boys (Northsix)
Curious to see what these guys do live. Love the albums.
2/23 - Aesop Rock (Bowery Ballroom)
Friend has a ticket for me, but I can't say I love the guy live.
3/04 - Calla, Palomar (Mercury Lounge)
I like them, but I'm not gonna force myself out. Game-time decision.
3/07 - VHS or BETA/Ambulance Ltd. (Bowery Ballroom)
Sold out, but I'd still like to go.
3/08 - Stars/Apostle of Hustle (Mercury Lounge)
Got a ticket, likely will go, but I gotta hear more of the album.
3/09 - CAT POWER (solo) (Southpaw)
Am I a big enough Cat Power fan to drop $20 and trek to the Slope? Doubt it, but I do love Southpaw.
3/10 - Death From Above 1979 (Bowery Ballroom)
Friend got me a ticket...but I don't even like these guys that much.
3/14 - Embrace (Bowery)
Wanna go, but it's gonna be a busy night with GLC in town.
3/18 - Xiu Xiu (Knitting Factory)
Have a ticket...curious to see how it works live, but there's still a small chance I'll be in Austin that day.
3/21 - Aqualung (Bowery)
If I can get more into them, I'll be there...
3/22 - The Go! Team (Southpaw)
Are they worth seeing twice in a row? Are they worth missing The Thermals for? They'd be great at Southpaw.
3/26 - Crooked Fingers/The Dears (Bowery Ballroom)
Not too familiar with CF, and I wasn't blown away by The Dears last time live...leaning more towards no.
4/02 - LCD Soundsystem (Bowery)
This should be a definite yes...but for some reason I'm not completely sold.
4/09 - Fiery Furnaces (Webster Hall)
Got tickets for BOWERY, assholes. Don't think they'll be as fun in the larger space.
4/16 - Of Montreal (Northsix)
Very curious, but not too familiar with their stuff.
4/15 - Brendan Benson plus Charlie Mars (Bowery)
Hear great great things from people who's tastes I approve of, but haven't heard enough to decide yet.
4/30 - Q and Not U (Northsix)
5/14 - British Sea Power (Bowery)
I like them, but it's not my favorite. I don’t think I'd force myself out to see them, but everyone's been raving about the live shows.
5/21 - Deerhoof (Northsix)
Another case of hearing great things without much personal knowledge.
5/22 - Deerhoof (Northsix)
I'll only go one night...but dunno which one.
5/26 - Decemberists (Warsaw)
Warsaw's a trek...But I love the band. Will have a hard time staying home.
2/24 - Antony & The Johnsons, Coco Rosie (Bowery)
Afraid to say I'm not a fan. Sold out anyway.
2/26 - Ian Brown - (Webster Hall)
No interest anymore.
3/09 - Rainer Maria (Mercury Lounge)
Don't know them all that well, but not that big a fan of what I've heard.
3/16 - Brazilian Girls (Bowery Ballroom)
Listened...interesting, not in love.
3/22 - The Thermals (Knitting Factory)
I'd like to maybe...depends if it sells out and if I goto the Go! Team.
3/30 - Regina Spektor (Bowery)
I could really get into her...but not there yet.
4/01 - Graham Coxon plus The Golden Republic (Bowery)
Don't love either.
4/07 - Bloc Party (Bowery Ballroom)
Same night as the Fiery Furnaces @ N6...
4/11 - The Kills (Bowery)
Don't know much about them. What I've heard hasn't totally impressed me.
4/13 - M83 (Bowery)
I hear they are kinda boring live.
6/26 - Oasis (MSG)
Meh. Maybe if they were at Hammerstein. Or if it was free.
Anything else major coming up I've passed over? Am I wasting my time somewhere? Am I totally off base in dismissing a band? Lemme know!
Thursday, February 17, 2005
I'm so excited to stay home tonight, catch up on TV (OC, L&O, Lost AND 24!) Last night at the Knitting Factory was a hell of a lot of fun, but now I'm about two seconds away from putting some boxes in front of my door and crawling under my desk to fall back asleep. Be back later.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
If you haven't noticed, the Bowery People usually announce new shows and put tickets on sale on Wednesdays at noon. For Bowery Ballroom:
Torr darlings, Embrace (3/14)
Kaiser Chiefs plus MorningWood (3/25)
and Regina Spektor (3/30) (not on sale yet, apparently)
and over at Mercury Lounge, tickets for:
Goldie Lookin Chain (3/14)
and The Album Leaf (3/31)
are all on sale...now.
Also, while we're on the subject of tickets and shows, Tarantula is opening for Devendra Banhart next Monday at Tonic. This is gonna be a really great show. Tickets are still available.
I've never been this far away from home...
I don't know how you Williamsburgers do it every night...
I got out of the show at around 12:45 (it ran ridiculously late), and start heading back towards Bedford and 7th, but thank GOD I overhear some kid talking about the L not running past midnight. I walk with him and his friends up to the G train...which if you ever have to take, you know you're in bad shape. I looked at a map and realize there is absolutely no way I'm getting home before sunrise. I didn't know whether to go up or down, nor could I figure out which train to transfer to (oddly, none of them seemed to go where I wanted to go...) Finally (Thankfully?) I gave up on the train and waited till a lucky cab rolls by. 10 minutes and $15 later, I'm back safe and sound in the CV.
Where I come from, if your most direct route home involves the G to the JMZ to the F (and I'd STILL be a 10 minute walk from West 4th home), you're in for a rough night. If that cab didn’t happen to go by, I'd have prolly spent the night in the foyer of a vintage furniture store.
So if that alone didn't make a weird enough night, I went to go see The Polyphonic Spree at a club that smells like old Jews. Never been to Warsaw before...Not my favorite, but it's an ok venue. Just kind of a trek from civilization. The band was fun. They put on a spectacle, and it's cool to see 25 people on stage all at once, but the songs are surprisingly bland for having so much going on, and the lyrics are pretty lame. They are worth seeing once, but I wouldn't strain myself to go check them out again I don't think.
Mike Doughty was really awesome, however. He played a full set of like 20 songs, most of which I didn't even recognize. He's still got that great voice and has written some really smart songs since the Soul Coughing days. I'm surprised he doesn't get a new band together. It's all still there for him and from the turnout for his set, he seems to still have a descent and dedicated following. I'd like to see what he could do with more than a guitar and a keyboard player. Soul Coughing was a very interesting band for many reasons beyond his voice and songwriting, and I bet he could get together an interesting group of guys to make new music with.
Anyway, that was last night. Tonight I hope everyone comes out to see Elkland and the rest at the Knitting Factory. For more info on the bands, including some great MP3s and a video, check out Gothamist.com.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Come back strong like a powered up Pac-man...
I don't really know what to talk about today. Went out last night to go see a friend of a friend's band called LESS play over at Luna Lounge. It was nice, but I was feeling a bit dodgy after scarfing down some super spicy Chinese food right before heading out. A couple glasses of shitty white wine didn't do much to relieve my agony.
We walked by Mercury Lounge afterwards heading towards Ave. B, and I peeked in to catch a glimpse of the Kaiser Chiefs, who were starting into "Every Day I Love You Less and Less". I was jealous not to be inside. I expect everyone in attendance enjoyed themselves.
Pitchfork likes Bloc Party, I see. Good to know. Should knock the street value of those tickets at Bowery up a few bills. I'm still surprised the Motherfucker party is not sold out yet. Are people really scared that their "look" won't be "working" enough to be let in? Lets be realistic here. If you paid for a ticket, they'll have a hard time turning you away.
That being said, I'll do my best to get dolled up at least somewhat for the occasion. It's a holiday, after all...
Tonight, Saints and Lovers are playing a show down at Rothko. Also, Fort Ancient is playing a free showcase with a few other good bands at Sin-E. Both are tempting, but I, however, will be going back out to Brooklyn to check out the Polyphonic Spree at Warsaw. Never seen them, but a buddy of mine here at work lives and dies by their live shows, so I have to see what the big fuss is. Mike Doughty opening was the capper for me, no doubt. I've been a Soul Coughing fan for years and years, and I've never seen the guy perform. Pretty excited.
Monday, February 14, 2005
Best show of the year?
Perhaps. I can't remember enjoying a band for the first time as much as I did the Kaiser Chiefs on Saturday Night at Northsix. Just the most fun show I've seen in a very long time. So fucking British. I really didn't expect them to be this good, but I was completely floored. Great songs, untopped energy. Do your best to go see them tonight at Mercury Lounge (It's sold out), but if you're out of luck, they'll be back in March at Bowery. I urge you to go then.
(Pic via gigwise.com. Not taken from Saturday's show.)
Grammys...blah blah blah. I watched, was generally bored and occasionally embarrassed. What was that Telemundo interlude with Jenny Lopez all about? Coolfer blogged it live, which is certainly worth a read if you missed it/care.
I like The Bravery. There, I said it. They're not gonna be the greatest band in the world, but they have written some ridiculously catchy songs, and I've been following them for a while, so it'd be cheap to bail on them now that they're on the brink of stardom. I have some issues with the on stage personality of some members of the band, but, for better or worse...isn't supposed to be about the music anyway? (Even when the band tries and fails to make it more about image?) So there.
Anyway, Honest Mistake has always been my favorite song of theirs, and this video shows very little of Sam Endicott mugging for the crowd, so I like it. Check it out... (via Good Times Roll)
The Bravery - Honest Mistake
This Tuesday, I'm gonna go out to Warsaw for Mike Doughty and The Polyphonic Spree. Also, Wednesday is Movable Hype, with Elkland, plus a slathering of bands I've been itching to go check out.
Friday, February 11, 2005
That was dumb.
I’m not gonna flat out say that the OC was bad last night…but it was disappointing. Last season, it always seemed like the characters would get themselves in trouble, but always do the right thing in the end, right? It was the smartest part of the show…because whether or not the result was positive or negative, it always deep down felt like the right thing to do. Last night hurt. In a bad way. Sandy Cohen should have done the smart thing. He should have told Kim Delaney goodbye over the phone, and rededicated himself to the Wife. And he NEVER should have kissed her. And no, Mr. Schwartz, acknowledging in the script that it was an uncharacteristic thing for him to do does not cover it up. It’s an easy out you’ve been using all season…leaning out through the third wall just enough to make your show self aware. It comes off cheap. The rest of the episode was fine, however. The kiss was a bit of a letdown…seeing that everybody know it was coming and it wasn’t all that sloppy or exciting. Whatever.
The Album Leaf finally got a post-show music credit on the OC, after having their (his?) music being played on the show for the last couple of weeks. They’ve become my default pleasant work-music of late, and I’m hoping to make it out to see him play on March 31st at the Mercury Lounge. Tickets are not yet on sale.
Brooklyn Vegan tipped me off to Devendra Banhart playing at Tonic on the 21st. That should be a great show. Now, you see, Tonic…If you were able to pull acts even close to this caliber on a regular basis, we wouldn’t be in this sticky situation now, would we?
Torr’s got info on the SXSW wristbands! Starting on Feb. 24, they’ll cost $110 if you act fast. The price goes up as they sell more and more. If you’re going, this is the best way to roll, tho you gotta know somebody down in Austin to get you one, and the max one person can buy at a time is 2, so good luck working it out. More info here.
Finally…really loved Chin Up Chin Up as much as I expected to last night. They played a enjoyable set that got better as it went on. I would not hesitate to go see them again next time they’re in town. (which will be May 19th at Northsix)
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Oh, come on now...
The Fiery Furnaces show at Bowery (4/9) has been moved to Webster Hall. Doors will be opening at a chipper 6:00pm, giving them enough time to clean up for the Staten Island riff raff that goes there to party on Saturday nights. This is Bullshit. I don't mind going to shows at Webster Hall, but please just call it that from the start.
On a separate note, Crooked Fingers w/ The Dears (wow!) are playing Bowery on the 26th, and Aqualung will be there on the 21st.
I'm sure most have heard of the Chicago band Chin Up Chin Up by now. They've had some songs floating around the internet for months, as well as a superb LP which I’ve recently discovered (to the delight of my new officemate) is now also available on Rhapsody. I’ve been listening to this album consistently for three months now, and I think it says something about an disc that remains so fresh and inviting after all that time. It is excellent excellent excellent, and if you haven’t given it a listen you owe it to yourself to check it out. I’m still putting “...Like We Were Skyscrapers” on mixes for friends, and it always gets a positive response.
I was kinda bummed I didn't get to see them last time they were here, but it was the same night as Muse at Webster Hall, and it turned out to be a bit of a disaster evening down at The Delancey anyway. I've checked and checked, but they have not been back in town since. Right now, there is probably no other band I've been looking forward to seeing more than these guys. The potential for greatness is there, and I hope they are as impressive live as they are on MP3.
The second band is one I mentioned briefly yesterday called R.U.O.K. There’s a bit of a story behind these guys. They are one of the main reasons I’ve gotten into seeing live music so much over the last few years. Back when I was in college, when I used to come back home I’d occasionally go out to Galapagos in Williamsburg to see this band called “The Others”. They were friends of friends of boyfriends of whatever. Anyway, the first time I saw them play I thought I was witnessing the next big thing. I wasn’t even sure if I totally was a fan of them yet, but I knew that they were really fucking good. They just sounded so tight, together and focused, you could have sworn they were gonna be all over KRock in a matter of months. They had an EP available for free, and I grabbed a handful and gave a copy to everyone I thought would like it back at college. I listened to it a lot, but after a while they faded into my ever growing collection and slipped out of my mind.
Fast forward to two weeks ago. The band comes up in a conversation, and I find out that they had changed their name to R.U.O.K. (we agreed it was a silly name, but whatever), and that they were still playing regularly in Williamsburg and Lower Manhattan. I go home that night, track down their website, and sure enough they are still playing every so often at Galapagos (I think the lead singer is a bartender there), and have some scattered gigs around the smaller clubs in the city. Not quite MTV2, but I was very happy to see that they are still playing, still writing songs, and still impressing everybody who gets a chance to see them. Their website has a number of new songs (new to me, at least) that are all pretty good, but I think you gotta see them in person to truly see what they’re all about. I hope many people come down to Lit in a few weeks, or to Pianos on March 5th to see them. I will be there, and hopefully they will still sound as impressive as they did first time I heard them.
Chin Up Chin Up is playing tonight at the Mercury Lounge. I've been waiting 3 months for another chance to see them. R.U.O.K. will be at Lit on Feb. 26. It’s been over 2 years, and I can’t wait.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
April, come she will...
Big Bowery Ballroom Update...Tickets for:
Graham Coxon with the Golden Republic (4/1),
LCD Soundsystem (4/2),
The Kills (4/11),
M83 with Ulrich Schnauss (4/13-14)
and Ash and The Bravery (4/17-18)
are all on sale now.
UPDATE:Wrong month and venue, but tickets for The Go! Team at Mercury Lounge (March 21st) went on sale today as well...
Trent is the New FUBAR...
For now, at least. You'd think he had enough to do just keeping his own crazy blog in order. PITNB seems like a full time job as it is...
Just read on CNN that Detective Mike Logan is returning to the streets on New York! Starting this weekend, local Central Village nutjob Chris Noth will be sharing the major case duties with Vincent D'Onofrio on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. It appears that, due to a very busy workload, D'Onofrio needs to scale back his time on the show, which has become a risk to his health. Hard to believe that it was 10 years ago that Noth was a regular on the show. I remember watching his last episode with my dad when I was in middle school. This should be fun!
There are a number of interesting shows going on tonight. One of which is The Plug Awards at Webster Hall. I'll be there. Even tho my last faux-awards concert was a terribly uncomfortable and embarrassing experience, this one is sure to be better. The lineup is made up of A-list acts from every genre of the "indie" scene, and the awards recognize bands that the people in attendance might actually care about. Ted Leo, Sufjan, and Aesop Rock with RJD2 are top talent. I don't know much of Dillinger Escape Plan, but they seem to be good at what they do. (UPDATE: I put their EP on Rhapsody and had a headache within the first 3 seconds of track 1.)(UPDATE2: The headache turned into full blown nausea after a minute. They appear to be the headliner, so I think I'll just take off before their set tonight and save myself another sick day.) Saul Williams i'm not such a huge fan of (either), but he's got fans. I'm curious to see him perform.
Couple shows coming up that recently caught my attention. First off, Morning Theft is playing a show at Lit tonight. Check em out. Calla is playing with Palomar at Mercury Lounge on March 4th, then Rainer Maria will be there one week later on the 12th. Deerhoof, who Pitchfork recently called "the best band out there right now", are playing two shows at Northsix in May on the 22nd and the 23rd. No rush. Finally, a band called R.U.O.K. (formerly The Others) are playing Lit on February 26th. I'll talk more about them later, but be sure to save the date.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Blasphemy, you’ll yell!
People are gonna flip out over this one. The most classic of all classic films, The Godfather (Ranked #1 on IMDB at last look) is being remade into a videogame. Now, there is a very very good chance this will be a disaster, but looking at the first few screenshots made available, it may not be all that bad. Apparently they are using the original voice actors for the project, which sounds good, but usually just means they’ll take sound clips from the films and put them into the game. Not that special. We’ll see how this develops…
Bloc Party has sold out both nights at Bowery Ballroom a full two months before the shows go on, and two weeks before their album even comes out. Tickets are still available for the Motherfucker Presidents Day Party at which they are playing, but many appear to be scared off by the seemingly strict dress code requirements. Whatever. If you still haven’t heard their upcoming album, you can stream it for free here. (via Brooklyn Vegan)
Good seats come to those who wait. After nothing but rear-side orchestra seating available 5 minutes after the March 2nd Interpol/Blonde Redhead show went on sale, I was skimming across Ticketmaster yesterday I was able to snag dead center Orchestra seats about 18 rows back. Good seats are still available for both nights if you (like me) were having second thoughts regarding not going to one of these two shows at the RC.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Under the Weather Edition.
Part of the Glastonbury lineup has been announced, according to Productshop, and the roster so far looks good.
--The White Stripes, Coldplay, The Who, Kylie Minogue, Bloc Party, New Order, Doves, Outkast, Athelete, Keane, Brian Wilson, Scissor Sisters, Kasabian, Paul Weller, Stereophonics, Mercury Rev, Gorillaz, The Chemical Brothers, The Concretes, Hot Hot Heat, The Subways, Super Furry Animals, Ian Brown, The Coral, The Dandy Warhols, Queens Of The Stone Age, Grandaddy, Embrace, The Killers, The Bravery, Hope Of The States, The Zutons, The Futureheads, Elbow, and The Tears--
Tickets apparently go on sale April 3rd. The fete will be held on June 24th-26th, and it'll cost ₤125.00.
Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono are gonna play together at Tonic? Weird kinda, right? But I'd go see it if tickets weren't surely gonna be ridiculously expensive. It's a benefit show to save the club, so they'll be asking a lot. No word yet how much, but it'll be going down on Feb. 19th. Ben Lee is playing there too at the end of the month, and tickets are on sale now.
Anybody read that article about the Montreal Music Scene in the Times yesterday? It was good. Gotta give the paper credit for NOT just making this another puff piece about the Arcade Fire's popularity, which would have been perfectly easy to do these days, but actually calling out the other influential bands coming from the emerging scene. Good read.
Pitchfork lists their best albums of the last...5 years today. Strangely, the #1 album of 2004, named so merely 5 or 6 weeks ago, has plummeted down to #45, despite the fact that the # 2 album last year stays up at a respectable #9. I have no problem with the influential zine spreading the hype around equally, but this is pretty silly. Also, the list falls into the age old trap of glorifying older work, even with such a small window of reference…8 of the top 10 albums listed came out in 2000 or 2001.
Don't really feel up for going down to Bowery tonight (Monday), but these tickets would be expensive to eat and I'd like to see the band. I'll see how I feel.
Tying up the week ends...
I feel sick today. Long weekend trying to balance family time with my social interests equals not a lot of downtime or sleep.
Friday night I went straight from work to services with my dad and grandfather. I swear Central Synagogue is the most fucking Christianized temple in the world. I don't go to services all that often, but I really hate that place. Makes you feel like a 8 year old in a church group.
From there we went out to dinner, then I headed home briefly before heading back out to the Mercury Lounge. Dirty on Purpose was great. Had never seen them, but all the chatter is well deserved. They were followed by Rouge Wave, who were solid, but to be honest it seemed like the band was kinda interfering with Zach's songs. I was thinking while standing there that I'd much rather hear his kind of stuff being played solo. Still good, but a little too busy for my tastes.
The next morning I woke up early to take my parents and little cousin out to Williamsburg to go see Rouge Wave play again at Soundfix Records. Tho the sound in the coffeehouse behind the store wasn't great, they played a very laid back set, and I enjoyed it more than the crowded club show the night before.
That night I met up with more family (among other, older members) for dinner in Chinatown, then passed on the field trip up to Snitch to head over to the Sri Lankan steam bath known as the Knitting Factory for M.I.A. and Diplo. Fun time, no doubt...even if she was in fact
Lip Syncing using a backing vocal for most of the show. Joey (very poetically, I might add) sums up the experience nicely.
The next morning I was up early again to attend my Grandfather's wedding at the Lotos Club. Lovely service. Came home kinda drunk around 4:30, had people over for the game by 5:30. Lost some bets, ate some chicken, passed out.
This week, I'm hoping to make it to Kings of Convenience tonight, then the Plug Awards Wednesday (With Sufjan, Aesop Rock w/RJD2, Ted Leo, and others), Chin Up Chin Up Thursday night, then the Kaiser Chiefs with The Prosaics Saturday in Williamsburg.
Friday, February 04, 2005
Official Prediction: Patriots 24, Eagles 9
Big bucks riding on my lowly box #86. Nine is not a great number, but I like that four. I think New England has a good shot scoring 24 or 34. Feeling good on that end. Philly getting held to 3 FG's is possible I guess, but 9's hard to hit if and once they get past there.
Also, just came across the new Elkland Video for Apart. Check it out:
Jon's sporting quite the upside-down Trump-esque combover, huh!
(The) Go Find (yourself) on the OC
I think that wins the award for most obscure artist to be heard on the OC, no? Unfortunately, it was the highlight of the show. With the exception of Seth and Summer, Everyone else seems to just be walking in place once again.
I found an interesting post here regarding Owen "Final Fantasy" Pallett. He had this to say regarding the Conan O'Brian Spot:
"howdy! the band is all upset about conan, they thought the sound was shit. i thought it was awesooooooome. i didn't get paid or anything, in fact they said i couldn't legally be on the set (no work visa) but it went ahead anyway. conan is super tall and has an enormous head."
Interesting. For the record, I thought they looked and sounded great. You can download the video here. (via Ambitious-Outsiders)
I'm a big fan of this guy, Owen. I like his bashful confidence just as much as his music. He seems like a busy guy, with many different projects going on at once, but I hope he gets to tour on his own. Surprisingly, most of the people I talked to had a very mixed reaction to him, but I thought he was stellar, and I'd love to see him again in a more intimate setting. I wholeheartedly recommend the song "The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead" which I've probably listened to 10 times since coming home with his CD Wednesday night. You can download it here.
Last night I went down to Bowery (first time since NYE, I realized) to go see Pedro the Lion and Low. We got there as PtL was going on, and he played a really great set. I had heard much about him, but honestly didn't know any of his stuff. The songs were great and the crowd seemed to really love it.
After that came Low, whose new album is beyond superb, but they are a tough band to watch live. It had been a couple late nights in a row for me at Arcade Fire, and their music was literally putting me to sleep on my feet. We even had to move up to the balcony so I could have a wall to lean against. After five songs, we decided to pack it in. They sounded great, but I couldn't handle it. I got to hear my three favorite songs off The Great Destroyer, and got to bed early.
This weekend is gonna busy. Lots of family in town. Tonight I'm going to go see Rouge Wave at Mercury Lounge. Then tomorrow afternoon, I'm planning to take my little cousin and her family out to go see them play at Soundfix Records in Williamsburg. Later that night I get to see the impenetrable M.I.A. with Diplo at the Knitting Factory.
Then Sunday is the Superbowl! And...My Grandfather's wedding! I say The Patriots hold the Eagles to under 10 points, and win by at least two touchdowns. No way the "happy to be there" Eagles have a chance against this team.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Rough Week, Pete?
Everyone that has ever met Kate Moss is telling her to leave you. Not to mention you have a very public heroin smoking habit and a somewhat more private crack smoking habit. Now you're in jail. Again. It's only Thursday, Peter! Please slow down.
But!!! Just saw that you're gonna try and go to rehab next week! Lets see how this works out. I'm an optimist. I hope there aren't too many accessible illicit drugs floating around while you recover in...um, St. Petersburg?
Whatever works, dude. Best to ya.
Improving on Perfection
Yes, that's David Byrne singing Naive Melody with the Arcade Fire at Irving Plaza. Even the two stock brokers behind me from Stanford, Connecticut got their $160 worth tonight.
UPDATE: Jen's got a video :)
UPDATE II: Arcadefire.net, Brooklyn Vegan, One Louder and IRock IRoll (GREAT picture!) all chime in as well.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Of various kinds...
First off...The Goldie Lookin Chain is gonna play at Mercury Lounge on March 14th! Nice! That'll be a fun show. The Go! Team are then playing the Monday after, the 21th. Tickets are not on sale for either yet. Go Team at Southpaw are on sale for the 22nd now.
Is it possible that tickets for Stars and the Apostle of Hustle on March 8th are sold out already?? I think they went on sale at noon, and now Ticketweb says there are no more available. Strange.
Death From Above 1979 called in sick for their Mercury Lounge show, and they've upgraded right into the cozy confines of The Bowery Ballroom. They will be tearing shit up down there on March 10th. Two days later, Deep Banana Blackout is playing there. That's a name I surely haven't heard in a long time. Makes you kinda miss Wetlands...
One Louder got me curious and excited earlier about an apparent Bloc Party concert at...Double Happiness?? Turns out it's only a DJ set. Oh well...that would have been quite interesting.
Finally, Joystiq says that Gran Turismo 4 is finally coming out, after months of delay, on February 22nd. Perfect. I should be done with Resident Evil 4 by then. Yay videogames!
(photo via Brooklyn Vegan)
It had all the makings of a letdown. The show was running excruciatingly late. Man Man was perhaps the most unpleasant musical experience I've ever heard. After them, Arcade Fire comes on to set up their instruments for a long long time, then tells the crowd there is another opener. A solo violinist who stuttered over his words. Fortunately I thought he was very very good, and even still, there were isolated calls from the crowd to bring on the band. Then Win and the rest finally take the stage, and he makes an awkward joke before going into their first song which was sounded like the volume was turned way down. And so it went…
I think deep down, many wanted it to be a bad show. All those who were at Bowery or CMJ wanted to be able to say that they saw them at a smaller venue, and that they were so much better back then. Bloggers scattered about Webster Hall were typing up posts in their head, picturing themselves earning some cred by being the guy who is too cool for the hottest band on the planet.
Well...I think anyone who was in attendance would have a tough time arguing, that from the second song on, we were seeing one of the best live acts of our time, and it would be near impossible to say that their set last night was anything short of briliant.
Every song grew bigger into the next. They played everything I think they know how to play, and each maintained the energy they had from Laika on. Was it better than the Bowery show? Was one of Nadia Comaneci's perfect 10's better than the other? How can you even compare this level of excellence?
By the end of the show, after coming out for a second encore, (I had been successfully duped into thinking they might not even come out for one), the band looked wiped. They were asking those remaining in the crowd (it was late, and Webster Hall can be tough to evacuate, so people often try and take off early) what else they could possibly play, begging us to let them go home so they could write more songs. They figured out one more they hadn't already done, and afterwards quietly, politely, and gratefully left the stage.
So, saying all that, I still think there will be plenty of backlash out there. I've already heard back from several people who were a bit disappointed with their show. I clearly was not. It's hard to live up to the hype, ya know? These guys continue to live up to and exceed it every time I get to see them. I'm excited to do it all again tonight. (minus Man Man, thank you.)
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
What I'm listening to this week:
Slow news day. Here are the three albums getting the most play in my iPod this week. Keep in mind I dig EP's cause my commute is only about 25 minutes long.
Pinback - Summer in Abaddon
I just cant stop listening to this thing. And I know I'm late to the game here, with this album coming out sometime last year, but I never gave it a shot till just a couple weeks ago. To be honest, I think it sounds like Brand New meets Modest Mouse…and that’s a good thing. The First Modest Mouse CD I ever got obsessed with was "This Is a Long Drive...", and the opening Pinback track, Non Photo-Blue, sounds like a poppier outtake off that disc. Dark, brooding and angular, but with touch of Long Island mall-pop to keep it accessible. This is my favorite album of the moment.
The Decemberists - Five Songs EP
I think I've made it clear over the last two weeks that seeing Colin Meloy at the Fez had completely turned me into a huge Decemberists fan. I hear the songs differently and pay attention to the lyrics much closer. They are so well written and interestingly composed that I can completely overlook the fact that Colin’s voice is kinda nasal and annoying. That being said, I have been listening to all of their albums in a pretty constant rotation since those shows, and I have only singled this one out because it contains perhaps my favorite song right now, the epic "My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist."
I like songs that I can visualize. Nas always did a great job for me of telling a story I can picture in my head being played out. This track does the same thing. It works. An exceptional song on a solid EP from a very gifted songwriter.
I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - EP
Very atmospheric and sharp. Interpol comparisons are inevitable, but they've really got quite a different thing going on. Interpol revels in it's simplicity with isolated, individual sounds, while these guys get a lot more going on all at once. I have a feeling this band will be around for a while, and I can't wait to hear a full-length release.
The theme of the week is everybody blogs about the same thing...
Yesterday was the Coachella lineup. Today will be the news that Bloc Party tickets are now on sale.
Also, for those interested, Fiery Furnaces are on sale.
My bet is that Bloc Party will have sold out both nights by 1:00PM today. FF will last a while longer.
Tomorrow's topic, by the way, will be the Arcade Fire show recaps and reviews, and most likely we'll hear about how it didn't live up to anyone's expectations. There's gotta be some backlash, right?
In some zany blog news, "FUBAR" Justin has completely removed himself from his self made internet empire at ThatsJustNotRight.com Today. Something seems fishy here tho. There is some sort of controlling force...like a company that pays for bandwidth in return for ad revenues. Anyway, some of the regulars over there seem to think these guys have dragged the site down of late, forcing content to be posted in the sole interest of making money, and thereby taking the creative control out of Justin's hands. I don't really know what's going on here, but it's rotten for sure. What is this internet coming to when a simple kid from Michigan can't run a borderline kiddie-porn blog without the man getting his grubby hands all over it? It's a shame.