Archive for August, 2006

Bob Wiseman / Final Fantasy @ Mercury Lounge

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Bob Wiseman from Canada opened up for Final Fantasy with his funny songs about old girlfriends and interesting life adventures. Although his accordion broke right before he started his first song, he distracted us with some hilarious videos of sock puppet theatre, old movie parodies, and human beat boxing. Luckily he fixed his accordion in time to play a well humored set.

Owen Pallett, otherwise known as Final Fantasy, creates these amazing layered compositions using only a violin and his voice. With the aid of “the box” which is a looping device, he melds electronic and organic sounds to form a truly unique combination. I was hooked on his music ever since I saw him open up for Arcade Fire. At times nerdy, and sometimes brilliant, Owen is truly captivating. This time he had an electronic keyboard which he played a few songs with. The crowd was littered with annoying fans including this guy that kept saying “Don’t Stop”, which Owen interpreted as “Don’t Suck!” Although he didn’t play “Peach, Plum, Pear” by Joanna Newsom he ended the set with Mariah’s “Daydream”. BTW, his new album is great.

Pictures from the show.

Links:
http://www.bobwiseman.com/
http://finalfantasyeternal.com/

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists @ South Street Seaport

Friday, August 25th, 2006

Luckily Ted Leo had a perfect night and perfect weather despite warnings of a tornado to hit New York!!! This is no surprise, as more often than not, Ted has terrible luck when he plays at this venue. However, torrential rains or blackout would not stop this veteran from putting on a killer show. The band brought out many many many people out for the free show and they played for almost 2 hours. He played a ton of new material and even a song they made up the night before.

Cassettes Won’t Listen / Foundry Field Recording / Apes & Androids @ Sin-e

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

Was very happy to catch Cassettes Won’t Listen live as I have been addicted to all his catchy remixes. I found him through his compelling remix of Midlake’s “Young Bride”. I was surprised to find out that this “band” is actually the singular workings of Jason Drake. CWL’s most recent endeavor has been writing, producing and remixing some of the coolest current indie songs. His live show was enjoyable and wasn’t just Jason pushing play on his labtop. He incorporated live instruments and even invited some of the musicians to perform the remixes live. It was quite a treat to have Tim of The Diggs play a rocking version of “Everyone’s Starting Over”.

The Foundry Field Recordings were on next and they played some feed–backy shoe gaze music. Some nice melodies and well crafted song structures.

But the buzz was around New York’s own Apes & Androids. The band is only a few months old but they easily packed Sin-e to play their absurd rock opera music. These guys combine Queen, Bowie, Trans Am and Tron into 1 exciting set of music. The show started with this enormous statue of a skeleton that had evil red blinking eyes. Halfway through the set they had some fans take the arms of the skeleton and go into the crowd to envelop us. Although the band played cheesy electronic glam rock, they did so with expert craft and perfect harmonies. Soon the lights went out, the eyes lit up and the band threw glow-in-the-dark beach balls into the crowd. It was such a surreal night. This was the most FUN I have ever had a concert. Words and pictures can not describe what occurred at Sin-e that night, so here are some other people are saying.

“I’m fairly sure these guys could incite riots at will. But not those violent, punk-infused brawls of our past; the sheer joyfulness of Apes and Androids’ massive danceable madness would likely result in something different. Maybe a cross between Saturday Night Fever and a Sex Pistols gig.” -Jeff Shreve, Stylus Magazine

My pictures of the show. (before my batteries ran out on my camera! ARGH!!!)

15 seconds of awesome

a great review and video by Brooklyn Ski Club:
Apes And Androids Are The Future
and some awesome pictures

Links:
http://www.cassetteswontlisten.com/
http://www.battlebrigades.com/
http://www.apesandandroids.com/

Slowlands / The Diggs @ CBGB’s

Monday, August 21st, 2006

As I go through the weathered doors of CBGB’s I already feel saddened knowing that this club will no longer exist at the end of September. There have been so many incredible music venues and landmarks destroyed or closed in the past few years, which solidifies the fact that this city is shunning it’s cultural center in lieu for expensive condos and the rich. New York is no longer New York.

Unfortunately I missed Tiny Masters of Today which were a bunch of kids no older than 12. I heard that they were actually quite good. Quite cool for them to play on such a historic stage.

Although I haven’t been that impressed with Slowlands’ new album, their live act is consideringly better. Started in Long Island but now in Brooklyn these guys play swirly indie rock. Nothing that innovative here but they sound pretty good. However as soon as they took the stage I was apprehensive as I hate any band that has more than 4 members in it, and Slowlands further proved my theory for this distaste. Their sound wasn’t that rich enough to warrant the added members especially when you have a guy “playing” a labtop AND a guy that tinkers around with other smaller instruments that you can’t hear anyway. Their first few songs were actually quite rocking but halfway through the set it got to be quite boring and well, s l o w. I would have trimmed the set to 30 minutes of just the good songs and work on the rest. Unfortunately the most rocking song composed of repeating the same lyric “One more fire” over and over and over and over again.

The Diggs took the stage and with the power of three, they created a huge wall of sound right from the start. I’ve seen this band many times so no need to convince you how great they are, but this night was the loudest and most relaxed they’ve played. They played 2 songs I presume are new and ended with “Trouble Everyday”. Notorious for their short sets, they played only a half hour and although warranted an encore they did not keep playing.
Pictures from the show.

Links:
http://www.slowlands.com/
http://www.thediggs.com/

Cx Kidtronik & Deuce Gangsta / Professor Murder / Girl Talk @ Mercury Lounge

Friday, August 18th, 2006

Let me start off by saying that this was one of the most eclectic and craziest shows I’ve ever been to. Cx Kidtronik was joined onstage with Deuce Gangsta and they were just a great mess onstage. I got there to witness the band dancing and grinding with some voluptuous girl. The kept running back and forth onstage rapping to cheesy Casio drum beats and hilarious samples. They then got 2 random young girls armed with 1 drumstick each to play a lone symbol at the same time throughout their entire set.
They were completely uncontrollable and Kidtronic, wearing a shirt “Eat Shit & Die”, tripped over one of the monitors and fell into the crowd. The music was downright terrible but I loved their energy on stage and good to see a band have such an aggressive and absurd attitude towards electronic music.

New York’s Professor Murder has been getting a bit a buzz around these parts and although I’m not that crazy about their recordings, their live set will make you start dancing. This 4-piece layers addictive beats with synth lines and catchy lyrics to create a danceable groove. The members take turns playing the makeshift mini drum kit at the front of the stage. They bring elements of reggae, funk, hip-hop music to form a dance party. And I loved the use of the whistle as an instrument.

Ok, Girl Talk is Gregg Gillis from Pittsburgh and his 3rd release “Night Ripper” is one of the most amazing mash up compilations I have ever heard. More cohesive than his past recordings, this record is one that you put on during a party to get it going. It’s a continuous mix of samples and music snippets from all genres of music from many decades. Gregg meticulously fused all these disparate elements to create one of the most compelling 30 minutes you will ever hear. So needless to say, I was intrigued on what his live show would entail. He took the stage to announce to all “the poseurs in the crowd” that we were all dumb to spend 10 bux to watch a guy press play on his labtop. And he did exactly that. He initially invited 5 people to take the stage and dance as there would not be any live act to specifically watch. Soon enough more and more people took the stage until there was no room left. Mercury Lounge turned into 1 huge dance party. People were sweaty, clothes came off, gyrations, arms flailing, yelling, screaming, pure energy. He concluded by stating that he’s never sold a concert ticket in his life and I’m glad that New York gave him a sold out show. He blew the roof of the Mercury Lounge. The best party record. The best party. A great night.

a complete list of the the samples used on the album, in chronological order.
Fucking brilliant
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Ripper

Pictures from the show.

Links:
http://www.cxkidtronik.com/home.html
http://www.burncopy.com/pmurder/
http://www.girl-talk.net/

Yeah Yeah Yeahs | Sonic Youth @ McCarren Park

Saturday, August 12th, 2006

There are so many good and bad things about the whole McCarren Pool concert series. The fact that Clear Channel is hosting the events and charging over $36 + $10 in fees is robbery. Reports coming out that a lot of the money (of course) is not going to the community to help rebuild the pool. However, the events have brought awareness to the dilapidated structure and there are several free shows on Sundays (but not even remotely close to the attraction of the paid shows).

I was amazed as soon as I entered the pool. It was much bigger than I imagined and it had a great vibe. Brooklyn beer and food provided by Sparky’s and Warsaw. Spacious, plenty of places to chill out or sit down, and everyplace has a great sight line (although that didn’t stop me from going to the front)

Awesome Color opened up on Saturday and chose this day over Friday as I had already seen Blood on the Wall. The band seemed awkward on such a large stage and being outside. They played some strange hard rock which doesn’t surprise me as they are on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label. The lead singer had a lot of power in his voice and was very animated on stage as he yelled and grabbed at the sky with hands.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs were on next and it was awkward to see them in the daylight. Karen O came out wearing sunglasses and in an elaborate dress that shimmered in the setting sun. I was glad to see Imaad Wasif play with the trio again. They were predictably good and as always put on an entertaining show, however it can not even close to when I saw them at Maxwell’s. The crowd was very lame with no energy and even a fight broke out steps away from me.

I was mainly there to see Sonic Youth and when they started off their set with “Teenage Riot”, I knew it was going to be a great show. I love seeing this band live and they have been such a huge influence on my taste in music and life in general. And with their new album “Rather Ripped”, this band is not planning on slowing down. I felt their last 2 albums were incredible but the new one brings them back to their guitar driven power. They weer relaxed on stage and commanded the crowd with ease as they are music veterans by now. It was great to see Kim Gordon twirl around and Thurston Moore continue with the feedback compositions. The set was incredible and this girl in front of me was going completely ballistic. She was so young and it must have been her first time seeing them live, and it reminded me on how I must have acted the first time I saw them. This band is a legend. The only downside was the sound was so fucking low and many of us kept yelling to make it louder. Also ending the show with only 1 encore and exactly at 10 PM sucked.

Sonic Youth set list:
Teenage Riot, Reena, Incinerate, What a Waste, Eric’s Trip, Do You Believe in Rapture?, 100%, Turquoise Boy, Rats, Jams Run Free, Pink Steam, Or E: Shaking Hell

Links:
http://www.yeahyeahyeahs.com/
http://www.sonicyouth.com/