Archive for August, 2007

Vampire Weekend | New Pornographers @ Bowery Ballroom

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

I was elated to find Vampire Weekend opening up for this great night of music. They were very tight and played very upbeat bopping songs. Although there is nothing that unique about their sound, they do play it very well and very enjoyable live.

Tonight however was about The New Pornographers and their intimate show at Bowery. I’m glad I got tickets to this rather than seeing them at Webster later in the month. The band came out in full force (sans Dan Bejar) and delivered an incredible show. I was happy to see Neko singing along with them but her complaining like a little baby about her monitors all night was distracting. Nevertheless, the magic happens when she sings along with A.C., and completes the bands sound. They rocked out some of their new stuff (which were a bit lengthier and jammier) and felt in all my outings for this band, tonight was one of the best. They had a lot more banter on stage between songs which i found really amusing but it made their set last nearly 2 hours. Nevertheless, their stories about how Spoon dissed them several years back was great and prompted several Spoon requests from the crowd. They played all my favorite songs and the best version of Bleeding Heart Show. An awesome night and the new album aint that bad.

Pictures from the show.

http://www.vampireweekend.com/

http://www.thenewpornographers.com/

Plants & Animals | Wolf Parade @ Warsaw

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Montreal’s Plants and Animals rocked out a great intro for tonight’s highly anticipated show. This trio had such an intense sound and was impressed as I explored some Polish beers.

It’s been a long time since Wolf Parade came through these parts, but I still play Apologies to the Queen Mary loudly. Their songs tend to be a bit more rushed live but it’s still an intense assault of sound. The night contained their mix of guitar and synth along with the dynamism between Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner distinct vocals. They played their hits over the very crappy sound system and had various technical problems. The very sold out crowd didn’t seem to mind but the power on stage wasn’t the same as the poor audio output and again the electronics distracted the overall sound live. Unfortunately they didn’t play Modern World, but did play 2-3 new ones that sounded really really good.

Pictures from the show.

http://www.myspace.com/plantsandanimals
http://www.subpop.com/artists/wolf_parade

Mobius Band | Page France | Bishop Allen @ Bowery Ballroom

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Lotta music at Bowery tonight. Mobius Band started things off with its fusion of pop songs with electronic backgrounds. I enjoyed the compositions they created and excited to hear new things.

They primed the stage for the Baltimore collective Page France. Their music tells emotional stories over simple melodies. The imagery-heavy lyrics are captivating and are delightfully carried along with a warm voice and the occasional glockenspiel or banjo.

Bishop Allen released their new album at the show and eagerly played a lot of the new stuff, which is some of the best. They played a bunch from their various eps and took a few requests for their encore. Although the songs sound better on record, their live songs have a great sing along appeal and make you feel good listening to the band. They had a good crowd of young and old fans and felt there was a lot of musical and band chemistry on stage.

Pictures from the show.

Links:
http://www.mobiusband.com/
http://www.pagefrance.net/
http://bishopallen.com/

Ra Ra Riot | Tokyo Police Club @ Bowery Ballroom

Friday, August 10th, 2007

It was a stormy night in Japan when a shiny black car pulled up next to a huge squid fishing ship. The vessel was preparing for the long voyage to Canada, loading its cavernous cargo bays with pungent buckets of squid meat and squid bait. Quietly, four shadowy figures stole out of the car, shielding themselves against the torrential downpour. They exchanged meaningful glances, and hid themselves in an especially large and especially fragrant container of loose tentacles which was soon loaded on board. As the ship pulled out of port another black car, carrying the deadly assassins of the cunning Yakuza organization, squealed to a halt on the pier. The nefarious characters contained therein jumped out, shaking their fists at the departing vessel and screaming obscenities into the howling wind. Aboard the ship, draped in sticky tentacles, the four young men smiled: their journey had begun.
Tokyo Police Club are simply great and play a solid live show. They’ve matured and have become more solid since last year’s CMJ tour. Their live set was surprisingly amazing.

Opener’s Ra Ra Riot played an equally great set of catchy, short & sweet songs that get stuck with you til the next day. Losing their drummer John Pike earlier this year was shocking and came right on the verge of their breakout of their recent record. They’ve decided to move on and tonight they showed that they mean business.

Pictures from the show.

Links:
http://www.rarariot.com/
http://tokyopoliceclub.com/
great music video

The Big Sleep | The Hold Steady @ Prospect Park

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

Having The Teenage Prayers, The Big Sleep, and The Hold Steady made this one of the better nights for the free shows at Prospect Park . It was kinda neat to see The Big Sleep play outdoors to such a large crowd. They shyed away from their more vocal laden songs and focused on their more successful instrumental explosions of sound. Their songs are better live and the outside air trembled with them. They played a bunch of new tunes which I enjoyed and talked to Sonya after the show and she tells me a new album is in the works.

America’s Bar Band The Hold Steady drew a very large crowd including his parents to a perfect Brooklyn night. This Brooklyn-via-Minneapolis group headed by Craig Finn played an entertaining set of sing-along anthems to a majority white fratty crow. The music is catchy but it’s Craig who controls the show. His narrative tales tell of the mundanity of modern life, but they throw in some rage and chunky guitar riffs to a guarantee a good time over a few (more) beers.

Pictures from the show.

Links:
http://thebigsleep.net/
http://www.theholdsteady.com/

Tegan & Sara @ Southpaw

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

These twin sisters from Alberta Canada recently sold out a bunch of large venue shows in support of their new album The Con. Luckily they booked a more intimate show at Brooklyn’s Southpaw to play their pain and guilt ridden songs. Despite all the emotion in the air they were very playful on stage and continued to interact with the crowd with funny banter and very random stories. Although the new album isn’t as impressive as 2004′s So Jealous, I really enjoy the overall mood of the record and there are some incredible songs on it. However, you can sense the wimpiness on a few of the tracks which can probably be traced back to their new producer Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie.

With no opening band, the duo started the show with the energy high and played for over and hour touching all of their albums. The place was very crowded and despite the poor flow of the crowd I managed to get to the front. Their sound man did a great job making sure their entire set sounded perfect. The old songs were just as energetic while the new ones got a welcome response. Wish they would stick to the more intimate shows.

Pictures from the show.

Links:
http://www.teganandsara.com/
some great acoustic videos