Champale @ Mercury Lounge

So it’s been over 2 years since Champale played their last show and I’m glad I was there because I wouldn’t have thought they would go on such a long hiatus. But then again, some of the band members have been busy with their other projects, notably Maplewood and Nada Surf. I’m not sure the reason for the show beacause there is no new album to speak of and they only played 2 or 3 new songs. Nevertheless, this band is so much better live and a great New York band to check out. Maybe we’ll hear more of them in the future but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

We Are Wolves / Big Bear @ Sin-e

Yet another band with the word “Wolf” in their title and from Canada no less. I was very excited to see We Are Wolves play live and had no idea what to expect. They took the stage adorned with a haphazard quilted banner with their name barely embroidered in plaid. They had these enormous skull banners hovering over their heads. It was like an evil Pentecost. With the lights down they seemed menacing but as soon as the analog squelchs eeked through the speakers, I started to feel more at ease. The band was a riot. Speaking broken English and random French Canadian-isms they barreled through their set. I love the fact that despite only being a trio, they are capable of creating such a unique sound. They reminded me of a more absurd Trans Am (before they got all normal and stuff) and the beaty-ness of Out Hud. People were dancing and jumping along to their crazy sound, and I found it hard not to get carried away to their crazy universe. Go Wolves Go.

The next animal named band, Big Bear took the stage next and after their second song, the place cleared out. The sound was intense and menacing. Another decent performance by them but nothing ground breaking. We’ll see what happens next year.

Afterwards we went to newly opened bar Lafontane to catch a marathon of bands play, including the Holy Ghost and The Organ Donors. (14 or so bands in 4 hours). Needless to say, by 4 AM my ears had their earful….

I just love the We Are Wolves website:

Langhorne Slim / Richard Buckner @ Mercury Lounge

I was definitely in the mood to see Langhorne sing his fun yet bittersweet tunes again. He seemed to be more at home playing at Mercury Lounge than at Joe’s Pub. A lot of his fans came out for this show to add to the lively environment. It was also the birthday of Langhorne, the bassist AND drummer!

After a grueling wait for Richard Buckner to take the stage (about 35 minutes) he took the stage armed only with a guitar and various effect pedals all linked to another. The musician was quite a presence brooding onstage with his eyes closed singing his heavy songs. I was most impressed with the way he transitioned into the next song without ever stopping. Unfortunately I had to leave early in fear of the transit strike. Got lucky getting the F train at 11:50.

A few pictures from the show

2005 – The Best of

Although 2005 got off to a slow and boring musical start, it has wound up being one of the best year’s of music in quite some time. A flurry of great albums came out during the summer and CMJ showcased some great new bands. The hits just kept breaking through into the fall and winter. Looking back at September and October I can easily say that those 2 months were the best live musical experiences I’ve had my entire life (and that’s saying a lot).

2005 is drawing a close and there are STILL some great shows to come, and I’m sure it will end on a high note. So I am feverishly working on the SupaComp and hope to get it done by the 1st week of January, so stay tuned. So far it’s turning out to be a great collection of tunes. I can’t wait myself :).

So, as I’m working on the comp, it’s been hard to pick one album that stood out. I have a few in the competition, but I’d like to know what YOU think is the best album of 05. Leave a comment why don’t ya.