Sunset Rubdown / Frog Eyes @ Mercury Lounge

Spencer Krug sure is a busy man. Not only is he the co-vocalist of Montreal’s mighty Wolf Parade. he also has a solo effort called Sunset Rubdown and plays keys in his old band Frog Eyes. With 2 sold out shows at Mercury Lounge, it was to be a very anticipated performance. Bedroom Walls opened up, but they were just terrible. That’s all you need to know.

Spencer took the stage with members from Pony Up! to help realize the full sound of Sunset Rubdown. Unfortunately he and the keyboardist got food poisoning from a local restaurant and were not feeling well at all. He was even too sick to drink, and stated that he wasn’t used to playing sober. They opened the set with Sinead O Conner’s “Nothing Compares To You” and then continued to play these strange and wonderful pop melodies with Spencer’s Boey-esqe distorted vocals. The songs were dense and a bit psychedelic and always interesting. I felt bad for Spencer who became more and more pale as the set went on, but he closed the set with 2 powerful songs with his accordion.

Despite the “bad” press Frog Eyes was getting from their previous shows, I was eager to catch this band live. The band was tucked neatly to one side of the stage and I was surprised to see Spencer again to play the keyboards for the band. He was not looking good at all. For the next 40 minutes or so I was absolutely mesmerized by the front-man Carey Mercer. I couldn’t understand a word he said between and during songs, but whatever was coming from his mouth, it was crazy and genius. He seemed to gain more energy as the night went on and became enraged at the microphone. I was front and center and could feel his energy as he vibrated on stage. The music that was created was so strange and powerful and would love to see them again.

Pictures from the show.


Montauk Century

On only 3 hours sleep I decided to do the metric century (66 miles). The ride was very organized and a ton of fun. I’ve never been further east than Massapequa so going to the tip of Montauk was a treat. The scenery and views of the water were beautiful and except for the rolling hills at the end, it was a flat ride. Stayed overnight with some of Katherine’s friends (one who did all 145 miles from Manhattan) to relax and watch the Mets beat the Yankees on TV with the very interesting Montauk locals. The next day we biked to the lighthouse to see the beautiful surrounding views, including Block Island Rhode Island! Can’t wait for next year.


Rainer Maria @ Bowery Ballroom

Although better judgment would have kept me home and not gone to this show considering I needed to get up at 5:30 AM for the Montauk Bike Tour, I am so glad I went. Caught the last bit of Ambulette’s set which is Maura Davis’ new band. She was the former front woman of Denali and her new quartet puts her voice center stage. Lush and a ton of emotion.

Rainer Maria was on next and they are wrapping up their tour of their new album “Catastrophe Keeps Us Together” which is one of their best ones yet. In the 6+ years I’ve been seeing this band, this is the biggest venue I’ve seen them play at. Caithlin looked amazing and the band seemed very relaxed and happy to be back in NY. They played many of their new songs including a very passionate “I’ll Make You Mine”. They played a lot of the hits, but considering they now have over 6 full lengths out, they couldn’t play all of them. Caithlin’s voice still delightfully cracks during some of her songs and the band has become a very tight trio. The new album continues their direction of loud pop songs and quiet punk songs with lyrics that are very personal. It’s very polished but still raw and emotional. The best live show that I’ve seen the band has put on.

Pictures from the show.

The Big Sleep / The Comas / Sam Champion @ Southpaw

Three great local bands for 10 bux. The Big Sleep as expected put on another great set. The sound was a little blown out at Southpaw, but their dynamic sound still was there. They only played 1 new song and I am STILL waiting for a full length of new material.

The Comas put on a surprisingly tight show. Despite a subdued audience, they played a bunch of new material and showed a lot of maturation since the last time I saw them. Considering this band was formed as a joke in Chapel Hill, they have come a long way to create a decent album and an enjoyable live act.

But I must say Sam Champion stole the show tonight, From the 1st song they came out with intense energy and never stopped. There Pavement-y songs are much better live and I’m really surprised how much better they have gotten from last year. Considering no one in the band is over 27, Sam Champion has a prosperous road ahead of them.

Pictures from the show.


Jon Auer @ Mercury Lounge

So Jon Auer of The Posies has a new solo album titled “Songs from the Year of Our Demise” out and is going around touring. The album seems to be about lost love and bad breakups and not one of his strongest releases. However the song “Six Feet Under” resonates well with me and one that he actually wrote before the popular HBO series came out. Being 5 years in the making, I’m glad Jon is showing some other sides of his intimate song writing. Although due to a terrible billing at the Mercury Lounge, the second half of the set was drowned out by constant chatter. Jon left the stage 3 times and entered the crowd and asked them to be quiet. He then came back after about 10 minutes (surely after being at the bar to do a tequila shot) to play one more for a total of six songs. Blah.

I blame the crowd on the Whigs who were on next. The crowd reminded me of a bad fraternity party filled with rowdy drunk college students. The boys seemed to just come off their corporate day jobs and the girls all hoochied up. I was amazed to see everyone singing along to their very catchy but quite predictable and uninspiring songs. The music and crowd ruined my night. Double Blah.
“Six Feet Under” mp3

Pinback @ Northsix

Do people still listen to Pinback? After this sold out show at Northsix, apparently so. Unfortunately I missed openers Pleaseeasaur who signed to Comedy Central or something. Rob Crow donned a massive goatee (and a few extra pounds) and his voice was pretty good throughout the entire night. Tonight was a rare occurrence where the acoustics at Northsix were perfect for the type of music being performed. They played all their “hits” and the best ones were when Rob and Zach Smith traded vocals. Although their songs contain poppy hooks and general mass appeal, they have some delightful intricacies. They played all my favorites including “Blood on the Wall”. An interesting moment was in mid-song Rob got off stage and darted to the bathroom to relieve himself. Bravo to this “OC band”. ha