Exit Clov | Cloud Cult @ Bowery Ballroom

Exit Clov is a quintet from Washington DC which create springy happy pop music. With sisters leading the sound with violins, keyboards, and brilliant vocal harmonies it’s hard not to be intrigued. Nothing ground breaking in their catchy tunes but the band is very musically talented and very cute. The fact that Emily plays one of my favorite keyboards, the Korg MS2000, deserved checking out their entire set.

I was spoiled to see Cloud Cult at the tiny Union Hall earlier this year in support for one of the best albums of 2008. They promised to be back to their favorite cities including NY, so I made sure to see them again at Bowery. Roberto was among the hard core fans and had this perspective: “I should start by saying that I went into the concert as a relative Cloud Cult newbie.  I left the show with a pair of distinct impressions: (1) these guys sure do make some beautiful, powerful, orchestral-string-heavy music, and (2) their lyrics often come off as heavy-handed and not-all-that inventive (“…have you found where your place is?” *cringe*).  Simply put, I often (not always) was left feeling that I was listening to a band of mature late 20’s-30 somethings playing background music for a pretty talented 17 year old songwriter.  Their on-stage show kept my eye entertained though, especially since I’m a sucker for interesting gimmicks, e.g two artists painting on a pair of canvases all throughout a show.  Overall, it was a pretty super show by a band who for the most part made up for their lyrical flaws by infusing super-solid musicianship and tons of energy.”

Pictures from the show.


Kaki King | The Mountain Goats @ Music Hall of W.burgh

Wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to see the petite guitar goddess  Kaki King perform in her hometown.  She started off her set with impressive guitar tapping and picking skills and I was quite floored on how talented she was. Although some of her songs wound up being a bit too long and repetitive, her set contained a few live gems.

Finally hitting NY after their release of their latest album Heretic Pride, The Mountain Goats played in the larger NY venues for 2 shows. Despite the sold out audiences, John Darnielle is still able to quiet the audience to a whisper during his songs, and then make them scream out predictable song requests between songs. Although the show was musically entertaining I felt this one didn’t stand up to his recent performances. Performing songs off their Black Pear Tree EP with Kaki KIng, John pushed his songs to unique guitar-driven and jazzy melodies. His intro story to the beautifully bare song “Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is in Another Castle” was very entertaining. “The song is sung from the point of view of Toad. If you know who Toad is, that’s all I’ll need to tell you. If you don’t who Toad is, you better recognize.” However the fact that he didn’t play “Lovecraft in Brooklyn” at a venue IN Brooklyn was a huge disappointment.

Pictures from the show.