Friday, May 27, 2005

Welcome to the Layer Cake, son.

If you like modern British gangster flicks, you'll definitely enjoy Layer Cake. Brilliant film. It's the standard "cocaine dealer has made enough money and now wants to get out but keeps getting pulled back in" movie, but is filled with enough plot twists to make it engaging. Much like Snatch and Lock, Stock (director Matthew Vaughn produced both of those and is close friends with Guy Ritchie), it's full of audacious gangster violence. and bizarre characters. Layer Cake is a more serious film than Snatch and Lock, Stock though, and isn't as tongue-in-cheek as they were. It has a great soundtrack too - and the movie involves the greatest scene with Duran Duran's "Ordinary World" ever. Oh, and the beautiful Sienna Miller is in it - sadly, for only about 5 minutes, but they were quality minutes.

Layer Cake

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I'm just looking, I'm not buying

The hard, muscular Stereophonics showed up at the Bowery Ballroom last night. The stripped-down, hard-rocking band put on a spectacular performance last night. Instead of the "backed-by-female-soul-singers and with a half-time acoustic performance" band that played Webster Hall two years ago, last night was just about a guitar, a bass, drums, and loud rock.

I absolutely love Kelly Jones' lyrics. He always tells a great story through his songs - a rarity today. He did a little bit of VH1's Storytellers last night and explained the meaning of most of his songs, which are almost all about drinking in South Wales. "This one is about getting drunk," "this one is also about drinking," "this next song is about drinking and waking up next to an ugly girl." I love the fact that so many people knew the lyrics and were singing along (especially all the Brits in the house).

They opened with "Superman," and played the following from the new album, Language, Sex, Violence, Other? - "Brother," "Devil," "Rewind," "Pedalpusher," "Girl," and put the single "Dakota" (with pre-recorded parts) in the encore. The new album is really growing on me too. They also played a lot of songs from their previous albums, including "A Thousand Trees," "Check My Eyelids for Holes," "Too Many Sandwiches," "The Bartender and the Thief," "Vegas Two Times," and "Madame Helga."

Highlights for me were "Local Boy in a Photograph," "Just Looking," and the brilliant "Maybe Tomorrow" played solo on the electric guitar as the first song of the encore.

Oh, and don't show up at 10:15 on a Monday when there's only one opener. You'll get stuck in the back.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Maximo Park hit NYC in June

Maximo Park will be playing the recently-saved Tonic on June 10 and 11. Their album A Certain Trigger is one of my favorites of the year. This is a great band - great hooks, great harmonies, great rock sound. They aren't dance-rock, but they can make you dance. Pitchfork gave their album a pretty good review - even though that usually doesn't mean shit. These are shows worth going to.


Demon Days

I'm very impressed with Gorillaz' new album Demon Days. It's a strong album, all the way through - perhaps stronger than the self-titled debut. Yeah, there are some annoying Casio keyboard moments, but the overall production is very good. With the exception of the rapping, it sounds like an extension of Think Tank and this album has some of Damon's best vocals yet. Clearly this is his project (strings, piano, keyboards over beats), but he lets friends like De La Soul and Danger Mouse do their thing when necessary. I'm a big fan of the single "Feel Good Inc." and hopefully that friggin' iPod commercial won't ruin that for me. Aside from "Feel Good," the best tracks are "El Manana" and "Demon Days." Great album, worth picking up.

Official hipsterdom access for America

The Bravery's "An Honest Mistake" was prominently featured in a Bait Shop scene in last night's "The O.C." Perhaps this will help sell their self-titled debut, which is languishing around #127 on the Billboard chart.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Still Ill on WBWC Cleveland

All day today, WBWC Cleveland will be having a Smiths/Morrissey marathon, playing Smiths, Morrissey, and related bands' songs. You can listen online here. They're pretty good with the requests, and have already played mine - "Wonderful Woman."

Don't Believe the Truth

Well, don't believe that it's good. I picked up a copy of the new Oasis album Don't Believe the Truth, and it's just average. There's no emotion, no soul on this album. It just doesn't rock. It really sounds like they're just going through the motions. I know Oasis is supposed to be derivative, but this album is too derivative (see "Lyla" vs. "Street Fighting Man."). The album starts off ok - "Turn Up The Sun" is good - but then the album doesn't really kick in until the 8th track, "Part of the Queue," which frankly is the only song worth a damn on the album. Now I love Oasis - their B-sides are better than most bands' A-sides (see "Rockin' Chair," "Underneath the Sky," "Shout it out loud," "Let's All Make Believe") - but this album just falls flat. I hope that it will grow on me after a while.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Melody Nelson's busy week

Melody Nelson has a lot of fun things coming up. Tonight at her Atomique party at Lit, she will be hosting the official listening party for Oasis' Don't Believe the Truth and it will also be the after party for the Gang of Four show, which will include a DJ set by Andy Gil. And on Friday, she and Dennis will be DJ'ing the Aktion party at Lit. All of these spectacular events are no cover.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

We've Got Our Backs to the Wall

Given that Kasabian's Bowery show last year was my "favorite show of 2004," I had high expectations for last night's show at the Bowery. And Kasabian didn't disappoint. They have so much energy on stage and really get the crowd into it. It's just a band, having fun, giving the crowd a good time. As Dennis said after the show, "they were amazing. and people were like, 'dancing' dancing!" Indeed - a lot of people were actually dancing, especially when worked up into a frenzy by "Club Foot." They played a lot of new songs/b-sides along with their hits, "LSF," "Reason is Treason," and "Processed Beats" - which was my personal favorite. So yet again, Kasabian were great (even though there were a fair amount of pre-recorded parts).

Monday, May 16, 2005

Random thoughts about things I find interesting

Damon Alburn said that Blur will only make a new record if Graham Coxon rejoins the band. As for now, he will concentrate on promoting Gorillaz' new album, which is quite good frankly. (I just hope that the new iPod commercial doesn't make me sick of "Feel Good Inc.").

You can stream the Maximo Park album A Certain Trigger here. It's one of my favorite albums of 2005. Very poppy-guitar rock, with the standard British twinge to it.

I managed to be "selected" to attend Coldplay's "exclusive and intimate" show tomorrow night at the Beacon Theater. I think I'm gonna pass though - I don't feel like going up to the Beacon to pick up the tickets. And I saw them at the 9:30 Club in DC and would like to hold on to that "before they were big" feeling.

"Coke Dick," The Go Station, Morning Theft

Around 6pm on Friday, I happened to remember that there was a great line up at the NY Underbelly show at Crash Mansion that night. (Oh, and a rum and vodka open bar). "Coke Dick" (the artists known as Madison Strays) were doing a warm-up for their trip to London. Although it was a short set, they were great. I think they have my vote for favorite local band. The Go Station also played a short set, and were great as well. They've come a long way since I first saw them in early January - the musicianship is really tight. And I'm glad that I had the chance to listen to Morning Theft as well. I've never seen them before, but I like their music as well.

If you're in NYC on a Friday night, you should definitely check out the NY Underbelly promotion at Crash Mansion - always a good time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Well, I'm done with that.

I saw the Dave Matthews Band last night at the Roseland Ballroom, for their "intimate" cd release party. And seriously, I didn't know that there could be so much Abercrombie in NYC at one time. Although the band was really good (and played a 2+ hour set), I think I'm officially done with the DMB - I went to high school in Charlotte and college in Chapel Hill, so I've had my fill of Dave Matthews. It really has more to do with the crowd than the band - I just don't want to deal with college kids who are trying to act "cool" anymore. Nevertheless, the band always does put on a good show. Highlights from last night were "One Sweet World," "Warehouse," "Jimi Thing," and "#41." The new single "American Baby" sounded good too.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Oh yeah, I'm DJ'ing in Tribeca tomorrow night

I almost forgot, I'll be DJ'ing at the i lounge in Tribeca tomorrow night. It's at 277 Church Street between Franklin and White. I'll be spinning Britpop/indie/new wave/dirty disco/electro punk. Come on down.

And in other news, I absolutely love "Munich" by Editors. Great song. I recommend you buy.


I finally got around to seeing Dig! - the documentary on the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Pretty friggin' good. Some absolutely great footage here. I've been a temperate fan of both bands for a while, never really getting into them, but listening on occassion. I remember when the Dandys came out around 1995, they were called "America's Answer to Britpop." And that was kind of true - listen to "The Dandy Warhols Theme Song." Anyway, the documentary does a great job of seeing the love/hate relationship between Anton Newcombe of BJM and Courtney Taylor of the Dandys. There's some great footage of the BJM show at the Viper Room, put on by a major label as an industry showcase, where Anton fights the rest of his band - literally fights them, bouncers had to pull every one apart. I saw the BJM in Raleigh in 1996 and as I was told to expect, Anton fought a couple band members and fired the drummer about 2 songs in. Thankfully, Joel stayed on stage to drink and play the tambourine. A weird experience - and one that's covered by Dig!. If you have the opportunity, I recommend watching this documentary.

Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance to the Radio

I wasn't sure if their music would translate well live, but I was wrong. New Order put on a very impressive show. After 25+ years of playing, they can still put on an incredible show. Bernard's the entertainer, making bad jokes, talking to the crowd, while Peter is the rock star - getting in the face of the first row with his bass, wielding it as if he were a stormtrooper. And although they use lots of complicated, technical equipment, I don't think there were any major misshaps.

The packed house didn't dance as much as I would have liked to see (well, it is New York...) but they clearly liked all the classics. I hate to be the guy that likes the hits, but in this case, the New Order classics sounded the best - "True Faith," "Bizarre Love Triangle," and "Blue Monday," especially "Blue Monday" which I thought would be difficult to pull off live. And Ana Metronic did a good job with the guest vocals on "Jetstream." But who were those guys dancing behind the stage during "Love Will Tear Us Apart?"

The setlist (order?) ran:

Love Vigilantes, Regret, Transmission, True Faith, Hey Now What are You Doing, Krafty, Crystal, Bizarre Love Triangle, Run Wild, Jetstream, Love Will Tear Us Apart, Waiting for the Siren's Call, Temptation - Encore - She's Lost Control, Atmosphere, Blue Monday.

It was cool to hear the Joy Division songs. Stephen's drumming sounded very impressive on those tracks. I never thought that I would hear "Love Will..." live, and the crowd loved it. Even Peter made a joke about it: "Ok, it's sing along time."

Overall, very good show. I didn't think the Hammerstein's sound was that great - I thought it could have been louder. Nevertheless, I was impressed.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I'm waiting for the siren's call

New Order. Thursday. Hammerstein Ballroom. First show in NYC since 1987. I CANNOT WAIT!

The setlists for their two most recent shows have been pretty good. They're really spanning their whole career, even going back to the Joy Division days.

From their show in Oakland on April 29th:

She's Lost Control, Love Vigilantes, Regret, Hey Now What You Doing, Krafty, Transmission, True Faith, Run Wild, Jetstream, Waiting For The Sirens' Call, Bizarre Love Triangle, Love Will Tear Us Apart, Temptation, Crystal, Blue Monday

So they're throwing in tunes from the Joy Division days. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I don't think it's a bad idea. A lot of people are disappointed because they think that Joy Division died with Ian Curtis. I think it's ok if they want to play Joy Division songs. If any band has the right to, it's New Order. I guess it's like hearing Morrissey playing Smiths songs. Since I never had the chance to see Joy Division (or The Smiths), this is really the next best thing.

There's a good
Q&A in the Chicago Sun-Times with Peter Hook. He said that there's only one song on Waiting for the Siren's Call that he doesn't like - "Guilt Is a Useless Emotion." This happens to be my favorite song on the album, but I guess we won't be hearing that played live! Hook is also DJ'ing the afterparty at Hiro.