Sunday, February 27, 2005

Holy friggin' Christ - She Bangs the Drums!

Ian Brown

Unbelievable. I have never experienced a show like this. Ian Brown at Webster Hall. Men were screaming like little girls. Little girls were screaming like...well, little girls. It was quite a scene. I have never seen a New York crowd get into a show like that - singing along, dancing, jumping up and down in unison. Unreal. And I was right upfront, at the rail.

This would have been the greatest show ever, but there were numerous technical problems. First, Ian's monitors weren't working, then the guitar amp wasn't working, then the Apple laptop wasn't working, then the bass stopped working. I've never seen a show with so many technical problems. You could see that Ian was pissed. He spent the first 10 minutes of the show at the side of the stage yelling at the sound guy. When the guitar amp stopped working during "Made of Stone," Ian hummed the guitar parts into his mic. And when "Dolphins Were Monkeys" was cut short the first time, the crowd finished up the vocals.

Ian Brown

The set started off slowly with "Destiny of Circumstances" - not the best opener because it's pretty slow. Then he launched into 4 straight Roses songs - "Made of Stone," "She Bangs the Drums," "Sally Cinnamon," and "Waterfall." Are you kidding me? This was the greatest thing I've heard since Moz sang "Headmaster Ritual" at the Apollo. Ian then went into some solo stuff - hitting his better songs and stuff off Solarized. "Golden Gaze" was really good and "F.E.A.R." was spectacular.

Ian Brown

He closed with "I Wanna Be Adored" and the crowd was going crazy - I mean absolute batshit. Everyone was singing along. One of the most impressive things I've ever seen. Sadly, there was no encore.

Radio 4

Oh, and
Radio 4 opened. They were really good, and although I've seen them a couple of times already, I'd like to see them again at their own show. "Dance to the Underground" and "Party Crashers" were particularly good.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Foxbase Alpha! at Magnetic Field, Saturday, March 12th (aka "Shameless Self Promotion")

Foxbase Alpha! (Tube with new text)

I now have a DJ night called "Foxbase Alpha!" at Magnetic Field in Brooklyn Heights. The inaugural evening will be Saturday, March 12th. I will be spinning classic Britpop (Pulp, Oasis, Blur, Verve, Suede, Sleeper, St. Etienne, etc.) and new Brit (Franz, Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, Kasabian, etc.). If you care and are in the area, I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Conan tonight...Ian Brown and Noel Gallagher

If you care, Ian Brown and Noel Gallagher will be on Conan tonight to play Brown's "Keep What Ya Got." I won't be up that late (hopefully) and I don't have DVR, so let me know how it turns out. Hopefully Noel will stay in town to help out Ian on Saturday night at Webster. 10:1 odds on that happening.

It could be worth going to...

Snow Patrol and Athlete are playing Roseland on May 20th. I'm not really a fan of Snow Patrol, so I'll probably skip this one - but Athlete are really good. I saw them play their first US show at the Mercury Lounge last year. It was great - to the band's disbelief, people knew the words to their songs (thank you internet!). And their new album Wires is doing really well in the UK. As I said, this could be worth going to - if you can handle Snow Patrol.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bloc Party at Motherfucker NYC

The Bloc Party show at the Motherfucker party last night was incredible. These guys really deserve the hype they get. Kele has great stage presence and the instrumentation is tight. Their songs really rocked and most of the under-21's were moshing(?). Very impressive and I'm looking forward to their Bowery shows in a few weeks.

And the Mothefucker dj's - Michael T. and Justine D. - are great. They always know the right moment to drop "Disco 2000" and last night they even threw in "Careless Memories" by Duran Duran (I'm on an 1980-1984 Duran Duran kick right now, and this fit right in).

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I love Doves

I really have a hard time expressing how much I love Doves. After hearing just one song of theirs ("The Man Who Told Everything"), I went and saw them at the 9:30 Club in D.C. back in 2000 (with some unknown band called The Strokes opening for them). It was one of the most powerful shows I've ever seen. It truly blew me away - especially with the backing images to go along with their melodic sounds. The place wasn't even that crowded and I was just standing right up front in complete awe.

Anyway, I just picked up their new album Some Cities and while no Lost Souls (one of my top 3 debut albums of all time), it's really great. It picks up where Last Broadcast left off and has poppier riffs than the dark and atmospheric Lost Souls (which I prefer). "Black and White Town" is truly the best pick for a single - very catchy. "The Storm" is an ode to Portishead, and almost appears to be using loops from Dummy. "Ambition" is a strong atmospheric closer. Not a bad track to be found here.

"Almost Forgot Myself," "One of These Days," and "Ambition" are my favorites.

I CANNOT wait to see them at the Bowery next month!

Friday, February 18, 2005

I Can't Sit Down, I Can't Stand Up

Irving Plaza was packed last night for the Kasabian/The Music show. I like about half of The Music's songs, and that's the same feeling I had when I saw them live - I liked half of their set. The music (no pun intended) was great, but the lead singer's high-pitched and nasaly voice annoys me a little. They did rock out though and their drummer is possibly the best drummer I've seen in the past couple of years.

Kasabian, however, were awesome yet again. I thought their Bowery show was "the best show I saw in 2004" and it was cool to see them rock out a larger venue. They mixed in a couple of new, non-album songs - these were more rock-y than dance-y. The crowd clearly loved Kasabian and there was a lot of jumping around and, gasp, dancing!

The biggest shock was that people were dancing to both Kasabian and The Music. That never happens at a NY show - I don't think people need to dance the whole time, but at least move your head to the beat! Of course, there were a fair amount of Brits mixed in the crowd, and that may have had something to do with the dancing.

The downsides to last night's show: Morningwood - truly awful. Nirvana riffs with a girl screaming "vocals" over them. Just painful (and they're friggin' opening for the Kaiser Chiefs' Bowery show in March that I'm going to!). Also, the under 21 crowd sucked too. Act like you've been there before!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I want you to be here

Attended Gothamist's Movable Hype v. 2.0 last night and saw some good bands. It wasn't as crowded as I expected though. The Cloud Room were ok. Good songs, but nothing outstanding really. And I may be one of the only people that finds "Hey Now Now" a little annoying.

Other Passengers were very good. I'm a sucker for reverb and effects pedals, so their shoegazing sound works for me. Surprisingly, the bass lines really held the sound together. I picked up their EP at the show and will give a listen later.

The Information (2)
Originally uploaded by thistwilightgarden.

I've read a lot of good things about The Information, and I was indeed impressed by their show, and, frankly, by the number of people that they could fit on the Knitting Factory stage. I liked the use of female backing vocals - although they weren't loud enough last night to compete with the guitars. This was just good indie rock. Their album, Mistakes We Knew We Were Making, is very good - especially "Getting Even" and "Tremble."

Elkland (2)
Originally uploaded by thistwilightgarden.
Elkland was the final band to go on and they put on a good set - very similar to the one I heard in January, but this time the lead singer didn't have a cold. He also did the strange robot dancing again - I guess that's his trademark. They have a tight synth sound, which I think sounds a little like Erasure with live drumming. The guitarist and keyboardist again did their "this is my serious face" throughout the performance. The crowd seemed to have thinned out by the time Elkland went on, and those who left missed a really good show.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Very busy week

A lot of good shows this week, and I will be in attendance for all. My week kicks off tonight at Rothko to see Saints and Lovers. I'm really looking forward to this show and here are some mp3's of theirs. Tomorrow night is Movable Hype v. 2.0 with Elkland, Other Passengers, The Information and The Cloud Room. That's an impressive lineup and should make for a great show. And then Thursday brings The Music and Kasabian at Irving Plaza. I thought Kasabian's Bowery show last December was the best show I saw in 2004, so it will be interesting to see them at a larger venue.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I Predict A Riot!

Once again, I boarded the L train to Williamsburg for a North Six experience. This time it was for Kaiser Chiefs, Prosaics, and Madison Strays. I was looking forward to the show because I like all three bands - and they didn't disappoint. It's rare that both openers and the headliner are all great.

Madison Strays went on first and really lived up to my expectations. This band should be huge. They have a good angular guitar sound with a dance-rock rythym. And Belvy, the lead singer, knows how to own the stage. I think their best song by far is "Last Train" and it's played on my iPod over and over again. Prosaics had more of an atmospheric sound, but with a driving bass. For being a three piece, it was impressive to hear such a loud sound. Their album, Against Agape, is very good and I think you can get it on iTunes.

Kaiser Chiefs came out and rocked. They had one of the most high energy shows I've ever seen. At one point, Ricky the lead singer leaned into the crowd and handed someone the mic to sing along. It was incredible. Hands down, "I Predict A Riot" was the best song of their set. They've received a warm welcome in New York, as their Tribeca Grand show a couple months back, the North Six show, and Monday's Mercury Lounge show all sold out. They will be back in March to play the Bowery.

As usual, the crowd didn't dance or really move at all - with the exception of a group in the front during the Kaiser Chiefs' set. This is one thing that always annoys me with New York crowds. The guy next to me at the show was from Leeds (like Kaiser Chiefs) and he mentioned the same thing to me. He pointed to the English girls he was with and said that they would get down - because that's what crowds do in England. I told him that a NY crowd just doesn't dance. I wish they would though.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Oh you've got blue eyes, oh you've got green eyes

Great article in The Guardian about an interview/conversation between Bloc Party and Peter Hook. In it, Hook gives advice to the new Brit media darlings. Aside from the advice, there are some great stories in here as well, with Hook telling them about the Joy Division/New Order days. As for his current activities, Hook said:

Hook: At the moment I'm doing a thing with Mani [Primal Scream/Stone Roses] and Andy Rourke, whom Morrissey fired from the Smiths with a Post-It on his windscreen. We're calling ourselves Freebass 'cos they're songs with three
basses. Mani's got the same problem as me in that Primal Scream don't play live enough, so he got me into DJing. We did this one in Barcelona. He was trolleyed and scratching the records. I was going, "Mani, the record's not on!" The
punters were complaining and he was throwing records at them. It's a poor substitute for gigging and I can't imagine why someone would go to a club and have someone aged 49 playing records but it keeps me young and it's a good laugh.

Gordon Moakes: What do you play?

Hook: All sorts of shite that I nick and put on the computer plus unreleased New Order mixes. I've done a couple with Barney. He tells me, "Don't play New Order, it's dead embarrassing." Then when I put it on he goes, "This sounds good."

When I saw Hook dj at Turnmills, he indeed played New Order - much to the delight of the crowd - and was having a laugh while doing it.

Full article here (thanks to One Louder for passing this along).

Monday, February 07, 2005

Do You Remember the First Time?

So I made it down to MisShapes on Saturday night for the big Pulp-fest with Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey, and it was one interesting party. After some cajoling at the door, I was finally let in (thank you door girl for telling door guy Thomas to let me in!) and proceeded to drink copious amounts of alcohol. Marcelo Gomez opened the evening and played some great post-punk and electro, including Joy Division and early New Order. Melody Nelson then played a killer set (Bloc Party's "Banquet" remix, Interpol's "Slow Hands" remix, a little Cure, a little Depeche Mode), probably the best I've seen from her, while warming up for the boys from Sheffield. So then Steve and Jarvis came on and the dance floor was packed - I mean, you couldn't move. They spun a lot of pyschadelic rock but threw in some random hits like M.C. Hammer's "Can't Touch This." It was a pretty crazy night. I never had the chance to see Pulp, so it was cool seeing Jarvis and Steve up close.

Saw Matt of the Go Station play an acoustic set at Pianos after the Super Bowl. He was great - threw out some Go Station tunes and did a cover of Oasis' "Talk Tonight." It was a good, "intimate" set.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Shout it out loud

NME reports that Oasis will be playing Madison Square Garden on June 22, with opener Jet. I'm not a big fan of seeing shows at MSG because the acoustics suck (saw Radiohead there - great songs, bad sound), but I can't turn down an Oasis show. I had 6th row tickets for their tour with the Black Crowes in 2001, and after Oasis did their co-headline set, I gave up my seats to a grateful Black Crowes fan sitting on the lawn and instead went to the parking lot to listen to Familiar to Millions.

The tickets for the Garden show go on sale on February 12. And supposedly, Noel Gallagher and Ian Brown will be on Conan on February 23 - a tune-up for Ian's February 26th show at Webster I guess.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Turning away from the light,

So everyone is talking about Bloc Party this week, as their tickets for the Bowery shows went on sale yesterday (which I'm sure will sell out if they haven't already). They have a swanky new website up. It doesn't include as many mp3's as the original one, but it still has Tulips, Banquet (Phones Disco edit), and The Answer available. In support of Silent Alarm, Bloc Party will be touring their asses off, including 4 shows in NYC in the upcoming weeks - Feb. 20 at the Motherfucker President's Day Weekend Freak-Out, Feb. 22 at Happy Endings, and April 7 and 8 at the Bowery. I'll be at the Feb. 20 and April 8 shows.