Friday, March 30, 2007

Dance Music

The Presets were pretty fantastic at the Hiro Ballroom last night, as were the Ed Banger DJ's. One of the more packed houses that I've seen at Hiro (and even Kele from Bloc Party was there), and the crowd was treated to an energetic set by one of Modular's finest. I loved the live drumming to go along with the programmed beats and synths. The duo even threw in "Da Funk" by Daft Punk, before slowly segueing into "Girl and Sea" (one of the greatest songs ever). BV has a nice round-up of the night. The Presets will be playing with Datarock and Lo Fi Fink at Studio B tomorrow night.

Underworld will be hitting Central Park on September 14th, as part of a US tour. They were one of the few bright spots at the ill-fated Field Day at Giants Stadium a few years ago (nothing gets a rain-soaked crowd going like "Born Slippy:Nuxx"), and I'm looking forward to seeing them again.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tripnotica this Friday at Rebel

Tripnotica at Rebel - March 30
Join us this Friday night at Rebel for the official unveiling of Tripnotica, a monthly trip-hop/electro/downtempo music and art event. Vice/Ed Banger Records will be hosting a listening party for Ed Rec Vol. 2 as well (so if you loved the Ed Banger artists at Hiro on Thursday, come out on Friday for more Ed Banging).

Rebel is located at 251 W. 30th Street, between 7th and 8th Aves.

Tripnotica at Rebel - March 30

Monday, March 26, 2007


I finally saw Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette this weekend. Like her soundtrack to Lost in Translation, Coppola uses a nice selection of music to emphasize key scenes in her movie. With Marie, however, it was interesting because the music and the setting are not contemporaneous. Nevertheless, the post-punk selections offered really worked in the context of the movie. Nice use of "Plainsong" by The Cure for the wedding scene (nothing beats the quiet chimes that give way to the full pomp and circumstance of that track) and "All Cats are Gray" for the closing scene and end titles, as Marie is shortly going to her death. That song must have left the theater goers quite depressed actually.

He sat me down and so began...

A local Irish pub I tend to frequent plays such great music that I need to hang out there more often. Doc Watson's offers an impressive selection of Britpop favorites from its iPod (and some decent stuff on the jukebox as well). The other night I heard "Charmless Man" from Blur and "Road Rage" from Catatonia. Love it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Cure vs. Depeche Mode

I haven't posted much recently, but I wanted to bring to your attention Stylus' Andrew Unterberger's comparison of The Cure and Depeche Mode - two of my all time faves (he has DM come out ahead 5 to 4 in 9 categories). He brilliantly analyzes all things necessary about these bands (classic album, cover art, influencees, cover songs, etc.) and his analysis of Disintegration vs Violator is top notch. Well done Andrew, well done.

It's funny to see the reaction to these bands nowadays. If you liked them in the 80's, you were weird and part of their cult following. If you liked them in the early 90's, you were weird but at least people knew "Lovesong," "Just Like Heaven," and "Enjoy the Silence." If you like them now, you are like everybody else - "oh, I loved those guys back in the day." Interesting to see how times change.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The Queen at Webster Hall

TGTBTQ rolled into Webster Hall last night (March 12), and like their eponymous album, it was a good but not great show. With a top hat on his head, Damon Albarn played ringmaster to his cadre of known-from-other-bands musicians - Tony Allen, Simon Tong, and Paul Simonon. Even the stage dress had a circus appearance, with the backdrop of a seaside town/amusement park and bunting overhead. Damon banged away on his piano, Tony languished behind the drums for the overwhelmingly downtempo songs, Paul attempted to rock out on his bass, and Simon did the yeoman's work of throwing in chords on top of the piano and organ. The basslines actually were the most impressive parts of the music, although the string quartet was a nice touch.

They played the album all the way through from start to finish. Like the album itself, "History Song" and "Herculean" were the best songs of the evening. As I said, it was a good but not great performance. The crowd was more impressed with who was on stage rather than the music itself. Nevertheless, I give Damon a lot of credit - he's been a great force in music with all of his different projects. One could almost say he's a musical genius.