Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sometimes idiocy works.
Everyday I get 10 to 20 emails from bands/promoters/publicists/labels asking jds and I to write about their band/album/show. 99% of them immediately go into the cyber dustbin. However, one caught my eye due to the silliness of it. A publicist from NYC was offering us a spot on the guest list for a show at Langdon Street Cafe. Obviously, the publicist doesn't know that LSC is a "pass-the-hat" gig. So, it's like being offered free tickets to my son's soccer match. It's a kind offer but not one that has any value.
Having said that, it got me to take a second and listen to the band's music. And I have to say, I'm glad that I did.
Midwest Dilemma is a 23-piece band out of Omaha that plays...well...let's call it orchestral folk. I can't imagine that they'll bring all 23 members on the road with them. It's got to be some pared down version of themselves to make any sense financially. However, the number of folks on the stage may still equal the number of people at LSC on any given night. Either way, I like them and am going to check it out. It's local and they sound good.
The other bonus is that Kris Gruen will be opening the show for them. Kris is working on his next album and the new tunes he played at Higher Ground last summer sounded sweet. It should be a good show.
Midwest Dilemma | Chicago and North Western | Buy
Sunday, October 26, 2008
It's always nice to have a quality hometown show. It's doubly nice when the band ranks fourth on my "most listened to" list on Last.FM. That's where The New Year stand for me and why I was excited to see them make a VT stop for their first time.
In a rare move, my wife came to the show also. Prior to having kids, my wife and I would regularly hit shows together. However, due to the cost of babysitters and general exhaustion of parenthood, she's left the concert-going to me. So, it was fun to have her company for the night.
We got to Burlington early so we could grab a pre-show dinner. Here's the thing, it was a Monday night in Burlington and the economy is tanking. However, you would never know it from the restaurants. We had to go to four different places before we could find one with less than a half-hour wait. And we were only able to eat at Sweetwaters because we were willing to sit at the bar. I guess the financial downturn hasn't impacted the Queen City yet.
Lendway opened the show. I've known Michael Clifford, guitarist and vocalist, for Lendway for a few years. he used to work at Buch Spieler in Montpelier and would offer great tips on albums to check out. However, he would also share some of the tunes he had written and recorded by himself. Now, 99 out of 100 times someone you know casually gives you a copy of their music, it stinks. However, Michael's stuff was fantastic. Gorgeous pop songs that I'd play over and over on my iPod. The problem was that whenever I'd ask Michael about putting together a band, he'd talk about problems playing with this guy or that guy. It never worked out.
Well, Lendway has worked out for him.
My wife pegged their sound as being similar to Luna which is a good comparison. There's a bit of a Dead and Beatles feeling in there too though. Regardless, it's infectious stuff and they played it well. Their debut album is coming out next month and they're having a CD release party on Nov 14. However, I'll post more about those things later.
The New Year hit the stage around 10pm and immediately started ticking off songs from their new album. "Folios", "The Company I Can Get", "X Off Days" all fell towards the start of the set. In fact, I think we heard the majority of the songs off the self-titled release. Braving my permently foggy memory, I believe we also got "Gasoline", "End's Not Near" and "Chinese Handcuffs" off their prior albums.
Despite a slight rattle off the drum kit, the band sounded good. What sucked was all of the talkers in the back of the room. I could live to be 104 and I'll never understand why people pay to go to a concert and talk the whole time. It's arrogance. Why else would the talkers think what they have to say is more important than what is going on the stage? I'm not expecting people to be mutes (God knows I comment on the show to my friends mid-song; but with a brief interjection) but do they really need to carry on constantly?
it's just a shame because The New Year have some beautifully delicate songs that are quiet. When folks are chatting, it stomps all over the beauty.
Don't take that mini-rant as a sign that I didn't enjoy the show. The louder songs weren't impacted at all and I still thoroughly enjoyed the entire evening.
By the way, the photo below explains how they get the drumming piece done on "The Door Opens". Matt Kadane plays the cymbal while Chris Brokaw does the main drumming.
Lastly, Bradley's Almanac has posted the mp3 files from The Kadanes Brothers set at The Middle East from this past July. I'd also keep watching the 'Nac for the mp3 files from the Boston show of this tour with the full band.
While I was in Chicago for work recently, I stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel. While it's a nice hotel and well located with beautiful views, I find all the memorabilia to be silly.
I was located on the Kiss floor which meant that whenever I passed through the elevator waiting area on my floor, I was met by a smiling Gene Simmons and the bands' guitars.
The silliest though and ultimate disrespectful move was in the bathroom of my room. Come on! Doesn't Roger Daltry deserve a more dignified location than right above my toilet?
However, like I said, the views from my room were sweet; right down to the river.
The headliner was indie starlets The Black Kids but the beast of the show was Team Band. The Chicago foursome was simultaneously a complete mockery of the entire indie scene bullshit and a ferociously rocking half-hour of music. They're excessively self-aware in a "Hey! This is all ridiculous but no less ridiculous than The Black Kids" way. However, while you chuckle at their antics, you find your head grooving, your heel slamming the floor in rhythm with the drummer and your brain thinking "Fuck Yeah!"
The Virgins and The Black Kids played next but Team Band had ruined any attempt on their part of having a good show. The brains of anyone paying attention had been become a toxic setting for the meager stirrings of the "hot band du jour".
The show poster from their myspace page may be the finest poster of the season.
Team Band | Team Band Fight Song | Buy
Team Band | If Rain (Sambassadeur cover) | Buy
No Age, purveyors of one of the best albums of the year are hitting Montreal for the second time this year. The show will be at Theatre Plaza on Nov 22 (yes, it's a Saturday night show; no exuses). I'll be missing the show because we have ten friends visiting that weekend but I was lucky to catch their show at La Sala Rossa back in July.
Here are some shots from that show.
No Age didn't hit the stage until after 12:30 because they had gotten stopped at the border. Throughout the show, they kept repeating sarcastically that everyone should feel very safe with the way that the border agents are scrutinizing indie rock bands.
Prior to the show I wonder if they'd be able to reproduce their studio sound live. I didn't know how much of it was post-production magic. However, when I saw this board of pedals at the guitarist Randy Randall's feet, I knew we'd be in for a whirlwind of fuzz.
Good show. At one point, in the middle of a song, Randall threw his guitar guitar across Dean Spunt's drum kit as Spunt kept drumming; just slamming his right-hand stick into the guitar. Make the trip for the show. It's worth it.
No Age | Sleeper Hold | Buy
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Reasons to go see The New Year at Club Metronome on Monday night (9pm):
☺ Quality...Their excellent self-titled album is getting rave reviews here, here, here, here and here.
☻ More quality...Their previous two albums are even better.
♥ Local connection..bassist Mike Donofrio grew up in and lives in Vermont.
♦ Exclusive...This is the band's first ever show in Vermont.
♣ Economic bailout...tickets are just $8 which is about $4 less than in other cities.
♠ Bonus...Lendway is opening the show.
The New Year | X-Off Days | Buy
Lendway | Yard Sale
photo courtesy of jinners