Music, etc.

Saturday, September 30, 2006


This was probably the most anticipated event in my entire life. You only get to see your favorite band for the first time once, so I was especially looking forward to this. All these years being a Lips fan and hearing all these absurd things about their concert, it was finally my chance to experience it first hand.

I arrived at Hammerstein Ballroom at 4:30 and was excited to see I was about 20th in line. Two hours passed as I munched down my bag lunch and then it was finally time to enter the Ballrom. I had never even been to the venue, so I was really excited to see that it seemed like a cool place. I was standing in the second row, which is the closest I've ever been at a concert.

A few hours later, Danielson took the stage. They were pretty good. The entire family was there, so it was possible to pull of most songs on the new album. The live rendition of 'Did I step on Your Trumpet?' was fantastic. By the end of their preformance, the place was filled with Lips fans anxious for the show to begin. Wayne got suited up in his ball and the music began. Standing to the left of the stage, I was one of the first people to hold Wayne up. In doing so, however, I was hurled back about 4 rows, but I didn't give a shit, I was already having the time of my life.

When Wanye finally got back to the stage, Race for the Prize began to blast throughout the building and the ballons and confetti began to fall. There was such a sense of community during this song and throughout the entire show. Everyone was singing along and having a great time. They played the ususal rounds with The WAND, The Yeah Yeah Yeah song (which had a killer sing along session), Vein of Stars, Do You Realize??, Yoshimi and She Don't Use Jelly (these two also had sing along sessions also).

I was surprised to hear my favorite track off of Yoshimi, In the Morning of the Magicians, as well as my favorite Bulletin track, A Spoonful Weighs a Ton. I was shocked, just shocked, to hear the old 'Ode to C.C. (Part 2)' thrown into the mix. Steven just started playing it and to the audiences amazement, Wayne sung it. It was truely a beautiful moment.

The night before at Hammerstein, there was a laser light spectacle. This night, however, the folks at Hammerstein told Wayne not to do it. "Take it from me, last night I was shot in the eyes all night with those lasers and nothing about me is different tonight. However, we must be respectful of the orders." These parts of the show, where Wayne addressed the audience, was just as good as when the music was playing. He is just the most normal, regular guy in rock music today.

After a lenghty story about hope and struggle, the Lips ended with something I would not have expected in a million years, especially since I didn't read the setlist from the night before. Steven turns to Wayne and says "Sing this one real beautifuly" and Wayne began 'Autopsy of the Devil's Brain (You've got to be Joking)' off of my favortie Lips album, Hit to Death in the Futurehead.

The night was amazing in every single way. I doubt that there will ever be another concert that affects me so much. I am still feeling it a week later.

I still haven't found this show on the web yet, but here is Race for the Prize, Ode to C.C. and Autopsy, studio versions...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Robbers and Cowards

If you're a Cold War Kids fan like me, than I'm sure you'll be picking up their first LP, which is due out October 10th. The kids, who are Indie blogs favorites, plan on following up their Three EPs (no Beta Band relation) with their first LP, simply called Robbers and Cowards. Thanks to the help of constant blog support and a killer live show, the Cold War Kids are becoming one of the indie communities most anticipated bands.

Although the album includes many songs that were on their first EPs, there is enough new material, as well as a killer cover, to constitute a purchase. For months they have been touring their asses off and already have another date scheduled for New York in October. Hopefully the album will see decent record sales, allowing them time to take a rest from months of constant touring.

Head over to their Website to pre-order the album now. I'm expecting it to be one of the better albums this year.

Did I Step on Your Trumpet?

If you are in the minority here and you haven't picked up Danielson's latest LP, Ships, then go do yourself a favor and buy it. You won't be disappointed. Danielson just sings these friendly, unassuming, popy folk music. The result of such an ambitious mix could have turned ugly, but Daniel Smith does a great job countering the absurdness of his music with catchy hooks and rocking solos.

A lot of people find his voice unbearable, but I guess it is one of those love-it-or-hate-it type of things. The way it scratches and jolts all over the place throw people off, but as long as you don't dwell too much on the voice, you'll really have a good time. Like his pal, Sufjan Stevens (who actually plays on the record), a lot of the his songs on Ships are religious in nature. This should not throw the listener, anyone who listens to the album knows that it is completly harmless. Even those who don't agree with Danielson's beliefs will have a fun time with this album.

There are few songs this year that are as good as "Did I set on Your Trumpet?". It sounds strikingly similar to Modest Mouse, while still maintaing its originality. I recently found out that Danielson is opening up for The Flaminf Lips next week, which make me even more excited to see the show.


Say what you will be about the novelty aspect of their live show (i.e. them not playing live music all the time, a limited set list, etc.) you must admit that the Flaming Lips now how to entertain. Next Monday, I will finally get to see the best band I have ever heard, play live. Sure, I would have loved to see them back when say, Ronald Jones was in the band, but videos like this one make me extremely happy about being a Lips fan.

This video, form the big UFO unveiling show in Oklahoma City, is one of the greatest things I have ever seen in my life. When I go to a concert, I like to have a good time and hear good music. Well, that is pretty much what the Lips are aiming for when they put on a show. I know they most likley have the UFO in Hammerstein next Monday, but I can rest assured I will have a spectacular time.

While I patiently await the show, I guess I'll just have to listen to the Lips.

Magnetic Monday

Sadly, I haven't made a post since the last Magnetic Monday, but what can I say? Truth is that I am just too lazy. However, I have been listening to a lot of 69 Love Songs this week and there is one track that really stands out. I've had it on repeat for the entire day.

The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side is one of the more convential songs on the album, but that doesn't make it less fantastic than the others. The lyrics are rather sad, yet the singer doesn't seem to mind being used for his car. He understands that his car is the reason for him going on rides with the lovely lady, but what does he care. None of the other guys on the Lower East Side are riding with the girl. I guess it's good to have something even if it's materialistic; just that one thing that keeps you going whne everything else isn't so good.

This song is so hopeful and so sad. It reminds me a lot of some more recent Jens Lekman tracks; no doubt he is a 69 Love Songs fan.

Monday, September 11, 2006

MP3 Roundup

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Heres what I have been listening to recently...

The Mountain Goats - Woke Up New

Bright Eyes - First Day of My Life

Grizzly Bear - Knife

Modest Mouse - Bankrupt On Selling

Loudon Wainwright III - The Swimming Song

Death Cab For Cutie - A Lack of Color

TV On the Radio - Staring at the Sun

Captin Beefheart - Ella Guru

love is like a bottle of gin

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

All of my music listening life I have been told by everyone I know, "Check out the Magnetic Fields." I really had planned on listening to them, especially 69 Love songs which supposedly 'has no bad tracks.' After years of hearing this, I still did not give them a chance. In every descussion of the best songwriter of all time that I have ever had, the name Merritt was always mentioned near the the top of the list.

After a while I had enough. I was going to explore this band! I was not going to be the first and certainly not the last, but I will no longer sit to the side of best song-writing debates because I was not familiar with a particular Merritt's ability.

Recently I made a decison that will forever change the way I listen to music and the way I rate songwriting. 69 Love Songs really does not have any bad tracks. Most bands go through a ten track album and only have five or six good songs on them. The Magnetic Fields could have finished Sufjan's 50 State Project, I'm certain. Surely the ability to make so many heartfelt songs should put you on the top of any list.

I haven't even had enough time to thoroughly enjoy the entire 69 Love Songs album, doing so would take months. I've been trying to listen to it in its entirety each time I listen to it. Usually I only get through the first disk or so, but each time I pick up something different. There are so many forgotten tracks that excite me upon each listen.

I would like to introduce to you, Magnetic Fields Monday. Each Monday from now on I will post my favorite 69 Love Songs track of the week. Despite the title of the post, this week goes to Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits. The song is one of the more optimistic tracks on the record. It reminds me of a pre-Aeroplane rough Jeff Mangum song.

To Bush, From Moby

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

As much as I will never understand what attracts people to Moby's music, I do however love him as a person. It is sort of like Hansel at the Model of the Year acceptence speech in Zoolander...'Sting would be another person who's a hero. The music he's created over the years, I don't really listen to it, but the fact that he's making it, I respect that.'

Moby is out there, and say what you want about him, he is making an effort in his own personal way. I was recently browsing and found an interesting letter he posted to George Bush.

Here it is...

"dear president bush,
stay out of new york.
you don't like us and we don't like you.
90% of us voted for john kerry in the last election. we don't trust you, and we believe, based on your record, that you've been a terrible president.
you're supposed to come to new york city today.
you're not welcome here.
you only come to new york city when you need to bolster your poll numbers.
you came here after 9-11 even though you ignored warnings of terrorist attacks and cut funding to anti-terrorist programs.
you came here for the rnc convention even though your policies have made america less safe.
you are not welcome in nyc.
go back to texas where you can cut wood for the tv cameras.
or go back to washington d.c where you can watch dick cheney run the country.
you are a liar.
you are inept.
you are probably the worst president that the united states has ever had to endure.
you are not welcome in nyc.
we are not your cheap whore, to use whenever your poll numbers are in the toilet.
we are not your crappy prop, to use when you're worried that you might have to deal with the consequences of your failed policies.
you suck, and we don't want you here.
everything you've done has gone wrong. you are in the pocket of the oil and defense industries, and the poor idiots on the religious right actually sometimes believe that you care about them and their agenda.
you only believe in issues that will keep your corporate backers happy.
you are an awful, inept, corrupt, and tragically incompetent president.
and i'm sorry that you've chosen to come to new york city on 9-11.
we didn't vote for you and we're not in any way happy that you're here.
go home, gw, and let us just get on with living our lives in the city that was attacked
due to your pre 9-11 ineptitude and incomptetence.

I must say, I completly agree with him. George Bush, you've done enough shit, New Yorkers don't want to see your face.



Saturday, September 09, 2006

Yusef Islam

Wheter or not you agree with his choices (I for one, couldn't care less) it is hard to dispute that Yusef Islam, formely Cat Stevens, is one of the all time greatest songwriters.

After 28 years of inactivity in the music business, the classic singer/songwriter has recently announced plans for an upcoming LP. With a year full of ruturns to the business (The Who, The Pixies), this one remains my favortie. Remember listening to classic albums such as Tea for Tillerman and Mona Bone Jakon and just thinking, 'Will this man ever make another album?'. Well your questions have been answered and it remains one of my most anticipated albums of this year.

Possibly a tour following the release? We'll keep out fingers crossed...

Cat Stevens-Father and Son

The Flaming Lips-Fight Test(Sound Familiar?)

Friday, September 01, 2006

For Pete's Sake

It is about time I wrote a new post, and what better way is there to get back into the game than introducing a great local band. For Pete's Sake aren't your typical rock n' roll band. Sure they have all the basics of a rock group (guitar, bassm drums, keyboard) but their age sets them apart from most of their peers.

The group, consisting of Jesse Pianelli, Jake Erlich, Peter Clabby, Zach Sewall and Eric Luba can't even drive themselves to shows, being that they're 16-year-olds. That doesn't stop them from rockin, however. In just little over a year, I have seen this group transfer from 'lets have fun and play music' to 'this is our jobs'. With the change of attitude came a change in sound also. Recent tracks show much more mature lyrics as well as more complicated and fierce arrangements.

Having played Chubby's, Count Basie, and Stone Pony (yes, the same venue Bloc Party played at recently) things can only get better for this power five. As far as a live act goes, you won't see a tighter group of young kids up there on the stage. So far, they have only released a demo, with relatively old material, but I still can't see myself taking it out of my cd player.

Check them out, you'll really enjoy them.


Try It

She Paint's Me