Friday, March 31, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
All photos from the Art Brut gig here. Slideshow here.
For a change we have words, audio, and visual... the complete interweb package for you! And even better, I'm not the one reviewing the show. We have a guest reviewer, my great friend Ryan, aka Anglophiliac:
The Rock'n'roll Star has offered me the distinct honor of "guest reviewer" for Art Brut, 3/28, Minneapolis, MN, 7th St Entry.
Let me start by saying I came to Art Brut with several conflicting ideas in my head. I was an early AB adopter, being an NME.com zombie, but their CD didn't exactly put me over the moon. I actually liked the wacky art design and impossibly complex color-the-squares insert more than Eddie Argos' shout-sing lyrics. But their driving guitars and amusing subject matter were irresistable and eventually won me over.
The quick verdict on the show: Excellent. (On my personal scale, "excellent" falls below "outstanding" (Arctic Monkeys, 3/18/06; Walt Mink, 6/05) and above "good" (Electric Six, 3/24/06), while "average", "poor" and "Dandy Warhols live" complete the rest of the downward rankings.) They opened, appropriately enough, with "Formed A Band" which operated as a theme for the rest of the show as Eddie exhorted the members of the audience to form their own bands. Maybe I will, Eddie, maybe I won't . . . Can you have a band where the leader plays only the stereo? But I digress . . .
Their energy and enthusiasm were top-drawer. **Rule of a good show: At some point in time, every member of the band is smiling.** Ian with his hair-homage to The Cure was crisp and efficient, and Jasper with his new-wave skinny tie con turned-up collar made effective energetic bookends for Eddie's sock-footed antics. Standout tracks included "Moving To LA", the crowd interactive "Modern Art", and the tour-de-force of "Emily Kane" and "Bad Weekend". Even the obligatory b-side and new track were good. This is a band that knows what it's about. I wasn't annoyed like I would have been by virtually any other band that self-referenced in every song, nor was I wishing they would 'change it up' and offer us a longer track or acoustic number -- I liked every two-minute burst of energy as delivered. These guys and gal have obviously done their homework. They owe equal parts of their songwriting to the jangly Kinks of the mid-sixties "Good Weekend", and the self-indulgent, smirking of The Who, circa 1976, "Rusted Guns Of Milan" sprinkled with [insert your favorite punk band here] of the late 70's. While my musical universe wasn't expanded, my live show jones was well satisfied and my $10 was in no way wasted. Go see Art Brut (and, according to Eddie, form a band . . . ).
My thanks to Steve for the guest reviewer slot - especially since he was standing right next to me for the whole show and almost took an elbow to the nose for the team (from one of the pungent grungettas dancing in front of us). Look for more of my philosophical/musical ramblings as often as he'll let me contribute.
Ryan, I mean Anglophiliac, love your review, thanks! I love my friends... Did we mention it was an AA gig and we couldn't even drink in there? Crazy...
Just a couple of other things I'd like to mention:
Solace it was nice to meet you! You rule! Brody... you can see your head well represented in the YouTube video.
'Twas a great show! The highlight for me was "Modern Art" when lead-singer-dude jumped in the crowd (see pictures). 2nd highlight was talking Deutsch to some of the band members after the show... classic; it scared some people around me...
mp3: Art Brut - Modern Art
And here's a video I filmed at the show "Emily Kane" (sorry about the sound quality)... Still pretty cool I think:
Anything to add? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. "Dandy Warhols bad"... LOL Ryan! Classic...
P.P.S. Set-list below:
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Soooo, not that my blog needs help or anything, I've recruited perhaps the most talented music phenom in the Twin Cities! His name is Brian, blogger name Adidas1. He's the guy responsible for getting me into Tom Waits, Frank Sinatra, Oasis, Blur, The Strokes, the Libertines, 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., just to name a few... In short, the good shit!
Luckily I didn't have to look to far, as Brian is my roommate. You thought I was into music? Multiply that times 10 for Brian; he's very active and outspoken on The Current Forum and MN Speak (yes Solace, he's my roommate).
He'll introduce himself. His music will be totally different from mine, namely NO indie-rock. He loves the Arctic Monkeys though (or the 2nd coming of Christ, as we call it).
I can't leave you without an Oasis quote:
"Nothing bothers me more than when groups like Pearl Jam and Nirvana whine and moan and complain about life and being famous. Let me tell you, being famous is great! The feeling when someone asks you for an autograph, unbelieveable! I just think Americans are tired of people telling them how crap their lives are. I think when people listen to our music, we tell them how good their lives could be. I guess I just can't understand the thoughts of Eddie Vedder or that whole bit... I mean, lad, if you hate your job so much, why don't you fuckin' go work at a car wash or McDonald's or something?"
-- Noel Gallagher
I couldn't agree more. To be fair... I posted this quote on C's blog comment section. Her blog is absolutely awesome, check it!
Friday, March 24, 2006
> Arctic Monkeys' 3/27/06, live performance from DC will be broadcast live on NPR.
> NPR also has a feature on Spinto Band, who I saw open for Arctic Monkeys.
> More related Arctic Monkeys news... In case you missed my Chicago live review, it's here. Another local blogger, Brianna, was at the Chicago show as well, here's her recap. Check it out. Also, Jim Walsh claims there's an Art Brut/Arctic Monkeys feud. Hmmm, I wasn't aware of that one... He's right regarding the 'Monkeys though.
> What would happen if Triumph (The Comic Insult Dog) joined the Pogues? They'd be called Gogol Bordello (MySpace) of course! A Live performance (2 songs) from Jimmy Kimmel are here. Looking forward to catching them @ Fine Line soon...
> Be The Boy posted awesome videos of The Replacements (1981 in the Entry) and Hüsker Dü on the Joan Rivers show. Via the Drunkard.
> MN Stories has video of The Strokes joined by Har Mar Superstar from SxSW.
> Since I did a pretty big post on all the local acts who played @ SxSW this year. Here's the Stribs review on how they fared in Austin.
> I love the new Amy Millan (lead singer of Stars) tune. You can download it legally here. On MySpace you can sample an additional tune as well.
> Towers of London are fucking crazy. They rock a bit too hard... Here's a review from last week in NYC. Ouch!
> The Current: "You damn kids with your drinking and your drugs..." made me laugh.
> Forget about Pete; at least until he gets out of jail and re-unites with Carl (or dies, unfortunately). Carl's new band, Dirty Pretty Things, absolutely rocks. Check it out on their site and on MySpace. Some other new tunes are also on the interweb...
> I think I'm going to close each post with an Oasis quote from now on:
"If a guy suddenly appears before me with a big beard and locks and all that caper and performed some f***ing miracle, and then said to me, 'Liam, I am God'I'd say, 'Fair enough, it's a fair cop. I didn't believe in you but fair play, you've got me.' But until that day comes he can f*** right off."-- Liam Gallagher
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
All photos from the Arctic Monkeys gig here. Slideshow here.
Well, the big question was: Will they live up to the hype? The answer: Yes, they certainly did.. they absolutely fucking rocked! What a show... here's a brief recap for you.
I had traveled 400 miles for this gig; Minneapolis to Chicago. Last time I was in the windy city for a great gig, was Oasis in 1998. I had high expectations for the events to come Saturday... My friends and I had done some sight-seeing at Navy Pier in the afternoon. The Ferris Wheel was actually a bit scary. After a brief and early dinner we headed back to our hotel and prepared for the show by having a few drinks in the hotel lounge. Around 6:30pm we took a cab over to the Metro. Upon arriving, we checked out set-times: Spinto Band (the opening band) 7:15pm - 7:45pm, Arctic Monkeys 8:15pm - 9:15pm. Security @ Metro sucked... complete strip-search and absolutely no cameras allowed! Before heading in, I quickly sold me 2 extra tickets to a couple of cute girls, and tucked my camera into my sock (yes, sock!). Luckily they did not detect the camera (but me leg was in pain) and we were ready for the show...
A couple of observations about the Metro. Wow, it's really small! About 1/2 the size of First Avenue... Metro looks and feels like a really small theater (pretty good sight-lines and acoustics). When we walked in, Spinto Band had just started their set. They put on a pretty solid musical performance (I like their album quite a bit). Stage presence was another matter... They also had a couple of technical issues, mainly the bass player breaking a string which took a couple of songs to change. All in all though, a pretty decent warm-up band. Sorry I have no pictures of them, it was too risky, security was super-tight...
Punctually @ 8:15pm the lights went out, the following tune started pumping on the stereo, and the Arctic Monkeys walked out.
mp3: WarrenG - Regulate
Definitely a very funny and cool way to start the show. The bass was pumpin'! The band launched straight into "View From the Afternoon" and the crowd went absolutely ape-shit. I was getting doused in liquids from the balcony. Yep, that's rock 'n roll for you... Next tune "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" the energy didn't let up... Needless to say it stayed like that most of the gig. They tore through pretty much their whole album (they didn't play "Riot Van"). Highlights included "From The Ritz To The Rubble", "Perhaps Vampires...", "When The Sun Goes Down", "Mardy Bum", and "A Certain Romance" (which they closed with). The band even played a new non-album track "Leave Before The Lights Go On". This one didn't go as smoothly as they had to re-start the track as Alex's guitar went out of tune mid-song...
Stage presence-wise I had heard some not-so-good things about these guys. I was pleasantly surpised however. I thought they did great in that regard and looked very cool; they were moving all around the stage. Even chatting in between songs (sometimes with the crowd). Some of the small talk was a bit tough to understand though... (think Gallagher boys). And I'm pretty well versed in "Brit Speak"...
As mentioned above the Arctic Monkeys concluded the evening with "A Certain Romance". 60 minutes of pure rock 'n roll joy! No encores; none were needed in my opinion.
Minneapolis and many other cities were well represented at the gig. The lead singer even pointed out (and spoke about) some crazy people dancing from Minneapolis! Yep, of course some people I knew...
To summarize, great show. Well worth traveling 400 miles for.
The band looked and sounded almost exactly like this and this. From SxSW the night before...
Next live gig for me... I'll see you @ Art Brut in the 7th Street Entry 3/28/06!
Related Arctic Monkeys links:
Amazon: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not
Arctic Monkeys on SNL 3/11/06
Arctic Monkeys on YouTube
The rest of the Chicago pictures and stories to come tomorrow.
P.S. Meadow is all grown up. (NSFW)
Friday, March 17, 2006
I'm off to Chicago today! Here are a few tunes I hope to hear on Friday:
mp3: The Pogues - Turkish Song of the Damned
mp3: The Pogues - If I Should Fall from Grace With God
mp3: The Pogues - Fiesta
mp3: The Pogues - Fairytale of New York
I should go pack some stuff now. Be safe!
Friday, March 10, 2006
1) A certain British band is on Saturday Night Live this Saturday.
2) Sopranos 6th season kicks off this Sunday.
Here are a few tunes I really like which have appeared on the show:
mp3: Alabama 3 - Woke Up This Morning (Chosen One Mix)
mp3: Andrea Bocelli - Con Te Partiro
mp3: Frank Sinatra - It Was A Very Good Year
mp3: Police & Henry Mancini - Every Breath You Take / Theme From Peter Gunn (Mr. Ruggerio's Remix)
mp3: Cake - Frank Sinatra
mp3: Cecilia Bartoli - Vivaldi - Sposa Son Disprezzata
mp3: Van Morrison - Gloria
mp3: R.L. Burnside - It's Bad You Know
mp3: Dominic Chianese - Core 'ngrato
mp3: Sopranos - Dialogue
All are highly recommended!
Who will get whacked this season? Cast list here. Any predictions? I don't think Vito will make it too long...
Quote from one of my favorite episodes:
Episode 37: "Pine Barrens"
Paulie: Don’t make me pull rank on you kid.
Christopher: Fuck you, Paulie. Captain or no Captain, right now we are just two assholes lost in the woods.
Wow, I had forgotten how good the soundtracks were (it was extremely difficult to choose the tunes above)... Here are the Sopranos Soundtracks on Amazon:
The Sopranos: Music From The HBO Original Series
The Sopranos - Peppers and Eggs: Music from the HBO Series
Some other things of interest:
My assignment for you this week: Download and start using Skype. It'll blow your mind. Look me up, call me!
Sigur Ros Orpheum tickets go on sale this Saturday. The next Pink Floyd/Radiohead?! I think so...
mp3: Sigur Ros - Glosoli
Episode 1: "The Sopranos"
Dr. Melfi: What kind of work are you in?
Tony: Waste management consultant.
More quotes here...
I may just go tonight... The Idle Hands @ Uptown Bar. I really like their tune "loaded" on MySpace.
Have a great weekend! I'll be dog-cat sitting for my Mom...
Friday, March 03, 2006
Well, here's what's new (categorized for a change, coz' there's quite a bit):
I'm getting quite excited for my Chicago trip to see the Arctic Monkeys 3/18/06 @ the Metro. I just finalized flight and lodging with my friends tonight. Looks like we'll be staying at the Swissotel right on Lake Michigan from Friday until Monday. 4 star hotel, should be a great time. Did I mention I have 1-2 extra tickets? Ha ha, I think I'll make some $$$ on these (just check ebay at the moment). Anybody else going?
After working on this for the past year... I finally finished my upstairs remodeling project! The "carpet people" just came in yesterday morning to measure, and new carpeting is set to go in next week (or so).
I forgot to tell you previously... I had a bit of bad luck with both of my last two electronic purchases. First I had to return my Ipod because the battery totally died. Luckily the exchange was no problem, and the new one works beautifully. After that I had to return my Dell notebook because it had some dead pixels on the screen... I had read a lot of bad things about Dell's customer service. However, I thought it was exceptional. They apologized to me profously and sent me a new system right away. They then picked up the old system for free via UPS and that was that... I highly recommend Dell to anyone (and this new notebook is awesome)!
September 9th my buddies Jan and Nina are getting married in Braunschweig, Germany. And I'm in the wedding as best man... Looking forward to traveling back to the home continent in September....
Have I been to any concerts/shows since BRMC? Nope... man, I've been quite the homebody. March will change all that...
My parents are in the middle of a divorce. Hang in there Mom and Dad! I probably shouldn't talk about that on here, so 'nuf on that...
My little niece Rayna is doing great at 3 weeks old. She's busy doing what babies do best. Eating, sleeping, crying, and dirtying diapers. Ahhhh, the life!
Things are also going great with my new roommate (and doggie roommate)... The dogs are definitely buddies in crime (but oh so cute).
For more personal news please consult Mr. G. W. Bush as he probably has a "surveilance" tape on me.
I don't really watch a whole lot of TV. But, a few shows I like the past few weeks:
a) The Office. Just keeps on improving...
b) The Shield. A lot better already than last season.
c) Real Time With Bill Maher. Classic, every week.
d) Lost. I've only seen about 5 episodes, but I think I'm getting addicted. The series pilot last week really opened my eyes. Plus in another episode, they explained why the fat guy hasn't lost any weight... And the hot woman is actually the prisoner... That's about all I know so far. I guess I'll have to rent the DVDs to find out more.
e) Survivor. Coz' I love watching the guy who quit smoking 2 packs a day, cold-turkey. Plus, I think there's at least one hot girl on there right?
f) Most importantly, The Sopranos are back 3/12/06! Any bets on who will get whacked???
Here's what I've enjoyed listening to lately:
Youth Group - Skeleton Jar
I really love this album. Perhaps it's because it reminds me so much of James. Great power rock/pop! Did you know this is also an Australian side-project by the bassist in the Vines? Either way, I highly recommend checking them out.
mp3: Youth Group - Shadowland
mp3: Youth Group - Skeleton Jar
mp3: Youth Group - Drowned
mp3: Youth Group - See-Saw
Bonus: head over to the excellent Come Pick Me Up for the amazing cover tune of Youth Group doing "Forever Young" (as well as some other great songs).
Youth Group Website
Youth Group MySpace
Mylo - Destroy Rock & Roll
Perhaps the most fun electronic record since any of Daft Punk's albums. I think it's been pretty much covered by other bloggers... still, it's such a great record I absolutely had to mention it. I think pretty much anybody will enjoy this album, even you Sufjan and Ryan Adams fans...
mp3: Mylo - Muscle Cars
mp3: Mylo - Drop The Pressure
mp3: Mylo - Destroy Rock & Roll
mp3: Mylo - Need You Tonite
Clearlake - Amber
In my mind this may be the next "big band" to come out of Britain. Very infectious Brit pop, heavily influenced by early Blur, as well as Pulp, Doves, and others. One tune even sounds a bit like Kasabian to me. Anyway, highly recommended, check it out.
mp3: Clearlake - No Kind Of Life
mp3: Clearlake - It's Getting Light Ouside
mp3: Clearlake - Good Clean Fun
mp3: Clearlake - Here To Learn
Sergio Mendes - Timeless
I'm lazy, therefore I'll let Amazon do the talking on this one:
"Timeless is the magnificent new album by the legendary Sergio Mendes. Produced by and featuring Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas, this album is a wholly original synthesis of music from the man who--40 years ago--brought Brazil 66 and "Mas Que Nada" to the world. Timeless beautifully blends the urban culture of Brazil, samba and bossa nova with the urban culture of America, hip hop and rap, the results of which are truly spectacular. "
Couldn't have said it better myself...
mp3: The Black Eyed Peas - Mas Que Nada (Mah-sh Keh Nah-da)
mp3: John Legend - Please Baby Don’t
mp3: India.Arie - Timeless
mp3: Black Thought of The Roots, Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, Debi Nova & will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas - Yes, Yes Y’All
Sergio Mendes Discography
My roommate's favorite video at the moment:
I'm out of time unfortunately...
Don't forget the World Baseball Classic, a.k.a. the "real" World Series has begun. Have a geat weekend and enjoy the Oscars!
P.S. Mark your calendars: Arctic Monkeys on SNL, 3/11/06.
P.P.S. Even JW wrote an inspiring story on the AMs.
P.P.P.S. This link is mandatory for all the guys (and girls who are into it). OK, I'm done now...