Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat!

My little niece and I wish you a very Happy Halloween!

- Steve

Pet Shop Boys live @ Orpheum Theatre 10/28/06

Lots more pictures on Flickr: photos / slideshow

Have I mentioned on this blog that I'm a pretty big Pet Shop Boys fan? Ha ha, yes, you could call me a "Pethead". All I can say is "wow", what a brilliant performance... As you can probably guess, it was quite the "theatre experience", with amazing stage setups, light show, costumes, dancers, and backup-singers. The sound was A+ with no earplugs required. Lead singer Neil Tennant sounded excellent and Chris Lowe was in full command of all things music. They even had singer Sylvia Mason-James with them... doesn't get much better than that...

Oh wait, yes it does... My friend Amy and I met Neil Tennant after the show (see last photo)! We saw Chris Lowe for a minute as well. I was so nervous meeting Neil I even dropped my camera straight onto the sidewalk... luckily, it still works (it is the "rock 'n' roll camera", afterall). Neil chuckled about that one, though...

Neil was also asked by somebody about when they would play here again. He said something like..."Well, since the last time we played here was in 1991... we'll be back in 2021!" Funny I thought...

All in all, definitely a night I won't forget for a long time...

Here's the setlist:

1. God willing
2. Psychological
3. Left to my own devices
4. I'm with stupid
5. Suburbia
6. Can you forgive her?
7. Minimal w/ segue into...
8. Shopping
9. Rent
10. Dreaming of the Queen
11. Heart
12. Opportunities, w/ segue into...
13. Integral


1. Numb
2. Se a vida e, w/ a snippet from Discoteca, segue into...
3. Domino dancing
4. Flamboyant
5. Home and dry
6. Always on my mind
7. Where the streets have no name
8. West End girls.
9. The Sodom and Gomorrah Show


1. So hard (Morales mix version w/ just Sylvia, Nic, and Andy doing vocals)
2. It's a sin
3. Go West

With a setlist like that, I think you can guess that the audience full of "Petheads" went pretty crazy... including me.

A few more pictures for you. As mentioned above, loads more on Flickr.

("Rent". Neil sings behind the screen in the second bottom square)

("Dreaming of the Queen")

(Kind of a cool/artsy shot of Neil)

("Home and Dry". Neil on acoustic guitar)

(Chris Lowe)

("Where the Streets Have No Name")

(Which song do you think they were performing?)


(Neil and I. Amy's friend John is classic on the left. This one is def going in a frame!)

Pet Shop Boys Website
Obsessive Fan Site: Pet Shop Boys Commentary
Pioneer Press Interview: Nothing's going to tame the Pet Shop Boys

- Steve

Monday, October 30, 2006

Electric Six / Aberdeen City / The Blue Van live @ First Avenue 10/27/06

Another solid show last Friday. Highlight for me were Denmark's The Blue Van who played a ferocious 45 minute set... it almost made me think they were the headliners. Boston's Aberdeen City channeled Interpol and kept the crowd moving. I've seen Electric Six a bunch of times before... they've rocked my socks off everytime. I headed to a Halloween Party around midnight Friday, so I only saw their first few tunes. From what I witnessed however, they again seriously rocked out. It was hard to leave the gig early. And yeah, lead-singer Dick Valentine is still a mad-man (in the best way possible)...

The Blue Van

More pictures on Flickr: photos / slideshow

Aberdeen City

More pictures on Flickr: photos / slideshow

Electric Six

More pictures on Flickr: photos / slideshow

Electric Six Website / MySpace
Aberdeen City Website / MySpace
The Blue Van Website / MySpace

More coverage of the show over at BritishRockIsAlwaysTop.

- Steve

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Birdmonster / Los Abandoned / La Rocca live @ 400 Bar 10/24/06

I absolutely LOVED this gig. Three great bands, all with distinictively different musical styles, all on the same bill. Wow, what a night...

La Rocca

More pictures on Flickr: photos / slideshow

Dublin's La Rocca opened the night's festivities with a bang. Their sound reminded me a lot of early Springsteen, with a little Irish flair thrown into the mix.

Their setlist:

La Rocca Website / MySpace

Los Abandoned

More pictures on Flickr: photos / slideshow

LA's Los Abandoned were a pleasant surprise... Lead-singer Lady P. definitely knows how to capture the audience's attention. She sings in both Spanish and English, sometimes in the same song... I thought the banded sounded a bit like a Latin-American version of Be Your Own Pet. Good stuff...

Los Abandoned Website / MySpace


More pictures on Flickr: photos / slideshow

Birdmonster absolutely tore up the 400 Bar... Check them out live sometime and you will understand.

Birdmonster Website / MySpace

More coverage and photos of the evening over at BritishRockIsAlwaysTop.

- Steve

Music Bloggers...

Just stand around every gig and take photos?

No, actually we're the biggest fans:

Exhibit A:

(Mr. Brody from BritishRockIsAlwaysTop playing tambourine during Birdmonster's set)

Exhibit B:

(Myself helping Birdmonster on percussion duties)

OK, yeah, we're dorks, I give you that one ;)

- Steve

Mew / Onethousand Pictures live @ Fine Line Music Cafe 10/25/06


Hmmmmm, Mew, how to summarize the show, very tough. Let's start off by saying I missed Onethousand Pictures for the second time in a row. For some reason I thought there would be a 3rd band on the bill. I was wrong... by the time I walked into the gig, Mew had just started their first song.

Like Figurines last night, I thought Mew was good, but not great. I don't know... is there something I'm missing? The music is pretty decent, but there's just not a whole lot of stage presence. Then again, their final encore "Comforting Sounds" almost gave me goosebumps it was so good...

OK, what I'm trying to say... Mew was definitely a whole lot better headlining than opening for Kasabian. They're not 100% my thing, so you should check out their music and make up your own mind...

mp3: Mew - Comforting Sounds

Audio: "The Zookeeper's Boy"
WM Hi / lo

Audio: "Apocalypso"
WM Hi / lo

And since I missed them and I feel bad about that:

mp3: Onethousand Pictures - Cold Rain

Mandatory picture with the lead singer of Mew (to prove I was there and I heard of them first):

Before I go... do we all realize Robbie Williams just released a new album "Rudebox"? Now he's a boy after my taste. Actually, we're a lot a like, seriously... Maybe that's why I'm still single ;)

mp3: Robbie Williams - Lovelight (Lewis Taylor Cover)

Man, I love Robbie's new album, I don't care what anybody says. OK, gotta' go...

Mew Website / MySpace
Onethousand Pictures Website / MySpace

- Steve

P.S. My buddy Brody's Mew review and pictures are up. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Figurines / Planes for Spaces live @ 400 Bar 10/24/06


Kind of a last-second decision that I wound up going to this gig... Unfortunately I missed local opener Planes for Spaces. From what people told me, they were great. I really enjoyed Figurines. Kind of an indie-Danish version of Tapes 'n Tapes. Good, but didn't blow me away or anything...

BritishRockIsAlwaysTop was all over this show and has a nice review and some great pictures. HowWasTheShow has a review as well.

Full wrap-up and photos of Mew / Onethousand Pictures / Birdmonster / Los Abandoned / La Rocca to come tomorrow. And yeah, Birdmonster loves me too:

- Steve

Tonight in Minneapolis: Mew / Onethousand Pictures


Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - Fine Line Music Cafe
7:30pm - 18+ $12.00
Mew w/
Onethousand Pictures

The Danish invasion of the Twin Cities continues tonight with Mew at the Fine Line. They just finished a US tour with Kasabian and are back in the Twin Cities. This time they're headlining. Get ready for some epic vocals and grand guitar soundscapes. San Diego's Onethousand Pictures opens the show. I'll see you there.

mp3: Mew - Comforting Sounds

Mew Website / MySpace
Onethousand Pictures Website / MySpace

- Steve

Birdmonster loves you!

'Cause I love Jax... this one is just for her! Greetings from Minneapolis. Hope you feel better soon :)

- Steve

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tonight in Minneapolis: Birdmonster, La Rocca, Figurines, Planes for Spaces, etc.

Wow, lots of great stuff going on in the Twin Cities tonight:


Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 400 Bar
Late Show: 9:30pm - 18+ $10.00
Birdmonster w/
La Rocca and Los Abandoned

I missed San Francisco's Birdmonster last time they played here in September as I was in Europe. I'm happy to see them back on tour in the Midwest so soon. Best of all, Ireland's (or is it LA now?) La Rocca is joining them for the tour. Should be one hell of a show...

mp3: Birdmonster - 'Cause You Can
mp3: La Rocca - This Life

Audio/Video: Birdmonster on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic 10/20/06

Birdmonster Website / MySpace
La Rocca Website / MySpace
Los Abandoned Website / MySpace


Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 400 Bar
Early Show: 7:00pm - All Ages $10.00
Figurines w/
Planes for Spaces

The Danish invasion of the Twin Cities begins today with indie rockers/popsters Figurines (Mew and The Blue Van are playing here later this week). Promising local band Planes for Spaces open the show.

mp3: Figurines - The Wonder
mp3: Planes for Spaces - Dream Number One

Figurines Website / MySpace
Planes for Spaces Website / MySpace

A couple of other cool gigs tonight:

> The Hold Steady, Sean Na Na, Robotboy @ First Avenue - 8pm - 18+ $15.00 (Sold Out)

> Steve Poltz, Joanna James @ Nomad World Pub - 8pm - 21+ $8.00

See you at one of these gigs tonight ;)

- Steve

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tonight in Minneapolis: Mobius Band

Thursday, October 19, 2006 - First Ave 7th Street Entry
8:00pm - 21+ $6.00 (!)
Mobius Band w/
Baby Dayliner and Mystery Palace

I really liked Mobius Band when I saw them open up for Stellastarr* and The Editors last April. Since then they've continued to tour with the likes of Tom Vek and most recently The National. Tonight they finally get to headline a gig for a change, and I think they deserve it.

Originally from a small town in Massachusetts, but now residing in Brooklyn (doesn't every band), the 3-piece crafts pop-rock with a hint of electronica thrown in the mix. Reminds me of a more electronic Longwave, actually.

NY's Baby Dayliner and local band Mystery Palace open the festivities. From what I've sampled, both of these bands should be great as well.

Enough babbling... check the tunes. If you like 'em, come on down to the gig. It's only $6.00! Cheaper and probably better than a ticket to the movies...

mp3: Mobius Band - The Loving Sound of Static
mp3: Mobius Band - Twilight
YouTube: Mobius Band - The Loving Sound of Static

mp3: Baby Dayliner - At Least
YouTube: Baby Dayliner - Silent Places

Mobius Band Website / MySpace
Baby Dayliner Website / MySpace
Mystery Palace Website / MySpace

I do realize the very talented Regina Spektor is playing @ Varsity Theatre tonight as well. Should be a great gig. BritishRockIsAlwaysTop has a preview for you. Unfortunately, it's sold out, so unless you have a ticket, you should come down to 7th Street Entry.

Lots of good shows coming up here in the coming week... I also got a bunch of great new music, so look for more content on the site over the next few days.

- Steve

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

Beirut / A Hawk and a Hacksaw / Animal Hospital live @ Triple Rock Social Club 10/14/06


(A Hawk and a Hacksaw)

Lots more pictures on Flickr: photos / slideshow

Sorry about the lack of updates late last week. I was house and animal-sitting for my Mom the past few days. I did make it out to one live gig last Saturday, though. Here's what went down.

I had heard a lot of Beirut. Most of it was a few months back when the blogger-buzz was in full swing and he/they played many-a-shows on the East Coast. Luckily for us here in the Midwest the band finally hit the road and graced us with a visit here in Minneapolis / St. Paul @ Triple Rock Social Club with openers A Hack and a Hacksaw and Animal Hospital.

When I arrived at Triple Rock ~ 10:20pm Saturday to meet my friend Amy, doors hadn't even opened yet. They were supposed to open at 10pm... it was a brisk 30 degree night so the wait was not too pleasant... I believe another early show at the club had run a bit late. I actually hadn't expected too many people for the show... by the time the doors opened around 10:45pm the line was about 1/2 a block long.

Animal Hospital, a one-man solo project (Kevin Micka) from Boston hit the stage first. Due to the late door-opening he had to cut his set short to 20 minutes, which translated into 2 (very long) songs. His sound could be described as "atmoshperic" or "eclectic". He played a variety of different instruments, sampled them all together, and then played around with the effect pedals on the floor. A very shoe-gazerish set, actually.

Albuquerque's A Hawk and a Hacksaw were up next and definitely gave us a taste of what to expect musically for the rest of the evening. The duo, consisting of Violinist Heather Trost, and percussionist/ vocalist/ accordian-player Jeremy Barnes, performed some beautiful melodies. Jeremy was very entertaining to watch as he played a multitude of percussion instruments, the accordian, and sang, all at the same time. Like Beirut, their sound was very Balkan influenced... at times I felt like I was at a Gypsy wedding.

Triple Rock was quite crowded by the time Beirut took to the stage. The band, aka singer-songwriter Zach Condon, and 9 other band-members started jamming out their Eastern European folk tunes immediately. Trumpets, Saxes, Ukuleles, Mandolins, Guitars, Keyboards, a Cello, lots of percussion... the number of different instruments was staggering. Quite surprising how great and loose the songs sounded. Much better live than on record in my opinion. At times during the set I kept thinking I was watching a mixture between Gogol Bordello and Arcade Fire. Very entertaining to say the least. For one of the last tunes, Zach and some other band members performed in the audience. The crowd (obviously) loved it.

All in all, great night and great show. Beirut really impressed me. Well worth freezing 20 minutes in line for...

Continue to look for great things from Zach and his band in the future. Beirut continues their tour in Seattle 10/17/06. Check their website and myspace for more details and info.

mp3: Beirut - Brandenburg
mp3: Beirut - Postcards from Italy

YouTube: Beirut "Brandenburg" live @ Triple Rock 10/14/06

Beirut Website / MySpace
A Hawk and a Hacksaw Website / MySpace
Animal Hospital Website / MySpace

Have a nice Monday!

- Steve

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Europe - September 2006

I finally finished uploading the photos from my recent trip to Europe:

Braunschweig (Brunswick), Germany
Sep 5 - Sep 12, Oct 1, 2006: 182 Photos
Flickr photos / slideshow

Berlin, Germany
Sep 12 - Sep 15, 2006: 126 Photos
Flickr photos / slideshow

Wien (Vienna), Austria
Sep 15 - Sep 22, Sep 24 - 29, 2006: 166 Photos
Flickr photos / slideshow

Praha (Prague), Czech Reublic
Sep 22 - Sep 24, 2006 - 29: 170 Photos
Flickr photos / slideshow

Hamburg, Germany
Sep 30 - Oct 1, 2006 - 29: 20 Photos
Flickr photos / slideshow

And a tune I heard a lot while in Austria and Germany:

mp3: Juli - Dieses Leben (August RMX Remix)
YouTube: Juli - Dieses Leben
Juli Website

Friends and family abroad, I miss you, and I'll see you all again real soon! Thanks for putting up with me in September ;)

- Steve

The Stills / Cold War Kids

Sadly, 2 cancelled shows to inform you about:

1) The Stills - October 11 - Station 4, St. Paul
2) Cold War Kids - October 14 - First Ave 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis

Bummer. Hopefully they'll make up the dates soon.

- Steve

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bettie Serveert / Slumber Party / Shoveldance live@ First Avenue 7th Street Entry 10/9/06, Part 2

Flickr photos / slideshow

Sometimes I wonder why some bands are not huge? Bettie Serveert should be. Honestly, they were better than TV on the Radio live a couple of nights ago. I missed Shoveldance once again, but other openers Slumber Party were pretty cool...

Bettie Serveert is off to the west coast for a few dates and then back to the east coast. I suggest you see them.

Best of luck to Slumber Party who is departing the tour after last night's date!

Bettie Serveert's setlist:

They played 3 encores afer that. I have no idea what they were, but I liked them ;)

The links one more time:
Bettie Serveert Website / MySpace
Slumber Party Website / MySpace
Shoveldance Website / MySpace

- Steve

Bettie Serveert / Slumber Party / Shoveldance live @ First Avenue 7th Street Entry 10/9/06, Part 1

Parking downtown Minneapolis: $5.00
Ticket to the the show: $10.00
CD & DVD Bare Stripped Naked: $15.00

Hangin' out with Bettie Serveert and Slumber Party in the basement of 7th Street Entry after the show: Priceless

Part 2 to come later today. Lots of great pictures. I was so close, the bass player almost nailed me in the head with his instrument. Seriously. Here's a teaser:

Unbelievable. Holland rocks.

- Steve

Monday, October 09, 2006

DJ's Nick Warren & Michael Burian live @ Roxy 9/23/06, Prague, Czech Republic

Flickr photos / slideshow

Wondering what a live DJ show is like in Prague? I had the chance to check out British House DJ Nick Warren and Czech DJ Michael Burian live @ Roxy 9/23/06.

Here's a video I filmed so you get the full "absinthe" effect:

Wow, what a night it was... ahh, the memories.

Nick Warren Website / MySpace
Michael Burian Website / MySpace

- Steve

Tonight in Minneapolis: Bettie Serveert

Locals, looking for a live music event tonight? May I suggest:

Monday, October 9, 2006 - First Ave 7th Street Entry
8:00pm - 21+ $10.00
Bettie Serveert w/
Slumber Party and Shoveldance

mp3: Bettie Serveert - Hell = Other People

Bettie Serveert Website / MySpace
Amazon: Bare Stripped Naked

- Steve

TV on the Radio / Grizzly Bear live @ First Avenue 10/8/06

(TV on the Radio joined by Grizzly Bear on stage)
Flickr photos / slideshow

Wow. "Rocktober" continues. TV on the Radio last night was spectacular. The opening band Grizzly Bear was ok. A bit too "art-rocky-folky" for my taste, but yet still enjoyable for the most part. First Avenue was pretty packed... TVotR was surprisingly "heavy"; I actually expected a bit more of an electronic sound. The live show gave me more of a hard-rock / post-punk kind of feeling, occasional mosh pit and crowd surfers included. "Wolf Like Me" and "Staring at the Sun" were a couple of my personal highlights. Also, the final encore with Grizzly Bear joining TVotR onstage was very cool.

Both bands continue their tour tonight in Chicago before hitting the US East Coast. Don't miss them on tour! Check their websites for further info and dates.

mp3: TV on the Radio - Province
YouTube: TV on the Radio live performance with Peter Murphy and Trent Reznor
Amazon: Return to Cookie Mountain

TV on the Radio Website / MySpace
Grizzly Bear Website / MySpace

Pitchfork Interview with Grizzly Bear

- Steve

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ben Kweller / Sam Roberts Band / Hymns live @ First Avenue 10/6/06

Flickr photos / slideshow

You know, I'm usually not a fan of singer/songwriter stuff. Actually it's pretty much the polar opposite of everything I listen to. However, last night's show was surprisingly good. I really enjoyed all 3 artists immensely. Ben Kweller is extraordinarily talented and crafts great organic pop/rock tunes. Do try to catch him live on tour at a venue near you soon. Thanks Amy for taking me to the gig last night!

mp3: Ben Kweller - Penny on the Train Track
mp3: Ben Kweller - Nothing Happening

Ben Kweller Website / MySpace
Sam Roberts Band Website / MySpace
Hymns Website / MySpace

- Steve

Friday, October 06, 2006

Kasabian / Mew / Onethousand Pictures live @ Fine Line Music Cafe 10/5/06


(Kasabian - Setlist)


More pictures on Flickr: photos / slideshow

My first show since returning from Europe definitely did not dissapoint. Unfortunately I missed San Diego's Onethousand Pictures. I'll catch them next time. Denmark's Mew delivered a crowd pleasing spaced-out set. Their live sound reminded me of a mixture between Sigur Ros and Coldplay. Kasabian walked out to the theme from A Clockwork Orange and played an energetic set that flat-out rocked. Lead-singer Tom and guitarist Serge definitely know how to get the audience involved. While I favor their old tunes, the new stuff sounded quite good as well.

Best part of the show for me was seing all my friends again. I missed you all over the last month! It's good to be back. Hanging out in the basement of the Fine Line with the bands was also a blast... seems like I'm right back in the swing of things.

For more on the show check out BritishRockIsAlwaysTop.

A couple of tunes for you to sample:
mp3: Kasabian - Empire
mp3: Mew - Comforting Sounds

A YouTube video I shot (sorry about the bad quality):
Kasabian "Club Foot" live @ Fine Line 10/5/06

More Related Links:
Kasabian - Website / MySpace
Mew - Website / MySpace
Onethousand Pictures - Website / MySpace

A message to my family and friends in Europe: Ich werde euch vermissen... Es war super euch alle zu sehen! Danke für alles! Ich komme bald wieder...

I'll try to get all my Europe photos and a post up soon. Have a nice weekend!

- Steve