Archive for the 'Show Review' Category

Jun 19 2008

My Morning Jacket – Bonnaroo 2008

Published by under MP3's,Show Review,Video

On Monday, I got back from another jam-packed Bonnaroo. The music was great, the weather was great (for the most part), and I had a great time catching up with close buddies of mine.

My three favorite performances were: My Morning Jacket, Broken Social Scene, and The Raconteurs. Nomo definitely deserves an honorary mention.

My Morning Jacket played one hell of a show.  They played close to a four hour set from 12 to 4 am. It rained a tad bit during the show, which led to some technical difficulties, but it was nonetheless, amazing. The rain  was magical. It felt like the Truman show where the soundboard was controlling the drizzle/pouring down rain. Comedian Zach Galifianakis’ drunken appearance at the end put the icing on the cake (see video below).

MMJ did a Velvet Underground cover of “Oh! Sweet Nuthin'” that is among the best covers I’ve ever heard.  Below is a recording of it that isn’t the best quality, but hasn’t stopped me from listening to it over and over again. Check out MMJ tonight on Conan!

Here is a short video of MMJ playing Roo. It’s pretty neat, and captures how awesome this show was.

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Zach Galifianakis’ MMJ Cameo

 Over the next few weeks we will be sharing more about Bonnaroo. For those of you who were there, tell us who you saw! What were your favorite Bonnaroo moments?

This is who I saw: Newton Faulker, MGMT, Battles, Zach Galifianakis, Nomo, Drive By Truckers, Umphrey’s McGee, Stephen Marley, The Raconteurs, M.I.A, Chris Rock, My Morning Jacket, Tiesto, The Disco Biscuits, B.B King, Iron & Wine, Jack Johnson, Pearl Jam, Rogue Wave, Orchestra Baobab, Yonder Mountain String Band, Phil Lesh, Broken Social Scene,and Derek Trucks.

Live At Bonnaroo 2008

My Morning Jacket – Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ (Velvet Underground)

Loaded:

Velvet Underground – Oh! Sweet Nuthin’

Bonnaroo Site | My Morning Jacket Site

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Mar 13 2008

Show & Album Review: Born Ruffians

Published by under MP3's,Show Review,Video

A week ago, I had the chance to see the Toronto band Born Ruffians perform at DC9. I listened through their new album Red, Yellow and Blue (Warp Records) several times throughout the weeks prior to the show, but other than that, didn’t know a whole lot about the band. I was surprised how young all three of the band members are, and they had the physical appearance of any typical high school band. The main difference though is that they played like they have been doing this for a long, long time. I had a great time watching the Born Ruffians perform and encourage you to check out their site to see if they are touring near you.

Clap Your Hands comes to mind when listening to the Born Ruffians, mainly because of Luke LaLonde’s distinct voice, that can at times be comparible to Alec Ounsworth, but I like them more than Clap Your Hands. Their music is some of the best indie rock I have heard recently, and while at first I thought this was an album I would only occasionally listen to, the catchy songs have only been growing more and more on me. With the combination of instrumentals, lead vocals, and doo-wop back-up vocals their music give off a 1950’s vibe that makes them stand out from the masses of indie rock being produced today.

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First music video (Hummingbird)

Even though I am not typically one who particularly likes Pitchfork’s overwrought reviews, I really enjoyed reading their review of this album. Pitchfork Contributor Stuart Berman made some great points:

Arriving in Toronto three years ago from the nearby town of Midland, on paper Born Ruffians seemed antithetical to the prevailing group-hug atmosphere: they boast no auxiliary horn or string sections, no spotlight-stealing guest female singers, no balaclava-clad dancers– just three unassuming kids in standard guitar/bass/drums formation.

It is impressive how much the band has going on at one time, given that there are only three of them. They have a much more simple dynamic than most of the stand-out bands coming out of Canada, yet are able to do so much with the basic formation they have. At the show, my favorite part was watching Mitch DeRosier (bass) and Steve Hamelin (drums) sing back-up vocals. Mitch showed a lot of passion on bass and vocals and was jumping all over the place on the small stage at DC9.

On a side note, I don’t know what has been up with Canada, but one good band after another keeps popping up out of the country. Talk about an act of terror, US! What are we going to do about this? Can we really accept not being the number one country producing today’s best music? We need to up the ante. Any suggestions? All I’ve come up with is improving our music programs, er, bombing Canada.

Born Ruffians – I Need A Life

Born Ruffians – Little Garçon

Site| iTunes | Amazon| Insound| Myspace

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Feb 27 2008

Show Review: Wilco (9:30 Club, DC-2/26)

Published by under MP3's,Show Review

photo thanks to: kingpinphoto.com and NPR: All Things Considered

I have seen Wilco perform seven times before, but never have I seen them put on a show like they did last night at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. Simply put, Wilco is more vibrant than ever before. Jeff Tweedy appears healthier than I’ve ever seen him. I’ve never seen him play so passionately, interact with the fans so personally, or smile so much. If it weren’t for Wilco fine-tuning their music so magnificently, their enthusiasm could have deceived me into believing this was one of their first performances ever as a band.

Wilco performed many of their older songs that they don’t typically play. Perhaps it was the band’s decision to play their whole discography over a five-day period at Chicago’s Riviera theater that gave them this new renewed energy. Browsing their setlist’s from other shows though, including those in Chicago, I am led to believe that Wilco’s performance yesterday was one of their best ever. I would be surprised if it doesn’t eventually become a live album.

The 9:30 Club is a small-medium sized venue, perhaps housing a little less than a thousand people. Tickets for both shows sold out within ten minutes, which means the venue was packed with loyal fans (I mean, I wasn’t even able to pick up a ticket). Of course, many scalpers got their hands on tickets, but only loyal fans would pay the 200-400% increase from face value. With that said, it was awesome to see so many people singing along with songs from Mermaid Avenue, A.M., Being There, and Summer Teeth. At a break, a fan gave Jeff Tweedy a homemade Grammy, as the Foo Fighters robbed the band from the real one. Jeff Tweedy jokingly responded, “ Thanks for the Grammy. We already decided we didn’t want one.”

Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche are amazing musicians and fascinating to watch. I heard that Nels Cline is touring with 16 guitars, and he plays like a crazy man. Glenn Kotche is a phenomenal percussionist, and his creativity in making certain sounds is really entertaining. For example, last night he used a bunch of keys on the end of one of his sticks. I have no idea how he plays so much at one time, but respect him a lot for his talent. You should check out Kotche’s side project, and if you live in NYC, he is doing two solo sets with Bryce Dessner (The National) and Matthew Ritchie on March 13 & 14 at The Kitchen.

Thanks to Vox Populi (good review), here is an almost complete set-list (click “continue reading” to see it). I will be updating the list as soon as possible.

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Feb 21 2008

Show Review: Bon Iver (Rock and Roll Hotel, DC- 2/19)

Published by under MP3's,Show Review

Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to see Justin Vernon, a.k.a Bon Iver, open for Black Mountain at the Rock and Roll Hotel. In the middle of Vernon’s forty-five minute set, he played “The Wolves: Act I and II,” and asked the crowd to help out by chanting “What might have been lost.” As corny as this may sound, hearing this live made me realize that a lot would have been lost if I had missed this show.

Those in attendance seemed engaged and every so often when I looked back, I saw mesmerized faces that looked similar to my own when I first heard Bon Iver’s music. I could tell there were a lot of people who were hearing Vernon’s music for the first time, which is not surprising given his debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago released the same day as the show. Speaking with others, I know I wasn’t the only one there who came mostly to see Bon Iver.

The show was exactly what I imagined it would be, except that I was under the assumption that Bon Iver would be playing solo. He has songs with percussions, so I knew there might be someone helping out at times, but I pictured him playing acoustically by himself. Instead, he was supported by his friends Michael and Sean on the baritone guitar and drums, and they all sounded great. “Blindsided” was definitely the highlight of the show, with Vernon jamming it up. He was all over the place, messing with different knobs, and doin’ the ole rock n’ roll bender downer (below pic). Sure enough he managed to knock the mic stand down. If you have a chance to see Bon Iver live, do it. I unfortunately wasn’t able to stay for Black Mountain, but heard they put on a good show. If anyone else saw them, please share your thoughts.


the ole rock n’ roll bender downer

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Jan 29 2008

The Fiery Furnaces/Holy Fuck/Super Furry Animals at The 9:30 Club, 01/27/08

Published by under MP3's,Show Review

ffl

Upon arriving at the bland, warehouse looking 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. last night, I could already make out the muffled sounds of openers Holy Fuck. Hailing from Toronto, Holy Fuck play a strange mix of electronica that jumps from fast paced, toe tapping techno to experimental noise (although they never lose track of a steady beat that had everyone in the crowd throwing their head back and forth). As we walked in I could hear the familiar jumpy bass of “The Pulse” off of their debut album simply titled LP. At the front of the stage, Brian Borcherdt stood facing across stage Graham Walsh, both armed with a table full of electronic devices, keyboards, wires, you name it. Behind them, Brad Kilpatrick pounded away on the drum set, keeping a steady rhythm and following along with the array electronic noises coming from the front. Next to him, bassist Matt McQuaid followed suit, providing the booming bass lines so crucial for their music. As Borcherdt yelped away on dancey tracks like “Royal Gregory” or the speedy, pounding “Super Inuit,” Walsh answered with bouncy keyboard lines and zainy loops. Other highlights were the epic, crushing “Lovely Allen” and the spastic “Safari.” Overall great set that got everyone in attendance to bob their head and move around.

 

Next up, The Fiery Furnaces. Just some background for those not familiar, The Fiery Furnaces are a Brooklyn based outfit consisting of brother and sister Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger. While Matthew handles all instrumental duties on record (guitar, piano, drums, bass, lyrics, backing vocals), Eleanor offers the voice of the Fiery Furnaces. They’re known for their long songs, concept albums and playful mix of classical piano, intensely heavy korg sections and guitar based indie pop. Another trademark of their music is Eleanor’s unique vocal delivery. The mix of Cat Power/Patti Smith low vocals and Matthew’s strange, verbose lyrics makes for a most interesting combination. I can also say that Eleanor’s schizophrenic, almost Karen O like stage presence lives up perfectly to her unique vocals, sporting a checkered button down shirt and fiercely pounding her hand on her hip along to the mind boggling tempo and time signature changes of the music behind her. Joining her and Matthew on stage (Matthew played about three or four different Korgs and Keyboards) were Bob D’Amico on drums and Jason Loewenstein on bass, who were both incredible at their instruments and kept up perfectly with Matthew’s speedy piano bursts. Though most of the songs that they played were from their 2007 effort Widow City, the songs were at times unrecognizable. All of them were full of incredibly intense bursts of distorted keyboard and crunchy, overdriven bass, which would abruptly switch back to poppy piano lines without notice.  The overdrive on Loewenstein’s bass made it sound just like a guitar as he soloed wildly, reminiscent of Death From Above 1979’s Jesse Keeler. “Clear Signal From Cairo,” “Duplexes Of The Dead,” “Japanese Slippers,” “The Philadelphia Grand Jury,” “Blueberry Boat,” “Tropical Ice-Land,” “Single Again,” “Right By Conquest,” “Don’t Dance Her Down,” were all among the songs played, though I’m sure there were a few new ones in there. Fantastic set overall, highly recommended live.

 

As for the Super Furry Animals, I had never heard a song by them and after watching about four songs of their alternative rock antics, I had decided that I could have probably left it that way and lived my life without missing anything. Apparently they have a pretty big following though, as it was apparent by crowd reaction that most were there to see them but I just didn’t find them very appealing. Their second song “Golden Retriever” was fun though.

 

Despite the disappointing headliner, still a great show, well worth my 15 dollars. Definitely check this tour out if it’s coming near you. I believe Super Furry Animals are being replaced by A Place To Bury Strangers somewhere along the tour.

 

From Holy Fuck’s LP:

 

“Royal Gregory”

 

“Lovely Allen”

 

From The Fiery Furnaces’ Blueberry Boat:

 

“Straight Street”

 

“Blueberry Boat”

 

“My Dog Was Lost But Now He’s Found”

 

From Widow City:

 

“The Philadelphia Grand Jury”

 

“Clear Signal From Cairo”

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