Saturday, June 30, 2007

July 2007 Concert Calendar Highlights

-Friday July 6th is one of a few nights in July that has multiple options: Fuji &
Miyagi are at the South Street Seaport, A Sunny Day in Glasgow are at the Cake Shop, and the Violets will be at the Luna Lounge.

-Cat Power will be at the McCarren Park Pool the next night.

-Art Brut continues its tour of every venue in the Big Apple with a show at the Highline on Monday the 9th. The White Rabbits will be opening.

-Do do doo do do do dooooooooo do do do do do do doooooooo: Suzanne Vega at the Highline 3 days after Brut.

-The Decemberists return with a show at Central Park's SummerStage on Monday the 16th.

-The Fratellis leap frog over the successes of hundreds of other bands and will headline a show at the Roseland Ballroom on the 18th.

-It's a night of old and new as the Mooney Suzuki and the Muldoons perform at the Mercury Lounge on the 18th. You can also catch the Suzuki back on the 9th at Maxwell's.

-Electric Six does the Rocks Off Concert Cruise on the 19th and the next night do it again at Maxwell's.

-Speaking of the next night, Friday July 20th is huge, and so is Saturday the 21st. Arguably the most packed two days of the summer:
  • Neko Case at the Central Park SummerStage.
  • Battles, the band pushed on this blog, will be performing at Studio B.
  • Gogol Bordello kicks off two nights at Irving Plaza.
  • Wil Hoge at Southpaw.
  • Electric Six at Maxwell's.
And Saturday the 21st:
  • The Village Voice Siren Festival will rock out one last time at Astroland with the New York Dolls, MIA, We Are Scientists, Voxtrot, Matt and Kim, The Black Lips, Dr. Dog, Noisettes, The Detroit Cobras, Elvis Perkins, the White Rabbits, the Twilight Sad, and more.
  • The Ponys and Jay Reatard at the Bowery Ballroom.
  • Aimee Mann at Warsaw.
  • Gogol Bordello at Irving, night 2.
  • Dirty Excuse at Magnetic Field.
-Not enough Cobras for you? They're back at Maxwell's the next night.

As if that's not enough, Tueday the 24th thinks it's a weekend night out, or as we call it in New York, a night out:
  • Some stupid band called the White Stripes will be playing Madison Square Garden and they get some losers named Nick Cave (hiding under the name Grinderman) and Porter Wagoner to help out. At least superstar Marty Stuart will be on hand to help out young Mr. Wagoner.
  • Devotchka kicks off the first of two nights at the Spiegeltent at the South Street Seaport.
  • The Comas and Great Northern will be at the Mercury Lounge.
-John Doe, himself no slouch, will be at the Merc on the 26th and Maxwell's on the 29th to promote his new solo record.

-Sonic Youth will be at the McCarren Park Pool on Saturday the 28th. The same night, Mondo Topless returns to Magnetic Field.

-TV on the Radio does a free show at the McCarren Park Pool on Sunday the 29th.

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Morissey Is Out, The Go Are In

Poor, sickly Morrissey had to postpone his MSG gig for tonight but as an alternative, it turns out that the Go are playing New York for the first time that I can recall (but I'm sure they've played here before). They'll be at Pianos.

Speaking of the Go, their former band member is having a heck of a time in the Great White North, and it looks like he's commissioned a documentary to record the goings on, as I hoped for.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

  • "26 years of nothing but failures and promises that I can't keep, oh no, but I'm not ready to go"
  • I think I met Miss Modern Age at the Ryan Adams show and neither of us know it. Considering the lip I gave her for posting a picture of Jack White's private life, it was probably for the best. Anyway, Miss Modern Age, if you are a dark, curly haired white girl who wore black to the show, took pictures from every angle, and talked a lot with a nice drunk blonde haired guy named Jim, you met me. But I'm not Jim. Nor was I his glasses wearing friend or the woman they were with. I joined them after the show and you gave Jim your email. In fact, it probably wasn't you. So nevermind. Don't post pictures of Jack White doing house chores anymore.
  • If God wanted us to sleep, there'd have been a God.
  • Life is a series of vindictive competitions, the only thing that changes are the contestants.
  • I am so sick of philosophical quips about life.
  • Here's what else I am sick of: Politicians and their goons who use the phrase: "[Insert rival's name here] is dead wrong on [insert issue here]". Their opponent just can't be wrong, they have to be dead wrong. Because we live in such dangerous times, for a politician's judgement to be wrong means we're all going to die. Which may actually be true (think of the thousands dead since Bush made wrong decisions). But it's that typical tone of arrogance, of political smugness, that comes with the vocal breathing of "dead wrong" that I can't stand. "Dead wrong" has replaced "Just another typical liberal" as the arrogant, smug political catchphrase of choice, except that this one is being used by both sides.
  • That all being said, Ann Coulter is dead wrong on the idea of living. She should look into considering other choices. Faggot.
  • Don't confuse Wolfmother with Wolf Parade or Sea Wolf. Also don't confuse the Most Serene Republic with the now defunct Golden Republic. While you're at it, try not to confuse the Duke Spirit with the Delta Spirit. Or Tiger Monkeys, Lions & Tigers, and TigerCity.
  • I don't know if television show creators do it anymore, but for years they kept trying to come up with competition for Regis and Kelly Lee (for brevity's sake, I'm merging Regis' co-hosts into one, amalgamated form), and all they would do is pair up another man and woman and change nothing. I suppose they thought that morning daytime viewers were just tired of the same hosts, not the format. That's no way to run a competition. Years ago, I remember one of Regis' brief co-hosts was Bernadette Peters. And it's a little known fact, but Bernadette Peters was pretty hot. You know, once you forgot the showtunes.

  • Labels:

    16 Diet Cokes And Swiss Cheese Up In This Piece

    Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
    @ Hiro Ballroom at the Maritime Hotel
    New York, NY - June 26, 2007

    Yo, son, as Ry-dawg himself likes to talk like this, I best be tryin' to write my review this way, yo. He came out, lookin' something like a Blues Brother, and said "let's play some music up in this piece", it was whack, yo. But then he played a set that - and I don't mean to sound like some soft-ass shorty - that was beautiful, yo. He mostly played his new album, Easy Tiger - "Goodnight Rose" and "The Sun Also Sets" were highlights - and he busted out classic trax like "Let It Ride", "Winding Wheel", "Dear John", and "Goodnight Hollywood Blvd". He even ended the night with Alice in Chains' "Down in a Hole", holmes! Now why a guy who writes about 25,000 songs a year needs to do any covers is beyond this G's ways of thinking, but Ryan did it anyway and it worked, son. It was off da hook. His band, the Flip Mode Squad Cardinals, are tight, yo! When Ry-money wasn't distracting the crowd with his warm and silly banter, his boyz were playing like they was at the Grand Ole Opry or somethin' - but not in that cornball cracker ass way. It's a good thing Ryan sang perfectly too, cuz otherwise his remarks - about the hotel looking like swiss cheese, about how he drank 16 diet cokes, peppering all of his shizznit with "right now, in New York City, right now" - would have been lame, dawg. But what was cool was when he got the dragon head above the stage to smoke. That smoke was smokin', son. But no special FX was needed as Ryan and the band were, as previously mentioned, off the hook, right now, in New York City, right now. Not bad for a thug who calls his songs "sad bullshit".
    Pic from Stereogum:
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    Here are some pics from Suburban Cowboy
    Here are a couple videos from Keegandewitt:

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    Monday, June 25, 2007

    Pancake Mountain

    I'm not quite sure what the heck Pancake Mountain actually is but it sure is weird.

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    Sunday, June 24, 2007

    Artist of the Week: Ryan Adams

    Never one to be outdone, The Ry has put together his own suddenly announced show at a small venue in the Big Apple. In support of his new alt-country album (and his refurbished country crooner voice), the occasionally petulant Mr. Adams treats his fans generally well and Tuesday night promises to be a pleasant experience to be had by all, and if something pugnacious should happen, so be it. At least he won't be rapping...or will he? The Cardinals should have something to say about that.

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    MMM Cake Shop

    The Subjects; Black Tie Revue; Excellent
    @ Cake Shop
    New York, NY - June 23, 2007

    The Cake Shop is one of the best venues in New York. A cafe upfront, a record store in the back (with a terrific collection of 7" records), and a bar/venue downstairs, the Ludlow LES site is one of those places that should, by all rights, be a New York staple, a future landmark.

    The Subjects are very good at what they do but at the same time, there aren't a lot of ways to describe them except to call them indie rock/pop. They don't sound particularly special but they are a good Saturday night small venue band.
    Pittsburgh's Black Tie Revue has stuck in my mind since I saw them several years ago at the Trash Bar in Williamsburg. I remembered the chorus from one song and never shook it. All these years later, it is easy to understand what made BTR memorable in the first place - a series of rockin' riffs and good time fun. Not goofy (except for their curious keyboardist) but not too cool for school either, BTR gives a little kick in the pants to the Rust Belt Rock that has been steadily fading away. They deserve to be bigger.
    Excellent is a band that plays a little more power pop than the Subjects but suffer from two non-music problems: a lead singer that tries too hard to look like Robin Zander from Cheap Trick, and a horrible band name. Excellent is an atrocious choice for a band name. Their music is fine but not solid. Maybe if they work on the name, that will inspire them to put a little more oomph into their sound. Good kids, nice use of the sax, but seriously...Excellent?

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    Wednesday, June 20, 2007

    K-Rock Is Back...and it still sucks

    So much for Free-FM. The corporate overlords at CBS Radio and their masters above them decided to bring back the K-Rock brand to the 92.3 frequency almost a month ago but as they brought back the same tepid contemporary rock format, no one seems to care. Though despite placing a certain oft-mentioned band right dead smack in the center of their website, K-Rock has resumed playing bands like that on a minimal level and sticking to the same post-Linkin Park brand of downer rock or emo. They will never succeed if they don't at least try to offer something different. With the internet staring them down, and the diversity of music tearing apart the profitability and credibility of their genre, K-Rock needs to mix it up and mix it up fast. Don't be afraid to play indie rock and pop like the Hold Steady or the Decemberists. Take whatever flavor of the month is currently the darling of dance-rock, world music or gypsy rock, or alt-country and run with them. Instead of 30 Seconds to Mars, My Chemical Romance, or even the Foo Fighters, play Wilco, the Fratellis, and Arcade Fire. Instead of insisting that Papa Roach is still around, play Jarvis Cocker. There is a reason that K-Rock was shelved. Bringing it back the way it was is not a sensible solution. Even if playing the stuff they should be playing fails, they should at least try it. Go down in a blaze of glory instead of a blaze of mediocrity.

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    Return to Red

    The White Stripes; Citizens' Band
    @ The Fillmore at Irving Plaza
    New York, NY - June 19, 2007

    Greatest Day Before My Birthday Present Ever, the most intimate New York White Stripes show since the Bowery Ballroom in 2002, five years in the making, Jack and Meg White return with Icky Thump and a sense of "back to basics" that every durable band goes through. Get Behind Me Satan indeed, the Stripes were in their early years red, the stage was bathed in red, there was very little white or black to be found, and only for this band could the aesthetic matter so much. It matters so much because it affects the intensity. The lavishness of GBMS went hand in hand with the bizarre and at times lounging sounds of that record but with this return to the original aesthetic, the Stripes unleashed a torrent, a fury, of hard blues and rock n roll. Even the rare ballad or shuffle-friendly ditty sounded full of tenacity.
    Meg White has never been better at the drums, and while that doesn't mean she's doing more than she's ever done before, she's doing it with the most intensity she has ever had. Jack sang with his heart entirely in it, with no messing around, except for a few odd rambles about Spin Magazine, drinking a latte in different locations of New York, Yonkers, and an incident at a camp with a squirrel when he was a kid. But what's the brother supposed to do, he's Samoan somewhat insane.
    The new songs, from what I could make out (I haven't listened to the album yet), are fine. Some sound a little uninspired but it's not even a detraction. The Stripes catalog was in full force, and the crowd loved every minute of it. Listening to the pre-show requests to stay calm, the crowd was as intense and excited a New York crowd I have seen that didn't go totally off their hinges. It may have just been my perception, but it seemed that the crowd elicited its biggest reactions to the 2 GBMS songs that were played...which is kind of disturbing. But nevertheless, the crowd was a wake-up call: the Stripes are big. Big big. And for all the notoriety of the online-centered community that follows the Stripes every step of the way, it is clear that there are thousands upon thousands of silent, unspoken mega fans who wait their turn till the band comes around again. This silent majority is the reason the Stripes have sneaked into the popular consciousness - as it can be defined for them in this kind of age. For such a fractured, diverse, society, for a rock n roll band to elicit this kind of intensity, this kind of loyalty, this kind of supremacy (and at the risk of hyperbole, yes "supremacy" is the right word), it is a testament to their craft, particularly to Jack who is writing songs and playing guitar at a rate and an accuracy that needs no sense of relative measurement, it is just monumentally on its own. But even more particularly to Meg, whose sole task is to make sure that Jack delivers the White Stripes to the people each time he decides to do so.

    And yet I thought there were no words to describe it all.

    Setlist (via Stereogum and Modern Age):
    01 "When I Hear My Name"
    02 "Dead Leaves"
    03 "Icky Thump"
    04 "Cannon"
    05 "John The Revelator"
    06 "My Doorbell"
    07 "I’m Slowly Turning Into You"
    08 "Jolene" (cut short)
    09 "Hotel Yorba"
    10 "I Think I Smell A Rat" (Jack teases "Misirlou")
    11 "Effect And Cause"
    12 "Apple Blossom"
    13 "Same Boy You’ve Always Known"
    14 "Catch Hell Blues"
    15 "St. James Infirmary Blues"
    16 "Cold, Cold Night"
    17 "I Want to be the Boy to Warm Your Mother’s Heart"
    18 "You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket"
    19 "Astro"
    20 "Union Forever" (lyric tease to "Little Cream Soda")
    ++ Jack's caffeinated NYC sightseeing day*
    21 "Blackjack Davey"
    22 "Black Math"
    23 "Let's Build A Home"
    23 "Blue Orchid"
    ++ Jack's squirrely standup#
    24 "A Martyr For My Love For You"
    25 "I Don't Know What To Do With Myself"
    26 "Ball And A Biscuit"
    27 "Bo Weevil"

    Citizens' Band are an extremely large collective (I counted about 15 or 16 on stage at their peak) who blend Moulin Rouge, Cabaret, and Broadway into their theatrics. It may not be a rock n roll opener, but it certainly set the tone for the night, that this is New York and - as cliche as it is to say it is cliche - anything can happen. The fact that Jack's wife Karen Elson is a singer in this thing should be noted. The fact that she is a good singer should also be noted.
    I doubt they will be opening for the Stripes elsewhere, which made it all the more special.

    Photo from Danfun:
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    Photo from Galenh:
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    Photo from Brooklyn Vegan:
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    To give you some sense of what it was like, here is some of their performance from Bonnaroo on Sunday:

    And here are the Conan performances from Monday: Icky and Effect

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    Sunday, June 17, 2007

    Artist of the Week: Take A Wild Guess

    Sudden announced show for Tuesday? Album out on the same day? Magazine articles trashing people (including this writer) and declaring himself proudly selfish? YOU KNOW that Jack White and his better half are the band of the week.

    From their recent appearance on Later:

    Effect and Cause:

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    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    This Isn't The Modern Age, I swear

    The White Stripes, fresh off Jack's assessment of Pennypacker's "Does Jack White Hate Me?" philosophy in Blender and announcement of playing an intimate Los Angeles show on Pennypacker's birthday, are now going to play at Irving Plaza the night before Pennypacker's birthday. A good time will be had by all, including all the hipsters that Jack hates so much.

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    Sunday, June 10, 2007

    Ween Loves You...

    ...Even If You Don't

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    Artist of the Week: Apples In Stereo

    Spawned from the Elephant 6 collective, and toiling the land for nigh on a decade, the Apples in Stereo, are finally getting their due. Led by the wonderfully exuberant Robert Schneider, the Apples recall the psychadelic pop sounds of the Flaming Lips but with a more consistent penchant to just rock out, rather than experiment with the symphonic. This is amply displayed on their current record, New Magnetic Wonder, which in addition to the sure fire hits "Can You Feel It?" and "Open Eyes", features an instant power-pop classic in "Energy":

    Catch the band at the Housing Works Used Books Cafe on Friday night or with Television the next day.

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    Smooth As Silk

    Stephanie's Id
    @ Sidewalk
    New York, NY - June 9, 2007

    From the blue-soaked oasis of Asheville, North Carolina (rising fast as a friendly rival to Athens & Atlanta, Georgia and seemingly the entire state of Tennessee), comes the sounds of Stephanie's Id. Led by a charming female singer (Stephanie Morgan of the band name), the Id back their chanteuse with a sound that is not yet completely polished but is certainly on its way there. The elements of smooth are so profound, in all its indie pop revelry, you can almost feel the silk emanating from the performance space. One of a flock of new bands (spread so throughout the US that it could be called an unknown diaspora) whose very sound is ripe for the phrase "thinking music", Stephanie's Id is yet another band that is rapidly recording the soundtrack to our lives.

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    Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

  • 12 dollar Long Island Ice Teas at Fontana's are for the birds but those birds will be pretty drunk.
  • What's with dark haired girls on the Q train who sit next to you and seem to want to strike up conversation and then freak out at their own aggressiveness? And how many of them can there be?
  • New York on the move: Over the last couple years, hipsters and rockers are getting off further south on the Q line, now all the way down to Kings Highway. But teenagers getting into the various rock scenes are even more so the ones who get off at Kings Highway. Are the Russians getting new neighbors? By 2010 or 2011, will Sheepshead Bay be the new Greenpoint?
  • A girl from Oklahoma is a pretty girl.
  • A boy from Oklahoma is Wayne Coyne.
  • I am pretty sure George Carlin, dressed for winter, was standing outside the door at the office and trying to ask me something. This is why day-jobs are unhealthy.

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  • Saturday, June 09, 2007

    The Paris Hilton Episode

    I don't know what is more bizarre. That she is a celebrity just for being rich and therefore she gets this press coverage that seems to have been written by some cynical, post-O.J. satirist (except that this is sadly no satire), or, that she really is being made into some sort of exceptional example by the judge because of her celebrity.

    No one should ever be in a position to stick up for Paris Hilton but it does appear that the line between treating the rich & famous like the rest of us vs. making an example out of them appears to have been crossed.

    And in case you're wondering, we're still in Iraq.


    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    The Triumph of Intimate Shows

    All those rich hipsters had to contribute something good to New York and it was the shelling of their money over the years that has led to a plethora of small and mid-size venues populating this town. Led by the homegrown Bowery Presents, even the big boys are getting involved in booking smaller venues. And while it is still odd that the White Stripes are headlining a show at Madison Square Garden (and the Bowery boys are saying it will sell out), the future does seem to lie in places like the Nokia Theater (which was big enough for Elvis Costello but not mentioned in the above article), the Luna Lounge (which can have headliners like Dean & Britta and the Knitters but also the Bamboo Kids and the Violets), and other newbie places.

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    Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    Well It Sure Ain't Battles...

    Nope. The opening acts for the Stripes at Madison Square Garden are:

    Porter in the legendary country musician

    and Grinderman...AKA...NICK CAVE.

    Nick Cave and Porter Wagoner...opening...for the White Stripes.

    A friend of mine recently joked that by about this time next year, the Rolling Stones would be opening for the Stripes. That doesn't seem far fetched now as it did a few moments ago.

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    Sunday, June 03, 2007

    Artist of the Week: The Noisettes

    Not really sounding like their fellow "-ettes", but rooted in the same traditions, these eclectic, wild-eyed British Noisettes try to cover the gamut from Billie Holiday through soul to the Slits to the contemporary Arctic Monkeys and all points in between, and all in their own way. In a city ruled by hipster Anglophiles, it's no wonder their show this week sold out instantly.

    The video for "Don't Give Up":

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    Hindu Metal!

    Consider The Source
    @ Fontana's
    New York, NY - June 2, 2007

    Consider the Source is a band that greatly experiments with Eastern, particularly South Asian, sounds but infuses it with a large signature of metal. A song or two even recall some Mexican strumming but the roots are clearly Hindu. The metal dosage is also clearly from the prog school of metal, and that means hints of Jazz. In fact the hints of Jazz were as strong as the incense burning from the stage, and in making the choice after the show to go buy the Kama Sutra and some pot, or go to Small's, this writer chose to go to Small's.
    The double-necked guitar (used to sound like a violin or other acoustic instruments at times), and the ferocity of the trio make for a compelling case, but the overall atmosphere sometimes verges on jam band. Sensual exotica should prevail over a jam band 24/7/365.

    Here's a clip from a performance on CBGB's. The blurb says they sound "Middle Eastern" but I hear Harrison and Santana before I hear Middle Eastern...but that's just me.

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    Saturday, June 02, 2007

    What The Gervais Shows in New York Were Missing

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    Battles & Stripes

    Local boys Battles. Braxton and the gang are like nothing else out there right now. Listen and watch "Atlas". It sounds like you know what's coming but you really don't:

    Meanwhile, the White Stripes went on Later with Jools and frankly, it's all shaping up to be a hell of a summer. They are indeed back.

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