Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 84: “Mawwidge”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 84: “Mawwidge”

“Shotgun Wedding” by Gore Gore Girls

Set 1
“I Love You, Suzanne” by Lou Reed
“I Wanna Marry You” by Bruce Springsteen
“White Wedding” by Billy Idol
“American Wedding” by Gogol Bordello
“The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar” by Bob Dylan

Set 2
“A Certain Girl” by Warren Zevon
“She’s the One” by the Ramones
“Love Song” by the Damned
“Love that Girl” by Raphael Saadiq
“My Love for You” by the Dirtbombs

Set 3
“Heebie Jeebies” by Louis Armstrong
“My Funny Valentine” by Chet Baker
“Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones
“Special Party Time for Everybody” by Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles

Set 4
“Lovers Who Wander” by Dion
“How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding
“Love → Building on Fire” by Talking Heads
“Loved One” by Hanni El Khatib
“Love Bomb” by Grinderman

Set 5
“Be My Wife” by David Bowie
“Husbands” by Savages
“Handyman Blues” by Billy Bragg
“Because I Do” by X

“Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” by Billy Joel

Saturday, June 29, 2013

4Knots Festival: Kurt Vile and the Violators; Reigning Sound; The Men; Marnie Stern; Parquet Courts

4Knots Festival: Kurt Vile and the Violators; Reigning Sound; The Men; Marnie Stern; Parquet Courts
@ South Street Seaport
New York, NY - June 29, 2013

Parquet Courts should be considered the signature band of minimalist punk in New York City. They are fast, fun, sprightly, and yet also wonderfully stumbly and slappy. A few flecks of No Wave make that latter part possible. And to hear them live really drives the point home. Barnburning through their initial spate of work, the likes of which include insta-classics like "Borrowed Time", "Stoned and Starving", and the aptly titled "Master of My Craft", we have on our hands here a winner. Fabulous.

I heard Marnie Stern from down the way on the pier. Sounded good. I think.

I missed the first moments of the Men so if they played "Half Angel Half Light" I missed it. It would be a shame if they didn't play it. It's a splendid piece of  powered punk. What I did hear the Men play was their long form forays into rhythmic unknowns but peppered with familiar sounds and feelings, the original acquired taste I thought them to be. But then with a little help from friends (a band on the festival bill whom I missed?) came a rip roaring cover of "I Wanna Be Your Dog", straight from hell. It was fantastic. And I swear I heard some of Big Black's "Cables" prior to it. Any band who would cover that one is already A+ in my book.

Greg Cartwright and the Reigning Sound have added more of the Stax style to their Memphis sound and they sound more relaxed than ever before, definitely not the loud clang of Too Much Guitar. But bona fide classics like "Your Love is a Fine Thing", "We Repel Each Other", and of course "Time Bomb High School" still ring true, but with more organ soul, bringing out the 60's pop maven that lurks in the beating heart of Cartwright. Also as a cohort chortled, it is perhaps with the return of the Oblivians (who are sounding wild and great themselves by the way), that Cartwright is satisfied now at two ends of his tastes.

You'd think with a name like Kurt Vile & the Violators you'd be getting a Germanic Goth Punk thing. Nope. This cat has made his way up the Indie Rock World of Respectability by playing the laid back classic rock game. I just learned he used to be in the War on Drugs, that very good band out of Philly, and that would explain some of this but he's feels San Francisco, dig? THAT band - the War on Drugs - takes Dylan Rock and work a little oomph into it, but Vile in his own fashion is a little too laconic, at least live.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stooges Brass Band @ Metrotech

Stooges Brass Band
@ Metrotech
Brooklyn, NY - June 27, 2013

I've been watching Treme, the HBO show. I might be the only person watching Treme. No matter. The New Orleans music that infuses every moment of the show makes it all worthwhile. So I've had the boogie bug for Big Easy Jazz and what-have-you for quite a bit now. Good then that the Stooges Brass Band, straight out of Crescent City, show up in Brooklyn for a lunch time jam downtown. Office drones getting the shake up. It's nice to see a little hypeman action too.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Social Distortion @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage

Social Distortion
@ The Stone Pony Summer Stage
Asbury Park, NJ - June 22, 2013

So this is the skinny, real and naked: I hitched a ride to Asbury Park to wish a friend a happy birthday and drink buckets of rum (actual, honest to goodness sand buckets of rum), and eat shell fish and meet another friend's baby who gave me the sass something good but he was aces and fine by me.

But while we approached the Jersey Shore in the heart of Springsteenland, the sign at the landmark Stone Pony was a callin': SOCIAL DISTORTION! TONIGHT!

Well hell.

A brief plan was hatched to compel the birthday party to take the show on the road from the rum bucket house to the concert house, which turned out to be the outdoor parking lot venue adjacent to the storied edifice. A brief discussion among us in the conspiracy (of 2) determined this plan would fail. Namely because there wouldn't be rum buckets inside the concert pen (and it really was a pen...oink).

So we kept our jollies well entrenched at the Beach Bar while Social Distortion fans did what is called in common parlance "the pre-game" near us, wracking your obedient working boy with jealousy. A jealousy soon well rewarded.

For after a good long while, the call was made to get food up the boardwalk. And lo' and behold, the sounds of Mike Ness and mommy's little monsters, were getting louder as we walked. In short order, we were effectively at the concert, hearing it and seeing it crystal clear from the boardwalk. So that's why this counts as a gig to review.

So what if the handful of songs I heard were unrecognizable to me? So what? Problem? I know that snot-nose punk voice when I hear it. And I know that Social D sound. Clangy cowpunk bar glory glory hallelujah. I was jumpin' up in the air just fine and dandy, thank you very much. I was having the best damn time on that boardwalk, bar none. Because I was getting Social Distortion live, unplanned. Finer than a rum bucket, finer than most (MOST, not ALL) dames on their best day. Because essentially, in life, all you need is a good band. That's it. Mystery solved. Story of one's life (sorry).

Also, thankfully, they didn't play "Ball and Chain" while we heard them. My newly minted wife alongside me might have interpreted that number in a wrong manner. If only because of how I would have been singing along. Can't be having miscommunications so soon into one of these marriage deals...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 83: “Bloomsday”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 83: “Bloomsday”

“Grubiy Zakat” by Zvuki Mu

Set 1
“The Gift” by the Velvet Underground
“Papa Zit” by Ween

Set 2
“Excitable Boy” by Warren Zevon
“Armageddon Double Feature (Lovesick Blues #4)” by the Dirtbombs
“Avalon” by the Bryan Ferry Orchestra

Set 3
“Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads
“Fish n’ Chip Paper” by Elvis Costello
“Uneasy Sunny Day Hotsy Totsy” by Ian Dury & the Blockheads

Set 4
“You Rascal You” by Hanni El Khatib
“Narrow Way” by Bob Dylan
“Cake Walkin’ Babies (from Home)” by Clarence Williams’ Blue Five

Set 5
“Secret Meeting” by the National
“The Chicks Can Tell” by M.O.T.O.
“Work with Me Annie” by the Royals

Set 6
“Higgs Boson Blues” by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
“Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-o-Dee” by Stick McGhee & His Buddies
“Honey White” by Morphine

“Blood Relations”by the Maldives

The Gories; Daddy Longlegs @ Brooklyn Bowl

The Gories; Daddy Longlegs
@ Brooklyn Bowl
Brooklyn, NY - June 15, 2013

The days of seeing a live band with Mick Collins in it in New York are not as frequent as they were back when this blog was relevant. That may change soon enough but until then these sweet and savory moments will do. Mick, Dan, and Peg sounded better tonight than I've ever heard live, captured live on record, or from the studio. Which makes sense, one supposes, though the band still seems to think they don't know what they are doing half the time. Also the first crowd surfer in Gories history apparently occurred tonight, so even after all these years, new chapters are being written in the legacy of this enduring, retriggered gem of a foundational garage band.

Just a couple weeks ago, I saw Daddy Longlegs shake out the blues harp for Deniz Tek. Here he was with his own backing duo and in full form and I was blown away like I haven't been blown away in a long time by someone young, loud, and bluesy. A child of Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter, a Blues Exploisoned, Gun Clubbed, Crampsified punk, Daddy Longlegs is a neo throwback of the right order. I'm still shaking from the set.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Sonic Parthenon Playlist: Spring 2013

The Men - "Half Angel, Half Light"
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - "So Good At Being Trouble"
Atlas Genius - "Centered on You"
Josh Ritter - "Joy to You Baby"
Iron & Wine - "Grace for Saints and Ramblers"
James Hunter Six - "Chicken Switch"
Hanni El Khatib - "Family"
Usonia - "How Does It Feel"
Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside - "They Told Me"
The Veils - "Through the Deep Dark Wood"
The Thermals - "Sunset"
Charles Bradley - "Let Love Stand a Chance"
Har Mar Superstar - "Lady You Shot Me"
Bombino - "Amidinine"
Stone Gossard - "I Need Something Different"
Los Amigos Invisibles - "La Que Me Gusta"
The Lonely Wild - "Everything You Need"
Wild Belle - "Shine"
Dead Ship Sailing - "Burn to Dust"
Kithkin - "Fallen Giants"
Fury Things - "Vapors"
DRGN KING - Wild Night
Villagers - "Nothing Arrived"
The Cave Singers - "Have to Pretend"

The National - Trouble Will Find Me
Bleached - Ride Your Heart
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito
The Strokes - Comedown Machine
Cayucas - Bigfoot

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Heavy @ Webster Hall

The Heavy; The Silent Comedy; The Skins
@ Webster Hall
New York, NY - June 12, 2013

I was in Noid once. At the Shaky Lamb, sharing a pint of bitter with my solicitor "Pound" Sterling Halfpenny. He told me about a local act by the name of the Heavy. Played me a cut or two. I was very well nearly hooked. Well a ways up the way comes "How You Like Me Now?" and well didn't that just beat all. And here in the wake of their newest emerald, The Glorious Dead, the Heavy have returned to New York, packin' 'em in at Webster Hall like they were always meant to do. Apt comparisons to soul-rock hybrid acts of before-and-present aside, this band is its own identity, even if they directly take "I Put a Spell on You" without pity. And when a song by the Heavy can be called "one of their best songs", then it becomes so that is it simply of one of THE best songs. Period. Witness "Curse Me Good" and "What Makes a Good Man". And witness the crowd. And the possession of the crowd. It's borderline trembling.

The Silent Comedy came out and I thought they were badass metal Brits but it turns out they're neo-hippies of California - think Edward Sharpe & Dawes getting together by way of Mumford & Sons (not the Brits of whom I was thinking). Some things worked, some things didn't. I read there are founding brothers in this venture. I venture myself it's the bassist and the ivory tickler. The tickler should be handling more of the load. His lead efforts were the best. They should also revamp down a Murder by Death route and really pack a wallop.

The Skins are from Brooklyn. The Skins are also siblings with help. The Skins are young. The Skins sound like the BellRays, the Noisettes, and Stiffed. The Skins might prove to be amazing.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

The National @ Barclays Center

The National; Youth Lagoon
@ Barclays Center
Brooklyn, NY - June 5, 2013

The "weirdness" of seeing this band in such an enormous venue was mitigated by the rememberance, upon their taking the stage, of when they opened for R.E.M. at the Garden. But headlining is still a different story. Especially in the context of having seen them at the neighborhood bar a couple of weeks ago. But the gang took to it just fine. In the spectre of this monstrous venue in this upheaveled neighborhood in this complicated borough of Brooklyn, if any band can handle it, it's the National. If there is any band of neo Brooklynites who've earned a slice of L&B Spumoni Gardens...heyyyyy (save a few for the Hold Steady and some others).

Playing much of Trouble Will Find Me along with High Violet and Boxer, the National may have pivoted themselves as a band bent on moving on. But with "Abel" and "Mr. November" still the landmarks of the set, the thread has held. "Demons" couldn't have happened without Alligator. When the show began, I remarked to a trusted soul "well one thing's for sure, we've lost Berninger runnin' through the crowd". Well I was wrong. And a crowd never more obliged a beloved mad man (me or Berninger?). So no matter what, even in this pinnacle of achievement with its terrible acoustics, some things are to be counted on.

Some Youth Lagoon songs are fine. But for the most part...Brother put a little pep in it.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 82: “Spring Forward 2013”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 82: “Spring Forward 2013”

“(Some of Us Have) Adrenalized Hearts” by Livids

Set 1
“Demons” by the National
“The Sunset” by the Thermals
“Fifth in Line to the Throne” by Camera Obscura
“Joy to You Baby” by Josh Ritter
“Grace for Saints and Ramblers” by Iron and Wine

Set 2
“Waiting by the Telephone” by Bleached
“Half Angel Half Light” by the Men
“High School Lover” by Cayucas
“La Que Me Gusta” by Los Amigos Invisibles
“Family” by Hanni El Khatib

Set 3
“Lady, You Shot Me” by Har Mar Superstar
“Let Love Stand a Chance” by Charles Bradley
“So Good at Being in Trouble” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra
“They Told Me” by Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside
“St. Louis Girl” by Cecile McLoren Savant

Set 4
“I Need Something Different” by Stone Gossard
“Amidinine” by Bombino
“Devil’s Got a Gun” by Whitehorse
“Burn to Dust” by Dead Ship Sailing
“Everything You Need” by the Lonely Wild

Set 5
“Wings” by HAERTS
“Through the Deep Dark Wood” by the Veils
“Mid Century Modern Nightmare” by Neon Neon
“Shine” by Wild Belle
“Have to Pretend” by the Cave Singers

“White Light/White Heat” by the Bootleggers