Tuesday, August 16, 2011

True Widow w/ Bad Dreams @ Union Pool, Saturday August 13th, 2011

I invited quite a few fools to this True Widow show, but alas, I think maybe the darkish heavy tones of this ultra-slow rock band from Texas scared away my aging girlfriend-tied friends. Or perhaps, the minor threat of some kind of goth-doom inspired mosh-pit in a crowd of questionably-showered hipster metal-heads was too good of an offer to accept. But sincerely it was their loss, since instead of some kind of slow depressed nightmare sadness, True Widow's live show came across as more of a heavy, warm, peaceful blanket of sound to curl up next to the fire with, and slow down your life.

Something about playing songs that down-tempo and overdriven, comes as only a relief and reprieve from our distracted fast-paced modern city life. I get a similar feeling at a Ducktails or Kurt Vile concert, a chill-out factor that puts me in a nice low-key mood, of course True Widow does it in a louder, heavier way, but the effect is the same. For all of you tone heads, how does he get those sick guitar sounds? Well, I can't say for sure, since he hid half of his pedal board in a box of cables (is this a new trend?) but he was playing gibson humbuckers in stereo through a twin reverb for clean and a tweed deluxe for tube amp distortion, with a boss blues driver for boost/overdrive grit. Can't beat that setup. Beautiful.

I missed opener's Herzog Rising, who have the most insane band blog I've ever seen (check out the obama video!!). But Brooklyn's Bad Dream was pretty solid, similar to True Widow in a heavy bluesy way, but maybe not as slow and with more angst. Their singer/bassist has a fantastic scream, more like a roar, so you don't care if you can't make out the lyrics, since the melodies, tone and emotion are all there. Overall quite a satisfying show, and I have no regrets blowing off all other saturday-night invitations, in fact it was my friends' loss, for not taking a chance on an under-rated band from out of town.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Joan of Arc @ Shea Stadium, January 20, 2010

If you were ALT in the late 90's, or a fan of Cap'n Jazz, there's a decent chance you had a brief love affair with Joan of Arc, especially for their energetic live shows. While most bands from this era have broken up and grown up, JOA apparently didn't get the memo. They've only gotten better, with less emo and angst, more fun and groove. There's nothing like a tight veteran band with years of experience still rocking out, doing what they love. And you can still catch them in a small venue. Know what I mean?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Beck - "Cancelled Check" - Live at KCRW 1995

I was trying to remember this one quote from a Beck radio show but couldn't: "The past is a cancelled check, your maximum point of power is NOW!" It was relevant at the time. Anyway, I thought I would share, so i uploaded this video mp3. Oh, and I did some "internet research" and the televangelist he's talking about is Tony Robbins. Of course.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Big Troubles w/ Babies @ Death By Audio, December 18th, 2010

Even with a sunny and cool Babies headlining set, featuring the hot girl from Vivian Girls, and a dude from Woods, openers Big Troubles won the night, with excellent Pains of Being Pure of Heart-esque shoegaze pop, meets early 90's british alt-indie. They were so convincing, I even bought their last LP "Worry" which I'm happy to report will require many excellent repeat listens. Reading Rainbow also played a set, and while they have a pretty fantastic band name, there's just something about their music that really annoys me...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hunnie Bunnies w/ Skimask @ Party Expo, December 9th, 2010

Hunnie Bunnies are cave-men bunny rabbits drenched in bunny blood dropping blitzkreig hip hop beatz over heavy vocal feedback. By destroying everything cute in their band name and the world, they reveal the charade that anything is truly innocent (even bunnies), and leave the audience wanting to rage. That's a good thing. There are too many pretty little bands out there trying to "make it big" for the glory of their own inflated ego. HB inspires you to run around the room like a wild dog, raise your fist to the moon, and rip your hair out in frustration at our inability to live in a modern society without being exploited for greed. This is "release" music for the post-reagan 99% global corporate slave generation, where the only brave yet desperate gesture we have against conformity is to recreate the sounds of a bunny being skinned alive, and amplify it as loud as we can.

PS. Skimask is the perfect opener, like a disillusioned 90s rural noiserock band attempting a big city bank robbery as revenge for the 2008 financial crisis.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hauschka @ Manhattan Inn, October 25th, 2010

Hauschka is a neo-classical german composer who somehow managed to break into the indie-rock scene in Brooklyn. Here's a nice recording I've made of the last song in his set. Beautiful.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cloud Nothings @ Don Pedro's, October 23rd, 2010

You might not notice it from the recordings, but Cloud Nothings has pretty much the sickest punk drummer out there right now. He was doing like 16th notes on the Kick without a double bass pedal! Yeah, you know a band has BIG potential (like Vampire Weekend big) when the hipsters form a mosh pit and start crowd surfing in a venue smaller than my apartment.