Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Rosebuds W/ Ladybug Transistor@ Bowery Ballroom, May 24th, 2007

Dammit! I forgot my camera... again. It's not like my pictures are that fabulous. But it helps to tell the story and make the reader feel like he/she's really there. Anyway, I'd never seen The Rosebuds before, but I love with their album "Birds Make Good Neighbors" so I thought I would give them a shot live. Also, they were playing with Ladybug Transistor , a band I used to see back in college, and I wanted to see how they've progressed. They used to play a very 60s-ish style of summer pop, and given their line-up change since I've last seen them (less one female organist), they've definitely modernized their style a bit. They had one or two songs that I liked, but a couple of the others failed to capture my interest. Still, if you're a fan of early Of Montreal, The Essex Greene, or The Clientele, you might want to check them out.
Now, with The Rosebuds, I had only heard one album of theirs and so I expected a very lush set of guitar based love songs in the style of Band of Horses, but what i got was completely different. Where did all that disco-pop come from? Apparantly, it's on the new album, which, according to my friend Johnny Beach, is quite excellent. That, and the fact that one of the best songs which they played that night was "off of their first album," proved that I needed to get versed with the full Rosebuds catalog, which I did, by purchasing their first and latest albums after the show. The results: Johnny was right, "Night of the Furies," their latest, is quite a nice record and I recommend it (after 'Birds Make Good Neighbors') as a worthy purchase. I really hope they keep making records and touring, because they definitely have a fun time up there and make good lps.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Incapacitants @ No Fun Fest - The Hook - Brooklyn, May 15th, 2007

Incapacitants, are two bankers from Japan who are regarded as legends in the Noise community. I read an interview with Carlos Giffoni (who booked the fest) and he said that his main goal for this years Festival was to have Incapacitants play, and the entire 4 day Festival was booked around their schedule. They did not disappoint. Their set really began during the 25 minutes while they were setting up their gear. In the background they played an old Japanese movie soundtrack at high volume which really pumped up the crowd and said, "Yes, we are from Japan. And yes, we are about to rock your face off!" It was quite incendiary. When they finally began, you couldn't really tell how they were making those kamikaze sounds (kinda like two guys screaming into their mics, into distortion, into a tape-delay and then fucking with it) but it was driving the crowd crazy... I was talking to Thurston Moore after the show (i bought like 4 records from his merch table) and he said he was blown away by the Incapacitants. Holy shit, that was awesome.

Sissy Spacek @ No Fun Fest - The Hook - Brooklyn, May 15th 2007

Sissy Spacek, is a band from L.A. (and also a hollywood actress) that plays like minute long scream-o punk songs in-between a few minutes of sort of gurgling ambient sounds. They played what seemed like the shortest set of the night, and ended it by just pushing their way through the crowd and walking out of the club (maybe they weren't feeling the vibe of the crowd-- New Yorkers can be tough on LA folk).

Carlos Giffoni @ No Fun Fest - The Hook - Brooklyn, May 15, 2007

Carlos Giffoni actually organized the whole No Fun Fest and I must admit (even though I am only going to the first 2 days of 4) that it has been a remarkable success. I really like the vibe of this festival. First off, there are no corporate banners anywhere to be seen. And all of the merch tables are small, independent record labels, usually run by the artists themselves. Also, no one was there to see just one particular band, and it was packed (sold out all 4 nights) for every performance. Very special indeed. Anyway, Carlos had a whole table full of custom effects running directly into the sound board for a clean, loud, and intense aural experience. He would build layers of sounds, distorted at certain frequencies, then mess with them with the flick of a dial. After his set he opened a very expensive bottle of rum on stage and took a swig to celebrate his success. He earned it.

Raionbashi & Kutzkelina @ No Fun Fest - The Hook - Brooklyn, May 18th 2007

Raionbashi & Kutzkelina, who I think are from Germany, opened their set with this sort of mellow, atmospheric music, and the whole audience couldn't see the band at all because the dude who was making the noise (who had a rad haircut) was on the floor messing with his equipment. Then... TWANG! He hits a switch and the whole room is blanketed with some beautiful screaming fuzz. Then he turns it off, and it's back to the quiet ambient stuff for a little while. Then... TWANG! and back and forth for a little while, fuzz, quiet, fuzz, quiet. And then she (kutzekelina?) steps up to the mic, blows a whistle and the song is over. The rest of the set consisted of her yodeling into the mic (which was different), over the Raionbashi's noise experiments, and it was great, because it's unlike any other music out there.

Anti-freedom @ No Fun Fest - The Hook - Brooklyn, March

Anti-Freedom is more of a punk band than a noise band (although they were making a lot noise, to be accurate). They definitely had more fun on stage than any other band I've seen in a while, and were a joy to watch, very entertaining. My favorite part was when they asked the audience to "Raise your hands if you don't like Freedom!" And of course everybody did.

Mouthus+Axolotl @ No Fun Fest - The Hook - Brooklyn, May 18th, 2007


One of the best bands of a stellar second night at the No Fun Fest, Mouthus+Axolotl is actually a collaboration of two talented noise heads. Before going on, they all passed around the peace pipe just off stage, so that you knew it was going to be one of those kinds of noise sets. They started off pretty quiet and ambient, but really built up their noise in layers so that there was this huge wall of sound by the end, which was great. If electronic drums, circuit bent keyboards, guitars that sound like basses, and noise-effected violins are your thing, you might like this band... actually, you'll probably like them regardless, if you are stoned.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

No Fun Fest - The Hook, Thurs. May 17, 2007

The No Fun Fest is a Brooklyn musical festival celebrating the dark art of Noise music. Being an effects pedal junkie (yes, i have too many) and a member of what I'd like to think of as a fledgling noise group (shitstorm), I had to at least check out the latest gear and techniques of the so called Kings of Noise. The first band I saw, Lambbread, was straightforward feedback rock, with two distorted guitars, effects, and a drummer. I actually like that sort of shit sometimes. They keep it simple, and focus on making their guitars scream the way they want to with no vocals to distract you (unfortunately no pictures of them tho).

The next band I liked was a combo of Kim Gordon (from sonic youth) on guitar and Yoshimi on drums. They played a sort of dreamy Avante Garde style of Noise that isn't so much about effects as just playing their instruments in a non-traditional manner. Very nice.

Hair Police was total Noisemetal (if that's a real genre) and if you can appreciate metal on some level you might like this band as it adds another level to the music with some circuit-bent keyboard squeals. Plus the bass player has this like super thick bass string for those extra low tones when you need them.

The last band of the night, Painjerk, from Japan, is a more traditional type of Noise sound, with just one guy twisting knobs and making people go crazy. How can you mosh at a Noise show? I don't quite get it, but this was one of the rowdiest shows I've been to in a while. Man, his set was awesome. And that guy on the right in the picture must've been the 'jerk' in Painjerk, because he was constantly giving the audience the finger. Actually I don't even think he was part of the band, but he definitely was pissing everyone off (he even said 'fuck you' to me personally for no reason and I just had to laugh, what a loser! =)

Sam Champion @ Bowery Ballroom, Tues May 15, 2007

Everytime I see Sam Champion they rock me just a little bit harder. Now I've been seeing them since college, so at this point they're rocking pretty f-ing hard. Pretty soon they'll be playing at Bonnaroo later this summer. Man, that'll be a shitshow.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Albert Hammond Jr @ Hiro Ballroom May 10, 2007

Albert Hammond Jr, is the lead guitarist for The Strokes, or at least that's what he's famous for (that, and the afro). Tonight, he played with his solo-group, which is the next best thing as far as I'm concerned, because they use the same rhythms, probably even the same effects pedals, for that Strokesy sound. I saw them play at Mercury Lounge a while back at CMJ, and I must say, this show was much better (the band was tighter/ having more fun). Also, Albert had a beard and turtle-framed glasses, which he said made him look like, "Woody Allen with a guitar." My claim to fame, is that I played 'doubles' in billiards with him once at Hi-Fi (and beat him!) although he probably doesn't remember it all (and he went home with 2 hot blonde models, so who was the real winner that night, hmm?). Yeah, it was still me.

Here's a pic of the crappy band that played before Albert Hammond. Notice the tight white jeans, and sparkly 'michael jackson' gloves of the lead singer. They're trying soooooo hard. I won't even mention their name (cause I already forgot it) but if you really want to know, just look it up.

Here's a defiled Barney stuffed animal I saw on St. Marks St. before the show. Somebody wrote, "I'm Barney Damn It!" on his chest, so I took a picture.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Sunset Rubdown @ The Bowery Ballroom, May 4th 2007

So, my friends bailed on me and I had to get rid of an extra ticket for the Sunset show, which was sold out, and you'd think that would be easy, but alas, the demand for "the Rubdown" is not as strong at the Bowery as in other parts of town... Luckily, I run into Amanda and her friend Adam (which is a sweet name), and since the show didn't start for another hour we decided to hit a local bar and just give it away. No luck there. But on the way back we find an enthusiastic couple who decide to take a chance on the ticket and we can finally enter the show sans difficulties.

Sunset Rubdown is a beautiful band, playing, what my new friend Adam described as, "expressionist art in the form of music." It's led by Spencer Krug, the indie-genius behind Wolf Parade, who wears his emotions close to his chest. Tonight's show was his birthday (he turned 23 - gasp! so young!) but he was not in a good mood (and he told us) and didn't even play an encore (although we wanted one). Also, for some reason, he doesn't like overhead lights, and asked that they all be turned off, so we had to rely on the old-fashioned grandma lamps strewn around the stage. Hence, the poorly lit photographs. But he did play plenty of new songs, which I consider little gifts for the ears, so really it was our birthday too. Actually, this was the best set I've seen of their's. Their last show at The Bowery lacked the tightness and professionalism of a well-toured band. But fuck, what am i saying? They're always good.

Friday, May 4, 2007

The Cribs, Ra Ra Riot @ Mercury Lounge May 3rd, 2007

Whoops! I forgot my camera... again. This shit always happens. Last time I forgot it at the Sh-Sh-Shark Attack show, but that wasn't even worth it to blog. I was really hoping they would call themselves "Sh-Sh-Sh-Shark Attack" (pronouncing every "sh") when they announced themselves to the audience , like how it is spelled on their flyers, but alas they just called themselves 'shark attack' (without any sh's - lame) and I was sorely disappointed. But I digress!

Ra Ra Riot (who pronounce every 'Ra') was their typical fun and sexy self, maybe not as energetic as some previous shows I've seen, but still solid. Their new song 'Each Year' was great live and is my new fav (see myspace profile). As for The Cribs, naturally, they killed it. I think Carlo got it right: they need like a song or two to warm up but then its 40 minutes of sweaty attitude from Leeds. It's probably a good thing I forgot my camera, because otherwise I would've been unable to help that one dude crowd surf. And I'm sure if you searched the interweb, you could find some nice pictures from this show (probably even one of me jumping up and down like a goon - cuz i was). Gosh, i love the rock.