Friday, August 31, 2007

Broken Social Presents: Kevin Drew w/ Feist @ McCarren Park Pool,

So it was 6pm doors for this show, and that usually means that the first band starts at 7pm, but I got there at 6:45pm and Grizzly Bear had already finished their set (wtf!) How am I supposed to get out of work at 5:15? Who do they think I am? An investment banker? Anyway, I settled in, grabbed a beer, and got ready for "BSS Presents: Kevin Drew." Luckily, I had gotten a leaked version of his new album "Spirit If..." so I knew all of the killer new songs beforehand. Still, it was nice to see it in live form. Some hi-lites included "Tbtf," "Lucky Ones," and a cover version (of himself?) "Superconnected." This was apparently their second show with the new lineup, and they were understandably not as tight as they could be, but it didn't matter, because the songs were so good. I actually think this smaller ensemble might work better than the larger "scene" (with only 6 people on stage, instead of 10+) for a tighter more focused sound. So yeah, go see them, if you can. Oh and Feist headlined. She's not exactly my cup of tea, but I liked the song she ended her encore with, "Let It Die".

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Rentals @ Nokia Theater, Aug. 23rd, 2007

I have seen Weezer a few times, but never had a chance to see their most successful synth-fueled spin-off The Rentals until now. Featuring an enigmatic Matt Sharp as the front man, who was the original bass player for the Weez and left after Pinkerton (one could argue that the Weez lost a bit of it's magic after the split, since subsequent albums were not nearly as 'classic' but I digress...) I was trying to skip the first two bands, because I had no interest in seeing them, but alas the first band didn't go on until 9:30 for a 7pm doors (BS!), and it was pure torture listening to them (luckily, at this point I've purged all thoughts of them from my memory). But at last The Rents came on, and opened up with an extra slow and spooky "The Love I'm Searching For." They played pretty much every Rentals song you'd ever want to hear, mostly from their first, best album, with all the hooks and sing-a-longs intact, even a couple from their second not-too-shabby, album (esp. "The Man With Two Brains"). I couldn't tell if Pat (also from Weez) was on drums. Did he get fat and grow a beard? Either way he was good. Also, the synth player with the ridiculous-looking mustache was good. He had about 6 synths on stage, although I couldn't tell what they were (drat!) because he was way in the back. All in all, they had about 8 people on stage, for a large (and older, 30's-ish) ensemble. Their new songs I checked out online and wasn't super impressed with, but the two they played definitely had a little more inspiration live than their older stuff, which is to be expected I guess, so maybe I'll give it a second listen. Still, I can't complain, because they closed with "Friends of P" and that shit still rules.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Cribs w/ White Rabbits @ Bowery Ballroom, Thurs. Aug 9th.

The Cribs show was sold out, so I had to scalp a ticket. For some reason I just can't get enough of this band. Every time they come to town I am tempted to see them. Maybe I just like energetic bands that i can jump around and sing-a-long to. Or maybe I am secretly attracted to pretty boys from England? Either way this show was rowdy. There was one kid in the crowd, who was really causing trouble, getting violent, kinda ruined the fun a little. Eventually, he got kicked out and things calmed down a bit, but for a while half of my attention was spent trying to avoid him. The band was in a pissy mood too, i think. They opened with "Hey Scenesters" and Ryan added the line "You're all a bunch of pricks!" to the end of the song, which is true, especially if you look at how Pitchfork rated their last albums (C'mon! 3.0 for The New Fellas? You're F-ing Daft!). Also, they were peeved that the people in the back weren't as into it as the kids in the front. What can you do dude? You can't force people to dance. Anyway, I also saw a little bit of openers White Rabbits play, and I know people rave about that band, but I just couldn't get into it, no matter how hard they tried. Although their song "The Plot" is undeniably catchy...

The Big Sleep @ Prospect Park, Thurs. Aug. 9th

So I usually don't recommend going to two different shows in one night, it's kind of overkill, especially if they're in different boroughs. But sometimes it all works out. First was The Big Sleep for free in Prospect Park. I got there in the middle of their set (cuz the train was slow), but they sounded great so no regrets. They can really fill out the sound in a big venue (cuz of their massive vintage amps). My buddy Mark told me that the bassist and guitarist in TBS are married and have been playing the same set of songs for years before being picked up by French Kiss, and that their album "Son of a tiger" was recorded years ago, and was merely re-released. Who knew? Does it matter? No, that band is too cool, and so is the movie...