Saturday, June 28, 2008

Times New Viking, A Place To Bury Strangers, The Warlocks @ The Whitney Museum, South Street Seaport, Mercury Lounge, June 27th, 2008

Yikes. Three shows in three different venues in one night! I guess I needed to rock out pretty bad last night, after a week of staying in. Can you blame me? I haven't seen any of these bands before, and their set times were perfectly aligned, and two of the shows were free, so why not!? Try to keep up...

My buddy Dave convinced me to join him to see Times New Viking play a free early show at The Whitney Museum of American Art mostly because he'd heard they put on a great live show, and it's an interesting venue to see a band. They were good, in that "we-sound-exactly-like-our-album" way, but because there was no stage and tons of people in front of us, we couldn't see a thing! Lame. You lose interest pretty quick when all you can see is the back of some brah's head, and half of a guitarist (who wasn't even singing). I don't think I even saw two or three people in the band. But at least I got to check out the latest exhibits at the Whitney, including some cool 70's Polaroids by Mapplethorpe (see sample above).

A Place To Bury Strangers were great, continuing the tradition of amazing free summer outdoor shows down at the Seaport. They build and design their own guitar pedals, so they have truly crafted their own sound. They remind me of other stoner pop bands like The Ponys and The Black Lips, but maybe with more of a psych background. They killed. Plus, the seaport was a great place to watch the waterfall off of the brooklyn bridge.

Well, this was the only show I payed money to see, which probably says something, although $15 bucks is a bit much to see a band like The Warlocks. I am a fan, but sometimes their music can be a bit of a downer. You gotta be in the right mood for it, which I was last night. I just love the sound of this band, very drony, yet also intense, with a good vocalist and a great fuzz guitar. I wanted them to play "Surgery," which they didn't, but they did play a sing-along version of "Come Save Us" which felt good. Check 'em out, if you're in the mood...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

These New Puritans @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, Sunday June 8th, 2008

My new English mate Jim insisted that I come check out this band from near his hometown, These New Puritans. They were pretty good, with the right mix of psychedelic/electronic samples, overlapping vocals, and just pure rocking out. I can definitely see the Bloc Party/Wire references, although TNP are younger, more-artsy/less-poppy, and want it all a little more. You can't really tell what lyrics they're saying, except for snippets during the chorus, but this isn't a problem in their recordings. I like how the lead singer wears an old-school chain-mail vest at their shows. Is this a new English fad? It's like watching Joan of Arc front a post-rock band. Nice ax work, Joan.