Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Savoir Adore w/ The Sour Notes @ Union Hall, January 10th, 2009

My old drummer is up to new tricks in Savoir Adore, playing indie-rock in a 5 piece that also includes another buddy from High School, Sasha Brown on Bass. Their sound definitely hints at other uber-popular indie groups of the day (ie. arcade fire gang vocals) with some interesting sounds, but perhaps arrived on the scene a couple of years too late, and a tad to sweet to grab much attention. Closers, The Sour Notes sounded more of the moment, with their fuzzy-dance-pop, and in their first appearance in New York left the audience begging for more. Looking forward to hearing more from both bands.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mercat @ Union Pool, January 25th, 2009

Last night I arrived late, so I missed Obituaries, a band that writes sentimental songs dedicated to the recently deceased. But I made it in time to see the CD release show for Mercat, an all-girl band with viola, violin, organ, bass and drums. This is not your typical rock band, and it takes a song or two to get accustomed to their emotive-catty-waltz-like music. But by the end of their set, I was sold, and they are my new favorite band of the moment.

The lead singer of Mercat kinda reminds me of Calvin, from "Calvin & Hobbes." That is, if Calvin was a girl, and grew up to start a band to reminisce those innocent, carefree days of childhood. Their lyrics clearly have strong emotional content, and since I know almost nothing about female emotions, this kept me enraptured throughout. And if only I could pay close enough attention to decipher their meaning, then I would finally understand women! Oh wait, that'll never happen. =) Check out: "Fight Song," "Ice Hotel" and "Not As Good As The First Time."

Wild Yaks @ Mercury Lounge, January 21st, 2009

Wild Yaks are pretty awesome. Kind of like if the lead singer of Les Savy Fav started a punk band with the members of Akron/Family. The only thing that bothered me was that sometimes the lead guitar player would 'jerk off' a little bit on the solos, and try to steal the show. But that's just a minor complaint. Their lead singer really belts it out with a lot of bravado, and their drummer is pretty sick with those fast punk beats (I got the feeling that he used to be a guitar player, based on how he plays the drums, which isn't a bad thing, but I could wrong..) The whole band plays with a ton of enthusiasm and confidence, which makes for a fun show. Just try not to rock out to this shit. Just try.

Graham Smith @ Pianos, January 7th, 2009

This was a rare solo acoustic performance by Kleenex Girl Wonder frontman and my former roommate Graham Smith, who put on a great performance playing a bunch of old and new songs by request and never dropping a lyric. My favorite of the night was his closer, a new song, "The Fire". Check out "Graham Smith is the Coolest Person Alive" from the KGW catalog and prepare to be blown away...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Top 10 Shows I've Seen So Far...

For lack of anything better to do, and because Carl challenged me to do it, here's a rough list of the Top-10-Shows-I've-Seen-So-Far-In-My-Life. It's not in exact order, just an approximation, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple of good ones, but all of these shows were top notch and worth mentioning. Here we go...

1. Broken Social Scene at Middle East Downstairs during the You Forgot It In People Tour. That album is awesome. This show was awesome. I went alone and was in the absolute front row and the crowd wasn't nearly going crazy enough, so I started jumping up and down singing along, and Emily Haines herself hands me the mic for the chorus of "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl." Amazing. Drop that phone, sleep on the floor, dream about me...

2. Arcade Fire at the sold-out TT The Bears show during the Funeral tour. Their first show in Boston. I scalped my way in. I've never been to a more packed show (TT's has a 120 capacity - tiny!). They opened with "Wake Up" and the whole room erupted. I was 5 feet from the stage. Amazing.

3. Panda Bear at Bowery Ballroom, sold out. Even though I was slightly drunk and scalped my way in, I'll stand by the fact that this show was a revelation. I feel lucky too, because he rarely tours...

4. Pavement at Axis. Alex dragged me to this show. I was in High School and had never heard of them at the time (I was pretty slow on the indie-rock uptake back then). What I remember most was that there were more hot girls at this show than at any other thing I'd been to at that point in my life (and I know that's a shitty reason to like a show). Plus, the music was good in that "we're-the-kings-of-indie-rock" kinda way. And, it's just cool to go to a bar/club when you're 16!

5. Dinosaur Jr in Central Park. Phew! They were loud and amazing. Mascis plays through stereo vintage marshall full stacks. Absolutely sick.

6. The Strokes at Lupos in Providence. This was a roadtrip from New York to see the super-hyped Strokes during the Is This It? tour. We blasted the album in the car twice on the way there and twice on the way back, while seeing the real thing in the middle, with everybody dancing and singing along. Classic. I still have the limited edition silkscreen poster from this show.

7. My Morning Jacket in Scranton, PA. This was another roadtrip/show. We stayed at the same hotel as the band and played billiards with them in the lobby after the show. Then we filled our hotel bathtub with ice and booze and partied like rock stars. Steve-o might remember swimming with our beers during an illegal three-am dip in the hotel pool, and running away giggling when we threw all of the plastic furniture into the deep end... Ha!

8. Incapacitants at the No Fun Fest. This whole festival was great, but they were clearly the kings of the show. Japanese noise at it's best.

9. Wolf Parade at North Six - sold out. During the "Apologies" tour. Spencer had a cold, but they still sounded great. Wooo!

10. The Cribs at Mercury Lounge. I love jumping up and down and screaming along at Cribs shows. It's my one weakness. Well, one of them...

Honorable mentions:

11. Grizzly Bear at Bowery Ballroom. Love the Bear. Everyone needs to see this band at least once. So lush!

12. Sunset Rubdown w/Johnny and the Moon at the Bowery. Probably the best Sunset show. Hard to beat...

13. Apollo Sunshine at TT The Bears, before their gear got stolen, when they were just a buzzy Boston band with Katonah under their belt, wearing strobe lights, and Sam ripping through a Vox AC30. That show was sick. So was the afterparty at 24-7.

14. Enon at Middle East Downstairs during the Hocus Pocus tour. They killed it and I was the only one who bought a t-shirt. It's still one of my favs.

15. Beachwood Sparks at NYU. They became one of my favorite bands, but not till years after this show.