Monday, August 31, 2009

Grizzly Bear, Beach House @ Williamsburg Waterfront, August 30th, 2009

The line to get into this free sunday waterfront show was two blocks long. Really? I guess Grizzly Bear is the most popular indie band on the planet. I mean Jay-Z and Beyonce were there, as well as Senator Charles Schumer, who was walking around with some aide who had a giant sign saying, "Meet Senator Charles Schumer!" That's what I need, some guy to follow me around with a giant sign saying, "Meet Adam Ghory!" And people would be like, "Who does that guy think he is, a senator?" Luckily, I cut near the front of the line, and arrived just in time to hear Beach House, who were lovely as always. I really like the use of a live drummer over a drum machine, the beats are much more interesting. I forget what it was specifically, but Victoria Legrand's stage banter was a little weird. Does she realize she's speaking to several thousand people? I would keep the chatty monologue to a minimum... No matter, they've got a really lush sound that always puts me in a hazy mood. And Grizzly Bear is always pretty and musical as well. I admit, I like Yellow House better than Veckatimest, their latest record. It just has a more home-y vibe. But the music video for "Two Weeks" is pretty rad...

This Frontier Needs Heroes, Blood Warrior @ Dam Stuhltrager Gallery, August 29th 2009

Blood Warrior is the dark-americana side project of the lead singer from O'Death. So if you like Greg Jamie's croony singing style and story-telling lyrics, but wanted a quieter, more intimate experience, BW is for you (and me for that matter). I really like this direction of moving backwards in music-making, to a simpler time but with modern inflections.

In a similar vein, Brad and Jessica Lauretti comprise This Frontier Needs Heroes, a home-spun musical revolution for the dissolutioned corporate-music-hater. Brad's a bit of a character, and got a little too rowdy waiting to perform their set, and thus only played a song or two before having to break it down. Still, I highly recommend their new self-titled album for a slow night's drive or long walk on the beach. Check out "I can't do this all by myself" or "Bend the Bow" for a treat.

Insound's 10th Anniversary Party @ Brooklyn Bowl, August 27th, 2009

The bands were pretty solid. Here's my synopsis: I liked Real Estate, just good basic indie-rock, would see them again. Some people really love The Drums, but for me they were trying so hard that it seemed contrived. Plus, their songs about heartbreak seem a bit shallow. Suckers still have a killer live show. Although I didn't really like their new song. Hope that's not a sign of things to come... I can't remember even seeing These Are Powers. Did they play? No matter, cuz I'm not really into them live, but their new record is alright. Cymbals Eat Guitars were pretty good, (and with a name like that, you better have a big guitar sound!) but maybe a little over hyped... Man, I really have to write these posts more contemporaneously.

The Monte Vista @ Loving Cup, August 22nd, 2009

This was my former drummer Joe Spinella's 30th birthday party. To celebrate he booked a show with his new band, The Monte Vista, a three piece playing British invasion style pop (the second invasion - ie. Blur, and Oasis). I liked a couple of songs ("daydream" and the new one), because I used to be into this sort of sound (back in my early musical explorations), but now the sound seems a bit dated, and it's not my thing. Still, it was good to see Joe!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ducktails @ Bellhouse, August 14th 2009

This show was sold out, and I couldn't get in. Or else I would've gotten to see headliners Dungen and Woods. But at least I got to see a little bit of Ducktails by watching from outside the door.

I like the mellow sounds of his new album Landscapes, but live it was just Matthew Mondanile and his guitar, and was a little sparse (the album has overdubbed instruments and drums). Still, I wanted to check it out and now I have. No regrets.

Black Moth Super Rainbow @ South Street Seaport, July 24th, 2009

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan. Nice bag of tortilla chips, dude.

We have a joke at the office where whenever someone wants to hear Black Moth Super Rainbow on the speakers (which happens more often than you'd think) they have to scramble the words of the band name, calling them something like The Black Super Rainbow People, or The Super Black Rainbow Butterflies, which fits the psychedelic nature of this band (but does the joke translate to the web? -probably not). This was the first time I'd seen them live, and it was great fun (they opened with a youtube video of some guy saying that their band is like the worst band in existence - a funny way to start a show -- and check out the lead singer's outfit - crazy!). Oh, and the music was solid too, their drummer was pretty much on point the whole time, and there was no lack of vintage synthesizers to keep the ears happy. Dude, I'm spacing out!

Dirty Projectors @ Williamsburg Waterfront, July 19th 2009

Dirty Projectors have come a long way from when I last saw them. Before they came off as nerdy, artsy, and eclectic. Now, with an excellent new album garnering critical success, they're pratically indie-elite! This show was crazy packed (as with most FREE waterfront shows). I was skeptical they could pull off all of the intricacies of their new album in a live setting, but they sounded great, with a tight rhythm section, some nice female acapella vocals, and a really lovely bass sound. Given their experimental nature, it'll be interesting to hear what they sound like in a couple of years...

Built To Spill @ Siren Festival, July 18th 2009

I spent most of the day lying in the sun on the beach and missed quite a few of the bands, including The Oh Sees, whom I heard were good. I did catch Built To Spill, and they played a couple of my favs including "You Were Right" which for some reason had been in my head all day. By far the best part of the day was riding the aging Cyclone roller coaster for the first time. Let me tell ya, they knew how to make roller coasters back in the day. Few safety regulations, just a loose bar across the shoulders, and some wicked fast turns, sudden drops. A great ride.