Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Show Review: Animal Collective Live @ Prospect Park in Brooklyn 7/12/11

Last night I was fortunate enough to see Animal Collective live at Prospect Park in Brooklyn. I wish I could properly express to you everything I endured to earn this experience: countless hours waiting in the sweltering heat, horrible and thick cigarette and weed smoke and other products of unidentifiable combustion; dehydration and nonstop standing; minor hardships prolonged by an inexplicable hour-long delay of the opening act; the arduous attendance to a general admission concert on a hot July evening made for one of the most unpleasant and uncomfortable experiences I have ever felt in my life. It was so beyond worth it.

The doors opened at 5:30, and when one stepped over to the stage, they were greeted by the retro/disco/electronic sounds of DJs Beta & Hatch. I enjoyed what they played and their awkward dancing, but I can't say I liked that they didn't stop spinning until 7:30. I overheard a security guard telling someone, in regards to Black Dice's tardiness, "They are too high in the back to come out." And that seemed about right. I will be honest, I've heard very weird music, I mean I went to an Animal Collective concert, but I wasn't prepared for Black Dice at all. Their half-hour set was ultimately one long stream-of-barely-conscious trance piece that, 20 minutes into, made me realize that I had completely zoned out and didn't know what was going on anymore. A biased fan, the mere appearance of Avey, Panda, Geologist, and Deakin setting up their instruments as the stage was being set - fueled partially by the realization that my day-long hot ordeal was about to reach culmination - was enough to trigger an emotional response. Instantly all the hours of pain experienced prior vanished. It was wholly expected that the concert would be for road testing new material, and while it would have been nice to hear all songs off of their albums, it was so beyond worth it to hear the new songs. The first two songs were a little slow with Deakin apparently missing a transition, but once they started "Did You See the Words", everything just exploded into pure rainbows and perfection. Songs like "Take This Weight" and "Knock You Down" are bound to be future crowd favorites, and I can only hope that they put them on the next album. "Brother Sport" came out of absolutely nowhere and held enough pure beauty to reduce me to tears. Most of the crowd must've had this same thrill for everyone seemed to come together to shout "Open up your!", "MATT!", and "Support your brother!", and even better, during the part on the record where it sounds like it’s skipping, everyone was chanting in complete unison “WOO...WOO...WOO...” All the sound effects, atmospheric noises, and the character of this live rendition made it my favorite performance of the night. My favorite new song "Mercury" came right after "Brother Sport". It's clearly an Avey Tare song, but it contains so much forcefulness and heartwrenching vocals that you can't help but be affected by it. It's a song that reminds me why I love this band so much. They closed the set with the trippiest ever possible version of "We Tigers" you can imagine, with understandably very few people singing along, and then transitioned gloriously into "Summertime Clothes", the biggest crowd pleaser of all. It was a strangely perfect song to close with, for the night was just as the song describes: "The restlessness calls us, that I cannot hide / So much on my mind that it spills outside / Do you want to go stroll down the financial street? / Our clothes might get soaked, but the buildings sleep." I don't know. Truer words have never been more perfectly spoken in such a perfect context. Screams of uproarious joy overtook the venue when they came out to finish off with a three song encore. One of the songs sounded like Tomboy outtake, for it featured Panda on vocals with the same filtered dreamy guitar so prominent on his album. They completed this lovely night with "Taste", which came as a nice surprise. It was a much more slowed-down mellow version, allowing the crowd to savor the experience for just a few more minutes. It was the loveliest way to end the night.

This was a spectacular concert. The visuals, the sound, the set list. Just a few things kept the night from achieving total perfection: the aforementioned wait and the conditions but also while the set design was out of control stunning and perfect for the music, the large crystals really hurt a lot of people's views. If you were right up front, you're view of half the group was blocked, telling me that the set designer didn't fully consider the sight lines with the stage from that perspective. Based on pictures, however, if you were a little farther away, the sight lines worked out. Still, I will be seeing Animal Collective again. I feel so fortunate to have taken part in the band's ongoing development of their next album. The fact that I loved the show not knowing the majority of the songs should say everything.

"Welcome back Deaks!"-Multiple fans in the crowd

Let Go
Did You See The Words
A Long Time Ago
Take This Weight
Knock You Down
Your Choice
We Tigers
Summertime Clothes

I'd Rather
Little Kid


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New album cover for Beirut's "The Rip Tide"!

I don't understand why so many bands are opting for simpler covers these days, but at least this one keeps with Beirut's constant vintage theme.

This album should be epic. It's apparently summery and nice, but honestly, even "Mount Wroclai" is nice. I'm very excited for this! The album is called The Rip Tide and it's going to be released in the U.S. on August 30th!


01 A Candle's Fire
02 Santa Fe
03 East Harlem
04 Goshen
05 Payne's Bay
06 The Rip Tide
07 Vagabond
08 The Peacock
09 Port of Call

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New video for "Surfer's Hymn" by Panda Bear!

Sonic Boom says it's legit so I'm going to believe him.

It's really great. It's so beautiful in it's own abstract way, but it's not inaccessible. The video pay homage to Surfer's who were taken by the sea, and I believe that that gives perfect emotion and meaning to this song. It's really a masterpiece.

Friday, June 10, 2011

SHOW REVIEW: THE DODOS LIVE @ The Bowery Ballroom in NYC 6/9/11

Last night I was fortunate enough to see The Dodos at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. I’m still in awe of what I witnessed last night, so to start off easiest let’s talk about the opening band Gauntlet Hair. Straight out of Colorado, Gauntlet Hair performed about a half hour worth of material that was both funky and experimental with an extreme air of atmosphere. They appealed to me possibly because they were so uncontrollably hipster, and some of their sound was very similar to my beloved Animal Collective. Each member was his own version of hipster, but the drummer was particularly great—he was a man’s man given by his little snarky, but actually funny, comments and his Abraham Lincoln tattoo. My only complaint about them really is that they were way too loud for the venue and the echoey effect for the singer got a little trying after three straight songs using it. After my ear drums nearly exploded, and a half hour of preparation, Meric Long and Logan Kroeber took the stage and ripped right into “Good”. This was the absolute perfect opener for them—the song provides franticness and energetic drum beats that force you into a Dodos-listening mood. As if that song weren’t intense enough, they then plunged right into “Black Night” which pushed the crowd into a manic shouting of “you wanna walk right through IT!” Songs like “When Will You Go” and “Longform” didn’t get quite the same reaction as the aforementioned, but they were still performed with a delicate intricacy that created the exact same glorious power. “Don’t Try and Hide It” was a clear crowd favorite, and that provided for some amusing harmonies where Meric just sang low, but the crowd sang Neko Case’s part during “Don’t try and hide it fight it”. It was at that time of night when someone somewhere shouted “Horny Hippies!” to which Meric apologized for he didn’t have the ability to play it anymore. So, instead they played “Winter”, and I am in no need of an apology. It was absolutely lovely. The same emotion of heartbreak felt through his deep melancholy vocals on the album was transmitted with even more feeling live, if you think that is possible. That lead beautifully into “The Season” which was the most raw-emotion filled performance I have ever seen. It built up beautiful and haunting, leading up to the ever desperate sounding “I CROSS THE SAND WITHOUT YOUR HAND…” It was so poignant and powerful that it brought tears to my eyes. The anger and the sadness were conveyed so uproariously well. They probably knew no other song could ever live up to that, so it was a fairly well-thought out choice to place the overtly necessary “Fools” next. By the end of that set, I have not heard a crowd scream and freak out so loudly as this one did when The Dodos left the stage. It was a completely mutual feeling, shared by every single member of the crowd, that that could not have been it. The encore began with “Going Under” which was a nice, sweet calm down that brought every one down enough to be able to handle the final song, which was a fairly unique choice of “Jodi”. “Jodi” was never a song that really got me going, but after last night, it will be on repeat. It was very entertaining when he began the opening riff, and the whole crowd began clapping along, creating a hoedown kind of mood, inspiring Logan and Meric to each do a little jig. Perfect.

Logan is boss at drumming. The fact that he is able to play for that long and do that much is astonishing. He didn’t seem fazed at any point and rather got better as the night went on. Meric is just as much a virtuoso as Logan was. I could see his lengthy right-hand nails, and it is true that he plays every song without a pick. Whether he was playing a smashing reverb induced wall of noise, or 10 picks-per-second folk guitar, he can create more sound (and interesting ones at that) than most of his peers. They are both absurdly passionate and prodigious musicians that I truly do feel honored having seen. If you can appreciate this fact at all, you will be able to accept the fact that the overwhelming majority of their set was No Color songs. If the only album you like is Visiter, do not see them, though their live show will undoubtedly blow you so far away. It was so worth the current ringing in my ears.

Quote from the night:
Meric Long: "For some reason someone requests that song at every show. I forgot how to play it."
Logan Kroeber: "We still know how to play this!" (In regards to "Horny Hippies", before "Winter")

Black Night
When Will You Go
Don’t Try and Hide It
All Night
The Season

Going Under

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Last night, I was fortunate enough to see Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit at the Bowery Ballroom. The show started at 9, with the first opening act, James Mathé, making an appearance. He was one of the best openers I’ve ever seen. He was nothing like you would expect him to be, given that he’s a member of the Sussex Wit. It was a glorious combination of atmospheric/experimental funk and soul that instantly got my complete and undivided attention. He sadly only played five songs, but that was all I needed. Caitlin Rose was the next one up, and I can’t say I liked them. Caitlin Rose herself was funny and between every song spoke to the audience with distasteful charming sass, like after a few audience quips asking "Are you flirting with me?", but they were a country band. If you like country, you would have loved them, but for me they just played about five songs too many. Johnny and his crew came on to set up and tune, and then at a little past 11 they finally came on. They opened with “The Box”, and it was a perfect opener. It’s a song so filled with life and quirk that hearing the full band do it was marvelous. They plowed through “Cold Bread”, so much so that Johnny broke a string on his mandolin, leaving it up to James Mathé to make awkward, but endearing, small talk with the audience. Instead of a trumpet for “Kentucky Pill”, Lillie Flynn played flute, which made it wonderfully bouncy. It was nice and bright, moving the whole crowd sing along. They then played a gorgeous three-song arc of “The Wrote and the Writ”, “Lost and Found”, and “Brown Trout Blues”, all of which reduced the crowd to utter silence. “Hong Kong Cemetery” was done better than the album, with Johnny rotating between trumpet and guitar. They were so good at conveying the melancholy tone, especially with everyone shouting “I’m alright! I’m alright!” over the somber trumpet. The bright middle was made especially bouncy, contrasting nicely with the previous section. “Barnacled Warship” was my favorite performance. Johnny played his violin as he sang, and the whole venue was crooning “I’ll just eat fruit on your doorstep, I’ll just drink pail-fulls of rain” right along with him. You could tell the whole band enjoyed playing it, and that really resonated with me. He informed the audience early on that he was hoarse, and that created an interesting effect on “Churlish May” when he missed a whole verse due to coughing: “I don’t know what happened there!” On the second time around, they still played it brilliantly. “The Water” was one of my favorite performances. “I’m going to play a duet with my sister Lillie”, he said, as they moved next to each other. Don’t tell Laura Marling, but Lillie’s voice is absolutely stunning and, coupled with Johnny’s, was too beautiful for words. As you know, “Been Listening” contains many pauses during the chorus that are just asking to be taken advantage of by the audience. For every single pause, the crowd would scream “Awwww yeah!” or “I love you Johnny Flynn”, and other chuckle causing heckles, which you could see the awkwardness building up in his face while he too was stifling laughter. “Eyeless in Holloway” and “Tickle Me Pink” closed the set with everyone singing their hearts out, moving about, and thunderously clapping in unison. I couldn’t wait for the encore, and boy did they impress: Johnny and Lillie came out and told us that they hadn’t practiced this one or planned to play it, but felt inspired to do so. They played a beautiful rendition of “Amazon Love”, and because I was about three feet away from them, I could see how happy they were to be playing with each other and the look of complete sibling love on their faces. “Leftovers” ended the show flawlessly, with everyone once again stomping right along with the band and chanting “Leftovers is what I want, don’t need no fine cuisine!”

I was thoroughly impressed by this show. The Bowery Ballroom was so intimate, that I felt like a huge connection with the music and the band. I can’t imagine how I could ever feel that at a large venue: it was more of an experience than a show. Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit deliver live. Almost every song was performed better than the album version, and songs like “The Water” and “Barnacled Warship” really made it, as he put it “special”. If you get the chance to, go see him. You will leave more than satisfied with your experience, and I can safely say, it was beyond worth the price of admission. I will never know why more people don’t know about him.

“I probably should prepare something for moments like this, like a funny anecdote about the tour, but I haven’t got any.”-James Mathé, before “Kentucky Pill"


The Box
Cold Bread
Kentucky Pill
The Wrote and the Writ
Lost and Found
Brown Trout Blues
Hong Kong Cemetery
Barnacled Warship
Churlish May
The Water
Been Listening
Eyeless in Holloway
Tickle Me Pink

Amazon Love

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Video for Alsatian Darn by Panda Bear

Panda Bear released his video for Tomboy's Alsatian Darn yesterday!

It's like the part before the songs "Tantrum Barb/Working" on Oddsac. I approve.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Arctic Monkeys release the cover art for "Suck It and See"

Well, this was unexpected. I don't even know what they are going to throw at us next. This moderately random and confusing album is due out on June 6th, so mark your calendars.

Monday, April 18, 2011

ANGLES-The Strokes

The Strokes
Label: RCA
4th Studio Album
Status: Out as of 2011
Rating: 3 Feathers

So, remember The Strokes? The ones who long ago came out with those albums with “Last Nite” and “Reptilia” on them and then released that moderately tedious album…what was it…First Impressions of Earth? Oh yeah, that band. After five years of empty-promises for new material, inter-band relationship problems, and several (some questionable) trials with solo work, The Strokes have finally released their arguably-more-anticipated-than-Is-This-It? 4th album, Angles. The band is actually happy to be a band again, with the many different musical angles being brought in to give us a very easy flowing and different album. This is The Strokes of the modern age.

“Machu Picchu” is instantly catchy with its grooving disco beat, but it sounds absolutely nothing like what you’d expect. The incorporation of harmonies and reggae rhythms shows that they are, at this point, courageous enough to innovate their sound on the very first song. “Under Cover of Darkness” completely takes a step backward, comparatively, but it’s still so different. It’s like power-Strokes. Casablancas almost ironically notes that “everybody's been singing the same song ten years” because it combines all the standard elements of their sound into four minutes, but I must admit, it delivers with every successive listen. “Two Kinds of Happiness” is pleasantly mellow, with light new-wave overtones, but it’s not overtly remarkable. If it wasn’t underpinned by twangy guitar, I can easily say I would never guess this was The Strokes, assuming it was a typical 80s “indie” band. “You’re So Right” is actually utterly horrific. For some disgusting reason they decided to bypass drummer Fab Moretti’s talent and go right for sickening drum machines, along with static guitar that makes it sound like a carbon copy of Julian Casablancas’ “River of Brakelights”. Even “Metabolism” three gigantic steps back by taking the worse half of First Impressions of Earth and reconfiguring it to make a distraught and confused mess. After developing a tremendous migraine, the natural drums and immense bouncing catchiness comes back for “Taken For a Fool”. It’s so outrageously likable and mind-ingraining that you will listen to it multiple times before moving onto the next song. “Call Me Back” is kind of creepy. It’s easily the most experimental Strokes song ever made, with no outright melody or sing-along qualities. If you only like lively guitar solos and passionate singing, this song will destroy your listening experience, but I like it’s eeriness and out-of-placeness. A song like “Gratisfaction” is so overwhelmingly easily comparable to Billy Joel, with an arena epic chorus and instrumentation that work to get a certain type of emotional power from you that only a coliseum-rock song can. “Life is Simple in the Moonlight” is a beautiful closer. The verses have delicate intertwining guitar with light vocals that create a nice bed for the slightly heavier, more desperate chorus to fall upon. It sums up all the changes, trials, triumphs, desperation, catchiness, and twangyness of Angles into a well orchestrated closer.

It might be the out of control high expectations that come with a band like this, but I can’t say I was that impressed. At so many different points, I got feelings of “I heard this before” or “this sounds just like…”, and it was fairly apparent that some songs just lacked any direction. With that said, this album is not bad. It was significantly more welcomed on the first listen than First Impressions was and certain songs (“Under Cover”, “Taken For a Fool”) really pack the typical Strokes punch. I give them boatloads of credit for trying new things, incorporating new genres, and attempting to expand their sound, but I’m going to view this album as a transition. I fear it lacks the lasting quality their first two releases had, and I really do hope that in a year we don't ask ourselves is this it?

"Everyone was here except Julian. I can describe one day where you'd wonder how the record got made and a day where you would think it's the greatest thing that ever happened."-Albert Hammond Jr.

Video for Under Cover of Darkness

Recommendations: Machu Picchu, Under Cover of Darkness, Taken for a Fool, Life is Simple in the Moonlight
NOTE: I will have my review of Panda Bear's Tomboy out very shortly. Thanks a ton for reading this :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Animal Collective team up Keep Company!

Yesterday, after a long time of hearing about it, KEEP Company released the special addition Animal Collective shoes, available at their store in Los Angeles, on their website, and at a few selected locations around the globe! All the proceeds go the Socorro Island Conservation Fund, which you can learn about through their website. The shoes are designed by all four members of Animal Collective, and they are really cool, especially the one Deakin made.

Here's a picture of the boys wearing their own Keeps:
Keep also made some shirts to go along with the shoes which were designed by Avey Tare's sister Abby Portner. They are extremely cool.

They also decided to release a very limited addition cassette that features new original songs, one done by each member.

The track listing is:
Geologist’s Jailhouse
Avey Tare’s Call Home (Buy Grapes)
Deakin’s Country Report
Panda Bear's The Preekness

Why'd they design what they designed?
“I’ve always liked camouflage patterns and I’d be lying if I said the idea of blending into the environment and becoming invisible didn’t excite me a little bit.” — Noah Lennox
“My design was inspired by three things - a doodle I often draw based on an image of a shark I saw on a beach closed sign, a birthday card Abby Portner made me a while back that had sort of a wall paper feel to it, and having to get clothes for my kid. I just thought about how psyched I would be when I was a kid to have had sharks on my shoes and how psyched my kid will be to wear a pair if he ends up liking sharks. So basically I wanted to make a shoe for him and I decided to combine the above three things.” — Brian Weitz
“I realized that many of my friends are unaware of what is down there. Telling friends how psyched I was to have seen Yellow Fin Tuna, I also realized that though they have eaten Yellow Fin, [most people] have no idea what tuna look like. I thought it would be cool to represent tuna in some way that I thought looked sweet and would want to wear.” — Josh Dibb

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Arctic Monkeys announce the name of their 4th album.

Suck It and See

What is happening. I give them credit only for the fact that a song like "Brick By Brick" can only go on an album with such an atrocious title. The tracklisting for the album is a boatload of fun too:

01 She's Thunderstorms
02 Black Treacle
03 Brick by Brick
04 The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala
05 Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair
06 Library Pictures
07 All My Own Stunts
08 Reckless Serenade
09 Piledriver Waltz
10 Love Is a Laserquest
11 Suck It and See
12 That's Where You're Wrong

I'm looking forward to hearing "The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala", the seemingly inspirational "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair", and "Piledriver Waltz". This is going to be terrifyingly interesting.

Show Review: Bright Eyes live at Radio City Music Hall 3/9/11

Last night, I had the privilege of seeing Bright Eyes at Radio City Music Hall. Wild Flag, an all girl group from Portland, Oregon, were the first to play, and they were pretty good. I’m usually not a fan of all girl groups, but they had an edge and really packed a punch. Superchunk went on second, and for their age, I was very happy with the fact that they were still punk, and that the singer’s voice was unique. I’m going to be honest, I don’t know either of their music except for what I saw, but I recommend both of them. After about 2 hours, Bright Eyes finally showed signs of coming out. They opened by playing Denny Brewer’s slightly haunting speech that began The People’s Key. Hearing that alone, I lost it. I don’t have much memory of it, the tears and the shaking overcame me: Conor Oberst was real, not just this voice I've pouring over for so many years. After a perfectly done "Firewall", they moved into the ever danceable “Jejune Stars”. He then greets us kindly, informing us that the next song contained some graphic sexual content and that necessary ears should be covered and people should leave if they feel uncomfortable, then breezed right into a beautifully done “Take It Easy (Love Nothing)”. He introduced “Hot Knives” the same as “Take it Easy”, and said, “I wonder who made this setlist cuz it’s really gross.” That’s one thing about this event, he spoke between almost every song, and every single one of his speeches contained something quotable, clever, or downright inspiring. The night kicked up for me when they surprised us with an epic two song run of “An Attempt to Tip the Scales” and “Padraic My Prince”, both of which reduced me to pure tears. I can safely say, even songs I wasn’t too fond of like “Arc of Time” were performed so magnificently that I now will have them on constant repeat. The final leg of the set consisted of “Bowl of Oranges”, “Old Soul Song”, “Poison Oak”, “The Calendar Hung Itself”, and “Ladder Song”. I don't know how my heart kept beating. I cannot ever hope to express in words how ecstatic and uncontrollably blown-out-of-my-mind I was. They all expressed such great emotion that I know translated to every person in that audience, especially the exposed and pure “Ladder Song”, where Conor sang and played piano up there alone. I couldn’t help but get teary eyed when he sang “Doesn’t it just make you wanna cry?” No surprise, they ran out of time to do their normal 24 song set, so the encore was only three songs, but I’m not complaining. “Lover I Don’t Have to Love” was the final "graphic sexual content" containing song, and it was done very nicely, but it probably could have been more dramatic. “Road to Joy” destroyed every other song performed. Right before they were to perform it, Conor, some how, broke his amp and his back-up amp, but that did not take away from it all. It’s a gloriously grand song to begin with, but hearing him scream “I’M WIDE AWAKE IT’S MOOOORRRRNNIN’” live just solidified my concert memory as perfect. Hearing the first chords to “One For You, One For Me” provoked tears of joyous sadness, for it marked the end of not only seeing one of my favorite bands live, but possibly the last time seeing Bright Eyes as a band live in New York.

I would recommend in a heart beat seeing Bright Eyes live, but I would only suggest it to those who recognize his older stuff and his lesser known material for I felt like I was the only one around me who knew songs like “Padraic My Prince” and even “An Attempt”. I really had hoped to see “Four Winds”, “Something Vague”, and the ever gorgeous “Lua” live, but I can’t say I have any real complaints. They are a great band, and I feel very privileged that I was able to see remarkable musicians like Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Andy Lemaster perform in such a respected and grand setting.

Quotes from the Night:

I’m giving up apologizing for lent.”-Conor Oberst

"If you had told thirteen year old me that Superchunk would be opening for my band at Radio City Music Hall, I would have laughed in your face, kicked you in your shins, and told you to go to hell."-Conor Oberst


Jejune Stars
Take It Easy (Love Nothing)
Hot Knives
An Attempt to Tip the Scales
Padraic My Prince
We Are Nowhere And It’s Now
Shell Games
Approximated Sunlight
Arc of Time
Triple Spiral
Cleanse Song
Trees Get Wheeled Away
No One Would Riot For Less
Beginner’s Mind
Bowl of Oranges
Old Soul Song [For The New World Order]
Poison Oak
The Calendar Hung Itself
Ladder Song

Lover I Don’t Have to Love
Road to Joy
One For You, One For Me


Video for "Trees Get Wheeled Away" from the night.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes Release New Songs...

This week should have been excited: Two of my absolute favorite bands released new songs. I am less than thrilled, however.

Arctic Monkeys' new song is called "Brick by Brick". It sounds nothing like anything they've ever done, and it's darker and more "rock" oriented than past stuff, but it's almost like they took all the bad elements of Humbug and went to town. And I loved Humbug.

And The Strokes released also released a new song. A few weeks ago, they released the song "Under Cover of Darkness" and it was great. It was what we expected from The Strokes, but fresh and bouncy. However, the song they just released called "You're So Right", and to quote Hipster Runoff, it sounds "like someone dropped an ipod in a toilet". For some ungodly reason they used a drum machine instead of Fab's magnificent talent. It's the awful parts of Phrazes for the Young all digustingly processed into a horrific 2 minutes. If you enjoy this, your music taste needs medical attention.

Do you agree that it is "River of Brakelights"?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Show Review: Interpol live @ Radio City Music Hall 2/17/2011

Last night, I had the privilege of seeing Interpol live at Radio City Music Hall. Before the show, they were playing random music that compliments their sound, and one of the songs was Caribou’s “Odessa”, which left me and my group dancing. Alone. School of Seven Bells were the opener, and they were fantastic. Their atmospheric, experimental sound was a perfect compliment to Interpol’s style. Their single “Windstorm” was done brilliantly. I’ve been a fan of Interpol since Antics came out, and my favorite song of all time happens to be “Obstacle 1”, so, needless to say I was very excited and anxious to see them. After 45 minutes of waiting following School of Seven Bells, the lights finally dimmed and my friend and I jumped up screaming. Paul Banks greeted the audience with a “Howdy!”, then proceeded dive into “Success”, as predicted. It was very nicely done, and only got me more pumped for the rest of the concert. It really didn’t take much to put me into frantic mode, for after “Success” they launched into a wonderfully brilliant sequence of “PDA”, “Evil”, “Hands Away”, and “Barricade”. It slowed a bit for “Rest My Chemistry”, but even that was executed grandly and emotively. After that, it’s kind of a blur of overjoyed happiness (and crying) and blood-curdling screaming because from “Narc” to “The Heinrich Maneuver”, it was nonstop mind-numbingly excellent song after breathtakingly gorgeous melody. I felt like I was having heart failure during “Stella Was a Diver”. Just soaking in that moment of everyone simultaneously yelling “STELLA! OH STELLA! STELLA I LOVE YOU!” was beyond powerful. They closed their set with “Obstacle 1”, my favorite song to ever exist. I was reduced to tears. The whole beginning set was one of the most beautiful things my ears have ever heard and the encore provided the most perfectly gorgeous end possible. A song like the “The New” is so painfully beautiful live, but the only thing it was lacking was Carlos D., for their new bassist doesn’t provide the same presence or showmanship. Quite possibly the most inspiring performance of the night was the closer, “Not Even Jail”. Note: My group were the only ones standing in our section, let alone dancing. “Slow Hands” and “Evil” didn’t motivate people to move from their seats, but it was “Not Even Jail” that had everyone standing and ferociously clapping. I’ve never, in all the concerts I’ve been to, seen such a large group so in sync and into a song.

If you are a huge Interpol fan, not a casual fan, I would suggest you go see them. This concert has changed my life. Interpol are a magnificent band that makes agonizingly beautiful music, and if you are in deep appreciation of this, their live show will move you to tears of utter awe and joy. I know for a fact I will be seeing them the next time I can.


Hands Away
Rest My Chemistry
Say Hello to the Angels
Summer Well
Stella was a Diver and She’s Always Down
Heinrich Maneuver
Memory Serves
Obstacle 1

The Lighthouse
The New
Slow Hands
Not Even Jail

"I wish we could play here every night."-Paul Banks

Saturday, February 12, 2011

LCD Soundsystem and their last show

A few days ago, LCD Soundsystem announced that they were going to have their last show ever on April 2nd at Madison Square Garden. Any and all fans of the band were falling over themselves at this prospect, and for a venue that can accomodate most of the bands fans, choosing Madison Square Garden was only a logical choice. But yesterday, when the tickets went on sale to the general public through Ticketmaster, seemingly every fan who just wanted a ticket or two did not arrive at their goal. Apparently, scalpers, in droves, somehow got a hold of the large majority of tickets, and the show sold out absurdly quickly. This left to the only other option of Stubhub where you could find tickets for the low price of $40,000.

Needless to say, James Murphy, the main guy of LCD Soundsystem, was not pleased. Last night he published a wonderfully expressive and very worth your time message on his website. He has graciously decided to play 4 shows, from March 28th-31st, at Terminal 5, which he says "will include most if not all of the songs we play at msg."

Tickets for these dates go on sale on February 18th and I hope all the fans who try get their tickets.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Panda Bear and The Strokes released the artwork for their albums!

This is the cover art for Panda Bear's Tomboy and it's absolutely glorious and beautiful. It comes out on April 12th.

And this is the cover for The Strokes album Angles. I think it's, um, homely. It should be a very fun album. You can also listen to the song "Under the Cover of Darkness" on their website and on iTunes. Angles is due out on March 21st.

The world should know this song.

This is Two Door Cinema Club's new single and video called "What You Know" and it's magical.

Monday, January 31, 2011

You can now listen to The People's Key in full while watching Conor Oberst and friends listen to it too!

This video is like a live listening party among Conor Oberst and his saddle creek friends. I watched all 49 minutes of it, and I seriously cannot wait to have the actual CD and/or vinyl in my hands on February 15th. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lines of Oration Presents: My Top 30 Songs of 2010


30. "Tighten Up" by The Black Keys
29. "Kentucky Pill" by Johnny Flynn
28. "Written in Reverse" by Spoon
27. "Boy" by Ra Ra Riot
26. "Lucky 1" by Avey Tare
25. "Vesuvius" by Sufjan Stevens
24. "Boyfriend" by Best Coast
23. "The Cave" by Mumford and Sons
22. "Beautiful Mother" by The Dirty Projectors
21. "I Want to Be Well" by Sufjan Stevens
20. "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" by Arcade Fire
19. "Barricade" by Interpol
18. "All For Myself" by Sufjan Stevens
17. "Terrible Love" by The National
16. "Lights" by Interpol
15. "Windstorm" by School of Seven Bells
14. "Zebra" by Beach House
13. "Mr. Fingers" by Animal Collective
12. "Excuses" by The Morning Benders
11. "Walk in the Park" by Beach House
10. "Stick to My Side" by Pantha du Prince (with Noah Lennox)
9. "You and I Know" by Ra Ra Riot
8. "Giving Up the Gun" by Vampire Weekend
7. "Oliver Twist" by Avey Tare
6. "White Sky" by Vampire Weekend
5. "Flash Delirium" by MGMT
4. "Airplanes" by Local Natives
3. "Siberian Breaks" by MGMT
2. "Impossible Soul" by Sufjan Stevens
1. "Odessa" by Caribou

Note: I did not count any song that was realeased for Panda Bear's Tomboy as a song for this year because I consider it a 2011 album, but yes, I am counting ODDSAC for songs.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lines of Oration Presents...My Top 10 Albums of 2010

10. Transference by Spoon: Spoon has never released something unlistenable or just average, and Transference was no exception. It took the best parts of their previous album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, and expanded and formed them into 11 tracks of simple and enjoyable classic Spoon sounds.

9. Gorilla Manor by Local Natives: For a debut, this album strikes you like a brick. It’s an hour of hard-hitting, emotionally intense indie folk. And with a song like “Airplanes”, one of the most beautifully moving songs I’ve ever heard, only on their first album, they can only continue on a path of sheer greatness.

8. The Orchard by Ra Ra Riot: The Rhumb Line was, seemingly, a difficult album to follow up, but Ra Ra Riot did a pretty great job. With newly dramatic and more serious sounding songs, they are definitely showing strong maturation as a band without compromising their fun and charming sound.

7. Interpol by Interpol: After the release of the let down that was Our Love to Admire, Interpol could only go up. They came back with an improved and innovative version of their old sound, with catchier-than-ever songs containing pulsing basslines and their signature dramatic guitar drones; Interpol gave the music world renewed hope.

6. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire: After the long hiatus following Neon Bible, it was a huge joy to receive this album. It’s an hour of empowering grandiosity, with a strong dose of nostalgia. The Suburbs has a lasting quality, with each successive listen drawing you closer to the emotion Arcade Fire succeed in transmitting.

5. Down There by Avey Tare: With everyone expecting Panda Bear to release an album this year, it was a huge surprise that the world got to hear solo work by Avey Tare instead. Down There is like a blast from the Animal Collective past, but this time with swampy filters and strong dance influences. It gives a stunning insight into Avey Tare’s artistic capability as well as his musical potential.

4. Teen Dream by Beach House: Beach House has succeeded very strongly in creating a totally original and innovative album. They have a sound of their own, created by glorious soundscapes of lovely synthesizer drones, Alex Scally’s intricate bright guitar, and Victoria Legrand’s poignant croon.

3. The Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens: After an illness and a long hiatus, Sufjan Stevens released his very long awaited follow up to the critically acclaimed Illinois. It was as far away as possible from his normal folkiness, with heavy electronica and layers upon layers of interweaving melodies. It is a brilliant ride through bold orchestration and raw human emotion, all ending with a glorious 25 minutes of the beautiful “Impossible Soul”.

2. Congratulations by MGMT: Well before its release, Congratulations was already being deemed a disgrace by every possible critic. Needless to say, it beyond destroyed those expectations. With nine songs of endless innovation and glorious whirlwinds of psychedelia, MGMT has created the most underrated album of 2010, with every listen causing it to grow more and more on you.

1. Contra by Vampire Weekend: For a hugely hyped up band, Vampire Weekend could have easily repeated their debut or fell flat on their faces. But they didn’t. They added new elements and evolved their style to make a wonderfully energetic and vibrant album that I have not been able to stop playing since the day it came out.

Thank you so much for reading this! In the next few days I will have my top 25 (maybe 50) songs posted, so, stay tuned and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crooked River by Kaleo La Belle

So, apparently filmmaker Kaleo La Belle has made a film about Sufjan Stevens's and his Brother, Marzuki Stevens, reunion with their estranged father. The filmmakers hope to have it released some time this year!

Here's the facebook page for it: Crooked River

And you can watch the very awesome trailer for it here: