November 26, 2007

Bright Eyes played Radio City last Monday. This was my second time seeing Conor and friends, the first time was at Bonnaroo. Last time I was at Radio City was for Arcade Fire back in May and those guys owned the place. This was a little different. I did not know what to think going in to this show. Bright Eyes is great intimate music and Radio City is anything but intimate. Despite the fact that the band looked minuscule on that gigantic stage, the show felt anything but small. The set was comprised mostly of songs off I'm Wide Awake... which is what I had hoped for and the guys had some great energy. Lua sounded brilliant and he use of an accordion was perfect. In the encore Connor invited the opening bands out to play on a Tom Petty cover and it was so refreshing to see so many people rocking out on stage and just having a good time.

In music news, shoegaze legends My Bloody Valentine have announced that they will enter the studio in December to finish recording the follow-up to 1991's masterpiece Loveless. Does not look like the album will be out by the year's end like originally planned, but it's getting closer. The band has already announced their return to the stage which will take place this June in England and have nixed the Coachella rumors.

Hot Tracks:
  1. Vampire Weekend - "Walcott". These guys are New York City's next big thing. Four Columbia grads do their version of indie pop and do it well. They just signed with XL and will release their debut full length in January.
  2. Jens Lekman - "The Opposite of Hallelujah". Swinging melodies and excellent harmonies help this Swede deliver an infectious indie pop hit.
Hope everyone had a good holiday. Keep it scene in the city.

October 23, 2007

I only attend one show for CMJ this year, but I made it count. Saves the Day played the Knitting Factory last Saturday with a ton of other bands that I missed. This was the second time I saw these guys, saw them at CMJ last year too, and both times have been acoustic performances. The intimate setting of the KF is perfect for these performances and the crowd made it that much better. Everyone singing along to all of the songs in a tiny packed room is exactly how these songs should be played. Everything was slowed down to the perfect degree and Chris sang each song with such passion. The set was really well mixed between their much favored old material and songs from their forthcoming album. Usually I cannot stand when the person next to me is singing louder than the band, but when the whole crowd was in unison, especially for the encore which consisted entirely of requests, everything felt right in the world.

Justice played a second show at Terminal 5 Monday night accompanied by the Midnight Juggernauts. This venue is brand new and was a perfect location for these French hipsters. It's basically a building that has been gutted leaving only iron beams, painted white, and a stage. In other words a giant steel cage. The Juggernauts kicked things off with their indie-disco rock sound that seemed to get people to do some bouncing. However nothing compared to when the 3 x 3 set of Marshalls was unveiled with a giant neon cross in the middle. When the opening beats of "Genesis" began to pump the crowd went into instant frenzy. Some weird combination of moshing and dancing that only seemed appropriate for this strange mix of New York hipsters and what was the biggest gathering of French people I've ever seen outside of Paris. While I'm sure they're no robots in a pyramid these dudes got people moving. The strong opening got the energy flowing in such a way that I almost did not notice when things got slow in the middle of the set. Not until the epic rendition of "We Are Your Friends" came out of the speakers did I notice I had almost stopped d.a.n.c.i.n.g. That song transcend this "rave" into a giant choir when the house lights came on for the chorus, which could only be stopped by the amazing remix of Metallica's "Master of Puppets," until the show ended and everyone just kept chanting "we are your friends, you'll never be alone again" well into the streets.

Hot Tracks:
  1. Radiohead - "Nude". I'm aware that I reviewed this entire album already, but this song is so damn good.
  2. M.I.A. - "Paper Plans". Wait for the gun shots.
While I am currently living here in New York I know where I came from. Let's go sox!

Keep it scene in the city.

October 12, 2007

I don't usually do record reviews, but I might have my blogger license taken away if I did not do this.

Radiohead could certainly be considered the biggest band of this generation and the release of In Rainbows just helps prove that. Since the announcements of the album’s release date, a mere ten days before the album was made available, the music world has been set off course. Never before has the anticipation of a single record had such an impact on the music community. With the gap between In Rainbows and Hail to the Thief being the longest gap in the band’s history the excitement amongst fans has grown to huge proportions and the band has not let anyone down. Although this is the most simplistic record the band has released since their debut album it is anything but a disappointment.

The album is a grower. The more you listen the better it becomes. The haunting voices and sounds that come from the depths of the album leave listeners with feelings untouched since Kid A. The album has a natural progression that only Radiohead can achieve. Since many of the songs have been in the process for years now, fans had many ideas of what to expect of this album and still the band threw in some surprises. This is probably the first time since Ok Computer that Thom’s voice has been so instrumental in an album. His falsettos are gorgeous and add a whole other layer to the songs. The guitars were turned up, way up, in all of the right places. “Bodysnatchers” is one of the bands most rocking songs in recent years. Great riffs and sounds that echo “Paranoid Android” are frequent throughout the entire track. The middle is perhaps where the album comes into it’s own. Things get slowed down and the minimalism really picks up. The new rendition of “Nude” is amazing and the orchestration of “All I Need” may be some of their best.

Radiohead is the biggest indie rock band in the world at the moment and the best thing to come out of England (music wise) since Pink Floyd. They are the closest this generation will come to having The Beatles and this is their white album (listen to “Julia” and Faust ARP” back to back). They have already made their Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s and now they are proving that they can still make mind-blowing music without completely reinventing their sound. They are on top of the music world in every possible way and nothing (record labels, album leaks, bad press) seems to be stopping them.

I saw The Darjeeling Limited last week and was very impressed. Definitely Anderson's best since Tenenbaums. Once again there are amazing characters and a great story line. Some complain that his movies are all just crazy families in situations that are completely ridiculous, but that's what I love about them. Owen Wilson is excellent in this film and I hope he realizes that. There is a short film that proceeds the full length so I recommend that you watch that before seeing Darjeeling. It just gives a little more understanding to the film. The short film is called The Hotel Chevalier and is available for free on iTunes.

Keep it scene in the city.

October 1, 2007

The music world is currently off-tilt due to the announcement from the biggest band in modern rock. Radiohead officially announced the release of their seventh album In Rainbows today. It comes out on October 10, yes ten days, and it costs however much you want to pay. The record industry is about to be completely fucked. The band is free from a major label and are about to release the most anticipated album of the last few years. With only ten days of notice, no advanced copies, no leaks, no huge marketing campaigns, and only digital download from their site until December, Radiohead is about to revolutionize the music industry. Also they are taking it one step further and offering a "diskbox" package which includes the actual cd, two heavyweight vinyl copies, and an extra cd with additional new songs. The bad part is it costs about $80 and it does not ship until December 3rd. However, it is Radiohead and they are quite possibly the most important band of this generation.

In other news, I saw Animal Collective last night at Webster Hall. I did not know what to expect from these guys. I had heard that usually they play nothing off their albums during live shows and only work on new material. However, with the recent release of Strawberry Jam the guys played a decent amount of older tracks. Only three of the members graced us with their presence and they seemed a little bothered with things. During the excellent new jam "Fireworks" Avey abruptly stopped the song complaining of too much bass. The lights were fantastic and the songs sounded great, however the crowd lacked energy and it was a missing link.

Hot Tracks:
  1. Kanye West - "Champion". The second track off Kanye's latest LP is one of his best ever.
  2. Band of Horses - "Is There a Ghost". Although the album as a whole does not stand up to their debut album, this song shows these guys still know how to write a good rock song.
  3. Iron & Wine - "Boy With a Coin". The third release from Mr. Beam shows how to progress in music without losing what got you where you are.
Keep it scene in the city.
I'm giving this to you before Rolling Stone.

October 10th

September 21, 2007

It's good to be back in New York. Things have been a little crazy since I got here so I'll try and catch you up.

I'm sure by now you've all heard of the latest announcements from Apple. These guys seem to be unstoppable at the moment. Everything they do appears to be right. Now ipod nanos have video and extended battery life, ipod touch has wireless, ipod classic has 160GB, and iphone prices just dropped. Not to mention the new imacs. I converted to apple this summer and it was one of the best decisions of my life. I suggest you all follow suit.

Last weekend I went to my first show since being back. Girl Talk and Dan Deacon at Webster Hall. This was my first electronica show and I was blown away. The energy these two performers had was amazing. Security was unable to hold back the crowd from rushing and dancing unstage and the whole night was incredible. Girl Talk mixed everything so well and threw in a bunch of surprises that kept everyone moving all night long.

Big news on the Upper East Side yesterday was Sex and the City: The Movie taking over 70th and Lexington. Shots form yesterday included Charlotte and Big getting into a fight outside of a restaurant. Oh and it appears that Charlotte is pregnant in this one.

Hot Tracks:
  1. Animal Collective - "Fireworks". This is my favorite track off their newest album Strawberry Jam. Seeing these guys at the end of the month and I'm pretty excited for it.
  2. The Most Serene Republic - "Sherry and Her Butterfly Net". Fell in love with these guys a few years ago and their sophomore release is excellent.
  3. Kevin Drew - "Back Out on the". Saw this dude rock out this summer. Great jam from the leader of Broken Social Scene.
Keep it scene in the city.

May 13, 2007

I had a very busy past week here in New York. It started Tuesday night when Jen and I saw A Moon For the Misbegotten. The show was amazing. Kevin Spacey was excellent as was Colm Meany. However Eve Best stole the show. The set and lighting was excellent as well and if you have the chance to see it before it closes I highly suggest you go see it. It closes sometime in June and is something you should not miss. Eugene O'Neil is one of the greatest American playwrites and the script alone is worth reading. However, this all-star cast brings the show to life and really is outstanding.

On Wednesday Margot and I went to the first show in the Highline Festival, Arcade Fire at Radio City Music Hall. Now I saw this band back in February when they took up a residency at the Judson Memorial Church and I think they may have been even better this past week. Now that Neon Bible has officially been released the band plays the album to perfection live. The songs were just unreal and they had so much energy. If you don't have this album you better get it becuase it is one of the best of the year. The band just exploded during the performance and they were not able to hold back from running into the crowd to join in on all the fun. This band is going to be the next big thing and they deserve it more than anyone. Win Butler yelled to the crowd at one point "there are about 4 security guards in this place everyone run down front to dance. what are they going to do?" Well turns out they'll kick you out. Security had a hard time controlling some of the rowdy hipsters and had to escort them out. While Neon Bible sounds amazing live the old songs really get the crowd going. "Power Out" into "Rebellion (Lies)" was just electrifying and rocked the building. During the final song, "Walke Up," the upper balcony began to shake and I had to hold on because I couldn't stand without falling over. Truely an amazing show. Read reviews here and here.

On Friday I went to Brooklyn to see The Mountain Goats re-open the SoundFix cafe. The place was pretty small and absolutely packed. The room was unbelievably warm and impossible to move through, but it was a free show so I couldn't say no. The set was comprised of mostly old and rare songs so I didn't know too much, but it was a good time none the less. Some of the songs he played were played live for the first time so that was really cool and afterwards whhile he was making his way through the crowd I told him "good show" and he repied with "really? did you enjoy it? good!" So that's always a good thing when artists get back to their fans.

Hot Tracks:
  1. Arctic Monkeys - "This House Is A Circus." These guys are back with a great new album just as loud as their first. They keep the enrgy high and people on the dance floor.
  2. The National - "Start A War." They just put out an excellent new album and opened for Arcade Fire this past week. The singer sounds a little like Morrissey and the violinist can really tear it up onstage.
Keep it scene in the city.

April 26, 2007

Following some of the worst rain New York City has ever seen, this past week has been absolutely gorgeous. The past weekend was amazing , it was sunny and temperatures reached the 80s. It seemed like everyone was in the park this weekend, not that I can blame them, and it seems like spring is finally here.

I saw Les Miserables last Saturday and I don't think I can say enough about this show. It is by far the best thing I have ever seen and now I've seen it on Broadway. The cast was fantastic, Lea Solanga blew me away, and everyone should go see it while it is back in New York. I believe it is closing in August so hurry and see it while you can.

On Monday night, Jen, Mary, Margot, and I went to the MET for the college night opening of the new Greek and Roman exhibit. It was a huge toga party with college kids from all over the city. It was a really cool idea for the MET as it was free and there was dancing, tours, food, and drinks. All though I think we had more fun walking through the city in our togas than we did at the actual event.

Tuesday night Jen, Margot, and I went to see Patti Smith for the last of her three shows in the "Bowery Sessions." It was the release of her new CD "Twelve" so everyone got a free copy with their admission. It might have been the best show I've been to all year and I think everyone should go see Patti if they ever have the chance. The woman was amazing, especially since it was her third show of the night, even though she was a little intoxicated. She kept rambling on and on in between songs, which was just as entertaining as seeing her sing. The set was all covers off her new album so it was a unique feel. She wooed the crowed from the moment the show began and it was non-stop until the closing chords of "Gloria."

In other news... festival time is upon us again. Coachella kicks off tomorrow with what appears to be one of their most promising line-ups ever. Tickets sold out long ago so if you're going have an amazing time and take pictures for all of us unable to attend. Lollapalooza announced thier line-up a few weeks ago and it's not a surprise that it looks like this festival is going to be amazing as well. Performers include: Pearl Jam, Daft Punk, Ben Harper, Patti Smith, Kings of Leon, Regina Spektor, Interpol, Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On the Radio, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and many many more. This could be one of the most promising line-ups out there right now. Bonnaroo is also coming up in less than 50 days and they will also be delivery quite the performers. If you can make it out to any of these festival I highly reccommend it.

Hot Tracks:

  1. Bright Eyes - All of Cassadaga. This album is amazing and I can't pick one song off of it so listen to the whole thing.
  2. Patti Smith - "Smells Like Teen Spirit". An interesting and refreshing take on a song that started a revolution and changed the course of music.
  3. The White Stripes - "Icky Thump". The first single off the new album of the same name makes me want to hear the whole thing right now.

Keep it scene in the city!

April 9, 2007

In a time when the music industry is not what it once was there are some questions that need to be raised. What is the fate of the way in which people obtain their music? I think the age of the CD might officially be over. How many people honestly go to their local record store on a regular basis to pick up the latest cd from their favorite band? People download music, legally or illegaly it is something that happens and won't go away. So clearly there is less music to be made from record sales. However performances are where artists make their money. A few years back Bruce Springsteen played numerous consecutive sold out shows at Giants Stadium and made more money from those shows than he ever did due to record sales. Now here is my question: clearly people are doing pretty well with ticket sales if this is happening, but how much should someone charge for a concert ticket?
When I go to a show I have a very difficult time paying over $30. There are some cases in which I make an exception (Festivals, a reunion, Radiohead, a living Beatle), but it has to be pretty great for me to pay a lot of money. I recently broke my own rule when I shelled out about $45 to see Arcade Fire headline David Bowie's festival in New York (I'm hoping Bowie will make an appearance as he loves these guys). I've reasoned the fact that I didn't pay for their albums and the last time I saw them I didn't pay, so I can handle paying that much for these guys. Now after that, I'm having a difficult time finding shows that I am willing to pay the asked ticket price. Tonight I passed up an oppurtunity to see Iggy and the Stooges because I refused to pay $70. Isn't rock and roll supposed to be about the music and sticking it to the man not paying a shit load of money to see a fucking punk band in a venue way the hell uptown where I'd be confined to a seat? Where are the $10 shows where the bands actually need to have a sold out show to make money to keep the tour going? In a few weeks I'm going to see Piebald and MC Chris play the Knitting Factory for $10. This I can handle. Two great acts actually playing the same show and pouring their hearts into the performance because they love their music. They actually get along and aren't playing songs they wrote 30 years and charging $400+ for seats, coughthepolicecough.
Basically when will the point come when I need to raise my price so I can actually go see shows?

Hot Tracks:
  1. Bloc Party - "I Still Remember". The next single off their sophomore album which hasn't gotten the praise the first album recieved. This song sounds like a reworked Cure b-side. The album isn't as aggresive as the first, but definately a solid album.
  2. The Fratellis - "Flat Head". You've probably heard this song without realizing it. It's on the ipod commercial and and should be on your ipod in general.
  3. Peter Bjorn & John - "Amsterdam". Steady song from a steady band that might be the epitome of a head bobber.

March 30, 2007

A few weeks back I went to the Apple store in SoHo and caught a show by The Good, The Bad, and the Queen. Such an all-star line-up in that group. Now their music is not what you would expect from the previous bands they have been a part of, however their music is something original and totally worth checking out. They did not seem too excited about their performance, which was a little disappointing. Especially since the band arrived over an hour late. Still, Paul Simonon might be the coolest bass player around. Holding his bass like a machine gun as he plucked away simple and effective bass lines, he is probably the only person who can have "punk" carved into his bass and still be punk (If Sid Vicious were alive I'd say he could pull it off too).

Ashli and I went to Brooklyn and saw Thursday at Warsaw the week before break. I had not seen these guys since the summer before my freshman year of high school so I was really excited. The first bands were Paulson and The Number 12 Look Like You and while they were entertaining we were only there for Thursday. They took the stage and put on an amazing show. One of the best hardcore shows I've been to in a long time. They had energy that never let up. While they played stuff off the new album which I'm not too familiar with their tore through old songs with such passion and the crowd felt every second of it. The set ended with "This Song Brought To You By a Falling Bomb" in which Geoff had so much intensity he did not even use a mic and the whole place still heard him. This was immeadiately followed by "Cross Out the Eyes" which brought the building to it's knees. The encore was also excellent and afterwards Geoff made sure to say thank you to as many fans as he could. Definately an awesome experience.

Now I'm starting something new. Every up-date will now feature the Hot Tracks section in which I'll suggest some of my favorite songs that you guys should all download.

  1. The Blow - Parentheses. Excellent electonica/dance song that will get stuck in your head so fast. Key Line: "When you're holding me, we make a pair of parentheses."
  2. Mickey Avalon - Jane Fonda. One of my new favorite dance songs.
  3. Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running. This band is blowing up even more now that their newest album is officially out. This is who everyone should be listening to, enough with the goddamn Killers.

February 16, 2007

The Bonnaroo festival has announced it's initial artist line-up for this year's festival and so far so good. Artisits include: The Police, Tool, Widespread Panic, The White Stripes, The Flaming Lips, Wilco, Ben Harper, and many many more. This year's festival will take place on June 14-17 in Manchester Tennessee. Festival organizers bought the farm so one should expect amazing improvements to an already amazing site. (Source)

Al Gore is teaming up with Live-8 organizers and putting together an event he calls Live Earth. The event will take place on 7/7/07 and will feature musical artists playing on all seven continents. The event is designed to raise awareness to what is happening in the environment. While the musical line-up doesn't look too great the idea is a good one and hopefully the message will come across.

Chris Cornell has announced that he has quit the supergroup Audioslave due to "musical differences." He is releasing his solo album later this year. Hopefully this means that the other three members of the group can spend more time rehearsing with Rage Against the Machine and launch a tour after Coachella. Cornell wishes the best of luck to his former band mates. (Source)

Indie-rock superstars Arcade Fire are in the midst of a five day residency in New York City. The band has and will be playing five shows at Judson Memorial Church right on the south side of Washington Square Park. Tickets for theses shows went onsale earlier in the year and sold-out in fifteen minutes. However after hearing that approximately sixty tickets were sold at the door the first night on a first-come first-served basis I figured I would try my luck. On Valentine's Day I made my way to the church at around 7:00 and braved the snow and cold weather as I waited in line to try out my luck. At 8:00 I was informed by security that I was too far back in line and there would be no room for me inside the venue. I decided to wait anyway just incase somehow I might get inside. After about ten minutes a woman came up to the line and asked if anyone was alone. I said yes and she informed me that she had anextra ticket and wondered if I would like to go with her. Of course I said yes and we made our way up to the door and she got us in, FOR FREE. Thank you Melanie for the best Valentine's Day gift ever. So after scoring the hardest ticket to get in the city I waited for about an hour before the band took the stage. They were great, mostly played songs from Neon Bible which sounds so good live. They officially brought the house down with "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" into "Rebellion (Lies)." If you ever get the chance to see this band live I highly reccommend it, although tickets will be nearly impossible to get. In attendance for the show was Drew Barrymore, Andy Samberg (the badn will play SNL on 2/24), and Strokes bassist Nikolai Fraiture. (Review)

Neon Bible (out March 6)

Keep it scene in the city!

February 9, 2007

Yesterday we all learned the news that former model and tv star Anna Nicole Smith passed away at the age of 39. It is a great loss to Hollywood. Smith was found dead in her Florida hotel room and was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. Smith was in the news a lot recently after her son passed away and the birth of her daughter. She will be missed.

2007 seems to be the year of reunions. So far we've heard plans of Rage Against the Machine, the Police, Dispatch, the Jesus and Mary Chain and Iggy and the Stooges. Now we can add one more to the list. Van Halen has announced plans to tour this summer with original lead singer David Lee Roth. The band will embark on a 40 date tour some time this summer. (Source)

Gwen Stefani relased a statement the other day that said this will be her last tour before she will head back into the studio with her band No Doubt to record their next album. About damn time! (Source)

Justin Timberlake pleased New York City earlier in the week by adding a special song to his current set list. SNL star Andy Samberg joined JT onstage to do their rendition of "Dick in A Box."

  • Is apple taking over the world?
  • Could be a bad day for ipods in New York City.
  • SXSW announce artist line-up.

Last night I went and saw Factory Girl. It was ok, not terrible but not great either. The actor playing Andy Warhol did a fantastic job and the rest of the cast was alright. Hayden Christensen as Bob Dylan though might have been one of the worst casting jobs I've seen in a long time. Tonight I'm heading down to the Knitting Factory with some friends to see a friend of a friend perform.

Keep it scene in the city!

February 2, 2007

Back to New York everyone and it feels good. Here is some news:

The Police reunion is official. For months there have been reports that the Police would be reuniting for a tour to coincide with the 30th anniversary of their first single. Well now the rumors are true as the Police have been announced as the opening act to this year's Grammy Awards. The trio will play together for the first time in over 20 years and will announce dates for an 80 gig tour that will take place later this year. (Source)

While this news is not really new anymore it is new to the blog since the announcement happened while I was away. The official line-up for this year's Coachella festival has been announced. The festival will take place over the course of three days this year for the first time since the festival's inception. The highlights for this year's festival include headliners Bjork, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a reunited Rage Against The Machine. (Source)

Last night some friends and I had a night on the town after the first week of classes. After what stated out as a little disappointing we trecked for over a mile around the the city before winding up at the Bulgarian Bar. This little hole in the wall on the Lower East Side was a great find. Amazing eastern European dancing music and the D.J. was none another than the lead singer of the gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello. So being back in New York City is pretty exciting. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Keep it scene in the city.

January 9, 2007

Happy 2007 everyone.

I'm not back in NYC yet so these events aren't pertaining to the city, just pop culture in general.

First, I am not a fan of Fall Out Boy but it is pretty cool that Pete Wentz sticks up for his friends. Bummer for the guy who has to say he got beat up by Pete Wentz.
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Second, today was a big day for nerds. Apple continues to shock the world. I leave you with the iPhone.