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March 30, 2008

Fleet Foxes - Bowery Ballroom 03.29.08

Bow on the guitar for "Drops in the River."

Most recent Bowery show (07.09.08) post here.

When I see a band like Fleet Foxes perform, I am reminded of why I love music in the first place and why I started this blog. If you haven't heard of this band, you are really missing out. Last night, Fleet Foxes opened for Blitzen Trapper at Bowery Ballroom. But, I went there exclusively for Fleet Foxes and left before the headlining act. I blogged about Fleet Foxes earlier, so I had to check out the show. Thankfully, I bought tickets early before the show sold out.

I was surprised by how engaged I was by FF's entire performance. Granted, the music is fantastic, but I thought I might be bored at the show. Besides the music, which was even better live, Fleet Foxes is one of the friendliest, most personable bands I've ever seen. I feel like most bands mutter a "thank you" in between songs...or they say nothing at all. Although one guy in the audience yelled out, "Less talk, more rock," I really enjoyed the band's comments and stories (about the NY subway, parking tickets). It really kept me captivated and I felt like I was getting to know the band better, which only made me like them even more.

Lead singer Robin Pecknold started out the night by telling the audience that he was sick with the flu (it was his 22nd birthday, too) and requested us to be less judgmental (HAH, like NYers are capable of that). He may have had a cup of tea on hand, but there was no way that man had been puking all day; the 5-member band sounded perfect. Throughout the set, Fleet Foxes were completely shocked and confused by the warm response they were receiving from the crowd. They kept on telling us how "sweet" and "nice" we were. I think they were forgetting that the New York crowd is not sweet or nice; we're brutally honest. When Robin played the intro to "English House" and people cheered, he was like, "Really? You know this one?" Yea, man. I do know that one. It's only my favorite song of the moment.

Don't let the genre and tempo of the music fool you. Fleet Foxes put on an intense, exciting show. The band has an amazing coordination with each other, and I really loved the usage of rich 3-part and 4-part harmonies. In fact, for "Mykonos," there is a one-beat drum intro (8th note) before Robin comes in on the guitar. And, they do it without looking at each other. Crazy.

Old mandolin, to be smashed. Ultimately, the instrument was not smashed to pieces. The band gave it away to someone in the crowd.

The new mandolin played during "Blue Ridge Mountains." Check out the mandolin bit around 2:05.

Setlist (Thanks to the anonymous comment!)

See my past post for more songs. Fleet Foxes will be releasing a self-titled LP on June 3rd. For now, you can buy Sun Giant from Sub Pop or from Insound.com. Check out the mandolin bit in "Blue Ridge Mountains" around 2:05.

Ragged Wood - Fleet Foxes

White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes

Oliver James - Fleet Foxes

Blue Ridge Mountains - Fleet Foxes


March 29, 2008

Simian Mobile Disco - American Museum of Natural History 03.28.08

I am completely blown away by Simian Mobile Disco. Hands down, last night's show at the American Museum of Natural History was one of the best shows I had ever been to. SMD are a British duo of James Ford (who produced Arctic Monkeys' second album) and James Anthony Shaw. Simian Mobile Disco emerged from the band Simian (Justice did a remix of Simian's "Never Be Alone" in 2006 and won "Best Video" at the MTV Europe Music Awards, which upset Kanye).

I had never been to an electronic music show before, so I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't think that the guys would be creating music onstage; rather, I thought they would be just mixing or something. Well, I was completely wrong, because they were 100% live. SMD were very intense and serious onstage, which is not surprising since they're working with a ton of equipment. I was completely mesmerized by the physical complexity of their performance. The guys were constantly moving from one box to another, switching places, leaping from position to position. Trust me, it does not look easy.

Footage from the show (from RCRDLBL.com. Yours truly is blocking the camera most of the time).

There are some good pictures of the equipment here. But even better, watch the video below (Thanks, Alex!)

If you have a chance to see Simian Mobile Disco, GO. Life is seriously not complete without them. I broke the LCD screen on my camera that night and still no regrets!

I Got This Down - Simian Mobile Disco

I Believe - Simian Mobile Disco

Hustler - Simian Mobile Disco

Cherry Blossom Girl (Air) - Simian Mobile Disco

Simian Mobile Disco


March 23, 2008

Thao with The Get Down Stay Down - Sound Fix Records 03.23.08

Blogged about Thao back in February. I was lucky enough to catch Thao with The Get Down Stay Down at Sound Fix Records in Williamsburg. And, it was free (donations welcome)! Thao filled this cozy venue on a sunny Easter afternoon, with most people sitting at small tables or large, pew-like booths. And, yes, Thao commented on the appropriateness of the pews on this particular day.

I was surprised by how much energy this hand-clapping, feet-stomping folk band had on a (holy) Sunday afternoon. Of course, the beer and wine probably helped. Also, surprisingly, Thao had some great commentary between songs. For one, the crowd and the venue reminded her of RENT; she expected us to break out in "La Vie Boheme" at any second. Before performing "Bag of Hammers" (I think), she told us that if we wanted to break out in choreographed dance, this song would be the one for it. The best story was about a recent show they played at a college. Apparently, the venue was a student-run, converted garage-stage. And by garage-stage, she meant that the cars were taking out of the garage. Anyway, while they were playing "Swimming Pools," some girls in the front took off their shirts and were dancing like they were in Cancun. The irony is that the song is about the exact opposite of that.

Thao with The Get Down Stay Down played the Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight. They are currently on tour with Xiu Xiu.

***At the request of Thao's record label, Kill Rock Stars, I've taken down the posted songs. Instead, I've put up some songs from Thao's Daytrotter session. Check out Thao's myspace and my past post for more music.

Fear and Convenience (Daytrotter) - Thao with The Get Down Stay Down

Big Kid Table (Daytrotter) - Thao with The Get Down Stay Down



March 18, 2008

Cut Copy

A part of my soul is crying right now. A bit dramatic? Yes, maybe just a little bit, but I just missed seeing Cut Copy at Mercury Lounge (also my favorite venue) tonight. A few weeks ago, I tried looking for tickets to the sold-out show. But, when eBay cruelly informed me that I did not win the tickets, I gave up; I bought tickets home to Chicago. At the very least, I wouldn't have to be in the same city while missing the show. Thankfully, when Cut Copy announced another New York show in May, I immediately bought tickets. I may have to wait another two months, but at least I will finally experience them.

So, who is this band that unknowingly broke my heart? Cut Copy is a 3-member band from Melbourne, Australia, and their music is reminiscent of 80s dance. You may think that other bands have already done what Cut Copy is doing now and have done it better, but who doesn't love retro music?

I was initially introduced to Cut Copy years ago when I downloaded "Saturdays" from Insound.com. Now, with the release date of their sophomore album approaching, I've been hearing "Lights & Music" over and over again from many different places. And, well, the song is kinda awesome. Cut Copy posted In Ghost Colours on their myspace a couple days ago. I haven't listened to the whole thing yet, but I like what I hear so far. "Far Away" is my current favorite.

Cut Copy stopped by Austin, TX for a couple shows, and it seems like In Ghost Colours is going to be well-received. I noticed them on a couple lists in the Guide to Pitchfork's SXSW 2008 Coverage.

Don't miss the next Cut Copy show and be heartbroken like I am right now. Cut Copy plays the Bowery Ballroom on May 14. I will be the girl in the front, dancing like crazy.

Far Away - Cut Copy

Lights & Music - Cut Copy

Hearts on Fire - Cut Copy

That Was Just a Dream - Cut Copy

Saturdays - Cut Copy

Cut Copy


March 10, 2008

Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant EP

Another band from the West Coast, Fleet Foxes is also heading down to Austin, Texas to perform at this little festival called SXSW (You may have heard of it). I found this band not from SXSW, but from Pitchfork's section of best new music. Now, Pitchfork and I do not see eye to eye on most albums, but I have to admit that Fleet Foxes' Sun Giant EP is a great listen.

According to Sub Pop Records, Fleet Foxes is a "baroque harmonic pop combo" from Seattle, Washington. If you don't normally like folk music, Fleet Foxes will make you wonder how you were so wrong in the first place (because folk is awesome). "English House" is definitely my favorite track off Sun Giant, a beautiful showcase of the band's musical composition and performance abilities.

Sun Giant is just a sneak peek at what is to come. Fleet Foxes will be releasing a self-titled LP on June 3rd of this year. But, for now, you can buy Sun Giant from Sub Pop or from Insound.com.

Check out Fleet Foxes at the Bowery Ballroom with Blitzen Trapper on March 29. They are also one of the first confirmed acts for Pitchfork Music Festival 2008.

This is great studying music. Except, it's so good that it's distracting me from actually studying. Thus, I blog.

English House - Fleet Foxes

Mykonos - Fleet Foxes

Drops in the River - Fleet Foxes


March 9, 2008

The Dodos

It's my favorite time of the year, when SXSW releases their list of participating artists. I usually spend many hours pouring over the ridiculously long list of names instead of studying for midterms. However, my hard work is always rewarded. The Dodos, a duo from San Francisco (not Brooklyn!) are one of my favorite discoveries this year.

The Dodos are Meric Long (guitar, vocals, trombone) and Logan Kroeber (drums). Unlike most duos, the Dodos don't try to force a big sound out of themselves by playing and singing as loudly as they possibly can. Instead, they add color to their music by using more complex rhythmic patterns and having very little empty space. As someone pointed out to me, Logan doesn't use a kick drum. He has a bass drum that he plays as a regular stand drum. If you watch their MP3.com tunnel performance, you'll understand what I'm talking about.

Recently signed onto Frenchkiss Records (of Les Savy Fav and The Hold Steady), the Dodos will be releasing their sophomore record, Visiter, on March 18. The Dodos return to NYC on April 6th at Mercury Lounge.

Fools - The Dodos

Winter - The Dodos

Red and Purple - The Dodos

The Dodos


Apes & Androids - Hiro Ballroom

Almost forgot. Pictures from A&A @ Hiro Ballroom on February 28. Read my original post about Apes & Androids here.


March 2, 2008

Tokyo Police Club Grows Up?

Since I downloaded "Nature of the Experiment" off Insound.com two years ago, Tokyo Police Club (TPC) has been one of my favorite bands. While I'm not into all garage-indie bands, TPC has a playfulness that I love. It's no wonder that they were up for the "Best New Artist" PLUG award last year. After I saw them perform at Mercury Lounge last year, I was sold for life. That explains why I have 40 TPC tracks on my iTunes, although they have only released only two EPs.

Thankfully, Elephant Shell, their first LP, will be released on April 22. You can check out the tracklist here. Our first peek at the LP is "In a Cave," which is a little different from the TPC that I'm used to. With each single, TPC's music has matured with more meaningful lyrics and polished sound. Perhaps this is due to influences from their new label, Saddle Creek? Anyway, while I'm a huge fan of the A Lesson in Crime stuff, I'm loving the new track. My favorite line is, "Elephant shell, you're my cave and I've been hiding out, will you tell me a little bit about, a bit about yourself." So, maybe I appreciate this new, more emo side of TPC. "Graves" and "Your English is Good" are also included on the upcoming LP.

Can't wait to see them in April! Luckily, I got tickets before they sold out. They just added a second Manhattan show, but that will probably sell out soon.

Who says nothing good comes from Canada? Lies, all lies.

In a Cave - Tokyo Police Club

Your English is Good - Tokyo Police Club

Graves (Daytrotter Session) - Tokyo Police Club

Tokyo Police Club


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