How to excite a Radiohead fan? One word: webcast. Around 3:05 PM EST, gorillavsbear.net wrote that Colin had posted a special announcement on Dead Air Space, Radiohead’s official website. Radiohead would be webcasting their show at Santa Barbara Bowl, the last of their current American tour. According to the website, Colin wrote, “It should be a special night, for lots of reasons, and we're going to try and share as much of it as we can on the webcast.” SPECIAL NIGHT? FOR LOTS OF REASONS? Okay, Colin, you’re on. I will stay up way past my bedtime of 10 PM (in my defense, I have to get up at 6 for work) to watch your silly special night.
Making sure I’d be home by 10, I started to wait for webcast details to be posted on Dead Air Space. Tom Petty’s “The Waiting” was playing in my head (total cliché) while I fought the urge to sleep. I did manage to nap for 5 minutes before my alarm went off at 10:40 PM. One of my friends believed that the webcast would begin at 10:40. I doubted him, but sure enough around 10:41, Radiohead.tv reloaded with a video.
Overall, the video shots weren’t that great. I don’t know why they didn’t do a split screen of all the guys, which is what they normally do at the shows (or at least, that’s what they did at APW). However, I always enjoy watching Jonny perform. And, Thom’s face during “Karma Police” (during the line, “This is what you get”) was creepy as hell, yet so appropriate. The sound was not too bad. At some point, the sound quality became much better.
1. I stopped breathing when Radiohead opened with “Reckoner.”
2. Jonny Greenwood is a god.
3. Thom Yorke is still wearing his skinny red pants.
4. I died when they played “Talk Show Host.”
5. Jonny Greenwood, OMFG!!!
6. I came back to life and died again when they performed “Karma Police.”
7. Chanting “True Love Waits” loudly doesn’t do anything.
8. I can’t believe I got this excited over a webcast.
I looked at the Hollywood Bowl second night set list, and I don’t get why Californians are so lucky. “True Love Waits,” “Talk Show Host,” “Karma Police,” a Neil Young cover (via greenplastic)… what????
Visit Mortigi Tempo for links to recorded video and audio. P4K also has some here. Setlist is available here.
August 29, 2008
August 27, 2008
I've read so many posts on Of Montreal today, that I had to jump on the wagon. I started listening to Skeletal Lamping four days ago, but I still haven't had the time to give the album the time that it deserves. As I said many months ago, Of Montreal's last album (Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?) was one of my top albums of 2007. I have to admit, I didn't think that the first time I heard the album. But, as I gave it the time and listen that it deserved, I realized that the album was fantastic. Although Skeletal Lamping is more like The Sunlandic Twins than Hissing Fauna, I'm finding that I'm going to need some more time with it before I can say anything concrete.
For now, enjoy "For Our Elegant Caste." You will find that the lyrics are quite memorable and fun to sing along to. Love the reference to Georgie Fruit, Kevin Barnes' glam rock alter-ego. I remember seeing them perform this one at their Roseland Ballroom show last fall. I've also included "Id Engager," the first released track from Skeletal Lamping.
Of Montreal returns to Roseland Ballroom on October 10.
For Our Elegant Caste - Of Montreal | Alternative Link
Id Engager - Of Montreal
August 20, 2008
From when I first saw Fujiya & Miyagi in January 2007 (for $3!!), before they were a foursome. Gotta love the Barnard College Radio sign.
As they confess in "Photocopier," Fujiya & Miyagi are not Japanese, as the name suggests. And yes, they may repeat their name too often in their songs, but somehow that's acceptable in my book.
Fujiya & Miyagi return with Lightbulbs, available on September 9. Their first single off the album, "Knickerbocker," is very reminiscent of...well, a lot of the songs off their first album, Transparent Things. In typical F&M fashion, David Best chants a bunch of random words that are either related or unrelated, depending on how much you want to read into the song. "Knickerbocker" begins with a repetition of the following words: vanilla, strawberry, knickerbocker glory. I have no idea what this song is about, but I dig the minimalist electro-pop and Best's wispy voice.
Judging by "Knickerbocker," I don't expect any surprises from F&M's Lightbulbs. And, somehow, I appreciate the predictability. Sometimes, you just want to kick back and listen to some positive, relaxing music. That's probably why I've been listening to "Dishwasher" in the mornings. I really like the intro, which consists of a simple riff (is this a bass or a guitar tuned down to a low register?) and percussion. All in F&M style, of course.
Fujiya & Miyagi will be at Webster Hall with Crystal Castles on October 23. See you there.
Dishwasher - Fujiya & Miyagi
Knickerbocker - Fujiya & Miyagi
Photocopier - Fujiya & Miyagi
This is pretty trippy. Great song.
August 19, 2008
There are a lot of things about Animal Collective that I just don't get. First of all, I don't really get their music. I once said that they were one of the most overrated bands of 2007. After seeing/suffering through them at All Points West, I still don't really understand how anyone could like them. This excerpt from an interview with NPR pretty much sums it up:
In an online statement to fans, Animal Collective says, "Don't be surprised if you come to see us and it's not what you thought it would be, and try not to get too upset." The group adds that it hopes its music is "at times totally pleasing and at others completely scary and confusing, but most importantly is refreshing in this crazy, crazy world."
If by refreshing, you mean painful, then yes. Yes, it is refreshing. When Animal Collective was performing, I was sitting on the ground, in utter pain. Let's just say I was lucky to have my in-ear headphones at the time. I thought to myself, "This is what hell must feel like. Animal Collective live." An AC fan told me that the APW people had screwed up their sound check. Another fan said that AC had become far, far worse. I think it's safe to say that this is how they have always sounded live.
Now, if you're an Animal Collective fan, I don't mean to offend you, although there are times when I've said that AC is for people with hearing difficulties. I just don't understand who anyone could rock out to all of their music. Don't get me wrong, I like Panda Bear, but Animal Collective is pretty much unlistenable.
So, why am I writing about Animal Collective? If you know me personally, or read my blog, you probably got that I don't like to bash music. A snide comment here and there, fine. But, I don't go out of my way to talk about how much I hate the band.
That's the thing. I've stopped hating Animal Collective, or at least one AC song, and I'm even more confused by the fact. On top of all the things I couldn't conceive before, now I don't get why I can't get Animal Collective out of my head.
Out of the entire APW set, I chose to remember two songs (I blocked out the rest from my memory). These two were "House" and "Brother Sport." At first listen, "Brother Sport" may not sound so pleasant. A friend of mine described the music pretty eloquently. Since I don't remember exactly what he said, I'm going to put words into his mouth and say that it's pretty much pop gone wrong. Music that could have been good, but took a sudden turn into a dark, dark place where bad music lives and breeds.
Then, it came to me. I'm entertained by "Brother Sport," because I think it's funny. Listen to the song. If the singing doesn't make you laugh, doesn't the yelping do it for you? Every time I listen to this song, I end up chuckling or, at the very least, smiling like a fool. No smiles yet? Scroll up during the yelping part and actually look at the face of the guy who is yelping. Hilarious. Also, I like how the yelping loses its intensity as time goes on. I guess yelping over and over (no loops) is tiring.
So, is it okay to like Animal Collective if it makes me laugh? I say yes, even though I may not be appreciating the music for its purpose (I think AC and their fans think this is pretty serious stuff). Maybe if I have this attitude towards all of their music, I'll like it all...okay, no. I just tried listening to "Fireworks" and couldn't get through it.
Brother Sport (Live on NPR) - Animal Collective
August 14, 2008
This is the real thing. I'm always looking out for the next big thing, and I'm convinced that it's Passion Pit. I blogged about these guys earlier last month. Then, they were forkcasted and mentioned (perhaps re-mentioned) on bv. Suddenly, my measly post is getting a lot of hits.
And, all for the right reasons. My friend told me that after seeing Radiohead in concert, music would not be the same to me for at least another month. Yes, this is true to a certain extent. I'm still going through a period of post-Radiohead recovery. But, life goes on after Radiohead, especially when there is a band like Passion Pit. After the experience I had at Radiohead, that's a huge compliment.
Passion Pit announced a three-week residency at Pianos not too long ago, and I wanted to be there on the very first night. My friend had seen them open up for Girl Talk in New Haven, and told me that these guys were the next new thing to be excited about. And, I definitely agree. I spent about two weeks exclusively listening to "Better Things." When Passion Pit performed that song tonight, it reminded me of all the mornings I started by playing that song. And, yes, I had some unpleasant days that were made much better (no pun, intended) by that song.
This is music that's just fun. When was the last time you heard music that was genuinely fun without trying? Not that Passion Pit's songs are simple by any means. Passion Pit has a certain charm, and you can't help but moving along to the beat. It's almost a joke that they're getting so many comparisons to MGMT, because they are clearly much, MUCH better, and I would say that they are much more creative, as well. A venue like Pianos was perfect for Passion Pit's big NYC debut. It was small enough for everyone in the audience to get an up-close Passion Pit experience. In fact, it could barely contain the energy of the entire group. I'd love to see them in a larger setting, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them play a larger venue very soon.
The very highly anticipated Chunk of Change EP is due on September 16, and an LP is to be expected in early 2009. Passion Pit will be performing at Piano's on August 20 and 27. I'm definitely going to go back, if I can. Next time, I hope they play a longer set. I can't get enough!
Sleepyhead - Passion Pit
Better Things - Passion Pit
More free downloads at Last.fm.
August 11, 2008
Photos courtesy of Riaz. If you find a picture of someone reading a newspaper magazine during the Kings of Leon set, that would be him. Please send the link my way!
I risked nearly failing a very important certification exam today, because I devoted all of Saturday to seeing Radiohead and Sunday to recovering from Radiohead. Since I passed (barely), I am going to think that Radiohead helped me pass.
Seeing Radiohead was absolutely amazing, even life-changing. Remember when Anton Ego took a bite of the ratatouille in that Pixar movie? For me, seeing Radiohead for the first time was similar to that. I"m going to attempt to explain why that was the case.
Going to a Radiohead concert is not just about seeing them perform onstage. It's about waiting in line to see Radiohead, sitting around for Radiohead, meeting hardcore Radiohead fans (Note: Tell them that you're about to see your first Radiohead show and their eyes will light up. You can actually see them remember their first experience), suffering through terrible acts for Radiohead, standing for an entire hour before Radiohead hit the stage just because you were too excited to sit. The almost surreal part is that you're not alone. You're surrounded by people who are going through exactly the same thing and they're all asking themselves the same exact thing: How many more minutes until Radiohead? What is so awesome about seeing the band is this entire experience. That includes all the hours I spent thinking about seeing Radiohead, actually seeing Radiohead, and then reflecting on seeing Radiohead.
Although the line-up at All Points West was pretty weak and the festival itself was way overpriced, I shelled out the money just for Radiohead. I had the privilege of attending the show with some very devoted Radiohead fans, which completely made my experience. I arrived at Liberty State Park shortly before the gates opened. Luckily, the guys that I was with made a run for it, so we ended up being maybe 5-6 people away from the rail (You can spot me in the second to last picture here). I got to the spot around 12:25 pm. I didn't leave that spot until Radiohead left the stage (I'm guessing around 11 pm).
The entire day was just a waiting game. The guys sitting behind us had been chasing Radiohead around on the tour, had seen them six times or something. Stories of rare song performances were exchanged, always including the venue/city/festival, year, and song title. As my friend asked, when was the last time you were this excited about anything? I don't think I've ever shared being this excited about anything with thousands of other people.
My friend had this little black notebook where he kept track of the previous night's incredible setlist (I should have been there. Screw FINRA). Slowly, a wishlist of songs was created and shared with the people around us. Would the list be fulfilled? Time would tell. I'll just add that a guy standing near me most wanted to hear "Kid A." When Radiohead started playing the intro to the song, he looked like he was going to die of happiness. He raised his arms into the air (as if he were rejoicing) before he hugged his friend. Powerful stuff, this Radiohead.
So I suffered through Animal Collective. Shudder. But, it was all worth it when Radiohead took the stage. Oh yea, this was one very serious, respectful crowd. During songs like "Exit Music (For a Film)," the crowd was completely silent. If anyone tried to say anything during such songs, shushing would come from all directions.
The show itself, I wish I could explain in words what it was like. I guess you will just have to experience it for yourself. I definitely see the appeal in going to multiple Radiohead shows. These guys have over a hundred songs, so no two shows are exactly the same. And, it's not like they can play every single song in one set, as much as I wish it were possible. I definitely respect these guys for being able to perform so many of the songs (good memory).
Speaking of good memories...one of the guys I was with could identify most of the songs by the instrument setup, a note, or a beat. I have to tell you, that's an amazing talent.
Now, when I listen to certain songs, I get the same chills that I had when I heard them performed live.
Also, I never realized how much of a badass Jonny Greenwood is. Well, he is a badass. He is an amazing guitarist, and he's always doing so many things at once. My friend said that on Friday night, Jonny was playing the guitar and using the head of the guitar to play the keyboard.
I don't know where this picture is from but Jonny is awesome.
Do yourself a serious favor. Pay the money and see this band. I'm counting down to my next Radiohead concert.
Crowd anxiously awaits.
Jonny Greenwood is my hero.
Setlist (courtesy of brooklynvegan)
02. 15 Step
03. The National Anthem
04. Kid A
05. All I Need
07. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
08. Where I End And You Begin
09. The Gloaming
10. Faust Arp
11. No Surprises
12. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
13. The Bends
14. Bangers and Mash
15. Everything In Its Right Place
16. Exit Music (For A Film)
18. Pyramid Song
21. Fake Plastic Trees
22. There There
23. House of Cards
24. Planet Telex
Idioteque (from I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings) - Radiohead
Photos courtesy of Riaz. If you find a picture of someone reading a newspaper magazine during the Kings of Leon set, that would be him. Please send the link my way!
One thing I learned from Chromeo's set was that the duo's name is Chromeo. They repeated their name so many times that it started to become a joke. Just to be annoying, I would ask, "Who is onstage again?" Yes, I may have a crush on Dave 1 and regret not taking any French classes with him, but I was not impressed with Chromeo's set at All Points West. I'm gonna have to agree with Sarah and say that they were a disappointment, even though Dave 1 reps CU. Chromeo was just not meant to play a huge outdoors venue at 2:30 pm, when the hot August sun is beating down on impatient Radiohead fans. I have to admit that it must have been rough for everyone that had been performing on the main stage, because the entire day was pretty much just a slow, (sometimes painful) waiting process for Radiohead fans. The music is pretty catchy, and I probably would have had a better time if I had seen them at night, in a smaller venue, with a few beverages.
Bonified Lovin' (Tough Guys) - Chromeo
August 7, 2008
The first time I saw Ra Ra Riot, opening for Tokyo Police Club at Mercury Lounge in Spring '07.
It's about time Ra Ra Riot put out a proper LP. I thought I would be stuck listening to the EP, demos, and live sessions for who knows how long. Not that a lack of a full-length album has been a problem for Ra Ra Riot since they sell out shows regardless. I saw them a couple weeks ago at Siren Music Festival, which made me more excited for the release of The Rhumb Line. These guys had a tough year, losing their drummer John, but they managed to hold it together and produce this awesome song. "St. Peter's Day Festival" is also a favorite of mine, so look out for it when the album is released.
Preorder The Rhumb Line at Insound. The album will be released on August 19. Ra Ra Riot returns to NYC on October 17 with a show at MHOW.
Note: Song has been removed upon request
But...here's a live video of the song via Stereogum.
August 3, 2008
I know, it's been awhile since I blogged. I tried to see MGMT last weekend at McCarren Pool, and I was completely unsuccessful. It took me ten minutes to find the end of the line. Apparently, arriving thirty minutes early was not early enough. I felt like I was waiting in line for an iPhone. After waiting way too long, I gave up and left. I had already seen these guys, and I didn't feel like waiting in line any longer.
This weekend was more successful (yay!). I've been a little restless without my weekly dose of music, so I was determined to make it to the Jamie Lidell show earlier today. Central Park Summerstage has a great lineup of shows every season, and I was excited to see Jamie Lidell on the bill. Learning my lesson from last week's disaster in Brooklyn, I arrived early and found a spot to sit. I also brought sunscreen, a towel, and face wipes. Did I mention that the summer heat is unkind to me? Oh, and I am also super short. Add a couple hundred people and you end up with one sweaty girl who loves music.
The first thing I realized when I saw Jamie Lidell walking around was that...he didn't look like Jamie Lidell. In fact, he looked like any other alternative dad. He was wearing black, slim trousers and a short-sleeve button-down graphic shirt with a strategically placed hole near the right armpit. Then, he went and changed into navy trousers, cummerbund, and jacket. A near suit sans the shirt. He looked sleek, but the outfit didn't top the one he wore at Pitchfork last year.
Jamie opened with "Another Day" (which I previously blogged about), one of my favorites from his new album, Jim. He had the audience singing backup for him on "A Little Bit More," which he lovingly described as the song that Target exploited. Although I prefer Lidell's up-beat songs, one of the most memorable moments of the show was his performance of "Game for Fools." Jamie is a fantastic, entertaining performer. I enjoy watching him so much that I sometimes forget that he is an amazing vocalist. "Game for Fools" definitely showcases his pipes, and it is even better live because you can visualize the emotions that go along with his lyrics. It is exactly the emotion and passion that Jamie Lidell expresses in his music that continue to make him an artist to care about.
Jamie Lidell will be returning to the U.S. in August. Check his MySpace for dates and locations.
Game for Fools - Jamie Lidell
Figured Me Out - Jamie Lidell