Thursday, March 31, 2011

my 2 Cents on LCD Soundsystem ticket fiasco

Just wanted to put this out there real quick.

Recently read that article on Reuters "James Murphy's role in the LCD Soundsystem ticket fiasco" and it left a horrible taste in my mouth. I don't think Mr. Murphy's hands are as dirty as Reuters implies. If the world works as they say it does, with the promoter holding back huge swaths of tickets and then dumping them on brokers, hangers on and the band, that still doesn't mean the band had to be in cahoots. Maybe the band got a couple of hundred tickets of the thousands? Immediately booking the T5 gigs, and then imposing a delivery regimen that would discourage scalping seems to indicate that Murphy's anger was genuine. After all, how often did LCD play big enough venues that he would be aware of how the deck is stacked against the lowly fan. And I'm not Machiavellian enough to believe that the whole enterprise was staged just to make a big pop.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SXSW 2011 video: Wanda Jackson - Let's Have A Party

One of the most unexpectedly enjoyable moments of my SXSW was Wanda Jackson performing at Rachel Ray's Feedback party. Also unexpected: Rachel Ray was not nearly as annoying as she appears on TV.

Monday, March 28, 2011

SXSW 2011 video: Sharon Van Etten - Love More

It seems a little condescending to call another girl adorable, especially one who is almost certainly 10 times cooler than me, but Sharon Van Etten is adorable and awesome and EPIC. Pun totally intended.

SXSW 2011 video: Oberhofer - I Could Go

I have a serious crush on these boys...

Friday, March 25, 2011

SXSW 2011 video: Foster The People - Helena Beat

It was impossible to escape Foster The People at SXSW this year, I think they played like every show. Apparently they are also on this thing called the radio?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

SXSW 2011 video: Grouplove - Colours

Grouplove is quickly becoming my new obsession. Love love love this song...

SXSW 2011 video: The Vaccines - If You Wanna

SXSW 2011 video: Cults - You Know What I Mean

Cults is definitely one of the bands that proved they deserved my attention during SXSW. They are releasing their first full-length later on this year and debuted stellar new track "You Know What I Mean" at several SX gigs.

SXSW 2011: short and sweet recap + the best tacos + the songs that ruled the week

dragon's got her Ray Bans on...

bands that pleasantly validated their buzz: Cults, Grouplove, Deluka

most surprisingly unannoying celebrity: Rachel Ray

best tacos: Lustre Pearl

ridiculous "getting my hopes up" moment that (of course) never came to fruition: Jack White at the Wanda Jackson show

most random special guest: while all the beautiful people were being treated to an impromptou Jay-Z set at the Kanye VEVO Powerstation show, I was watching Dennis Quaid sing "Gin & Juice" with The Bravery at Stubb's

songs that ruled the week:

Cults - Most Wanted [MP3]
The Vaccines - Post Break-Up Sex [MP3]
Grouplove - Colours [MP3]
Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High [MP3]
Smith Westerns - Weekend [MP3]
Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks [MP3]
TV On The Radio - Young Liars [MP3]
Sharon Van Etten - Don't Do It [MP3]
Oberhofer - o0O0o0O0o [MP3]
Deluka - OMFG [MP3]
Tyler the Creator (of Odd Future) - French! [MP3]

lost of decent SXSW video to come!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On Repeat: While I Was Away...

In an additional effort to catch up with my faithful readers, here are the latest albums I can't seem to stop listening to.

Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes

Guys, I have a serious girl crush on Lykke Li. Her new album Wounded Rhymes takes off beautifully from where she left us on her 2008 debut Youth Novels. Her unique brand of melancoly art pop is infused with tribal beats and heartbreaking lyrics. If this hottie can't get a guy to love her, what hope do the rest of us amazingly talented and beautiful girls have? The more fast-paced songs like first single "Get Some," "Youth Knows No Pain," and "Rich Kid Blues" all seem to blend together and they sound very similar production wise. But where Wounded Rhymes really shines is in its quiet moments. I confess that I already know all the vocal parts to album closer "Silent My Song" by heart (looking for backup singers Ms. Li?) and I find it very difficult to not sing "Unrequited Love" aloud on the subway while letting a few tears fall...this album may be detrimental to my dating life. Favorite track is "I Know Places." Li is joined only by her background vocalists and a deeply tuned guitar. I dare you to not be moved.

Adele - 21

The depth of Adele's voice is incomparable. It's powerful and strong and can stand on its own without any ornamentation. She doesn't need to rely on the self-indulgent embellishments employed by other pop stars to validate their talent (ahem). When Adele opens her mouth, you feel something immediately. Another sophomore album, the songs on 21 are soulful and bluesy with immense commercial appeal. The simplicity of her technique is admirable and the emotion she is able to effortlessly evoke makes this former vocalist green with envy. Standout tracks include the throwback flavored "Rumor Has It," the dramatic "Set Fire to the Rain," and the delicate closing pair of tunes "Someone Like You" and "I Found A Boy." Plus, first single and album opener "Rolling In The Deep" has been remixed and covered dozens of times, and almost all are done quite well. Proof that it's almost impossible to screw up a song that is written well.

Acrylics - Lives and Treasure

I'm most surprised I like this album. Acrylics is a band that the blogs have adored for a while but I have been late getting to this particular party (see also The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, although they have an excellent band name). Even when I listen to the songs on Lives and Treasure, I know I shouldn't like it. The album has a heavy 80s influence which is usually a big turnoff for me, but this Brooklyn duo somehow gives integrity to cheesy synths and high pitched drum machines. It helps that Jason Klauber's deep vibrato and Molly Shea's sweet soprano complement each other beautifully. Fave songs are the opening "Counting Sheep" and the previously released "Nightwatch."

The Babies - The Babies

Blah blah blah more of that lo-fi indie rock stuff. But this one is sticking with me for some reason. Normally I can't really stand Vivian Girl Cassie Ramone's voice but with The Babies it doesn't seem as cringeworthy. Love "Meet Me In The City," "Voice Like Thunder," "Breakin' the Law," and "Caroline."

Young the Giant - Young the Giant

Young the Giant have released an incredible eponymous album that reminds me a bit of Local Natives, my number 1 album last year. They are similar in that they are true rock bands that place emphasis on the vocals but Young the Giant songs are a bit more upbeat and utilize less harmonies. Definitely a band I will be paying attention to.

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while...

I hate it when bloggers start their posts like that. Unfortunately lately I have fallen victim to idle time not put to good use. So I'm back and I promise to stop being lazy and yada yada's what I've been up to:

Most recently, I went to see Suckers at Bowery Ballroom on 2/25/2011. I saw Suckers at Music Hall of Williamsburg last year for the release party of Wide Smile, one of my top 10 albums of 2010. At that time, Suckers couldn't really fill the room and the crowd wasn't as responsive as I would have hoped. Things have definitely changed. Suckers was able to fill Bowery Ballroom (which has the same capacity as MHOW) with enthusiastic fans drunk enough to dance and sing along to every song. Along with his fan base, front man Quinn Walker has also gorn out his beard as well as his waistline. This really isn't something that needs to be mentioned, but I think that if it was a girl up there on stage it would definitely be noted, so there you go. They opened with "Before Your Birthday," one of my favorite Wide Smile songs, and Walker got to show off his impeccable glam rock vocals. Other crowd pleasers that sounded stellar included "Black Sheep," Martha," and "A Mind I Knew." Things to note: drummer gets so energized during some of the songs that he jumps off his stool, Walker is an unnaturally talented whistler, and the funk beat in the breakdown of "Loose Change" is a groove that will hit you in all the right places. All in all, it was a great show...but I really want to hear them play "Easy Chairs" live! I distinctly remember running into Pan at last year's Rock Lottery and pleading with him to start including it in their set. So far my wish has not come true.

I caught an excellent show with a stacked bill at Glasslands Gallery on 1/22/2011. The Vaccines are the latest ultra buzzy band to come out of the UK and they followed up their Bowery Ballroom show (their first U.S. performance ever) with a stop over in the fairer borough. The anticipatory energy in the tiny club was palpable and you couldn't whip your hair back and forth without swishing a blogger in the face. The band arrived in true headliner fashion, with a large entourage and their own soundboard in tow. I'm a big fan of The Vaccines recorded stuff and they were good enough live I guess. Unfortunately I don't feel very qualified to give them a proper review. Tamara and I got there early to catch the opening band and starting double fisting vodka tonics right away, convinced that once The Vaccines were up the bar would be impossible to get to. It wasn't...but we continued to drink ridiculously anyway.

The previously mentioned "stacked bill" was rounded out by Oberhofer, Guards, and Motive. Oberhofer has been dominating the playlists on my iPod ever since CMJ 2010. They are a young band with plenty of promise and hooks for days. Can't wait for a proper full-length release from these boys.

Motive was also quite enjoyable. The local band has a pretty excellent demo that they give away for free at all their shows. They've been building a loyal fan base in Brooklyn opening up for bigger name bands and impressing just about everyone with how tight they wear their pants.

Also had the chance to catch Robyn at Radio City Music Hall on 2/5/2011. It was a pleasing and different experience to attend a concert with a higher production value than I'm used to. Apparently, it was Robyn's largest crowd that she had ever pulled as a headliner. It was a glorious night, full of dancing queens. That girl is tireless. I guess I could learn a thing or two...

Photo of The Vaccines courtesy of We All Want Someone To Shout For.
Photo of Robyn courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan.