Saturday, November 21, 2015

ELO Irving Plaza Setlist

Review to come.

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA - 11.20.15 - IRVING PLAZA (1 hour, 20 minutes)

All Over the World / Evil Woman / Showdown / Turn to Stone / When I Was a Boy / Livin' Thing / One Step at a Time / Strange Magic / Don't Bring Me Down / Steppin' Out / Sweet Talkin' Woman / Can't Get It Out of My Head / When the Night Comes / Ain't It a Drag / Rock 'N' Roll is King / Telephone Line / Mr. Blue Sky

Roll Over Beethoven

Monday, November 16, 2015

Lettuce Crush It at PlayStation Theater

I've seen Soulive a handful of times.  I've even seen Eric Krasno solo.  But until Saturday night, I'd yet to have seen their sister band Lettuce, despite the fact that "By Any Shmeeans Necessary" is one of my favorite instrumentals ever.  Unfortunately, that song didn't make an appearance, but this show was the second in a two-night stand to celebrate their latest release, Crush.  It's a fitting title.  From the moment the seven-piece funk powerhouse took the PlayStation Theater stage, it was obvious that crushing was what they intended to do.
Kicking things off with the aggressive, staccato fanfare of "Evil Wu," Lettuce commanded the room's attention and never let go.  The first half of the set was mostly reserved for newer material, ones of the highlights being "The New Reel," a Neal Evans-penned tune that the keyboardist injected with a fresh batch of spookiness.  Krasno rounded out the song by layering in some g-funk Moog lines.  The next number was the perfect complement, an as-yet-untitled outtake from the Crush sessions that was decidedly chiller than most of Lettuce's oeuvre.  "Pocket Change" presented itself as a soloing vehicle, with both Kraz and saxophonist Ryan Zoidis taking the reins.

As the band barreled through "Lettsanity," they welcomed Nigel Hall to the microphone.  Hall seemed determined to get the crowd clapping along to James Brown's "Bodyheat," instructing, "If you've got a drink, hold it with your mouth or something."  At its completion, Nigel admitted the anxious excitement that he'd felt backstage: "I've been chomping the bit all night.  I've been like a Rottweiler on a leash."  Surprisingly, Hall didn't perform any tunes from his day-old album Ladies & Gentlemen..., but stuck to material he'd sang on earlier Lettuce LPs, along with forays into "Bustin' Loose" and "Joy & Pain."  During "Move on Up," which he dedicated to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks, Hall moved on upstage to the organ, allowing Neal to have some unabashed fun with a tambourine to wrap up the set.  Lettuce returned to the stage with Nigel once more for an encore of "Do It Like You Do."  The satisfied audience couldn't help but sing along.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Next Round - Episode 42: Findlay Brown

Though still in his 30s, Findlay Brown already has a lifetime's worth of stories.  From chocolate factory hijinks to being run over by a taxi to watching his girlfriend move countries when he was at his lowest point, Findlay pulls from his experiences to create albums that are not only accessible to the masses, but also time capsules of his life.  Brown's latest release, Slow Light, is no exception, inspired by '60s minimal music, relocating to New York City, and his personal revelations at South American shamanic ceremonies.  Listen to these tales and more as we drink beers at Troost.

Stream below, download directly, or subscribe on iTunes.

Buy Slow Light and We Make Peace on iTunes.
Follow Findlay on Twitter.
Check out his newest Daytrotter session.
Open The Next Round Companion Playlist in Spotify or stream it here.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Donut Rat: An Essay on Rodents, Fame, & Free Food

As any regular reader of this blog knows, this site transitioned to almost exclusively music-related content years ago.  Please forgive me, but I feel I have to write about this now.

I shot the Donut Rat video.

If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch it below.

After a Tinder date on Wednesday night, I went down into the subway at East Broadway to catch an F train back to Brooklyn.  As I descended the staircase to the platform, I noticed two rats at the bottom, nibbling on two donuts from Dough.  One of the rats rounded a corner (It later returned, donut-less, charging past me to where the infamous Donut Rat had gone.), but the other started dragging one of the donuts away.  I pulled out my iPhone and captured the moment.  I posted the video on YouTube today.

Certain publications have insinuated that I gave the rats the donuts on purpose to try for some sort of Internet stardom.  One even went as far as to say the video "exemplifies just everything wrong with New York."

First off, I didn't give the rat the donut.  If you know me, you know I'm the last person to waste food.  I'm also the first person to accept free food.  I was scheduled to be off of work on Wednesday, but once I found out the boss was treating us to lunch, I decided to go.  To be completely honest, the reason the video isn't zoomed-in is because in my other hand I was holding a baguette that a bartender in the neighborhood gave to me, as they hadn't sold any cheese plates that night.  In other words, if I were a rat, I would definitely be one that takes advantage of free food on the platform.

After the world's adoration of Pizza Rat, it's easy to assume that I shot this video solely for the opportunity to become "Internet-famous."  Sure, I'd love to be dancing on Ellen, but did I think I would achieve actual stardom for shooting this video?  No.  But it is an entertaining video.  I showed a couple of people at work the following day and they loved it, so why wouldn't I share it with the world?  If one person smiles today because they saw a rat carry a donut, that makes me happy.

I wouldn't mind being famous, but I'd rather it be for something I actually worked on, like the concert reviews on this site that I spend hours writing after scribbling down setlists and notes in the dark during a show.  Or my podcast where I interview musicians after tirelessly reading every previous interview with them I can find, so I don't ask the same questions.  Or my stand-up comedy, which I've been honing for nine years, especially in this past one-and-a-half, where I've been producing the most fun rooftop show in Brooklyn.  I'm busy pursuing these things in my free time.  You really think I don't have better things to do than stage a rat video at 2:30 in the morning?  I went to NYU for Film & Television.  Donut Rat! is not my best film.  My best ones are fiction, and they are ones where I did feed the talent.

I have a lot more to offer the world than a video of a hungry rat.  That's just what I offered it this morning.  If you were entertained by it, great.  If it makes you angry that other people are entertained by it, you are a sad excuse for a human being.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Monthly Mix #3: May 2015

May 2015:
Not as many new songs on this one as I'd like, but maybe May is a nostalgic month for me?

1. Tall Tall Trees - "Picture Picture"
Somehow Mike Savino managed to make internet-stalking endearing.

2. Young Buffalo - "Sykia"
The boys totally rocked this one at their Bowery Ballroom show.

3. Kool & the Gang - "Get Down on It"
I remember how jazzed I would be when this song would come on my mom's car radio on the local classic R&B station.  I still get excited for it.

4. Alice Cooper - "No More Mr. Nice Guy"
This song has become a staple in the edit room at work.

5. Oscar Isaac feat. Marcus Mumford - "Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song)"
I just watched Inside Llewyn Davis for the first time.  I wasn't in love with the film, but I think Isaac's voice is pretty great.

6. Brokedown in Bakersfield - "Squeaky Wheel"
This full-band treatment on Tim Bluhm's song is so damn good.  The back-and-forth parts between him and Nicki are super-cute.

7. Heart - "Magic Man"
Heart rocks a lot harder than you remember.

8. Sublime - "Greatest-Hits"
This is probably my favorite Sublime song, and I just revisited Robbin' the Hood for the first time in years.

9. Robert Ellis - "Good Intentions"
Had a nice little chat recently with Robert on The Next Round.

10. Kurt Vile - "Wakin on a Pretty Day"
When I saw Kishi Bashi (and Tall Tall Trees) at Le Poisson Rouge this month, this song played over the PA before the show.

Monthly Mix #2: April 2015

April 2015:
These songs are all vying for that "stuck in your head" spot.  I'm not sure what that has to do with April, but here you go.

1. Lord Huron - "Time to Run"
Finally got around to checking out Lord Huron after hearing them on Beck's Song Reader, and I'm kicking myself for not listening sooner.

2. Van Morrison - "Moondance"
A classic.

3. Catfish & the Bottlemen - "Kathleen"
This is what the new Kooks record should've sounded like.

4. They Might Be Giants - "Unpronounceable"
TMBG have been very busy this year, putting out at least one song a week through their Dial-a-Song service.  This is one of my favorites so far.

5. The Barr Brothers - "Burn Card"
A nice, little b-side from their leftovers EP, Alta Falls.

6. Jason Derülo - "Want to Want Me"
Derülo is one of my few guilty pleasures, and this new song is one of his catchiest.

7. Tom Petty - "I Won't Back Down"
I've been on a big Tom Petty kick recently.

8. Cody Chesnutt - "Look Good in Leather"
I sang this at my birthday comedy show.

9. Ryan Montbleau - "Pacing Like Prince"
I had a great talk with Ryan over milkshakes on my podcast.  Such a funky number.

10. The Shouting Matches - "Seven Sisters"
Many know Justin Vernon as Bon Iver or for his work with Kanye West, but he also made a blues record with some of his buds called Grownass Man.  I dig it.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monthly Mix #1: March 2015

I'm trying to transition away from concert reviews, but I still want to keep you informed of what I'm listening to.  Back in March, I decided I would make a Spotify playlist each month of ten songs that you needed to hear, from brand new tunes to old favorites.  However, right when I decided to do this, Spotify did away with its embed option.  They revived it a few months ago, so now it's time to start posting them.

March 2015:
After all the snow we've had, I needed some funk to thaw me out.

1. Chappo - "I'm Not Ready"
I saw Chappo at Baby's All Right last month.  They kicked off the show with this glam rocker.

2. Alabama Shakes - "Don't Wanna Fight"
If the rest of the new LP is this good, sign me up.

3. Dr. John - "Right Place Wrong Time"
Heard this in an episode of American Horror Story, and I'm amazed at how fresh it sounds today.  Hard to believe this came out in 1973!

4. Raphael Saadiq - "Keep Marchin'"
It's March.  Saadiq is due for another album.

5. Son Little - "O Mother"
I didn't realize Son Little had a new song out.  It's good.  As always.

6. Nick Lowe - "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass"
Coincidentally, I was already on a Nick Lowe kick when this song came on at Supercollider moments after the bartender knocked over some glasses.

7. The Jungle Giants - "Skin to Bone"
This song was used in a commercial at work, and it's been stuck in my head.

8. Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds - "Mama Knows"
The first single from the upcoming Sister Sparrow record.  Listen to singer Arleigh Kincheloe and her brother Jackson on harmonica make their mama proud.

9. Penguin Prison - "Never Gets Old"
Another dancey treat from Penguin Prison.

10. Jenny Owen Youngs - "Over the Bow"
I just had a great conversation on my podcast with Jenny.  Learn the story of how this song found its way onto her new EP.

They Might Be Giants Horntoberfest Setlist

Review to come.


SET I (58 minutes) -
The Mesopotamians / Music Jail, pt. 1 & 2 / Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal / She's Actual Size / Cowtown / Museum of Idiots / Which Describes How You're Feeling / Mr. Me / Nanobots / Brains Everywhere* / The Darlings of Lumberland / Cloisonné / Withered Hope / Authenticity Trip / Gonna Fly Now (tease) / Electric Car (feat. Robin Goldwasser) / Eye of the Tiger (tease) / Birdhouse in Your Soul / When Will You Die

SET II (45 minutes) -
No One Knows My Plan / Let Me Tell You About My Operation / Metal Detector / S-E-X-X-Y / Bee of the Bird of the Moth / Dirt Bike / Answer / Call You Mom / Underwater Woman / Lie Still, Little Bottle / Particle Man / The Statue Got Me High

ENCORE I (10 minutes) -
Working Undercover for the Man / Turn Around / Doctor Worm

ENCORE II (8 minutes) -
See the Constellation / Istanbul (Not Constantinople)