Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Morning Jacket Returns to MSG

Taking the MSG stage for the second time in their career after 2008's New Year's Eve performance, My Morning Jacket had a lot to live up to. I'm glad to say they did it. Though at first their set seemed somewhat front-loaded, as the show went on, I kept hearing more and more songs that I would've been devastated not to hear them play. I did however, find it highly suspicious that they didn't play "Highly Suspicious."

An early treat in the set was "Wonderful" as a duet with opener Band of Horses' frontman Ben Bridwell, he and Yim Yames seamlessly trading verses and harmonizing on the refrain. The fact that Bridwell excitedly hugged each member of the band directly after the song made it all the more poignant. Yames was definitely on his A-game for the show, leading the crowd in wordless choruses and shaking off leg spasms as he shredded his guitar. Brian Jackson sat in on flute for an extended "Dondante" jam and later on a cover of his and Gil Scott-Heron's "The Bottle." "Holdin on to Black Metal" made the best use of the stage design during the show, with cartoon demon sperm appearing on the screens to belt out the hook. The joyous evening came to a seasonal close in "I'll Be Home for Christmas" with Band of Horses singing backup.

Cigarettes, Wedding Bands / The Great Salt Lake / Is There a Ghost / The General Specific / For Annabelle / The First Song / Islands on the Coast / Older / No One’s Gonna Love You / Infinite Arms / Ode to LRC / The Funeral / Am I a Good Man

MY MORNING JACKET – 12.14.11 – MADISON SQUARE GARDEN (2 hours, 28 minutes)
Victory Dance / Circuital / It Beats 4 U / First Light / I’m Amazed / Wonderful (The Way I Feel) (feat. Ben Bridwell) / Steam Engine / Outta My System / Dancefloors / Golden / Mahgeetah / Dondante (feat. Brian Jackson) / Smokin from Shootin / Run Thru / Touch Me I’m Going to Scream pt. 2 / Off the Record / Gideon
Bermuda Highway / Wordless Chorus / The Day is Coming / The Bottle (feat. Brian Jackson) / Holdin on to Black Metal / One Big Holiday / I’ll Be Home for Christmas (feat. Band of Horses)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Deer Tick Occupy Williamsburg

Deer Tick played a free show tonight at Death by Audio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for a crowd of about 200 people (That's how many people the website said could fit, but that seems a little much). Sponsored by Brooklyn Vegan, the show was to help raise awareness for the police brutality occurring during the Occupy Wall Street protests. Here's a YouTube video of a protester being taken down to the ground by a police officer.
Admittedly, we can't see or hear if the guy threatened the officer before this clip, but it does seem excessive considering the kid is unarmed. Now that you're aware, onto the show...

The venue was tiny and dingy and reminded me of pictures/videos I've seen from the early '80s East Village, where underground bands would perform in apartments and art studios. People were smoking inside, the bathrooms were filthy, and shitty beer was being sold on a makeshift bar (read: fold-out table) in the back room. But this is exactly what you want in a small exclusive show like this. Hell, the band were all hanging out in the back prior to the start. That hangout vibe remained for the whole concert, which felt more like a party at a friend's than a rock show.

Starting off with a tease of "Sweet Child o' Mine," Deer Tick moved into Hank Williams' "Move It on Over." They followed with new song "The Bump," which has a fitting chorus of "We're full grown men, but we act like kids!" The band really hit their groove when they funked around with "Spend the Night," powered into The Mats' "Bastards of Young," revealed newbie "Chevy Express," played crowd favorite "Not So Dense," and brought out some Deervana with "On a Plain." "That was Kurt Cobain," remarked the drunk guy behind me. And if that weren't enough, how about a cover of "Juke Box Hero" by Foreigner? I thought they played a lot of covers on Pier 54, but that was nothing compared to tonight's fifteen, with Hank Williams, the Rolling Stones, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Shivers, and Michael Hurley also represented.

After reprising the "Sweet Child" solo, McCauley screeched out a wonderful "Christ Jesus," and led the crowd in a rowdy "Let's All Go to the Bar," which ended in a stage dive. As he surfed along the crowd, he punched at the ceiling above him, which made for a strange dichotomy with the show's mission. But you don't have a Deer Tick show in a sweltering room in Brooklyn and expect everything to go perfectly smooth; just like you shouldn't with a peaceful protest on Wall Street. I'm not condoning the actions of the police. I'm just noting that a lot of times things can go awry at nonviolent protests. We should not give up the right to peaceably assemble by any means; just know that the government will do whatever it thinks is necessary to contain you. Don't be surprised if it doesn't work out right away. Keep trying.

DEER TICK – 10.03.11 – DEATH BY AUDIO (2 hours, 4 minutes)


Sweet Child o’ Mine (tease)> Move It on Over / The Bump / Easy / Dead Flowers / Ashamed / Walkin Out the Door / Baltimore Blues No. 1 / I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive / Main Street / Oh Boy! / Standing at the Threshold / Clownin Around / Funny Word / Spend the Night / Bastards of Young / Chevy Express / Not So Dense / On a Plain / Juke Box Hero / Maybelline / Little White Lies / Cocaine Blues / Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You / Something to Brag About / One After 909 / Houston, TX / L.I.E. / Christmas at the Chinese Restaurant / Now It’s Your Turn / Can’t Hardly Wait / Be Kind to Me> Sweet Child o’ Mine (tease) / Christ Jesus / Let’s All Go to the Bar

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Deer Tick Avoid Boat Jail, Lay on the Covers, & Preview New Album

On Thursday, Deer Tick headlined the year's final River Rocks show at Hudson River Park's Pier 54. The weather was perfect, and the band brought with them a mix of familiar tunes, covers, and six new ones. John McCauley began the show with a solo rendition of "Not So Dense" as the sun set behind the stage. (Listen up, Williamsburg Waterfront. We want to see the stage and the water!) The band joined him for their treatment of Michael Hurley's "Be Kind to Me," the first of six covers for the evening. They then announced that the new album comes out in October. If the remaining cuts on it are anything like the ones they played, it's probably going to be their best. "Main St." was exceptionally good, a self-reflection song that McCauley introduced by saying he's going to try not to party as hard because "it got real bad there for a bit, and I want to be around to play music for all of you. I want to play more free shows." "Dirty Dishes" was another standout, most of the song being sung in five-part harmony. At some point someone yelled, "Encore!" to which McCauley responded, "Encore? We haven't even walked off the stage yet. What the fuck are you talking about?" And then laughingly added, "I guess our fans really do like to get drunk." After a fan-favorite cover of "La Bamba," there was question of whether or not there would be an encore, the looming 10:00 curfew only three minutes away. "They have a really strict curfew here, and it's enforced by the boat police. I really don't want to go to jail. I don't wanna go to boat jail." In less than a minute after leaving the stage, the band returned for a cover of Townes Van Zandt's "White Freight Liner Blues." The show ended at 10:02, but they have tweeted in the past two days without mention of the brig.

DEER TICK – 08.11.11 – PIER 54 (1 hour, 41 minutes)


Not So Dense / Be Kind to Me / The Bump* / Easy / Choir of Angels / Baltimore Blues No. 1 / Walkin Out the Door* / Ashamed / Main Street* / Maybelline / Twenty Miles / Innocent When You Dream / Funny Word* / Christ Jesus / Little White Lies / Now It’s Your Turn* / Bastards of Young / Art Isn’t Real (City of Sin) / Dirty Dishes / Let’s All Go to the Bar* / La Bamba


White Freight Liner Blues

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Band of Horses Salvage Tour & Begin New Album

"The tour we were on got fucked," said Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell, referring to the cancelled US leg of the Kings of Leon tour. Just one week after the announcement (and five days of ticket sales), they managed to pack the Hammerstein Ballroom for a headlining show this Wednesday. "We turned fucking apples into lemonade or whatever."

And what sweet, sweet lemonade it was. In front of a large screen that projected various idyllic images, tour shots, and kangaroo sex, the band played cuts from all three of their albums, and the most spectacular news: a fourth? "We're gonna play a song now that's probably not even gonna be on the next album. But we start making the new record tomorrow." The drinking mishaps of one shitty band get a good one back into the studio sooner? Lemonade, indeed. (The new song is probably called "Rats" or "Bats" or something, but I just called it "Maybe I'm Done For," which I culled from the lyrics. "Acid Party" was the repetition of a grungy-sounding chord Ben Bridwell dubbed a new song before the band leaped into "Weed Party.")

The encore featured some rarities, including "Evening Kitchen" done by Ben and (giant) Tyler Ramsey, and a full-band cover of the New Year's "The End's Not Near," as featured on the The O.C. Mix 6. "Let's end this fucking weird-ass tour," proclaimed Bridwell before their closer, a soulful cover of "Am I a Good Man." Regarding the band's newfound free time, Bridwell joked, "If you need somebody to come by and clean the house..." With a new album in the works and the ability to fill the Hammerstein at $35/ticket in 5 days, I doubt they'll be picking up the vacuums anytime soon.

BAND OF HORSES – 08.10.11 – HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM (1 hour, 47 minutes)


Infinite Arms / Cigarettes, Wedding Bands / NW Apt. / Is There a Ghost / The General Specific / Laredo / Marry Song / Part One / The Great Salt Lake / Islands on the Coast / Older / Detlef Schrempf / Dilly / Maybe I’m Done For* / Acid Party* / Weed Party / Wicked Gil / Ode to LRC / The Funeral


Evening Kitchen / The End’s Not Near / No One’s Gonna Love You / The First Song / Am I a Good Man

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beach Bum at a Bowling Alley

I saw Donavon Frankenreiter tonight at Brooklyn Bowl for the first time since February of 2005. I've been pretty disappointed with his last few albums, but a $10 ticket pressured me to go. I'm glad I went. Beach bum Donavon definitely looked the part with his trademark mustache, stubble, and wild surfer hair. From the neck down, he resembled a sort of professional wrestler: turquoise necklaces, tight pants bedecked with colorful symbols and female bodies, snakeskin boots. The band started off positively funky with the Stevie Wonder-esque "Move by Yourself" right into "The Way It Is." Bringing out the first of what would be many of his debut albums cuts, he mellowed it out a bit with "Bend in the Road." Switching out his upside-down electric for an acoustic, he then totally surprised me by playing "Lovely Day" off the Snakes on a Plane soundtrack. It was all golden from there, aside from a little-too-lazy cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl" and this one guy in the crowd singing the wrong lyrics when given the mic in "It Don't Matter."

Let me interrupt to say that the crowd was not my favorite. Even if you are sporting a fake mustache (available at the merch table for $1), it doesn't give you the right to talk the whole time and show your friend unrelated pictures on your phone. When the concert's at a bowling alley, and you're the most annoying noise, you're too fucking loud.

Donavon came back solo acoustic for an encore of "Call Me Papa," with the band joining in halfway through. The night came to a close with "Free," the Jack Johnson verse supplied by opener Seth Pettersen.

DONAVON FRANKENREITER – 07.18.11 – BROOKLYN BOWL (1 hour, 18 minutes)


Move by Yourself / The Way It Is / Bend in the Road / Lovely Day / Life, Love, & Laughter / Your Heart / Hold On / What’cha Know About / On My Mind / Glow / Too Much Water / Heading Home / Swing on Down / American Girl / It Don’t Matter / That’s Too Bad (Byron Jam)


Call Me Papa / Free (feat. Seth Pettersen)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Tyranny of Distance

Just got back from the Ted Leo & the Pharmacists show at South Street Seaport. The Screaming Females opened, and while there was only one female in the band, she definitely could scream. She also looked like she was 11.

TL/Rx took the stage a little after 7:30 and came sprinting out the gate with "Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?" After a group of songs ending with one of my favorites, "Bottled in Cork," the band jumped into what would be a complete performance of their album The Tyranny of Distance. They even paused between "Stove by a Whale" and "The Great Communicator" in side A/side B fashion. (Their banter and band introductions in between was referred to as the album skit.) "You Could Die (or This Might End)" finished the set, but the boys came back for an energetic 3-song encore.

TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS – 07.09.11 – SOUTH STREET SEAPORT (1 hour, 31 minutes)


Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone? / I’m a Ghost / Me & Mia / Little Dawn / Colleen / Mourning in America / Bottled in Cork / Biomusicology / Parallel or Together? / Under the Hedge / Dial Up / Timorous Me / Stove by a Whale / The Great Communicator / Squeaky Fingers / M¥ Vien iLin / The Gold Finch & the Red Oak Tree / St. John the Divine / You Could Die (or This Might End)


The High Party / A Bottle of Buckie / Where Was My Brain?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

African Cats

Movie about lions or just cool black people?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Best Captcha Ever

This is a totally real captcha I just got.