Friday, April 25, 2008
I'm so excited to see The B-52's tomorrow, I can't see straight. I've got their whole catalog on shuffle and I've been listening all day. I'm worthless at work today (not that anyone is here to notice). It's all I can do to not get up and start dancing around my office.
Tonight will be slightly different though. Thanks to dcist I learned that the Patti Smith documentary Patti Smith: Dream Of Life is playing tonight as part of FilmfestDC. Excellent. Know what's even better? Patti is going to be there, too. I imagine she'll just introduce the film and maybe talk about how it was made (over 10 years in the making - wow). Nice bonus though.
Check the trailer here. God I love her.
But not more than you Cindy. I'll see you tomorrow.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
It's "Take Your Child To Work" Day.
It's not "Take Your Stinky-Ass Dog To Work And Let Him Run Around The Office" Day.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
My ticket was waiting at will-call, so I headed down to 9:30 a little earlier than usual. No need, really. There was no line to speak of. So I found myself with an hour to kill before Lou Reed came on. I headed over to Nellie's for a beer and to try to catch a few minutes of the Caps game. Only in DC can you go to a sports bar when your local team is in game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, only to find 3 of the 4 TVs tuned-in to Democratic Primary coverage. Ugh.
Anyway - I headed back to the club at about 8:45, only to discover that Lou Reed had requested that all bar service on the main floor stop at 8:50. If you wanted to drink after that, you had to go to the basement or to the upstairs bar. Never seen that before. Loved it. There was virtually no movement on the main floor for the entire show and you could have heard a pin drop during the quiet parts. That's gotta kill the monetary take for the club, but it made for a much better show. I hope they do that more often. Joe Jackson take note.
Lou came on and played a really strong set. Everything he played sounded great. What a career this guy's had. A couple of obscure Velvet Underground songs...a few obscure solo tunes....a few semi-obscure solo tunes...at least one new song... and that's it. A dozen songs. The only real hit he played was "Sweet Jane". He didn't even sing for most of "I'm Sticking With You". At about 1:20, it was a fairly short show, considering the depth of his catalog. Surely he'd play a sizable encore, full of better-known songs. Nope. "Perfect Day" was fantastic, but that lone encore brought the show to an abrupt end. I was almost willing to write it off as Lou being "Lou", but then I saw a setlist my friend had snagged. "Satellite of Love" and "Pale Blue Eyes" were listed as additional encores, but they weren't played. hrmph. I'll admit felt a little cheated after I saw that.
But everything he did play sounded terrific. He looked like he was having a good time and the band (including Dead-associate Rob Wasserman on stand-up bass) was killer. The rocking songs rocked well. The quiet songs were mesmerizing. Highlights were probably "Ecstacy", "Halloween Parade" and "Perfect Day". I was thrilled with what we got - I just wanted a little more. I'd go again in a heartbeat though. Very fun show.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Happy Earth Day
My mother's birthday coincides with Earth Day. How cool is that?
Lou Reed tonight. Very excited. I haven't seen him in about 20 years. I'm not exactly expecting a "Greatest hits" show, but I hope he throws us a few hits. Or maybe a twenty-minute "Sister Ray". Or Berlin in it's entirety. That wouldn't suck.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Record Store Day!
Happy Record Store Day!
Support your local independent, small town, mom-and-pop record store. Go out and buy something from them today. I suggest some nice, shiny vinyl.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Dead Meadow @ The Black Cat
Dead Meadow was just rock-o-rific last night. Their live sound is much louder, heavier and far more psychedelic than I expected, based on a few listens to Old Growth. Wow. It's so nice to hear bands that aren't afraid of exploratory/meandering guitar work. hmmm...I'm not sure that came out right, but it's meant to be a compliment. I loved the soaring, wa-wa infused swirly psychedelic-ness of it all. All while maintaining a fairly heavy foundation with the rhythm section. I guess that's why they call it "stoner-rock". I hate that term, although it's easy to see where it comes from.
Ancient Sky opened. They were pretty good too, though they were a little more heavy than psychedelic. I was expecting the opposite, based on their Myspace songs. Those songs are some trippy little tunes. They didn't quite prepare me for what I heard at the show. I like both sides of their sound though. Makes them a little more intriguing. Looking at their blog, it seems this was their 3rd show ever. Pretty impressive. I never would have guessed. Keep an eye on these guys.
It was a late night - only 2 bands and they still didn't finish until nearly 12:30 - but it was well worth it. I'm very surprised this show didn't sellout. It was on the Backstage at The Black Cat, which only holds about 200 people. It seemed pretty full, but there was still a little room in the back. I understand sold-out shows here are PACKED, so it couldn't have sold out. No doubt it will next time. I'll definitely be there.
Oh yeah - No sign of the Pope.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Georgie Jackson and The Housemates
I'm trying to get better about posting show reviews and thoughts within a reasonable time. I also happen to be failing miserably.
A couple weekends ago I caught Georgie James and Olivia and the Housemates at Ye Olde Black Cat. I was pretty excited about this one, having bought tickets weeks in advance. I was determined not to miss it. Maybe I was a little too excited. I don't know....I wasn't really feeling it. What I love about these bands is that they're just fun, bouncy, sugary sweet tunes. I think that's also what killed the show for me.
As much as I like Olivia's new cd, I found myself bored after about 30 minutes. I was ready for them to be done. There was nothing wrong with their performance at all. I just thought it all started to sound the same after a while. Maybe if Dinger hadn't bailed on me, I would have had more fun. I think he's a little mad about the quiet demise of Washington Social Club and didn't want to see Olivia that night.
Georgie James suffered the same fate. It was great for about 30 minutes, but it was all starting to blend together. I didn't even make it through their whole set. I ended up bailing early and heading home. On a Saturday no less. Again - nothing wrong with their performance, but I wasn't feeling it.
I think it's a case off too many sweets. The fun, happy sounds of The Housemates started to wear thin. Then when GJ came on with more of the same, the novelty was even smaller. I'll write this one off as being my problem. Too many sweets turned me a little sour. I love both records (I even bought the new GJ single that night), but the night left me flat. I wouldn't hesitate to see either band again though.
Then there was Joe Jackson. He's touring as a trio these days (piano/drums/bass), which occasionally gives him that Sunday morning jazz brunch kind of sound. That meant fewer rockers, but that was fine by me. I LOVE Joe's slower stuff. What a great songwriter. Give me his stuff over Elvis' any day. Very nice show. The new stuff sounds great. The old stuff sounds even better. The only real surprise was a cover of Bowie's "Scary Monsters". But now that I think about it, he may have done that before, too. hmmm...I forget. All the years combine.... My only complaint about this one would be the chatty crowd. STFU during "Slow Song" for cryin' out loud. Sheesh.
I'm leaving in about an hour to go catch Dead Meadow. I downloaded their new one and like it. I've heard good things about them. We'll see.
9353 is at the Velvet Lounge on Friday. You should go.
I hope the Pope shows up. How cool would it be to see the Popemobile outside of The Cat?
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Phase 3 - Complete
TM changed the on-sale time for Jones Beach at the last minute. Literally. At 8:59 they changed the on-sale time from 9:00 to 10:00. Bastards. That meant Philly and Jones Beach were going on sale at the same time. Crap. Dinger and I tried from different computers for each show. Dinger was able to pull me up a ticket at JB in Section D. I was hoping for A, B or C, but I wasn't about to turn that one down. Woohoo! Score. Thanks, D.
Philly continued to suck. Nothing in the Pit. Nothing in the lower level seats. No boxes. No upper level seats. All that was coming up was "Circle" - which is the very, very back of the pavilion, and "Terrace", which are basically uncovered reserved seats at the front of the lawn. Suddenly those upper-levels I threw back earlier this week were looking pretty good. Eventually, even the Circle seats disappeared. Crap.
In the process of all these attempts, I managed to get our computers blocked by TicketMaster. Dammit. I guess we were hitting it too hard. That's happened to me before though. They usually unblock within a day or so. I'll be a bit paranoid until then though. Talk about cutting off my lifeline.
I decided to login at work at try again, just to verify my suspicions about being blocked at home. I got in through work fine. In fact, a couple more Circle seats reappeared. I decided to cut my losses and take them. At this point I'm just glad to get inside. Waaay off to the side. Waaaay in the back. Worst seats of the tour. hrmph.
But at least it's over. I managed to get tickets to 6 shows. The full range of seats - from front-and-center to way in the back/off to the side. That's fair, I guess. A little disappointed, but I can't really complain.
Now I just need to figure out how we're getting to Atlanta. Let's Rock.
As for tonight:
Georgie James/Olivia and the Housemates/Tereu Tereu
Solid, danceable, sweet, pop goodness.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Phase 2 and Other Stuff
This, however, is quite entertaining:
In other news...The A Place To Bury Strangers/Holy Fuck show was outstanding. APTBS lived up to their loud reputation and then some. They almost sounded as if The Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division, Velvet Underground and every band that ever ripped any of them off were all on stage playing simultaneously and turned up to 11. They played in total darkness, except for the videos that were projected directly onto them, and the light that was reflected by the smoke that filled the room (from their smoke-machine, of course). They friggin' slayed. Add them to my "must see again" list. And they were just the opening act.
Holy Fuck had a tough act to follow, but held their own in a big way. I had my doubts about them. I had the impression they were one of those laptop-bands that just stand around and press "play" a lot. Nope. They had lots of gadgets, cheap keyboards, some wacky thing that appeared to take strips of film and create noises - all kinds of noisy crap - and drums and a bass player. They brought the rock. They're very much a real band - albeit not the typical guitar/drum/bass setup. They rocked. We danced. They kicked ass. I didn't envy them coming on after APTBS, but they were terrific in a completely different way.
Sons and Daughters were up next. Or so I hear. I got more than my money's worth by this time and opted to go home and sleep.
Jens Lekman was last night. I fully admit I went to this show solely because everyone else said how great he was last time. I downloaded his latest and while it was cute, I wasn't terribly excited about it. But you know what? His show was terrific. Incredibly endearing, fun to watch, great stories and nice, toe-tapping, sing-along (and whistle-along) goodness. He's like the Swedish Jonathan Richman with a string section. The hipsters may be onto something here.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
R.E.M. Tickets - Phase 1 Complete
Nothing stresses me out quite like buying concert tickets. Sweaty palms...butterflies in my stomach...the works.
Today was the presale for R.E.M. tickets. It was a mixed bag, to say the least. The surprising ticket limit had me rethinking things at the last minute. I got some great seats (Merriweather/Atlanta), some mediocre seats (Raleigh/MSG) and nothing at all for a couple shows (Philly/Jones Beach). Actually, my Raleigh ticket is really close, it's just off to the side. It might not be too bad. I got greedy at MSG. I had a decent pair about halfway back on the floor, but threw 'em back. The seats just got worse and worse quickly. I ended up buying 2 single seats. One is terrific (11th row!). The other is about halfway back. Sorry, Dinger. I'll try again for Philly/Jones Beach during the regular sale.
Oh yeah - Their new record came out today. Stream it here. I've avoided listening to any of the leaked versions. Quite a few people seemed to have copies. I wonder if it was leaked on purpose. hmmm.... Anyway - I'm listening to it for the first time as I type. So far, so good. SO good. They're definitely rocking again. Thank God.
So it's been a helluva day. New R.E.M. record. Lots of good tickets. I took the morning off work. Chinese food for dinner. Yay for me.
photo by Anton Corbijn. Taken from remhq.com.