Archive for the shows Category

Best of 2008

Posted in Best of..., Leah, movies, music, shows on December 21, 2008 by criticalreviews

You know, 2008 wasn’t as bad as I keep telling people. I got to go back to Asia for the first time in 20 years, started a book club, discovered a love for graphic novels, joined a group of mix-tape enthusiasts, spent time in Paris, and made some new friends along the way. All the while, my top tens were forming in the back of my mind. So, here goes…

ALBUMS:
1. TV on the Radio – Dear Science
2. Dodos – Visiter
3. Beach House – Devotion
4. Marnie Stern -This is it and I am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and That Is That
5. M83 – Saturdays=Youth
6. Titus Andronicus – The Airing of Grievances
7. Hercules and the Love Affair
8. No Age – Nouns
9. The Walkmen – You & Me
10. Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna

-Honorable Mentions: Santogold – Santogold, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!, High Places – High Places, Atlas Sound – Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel, Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes,  Times New Viking – Rip It Off

SHOWS:
(5/3) Woods, Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts at Cake Shop 3-Year Anniversary
(5/6) No Age, High Places, Fiasco at Bowery Ballroom
(6/13) Teenage Jesus and the Jerks at Knitting Factory
(7/12) Oneida, High Places, Abe Vigoda, Vivian Girls, Ponytail, Titus Andronicus at The Yard
(7/17) The Dodos secret show at Cake Shop
(7/18-20) Mission of Burma, Fleet Foxes, !!!, Animal Collective, Times New Viking, Dirty Projectors, Health, Dodos, Spiritualized at Pitchfork Music Fest in Chicago
(7/25) Times New Viking for Wordless Music Series at The Whitney
(8/24) Titus Andronicus and Yo La Tengo at McCarren Pool
(9/6) Matmos at The Stone
(10/11) Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise at Knitting Factory
(10/25) Marnie Stern, All the Saints at Bowery Ballroom (CMJ)

-Honarable Mentions: (March ?) Stanley Brinks at Mains d’Oeuvre, (5/1) Scout Kniblett at the Tap Bar @ Knitting Factory (6/6) MIA at McCarren Pool, (6/25) Herman Dune at Union Pool, (8/8) Radiohead, Girl Talk, Grizzly Bear at All Points West Fest, (9/26) Meat Puppets, Dinosaur Jr., Built to Spill at Terminal 5

MOVIES:
1. Let the Right One In
2. Reprise
3. Paranoid Park
4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
5. Boy A
6. Cloverfield
7. Savage Grace
8. Pineapple Express
9. Slumdog Millionaire
10. Fear(s) of the Dark

-Honorable Mentions: The Dark Knight – Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Synecdoche, New York – Milk – Doubt

-Leah

Advertisements

Todd P NYC

Posted in music, shows, Tom, website with tags , , , , , on September 22, 2008 by criticalreviews

I emailed Todd P NYC about the Mount Eerie show at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah this past Friday because there was some banter about advanced tickets between Phil (Mount Eerie) and the crowd at the Bowery Ballroom show the night before. And I got this response:

if you’re really worried, print this thread and bring it to the door.
we’ll make sure you and your date get in even if it’s tight.

I hear alot of people talk trash about Todd P, but I thought this was super nice. I enjoy going to his shows, and I’m just using this as a way to say thank you!

Although we got in without a problem the show did sell out really fast. Mount Eerie was amazing, as always.

(Tom)

Jeffrey Lewis and Herman Dune @ Union Pool, June 25th

Posted in Leah, music, shows on July 24, 2008 by criticalreviews

Last March, I spent about a week in Paris. A good friend suggested that we check out Stanley Brinks at Mains d’Oeuvre. This was my introduction to Andre Herman Dune. Stanley Brinks (aka andre herman dune) left the band Herman Dune in 2006. According to cosmozebra , it was because he was ridiculously shy of being in the public eye, and Herman Dune had some scheduled TV appearances. I’ve heard different stories, including that he was against having Herman Dune’s music appear in commercials. I’m not quite sure what to believe. Anyway, seeing Stanley Brinks was amazing, so when I heard that Herman Dune was playing Union Pool, I had to get over there. Once Jeffrey Lewis was added to the line-up, it was easy to enlist Tom and KLK to join. Luckily, we purchased our tickets in advance. I haven’t gone to Union Pool very many times, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was a packed house. The spacious back patio was full of people trying to get into the sold out show. It was a little bit unorganized, but we got in the door unscathed.

I admittedly don’t know much about Jeffrey Lewis, except that he has done some collaborating with Kimya Dawson . But, I must say that I truly enjoyed the part of his performance that I witnessed. He was about 2/3 of the way into his set and the room was packed to the brim. Somehow we managed to push our way up to the front just in time to catch ‘The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song,’ which is all about Jeffrey meeting a girl at a bar because he recognized that she is talking about the Leonard Cohen song, Chelsea Hotel#2, in which Cohen gets, ‘blowjobs on unmade beds.’  Another song that I really enjoyed was about the history of communism in China. It spanned Chinese History from the dynastic periods to the cultural revolution and Chairman Mao. Jeffrey turned the pages of a comic book that he had illustrated to go along with his lyrics. It was fun and informative.

Herman Dune followed Jeffrey Lewis. Herman Dune has a tendency to play shows with a collection of friends and locals. Neman Herman Dune (drummer and back-up vocals) and David Herman Dune (singer and guitarist) were joined on stage by Angela Carlucci of the band the Baby Skins and also a trio of brass instrumentalists that I recognized as the backing band for Beirut. I recognized a gang of songs from the album, Not On Top.  Also, HD played quite a few songs of of their newer album, Giant.  Everything sounded great, and the band seemed to be having a lot of fun and getting a great response from the crowd.  It did make me sad that I didn’t hear my favorite Herman Dune song, My Friends Kill My Folks, but I’ll live.

-Leah

p.s. sorry for the delay!

Here’s the inspiration for the Chelsea Hotel song:

Times New Viking @ the Whitney Museum. Wordless Music Series, June 27th, 2008.

Posted in music, shows, Tom with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by criticalreviews

When I heard that Times New Viking (from Columbus, OH…possibly the best thing to come from Ohio since Guided By Voices) were playing the Wordless Music Series I was a little put off. I was thinking Times New Viking…without words…how is that one going to work, but after a little research I realized what the series was all about. ACME, the opening act, is a string Quartet, and they played a really wonderful discordant post-punk influenced piece composed by Jefferson Friedman. It was actually really great, and alot of thought was put into matching composers with bands. Times New Viking on the other hand was full of words, and I was really happy about that. This is a wonderful free music series, but get there early or it might fill up.

I purchased Rip it Off when it came out, and it has become one of my favorite albums released in 2008 (after I got past the fuzz-i-ness of the initial listens), and I have really fallen in love with this band. I picked up their other two records, Presnet the Paisley Reich and Dig Yourself (both on Siltbreeze), and I have grown to love them all.

The Whitney had everyone sit on the floor during ACME’s preformance, but when Times New Viking picked up their instruments people slowly stood up. There was a woman behind us, who had a video camera that looked somewhat professional, that asked: “Are you really going to stand?” Someone responded “This is a rock band,” so with a huff she moved her camera to the side of the stage. Times New Viking started playing and after a couple of songs they said to the crowd: “We don’t really use monitors…feel free to move closer.” So everyone did, and at this point I’m sure that the camera woman was probably really angry because she had to move and set up her camera again.

Overall this is a really great time to visit the Whitney. It was amazing being able to take in the Buckminster Fuller exhibit, and then just walk down stairs, and see Times New Viking. Times New Viking are even better live than they are on recording. While playing songs mostly off of Rip It Off they did hit several songs off of the previous albums too. They were loud, fun, and more or less got everyone moving. When you see a band smaller band play a museum, let alone the Whitney, it instantly brings to mind John Water’s movie Pecker, there is just something about an relatively new and smaller artist showcased in such wonderful setting.

Adam Elliott (drums/vocals) and Beth Murphy(keyboard/vocals) talked between songs quite a bit, and give off an overall friendly vibe, and made a setting that could feel awkward fun. You could tell that the band was really excited to play the Whitney by the fact that Elliott kept referencing it, and the inspiration that they were drawing from the painting hanging above them.

Times New Viking’s guitarist, Jared Phillips, broke just about everything imaginable…from shorting out the power supply on his amp (which probably shouldn’t happen at the Whitney)/ almost breaking it (or so it appeared), breaking strings on his first guitar, and the output jack on the second. During all of the technical difficulties one of the girls in the front was trying to get the band to pose for a photo shoot (the band seemed to be ignoring the requests, and were were thinking WTF?). It just seemed inappropriate for the setting. I later found out from the girl next to me that the person taking photos knew the band, but she agreed that it was still totally inappropriate

After the second guitar mishap happened, almost an hour into the show, Phillips picked up some drum sticks and finished out the song adding to the percussion. This was pretty much the end of Times New Vikings set…my only complaint was that “Faces on Fire” wasn’t played…but I learned my lesson. If I want a song played I at least need to try and request it (thanks Abe Vigoda)…next time. I got the impression that they would have played a little longer if it wasn’t for the guitar problems…but there will always be another tiem.

I had so much fun, and this show was definitely one of my favorites of 2008 so far, and I am kinda sad that I missed them this weekend at Pitchfork (my trip was sadly canceled), and at Siren Fest (I don’t think I can do another one of those no matter how good the line up is). Another sad thing is that I might not get to see this band play a venue as small as the Whitney again…I really feel that Times New Viking might come across the strongest when there is no stage between them and the crowd. We will see if I get to experience that again (I hope so).

Media:

“(My Head)” and “R.I.P. Allegory” free download from Matador

Live video and audio on WFMU!

More TNV at their myspace!

All photos from RustMonster (via Flickr)

(Tom)


Tullycraft @ Cake Shop. Saturday June 14, 2008. Free Afternoon Show!

Posted in music, shows, Tom with tags , , , , on July 16, 2008 by criticalreviews

Because we bought Teenage Jesus & the Jerks tickets we unfortunately missed out on the twee legends at Pianos, but luckily Tullycraft played a second (free) show at Cake Shop the next afternoon. This was my first time seeing a show in the coffee shop/record store space of Cake Shop.

We got to the show about an hour before Tullycraft was set to preform. The record store was closed up, and packed away tightly so that there was room for the band, and the bar was closed. This was a little bit of a bummer, because I always want to record shop, and I really wanted an afternoon beer…but we grab some iced coffee and tea and grabbed a table right by the little stage. We were actually there before the band was, and got to watch a little twee reunion as Tullycrafts’ friends all showed up to the Cake Shop.

The show was set to start at 2pm, but the space didn’t get really crowded until about 1:55…We were really lucky that we got to the space so early because instead of being behind a huge crowd we just stood on our chairs and had a great view of the band.

Tullycraft played from their entire catalog, and was really fun and full of energy (as you would expect). A funny story was told of how one of the guys fell into one of those metal grates on the sidewalk that leads into a stores basement the night before, and although the stage was cramped they made room for him to take a seat…and a funny musical interlude while strings were being changed. This is just one of those bands that gives a super positive vibe. It was a blast, and I’m really glad these twee popsters made it to the east coast again after such a long time. The one thing that didn’t happen was “Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend is too Stupid to know about” was not played (but I understand…there are some songs that bands just need to move on from). One odd thing was that their bass only had two stings, but I guess this is just their style. The show was super fun, and Tullycraft played for almost an hour (pretty sweet for a free show).

Every time I go to Cake Shop for a show I wonder why I don’t hang out there more often.

All in all it is just what I needed after getting into that Los Campesinos album.

Listen to Tullycraft:

“Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend’s Too Stupid To Know About” off of Old Traditions, New Standards

“The Punks are writing Love Songs” off of Every Scene Needs a Center

all media from www.tullycraftnation.com

(Tom)

Teenage Jesus & the Jerks @ the Knitting Factory. Friday June 13th, 2008 (11pm Show).

Posted in music, shows, Tom with tags , , , , , , , on July 5, 2008 by criticalreviews

This reunion show was to commemorate the release of Thurston Moore and Byron Coley’s book No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980. And what a reunion show. Well almost. Two of the three original members, and the third slot being filled in my none-other than Thurston Moore. Teenage Jesus and the Jerks originally formed sometime around 1976 or ’77 and played together until ’79. The line up in the ’70s was Lydia Lunch (guitar/vocals), Bradley Field (drums), and Reck (bass). Reck was later replaced by Gordon Stevenson, and in the reunion Stevenson was replaced by Moore. James Chance was originally in the band, but left shortly after to start the Contortions…but he did not make an appearance at the reunion. My first experience with the Jerks was on the Brian Eno produced No New York comp (my version is a German repress, but still much loved).

The Jerks played two Knitting Factory shows…early and a late…we couldn’t decide what would be the best choice. On one hand the late show is usually rowdier, but then again the band and people who were around in the late ’70s to see the Jerks in their prime are getting older…we decided on the 11pm show. Information opened, and played both their own songs as well as a couple covers (including a Mars cover!). They were good, but all in all I wasn’t so familiar with their music.

The Jerks played second, and played an impressive 25 minute set (this is really long compared to the 10 minute sets they were known for in the ’70s). Lydia Lunch has aged, as everyone does, but was still as surly and aggressive as ever. Talking shit between each song to the crowd, and even her band. They were loud, and offensive…just like you would expect. With the reformation being this intense, it is hard to imagine people seeing this band in 1977. It was all in good fun, or so it seemed, and the crowd would say something back to her, and she would explode again.

The show was really great for people watching. It was obvious that it brought old no wavers out of the woodwork. I’ll admit that I was one of the younger people at the show, but it was funny hearing people asking “Who’s that tall guy on stage,” referring to Thurston Moore. Lydia Lunch might have been pushing the boundries of punk rock as it was know in the ’70s but Teenage Jesus and the Jerks definitely influenced alot of the punk that I was into growing up (even though I didn’t know it at the time).

For some reason it seems like 2008 has been the year for reunion shows. Seeing Cluster a couple weeks ago at No Fun, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Tullycraft, and Polvo this is turning to be a really rad summer for older music…I hope it just continues to get better.

Photo from Sandra Nazz’s Photo Stream (via Flickr)

Speaking of reunion shows and no wave…I’m not really sure why no one is talking about the fact that James Chance and the Contortions are listed on the PS1’s 2008 Warm-Up line up for August 30th…if this is in fact happening I’m very excited.

(Tom)

Death By Audio invaded by Foot Village. “Friendship Nation” established on May 12th in Brooklyn.

Posted in music, shows, Tom with tags , , , , , on June 20, 2008 by criticalreviews

Foot Village played Death By Audio a couple weeks ago (accompanied by Mincemeat and Aa, but I am going to focus on Foot Village bacause as far as I’m concerned they totes stole the show), and I was lucky enough to make it to the show despite traveling all day (long flight from South Carolina, straight to a noise show…exactly why I love this city).

Foot Village is a four piece from Los Angeles, and they blessed Brooklyn with their presence on May 12th. One of the members is Josh Taylor of Friends Forever (for more about Friends Forever watch the documentary), who I love but I didn’t know he was in the band until the day of the show. Foot Village set up in the middle of Death By Audio rather than on the stage. Their set up consisted of two full drum kits facing each other, and several toms and various other drums set up in between the kits creating an X formation. the four members were situated facing each other. Foot Village plays completely unamplified except for a Bull Horn which helps get a single persons voice over the loud thunder of the drums.

Their performance was really intense, and the drums and the chanting give them a tribal vibe while still being very experimental and noisy at the same time. When the four members sing/chant/scream in unison there is even a pop element, and while it wouldn’t go over in your typical mainstream fashion, I could see Foot Village gaining a slightly larger fanbase from some noisier acts out there (fans of old Animal Collective, ect.).

The band even joked introducing themselves by saying “Hi, we’re No Age.” It does feel like a barrage of LA bands have been hitting NYC lately (Health, Abe Vigoda, No Age, among others)…Foot Village is the most experimental of the crew, and seeing them really put me in the mood for No Fun Fest the following weekend. Although Foot Village isn’t your typical noise act, they definitely fall under that category, or experimental music best.

Foot Village give the vibe that they are just there to have fun, and it truely was. Turns were taken on the bull horn, and each member took breaks from drumming duties to dance and sing.

After Foot Village played Aa took the stage. While I can appreciate their music, I was still in awe from the Village so I wondered back to the merch table to pick up some Foot Village records.

Brian, one of the members, was working the table. I don’t know what it is, but I have found it common for merch people in New York to be less friendly than other places, but Brian proved me wrong. He truely was genuinely nice, and very talkative. He talked to me about their records (I picked up Friendship Nation, and a 7″ where Foot Village covers Alec Empires remix/cover of Bjork’s “Bachelorette”…I know how about that for a cover song). We talked about the South, and Brian even knew some people from Charleston, SC (I guess they played with Puke Attack before before out west). Overall talking to Brian was the icing on the cake of a great show. I wish these guys alot of luck…they have a great live performance, and lots of positive energy…come back to New York soon!

Media:

Foot Village live at the Opera House:

Part 1

Part 2

Listen to Foot Village at their Myspace

Photos of the show are from the CMJ Blog

Ok so I haven’t gotten back to my normal posting schedule…but at least I am back up to one a week. Cheers.

(Tom)