Archive for Knitting Factory

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)

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Scout Niblett @ the Knitting Factory Tap Bar. May 1st, 2008.

Posted in music, shows, Tom with tags , , , on June 13, 2008 by criticalreviews

So I am kinda of back to the blog with this post, and I know it is from quite a while ago…but I plan to be in full force beginning again next week. Please excuse some of the old reviews that I am about to post…I think they were totally review worthy so be expecting reviews of a bunch of noise (Foot Village and No Fun fest!) very soon. As well as my new favorite bar…I’ll leave you hanging on that one, but now to Scout.

Scout Niblett‘s This Fool can Die Now was mine, and KLK‘s, favorite album of last year (of which had the song “Kiss” which was probably the best music video of last year too, see below). Scout played New York a couple times last year, and we caught her at Bowery Ballroom with St. Vincent, and then again at Union Pool. Of all of the shows this one I think was the most interesting, and for several reasons.

The Knitting Factory Tap Bar is a strange venue, and at it’s best it is one of my favorites in the city…at other times it comes off awkward and leaves some people feeling at of place. I had been feeling under the weather, but saved my strength to make it too the show, and Scout rocked harder than she ever has before but the audience made the show feel strange.

The audience at this show wasn’t loud or obnoxious, but exactly the opposite…about a fourth of the people at the show were just sitting in the middle of the floor. They were attentive, and taking pictures, but didn’t seem wholly into the music. We stood of to the side, but still close, and in front of the stage.

Scout played a really loud, and amazing set. I know some people can’t get into her voice, but no one who sees her live can deny that she is a great performer. Her set was a little bit of everything from her catalog, and she even bridged into a partial cover of TLC’s “Scrubs” (whether it was a joke or not it was pretty awesome seeing her play it). Listening to This Fool Can Die Now you sometimes forget how much of a badass she can be on the guitar, and while playing the other night I could envision her being in a really great metal band…her riffs just ringing out with only her voice and drums to back her.

During a break between songs Scout even asked if there were any quetions, and someone ask: “Why is everyone just sitting down? They must have never seen you play before.” Scout responded “Yeah, I know it’s not like this is some hippie show. Why is everyone sitting down? Maybe they are tired or something.”

Needless to say I would have moved up a little closer if the crowd had budged, but no luck. Towards the end of her set, Scout’s drummer left the stage, and she moved over to the drums….and proceeded to belt out “Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death,” and it was totally rad. As a performer, musician, artist, ect easily one of the best right now, and it is sad that critics don’t give her the respect she deserves. I hope she makes it back to New York soon.

Media:

Video of “Kiss” featuring Will Oldham (off of This Food Can Die Now)

Video of Scout’s Black Cab Session playing “Nevada” (also from This Fool can Die Now)

Click here to hear Jens Lekman cover Scout’s “Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death” (wordpress please let me embed imeed.com songs)

(Tom)

Health, Ghengis Tron, High Places, and Telepathe @ The Knitting Factory. Monday March 31st, 2008.

Posted in music, shows, Tom with tags , , , , , , , on April 2, 2008 by criticalreviews

Another great line up on a weeknight. I am really loving seeing these bills with a whole lot of good bands for a really great price…this show was only $8 bucks.

Up first was Telepathe…they were already playing when we got there, but judging by the set times we got to see about half of their set. I was excited to see this band at first because I saw that they are going to be opening for the Kills (not that I will be going…I hate Webster Hall, but I really like the Kills). Their music has a synthy dark avant electronic feel (almost minimalistic dance music), and vocals range from singing to chatty banter (with up to all three of the women singing at once). Live I really can’t say that they did much for me at all…and while I know that they were on a bill with three really rad bands that should be nothing compared to having to open for the Kills on their upcoming tour. I think that I heard one of the ladies on stage mention that they were missing a member, but even with that taken into consideration their stage presence just wasn’t there…nothing that made me want to stay and watch. Maybe they were having an off night or something.

Second was High Places…I will say I have never seen this many people at a venue to see the second out of four bands…it was clear that they had a really big draw, and I bought tickets for this show before Health and Ghengis Tron were even added (High Places was the motivating factor). Their set consisted of only two songs from the emusic digital download, and those songs were played first and last. The rest of the set consisted of new songs (which I assume are going to be part of the full length that was discussed here). If you haven’t heard High Places they make music that is both minimalistic and primitive, but at the same time totally enthralling and interesting …they are beat heavy, both digital and actual drumming, accompanied electronics and lots of bells, rocks, shakers, marbles, and pretty much anything you can think of. It results in upbeat music with a slightly tropical vibe that will just suck you in. I pretty much have a crush on both Mary Pearson and Rob Barber…and they are both a pleasure to watch preform. Rob is so into the music, and playing so many different things at once, that the sweat is just pouring off of his face. While Mary, with her beautiful voice, is messing with it (her voice) electronically (while having to move around Rob while doing so), and playing a handful of assorted makeshift instruments . My only complaint about their set, and this has nothing to do with them at all, but I was that I could really see what Rob was doing (and this is a problem going to a show with a stage, although you can see the band better you can’t really see what the band is doing all the time, so I can’t wait for the show at Market Hotel). The new songs that High Places played were rad, and I am expecting big things to come.

Ghengis Tron was next, and I honestly had no idea who they were until their name popped up on this show. My first impression of the band was when I went to check them out their mspace and the song “Board up the House” started…I was like this is weird, and digital, and I look to the bottom of the window and it says Relapse records…it was only a matter of seconds before the metal kicked in. At this point I was more interested in seeing them than I had been. Live G Tron has a really kinda crazy set up. They are a three piece: a guitarist, a singer who also plays keys, and a guy that only plays keyboard…no drummer. They have about five or six, what look light they could be florescent light bulbs standing tall set up behind them, that strobe all different colors, and overall have a very visual preformance for a three piece metal band. G Tron was definitely the band that was most out of place on the bill, but they rocked really hard…my biggest surprise was that there didn’t seem to be that many people were moshing (which is something that characterizes a metal show for me…I can only imagine how awesome it would have been seeing G Tron play with Converge and Baroness the next night). I really dig the hippie style art that G Tron has chosen as well…their new record looks beautiful.

Last up was Health, and I am really happy that I got to see them play twice while they were in NYC. When I saw them play at Mercury Lounge last week they were really good, but at this show they were just really spot on. They played really hard, and to me just seemed overall tighter. These boys from LA did well even when some NY kids were heckling. There was a nice mix of moshing and dancing from the crowd. To my surprise the bass player had all of the stings on this bass this time (which makes me wonder if it was just laziness last Wednesday with just three strings). Health played for almost an hour, and ended right before midnight. I think they would have played longer, but the bass drum busted which really limited what they could do. It would have been rad to make it out to the show with Dan Deacon the next night, but I didn’t quite have it in me.

Here is a fun unofficial video of “Sandy Feat” by High Places (by namustang):

Download the Emusic Digital Download of High Places Here!

Posters are from the Knitting Factory

High Places photo from Tiny Mix Tapes

(Tom)