Thursday, June 28, 2007

You! Me! Dancing!

It's been a while since I've really latched on to a new band. I blame the fact I've been working so much, sick a lot, and have since said goodbye to my trusty iPod (r.i.p., I'll miss you buddy). I've turned to comforting favorites when I do get the chance to listen to music, and haven't been to a show where I am left feeling star struck. Or maybe it's just because I don't have time to blog very much these days...we'll never be quite sure.

And yet recently I was assigned a review by a band I didn't know. I supposed they understand now the type of music I enjoy, because they keep assigning me really happy go lucky indie pop or anything British. This time? They hit two birds with one stone in the musical form of Los Campesinos!. At only six songs, their debut is by far one of the strongest, energetic, and hands-down enjoyable albums I've heard in a long time. I think I told my co-worker that it was as if the Boy Least Likely To and Matt & Kim had a little teenage love child. It's equal parts innocent and spunky, with the always added favorites of glockenspiels and hand claps.

Basically, I was in heaven.

I guess it also helps that they are youngsters since I'm always impressed by how talented kids can be these days. There are almost too many floppy haired boys in this band to choose from, but I imagine there's something for everyone, musically that is, in this promising band. Catch them on tour (dates on their MySpace page). And make sure you pick up their debut Sticking Fingers Into Sockets when it comes out on Arts & Crafts next week.

  • Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing
  • Los Campesinos! - We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives
  • Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    ryan adams @ hiro

    My review from

    “Let’s play some more songs of the summer,” Ryan Adams joked as he continued his stripped down, raw, mostly-acoustic set with his band the Cardinals at Hiro Ballroom in New York City last night. The small gig was a mostly private party in celebration of his ninth studio album Easy Tiger (Lost Highway), although 100 tickets were released over the weekend for die-hard fans. Dressed in a suit and tie and wearing sunglasses all night, Adams stayed perched on his stool for the entire set, most likely due to a hand injury in May. Instead of strumming the guitar, he instead focused on lyrics from tunes back from Heartbreaker to the latest effort, giving fans (and a large part of the industry) something to write home about.


    Ryan Adams is one of those artists that you go see live for both the music and the in-between banter. Notoriously fighting a battle with both drugs and alcohol for years, he’s now switched to Diet Coke and sarcasm in-between the 19 song set. Joking that his songs are “feel good summer hits” and repeating his now signature line “oh snap,” Adams seemed to be in good spirits upon the release of the well-received new album (so far). And perhaps the less partying, and more recording has done him justice – his voice was crisp and startling soaring through the venue last night, where at times the crowd was so quiet you could hear the popping of his Diet Coke top. Highlights included a unique performance of “I See Monsters,” an old favorite “Winding Wheel” and new song “Halloweenhead,” (although he refrained from the classic “guitar solo” yell found in the recording.)


    Adams ended the set with Gold favorite “Goodnight Hollywood Boulevard” before coming back on stage for an encore of Alice In Chain’s “Down In A Hole.” And although you could only catch a glimpse of his eyes behind the dark shades, they appeared wide-eyed…most likely for finishing a set without any interruptions, fights, or a mistake to be found.


    Video of Ryan performing "Halloweenhead" below....

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    just stay kevin devine, just stay

    I heart Kevin Devine. There are never enough chances to see him, and I really dont pass up the chance whenever I can. I'll be seeing him next when he co-headlines (or plays with?) Jesse Lacey of Brand New.

    Review here, video below. (Zebulon is a really cool venue in Brooklyn too, in case you were wondering)

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    After The Jump!

    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Long Blondes @ Bowery | Lily Allen @ Roseland

    Now that the wisdom teeth are out, and I'm feeling much better in all aspects of my life, I've been out and about getting back into the routine of seeing shows and being my usual random self. Even though I had a horrific experience seeing David Cross (who I love) do a "You Tube Show And Tell" on Monday night at Mo Pitkins (I kid you not), it happened to be sandwiched between two fabulous shows from two fabulous female fronted bands from my homeland: the Long Blondes at Roseland on Saturday, and Miss Lily Allen at Roseland last night. We'll go chronologically, because..well, that's how we roll around here.

    (P.S. - I wish I had pictures for you, because I'm now a bit of a camera whore since my birthday, but I was pretty far back for both of them that the people just look like dots. Not worth it, right?)

    I've been enjoying the Long Blondes album immensely since I listened to it a dozen or so times with Pat on our way to Philadelphia a little while ago. You know me -- I'm a total gusher of all things pop orientated and this Brit band does it so perfectly, it is almost like a time capsule. See, I grew up being a total No Doubt fan which brought me back to the likes to Save Ferris and Letters To Cleo. It was my dream to be one of those fearless females one day on stage, but as time has shown...I've chosen to write about it instead of hog the spotlight. Regardless, Kate Jackson and the rest of the Long Blondes have successfully turned back the clocks and I am as giddy as a teenager.

    Seeing them on Saturday, I had a good feeling about the show. The album was solid, the venue perfect, and I was ready to sing along. And although I had a great time, Pat had some negative things to say and the more I think about it, the more I find myself agreeing with him. While a good show, it wasn't any where near to what it could have been. The band played the songs exactly to the T of the recording, and although it sounded good -- it could have been better. I wanted Kate Jackson to become my new idol, and instead she awkwardly walked up and down the stage while singing nicely. There was no wham bam thank you ma'am pizazz. I was left satisfied, but hardly blown away.

    Lily Allen, on the other hand, should have been a disaster. Rumors of her canceling the show once again plagued me as I headed into the worst venue on the planet Roseland (no exaggeration). I must admit I have a bit of an infatuation with Miss Allen -- to the point that I think if we met, we'd be the best of friends. It's been almost a year since I picked up that album in London the day it came out and it's been a consistent staple of my listening habits. Gosh darn, it's just so poppy and good. I just love her.

    And lets face it -- she could practically get away with murder. Although she seemed sloshed and stoned, forgetting the words to her own songs that forced her to take out a lyric sheet, bursting out into laughter in the middle of songs, and babbling incessantly in between -- I had a ball. The songs were actually transformed for a live setting (minus an actual guitar, what the hell?) and Lily ran across the stage, singing to the fans, and generally having the time of her life. I, in the very back of the venue, was feeling the same way. I had been dying to catch her live, and I'm glad I finally did. I'd go see her any time she's back in this city, too, just as long as it's not at Roseland.

    Lily played one new song [turns out it wasn't], something about MySpace and feeling bad about her self (seems to be a trend with her, no?) and three covers. It was actually quite endearing when she apologized to the crowd for making such a short album, forcing her to play other people's so we "get our money's worth." She covered a song by the Specials (not bad), Kaiser Chief's "Oh My God" (love, but crowd was not familiar) and Blondie's "Heart Of Glass" (surprisingly pulled it off). In the end, I came out forgiving Miss Lily Allen for all of her pitfalls because she's so gosh darn likable. And those songs, with the right words or not, and still wonderful.

    Friday: Knockout @ Matchless

    I almost forgot that I had told Chris I would dj his next Knockout show, but I sure am glad I did. The lineup is pretty superb that I may have to leave more of the dj duties to Pat, who will be manning the decks alongside me. Aw, shucks.

    See you there, or you will be totally and utterly square.

    Sunday, June 10, 2007

    Remembering John Pike

    Blogs are a funny thing. I guess I can't speak for anyone else, but it seems to me as none of us decided from the beginning the ethical and moral standards we would take with our own websites. We didn't decide the tone, the type of coverage, or the stance on ideas, views, or anything of that nature. Frankly I think it's because music is music and rarely do we find ourselves in sticky situations that require such back thought. And yet when tragedy struck last week, I, myself, wasn't sure how to proceed.

    From the viewing of many other blogs who covered the unfortunate and untimely death of Ra Ra Riot's drummer, John Pike, most seemed a bit unsure themselves. I wasn't surprised, or shocked, by how certain people decided to cover the story. In all honesty, in a story like this where so many questions are gone unanswered, the more I could read about it, the more I came to a personal relief.

    And in the week since that I first heard that John was missing, I've found myself thinking about life and music and the people you meet in this crazy life. And from the conversations I've had with the band's manager, and the sense I've gotten from him, is that in these types of circumstances the person must be remembered for who they were. And the very least I can do, is help that cause.

    I remember the first time I met John Pike. It was during the CMJ Music Marathon of last year, and I had booked a Sunday day show that I knew was going to be tough on all of us. After four days straight of drinking and show hopping, I myself was exhausted. But I woke up early and ran to dunkin donuts and decided to treat all my musical guests to a bit of coffee. Naturally, all were very thankful but I specifically remember John walking up to me, with a big goofy grin, and telling me how nice it was. Like the awkward self I usually am, I smiled and nodded, but John wouldn't stop. He kept going on and on about how late their show was at Studio B the night before, and how excited they were to play this one, but tired and the coffee was really nice. I'll never forget how genuine that conversation felt then, even more so now.

    It's a strange thing when you find yourself seeing the same band numerous times. I seem to be a victim of this a lot, a creature of habit that sticks to what she likes and doesn't let go. Ra Ra Riot just happened to be one of those bands where I would not, could not, miss one of their New York shows. There was even talks of driving to Boston when they played with my dear friends Birdmonster, and when I was in Austin I made sure to catch up with them, not only once, but twice. And when you see a band every time they are in town, you run the risk of looking like a psycho fan that the band needs to be weary about. Or at least that's what goes through my head when I get there.

    Besides that first encounter with John, the memories I'll hold dear is seeing his face coming through a crowd at every single show. For a pretty shy, but super fan like myself, having a member of one of your favorite bands not only acknowledge your presence, but thank you time and time again for making the effort to come down is priceless. John, without a doubt, always made the effort to come say hi to me and thank me profusely for making it out. I remember the last time I saw them play at Mercury Lounge, I finally told him he didn't have to thank me anymore, that he can pretty much guarantee I'll be there every time. He just smiled and went on asking me about work and life, knowing full well he'd be there to show gratitude the next time. And even though he won’t, I think I'll know that he's still thankful, as am I, for being there.

    I didn't know John Pike for too long, but from the time I did I was honored to be in his presence. Never have I felt someone so genuinely warm and compassionate for so little time. Needless to say, he will be missed by myself, a music community at large...and most importantly, his family and friends.

    To my dear Ra Ra Rioters, stay strong. My thoughts are with you.

    Monday, June 4, 2007

    Jukebox The Ghost Goes To The Zoo

    I had one of the most amazing birthday weekends, most noteably due to Pat's wonderful show he put on for me on Saturday night. I really couldn't have asked for a better party. Tally Hall was a huge surprise, and did a short but sweet set of covers that left me with the biggest grin ever. I'm going to put up a bunch of pictures this week (with my new camera yay!) but for now, check out Pat's recap of the night and this...

    In case you weren't aware that is members of four (!) different bands on stage singing me the Beatle's Birthday: Jukebox The Ghost, Seth Kallen & The Reaction, Tally Hall, and Wes from the Undisputed Heavyweights. Frickin amazing!

    Speaking of Jukebox The Ghost, I went to the zoo with the band yesterday for a blog post up on It was a really fun experience, complete with amazing pictures. Check out the post here.

    Wisdom teeth go bye bye tomorrow. More soon!

    Sunday, June 3, 2007

    Please Help

    From Ra Ra Riot:


    Last night our drummer John Pike went missing at 3 am. He was last seen in Fairhaven, MA wearing a yellow t-shirt and jeans. If you have any information on where he may be, know anyone in the Fairhaven area, or spoke with him after 2 am saturday morning, please contact Fairhaven police immediately as well as John's mother, Paula Pike - (978) 835 2140. We appreciate any information.

    Update: John Pike's body was found this afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this terrible time. John was a fantastic person and a musician and I treasure the time spent with him.

    blogger templates | Make Money Online