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Concert Update [Apr. 12th, 2006|10:45 am]
*F_____4/14/06___7p_____Gogol Bordello, Zox_____________________________________$15_____Troc
Su____4/16/06___8p_____Ladytron, The French Kicks______________________________$16_____TLA
Sa____4/22/06___8p_____Big Bad Voodoo Daddy____________________________________$22_____Jim Thorpe
Su____4/23/06___830p___Strokes_________________________________________________$30_____Elec Fact
Su____4/23/06___8p_____Ours, Dredge, Ambulette_________________________________$17_____TLA
Sa____4/29/06___9p_____Big Bad Voodoo Daddy____________________________________$29_____trump Marina
*TH___5/4/06____9p_____Hail Social, MInus the Bear, Russian Circles____________$14_____TLA
Su____5/14/06___8p_____Pretty Girls Make Graves, Giant Drag, The Joggers_______$12_____TLA
W_____5/17/06___9p_____Essex Green, Bottom of the Hudson_______________________$8______Khyber
TH____5/18/06___730p___Archetecture In Helsinki________________________________$17_____Avalon, NY
SU____5/28/06___1p_____Ween, Secrete Machines, Dirty Dozen Brass, Railroad Earth_$30___Jam On The River, Penns Landing
Sa____6/3/06___1130a___Fountains Of Wayne, Toad the Wet Sproket, (many more)___$29-$38__Apple Farm, Elmer NJ
Tu____6/13/06___8p_____Starlight Mints, Dios Malos, Octopus Project____________$8______N.Star Bar
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#343 Neko Case, Martha Wainwright [Apr. 12th, 2006|10:13 am]
Sa 4/8, Trocadero $18, Beth!
FIRST BAND: Martha Wainwright
LOOKED: Tall, uncomfortable, Peggy Bundy-ish in high heels & a jittery, bouncing leg. It looked like she had on a black spandex tank top with a really bad farmers tan, but she had a white shirt on under the top. We were sitting on the balcony in the very back left corner, so it was far from the stage.
SOUNDED: Country rock. I don’t delve into this genra too much, so there is not much comparison or description I can offer. It sounded like I thought it would. Some of the songs did sound more rock than country.
OTHER: We could not hear her banter very well, since the bar crowd was directly in back of us, and they were very very loud. But she seemed to be received well. She is the daughter of Loudon Wainwright III, so there’s that Undeclared link to her & “Hal.” She sang her Bloody Mother-fucking Asshole song that was thought to be a retort to a song her father wrote supposedly about her.
MAIN ACT: Neko Case
LOOKED: She set up her own stuff in her turquoise blue winter hat and shiny sequined vest. She had a dud on steel slide guitar to her stage right, a stand up bass player, a back up singer, whom she did most of her banter with & another guitarist & drummer. Apparently, most of her backing band belongs to the name: the Sadies. As we were so far, we could not get a good view of her or her band mates, but they seemed to be somewhat older.
SOUNDED: Neko’s voice is in a league of its own, but for some reason, I cannot appreciate it as much to her solo style of singing. I’d rather hear her sing Mass Romantic or All for spinning You Around one time, rather than her entire solo show. It just does not have as dynamic of a range as the melodies with the New Pornographers. She still held on to long notes and her voice was powerful as ever, but there were seldom times when her voice would hook itself around a melody that completely captivates the listener. Most of the songs were country based, and she saved her best song, John Saw That Number, for her first encore, which has more of a gospel feel rather than country or rock. The songs she sang from her new album sounded like the did on her record, and I was not impressed by that either. She cointinually asked the sound people to put reverb in her monitor, so I guess she is afraid of how she sounds with out it.
OTHER: It was still somewhat loud where we were sitting, and we could not hear all her banter, but it got good reactions from the crowd, so it must have been funny. The banter we could hear was very funny, and again they eluded to the idea that they played in the Muppet’s Theater, as that’s what the Troc looks like. Early in her set, Neko said she had to pee, and that she would wait til the end, like it was a reward for her performance. But near the end of their set, it became too much for her, and she left the stage, and the slide guitarist played a little instrumental song until she came out and declared that it would be a much different show from now on. She also said a few times that she had a hole in her throat, so unfortunately, she could not get drunk…unless someone had a throat plug, that was. So I guess she was on some kind of non-alcohol mixing medication. But she did not sound sick, she sounded strong.
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#342 Robocop Kraus, Gil Mantera's Party Dream, Art Brut [Apr. 12th, 2006|10:12 am]
Fri 4/7 FU Church. $10 8p/845p BETH! Jer+Marta
FIRST BAND: Robocop Kraus
LOOKED: German band, 30+ yr guys. Bouncy lead singer, ridged and jerky dancing to his music. Beth said he moved like I do. Just a bunch of guys.
SOUNDED: Like a great combo of the best dance-punk bands: Franz Ferdinand, Futureheads, even Dogs Die in Hot Cars. But the vocals are not as smooth as Franz or as dynamic as Dogs Die. They are more uniform and almost militaristic. Not too much else particually special about their sound. But they definitely did it well.
OTHER: Apparently they have been around for a while now, with many albums in Europe. But only their first release over here. And because of that, they started out timidly, but as the audience appreciated them and even knew some of their songs they really had a good time up there. It seemed that they could not believe they were having a great time, and that the audience was too. But they drew from the audience’s energy, who in turn appreciated a band that appreciated them, and they became more energetic. It was a continuous circuit, and by the end, both the band and the crowd loved it. One point, the singer came into the audience to sing and be amongst the fans. And later, near the end of the set, the singer led the drummer around the room, by holding his snare out in front of him, as the drummer played it. Very entertaining bunch of guys.They really had a great time, and were much appreciated
SECOND BAND: Gil Mantera’s Party Dream
LOOKED: Again, more similarities to Undeclared: the singer (Ultimate Donny) looked like Lucent the RA, and Gil, acted like Marshall. To describe their look is like describing a disaster. Donny had on a cowboy or explorer hat, with a mesh black shirt that just came down below his nipples. He has a scraggley beard, and talked with a ghetto/country dialect. Gil had on some kind of vest thing, but not for long, as he stripped it off to reveal 2 large eagle tattoos over his nipples. He had straight blonde hair, covering his face most of the time, and had large hipster sunglasses on, but he either had lights behind his ears, or orange light-up earrings underneath his hair. These made him look like a robot. They looked whacked out on drugs or drunk…or they just really wanted us to believe they were wacked out on drugs. Eventually Donny took of his shirt too. Mustave been hot on stage or something.
SOUNDED: They were almost, but nothing like Chromeo. Two guys, singing a sort-of-hiphop, with Gil using the vocal synthesizer that Dave P uses in Chromeo. And like Chromeo, that was the only way Gil sang. Where Chromeo comes of as genuine, these guys look and act like they are just being stupid. But their sound was very amateur techno-dance-80’s rap.
OTHER: Perhaps the most interesting and “having to stare at the devastation of a car crash” appealing thing about them is Donny’s random commentary between songs. He spoke about a stinky jar of bats eyes, how sexy a bat’s flight path can be, how Art Brut are stupid, because they have their banner up during Gil’s set, which might confuse the crowd, How he wanted to apologize to his sister, but he was too drugged up to say it right, so if we knew her, we should apologize for him. He talked about being positive, and that the night was all about being positive. All the while, there was a sort of homosexual undertone between the two bandmates.
MAIN ACT: Art Brut
LOOKED: One girl, 4 guys, had the damaged art look, somewhat French, but mostly hipster hair and outfits.
SOUNDED: The singer did nothing of the sort. He basically talked his propaganda lyrics over the music, which was not even that good. It was just loud and really not that interesting. It seemed repetitive, and there was nothing about it to really enjoy. Nothing to catch you and make you want to sing along.
OTHER: Only stayed for 3 songs, and they did not get better at all. Their first song somewhat described their situation. They formed a band, and how he spoke, was how he was gonna sing. The seemed like they knew more about everything than anyone, and perhaps that type of personality is their appeal to some. But it just seemed pompous and demanding, that we are not sophisticated if we don’t believe in or enjoy their performance. Their songs tell the same story as their live performance: boring, egocentric, and nothing special.
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#341 Nine Black Alps [Apr. 6th, 2006|11:08 pm]
Thu 3/30, Tower Records Free in store show.
LOOKED: Grungy, unshaven britlanders, Sitting on stools on a small platform, playing acoustic guitars and other instruments.
SOUNDED: Ok. They played acoustically, which is not their foray: they are usually loud and sound like early 90’s alternative so I’ve heard. They reminded me of Soundgarden on CD, but here, they sounded like any band. The lyrics were somewhat gruesome and depressing
OTHER: They only played 6 songs or so. They had a regular show that night at the North Star Bar, but Tower got them to play some acoustic versions of their songs to sell CDS. After they were done, they said they would sign copies of the CD. But I’d not stick around for that, even if I was going to buy the cd. I was hoping that Beth would make it down in time to see them, but she had class, and with their short set, they were done before she made it down. The performance was nothing too great, and they seemed like just another band.
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#340 Mates Of State, The Gossip, Panther, Maria Taylor [Apr. 5th, 2006|04:50 pm]
Fri 3/24, $12, Starlight Ballroom. Beth. 730p
LOOKED: Hipster/Slacker dude with a microphone & tape deck. Marshall from Undeclared. He had lots of free time to dance around the stage & the ground, where he was no longer visable.
SOUNDED: Prince singing through a Beck distortion device. Marshall from Undeclared. Cheezy beats and music synthesized behind his trying falsetto lyrics. Hipster Hop indie electronic.
OTHER: Being enveloped in the TV show Undeclared, we associated him with the Marshall Character, in his do it all yourself presentation. Although he only sang, he has all the confidence that his music is really grand. But it was not.
SECOND BAND: Maria Taylor
LOOKED: 5-6 people, nothing special, mostly women on bass, keyboards and guitar/singing. There was another guy guitarist hidden behind the keyboard player from my view. And the bass player looked familiar to Beth, like from Jr High, but she turned out to be just a bass player from another band.
SOUNDED: Boring. Everything was ok, ok voice, and ok music, but they did not over lap that excitingly. Even their hardest rocking bits were light and fluffy and of no recall. Nothing about them stuck, nothing was memorable, nothing was exciting.
OTHER: We just waited for them to be over. They are part of the emo-based lable: Saddle Creek, home to the non-exciting Bright Eyes, and other bands, of which most of these musicians were probably part of.
THIRD BAND: The Gossip
LOOKED: 3 people. Butch looking drummer, scrawny, but tattooed & spiky hair w/ tank top on. Bass/guitarist duty switcher: dude with unshaven bad 90’s skater comb over cut. Looked somewhat mopey but confident. The Singer short, large woman, pudgy, yet cute. She bounced around the stage with all of the energy of flubber: she continued to gain energy as she sang through the songs. She danced so rhythmically and excitedly, that she was usually out of breath by the time the song was over.
SOUNDED: Dance punk style with great female vocals, sometimes screaming, sometimes very soulful, sometimes angry, sometimes sincere, but always amazing and intense. The guitar and bass would switch depending upon the song. But there was never both.
OTHER: This band was friggin awesome. Completely the highlight of the night, by far. Everything about them was awesome. The singer is a rock star, with the appropriate rock star mentality: to have fun, be honest/yourself, educate your fans, and give 110% for every song. She has such magnetism, such a draw, that you had to listen and believe in her. And her voice was very different than anything out there. So soulful and powerful at different times, and very meaningful. Even when she would scream, it was not harsh or unlistenable, it was calculated and compact. She would change back to her singing voice with such ease. She advocated that every girl go home tonight and start up a band. Proclaiming homosexuality, she seemed to give refuge and remind everybody that it was not just ok to be gay, that it was down right respectable and honorable. They gave props to the opening acts, saying how great Panther was, and how they would be off the stage soon so that Mates of State could come out. From their first song, to the last song (Listen up!) they had us dancing and were one of the most entertaining and addictive bands out there.
MAIN ACT: Mates Of State
LOOKED: Same as always. Kori surrounded by keyboards on stage right, and Jason on drums stage left.
SOUNDED: Not so good. Kori’s voice was not feeling well, and she often made it Mates of State Karaoke, inviting up kids who knew their songs to sing. Usually girls to sing the girls part, but a guy went up to sing Starman, but it was clear that he did not know the words. Often the Karaoke kids sounded muddled and out of tune, if they even knew her words.
OTHER: It was just not that good. The songs seemed long, drawn out and repetitive. What they do, they do well: two part, girl guy harmonies, with overlapping vocal sections. But every song seems to be the same recipe, and even if they are very good at it, it got boring. The highlight was Fluke, that is just a fantastic song, with each section better than the last, but other than that, it was not good. Even when they played A Duel Will Settle This, it was just boring, and we waited for them to be done. They played Ha Ha, which is a good song too, with a good carnival section. When they were done, we went to the back, so we could leave right away. They came on for an encore, and played a song that sounded exactly like a Belle & Sebastian. I later learned that it was a cover of a Nico song, so it seems Belle & Sebastian ripped her off instead. I bought the gossip album on vinyl for $10, and we left as soon as Mates of States walked off stage.
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#339 Harry & The Potters, Uncle Monster Face [Mar. 23rd, 2006|03:51 pm]
Wed 3/15. FU Church $7 7p Jer & Beth!
FIRST BAND: Uncle Monster Face
LOOKED: We got there about 745p, and they were in the middle of Lionfist Journey: the only song that was on the R5 website to check out. Their entertainment value is their big redeeming quality. They had a video screen that shows very complex videos to their songs and some still images (danny elfman's face with Uncle Monsterface), all pre-programmed and pre-recorded. They had a sock puppet show in the back left side of the stage. And they have various inflatable objects (lobsters & guitars) and just stuff all over the place. They were listed as MIT grads, but they barely look out of High School. As far as the “band” was, there was a keyboard player (playing a keyboard-guitar) Bass, and guitar / vocals. Oh, and there was also Uncle Monster Face, who was a dude in a sport jacket and casual dress with a big green mask with googly type eyes and chaoticly placed block teeth. He was apparently the puppeteer, but came out when called by the band.
SOUNDED: Not so good. They had extensive video and scheduled dialogue that made up for the poor singing. But really, the music was not that bad: synthey nerd pop, with topics ranging from lobster buildings, to pets, to the letter green, and capes. This is what DEVO would have been like if they were all 12 years old. The one very amazing quality was that they attempted to cover Oingo Boingo’s Little Girls. After apolgising for the song lyrically, they launched into a bad Karaoke version of the beloved song. Jer said that we were probably the only ones there who knew the original version. His vocals were non-musical, and sounded pubescent, with full-on voice cracking and off-key shouting. Judging from their appearance, the vocal style should not have been a surprise. That change happens to everyone.
OTHER: Their stories and dialogue was the good thing: ridiculous and random. From calling Uncle Monster Face out from behind the puppet stage and having him run around the floor, to inviting everyone up on stage to help sing their last song: Lobster Building, to creating some huge back story that was only, really a song introduction about capes (via having UMF say he had something for the band to help them rock better: Capes, to them saying they were going to improvise a song about the capes, then very cleverly saying that they had a time machine, so that they were able to write the song and come back in time to play it). This was their last show on tour with Harry & The Potters, and as obvious friends, they were very sad to see it end. So the last song had the Harrys come out to help with the lobsters.
SECOND BAND: Harry & The Potters
LOOKED: they came out first, un-pottered, in civilian clothes, and sound checked. Then, like rock stars, they went back and made us wait a relatively long time, where they transformed into Harry Potters. They came onstage in the familiar wizardly outfits. One played guirar, sometimes, the other would start the synthesized background music, and play keyboards occasionally. One Potter was obviously older than the other, and that was explained with the time traveling hour glass situation that happens in the book. One Potter was visited by someone who looked very familiar but older while in his dorm room. Rather than fearing some sort of paradox, the older Potter convinced the younger to joined up & tell their story and stop all the bad guys with the power of rock.
SOUNDED: Every song was like :30-:90 seconds long. Each song revisited a familiar storyline in the Potter series. Or the songs were pro-rock, and anti-Voldemort. The song lyrics were either very repetitive or plot driven. Lines like I’m a Wizard and Voldemort can’t stop the rock were very repetitive, while some songs focused on saving Ginny Weasly from the Basalith. And the wrath of Hermione. And leaving to Hogwarts from platform Nine and three quarters. They even had a spoiler song, about what Ron was gonna do since they were in love with his sister. It was all basic comic pop punk, and they really tried to throw a dance party, but only some people obliged.
OTHER: Really, it was an entertaining bit, where the Potters threw themselves into JK Rowling’s world, and sang about all aspects of being Harry. They often introduced songs with lines like “this is one I wrote on the train to Hogwarts,” or “I wrote this in my room at Hogwarts, after bottling up my emotions, and then dumpping them back out all at once.” They made you believe they were really wizards, asking “how many muggles out there feel like a wizard? Cause I feel like a wizard right now!” They attempted to take us all out of reality and into their fiction. They even had a two song/one minute portion of the show which was coined the “Monster Portion” where they sang about the troll. They had the audience particpate by yelling words like Big, Large, Ugly when it came to that part in the song. It was cute and made us smile and laugh at their randomness and precision…for about 30 minuntes. Then the trick became old, and the last 45 minutes left us feeling like, "okay, we get it: you want to tell us about what it is like being Harry Potters." It got real old, real quick, and the actual songs did not hold up enough weight on their own to keep us interested. But they really had a good time up there on stage, and as with any band, as long as the performers believe in themselves and have fun, the show is at least some what interesting heart felt. And that, the Potters could conjure up for the entire show. Being the last stop on their tour, they gave shout out thanks to Uncle Monster Face and even had them come up and help sing a song or two. Over- all it was not a very good show musically, but it did have much entertainment value. And it was only $7.
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#338 Hail Social, The Rogers Sisters, Celebration, Eyes Like Knives [Mar. 15th, 2006|03:48 pm]
Sat 3/11, Khyber, $10, 9p start, Christina met up.
FIRST BAND: Eyes Like Knives
LOOKED: Very average four piece band with a girl on keyboards. Nothing remarkable.
SOUNDED: Nothing Remarkable. They had some good ideas, but the lead metal/prog guitar just seemed to dilute and disregard everything else. Not too memorable on the vocal front either
OTHER: They were from Boston, and said they love playing Philly. I got there around 1020, and they had just seemed to begin. A very late start, which meant a late night at the Khyber.
SECOND BAND: Celebration
LOOKED: 3-piece band: a drummer, seemed very good, a female singer, who looked like a young Penny Marshall and played the tambourine, and a third guy who played guitar, keyboards and bass, with his nifty bass foot pedals. Sometimes playing all things in one song.
SOUNDED: Good drum & bass in parts, but they could really have used a fourth, maybe a fifth person to fully flesh out the sound. While the one dude was capable on all three sounds, I think that people taking those tasks would have given them more dimension in their music. The singer sang some parts loungey, and some kind of screechy, she seemed to be acting forcefully (not honestly) like Karen O from the YYY’s.
OTHER: During their first song, she came out into the audience, apparently trying to spark up the crowd. She later told us that people usually dance at their shows. Ok, so that was what we were supposed to do. The three instrument dude seemed overworked, as the bass rhythms could have been more complex if he did not have triple duty. Their songs were not that catchy as they thought they were, and no one in the crowd really seemed too into them.
THIRD BAND: The Rogers Sisters
LOOKED: another 3 piece, female guitar, who had a stage presence that made her like someone out of JEM or Josie & the Pussycats. A female drummer, and an Asian guy on bass.
SOUNDED: The singing style was somewhat reminiscent of Devo. When the two girls sang in harmony behind the bass, they felt like the country sound of a truck horn passing you on a highway. That might not sound like a good thing, but it was not a bad thing. Some of the songs were long, and some of the songs included a little surf guitar. The first song reminded me of all that was bad with alternative music back in the early 90’s. And by the end of their set, I was not even really paying attention to their songs.
OTHER: Christina made it out before their set, as it had been an incredibly long time between the last two bands. They said they too loved playing Philly, but it did not seem to show, the effort just seemed half-assed as they could not draw from the audience.
MAIN ACT: Hail Social (see #306)
LOOKED: Like a statistical bunch of guys. A young Asian guy on guitar, dark haired , indie looking (black hoodie) guy singer and guitar, skinny waif like blonde haired bass player, an middle eastern guy (first show ever with the band) on guitars and keyboard, and an indie drummer. They did not look too enthusiastic, as I saw the bass player out and about before they went on (not knowing who he was) with quite a friend base there in support.
SOUNDED: For the Khyber, they were phenomenal. It was a long time between sets, but for Hail Social, it was totally on. The vocals were loud and clear, and he did sound like Michael Hutchinson from INXS at times. The Bass and Drum dance punk rhythm section was top notch, and loud and driving the songs into high gear. As good a singer as he is for this music, the bass is what sells their songs. There was a variety of guitars behind the music which gave it layer upon layer of base. Altogether, they are a package meant for popularity. I cannot tell why they are not bigger than they are, as I think I proposed for them when they opened for Of Montreal The songs were incredibly driving, as they only have an album and two ep’s out, they did not play very long, but they played the important songs like Hands Are Tied, Get In The Car, Come Out Tonight, Another Face & Track #1. Even still, they announced that most of the material was probably not familiar, which they were correct about. They did not play much else from the album, as they focused on potentially new music. I did not have the EP yet, so they could have been off that, and as this was their “7-in release show” I’m sure they did. In short, they are an incredibly fun band musically. Oh yeah, there is that undertone of 80’s metal in their music and lyrics, so slight, it only helps their songs.
OTHER: I cannot get enough of this band. They are so good, and yet with all their identifiable characteristics, they somehow remain very unique and original. After the show (145a) I got the new EP and a shirt for a $10 total from the Bass player, whom I commented on his excellent playing. I have to say I am also drawn to their style of artwork. I think the sketched skull band logo, and all artistic direction add to the vibe of Hail Social. Everything about it seems very basic, almost generic, but just unique enough to be come off very different.
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#337 Man Man [Mar. 15th, 2006|01:30 pm]
Sun 3/5 @ AKA’s upstairs loft, free, with Beth 3p (see #333, #308, #284)
LOOKED: Did not really see them, as the loft is a flat floor, and we got there late, and had to stand in the back. But they wore the usual white & face paint.
SOUNDED: Good for the upstairs of a record shop. Actually, it was very good, everything came out clear, and they made good use of all their odd instruments like the plastic horns etc.
OTHER: Not much different from the Haverford show, just no visability. They played a great mix of stuff from their 2 albums, and it might have been the same set as Haverford. His vocals sounded as gruff and deep as ever, and the chants and tribal, rhythmic music was there. Their sing-a-long chants were great, and they made some attempts to stand on their instruments when they did non-instrumental vocal chants. I was going to buy a shirt after the show, but as they had no meds or larges, I decided to wait.
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#336 New Pornographers, Belle & Sebastian [Mar. 15th, 2006|01:24 pm]
Sa 3/4 The ultimate duo tour: Electric Factory 8p $27.50 with Beth
FIRST BAND: New Pornographers (see #322) No Opening Band!!!
LOOKED: No Neko Case, No Dan Bejar. We stood, for both acts on the balcony, right behind the speakers & had a very good, clear and close view (as can be expected at the Factory) of everyone but Neko’s stand in.
SOUNDED: At times, like a New Pornographers Cover Band, as Kathryn Calder, the “long lost neice” to Carl Newman attempted Neko’s vocal parts. She was very good, at some times even attaining the vocal style of Neko, but there really is no replacement for Neko’s amazing voice. Especially in the Neko-led, Mass Romantic. And Newman himself sang a Dan Bejar song, Testament to Youth In Verse, but it went over like any other of their songs. If you’d not know them, there would be no questioning the song, as it fit right in. In all, it seemed like a “greatest hits” show, they played everything I wanted them to except for “All For Spinning You Around” which is a Neko song, and was understandingly sidelined.
OTHER: Not as much charisma on stage without the two missing members. No playful banter, no weird outfits or costumes, they were there, they ran through the songs, and they left in a whirlwind of pop only the NP’s are capable of. Even without Case & Bejar, they were an outstanding show, still better than 90% of the bands out there.
MAIN ACT: Belle & Sebastian
LOOKED: 8 people on the big stage, all basic average brits, in everyday clothes. Stuart bopped around the stage like a pogo stick to his songs, and everyone else seemed to act very business like.
SOUNDED: Fantastic, for being right behind the speaker, it was a great sound. Knowing how loud the speakers are, the sound from behind was seemed to be the perfect level. Stuarts voice was very clear, and all the instruments were mixed in without any possibility of complaint. I’ve always wondered though, there seem to be an awful lot of people in the band for their simple sound. They played a great mix of stuff from the new album and stuff mainly from their first two, and most popular records.
OTHER: Stuart had his silly, naive banter, as what woos the brit-heart-struck girls in the audience. He asked one “bloke” how he managed to get such a shiner, proving to us all that they are not just “rock gods on stage not paying any attention to the audience.” Everything else he added seemed shy, coy, and just plain adorable. Mix that in with the gentleness of his accent, and you have a recipe for love-struck girls. Besides most of the new album, they played Expectations, She’s Losing It, Electronic Renaissance, My Wandering Days Are Over, I Don’t Love Anyone, Sleep the Clock Around, Me & The Major, Judy & The Dream Of Horses, Cuckoo, If You Find Yourself Caught In Love. I would have loved to hear Step Into My Office Baby or Dear Catastrophe Waitress, from the album of the same name. I’m not sure why that album was never as popular as the others, I think it is fantastic. Listening to their older stuff, it is kinda funny how, in every song, they use the trumpet to act like vocals for an entire verse. It is not in any of the new stuff, it was just noticeable when lumped into the mix of everything. Perhaps the highlight of the show, at least for one young girl, was when they invited someone from the audience up to sing Judy… with them. Saying it was getting quite boring, and that they’ve sang it so many times, it needed a women’s back up. The girl they got looked all of 17, and she seemed nervous, but she took off her cloak, and stepped up to the mic, and sang a wonderful accompaniment to Stuart, who was shocked and impressed. She went off back stage, to understandably be thanked by the band or whatever it is that goes on back stage. We left by midnight, and filed out and left, without looking at the Merch table, knowing how expensive stuff is at Factory shows.
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#335 Of Montreal, The Lilys, The M’s [Mar. 6th, 2006|06:24 pm]
Thu 3/2, 8p Starlight Ballroom, $12 (advance) Me, Beth & Jer. We waited outside in the cold, shady area for too long in a long line.
LOOKED: A little old to be an opening opening band. But they looked like a Philly band, in half put together suit (one suede) coats and very different looks from member to member. The drummer was odd. He would slink along with his playing, but he looked exceedingly happy to be a drummer. Weird, serious faces he to the audience, the other members and his drum kit made me imagine this is what Will Ferrell would do in a Spinal Tap esq band movie. The bass player looked a little like Bill & the guitarist and drummer could have been blond hair, blue (too close together) eye brothers
SOUNDED: Could be a Philly Band here too, catchy/poppy moments mixed into in their otherwise straightforward rock. Sometimes the music did not seem to be thought through, other times, they needed to keep going with a certain bit. The music was not refined, typical of most local bands. The singer’s voice reminded me of something between Dan Bejar of the New Pornographers and Robert Schneider of Apples In Stereo & Marbles. The other band members sang too, giving them some excellent harmonies and vocal parts. But their good songs were great. Their Plan of the Man came off as an excellent single, and had the short, simple catchiness of an oldie.
OTHER: From Chicago, later learned they are 6 yrs old. Their blend of personalities seems hard to maintain, but they came off very diverse in an open minded way. Their CD was $12, so I did not get it, but I joined the mailing list & got a pin & sticker.
LOOKED: Like a bunch of found guys who were unsure where they came from or where they were going. One guy was a short smoking dude, the other was a suede jumpsuit wearing dude, with frizzy blond hair covering his face for most of the night and the lead singer (whom there was a cover story about in the City Paper a few weeks back) is the founding and only member of the original band, is a really tall and quite awkward guy.
SOUNDED: Like noise and boring music. His voice could have been good, but he chose to not use it well. It occasionally sounded like Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and some points it sounded like the Starlight Mints. But over-all, it was monotonous and boring.
OTHER: Being from Philly, I thought he would have demanded more of an audience, but the majority seemed to want him off the stage. There was the obligatory applause after every song, but perhaps it was to congratulate them for being one song closer to being done. He told the “cause 7-ate-9” joke, and he had other nonsensical but not witty stuff to say, and it seemed very tired and fake. One loud dude in the back kept requesting him to make more jokes, saying we’ll like you then.
FINAL BAND: Of Montreal
LOOKED: Glam Glitzy and more Glam. To tell how they looked is to describe the night. They all had odd outfits on, the guitarist having on a red, yellow and orange angled striped shirt, the bass player had on a Russian fur hat, and they all had blue eyeliner with sparkly glitter around their eyes. Their boss, as I can only imagine that he controls their evolution, thinking back to how the band used to be, came out in a wedding dress, proposing to the audience of Philadelphia, professing his love to all of us. He drank water from a champagne bottle and ringed some girl’s finger. He changed costume many times from a golden “crystal gale” as he called it, smock thing, to his orange plastic raincoat, to bare chested, to perhaps another outfit or two. Dorothy, the keyboardist looked aimlessly happy, smiling, eyes closed, swaying to her own interior music. Everything else was the new Of Montreal.
SOUNDED: Great. They can really put on a show. The vocals were a little crackly, and when I did not know the words, it was tough to make them out, but that might have been an effect put on Kevin’s voice. But everything was perfect musically. Man, the bass really kicks, and they have a distinct Of Montreal sound to most of the guitar.
OTHER: They played a new song, that I believe they played at the last show a few months back. It sounded right up there with their 80’s influenced dance rock. They began a song using the Final Countdown teaser intro. Very accurate. They played stuff mainly from the last two albums, including some that I’m not sure why…Summertime in Oslo seems an add choice. But they played the favorites Party’s Crashing Us, Alabee, Wraith…, Disconnect the dots, a Kinks cover, Jennifer Louis (in the encore), Chrissey kiss the Corps (with an elaborate intro where he gave us a glimpse into his nasty, but sweet alter boy exterior past). And many more dance tunes. The lights in the Starlight Ballroom helped escalate the club/party atmosphere. It was a blast, and we had a great view for 90% of the show…that never happens!
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