5. Jun. 2007, 5:57Jesus christ, music doesn't get much better than this. Chronic Town + Murmur = goddamn amazing.
17. Apr. 2007, 6:38aside from earth day, this week of april in american history is quite grim. look into it if you are interested, but i find the best way to go through life is to be most attentive and present in the present.
this morning, thirty-three human beings died at virginia tech university as part of a murder suicide. as of this evening, another fifteen are recovering from gunshot wounds. an undetermined number of individuals were injured as a result of jumping from the upper stories of university buildings to escape the violence.
Low's "drums and guns" is making a beautifully melancholy, somewhat frightening, especially sobering soundtrack to these events as they slowly unfold. may the events take as much time as they like to unfold, while may peace come as quickly as appropriately possible to the families, friends and spirits of the deceased, as well as those who identify as survivors of the trauma.
14. Mär. 2007, 7:25Top 10 Artists Played for week of March 4 - March 11.
The Allman Brothers Band
Sun Kil Moon
Broken Social Scene
Lets see...2 of the Allmans were killed in motorcycle crashes and Biggie was shot and killed. The frontmen of Nirvana and Joy Division as well as Elliott Smith all committed suicide. i must have been in a "yea death" mindset last week for whatever reason.
17. Feb. 2007, 5:09*Is my last day of being 21 years old.
*Is the best date for new releases in god knows how long. Just look at this list:
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
El-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Living With The Living
and the mother of them all...
Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
Just grabbed the leaks of Ted Leo and Modest Mouse (will buy them of course), but I felt a bit entitled since I just dropped loot on concert tickets for both groups. Anyhow, March and the rest of February look to be grand.
1. Nov. 2006, 0:46I've always felt this band was vastly overrated. I still think they're overrated, but I've come to the conclusion that I like them significantly more when I'm drinking / drunk. That's all.
30. Jan. 2006, 6:19Drive-By Truckers - Hell No, I Ain't Happy
Red House Painters - Katy Song
Judging from the title of the DBTs song and the nature of RHP's music in general, it might be thought that I'm horribly depressed. I'm acutally quite well, I think it's just this damn Olympia rain.
29. Nov. 2005, 6:27Here it is...lemme know if you need any of these songs to make it yourself.
Kanye West - Touch The Sky
Spoon - I Turn My Camera On
Sleater-Kinney - The Fox
Stephen Malkmus - It Kills
Beck - Girl
Common - Faithful
Broken Social Scene - 7/4(Shoreline)
Cage - Grand Ol' Party Crash
Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
My Morning Jacket - Off The Record
Dangerdoom - A.T.H.F. (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
Sigur Ros - Glosoli
The White Stripes - I'm Lonely (But I Ain't That Lonely Yet)
Iron & Wine / Calexico - Dead Man's Will
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
R. Kelly - Trapped In The Closet (Chapter I)
Get it while it's hot.
9. Nov. 2005, 6:012005 proved to be an active concert season for this boy. Didn’t see quite as many jambands as I have in years past (say what you will about ‘em, their shows are nothing but fun and good tunes), but the only ramification of that factor was that I was generally out of shows a little earlier than usual.
5. The Shins @ The Orange Peel: Asheville, NC
I was introduced to Asheville’s now legendary live music scene through the life changing indie pop of the Shins. While Natalie Portman wasn’t present, the southern belles, excellent microbrews and comfortable atmosphere of the venue made for a more than adequate replacement. The city lived up to its hype before the band even stepped on stage. The Shins briskly chugged through their entire catalog with genuine exuberance, occasionally slowing down the pace for frontman James Mercer to sing the band’s three ballads, of which the Portman endorsed “New Slang” drew the greatest reaction. Many fans were present to hear the group’s contributions to the Garden State soundtrack, as evidenced by the increased illumination in the room via cell phone lights during the rest of the set, text messages being vigorously typed. However, the spastic joy of the kid standing next to me after getting “Saint Simon” for the final song in the encore after shouting for it the entire show was easily one of my musical highlights in 2005.
4. Dinosaur Jr. and Broken Social Scene @ Central Park SummerStage: NYC, NY
SummerStage is a great venue, and this show capped off an excellent day of wondering around the park. NYC is also the greatest city in the world for live music. I turned down a free Roots concert to see this one instead, and on that night (a Thursday) there were literally four other shows I would have been perfectly happy attending. Broken Social Scene played a pretty short set but were completely enthralling. Leader Kevin Drew called for a fatwa on the NYPD over the course of the show, alluding to a now infamous incident involving the band’s producer Dave Newfeld buying pot in Washington Square. As they cycled through their lineup and left certain signature tracks unperformed on account of their opening slot, one began to wonder why they weren’t headlining that night. As they wrapped up the sun began to set, and the dinosaurs of grunge rock came out to wreak havoc. After finally figuring out how to correctly put in my earplugs by the fourth song, I then commenced with rocking the fuck out. Predictably, J. Mascis took center stage but Lou and Murph proved to be an excellent rhythm section, never once letting the now Edgar Winter-looking guitarist intimidate them. Matt Dillon also stood behind me, which was weird but also fitting. Like Dinosaur Jr., Dillon was at his creative and influential peak in the late 80s. Too bad it was him and not Natalie Portman.
2 (tie). Sigur Ros @ The Paramount Theater: Seattle, WA
The White Stripes @ The Auditorium Theater: Chicago, IL
These shows both get the number two slot as they served as a complete paradox in experiencing live music (live music with electric guitars, that is). The Sigur Ros show was also the first show I saw after seeing the Stripes, which only made me appreciate the diversity of the two shows even more.
Frankly put, I’ve never been to anything like a Sigur Ros show before. I went with someone who had seen the band before, and to whose advice I stupidly ignored. “Yeah Graham, the last time I saw them it was really mellow, nearly everyone was sitting.” “No Graham, I don’t think everyone is gonna be smoking pot inside the venue, take care of that on the walk.” Yet my ignorance proved to be for the better. Thinking I knew everything there was to know about seeing concerts, I strutted into the Paramount Theater (possibly the best sounding room I’ve ever been in) and politely had my head split open. As Marit predicted, everyone was sitting and no one was smoking pot. This was kind of hard for me to grasp at first (I mean, we were at a rock show, goddammit!), but it clicked when the twirling hippie couple way up front seemed positively hysterical in the middle of the second song of the set, “Glosoli.” The atmosphere was akin to that of an international renowned symphony. In the middle of a song the band literally slowed down and stopped playing for what must have been at least a minute, while the audience retained complete silent transfixion. Fans were treated to flawless renditions of the best material from their three previous albums, and I got my favorite song for the encore, “Untitled 8” (the closer from 2002’s “( )” LP), making the experience that much sweeter.
About a month before that I went to a rock show. As a purist for anything and everything ancient, The White Stripes chose to play in a turn of the century Sullivan and Alder theater, which still wasn’t quite as nice as the Paramount. Although it was my first time seeing the group two nights before, that night I had what is probably considered the classic White Stripes concert experience. I watched them play a set that equally balanced their entire catalog while pounding down six dollar MGDs with my best friend from high school. Basically the textbook definition of a great rock show. However, the 31st, of which this piece is actually concerned, was a different monster. Jack and Meg took the stage and ran through the entirety of their newest album “Get Behind Me Satan,” playing the highlight “Take, Take, Take” for the first time that summer. The duo bowed and left the stage for about five minutes, leaving the audience completely puzzled. A Chicago critic wrote of the previous show I attended, “White is the most charismatic rock performer (I’ve) seen since Kurt Cobain.” As a recent northwest transplant, I was skeptical of this bold claim, but when Jack took the stage after the “intermission” he immediately affirmed it. Antics included singing an entire song through Meg’s tom mic, exiting stage left in the middle of the song (leaving his “little sister” there all by her lonesome) only to return on stage right all without ceasing playing. Easily the most theatric and erratic show I saw all year, The White Stripes and Sigur Ros couldn’t have been any more different and complimentary.
1. Modest Mouse @ The Gorge Amphitheater: George, WA
Oh, the ubiquitous music fest. 2005’s Sasquatch Festival boasted main stage opening acts like Bloc Party, The Arcade Fire, Wilco and Kanye West, with the Pixies still to be the ultimate headliners. Welcome to a music critic’s in 2004’s wet dream – LIVE! Each group that performed that day was excellent in their own right, but the hometown kids stole it. In a set that frequently recalled the envelope-pushing but danceable groove of “Stop Making Sense” era Talking Heads, Isaac Brock didn’t prove to be the most charismatic frontman since Kurt Cobain, but he certainly took the title of “most beloved Seattle-based frontman since Cobain.” The crowd ranged from local teenyboppers to Seattle hipsters to 40+ers, and everyone except me knew every single damn word to every song, an especially impressive feat in that the set culled considerably from some of the band’s older material. The Gorge is probably the only shed in the world where Modest Mouse can draw the numbers and enthusiasm that they did that evening. The audience’s collective high, combined with the band’s tight playing (likely due to relative sobriety) made for my favorite musical experience of this year.
There you have it. 2005 will also be memorable for:
•Getting kicked out of a Spoon show in Chicago for belligerency no sooner than give minutes after the band went on stage (fuck The Vic).
•Hearing the genius that is A.C. Newman (sans New Pornographers) for the first time at Sasquatch.
•Seeing Umphrey’s McGee actually play a show outside of Chicago (who knew?)
28. Okt. 2005, 7:59Music is something I will never tire of but I swear, this past week I feel like certain artists and albums have failed to captivate me as much has they did even 2 months ago. For example....
Saw Iron and Wine and Calexico this past weekend. The "In The Reins" stuff was excellent but I found Sam Beam's solo set to be a little bland. Granted it's damn hard to make shows interesting when it's mainly just you and an acoustic guitar, and it wasn't a bad set by any means, I just wasn't in love like I usually am when I listen to the records.
Recent run-thrus of REM's "Life's Rich Pageant" and Wilco's "Summerteeth" (two of my favorite records ever, esp. Summerteeth) left me wanting something more. The beautiful guitar sounds on The Secret Machine's "Now Here Is Nowhere" couldn't mask the fact that many of those songs are mindblowingly simple and occasionally monotonous. The new Broken Social Scene is a disapointment, period. Even finally getting my hands on The New Pornographers' "Mass Romantic" just earlier this week (which instantly had me hailing them as my new favorite band) has grown tired in just a few days...great melodies but entirely too busy of a record.
Positive things? A recent live recording of a Spoon show still sounded fantastic, and Sigur Ros' "Untitled 8" (what I'm listening to as I type this) is still one of the most chilling and beautiful pieces of music ever recorded. I must have listened to the Velvet Underground's "Venus In Furs" 1000 times so far this week, and that's I band I used to think was overrated.
18. Okt. 2005, 6:162005 records I've Heard:(Current Grades Subject To Change):
The Game - The Documentary C-
Kings Of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak C+
Blueprint - 1988 B-
The Decemberists - Picaresque B-
Beck - Guero A-
Spoon - Gimme Fiction A-
Dinosaur Jr. - You're Living All Over Me (Reissue) A
Common - Be A
Stephen Malkmus - Face The Truth B-
The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan A
R. Kelly - TP.3 Reloaded B-
Los Osos Scandalosos - Patterns Of Matter B+
Kanye West - Late Registration B
Sigur Ros - Takk... B+
Iron & Wine / Calexico - In The Reins A-
Little Brother - The Minstrel Show B-
My Morning Jacket - Z A-
Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene B-
If I could hear 5 more records from this year (and hopefully I'll be able to), they would be:
Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
Blackalicious - The Craft
Sleater Kinney - The Woods
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary
Records still to come out that are intriguing:
New Wilco (live)