• The Killers @ UIC Pavilion (1/20)

    22. Jan. 2009, 19:23

    Tue 20 Jan – The Killers, M83

    <tweet>I'm at Uic Pavilion
    <tweet>Feeling M83
    <tweet>The stage is being set up with palm trees and what looks like LOTS of lights!
    <tweet>The Killers have some fiiine lookin' roadies

    <tweet>The Killers open with Spaceman
    note: I didn't realize how much this song really rocks! Must add this to my workout playlist.

    Losing Touch
    note: Didn't realize how JAZZY this song is... guess live horns make a big difference because I don't pick it up on the recording.

    For Reasons Unknown
    note: love this song on the album but wasn't feeling it until it was halfway through and then it was great.

    Somebody Told Me
    note: This is when the ENTIRE stadium came to life. Awesome light show.

    Smile Like You Mean It
    note: I hated this song before the concert and still hate this song after the concert.

    This Is Your Life
    note: I MUST learn this song. Lyrics seem so cool! Groovy tune too.

    Joy Ride
    <tweet>Bubbles! The Killers broke out the bubble machines for 'Joy Ride'
    note: I didn't know if I wanted to salsa or disco, but I had to dance! This song has some kind of Miami thing going on that is super funky and I didn't really notice it until I heard it live.

    I Can't Stay
    <tweet>Some dumbass is smoking a fraking cigarette in here!
    note: This is a song that I knew but didn't know I knew... must have had it on some playlist and learned it but never paid attention to the name. I love it now!

    Bling (Confession of a King)
    note: My friend decided to tell me a story during this song so I didn't really get into it which is too bad because this is one I like to sing to. I did have to interrupt her at the end so I could belt out a few verses: "Higher and higher..."

    A Dustland Fairytale
    note: Must learn this super cool song immediately. I want to know every word!

    Neon Tiger
    <tweet>Run 'Neon Tiger'. Everyone make some noise... YYYEEeEAAaaHHHH!

    note a: This song has a set of lyrics that I never want to forget:

    I don't wanna be kept, I don't wanna be caged, I don't wanna be damned, oh hell
    I don't wanna be broke, I don't wanna be saved, I don't wanna be S.O.L
    Give me rolling hills so tonight can be the night that I stand among a thousand thrills
    Mister cut me some slack, cause I don't wanna go back, I want a new day and age

    Come on girls and boys, everyone make some noise!

    note b: After these lyrics, the entire audience started screaming... LOUD! And then the music was getting louder and louder and we were all screaming louder and louder. Fun!

    note: As soon as they start playing this one I felt the need to interrupt everything and advise my friend that I set my Facebook status to reference this song. "Rachel wants Brandon Flowers to know that tonight, I am definitely dancer! "

    note: In between songs Brandon Flowers sat at the piano and said "I don't know, is it pronounced human or human?" The first human had a midwest twang on the a and the second human was more like humon or something...

    Sam's Town
    <tweet>I see London, I see 'Sam's Town' now!
    note: This was the MOST BEAUTIFUL version of this song. It's recorded on the Sawdust album.

    Read My Mind
    note: It was kicked into such high gear here that I could no longer tweet or take pictures or talk because all I could do was jump!

    Mr Brightside
    note: CRAZY AWESOME!!!!! Full crowd participation and of course Brandon Flowers is a fun conductor.

    All These Things That I've Done
    note: Right before "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier" the music just hung there and the entire crowd started chanting the lyrics. Then Brandon came to lead everyone. Was super fun.

    <tweet>'Read My Mind' followed by 'Mr. Brightside' followed by 'All these Things I've Done' just BLEW MY MIND! The Killers rock!

    The World We Live In
    note a: Why the hell did they pick this song as the first in an encore? Next!
    note b: At this point I'm talking to everyone around us and we are trying to figure out what songs they haven't played yet. We knew they would most likely end with When You Were Young and that the most they usually did was a three song encore... I really wanted Shadowplay but they hadn't played Jenny or Bones so I was starting to bum because it seemed that there was only one song to choose from and it wasn't going to be Shadowplay.

    <tweet> Oh. My. God. 'Shadowplay'. Live. I'm in heaven
    note: SURPRISE!!!! They played it! Yeah!!! I know it's not Ian Curtis, but Brandon Flowers does a hell of a good job with this one. I was so excited I didn't know if I should tweet or take pictures or sing or dance or all of it or none of it... somehow I did it all.

    Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
    note a: I turned to my friend when the spotlight was on the bass player to scream "that's so cool!"
    note b: Why did I not know this song was so cool? They ROCKED it!

    When You Were Young
    note: Awesome choice to end the show!

    <tweet>The Killers treated Chicago to a FOUR song encore ending with 'When You Were Young'

    <tweet>I'm at Chicago, IL 60646, USA
    <tweet>Have a euphoric (natural) high from the The Killers concert. So much fun. Tonight, I will dream of Brandon Flowers
  • Girl Talk's "Feed the Animals"

    20. Jun. 2008, 15:42

    Today I have been completely blown away.

    Several weeks ago mentioned that they wanted to see Girl Talk at Lollapalooza. I assumed they were a band but really Girl Talk is a DJ! He is known for sampling and incredible mashups. I had a hard time finding any of his stuff to check out but today he released a new album called Feed the Animals. It is "pay whatever you want" to download.

    I downloaded it this morning. I paid $0.00 and when asked why I wasn't paying I choose "because I don't really like Girl Talk" which was an option I could select. I love the fact that it was an option! Anyways, after about 60 seconds of listening to the album my mind went into ADD mode. There were so many different sounds at once. I had to rewind it and start over and pay attention.

    There are a whole bunch of songs that get mixed together. Everyone is talking about Jay-Z being mixed with Radiohead. I freaked out when I heard Public Enemy with a Heart guitar solo. There so much random music in here that it is amazing. It's like a soundtrack of my life all smushed together in 55 minutes. I love it! Actually, I love it so much I went back and paid $15 for the album.
  • Kevin Fowler @ Floores Country Store (6/7)

    10. Jun. 2008, 22:43

    We got introduced to in a big way by going to see Kevin Fowler, an Austin favorite, at Floores Country Store outside of San Antonio, Texas. (I'm not sure of the full story but Floores and Willie Nelson have some type of connection people kept talking about.) Friends of my sister rented out the patio for us so we were completely spoiled. Instead of having to be smushed down in the crowd we were able to sit and have beer served to us while we could see the entire show. There were about 30 of us all together and plenty of room to dance and be social.

    I did some reconnaissance on Kevin Fowler and checked out his MySpace profile to see what I was getting into before we went on our trip. I'm not a big country fan but his music was pleasant enough so I was looking forward to seeing a real "Texas" show.

    His songs are actually fun and in a concert setting they are easy to pick up the verses on. My brother-in-law's favorite song is "Hard Man to Love" and he was playing it for me in the car earlier in the day. But during the show I enjoyed songs like "I Ain't Drinking Anymore", "Long Line Of Losers", "Don't Touch My Willie" and "Beer, Bait & Ammo". He even played two songs that I knew: Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" and Queen's "Fat Bottom Girls" and that was crazy fun! There is no doubt that Kevin Fowler is a FABULOUS entertainer and really knows how to get the crowd engaged.

    As for the guy himself, I have never seen a more gracious "celebrity"! After the show he went over to the t-shirt stand and he stayed until EVERY LAST PERSON got an autograph and take as many pictures as they wanted. I had him sign the t-shirt I bought but skipped on the photo op. I highly recommend checking out one of his shows if he tours in your area.
  • Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles @ Schubas (5/28)

    29. Mai. 2008, 22:17

    Wed 28 May – Langhorne Slim, The Builders & the Butchers

    Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles played at Schubas which is a really intimate venue since it holds less than a hundred people. Everyone there was just hanging out, having a good time and ready to hear some good music. I went up to the front so I could take some pictures. Unfortunately I forgot to charge my camera after Los Campesinos! the night before so I only got a few pics which was really frustrating because there were some great shots to be had.

    The Builders & the Butchers opened the show but we only caught the last two or three songs. I would have liked to see more of them. While they were playing I was busy trying to get a Langhorne Slim t-shirt. I do need to give Langhorne Slim props for their t-shirt offerings! There was a good variety of t-shirts, they had both men's and women's styles, AND they offered t-shirts in XL. I like mine roomy and I find at so many concerts that I don't buy a t-shirt because they are all too small. I got a cool black and white one that has the War Eagles drum on the front.

    I believe I first heard of Langhorne Slim from some indie music bloggers. I can't remember which blog it was to give credit to, but I think I was just drawn to the name Langhorne Slim and I downloaded the sample mp3s. "In The Midnight" and "The Electric Love Letter" from the When the Sun's Gone Down album have been staples on my playlists for a good year or so. Since the Langhorne Slim namesake album was released last month I have heard "Rebel Side of Heaven" on the Sirius indie music stations and seen it all over the indie music blogosphere. I bought tickets a few weeks ago when I noticed this Schubas show. I have been listening to about 30 songs from both albums and I think they played almost all of them. One of the great things about Langhorne Slim is that most of their songs are intense and short. So during a performance that is just over an hour long you get to hear a huge variety of songs.

    Near the beginning of the show Langhorne Slim mentioned that Schubas was one of the first places they ever played and that he remembered it seemed like such a big venue back then. Last night though it looked small :) He dedicated "Hummingbird" to the City of Chicago which was PERFECT! What a great song that is and I think his dedication to our city got everyone to listen to the lyrics of this new song.

    Of course he played a whole bunch of awesome songs: "Checking Out", "The Electric Love Letter", "Mary", "In The Midnight", "Rebel Side of Heaven", "She's Gone". There were also a bunch more I didn't name.

    Even though the fast songs are fun to dance around to, my FAVORITE of the night was definitely the performance of "Colette". This is a really cool song off of the new album that is kind of slow and catchy and gets faster as the song goes on. I will try to describe the scene for you (see battery problems above). The drummer and bass player from the War Eagles took a break and left the stage and Langhorne Slim was alone. He sat down on the drum (with the War Eagles name taped on it in black), lowered the mic, crossed his legs and propped up his guitar on his knee. After the first few lyrics of the song he laughed and said that he couldn't get up! The microphone was moved in too close to him so there was no room for him to stand without knocking it down. He did eventually weasel around it to stand up, but since the mic was lowered almost waist level he had to bend over to keep singing. Up in the front, we were giggling at him in between our singing along. At one point he got down on his knees to sing a few versus. And THAT was incredibly sexy - him on his knees singing his heart out with that unique voice and playing that ear candy with his guitar . . . yum!

    For their last song the War Eagles came back on stage they did a very crowd-pleasing verion of "I Love To Dance". SO MUCH FUN!!!! Everyone should get to hear that song performed live by at least once in their life. You just can't help but feel happy.

    Langhorne Slim is playing in Chicago again tonight (May 28th) at The Hideout to make up for the March 24th show he had to cancel so that he could appear on The Late Show with David Letterman. He'll also be playing at a variety of festivals this summer so make sure to check them out if you get a chance!
  • Los Campesinos! @ The Empty Bottle (5/27)

    28. Mai. 2008, 21:31

    Tue 27 May – Los Campesinos!

    I had a blast at the Los Campesinos! show at The Empty Bottle. These guys LOVE to make noise! And I can't tell you how cute they are - not cute in a "bunny rabbit" kind of way, but cute in a "hella talented and gracious" kind of way. Of course it's a bonus that they are from Cardiff, Wales (home of Doctor Who's time rift and Torchwood).

    I first heard Los Campesinos! on one of my alternative music channels on Sirius. The song was "You! Me! Dancing!" and it is super catchy so I downloaded it and added it to my playlist. When I noticed Los Campesinos! were coming to town, I was interested in seeing more shows so I got the tickets. In preparation I listed to their songs on Last.fm and became familiar with "We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives", "Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s)" and "Death to Los Campesinos!"

    Even though we didn't get there until 10:15, Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters, the opening act still hadn't played yet. I'm really glad we saw them perform though because they were so unique. At one point he performed a "movie" by speaking poem/song while flipping through a huge, hand-drawn comic book. And later they did a really cool "history of New York punk" by half speaking the history and interspersing clips of the songs.

    Soon after Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters finished up Los Campesinos! took the stage to set up their instruments and do a sound check. Los Campesinos! are made up of seven band members and the stage at The Empty Bottle was packed I'm surprised they weren't bumping into each other.

    I wasn't all sure of what to expect from the show because their recordings, while catchy, have lots of instruments and tend to be a bit noisy. Would they be more punk? Would they just be a hot mess of clanging instruments? What I got was the personification of the word "cool". For real! When I was walking out of the club after the show, "cool" was the word everyone kept using. And it just was. On the recording Gareth (the lead singer) speaks so fast that I assumed when he performed live it would be just a great big jumble of words. But he as on point for all of them and I left fascinated with wanting to know all the lyrics of all of their songs because they are all just so . . . COOL!

    While most of the comments about the band have to deal with Aleksandra's voice (she's the female voice you hear on most recordings), after last night I am absolutely obsessed with Gareth (the lead singer). He is an AMAZING performer! He had so much energy up on stage! I have never been so close to something like that so I was blown away. I think he might have been channeling Joy Division's Ian Curtis at times. I was in complete heaven. I wasn't really even dancing because I was so mesmerized by watching him and all his cool movements.

    There was a really good turn out considering their album Hold On Now, Youngster... was only released in this US this past April AND this was the second show of a two-night run at Empty Bottle. Luckily for me I was able to get a great place right up and front so I could take some pictures of the band. (That in itself is harder than it seems because they move fast and the lighting sux.) They also had some really cute t-shirts but for some reason I didn't get one. Lucky for me their stuff is available in their merchandise shop online.

    The band played a full set and ALL the songs sounded great! Even when they messed up every now and then which you could tell because they'd giggle. This is one of those bands that you will love more after you see them perform live. I didn't really like "Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s)" because it was annoying but now after I've seen it performed live and I was able to feel all of the band's energy as they performed it, I have been won over. And of course I had an amazing time singing along when they finally played "You! Me! Dancing!" and it seemed like the rest of the crowd did too.

    Set list:
    Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats
    Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s)
    Death to Los Campesinos!
    This Is How You Spell "hahaha, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics"
    Drop It Doe Eyes
    The International Tweexcore Underground
    Knee Deep At ATP
    My Year in Lists
    Frontwards (Pavement cover)
    We Are All Accelerated Readers
    ...And We Exhale And Roll Our Eyes In Unison
    You! Me! Dancing!
    We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives
    Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks

    Encore: 2007, the Year Punk Broke (My Heart)of the clu
  • Rilo Kiley @ The Riviera (5/24)

    28. Mai. 2008, 2:10

    Sat 24 May – Rilo Kiley, The Spinto Band, Nik Freitas

    We went to see Rilo Kiley at The Riveria Theater. We got there around 9pm and The Spinto Band was still playing. I had never heard of them before but after seeing them perform live I definitely want to check them out a bit more.

    We had such a blast when Rilo Kiley came on. The place was packed and while we weren't in the way back, it was still really hard to see. We had to shift around and try and find space between people's heads. The opened with three songs off of their new album Under The Blacklight, including one of my favs: "The Moneymaker". After a few songs we found a space on the stairs and I had a great view. We ended up chatting with some of the people nearby and hung out with them the rest of the night. During "Silver Lining" they dropped three huge balls filled with silver strips for the audience to bounce around. But my two favorite songs of the night were "Portions For Foxes" off of their More Adventurous album and "With Arms Outstretched" from The Execution of All Things. I had never hears "With Arms Outstretched" and it was clearly a crowd favorite since everyone sang along.
  • The Dodo's at a small local club

    21. Apr. 2008, 18:50

    Thu 17 Apr – The Dodos, Woven Hand, Brendan Losch
    Last week we went to see The Dodo's at The Note in Bucktown. I first read about them on one of the indie music blogs I often check out and they were mentioned as an unappreciated. I downloaded an MP3 and found out I really liked them so I got tickets when I saw they were playing in town. Woven Hand and Brendan Losch opened for them. Brendan Losch played first and his music is really mellow but really good. I bought two CDs of his and they are perfect for unwinding. Woven Hand was pretty good but we didn't get into them that night. They had these really driving beats and I will definitely be buying a few of their songs. And of course The Dodo's were as fun as I thought they would be. They had an additional person on stage occasionally (main band is only two people) who was banging on this strange black object. After the show I asked the drummer what it was and he said it was a garbage can that they just bent the hell out of. We had an interesting night and it was a good show!
  • Pearl Jam's "Love Reign O'er Me"

    30. Dez. 2007, 4:59

    Ever since they headlined Lollapalooza this past summer, I have been really into Pearl Jam. It has been kind of fun to re-discover a band I used to love. But I never understood why so many of their fans raved about Pearl Jam's cover of Love Reign O'er Me, originally performed by The Who. That was until tonight.

    Tonight I watched the Adam Sandler / Don Cheadle movie "Reign Over Me". Adam Sandler's troubled character in that film uses music as a way to survive. Good music too. And it isn't until the final credit roll that Eddie Vedder's voice is finally heard. And then there is was - that beautiful poetry between a great movie and a wonderful song. And now I'm hooked. Love, come on and reign!
  • White Stripes on BBC Radio1

    27. Dez. 2007, 5:12

    I LOVE my satellite radio. Tonight I got to hear a special that BBC Radio1 did on The White Stripes. It was super interesting to hear all sorts of artists discussing their introduction to The White Stripes and The White Stripes story. At the end there was an amazing performance from earlier this summer.
  • Narrowing it down . . . Best of 2007

    4. Dez. 2007, 2:05

    Well, I've come up with my favorite albums released this year. It's funny because these are not necessarily the albums I listened to the most this year. Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Regina Spektor, Muse and The Fratellis topped that list. But those were their albums that were released in 2006. So I wonder if the albums I have picked here that were released in 2007 I will just listen to more and more this coming year of if I will get sick of them . . .

    Below are my top 20 favorite albums IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

    Noisettes - What's The Time, Mr. Wolf?
    The White Stripes - Icky Thump
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Is Is
    Bruce Springsteen - Magic
    Feist - The Reminder
    Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
    The Killers - Sawdust
    Timbaland - Shock Value
    Mark Ronson - Version
    Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
    Okkervil River - The Stage Names
    Rilo Kiley - Under The Blacklight
    The Hives - The Black and White Album
    PJ Harvey - White Chalk
    Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights
    Radiohead - In Rainbows
    The National - Boxer
    The New Pornographers - Challengers
    Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
    Tegan and Sara - The Con

    Hopefully I'll be able to pick a top five in the coming weeks :)