Last night I arrived at Pianos around 8. It was my first time seeing a show there and I really liked it - just a nice, small room in the back. Not a bad spot in the house.
Inouk was supposed to go on at 8:30, but Unlikely Cowboy was just going on when I got there...so things were about a half an hour behind. Unlikely Cowboy was decent...they had a very upbeat country/rock thing going. I wasn't really into them though, but they were good for the time being.
By the time they were done I was really looking forward to Inouk so (of course!) they changed the order of the bands. Salazar went on next. From the moment the lead singer did some warm-up vocals for sound check I knew I was doomed. The dude's voice was too high and shrilly for me personally. The band itself was ok/good. There were a few songs that were nice and tight, you could tell they had worked on them a lot and had really nailed it. Some others were just kind of eh. Overall I liked the songs that the bassist sang much better, but then when I actually listened to the lyrics they were a bit cheesy at times. Overall Salazar was fine. I probably wouldn't seek them out again just because of the vocalist's voice rubbing me the wrong way...could possibly have potential though otherwise.
Finally...at about 10 Inouk went on. I can honestly say that I like them now. I just consider them a completely different band than the old Inouk...which makes me feel a bit bothered when I read things like this, "...we've never sounded this good or had this much great material before." on their blog. I understand being in a band, not playing for a while, then starting to play and record again and getting all excited about the band growing and progressing, but I just think it's kind of whack to say it like that given the circumstance of Damon no longer being in the band. It could just be a harmless comment that I am reading way too much into, but it really got under my skin because I think "No Danger" was such a great album that they shouldn't discount and that they can't compare to their new stuff because it is completely different.
Sorry for that little rant...
Anyway...the show was very good. This was the best so far of the 3 I've been to since Inouk reformed. Everything just sounds more together, like everyone knows what they're doing. They sounded good before, but everything is just nice and more clean sounding now. I know they played "Grandpa's Rib", "Carefree", and "In Due Time". Those are the only 3 songs on their myspace page, and they haven't said any of the song titles at shows...which makes writing a review a bit difficult. "Carefree" is still my favorite. It reminds me of the old Inouk a bit, but removed from that I really like it...I like the lyrics and the pace and think it's a really good, fun, upbeat song. It was stuck in my head all day today. I like "Grandpa's Rib" too, though the "prove it" background vocals bother me a bit. Kind of wish they weren't there, but the song would probably need something else then. I'm a bit back and forth with "In Due Time". Sometimes I like it, other times I'm not in the mood. I'm really picking things apart here though. Overall I like Inouk's new songs. The ones whose names I don't know were good as well. They did not play "Miller" (an old Inouk song that was only performed a few times) this time. So in conclusion...Inouk played a good show. It was a lot of fun, very upbeat. The band seems to be having a good time too and their sound is really coming together.
A couple of New York shows to look out for:
Known about this for a while but wanted to wait for full details.
December 16th at at Studio B (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)
FIXED party w/ BOYS NOIZE (Germany), CRYSTAL CASTLES (Toronto) live, and FOREIGN ISLANDS (NYC) live!! Plus residents JDH & Dave P $10 at door, $7 advance tix @ Other Music
More info here as it gets closer to the event.
Out of the line-up, I've only seen Boys Noize. Great dj, really fun to dance to. I saw him up in Montreal back in September. I had never heard any of his stuff before. I went to see him with a friend and we had a great time. He really mixes it all up well. He played Justice's remix of Simian's "We are Your Friends" as soon as we got there which immediately put him on my good side. Threw in some Daft Punk (can't remember which track off the top of my head, but it wasn't one of the usuals that are beaten to death on the dancefloor, i.e. "Around the World"), a remix of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" which I think is actually his next single coming out. He dropped Micheal Jackson's "Thriller" while I was in line for the bathroom. He'll keep you on your feet and you will have a great time. Go!
After one too many crappy New Years Eves I was really excited when I read that Radio 4 will be headlining a show at Mercury Lounge. The Oxford Collapse is also playing, along with others TBA.
Nov 30, 2006
Last night I arrived at Pianos around 8. It was my first time seeing a show there and I really liked it - just a nice, small room in the back. Not a bad spot in the house.
Nov 28, 2006
Hollis Browne is playing at Kenny's Castaways on Thursday December 21st. They have a nice, classic rock type of sound. I've never seen them live before and everytime I listen to their stuff I kick myself for missing them so many times. Here's the full line-up for that night:
11:00 - Thomas Lunch
10:00 - Real Be Easys
9:00 - Hollis Browne
8:00 - Freedom Haters
7:00 - Coleman & Leigh
Nov 27, 2006
Looks like what could be a good comp from Kitsune, out today!
Simian Mobile Disco, Boyz Noize, Alex Gopher, Whitest Boy Alive...yea-yuhh!
Also, NY Magazine interviewed Michael Alig...haven't had time to read the whole thing yet, but what I read so far was interesting. Spotted that on BrooklynVegan.
Nov 26, 2006
I have recently re-discovered TK Webb. I first saw him at a show at Office Ops on 4th of July called Boswijck...a bunch of other bands played...I only saw him, Zachary Cale, and Damon McMahon before I left to go to a bbq. I made a note to check him out more after that, but just remembered now. He plays nice folksy rock...I predict that listening to him will help me to not play out Damon McMahon's "Mansions" album. He's playing a show at Glasslands Gallery...it's actually his record release party. It's at 9pm on December 3rd.
Also...I am having a whole conflict about the band Lake Trout. I saw them open for Radio 4 a couple of years ago...kind of took note of them. They did not knock my socks off, but they were ok. So I've noticed they will be playing New York soon-ish and figured I'd give them a second listen. I listened to the first two songs on their myspace page and was all ready to rule out going to their show, but then I listened to the third song, "Riddle"...and I kind of liked it and hated it at the same time...because it reminded me of Radiohead's "The Bends", but also Coldplay (which I hate!)...so I'm still on the fence about going to see them at Mercury Lounge on Dec. 15th.
Then I was checking out another band I forgot about but meant to check out, and I came across this and could not stop laughing.
Nov 23, 2006
Nov 20, 2006
This morning I am the only one present at the workplace so far. When this occurs, I like to put on music that is on the electronic side of the spectrum. You see...my employer, kind and excellent as he is in most areas, has musical preferences that I cannot stand. I have gotten SICK OF THE BEATLES because those are pretty much the ONLY cd's he has that I enjoy. So...I am hoping that by refraining from exposing him and my other coworker (whose musical taste I also do not like) to electronic music which they probably will not like, things will somehow come full circle, and I will not be forced to endure the "Train" album, or the Garden State soundtrack, or Coldplay anymore. It hasn't worked yet, but I have hope...it's dwindling, but it's there.
So this morning, while nobody is here but me (and Louis the pug) I am listening to the robot-themed banging known as James Zabiela's Utilities- disc one(computed). I highly recommend it. The album is a two disc comp. Disc one is made using computers and various more modern technologies. Disc two is recorded using traditional methods. I think anyone who listened to them both (even blindly) would argue disc one is far superior...it just bangs. Disc two is not bad...it's just kind of ehh. When I put it on, I forget that it's on. It just fades into the background which at times is good. Sometimes you need some background music, but I don't think that is something James would like to hear, or what he intended. In any case...check it out. Disc one is worth buying it alone, and you can put on disc two while you're cooking dinner or something.
I saw "the Science of Sleep" last night. Did anyone else find that Stephanie reminded them of Feist??
Nov 19, 2006
So here are the full details on the Inouk shows I posted about last time:
11/29 at Pianos
7:30 doors, $8 cover
10:30 - Spanking Charlene
9:30 - Salazar
8:30 - Inouk
7:30 - Unlikely Cowboy
6:30 - Joseph King
12/21 at Mercury Lounge
10:30 - the Red Romance
9:30 - Inouk
8:30 - Daylight's For the Birds
Nov 15, 2006
Quickie post from work, more info later...
11/29 at Pianos, 8:30 set, $8
12/21 at Mercury Lounge, 9:30 set, $10
Nov 12, 2006
I read about this band called Ecstatic Sunshine on Flavorpill. It's just two guys that play the guitar. No lyrics!!! Ah! I listened to their stuff and still am not 100% sure about em...I am shocked that they held my interest with just guitar. I am curious to see how I would fare at one of their shows...conveniently they are playing at:
Cake Shop (instore, Free!) - 11/16 (this Thursday) at 6pm.
Northsix (that same night!) - 8pm doors, 9pm show (not sure who goes on when), opening for Make Believe, Limbs is also opening.
Syrup Room - 11/25 (next Saturday), 8pm with Dirty Projectors and Beautiful Weekend.
Also, more as a reminder for myself:
This Friday (11/17) - Kid Koala at Northsix.
Nov 9, 2006
On November 14th, Dominique Keegan (the Glass, Sound of Young NY, Plant Music) is releasing a compilation cd under his label Plant Music. Looks to be a nice electro-rock mix. Here's a review of it from Earplug. Also, tomorrow is the record release party at the Annex with Dominique dj-ing. Click for flyer.
Also, so as to live vicariously, allow me to remind you of other options for Friday night:
Damon McMahon at Mercury Lounge
Tim Fite at Union Hall
Tim is also playing at Mercury Lounge next Wednesday (the 15th) at 8:30 along with:
Heartless Bastards @ 10:30
Catfish Haven @ 9:30
Real Ones @ 7:30
Haven't heard any of em before.
Nov 6, 2006
I just noticed he has an art exhibit that has been running for a few weeks and will be finishing on November 25th at the Pace/MacGill Gallery. It's called "Furnishing the Self - Upholstering the Soul"...and well, not to get too into it, but it's kind of a commentary on chairs.
More info here
Nov 5, 2006
I had a good time at CMJ this year...and lord knows I did not do as much running around to see bands as a lot of people probably did, but in any case...I am beat. And so...here is my final CMJ show review:
Last night I braved R&R for yet a second time, to see Tim Fite. I listened to all the other bands that were playing before I left my apartment, concluded that they were all really bad California-ey synth pop, metal, or generic hell, and decided before I even got there to leave immediately after Tim Fite. It was probably the best decision I have made lately.
He and his brother Greg played an excellent show. It was the usual Tim Fite insanity which for those of you who are not familiar with him, consists of some live guitar, some samples from albums costing $1 or less, and some slides with short stories and interactive audience exercises. It is quite the experience...which in all honesty, I was totally freaked out by it the first time I saw him perform (opening for Tarantula A.D. at Tonic earlier this year). But then I listened to some of his album "Gone Aint Gone", and saw him again at the Spiegeltent and absolutely loved it.
At this show he didn't really play anything new to the best of my knowledge...I gather he might be saving it up for his show at Union Hall this coming Friday. It was a good show nonetheless. He played "Away from the Snakes", "Forty Five Remedies", and "No Good Here" among others. Highlights for me were a slideshow story about a rat named Juice, and a Tim's opening comment, "Hello, I'm Tim Fite and this is my brother Greg. We're here to pay for our CMJ badges the only way we know how...singing." He also walked around on some of the little tables that were there, kept picking at things that were stuck to the ceiling, shook a girl in the front's head vigorously while singing, and stood on the table while twirling two people that were in the audience around like ballerinas.
I really can't think of how to describe Tim's music if you haven't heard him before. So you should probably just check out his myspace . His website also will give a better overall impression of what to expect at one of his shows...like his show Friday at Union Hall. Just try to realize the humor in it all instead of being freaked out by it and you will probably really enjoy yourself.
And that is the end of CMJ for me.
But I could not take a break! I went to Union Pool to see Inouk again. I HAD to hear them again. It was really driving me nuts yesterday as I was writing my review of the Astralwerks showcase, that I couldn't tell if I was just hating on them because I was frustrated that Damon is not in the band anymore or who knows what.
My conclusions are as follows: I like them. They still sound different than a lot of what's out there...just not as different as they did before. My main issue with the whole situation is still the same as it was yesterday though: they are a different band. I think they sound so different than they did before that they are doing themselves a disservice by going by the same name. Seriously...I think a lot of people who were familiar with Inouk a couple of years ago would not think it was them if you played most of their new songs for them...they might recognize Alex's voice and say, isn't that the guy from Inouk? is he in a new band? Maybe I am taking it a bit to far, but I really do not think so.
Also...their song "Carefree" is now stuck in my head. Also, Union Pool is a nice little space...the front room/bar has a very local, neighborhoody feel. The back yard and fire pit area is a nice feature, and the back bar room where the bands performed has a really warm, intimate feel...it's painted a dark marroon, there is a goldenish border that frames the stage, there's a big painting on one of the walls. Very nice.
Nov 4, 2006
Ok, continuing from where I left off. I left in the middle of the Cinematics set at R&R to head over to Hiro. Upon arriving there is some blonde chick singing some cracked out songs in front of a screen with some kooky things projected on it. I later learned it was Princess Superstar.
Thankfully she was on her second to last song when I got there. Shortly after, Digitalism started spinning. They were alright. There were a few moments when I thought they were good...like when they played Cassius' "Toop Toop"...but actually in retrospect I think that might have just been whoever was spinning in between. I thought their stuff was a little repetitive...I like things mixed up a bit more. It was a lot of sampling and looping and knob twisting. I got bored with it and I got sick of getting knocked into by drunk girls so I moved to a new location on the dancefloor and looked over to my left only to see my friend Van . So that was an awesome surpise.
Not too long after running into Van, Digitalism finished their set. Then Alex spun for a little bit before the Juan Maclean began his set. Let me just say...I saw the Juan Maclean, the entire live act, at PS1 this summer and did not really like it. Then I haphazardly saw them again when I was passing by Union Square and Time Out New York was having some event in the park. I liked them a little more that time. That song "Give Me Every Little Thing" grew on me after a while. Juan dj-ing solo is a totally different thing. Liked him a lot more from the get-go. He played a really diverse mix of things...like "Apache" by Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band mixed really well with this other song whose name I don't know. He played "Give Me Every Little Thing". It reminded me of Fatboy Slim in that he played just a ton of different stuff. So yeah...good job Juan Maclean. I left at about 4, was in bed by 4:30 and up at 7:10. I worked all day Friday, grabbed some dinner then headed down to the Canal Room for the Astralwerks showcase.
Inouk was first. Just to give the context of the situation:
Inouk was on Say Hey Records. In fall of 2004 they got a deal with Astralwerks . The first time I saw them was actually at the Astralwerks showcase at CMJ that year. Then I saw them a bunch of times in the late winter, and then nothing...no shows, no news, nothing. Then...in October of last year I saw Damon and Alex McMahon (brothers, and vocalists/guitarists/organist from Inouk) play a show together at Sin-e and they said they were coming out with a record on Astralwerks together. Then nothing for a while. Then I discovered that there was some type of disagreement between Damon and Alex and they had gone their separate ways musically...Alex was in a band called "Mercy the Contours" and Damon put out a solo album, "Mansions" on Astralwerks in July.
When I read that Inouk had reformed a few weeks ago I assumed that meant all the original band members. I discovered that it's all the original band members -Damon, + Ezra Oklan. That being said...
I think they sound like a completely different band. I heard the old Inouk on maybe two songs of their entire set. One of which was "Miller", a song I heard them perform right after they had just finished writing it at a show at the Bowery Ballroom in early 2005. The songs have a totally different feel to them. Inouk originally had a hint of guitar that would remind you of country music...it was the perfect amount, now it's not there. It also feels like there is a lot less acoustic guitar. There are also no vocals from Damon which was a big part of their old sound. The bassist does some background vocals, but other than that it is all Alex and all of this together makes them sound like a totally different band.
Basically I would have felt much better about the whole thing if they had just given themselves a new name. I am not sure what the verdict is. I didn't not like them. I also think I was in shock at how different they sounded, so I think I need a second listen, which might happen tomorrow (Sunday, Nov. 5th) seeing as how they are playing a free show at Union Pool (484 Union Avenue, corner of Union & Meeker) along with some other bands:
Also, Inouk have a myspace page now, where you can listen to one of their songs, "Carefree"...which kind of reminds me of the old Inouk...with the country-ish guitars and all...and the fast pace reminds me of one of their old songs "Victory at Sea".
And that concludes my Inouk tangent, back to CMJ...
Damon went on after Inouk. He played a lot of new songs. He played the new song I had heard him play at the Rocks in Your Head show, and upon hearing it the second time it got my seal of approval. Damon actually played almost entirely new songs...the only songs he played that were on his album were "Elizabeth Taylor" and "Not a Slave". He also played a song called "Motel Blues" by Jeanne Kuhns that was very good.
The Litte Ones were next. First impression...I like them a lot better live. Very energetic. For some reason I found myself thinking "they remind me of the Beach Boys", but I don't even think I know the Beach Boys well enough to say that. In any case they were good, just not my cup of tea.
I also liked the Small Sins a lot better live. They were very lively as well. I also enjoyed their extensive and vigorous maraca and tambourine use. I probably will end up giving them a few more listens. Not sure if they are something I would listen to all the time though, but we'll see.
Nov 3, 2006
"Kanye West a Sore Loser at MTV awards
Nov 3, 1:13 PM EST
The Associated Press
COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Rap star Kanye West was named Best Hip Hop artist, but still came off as a sore loser at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
West apparently was so disappointed at not winning for Best Video that he crashed the stage Thursday in Copenhagen when the award was being presented to Justice and Simian for "We Are Your Friends." "
Read the entire article here .
Hello...posting from work, running on less than 3 hours sleep. Went to the showcase at R&R last night, and the MSTRKRFT/Digitalism/Juan Maclean party at Hiro. I'll post about 'em tomorrow seeing as how I am heading to the Astralwerks showcase after work tonight and then promptly passing out.
Nov 2, 2006
Saturday, from 1-4pm DJ Wool (from the Glass) will be dj-ing at the Diesel store on Union Square. Some other peeps will be dj-ing there these next few days too. Click here to see the flyer.
Also, much to my delight I discovered from a myspace bulletin that Ulrich Schnauss will be coming out with a new album next year:
"ALBUM NEWS: -------
Yes, a new album is on its way. A select few people have heard unfinished versions, and were forced to check into mental asylums with big smiles across their faces. It's THAT good.
It should be out early next year (first quarter). More details to follow."
Nov 1, 2006
I just got back from the New York Night Train showcase about an hour ago. It was a pleasant experience. I had never been to Rocks in Your Head (in Brooklyn). As I rounded the corner I could hear music...loud. Both Rocks in Your Head and the cafe next door (I think it's called Oslo) have these huge, floor to ceiling metal and glass doors. Rocks in Your Head's were open with the bands performing essentially in the storefront, with everyone watching standing or sitting on the sidewalk. So that was an interesting little set up. Nice to get some air since it's not that cold...yet.
Anyway...I missed the first band, possibly the second since I don't get out of work until 5:30ish. I'm not sure who I missed because I literally heard the last 30 seconds of someone's set as I was walking up to the store at about 6:15.
Luckily I was able to catch Grand Mal. I hadn't heard any of their stuff until last night when I was trying to figure out which shows to go to. I listened to the songs on their myspace last night and really liked them.
I have been listening to a lot of music for this year's CMJ since there aren't that many bands I am dying to see, and quite honestly I haven't been impressed. A lot of these bands that everyone is raving about...I've checked out their stuff and a lot of it just seems kind of eh...or they sound like a band I listened to 10 minutes earlier...or I just don't like em.
Grand Mal however did not sound like any of the bands I had been checking out. Just nice rock...nothing gimmicky about it. The lead singer's voice is a little vaguely Dylan-ish every now and then, but then he'll start really singing and the band will kick in and rock. Their set was good...a little more mellow than I expected at times, but on the other hand there were a few numbers where the band was really into it. The other thing I noticed was the singer seemed to be singing a bit on the soft side, especially compared to what I had listened to before. Maybe it was the set-up? Who knows? Overall though I thought they were pretty rocking.
Damon McMahon was the next act. I really enjoyed his set as usual. He played two new(er) songs that are not on the album, that I heard him play this summer when he was at the Knitting Factory. Then he played a song by ________? I want to say Gene Kelly, but I really can't remember. He also played another song (one of his own) that I don't think I've ever heard him do before which was interesting. Need another listen or two to get a better feel for it. He closed with Elizabeth Taylor and Not a Slave.
Though there isn't technically a single for the album, Elizabeth Taylor would probably be it. It was the first song up on Damon's myspace page and the only one for a while, which is about as close to a single as you can get without actually having one. Everytime I listen to Mansions (Damon's album) I try to deny that Elizabeth Taylor is my favorite song...but then I get up to that track and something about it gets me everytime. I still won't say it's my favorite because the entire album is so good...but that track...it's somethin.
So of course, live Elizabeth Taylor was excellent. It starts out so calmly, going through the story, and then by the end you have Damon's voice just pushing out those lyrics with all this feeling behind it. It is an awesome experience. Not a Slave kind of does that too, but in a different way. It's a little more quirky (I mean that in a good way) in the beginning, then goes through the story, then just builds to a great end...which was a great way to end the set.
Also, I feel I should mention that Damon played electric instead of acoustic guitar which was an interesting change. All the other times I've seen Damon play it's been acoustic with the exception of one time at Tonic where he had a whole band behind him (which I thought was a bit weird). Apparently though, not counting tonight that's the norm. I actually didn't even notice the difference that much tonight...it just sounded louder and a little more, well, electric...you didn't hear every string which was fine. I think I might have focused on the vocals more because of it, but didn't realize any of this until afterwards.
Before his set I chatted with Damon for a little bit and apparently what I read the other day is true...Inouk exists again...but he is not a part of it anymore. So the Astralwerks showcase on Friday night should be interesting since Inouk go on first, followed by Damon. Also, I personally can't picture Inouk without Damon. While I think Inouk has a very unique sound in terms of their instruments, I feel that a big part of their sound came from the combination of both Alex and Damon's voices. So it's hard for me picture Inouk without Damon. I'm trying to keep an open mind about Friday's show. The band is really good, so maybe a different vocalist won't matter that much, especially if he's good too. Also, I'm wondering how much old Inouk stuff they will play. Should be interesting.
Hopewell was next. They are another new band for me. I liked them...I wasn't crazy about them though. I think I need to see them again to form a better opinion. The two songs I recognized were Monolith and Calcutta. They played a song towards the end of their set that sound very different from the rest that I really liked. Unfortunately that's all I can remember about it. Overall I liked the band, but the singer's voice was kind of getting to me, and I'm not sure why, but that will pretty much make or break me liking a band.
There was one more band after that...but the standing outside, plus me not dressing warmly enough, plus working all day took its toll on me, so I called it a night after that.
All in all it was a lovely low key evening...new music, old music...no crazy cmj crowds!!