Shrines Memory #1: Poetry

This was a poem I wrote for my Creative Writing class describing the Shrines show I saw on 6/7/09.

How Do I Keep You Outta Harm’s Way? (King Khan)

Soulful Supreme Genius spread in the air
The King came decked out in his white suit and slicked back hair
Accompanied by his lady, an ever-grinning cheerleader
And eight Sensational Shrines in their black Shrine Uniforms
The King ordered his minions to give him
A Loud and Proud response
They Roared
Unsatisfied, he Demanded again
This time the King was blown away
He and His Shrines exploded right into “Land of the Freak”
An apropos title for this setting
The fanatics hopped up and down
Side to Side
On the Stage
Off the Stage
The blissful cheerleader sprinkled glitter into the pit
As a cute little complement to the soulful music and funky dancing
As soon as the performance ended
Excessive crowd response ensued
Just when you think it’s over…

Paul Weller @ Apollo Theatre

That's my go-to undershirt right there. Good looks, Paul.

November 6th and 7th, the Modfather Paul Weller will be in New York City playing shows. One is at the Best Buy (Nokia) Theatre and the one I am going to is at the Apollo in Harlem. I’ve been re-familiarizing myself, coincidentally, with Weller’s solo work so I’m looking forward to this thing.

Vids Ft. BOTW Gentleman Jesse + Those Darlins

I’m going to link to some YouTube videos that you ought to check out. These really HIGH DEFINITION (if you want them to be) vids were shot a couple of nights ago in Philadelphia. Gentleman Jesse and His Men and Those Darlins.

“Highland Crawler” and “Kinda Uptight” –
“Careful” and “Word Gets Around” –
“I Don’t Wanna Know” –
“Butterfingers” –

“Who’s That Knockin”? –
“Wild One” –
“Night Jogger” –
“I’ve No Clue” –

Concert Review: Those Darlins, Strange Boys, Gentlemen Jesse and His Men @ TT the Bears (9/17/10)

Artists: Those Darlins, Strange Boys, Gentlemen Jesse and His Men
Location/Venue: T.T. the Bears, Cambridge, MA
Date: Friday, September 17, 2010
Gentlemen Jesse: WOW! Being only casually familiar with this band, I was pleasantly surprised that I loved every second of their performance. I was as energetically into the music as I would be for most of my favorite bands that I see, and it seems like this same zeal was true for most attendees. Pretty solid for an opening band. I had seen Gentlemen a little while back, opening for the Black Lips. Now, I don’t know if it was me, but they struck my senses far far more this time around. It was just one song after another of great pop/rock numbers of the catchy/noisy variety, and it was quite loud, well I’ve seen louder, but the volume was really essential here. It just gave the music that extra ummph, so to speak… They played an excellent set and were without a doubt the best of the evening, which I totally did not expect, because I really dig the Boys and the Darlins. All in all, the hopes I wished for in my previous post were more than satisfied and I do plan on continuing my venture into these (WE FUN!) Atlanta Rockers’ discography.

Highland Crawler
Kinda Up Tight
All I Need Tonight (Is You)
Word Gets Around
What Did I Do?
If I Can See You
Black Hole
Put Your Hands Together

The Strange Boys: The fun continues! With the Strange Boys there is this really delicate feel to their approach. In other words, these Boys can produce an invigorating, often loud and in your face, abrasive, punkified blues sound and yet maintain a very mellow, almost quiet tinge to their performance- a good comparison is Deerhunter, in this respect (not the music itself), which I had the privilege of seeing both of them open for Spoon about half a year ago. It’s like they can channel all this Black Lips esque garage chaos into an incredibly calm release. In terms of the actual sound, it was fantastic as before. In fact, I’d wager that they sound (much) better live than on record, which I enjoy. These guys are great performers and extremely proficient at their craft, particularly in the following jams- “Woe Is You and Me,” “A Walk On the Beach,” (Massive kudos for the gentle, but powerful pause between the soft opening chords and the louder “top of the mountain…” second half) “Should Have Shot Paul,” (classic opener), “Be Brave,” amongst others. Easily one of the better bands I have seen.

Those Darlins: These Darlins rock harder and better than most females one cares to name. Hours earlier, I was amongst a few fans in front of the stage. But, by showtime, the Darlins had garnered themselves a well-deserved, packed-sold out show. They displayed great shoWOMANship and crowd interaction including direct eye contact, going into the audience, and so forth. They rocked out with about an hour long set, which was good, but didn’t include as many of my favorites as I expected, oh well. They did however play such classics as “Who’s That Knockin’ At My Window?” (the opener), “Wild One,” “Red Light Love,” and their latest release, “Night Jogger.” They performed well, but the set was plagued by poor PA, which I don’t attribute to the band, as it seemed like they tried to fix this. Either way, this didn’t stop the band or the audience from having a good time. The show concluded with a really fun encore in “Funstix Party,” the B Side to their new “Night Jogger” 7″. Everyone came out for this number including Gentlemen and the Strange Boys as we all sang along to the raunchy, but catchy tune. With booze and saliva a flyin’ for a few moments it felt like Black Lips kind of craziness (to a much lesser extent).

Grade: B+

Woe is Kids Like You and Me!- H & E Time

Woe Is H & E!

Gentlemen Jesse and His Men:
Hopes: They rock out really hard and become one of my favorite opening acts and I check out one of their LPs

Expectations They do in fact rock out and they are better this time than when I saw them open for the Black Lips, but they do not stand out enough for me.

Strange Boys
Hopes: They play a nice 45 minute set featuring most of their classic material like “Woe” “No Slave” and “A Walk.”

Expectations: The Boys are awesome, but do not play as many of my favorites as I would have hoped and play for a shorter amount of time.

Those Darlins: The Darlins play most or all of my favorites such as “Red Light Love,” “Mama’s Heart,” “DUI or Die,” amongst others. They play for over an hour and its one of the top 15-20 best shows I have ever seen.

: They play for under an hour and play many of my faves, but not all. It’s a great show, but not one of the best

Deerhunter H & E

Hopes: Well, I certainly hope it doesn’t transform into a mad game of Russian Roulette! But, since we are seeing the group Deerhunter, I don’t think I have to worry. I hope they play a fairly lengthy set (60-75 minutes if not more, but I doubt it because of time constraints) of various tunes from all over their discography with some from earlier works like Cryptograms (2007) and Fluorescent Grey (2007) and a few cuts from their upcoming LP Halcyon Digest, but mostly tracks from my favorite recordings, Microcastle (2008) and Rainwater Cassette Exchange (2009). If they play “Twilight At Carbon Lake” I just might shit myself. Y’all have been warned! I also wish that the K-Holes and Kurt Vile are ass kicking openers.

Expectations: Deer plays a a good amount of old, mid, and new, but perhaps more of the atmospheric material than I prefer, albeit still mesmerizing. They play for about 45-60 minutes and blow me away, even more than the first time I saw them. Vile’s sound is better, but sill he doesn’t send me flying off my rocker and the K-Holes are decent, but not as kick ass as I hoped.

Concert Review: 1964 The Tribute

: 1964 The Tribute
Date: August 12, 2010
Location: Merchantsauto Stadium

Comments: YEAH YEAH YEAH! The Beatles, London’s answer to Elvis, the hip, new Rock and Roll band leading the British Invasion is here!-well perhaps that’s how I would start a review of the real Beatles forty-six years ago. But, these guys are the closest thing we have to seeing the original line up in their classic form. The 1964 Tribute tries to recreate this initial invasion, albeit with better sound quality (well sorta) and mid-career numbers thrown in the mix. In terms of sounding just like the Beatles, they were truly terrific. I was standing in line waiting for my chicken tenders and fries and thend suddenly it was announced that The Beatles were hitting the stage. They rocked right into “I Saw Her Standing There,” if I had not been informed that it was showtime, then I simply would have thought they were playing the song on the radio. They were that accurate! The harmonies were perfect and they had all the energy and quick wit of the Fab Four. The show was split up into two sets with a brief intermission in between. The first set conisted of mostly 1964 tracks, with “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” and “I Should Have Known Better,” particularly standing out. The second set mostly contained post-64 tunes, which in terms of authenticity, this was a undeniable flaw. I know, I sound like a whining geezer of the Cavern Club era, but nonetheless I am a man of authenticity. It’s nice to throw in some later tunes, but when most of the second set features numbers you would not catch suit and tie era Beatles perform, that’s stretching it a bit much. Plus, there was plenty of better 64 and earlier hits they could have unleashed such as “And I Love Her,” “If I Fell,” “Misery,” “Anna (Go to Him),” “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You,” and others. Then again, to totally contradict that, I still highly enjoyed those later songs because I prefer that aspect of The Beatles catalog. A few other gripes (to needle drop an Anthony Fantano line) of mine were 1) the sound- not nearly loud enough. Now, don’t misconstrue me here. They sounded fantastic as The Beatles as stated before and I could hear their music fine. It wasn’t a problem of not being able to hear them, which was quite a factor in the actual Beatles shows. Instead, here the audio simply was not loud enough! I could hold a conversation with my mates and we could hear each other perfectly; this should never be the case. And since it was not loud enough, the music did not hit me as hard as it should have and therefore I could not get into the performance as much. In other words, head bobs and foot tapping sufficed. 2) We were in a baseball park and the stage was set at the mound and everyone was naturally in the stands. I was seated as close as one could be, but still I wish I was wayyy closer. At the same time, it wasn’t the nosebleeds, but it would have been far more exciting if we attendees could stand in the field. 3) The group’s interaction with the audience, while sometimes comical and perhaps accurate, more often than not got in the way of the show and well just was annoying. I also couldn’t hear what they were saying a few of the times. I will say, however, they did a decent acting job with each of their respected performances as the individual Brit musicians.

Grade: B+, I had more negative things to say then I usually do for a B+ concert, but the positives largely outweighed the negatives and I had a fab time re-living a 1960s Beatles gig, if only just a little bit.

Wavves @ Brandeis

New event!

Saturday – September 18, 2010

Location: (Presumably) Chum’s Coffee House

Why Presumably? ‘Cause this place has hosted Genesis and J. Geils Band among notable acts in the past.