Won’t you look what we have here – HIGH WAISTED from New York City. Legend has it that they went to Nashville, recorded in a haunted house ON ACID, and lived to tell about it. Legends are reality for these four. I’m glad because they are performing very gripping surf rock ‘n roll in the big city. The Acid Tapes are as noir as you might imagine plus dreamy, slimy, and ramshackle. What fine traits to possess in 2014! Git on listening and hey if you are around, trip yourself to Rough Trade in a few weeks (Saturday, July 12th) to catch them performing on a bill that also includes Rose Windows.
Bands: Erland & The Carnival, Paul Weller Venue: Apollo Theater Date: November 6, 2010
Act One – Erland & The Carnival – A very respectable UK folk/post-punk revivalist group. As Erland said, they were simply warming up the stage for Weller. With that said, their set was quite modest in length — not more than thirty minutes — but very effective. They reminded me of a more eclectic/James Bond theme music version of Editors. When they jammed, they jammed. I found myself recognizing a number of their tunes from the video of the gig they posted on their MySpace page.
Act Two – Paul Weller – Over the past several months, I’ve gained much more appreciation for the Modfather. It was a quite a treat to see him perform last night at the historic Apollo Theater. Weller has quite a catalog to choose from in selecting his night’s set-list. Last night, he incorporated a bunch of tunes from 2010’s Wake up the Nation. What made up the rest was a fine variety of relatively recent material, a little bit older stuff, and classic Jam and Style Council tunes. The sound was excellent. The aid of two keyboardists/effects performers and an extra rhythm guy contributed greatly to Weller’s backing. What I love about Weller is when he really rocks out. The drum solo in “One Bright Star” and the pure magic of “All I Wanna Do” were just some of the many highlights. Weller gave off the impression at the end of his second encore that the near sold-out crowd would be back to hear him for a second time in a row the next night. Those people are in for a double dose treat.
1. “Aim High”
2. “Into Tomorrow”
3. “7 to 3 is the Striker’s Name”
4. “Pretty Green”
5. “From the Floorboards Up”
6. All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You)”
7. “Sea Spray
8. “Paper Chase”
10. “No Tears to Cry”
11. “Shout To The Top”
13. “How Sweet It Is”
14. “One Bright Star”
16. “Fast Car Slow Traffic”
18. “Echoes on the Sun”
19. “Wild Wood
20. “Broken Stones”
21. “Pieces of a Dream”
22. “Wake up the Nation”
23. “Art School”
24. “Come On, Let’s Go”
25. “The Changingman”
26. “Porcelain Gods”
Bands: Fergus & Geronimo, K-Holes, Cerebral Ballzy, Black Lips Venue: The Shank Date: November 6, 2010
Comments on the Venue: Where do I even begin? I just want to clear something up, first. Hipsters, individually, are not necessary bad people. Talking to a few of them and sort of mocking them (“Are shows in a big warehouse the new thing?”), I realized there are some good apples in the bunch. Not so much for the case for the hoi polloi of Williamsburg hipsters. Damn, these people suck so much! As Rich said, they are people with a lot of money, but love to act like they don’t have any. These hipsters wait in long lines for port-a-potties and $4 beer. Making loads of money off of the cheapest brands of beer is suddenly relevant. These people have no respect for the bands and care solely about themselves. Shocker! The venue itself was the complete opposite of the Apollo. I didn’t expect some first-rate DIY “soundspace”, but…this?! Every process after the most basic (checking IDs, buying tickets) was actually pretty laughable. There are shit-loads of people just standing around, smoking whatever they feel like. In front of the stage are hipsters yelling at each other and pushing each other. The stage itself is pretty legit, but the sound system is quite awful.
Act One, Two, and Three – I wasn’t really paying attention much to any of these bands. Fergus & Geronimo sounded really good. I caught the tail end of their set. K-Holes were the same K-Holes I saw in July and August. Cerebral Ballzy sounded not so good, but I couldn’t really hear them all that well from where I was standing.
Act Four – Black Lips – After avoiding the pit area for a while, I made up my mind. I was going to stand in front like I usually do. The moment Black Lips come on, they sound-check jammed to something that sounded like “Stone Cold.” A soft rocker to test out the waters. This was all well and good. They then got the night going with “MIA,” the frantic opener from excellent live album Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo. After that was a new song. After that was “Make It,” “O Katrina,” and another new song. “Make It” and “Katrina” were both listenable and very well played. This was a good thing. It was very down-hill from here. A bunch of idiots stormed the stage after like five minutes and, like on the boat cruise, all the amps became unplugged. Jared’s microphone also fell from its stand multiple times. Some asshole started talking into it all the while Jared thought it was still there. The Lips ad-libbed, while the sound “crew” was trying to fix things, a cover of Elvis’ “He Touched Me.” Parts of “Dirty Hands,” “Ain’t No Deal,” and “Fairy Stories” were played. Keep in mind “parts.” Nothing was complete about the Lips set. I blame it on the “fans”…these self-righteous douche-bags who wanted all the attention. At least the Lips got paid $10,000 to play this shit-show. The second to last song was “Sea of Blasphemy,” which almost was a valiant attempt for them to restart their set…except it was the second-to-last sosng. You know shit has gone wrong when I think “Bad Kids” is “Ghetto Cross” for a complete minute. Damn, son.
Paul Weller Hopes + Expectations: I hope Paul plays an enjoyable set. I can certainly imagine him doing so.
My favorite Weller (solo) songs that I hope he plays:
– “Come On, Let’s Go” – As Is Now – “Savages” – As Is Now
– “Wings of Speed” – Stanley Road – “No Tears Left To Cry” – Wake Up The Nation – “Changing Man” – Stanley Road – “Wild Wood” – Wild Wood – “You Do Something To Me” – Stanley Road – “Mermaids” – Heavy Soul – “Whirlpool’s End” – Stanley Road He’ll probably end up playing a few of the ones that I’ve just mentioned in addition to plenty of new ones from Wake Up The Nation and a couple of Jam classics.
(Black Lips?!) – This is the the toss-up of the century. After the Paul Weller show, will I be able to make it down to Brooklyn to catch my favorite band? Last time I was in NYC and saw Black Lips, it ended up being my favorite show of all time — on a boat and terrestrially. It’s by the grace of God that decided to hold a “secret show” on Saturday. This would be an incredible addition to a trip that is already shaping up to be great.
Date: Tuesday, August 2, 2010 Bands: K-Holes, Natural Child, Black Lips Venue: The Temptress
Act One – K-Holes – The cock-sucking K-Holes! The band of former Black Lips guitarist Jack Hines and four other people including a trumpet player AND a drummer who keeps it simple: a bass drum, a floor tom, and a cymbal. K-Holes were very explosive and offered a big sound. Matter of fact, a certain cross-dresser in a certain red dress enjoyed it so much that he/she was crawling on the floor, laying out on a table, and having a rhythmic seizure during the duration of K-Holes set. Fun times! Also, some whippersnapper (not a part of the band) felt like screaming into the microphone at random times during the set. It was all in good fun, but who does that?!
Act Two – Natural Child – The favorite band of Rachel aka Pop Jew was a great band, indeed! Wait a sec: Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogy said up jump the
boogy. Okay, that out of the while. These guys had a song about people not understanding you, white people, and punks, a song dedicated to the Captain of the ship, and if I remember correctly, a song about fucking. All in the spirit of Kid Rock. They punk-rocked. The guitarist crowd surfed his way to the second floor to end their set. The bassist was having a great time and the drummer was doing his job in the background. I definitely will keep checking these guys out.
Act Three – BLACK LIPS – Black Lips pretty much keep topping their previous best show ever. At this pace, all my favorite shows will be Black Lips shows, but I mean they are my favorite band after all. In terms of crowd participation, this show set the bar. The moshing got to the point where the one security guard all but gave up after five minutes of trying to protect Jared from the stampede at the front of the stage. The guitars got unplugged at various points during the set (probably from people falling down)…Jared had to move back and actually face away from the crowd (never saw this done before), although all seemed to be well with the other three members of the band! People were singing along loudly during every single song and there was just the whole vibe of Black Lips in Tijuana except in New York and on a boat. The set may have been trimmed a bit due to the chaos on stage or because time was up, but the roughly one hour the band played was just amazing! Funny things of note: some kid yelling out requests of old rarely (maybe never) played live cuts “Hope Jazz” and “Time of the Scab” and some big jock hollering “OOOOOOOUUUUUU WEEEEEEEE!!!” after every song.
Set-List: 1. Sea of Blasphemy
3. Make It
4. Short Fuse
5. O Katrina
7. Not A Problem
8. Ain’t No Deal
9. Dirty Hands
10. Cold Hands
11. Ghetto Cross
12. (A song resembling “I Want Candy”)
13. Too Much In Love
14. Bad Kids
There’s a great feature by Prefix Magazine (just posted) that highlights a day in the life of the Black Lips before their show at the Bowery Ballroom. Included in that day? Cole painting the shirt (above) that he’d end up giving to me the next day in Boston. Word.
New York Post
Bullets flew over Broadway yesterday, sending a crush of Times Square tourists and office workers “running for their lives” as cops shot and killed a MAC 10-toting thug.
The broad-daylight gunfire between the CD-hawking scam artist and anti-crime cops in an enclosed passenger-drop-off area at the Marriott Marquis sent shots crashing through store windows and people scrambling for cover.
“The police officers were ducking and diving, trying to get out of the way,” said John Grisewood, 60, of London, who stood about 10 to 15 feet from the fusillade.
I have a connection to these guys. I was scammed by them in July 2007 when I was walking Times Square alone. First, they asked me if I wanted to buy a CD. Eh, yeah, I could have just kept walking, but I bought into it. I gave them $10 for that and they signed their names. That wasn’t all though. One of them saw that I had a lot more $$$ in my wallet. One guy basically grabbed an additional $20 out of my wallet in exchange for two t-shirts and a hat, both of which I really didn’t want. If these aren’t the same people, I’d be surprised:
Cops said he was one of a group of hustlers who were working a scam in which they would approach tourists, ask them their names, then write the names on the CDs and demand $10.