Concert Review: Deerhunter, Real Estate, Casino vs Japan @ Royale (10/16/10)

Artists: Deerhunter, Real Estate, Casino vs Japan
Venue: Royale Boston
Date:  Saturday, October 16, 2010

Act I: Casino vs Japan
This is not my kind of music whatsover, so yeah it was just unbearable electronic music to me. It always feels like these guys overstay their welcome, but maybe it’s just me. Aficionados of said music may have dug this chap, but nothing stood out to me, I have seen far more interesting purveyors of the style.

Act II: Real Estate
Not my favorite band by any means, but a good band and after Casino, they were a massive relief. I liked them slightly more this time around. They are just a chill, relaxing group with some rockin’ in them. If you like mellow music, I would recommend them.

Act III: Deerhunter
YESS! As one of my favorite bands, I was really excited for this show. Deerhunter always (in the two previous times I have seen them) blow my mind. But, before I felt a tad bit unsatisfied, just a teensy bit as they are amazing, but not this time. Sure, there were some flaws. The vocals were low, at times they were better, but much of the time they were indecipherable. Which was not that big of a deal because I feel like the vocal apsect of their music is better appreciated on record, whereas the live show is mostly concerned with the guitars. Brad, Lockett, and Josh produce shards of noise whilst still maintaing that calm, cool quality that is essential to their art. Not to mention, the pounding drums of Moses, also exquisite. In terms of the setlist, it was fantastic. Sure, I did not hear everything I wanted to, but numerous classic were dished out, mostly tracks from their latest release, the incredible, Halcyon Digest (2010). They opened with one of their best “Rock” numbers in the Halcyon track, “Desire Lines,” where Lockett carried vocal duties. For that album they also unleashed the catchy and evocative (Deerhunter can mash the two aesthetics together perfectly) “Revival,” “Don’t Cry,” “Memory Boy, “Helicoptor,” and “He Would Have Laughed,” in honor of our buddy Jay Reatard. From Microcastle (2008) we heard “Never Stops,” “Little Kids,” and “Nothing Ever Happened.” Then “Rainwater Cassette Exchange,” from the EP of the same name. “Fluorescent Grey” and other classics were performed as well. As serious of a band Deerhunter is, there is an amusing, almost goofy side to the band. Frontman Bradford Cox always seems to be cracking jokes: at one point he stops the show to ask Josh if he loves him and informs the audience that he will not continue to play until he hears Josh utter the words. Haha, stuff like that. Overall, I can safely say this is the best Deerhunter show I have seen and I really cannot wait to seem them again.

Grade: A/A-

Harpers Ferry Closing

Farewell Harpers, I saw several great artists at your venue including Jay Reatard, Box Elders, Hunx and His Punx, Nobunny, Trevor Hall, Kurt Vile, Real Estate, TV Smith, Pretty and Nice, amongst others. Not to mention the long list of notable artists I did not see perform there. So long!

Deerhunter @ Royale … Again!

Deerhunter can’t get enough of Boston!

Just days after playing a fantastic show (of which a review will be posted within DAYZ) at the Royale, a listing on the Royale website shows Deerhunter playing October 16, 2010 (Saturday)! Well, well, well, I kid you not! By that time around I’m hoping to know Halcyon Digest in and out.

Opening, of course, is Real Estate. You see, after a while of going to shows and stuff, you notice certain bands always in the fold. What do Real Estate, Deerhunter, Kurt Vile, and K-Holes have in common? You should know.

Concert Review: Kurt Vile, Real Estate, Sore Eros @ Harper’s Ferry (7/23/10)

Technically Difficult

Bands: Kurt Vile/Real Estate/Sore Eros
Date:  Friday, July 23, 2010

Act OneSore Eros – Chris likened them to Deerhunter. They fall in that sort of experimental ambient rock category that Vile and, to a more considerable degree, Here We Go Magic, fall into. The lead singer and guitarist was really using effects to his advantage to derange his vocals and guitar. I think he also made use of looping, but it was tough to tell. His vocals were brief and incomprehensible. The noises that did come out of the amps were relaxed. There were moments of rocking out — and these were my favorite moments — but for the most part Sore Eros’ set was bigger-than-thou stand and stare kind of fare.

Act TwoReal Estate – These guys were pretty much what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised by the lead guitar parts (my favorite) as they were loud and precise. Sure, there was a moment of technical difficulty at the end of their set, but the songs that preceded this disturbance were entertaining. There were a few people dancing and that was understandable with this form of surf rock. I can understand the “they were boring” arguments, but as a fan of Real Estate’s “hit” songs –“Beach Comber,” “Fake Blues,” “Atlantic City,” and “Basement” — I can tell you I had a great experience during those.

Act ThreeKurt Vile – Kurt was a disappointment. My expectations totally differed from what actually happened. I expected a mostly acoustic slow set with a few electric guitar ditties thrown in the mix. What actually happened was an array of hard rocking vocally incomprehensible so-so tunes. I couldn’t hear the man except on maybe one or two songs. The lead guitarist was playing what seemed to be the same reverb drenched notes over and over on every single song. There were individual components of individual songs that were decent, but for the most part it was a disappointing noise jam. Get rid of the Violators and just have Kurt up there or something.

Grade: C+

CD Review: Real Estate

Band: Real Estate
Release: 2009

1. “Beach Comber” – 9.5
2. “Pool Swimmers” – 8.7
3. “Suburban Dogs” – 8.3
4. “Black Lake” – 8.8
5. “Atlantic City” – 8.8
6. “Fake Blues” – 9.2
7. “Green River” – 9.4
8. “Suburban Beverage” – 9.3
9. “Let’s Rock The Beach” – 9.3
10. “Snow Days” – 9.4

Comments: For all you Boston area folk the best I can do in describing Real Estate is to say I hear Faces on Film. Real Estate is less minimalistic, heavier, and generally more accessible than Faces to the non “zomg I <3 folk” diehards of the world. I also hear a little Built to Spill here and there and I might as well throw in Cotton Jones as a similar band as well. I’m not going nuts over this album, but it doesn’t lack in the chill department. It’s soothing, depressing, and exciting. I like hearing songs called “Atlantic City” that remind me of the old boardwalk and the feel-good resort casino atmosphere. Speaking of feel-good, how can the “Fake Blues” riff not make someone smile?  “Green River” is almost a perfect tune for this time of year. It’s sad in a way, at least for me, because it reminds me of opportunities missed. The instrumentals make the latter part of this album. Just awesome stuff.

Grade: 9.1