Archive for June, 2009

Miike Snow and The Maccabees at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Posted in Music on June 23, 2009 by cduerr

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I had to work at a show for Filter this weekend and saw Miike Snow (left) and The Maccabees (right) at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday. I was there to help Filter market Miike Snow and got in for free and had a plus one. All I had to do was put up up some posters, talk to some fans and take a few photos. Otherwise I was just there to check out the show and see how it went.

There were other bands playing, but I just saw Miike Snow and headliners, The Maccabees. Miike Snow are two Swedish dudes and one American who play kind of electronic, ambient pop music. This was either their first ever U.S. show or maybe their second or third. It was definitely not my thing, but they were good and what they did, and in general people seemed to be pretty excited about them. There definitely seemed to be a buzz going on about them, but I’m not so sure I get it. However, they seemed like perfectly nice dudes and I was happy to see them get a positive response.

The Maccabees played next. I had never listened to them either, but people were really fired up for them, especially the British chick next to us who rolled solo to the show because she loves the band so much. She guaranteed my friend and I that we wouldn’t be disappointed by them live. I was skeptical, but she turned out to be right. They were really loud, energetic, and fun to watch. The tunes were catchy and the performance was tight. I don’t know that I am going to run out and buy the album, but it was a great show to go to for free.

Stayed at Music Hall after the show and hung at the bar. There were some DJ sets and I met lots of nice folks. All in all a pretty good night.

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Needle In The Grooves

Posted in Music on June 23, 2009 by cduerr

the kills - keep on your mean side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finally went out and bought a record player this weekend.  This has been a long time coming for me, and I’ve thought and talked about getting one for years.  I can’t really offer any excuse as to why it took me until now to get one, but whatever the reason was, I don’t care now because I have one and I couldn’t be happier.

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Along with the player, I picked up The Kills’ first record, Keep on Your Mean Side, and Johnny Cash Live at Town Hall Party 1958 on vinyl.  I had been looking for The Kills record for a while on CD and could never find it in any stores in New York, so I was thrilled to find in my random perusing on Saturday.  It is a great record by one of my favorite bands right now.  The Cash record is obviously badass and the songs sound warm and organic on vinyl.  I am very excited about this long overdue endeavor to aggrandize my music collection.  I will be making frequent trips to the record store and update with any purchases of particular interest.

Phoenix

Posted in Music on June 17, 2009 by cduerr

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I’m really digging Phoenix’s new album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. I’d never really listened to them before and am usually skeptical of bands that get described as dance-rock or dance-punk, or pretty much any genre prefaced with the word “dance.” That being said, this album is catchy as hell and I can’t stop listening to it. These French dudes know something about writing hooks. They make the kind of songs that you actually like having stuck in your ahead. The whole album is pretty upbeat aside from an ambient instrumental, Love Like a Sunset Pt. 1, and none of the songs drastically disappoint.  Check out the first track and single from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, “Lisztomania.”

http://thefader.cachefly.net/phoenix_lisztomania.mp3″

Lucero at Big Apple BBQ

Posted in Music on June 16, 2009 by cduerr

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Saw Lucero play at the Big Apple BBQ on Saturday.  These dudes are great and there is nothing like standing outside in a park in the middle of Manhattan in the rain, drinking beer, eating ribs, and watching them play.  They played a long set with lots of new songs.  It was awesome, and they looked to be having a blast.  That kid in the picture got up and danced like a wild man in the middle of the set, and the band and crowd were equally amused.  I’ve always liked this band a lot and find them to be a refreshing alternative to the majority of the bands gushed about by Pitchfork.  So fun to see while getting drunk with your friends on Saturday afternoon.  They apparently went and played another set that night at Pianos.  Cheers to both their tenacious work and drinking ethic.  I highly approve.

Jenny Lewis at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Posted in Music on June 11, 2009 by cduerr

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Most artists can’t pull off wearing their band’s T-shirt while performing without seeming lame, desperate, or contrived.  But as I learned Tueday night at the Muic Hall of Williamsburg, Jenny Lewis isn’t most artists.  I had never been a huge fan, but have seen Rilo Kiley before and liked the album she did with the Watson Twins.  Seeing her live will make me pay much more attention to what she’s up to, and may have caused me to fall slightly in love with her.

Skipped out on opening bands Farmer Dave and Deer Tick in order to load up on $ 2 PBRs at Zablowski’s, and made it in the venue about fifteen minutes before Jenny’s set.  She came out solo and was looking ridiculously hot. Wearing the aforementioned Jenny Lewis Godpeed T-shirt, traditionally unflattering high-waisted jeans and a bandana around her neck, she looked like a country-fried urbanite.  I was into it.  She sang a solo version of the Rilo Kiley song “Silver Lining”  and was then joined by her band , which included Farmer Dave on a lap slide guitar and a second drummer pounding floor toms, for a mostly energetic set that drew evenly from Rabbit Fur Coat and  Acid Tongue, as well as a couple of new songs. Jenny’s voice was amazing and crystal clear.  I never really appreciated what a great singer she was until last night. She looked refreshed and happy to be where she was.  She was all smiles and charm and looked to be happy playing music with her friends.  As far as I’m concerned, Jenny can forgo Rilo Kiley and run with her country-tinged hipster rock.  It’s working for her, and for me.

Standouts were “Carpetbaggers,” “Jack Killed Mom,” and set-closer, “The Next Messiah.”

A Lovable Misanthrope

Posted in Films on June 9, 2009 by cduerr

Annie

I don’t know how I grew up Catholic in the Midwest and came to identify with a neurotic Jew from New York, but that seems to be the case whenever I watch Annie Hall

Annie Hall has been one of my favorite movies for a long time and after watching it again last night I realized why.  Woody Allen makes being miserable seem charming.  He is the smart underdog taking shots at snobby intellectuals.  While I didn’t get all the cultural references upon my first viewing and I’ve yet to watch a Fellini film (La Dolce Vita is coming from NetFlix), the rest of the film rings true.

Nothing irks Alvy Singer (Allen) more than intellectuals patting themselves on the back and expressing their verbose and inflated opinions.  While at a high-class party with writers from the New Yorker, Singer sneaks in to the bedroom to watch the Knicks because he is sick of going to parties and “faking insight.”  I love him for this.  I also can’t help but feel for a character who exudes every single worry I’ve ever had, and then some.  He overanalyzes sexual experiences, feels guilty enjoying things, and describes his relationships with women using the Groucho Marx joke; “I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.”  I’m not nearly the neurotic mess that poor Alvy is, but all his quirks and worries, no matter how irrational, make perfect sense to me.  I won’t go into a movie if it has already started either. 

Other than sympathizing with Alvy, there is a lot more I love about this movie. Diane Keaton is beautiful, Christopher Walken is hilarious in a cameo role, and the dialogue has countless classic moments.   I can’t pick a favorite, but as a New York transplant from Michigan, one that strikes a chord is,

“Don’t you see the rest of the country looks upon New York like we’re left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers? I think of us that way sometimes and I live here. “

I am not a Woody Allen fanatic by any means and have only seen a handful films from his prolific catalog (a lot of which I would never bother with), but Annie Hall will always be pure enjoyment for me.  Like him or not, he changed the face of what a leading man could be, and he deserves credit.