Archive for July, 2009

The Dead Weather and Screaming Females at Terminal 5

Posted in Music on July 21, 2009 by cduerr

dead_weather_boweryl_381300e9b8e5b49123e5dc0241251441I went to see The Dead Weather and Screaming Females on Thursday at Terminal 5.  While I would much rather see Jack White play guitar, preferably in The White Stripes, I’m always interested in what he is up to, and I’m pretty much obsessed with Alison Mosshart, so I was more than pleased to attend.  Also, seeing Jack White at a bar on 9th Avenue prior to show didn’t decrease the anticipation, by any means.

We got there in time to see most of the Screaming Females’ set, and I have to say, it was one of the most unexpected and pleasant surprises I have had in a long time. The New Jersey trio is fronted by Marissa Paternoster, a diminutive, guitar shredding, Grace Slick sound a like.  She’s not good because she is a girl, she’s not good because she is small, she is just good.  I know I wasn’t the only one whose jaw dropped on several occasions during their set.  If you are attending any of The Dead Weather shows, do yourself a favor and get there early.  You won’t be disappointed.

On to The Dead Weather.  I was only able to listen to Horehound once all the way through and while I liked what I heard, I wasn’t blow away.  This was pretty much the general consensus of most people I have talked to. However, I did immediately get the feeling that the dark, sludgy tunes that permeate the record were meant to be heard live.  I was right.  Right off the bat, with Alison standing on top of the stage monitors and belting, “I’m 60 feet tall,” The Dead Weather owned the room.  All dressed in black and flanked by a dark curtain backdrop featuring the octagon from the album artwork, the band looked and sounded like they just crawled out of a swamp, and were none to pleased about it.  They stormed through most, if not all of Horehound and snuck in a couple of covers, one of which was Them’s “You Just Can’t Win,” which saw White step out from behind the drums, never relinquishing his drumsticks, to handle some front and center vocal duties.  For all of those worried about not having Jack on guitar, let your worries by laid to rest.  Dean Fertita, heavy with swagger, killed on guitar and organ duties.  Regardless, the crowd went insane when Jack strapped on a guitar and sang with Mosshart on “Will There be Enough Water,” accompanied by a searing guitar slow.  White and Mosshart’s chemistry was palpable and they looked like they were attached at the lips when sharing the mic.  They left the stage and came back for an encore, which ended with a ripping cover of Dylan’s, “New Pony.”   The crowd went nuts when they took a bow, and almost seemed relieved that it didn’t suck.  I know I was.

Jack White’s primal drumming will never exude the emotion his guitar playing does, but he still managed to maintain one hell of a presence from behind the kit, and the band put on one of the most devilishly enjoyable shows I have seen in a while.

I also managed to score a killer Rob Jones poster.  A very successful night indeed.

Third Man Records, The Vault, and “I Cut Like A Buffalo”

Posted in Music on July 7, 2009 by cduerr

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So maybe I’m a sucker and maybe I’m not, but since Jack White has yet to let me down with pretty much anything he has done, I signed up for the Platinum membership of his new distribution venture through Third Man Records, called The Vault.

Basically, I laid out 60 bucks for a three month membership that gives me exclusive online content to The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and other Third Man artists. This content includes exclusive videos, messages, photos, live concerts, pre-sale ticket access, etc. etc. While that is all well and good, it was the hard stuff that caught my eye had made me get out my credit card. Every three months, Platinum members get a never before released 12″ LP and 7″ single from one of the artists on Third Man, along with a some sort of T-shirt. The vinyl will be offered nowhere else and will only be printed for Platinum members. For the first installment I will be receiving a 180 gram double of Icky Thump with new artwork and a mono mix, and 7″ from The Dead Weather that has covers of Pentagram’s “Forever My Queen,” and Downliners Sect’s “Outside.”

We will see how this works out and I don’t know if I will continue my membership, but this limited addition vinyl has me pretty interested. For your viewing pleasure, check out a live clip of The Dead Weather’s “I Cut Like A Buffalo.”

Jenny Lewis at Battery Park July 4

Posted in Music on July 7, 2009 by cduerr

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While most people split for the long weekend, I had no travel plans and found myself in the eerily quiet city with my girlfriend and a handful of other folks.  Having just seen her a few weeks ago at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and really enjoying it, we decided to check out Jenny Lewis at Battery Park on the 4th of July. Some hip, rootsy rock and roll across from the Statue of Liberty seemed to be the patriotic thing to do, and after all, it was free.  

Opposite to the stark midtown streets, downtown was littered with tourists, and music fans who showed up in throngs to see Lewis and headliner Conor Oberst. After making our way through the winding queue, we found a spot in the shade and laid out a blanket.  Lewis came out donning an all-denim ensemble with American flag cape, looking as cute as ever.  She played nearly the exact same set as she did at Music Hall and her voice was noticeably off, but I didn’t care, and no one else seemed to either.  Forgoing a couple of the more sleepy numbers, it was a really upbeat and fun set.  Combine that with beautiful weather and no admittance charge, and I was more than satisfied.  We didn’t stick around for Oberst’s set. Seeing him help out on the Traveling Wilburys cover, “Handle With Care,” was enough for our group.  Plus, they weren’t serving booze, and I was antsy.  

This was my first River to River Festival event, and I’m extremely grateful that these types of events are available.