Archive for August, 2008

Last week was a good week for shows. I saw Dr. Dog at Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night, followed by Lykke Li at Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday night.

Dr. Dog was super fun – partly because the night started with two glasses of vodka, the musical stylings of Dani Luv and a very rare steak at Sammy’s Famous Roumanian Steakhouse, but mainly because the Dog just killed it! I tried to see them the last time they were in NYC and failed miserably. I was smart about it this time — got tickets way ahead of time, and I didn’t even have to bake quiche or give hugs to get them. I’ve been listening to Fate on repeat and I’m in love. It reminds me of my ’06 obsession with Midlake’s, The Trials of Van Occupanther. My expectations were high going into the show, and they were far exceeded when I left. I think it helped that I went with Rob, a native Philadelphian who kept yelling, “play the hits!” It also helped that the stage was lined with leafy vines and that the band was wearing safari shirts, hipster fedoras and shades. I can’t fully explain why, but it kind of felt like the prom scene from Back To The Future, only replace the 1950’s for the 1980’s and replace Johnny B. Goode guitar riffs with Beach Boys style harmonies and set the whole thing inside a Trader Joe’s.

Lykke Li was decent. I also had high expectations going in, but unlike Dr. Dog, I left a little disappointed. I was definitely more into her faster, poppy numbers than the ballads, which after a while started to sound droney and repetitive. She could have used the help of a good lyricist. To her credit, that little Swede really packs a punch. She was slammin’ on cymbals, shouting through megaphones, head banging, really rocking out in her black leotard over spandex bike shorts. The venue was small, which I liked, but it was a theater in the round kind of deal and therefore hard to find a good view. Lykke tried to make the most of the space, but the majority of the time I was looking at the guitar player’s back. Rob was with me again and I encouraged him to yell, “play the hits,” but he didn’t go for it this time. I think he may fear the wrath of spunky Swedish girls with dramatic eye makeup. Next time she’s in town, I’ll make sure to start the night with Romanian style meats – clearly the key ingredient for a great night of live music.

Dr. DogThe Ark
Dr. DogThe Old Days
Dr. DogHeart It Races (Architecture In Helsinki Cover)

Lykke LiI’m Good, I’m Gone
Lykke Li Can I Kick It (Tribe Called Quest Cover – live at Le Poisson Rouge)

(that's me and Rob in the way back - right in front of the 'iron cage'

(That's me and Rob at the bottom of the picture. I'm too busy fixing my hair to clap -- I can't help it, I'm just cool and apathetic that way)

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It was hot. The sun was beating me at a game of sweaty ping-pong. There were a lot of interesting sights, smells and sounds. I saw the longest nipples on a guy… and there were two guys each with matching nipples. I wish I had gotten a picture of them. They were long. I guess the proper comparison would be a miniature version of saggy boobs on a 90-year old twin grandmas who did a lot of vaudeville lesbian porn. I ate some food. Corn on the cob with some butter, chili powder, salt, Parmesan cheese along with some other assorted herbs and spices.
Not my picture... but close to what I ate

Not my picture... but close to what I ate

All in all the day was okay until the end. I didn’t get to see as much music as I’d like to have seen. Got there later than I wanted to… mainly because I don’t wake up until noon and because I got lost trying to find parking. So, I missed Castledoor.

Castledoor- Fall Apart

But, that’s okay. They are a band from Los Angeles. So, I’ll be sure and catch them.

When we got there, caught the end of Bodies of Water. I like them. But, they didn’t seem to have much of a crowd. I guess everyone was wandering around looking for food like me.

Bodies of Water- Under The Pines
Bodies of Water- I Guess We’ll Forget the Sound, I Guess, I Guess

Started drinking after I ate. Heiniken was giving out free samples of their light beer… which was refreshing, but kind of lame. Beers were 7 bucks in the main area of the festival. But, if you went to any of the bars encompassed within the festival area… they were cheaper. Not by much, but cheaper nonetheless. Had a beer at Cafe Stella. I love that place. I have no idea when I will be able to go back there since I am sans girlfriend at the moment and it’s not the kind of place you go by yourself or with a non-romantic friend.

Walked back over to the main stage area. Drank some bad sake. Met up with some other lethiferous individuals. Just kidding. They were friends of mine. Headed over to El Cid for a bunch of drinks. Saw some strange faith healer dude who was using his magic to feel up a couple of unsuspecting females distracted by his cheesy sharktooth necklace, salt & pepper chest hair and his leathery skin.

After my trusty cellphone alarm went off, I knew it was time to see the band that I came for. Menomena. I’ve wanted to see them since I bought their first album on a friend’s recommendation back when I still lived in New York. As soon as I saw that the album was a flip book as well… I knew I was going to like them. Very unique sound.

Menomena at Sunset Junction

Menomena at Sunset Junction

Menomena- Muscle ‘N Flo
Menomena- Strongest Man In The World
Menomena- The Late Great Libido

And one of their videos… a crazy one, too. For the song, “Cough, Coughing”.

So, after they finished their set; we headed back over to El Cid. More drinks. Some shots. Some talk of eating bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Communication confusion. Talks of going to see Broken Social Scene. Group got separated. Things broke off. Lights went out in my head. Barely saw any of the band over the humming in my ears of a sting.

Broken Social Scene- 7/4 (Shoreline)

I left shortly after that. The crowd was too thick. My feet were dragging. I really wanted to stay and see Antibalas (a band I will cover in a Northport Corner down the line). But, I couldn’t muster up the energy nor the will to have fun anymore. I was drained emotionally, physically and mentally.

Note to self: Next year, go a little later… no bad sake and wear shorts. And remember to pay more attention to people around you.

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The funny thing is, Oliver had originally called the post, Tight White Shirts – a direct reference to a conversation we had earlier in the night. I made him change it because a) I’m a very controlling person, and b) I was afraid the dude that it referenced might google stalk me, see the post, realize I was making fun of him and be terribly offended. I may be controlling, but I’m not mean. Backstory: I went out with a guy who wore a tight white shirt. He had a decent body and it might have been fine if it was just a plain old T-shirt, but no, it was narst….I’m talking cheesy clubbing style, polyester-blend, some sort of shiny silver applique across the chest… Take note boys, tight shiny shirts = major turn off (baggy shiny shirts would probably also be a turn off, but I can’t say for sure — I’d like to consider it case by case). I came home that night and spilled the beans to Ollie. Apparently he was so inspired by the story that he titled his post, “Tight White Shirts.” I freaked and made him change it. He opted for the subtly different, “Tight White Shorts.” It’s officially become IWIYW’s number one post! WordPress shows you what search terms people use to get to your website and the number of searches for “tight white shorts” is out of control. We’ve gotten a gazillion hits on that post alone (most likely from smarmy porn-o-files). So, what’s the lesson learned? Give your posts sexually suggestive titles and you will be the bell of the internet ball!

Okkervil River – Lost Coastlines
Fleet Foxes – Mykonos

**Editor’s note: I’m hoping it’s been long enough since the tight white shirt incident that the man in question won’t remember my name, or the fact that I write a music blog. If he’s in fact reading this right now — sorry, buddy.

**Editor’s note part deux: A reliable source told me the following about Linda Perhacs: She never did any drugs because she’s always been very sensitive to changes in her body. She sees color when she hears sound and is very sensitive to the vibes people send out. And last but not least, she recently called her local record store and special ordered an old Julio Iglesias CD, because she, “likes the guitar sound.” (Amazing!)

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Seriously? I’d like to know what the pervs think. Leave some fucking comment. Honestly… do tight white shorts turn you on? Is it because you can possibly see through them? If they get wet with water is there a vague outline of a cock or a vagina? Stop fucking with this shit. If you want something… stop looking at it. Earn that shit, fuckers.
Now watch these videos and be quiet…

Sickboy- Silence in Conversation

ExitMusic- Decline Of The West

Hercules And Love Affair- You Belong

It’s Biggie Smalls, fucko…

***editor’s note- for those not looking for tight white shorts and for music… I salute you…

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I’ve been dreaming a lot lately. Just floating off into nowhere. I think it’s probably because I’ve been listening to some dreamy music and doing dreamy things.

Rubies- I Feel Electric (TieDye Remix)
It Hugs Back- Other Cars Go
BangGang- It’s Alright
Eluvium- Indoor Swimming At The Space Station
Emily Jane White- Wild Tigers I Have Known

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My friend Asaf shared something really special with me… the music of his dental hygienist, Linda Perhacs. You read right, Asaf gets his teeth cleaned by an obscure 70’s psych-folk singer. We should all be so lucky. I don’t know much about Linda, other than, she put out one album in 1970 called Parallelograms, she probably dropped a lot of acid, and she loves turtlenecks (I received confirmation that she sports a turtleneck while cleaning teeth, which, considering that she lives in Southern California, is more for fashion’s sake than neck warmth. I love this woman!).
Linda Perhacs – Chimacum Rain
Linda Perhacs – Dolphins
Linda Perhacs – Parralellograms

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Detroit Makes Good

Several years ago, Invincible did a show with Ted Leo & the Pharmacists at the local hole-in-the-wall club (the indispensable Howard’s Club H – may you remain just as beautiful and run-down forever, my son) in Bowling Green, OH, where I was going to school. Thinking hip hop from Ann Arbor was probably about as awesome as a Danielle Steele sci-fi novel, I didn’t even get to the club until she was wrapping up her set. No amazing conversion, either: I just ignored the little I heard and moved on (Ted Leo was unstoppable, incidentally).

Fast forward: Invincible drops her first album, Shapeshifters, in June (ten years in the making) and totally warps my summer; on the back of this album, I’m listening to hip hop almost exclusively. I feel like it’s an appropriate penance for skipping her show back then. This is absolutely amazing work for two reasons: the music and the politics. I’ll let the music speak for itself – it’s below. And, like she says, “You want good music? You’ve gotta support it.” As for the praxis, Ilana is one of the most politically aware musical artists I’ve ever heard, wrapping a populist agenda to an awareness of local issues that’s just… inspiring. Check it out.

Invincible – Looongawaited

Invincible – Shapeshifters

Invincible – Locusts (Featuring Finale, Gwen Mingo & Ron Scott)

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