The Dodos, c/o Clarissa Roudabush
The Dodos absolutely killed it last night, putting on an enrapturing show at Spiegeltent. Fans are well acquainted with their sound and stage presence – what can start simply as a folky-country acoustic ballad can rapidly accelerate and capture more exotic elements, chattering percussion, and singer Meric Long’s lullaby-quality voice keeps up with the pace.
Spiegelworld (a colorful venue and a diamond in the rough of South Street Seaport’s tourist vortex) pleasantly proved itself as an intimate and appropriate space for the group. The duo were aided with extra percussion and bells on multiple songs, and they played a vibrant selection from their two LPs, including ‚”Men,” ‚”The Ball,” and ‚”Fools” ‚Äì the latter with an extra-long intro. The Dodos were perfectly syncopated with each other throughout the set, which is crucial for their unique cadence and rhythms. Thus even as the set felt moderately short, nobody was left disappointed (especially when the band closed with a gorgeous new song, which was thoroughly embraced by the audience.)
And let’s not forget the opening set by innovative experimental group Au (pronounced like ‚”A.U.,” as lead singer Luke Wyland clarified at the end of their set.) The Portland-based duo played a hefty serving of songs off their new album Verbs, and the presentation was simultaneously graceful and calamitous. Au’s shimmering psychedelic semblance often interrupted itself via animalistic shrieks, brilliantly strong drum solos (courtesy of drummer Dana Vlatka – ex-Jackie-O_Motherfucker, Mustaphamond) and glass bells, a touch of xylophone, and even a melodica (!).
It was a bit of a stunner seeing two bands with only five guys total between them, exuding that level of sonorous vigor and making so much (good) noise. Au + The Dodos = well-earned total approval.
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Archive for September, 2008
Jay McInerney has a great article in the current New York. It gives a quick shout-out to FREEwilliamsburg founder, Robert Lanham’s The Hipster Handbook
Hipsters believed they were the ultimate anti-yuppies. Unlike their forebears, they wanted to be known not by their job or ambition but by their self-conscious disregard for either. If anything, the cult of connoisseurship was even more exaggerated in this subgroup. Their code, enshrined in Robert Lanham’s hyperironic 2003 Hipster Handbook, was inherently elitist, defining itself in opposition to the mainstream. Hipster consumerism championed the notions of alternative and independent, rejecting the yuppie embrace of certain consumer brands in favor of their own. So it was vintage T-shirts rather than Turnbull & Asser dress shirts with spread collars, Pabst Blue Ribbon over Chardonnay. But ultimately, whether you love Starbucks or loathe it, a world in which we are defined by our choice of blue jeans and coffee beans owes more to Alex Keaton than to Abbie Hoffman.
You can read it all here.
image via animal
I just wasted a decent portion of my morning sitting on the L train, waiting for it to lurch forward. The conductor blamed fire/smoke in the tunnel, and looking ahead you could see another train stopped at the next station. The whole line is basically closed between 8th Ave. and Myrtle. Avoid until further notice! Use your bike, or give Metro-line a call (718-388-1800) if you’re headed into the city.
image via flickr user gazclark
Lou Reed is so fucking cool. On Friday, I got the chance to check out a copy of the new rockumentary by the Weinstein Co., Lou Reed’s Berlin, shot at a show last year at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. It’s the ultimate videographic culmination for one of our most influential children of New York City, and it focuses on an album largely ignored by Lou Reed’s more mainstream fanbase.
If you’re unaware of the cultural significance of the album, Wikipedia’s got a great entry summing it all up, but to sum it up it was originally a dark yet critically acclaimed 1973 album by Lou Reed which chronicled the downward spiral of a junkie couple, set in the city of its name. The tragic and dark rock opera was essentially shelved in Lou Reed’s mind for most of his career, until 2007 gave him the chance to tour for it with full support, backed by the Brooklyn Youth Orchestra and a hand-selected group of world class musicians.
In the film, Julian Schnabel injects images of Christine through dreamy sequences which expose the life of Reed’s drug-addled protagonist, as shot by Schnabel’s daughter Lola. It’s not exactly party footage, but Reed doesn’t always provide a walk on the wildside without giving a lesson in storytelling first. Julian Schnabel’s Berlin comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray tomorrow, and from what I can tell, you can get it for less than $20 on Amazon.
From it’s short theater run back in June, the NYPost has a review that you can check out for some more info. Below the jump, see one fan’s really silly “interpretation” of Caroline Says II in Second Life.
Tina Fey returned to SNL on Saturday night to give the world another incredible performance as Sarah Palin, as interviewed by Katie Couric. Incredibly, this skit isn’t even originally written, they just reenact parts of the actual transcript! It’s so well done, and even though Tina doesn’t want to spend the next whatever of her career playing Sarah Palin, its clips like this that makes us wish she’d reconsider. We hate her too, Tina, but you’re just so freaking perfect at the impersonation!
Or, watch it at NBC.
Pinback‘s music is a blend of chilled out, dusky melodies that echo and weave together gracefully with a minimalist feel. Last night was certainly mellow and sedate, as Rob Crow and Zach Smith exchanged their signature vocals and laid back stage presences.
Kylesa jumped the night off with a blistering set of death metal, complete with male/female screams, severe headbanging, finger tapping, and frequent guitar solos. The group’s dual lead singers, guitarists, and double drummers generated a booming and somewhat disorienting set.
Pinback’s execution of their material got off to a bumpy start, with some sound problems and even voices cracking. The issues were no doubt in part due to the recent departure of their keyboardist Terrin Durfey, who has unfortunately been fighting cancer (for more information or to help donate $, please click here!). In his stead was a new keyboard guy, Braden, who had only a week or so joined on.
After nearly a 1/2 hour of weaker playing, the group did tighten up and engaged some fan favorites for the audience, including ‚”Tripoli,” ‚”Loro,” and ‚”Fortress” in a more potent manner. All throughout the set, a screen setup behind the musicians played a montage of video from the film ‚”Dark Star” (from which Pinback took their name), trippy underwater scenes, and Pinback’s own music videos ‚Äì and I’m convinced that the footage did a great deal to augment the set and make it somewhat less, well, boring.
All criticisms aside, Pinback played for the better part of 90 minutes, and they did an excellent job of throwing in fan favorites like ‚”Penelope” and ‚”Bloods on Fire.” It’s possible that the lineup problems circulating around them distracted them a bit, or maybe we’re just spoiled here in NYC and we’re used to seeing bands give 150% energy and enthusiasm for having the opportunity to play here. Whatever the case, the show was distinctively relaxed, yet also extensive in terms of Pinback’s musical catalogue and their unpretentious relationships with their fans and each other.
Pissed Jeans, c/o KEXP
If campfires, acoustic guitar, and comedic storytelling aren’t going to suit you tonight (see our previous post about Campfire on the Canal), then we’re recommending tonight’s show at The Market Hotel. The lil’ venue under the J/M/Z train at Myrtle Avenue is hosting Pissed Jeans, a noisy punk from Allentown, PA. The boys are also playing next weekend (Oct. 4th, to be precise) at Glasslands.
With openers Crystal Stilts, we’re forecasting a brilliant night, with lots of sweat and potential tinnitus.
8 pm, $8