Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds @ MSG’s WAMU Theater 10/4 2008 (Finally!)

Current mood: awake
Category: Music

When I saw the Bad Seeds back in 2003, Nick parted ways that evening with these last words of death: "See you in 2 years." A phrase that was to surly haunt me. And sure enough it did. 2 years came. 2 years went. it wasn't until double that time came to pass that I had a chance to see Nick with Grinderman(his side project with half his usual band)play just last year, opening for the White Stripes @ MSG. I really hate that venue for music. I love the White Stripes but I really got the tickets for Grinderman. I couldn't have been farther away from the stage in my seats. And while my nose was bleeding all over myself I couldn't help but notice that I was sorta surrounded by other Nick Cave fans--who probably sprung for tickets the same way I did when I found that Nick was asked to support the show, and only a few weeks in advance. Grinderman only played 2 shows in the US, period.

Aside from the Grinderman record, a B-sides box set, and 2 other records(including 1 double record, among other things)went almost completely unsupported this side of the pond. So, needless to say, I've waited quite a while to see those Bad Seeds again(5 Years!).

As for the show, Nick was GREAT! And I wouldn't put it past him not to be. He played more off the new one(get the NEW one)than I initially remembered, 2 off the last one(Get ready for Love, Orpheus). nothing off Nocturama. From No More Shal We Part--Love Letter! God is in the House (both slightly UP versions). The usual classics, Tupelo, and the one about the electric chair(the Mercy Seat). He threw in a fantastic updated version of Hard on for Love(another old one). and closed it with the very typical Stagger Lee.

... He also played Henry's Dream, Deanna(always a fav--nodding to Bonni and Clyde),Red Right Hand(with Mick Harvey simulating those organ solos with his guitar--also without that set of percussions once amassed to one side of the stage--they had 2 drum kits instead, and smaller percussions), and happily played the Weeping Song without Blixa (obviously). Blixa, who left the band via E-mail the day before I saw them in 2003 for full time in his original Industrial band. He was replaced very quickly--yet he is still loved--even though he seemingly did very little(and in that defence he could be considered a Minimalist as he displayed alot of the small textures that you otherwise wouldn't notice).

Blixa's replacement was replaced by Warren Ellis(so no extra guitar player this time). If you remember him during Grinderman, he was playing that very tiny electric guitar looking thing. I believe, since he's always amplifying and distorting that snake moaning violin of his, and playing it like a guitar, I figured his new toy is tuned like a violin and plays that instead on a few numbers. And, of course, when introduced, you bet his back was turned to the audience, not unlike many other occasions.

I'm just starting to like the new record, a lot, you see... New songs played included: Dig Lazarus Dig, Today's Lesson, We Call upon the Author to Explain, Midnight man, Albert Goes West, and possibly opened with Jesus on the Moon, Dig was 2nd. Making that a 18 song set(21 in 2003). Isn't that short? But I'm not complaining--Goodness NO-wave! I guess some of the songs are long ones. I'm amazed how I remember all this. I guess it's still fresh in my head--How often does Nick come around anyway?

Too short, but great show! Noisily GREAT! (Finally!)

Currently listening :
Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
By Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Release date: 2008-04-08

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bo Diddley Is Jesus

Just try and guess my title reference. Anyhow, I had the pleasure and honer of seeing the man in person at the first Garage Fest. Really! As soon as he hit the stage everyone turned around, stopped everything, even in mid conversation, and just went up, crowded around the stage to watch and listen. You can bet I did just that.

NPR.org, June 2, 2008 - One of the fathers of rock 'n' roll died Monday at the age of 79. Bo Diddley was born Ellas Bates in Mississippi and grew up in Chicago, where he played guitar on street corners before being discovered by Chess Records. He leaves behind a sound that helped build a musical movement.

Diddley's signature rhythm, among the most distinctive beats in rock 'n' roll, can be heard on songs like "Who Do You Love?" and "Bo Diddley." Scholars trace the pattern to church tambourines, West African drumming, and a hand-patting rhythm called Hambone that goes back to slavery. But Diddley told the public radio show American Routes that he found it someplace else.

"I was trying to play 'I Got Spurs That Jingle Jangle Jingle' by Gene Autrey, and stumbled upon that beat," Diddley said.

The beat may have come from a television cowboy, but later, Diddley described it as "basically an Indian chant."

"Just picture dancing around a daggone big fire, dancing around with their spears," he told Morning Edition in an interview.

Regardless of the beat's source, music historian Peter Guralnick says that Diddley made it big enough for everyone.

"That was just an invitation for people to step into," Guralnick says. "Lots of people imitated it; lots of people carried it on."

These people included Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Springsteen.

"It's almost as if he foreshadowed James Brown in the sense in which rhythm predominated over melody and the usual conventions of pop songwriting," Guralnick says. "I think it's a tribute to Bo Diddley that it has lasted as long as it has."

But Diddley said that while rhythm was important, the secret to good songwriting lay in something else.

"A story with some funny lyrics, or some serious lyrics, or some love-type lyrics," Diddley said. "But you gotta think in terms of what people's lives is based on."

He took his own advice: Many of Bo Diddley's most famous songs were about Bo Diddley. Diddley was sent to Chicago as a child and adopted by his mother's sister. Deeply religious, she tried to steer the young man from the devil's music with violin lessons. He built violins and guitars at a vocational high school.

Diddley later met Gene Barge, a staffer at Chess Records.

"He was gifted with his hands," Barge says. "He loved to work on things: cars, record players, amplifiers. And he made his guitars. He crafted his whole sound."

Some of Diddley's guitars were custom-built to his specifications by the Gretsch company: shaped like stars or covered in fur. Barge says that long before Diddley worked audiences, he worked odd jobs and construction.

"He told me he was working one of the air hammers in the middle of the street that makes all this terrible noise," Barge says.

Diddley's music drew from the sounds of the Chicago streets where he first performed, and his name came from street-corner slang.

"Bo Diddley means that a guy was something extra-special or a real pistol," Barge says.

Barge says that in addition to playing rock, blues inspired by John Lee Hooker, calypso, and Latin-tinged blues, Bo Diddley was something of a comedian. He joined up with a female sideman –- the Duchess -– and Jerone Greene on maracas for songs like the 1958 hit "Say Man," which featured Greene and Diddley trading playful insults.

"Say Man" was Diddley's only Top 40 pop hit. His other classic tunes never crossed over from the R&B charts, and his style of rock eventually fell out of fashion. Diddley became bitter over how others had profited from his sound. He sold the rights to his songs to pay his bills, and his living came from constant touring. Toward the end of his career, Diddley toyed with rap and even returned — more or less — to his early classical training.

"I wrote a concerto that I wrote on the guitar," Diddley said. "It's called 'Bo's Concerto.'"

By Neda Ulaby NPR

Friday, February 22, 2008

Daniel Johnston @ Highline Ballroom 2/21 2008

I just started seeing shows again.

I'm usually the guy with an extra ticket. I didn't get a ticket for Daniel Johnston, but I didn't want to miss the show either. So I thought I'd just show up and either buy one(chancy)or I'd buy one off someone. WRONG! Little did I know that there would be an already established Stand-by line. Met some kid named Tim at the end of it. Doors at 7, it was already 8! About, 40 mins later it started to get colder. Thought I'd be fine as long as I could still feel my feet. Guy to the right in a hoody... MISTAKE! He was getting text updates from a friend inside, "The opening act is on!" Getting colder. Little by little people start bailing out of the line, mostly from the wrong end. Even colder, also wind. It's well after 9. The man at the door with the little heater next to him, his only instruction for us is "Stand by." I seem to remember that I missed seeing the Fall at this venue, something that I kick myself for form time to time. Guy on the right reads a new text, "Daniel is going on, like now!" Stand-by line was getting a bit flustered. I was surprised that I haven't felt the affect of skipping dinner to buy 15 mins for the train from Westchester. I get a phone call, it's my brother and not my friend who is inside, who's spare ticket was spoken for. "Stand by!" Starting to lose feeling in my toes... And what's with these kids in hoodies?!?! Do they WANT to DIE?!?! New text, "Daniel is on and I don't think they're gonna let anyone else in." Looks grim, a few more people bail the line, still wrong end. "Stand by!" We fantasise about cutting limbs of the nearest tree and setting it ablaze, as we a do a new dance called "The Big Freeze!" Just then, a sign of life! Man comes out, "You can get mad but we only can let 25 of you in." They start the count. The venue is attached to a Western Beef, a grocery store, a WARM grocery store, that we all avoided to not miss out on what could ultimately happen seconds later. It would be the first place I go to remedy any current ailments; food, warmth, beer, something heavy to hit things with... 24, 25! It was 9:40--Tim was number 25, and I was ahead of Tim!

They corralled us up to the balcony. Danny was playing the end of his first solo set. Then introduces his college buddy for his guitar accompaniment. That was a nice set. THEN, they come out with the band and start off with Speeding Motorcycle. Different from last time, upright bass, the keyboardist was good but a little sloppy. It was a much bigger band set-up. As a whole, the band did some nice things but fell apart around Daniel a couple of times. It was a very good show though. Daniel is a pretty amazing person. He's prolific, and consistently good! I was only lucky enough I found a decent place to stand.

I'm still waiting for a new record!

Here's some clips of what the band sounded like:

"Speeding Motorcycle"
"True Love Will Find You in The End"
"Rock and Roll Ega"

"Mean Girls" (without band)

Currently listening :

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Daniel Johnston performs tomorrow night in NYC!

Current mood: adventurous
Category: Music

And I don't have a ticket!!! I have an older blog from when I got to see him a year ago(in a larger venue!) If you want to see how much I appretiate him and his art and music, take a look.

Damn small venue! Anyhow, I'm chancing it anyway! So, if YOU'VE got a ticket... I'll see you there!



Currently listening :
No More Shall We Part
By Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Release date: 10 April, 2001

Yet some more (salvaged) Myspace Blogs

Wednesday, August 29, 2007
R.I.P. Hilly Kristal (CBGB)
Current mood: blank
R.I.P. Hilly Kristal-------------------------------------------------------------------------CBGB Founder, Hilly Kristal Dies at Age 75 NEW YORK, Aug. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It is with deep sadnessand regret that we inform you of the death of Hilly Kristal, who died onTuesday, August 28, 2007 from complications from Lung Cancer. Kristal, 75,founded the legendary rock club CBGB and ran the club for 33 years. Asinger and songwriter himself, Kristal opened the club to showcase "CountryBluegrass and Blues"; instead the club became a breeding ground for Punkrock. Among the many acts that called CBGB home were Blondie, the TalkingHeads, Television, Living Color, Patti Smith and the Ramones. The clubclosed in October 2006, but CBGB continues, with a retail store in New YorkCity and worldwide merchandise sales; in addition, there currently areplans to open new CBGB clubs in several locations.Kristal is survived by his daughter, Lisa Kristal Burgman, son, MarkDana Kristal, son-in-law Ger Burgman, grandchildren Jenny and Adam Burgman,CBGB, and the thousands of artists and musicians who played the club.A private memorial service is planned. A public memorial will be heldat a later date. Contributions in Hilly's honor may be made in his name tothe American Cancer Society or to the Hilly Kristal Foundation forMusicians and Artists (168 Second Avenue, PMB 207, New York, NY 10003).SOURCE CBGB
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I can only end this blog with Hilly introducing the Dead Boys. Probably thee greatest performance @ CBGBs! Try to turn this one way up. Joey Ramone and Hilly are responsible for ever bringing you THE DEAD BOYYYYYYYYYYYYYSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Check out this video: dead boys
dead'>http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=5834605">dead boys
http://lads.myspace.com/videos/vplayer.swf" flashvars="m=5834605&v=2&type=video" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="430" height="346">
Add to My Profile More'>http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.home">More Videos

Currently listening : ¡Adios Amigos! By The Ramones Release date: 02 August, 2005
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ben Kweller @ Southpaw July 31st
Current mood: cold Category: Music

I went to see Ben Kweller @ Southpaw July 31st. for 'On My Way' night from his 3 night stint playing all 3 records, each night playing one of his records in it's entirety. I went on 2nd record night!
It was also a pleasent supprise that Adam Green opened. That was exciting! An all acustic performance, playing a bunch of stellar new tunes as well as old. He even sported 'Losing On A Tuesday' (one of my personal favs!) Now i have to get him to play 'Hairy Women.'
Ben's oncore consisted of fans picking songs out of the customed 'On My Way' box where we exibited one of the 'special' jamed out versions of a song slated for 3rd record night. I forget wich song right now but it was totally bluesed out!
So, apparently this was also the night that was FILMED... and here it is!!!
BackstagePassTV (by BackstagePass)
Powered by ManiaTV.com
If, for some reason, you're having trouble with this viewer, click the link below and find episode 1: Ben Kweller

I really like BK's music. There's just something about him and his music that I feel he and I operate on similar plains...
or do we just shop at the same clothing stores?

Currently listening : Eternally Yours By The Saints Release date: 09 September, 1997
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Wednesday, July 11, 2007
it's the SoNiC TV eYe FuN Time BIRTHDAY sUpRiSe!!! Current mood: anxious Category: Art and Photography
For my Birthday(tomorrow) try and name everyone you possibly can in this sonic youth video for teenage riot(other than SY). Pleeeeeeeeeaasse!!!

Here Are the Sonics By The Sonics Release date: 01 June, 1999
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007
R.I.P. Don Herbert (Mr. Wizard) Current mood: anxious Category: Dreams and the Supernatural
R.I.P. Don Herbert (Mr. Wizard) 1917-2007


Currently listening : Black Lips! By Black Lips Release date: 18 March, 2003
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007
thejesusandmarychain 5\22 @ Webster Hall Current mood: busy Category: Romance and Relationships
I'm rather TORN. Yet, there are 2 bands that have made up for my not seeing Sonic YOUth support their last record. Deer Hoof, so much fun! And then there was the Jesus And Mary Chain! My goodness, how on earth did THAT come to pass?!?!? They only reunited just last month! And there I was, woundering how that was comming along... and boom, I snag tickets a week in advance! You know!!! I had to wait 2 whole years for thoes Pixies to come around!
They started with a non-abrasive version of 'Never Understand,' and ended with their cover of Syd Barrett's 'Vegetable Man.' No 'I Hate Rock 'n Roll,' but that's OK. The night did seem to go fast, and my only complaint was that I didn't get tickets for both nights.

I realy love this band.

Their NEW performance on Letterman is up on Youtube(All Things Must Pass). There is one older one up too(Far Gone And Out).
Check them Out!
Person Pitch By Panda Bear Release date: 05 April, 2007
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Daniel Johnston 5\15\2007 (follow-up) Current mood: sleepy Category: Music
It was funny how he walked by us suddenly while on the will-call line. No support acts, goes on about 9. Just him, his nylon string guitar, played a couple songs like that--I felt like we where all flies on the wall seeing something secret and rare.
Then introduces a long-time friend who played very nice steel-string guitar. They played a bunch like that, ie. 'Tell Me Now' witch, in it's intimate set-up, garnered the obvious audience reactions... 'I do!'

Comes almost right back on stage for the 2nd set, with band! I won't tell you what they played because I don't believe in seeing what set lists look like before seeing an artist on tour. It kinda ruins it for me, you know, the element of surprise is a very important thing--it's true! Though I will tell you what he didn't play, songs that I might have liked to hear(yet I was quite satisfied with the everything).
Personal neglected favs are as follows: Love wheel, My Life Is Starting Over Again, and Phsyco Nightmare. See, not too bad.
He played for a good while, through in some choice banter, and there you have it! the making of a great performance by Daniel Johnston.
Today I saw my friend at work, I told him that I had just seen Mr. Johnston the night before. He looks at me, then asks. "Isn't he dead?"
Currently listening : Fear Yourself By Daniel Johnston Release date: 25 March, 2003
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Monday, May 14, 2007
Daniel Johnston: not so late, still so great! Category: Dreams and the Supernatural
Tomorrow evening I will be attending a Daniel Johnston concert. As soon as I punch that punch-out clock right in the face, I'm high-tailing it down to ol' brooklyn and I'm gonna have me a grand time, swell even!
You wish you where there, yes, I know... I know.
Welp, I must rest up now,
Currently listening : Summerteeth By Wilco Release date: 09 March, 1999