Tuesday, March 18, 2008

El Guincho @ Mercury Lounge - Mar 17, 2008

My Name is Pablo Diaz

I'm gonna write this review in Spanish just because I feel like doing it and the guy I am going to talk about is from Spain. It probably would be better for him if a couple of English speaking people get to know about him, but I am tired and I hope you understand some. If you don't understand, I am going to summarize it for you: El Guincho was the best performer last night at Mercury Lounge, by far, and I bet he is gonna be big this year, if he is not already.


Antes de que Pablo subiera al escenario sólo había un soporte en X con etiquetas de aeropuertos, una tabla vieja encima para sostener su sampler Roland SP-404 y una pandereta, y un bombo de batería al lado. Aunque el sampler se notaba que era de menos perfil que el que Panda Bear utiliza (las comparaciones entre estos dos son inevitables), ya parecía que El Guincho iba a hacer más. Definitivamente hizo mucho más.

Cuando Pablo subió al escenario se notaba lo sencillo que era. Obvio, Hispano tenía que ser. Se presentó simplemente diciendo cual era su nombre, que era originalmente de Barcelona y presionó play. Enseguida, armado de una baqueta, empezó a golpear su tambor y mesa, sutilmente haciendo que su pandereta sonara sin necesidad de golpearla directamente, y con su voz nos ofreció casi toda su Alegranza!.


Alegranza! es el nombre de su álbum debut, un álbum que después del espectacular Person Pitch de Panda Bear el año pasado, probablemente será poco apreciado. De lo que se pierden. Alegranza! tiene tantos momentos cálidos (Latinos, Españoles y hasta Africanos) que abrigan cualquier buen par de oidos, y es menos perezoso que el otro susodicho álbum haciendo que le den a uno ganas de salir enseguida pa'tierra caliente a tomarse unos tragos, caipiriñas como para estar a tono, y bailar debajo del sol.

En vivo Alegranza! se traduce aún mejor. Aunque dentro del Mercury Lounge me hizo falta el sol de 80 grados de temperatura, la toalla de baño y la compañía, la fiesta si que no hizo falta. Pocos parece que habían disfrutado el álbum antes de ir a verlo en vivo, si es que acaso lo conocían y no estaban allá sólo por los decepcionantes Cut Copy, pero se dejaron contagiar. Palmitos Park, Antillas, Kalise y Prez Lagarto hicieron que la gente se moviera y le dieran el si con su cabeza (típico movimiento de alguien en un concierto cuando el asunto le gusta, cierto?), pero cuando Cuando Maravilla Fui sonó se sintió en serio la emoción alrededor. Fué la que le puso la estampilla final de excelencia al show... Pablo se lució.


El Guincho fué la segunda banda de la noche en el Mercury Lounge, y de dos que vi (la otra fué Cut Copy), de lejos fué la mejor. Su set fueron 30 minutos de Alegranza! que no tuvieron casi pausa, salvo para contarnos que su sampler estaba mamándole gallo, y básicamente nos dejó Plop!, porque mal nada sonó. La gente respondió pidiéndole una canción más (desde cuando un opener teniendo encore?) y con Costa Paraiso El Guincho cerró el show.

Antes de que el concierto comenzara noté que no estaban vendiendo el CD en el lugar, así que le pregunté al mismo Guincho por qué y me contó que el todavía no tenía visa de trabajo, así que no podía vender sus CDs ni cobrar por el show. Me dijo casi que al oido que su álbum estaba en internet, y pues yo me reí. Obvio, le dije, por qué cree que estoy aquí? Saque esa visa rápido y nos vemos en Bowery Ballroom a la próxima más bien, viejo. [fotos del show]

♫♫♫♫♫

Were you at the show? How did you like it?


El Guincho Links: Stream Alegranza!Live at SXSW, MySpace, Blog, Wiki

Friday, March 14, 2008

Matthew Dear @ Hiro Ballroom - Mar 13, 2008

Don't Go This Way

Matthew Dear's debut album Asa Breed is one of the most underrated albums of 2007. Even myself, who bought it and listened to it quite a few times, didn't realize how much I like it. All those perceptions came up last night when I saw Matthew Dear's live show, as Big Hands, where he clearly showed he is one of the most defying genre mixers in electronic music right now. I don't know if I write that right (excuse me, English is not my first language), but I think you got the idea. I left Hiro Ballroom last night quite impressed.


Last year I missed out when Matthew played a show at Mercury Lounge in support of his fantastic Asa Breed, but since I knew he moved to NYC I figured there were going to come plenty of opportunities to see him live at least once. Well, it hadn't been quite like that. Even though Matthew has been playing around, it turns out he has several monikers to do it. As a DJ, that is as Audion, he has played several times this year and I have heard he is decent and knows how to carry a party on, but that he is nothing really special at it. As a live act, I can be now one more person to tell you that he is nothing lesser than excellent.


Matthew came out sometime around midnight in some extremely tight black pants. I don't know how he was standing, cause I doubt there was any blood going down to his feet. He looks like his music... elegant, sort of European style, but with a mix of a latin and hipster look. Mr. Dear stands in front of his band, a drummer and a bassist, with his voice manipulator, a computer and his moves. Nice moves. We were delighted with the best songs of Asa Breed and a couple of new songs, including the one that recently has been posted on all blogs around, the icy Don't Go This Way. This new song was not included on his debut album, adn hearing how good it is I wonder what else he has kept hidden. Show us Mathhew. [photos of the show]

♫♫♫♫♪

Were you at the show? How did you like it?


Matthew Dear Links: Stream Asa Breed, Official Website, MySpace, Wikipedia, at Ghostly

Black Lips @ Bowery Ballroom - Mar 10, 2008

I was born ready for this

Not much has changed in Black Lips world since last time I saw them. They put on one of my best live shows last year. Since it was that good, I came back last Monday to see them again and they sent me back home feeling like I was 18 one more time.


The next day after the show I read on some blogs people complaining about how Black Lips' music appeals so much to 16 years old guys and girls and hence it diminishes it. Yeah , that's stupid. I mean, I bet your 15 year old brother or sister love ice cream, so therefore ice cream sucks? Of course not, so just admit it... you are old and they have better taste in music. Suck it up.


This time Black Lips started the show playing their Good Bad Not Evil with I Saw a Ghost (Lean) and Katrina right after. They were killers, right from the beginning, and kept it up the rest of the show with almost no time between songs. There was crowd surfing, as always, and the dancing seriously never stopped. In the middle of my enjoying (yes, I was dancing with your 16 year old brothers) I heard Boomerang, a song I don't remember right now its name but that it has the word "abandoned" somewhere, Bad Kids, Dirty Hands, Buried Alive, Cold Hands, Lost and Found, Everybody is Doing It, and a cover of a King Khan & the Shrines song. Awesome.


I think I have a crush on Cole. He is the rocker in the picture above. So Cole, if you happen to read this one day and you happen to be gay, just leave a comment somewhere here and I'll make sure I get back to you. Please keep being as crazy and cute as you are... I like to spread the word of a punk singer, with a drunk voice and a Colombian mom, who has visited the city where I was born. How come we didn't meet there?


Coming back to earth, perhaps the only difference between the two Black Lips shows I've seen is that this time they did play an encore, cause I remember having some time to breath. I remember they played the nice Veni Vidi Vici, one more song, and then they were gone to smoke some weed. Time to record another great record guys. [photos of the show]

♫♫♫♫♫

Were you at the show? How did you like it?


Black Lips Links: Stream Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo, Official Website, Youtube (Recommended), Black Lips' Middle East Summer Vacation Part 1 and Part 2, MySpace, Vice Records, Wikipedia, Blog

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sam Amidon @ Mercury Lounge - Mar 09, 2008

All Is Well

Not too many times I decide to leave my home on a Sunday night, especially after having a cold the whole week, to go to see a show. Sam Amidon's All Is Well made such a good impression on me a couple of weeks ago that I got myself on my car to see him at the very intimate Mercury Lounge.


All Is Well sounds indeed like a very intimate album, perfect for the venue, and on it Sam sounds like if he was having monologues along all its 10 songs as a first-person narrator. Live it gets engaging. When he talks he sparks charisma all around, and when he hits the first notes on his guitar or tambourine, and take some distance from the mic, he suffers a transformation that transports everyone around to join him in his borrowed memories. As I read on Pitchfork, All Is Well is not all original by Sam, but he does embraces it like it was his own. It should be his own.


Sam has a lazy voice. He reminded me of ventriloquists. He has to give some good distance from his mic, still sounding loud enough, and by barely moving his mouth, he can make noises that might surprise you.

Most of the set was off All Is Well (I remember Little Johnny Brown, Saro, Oh Death), and the songs I didn't identify I guess they came from the other album I saw he was selling, But This Chicken Proves Falsehearted. For those of you who know him a bit better and have seen his cool, he didn't play any Tears for Fears cover, but he did play some imaginary drum set at the same time his invited drummer hit a real one. Ah, he also did some dumb-ass amateur breakdancing. Cute. [pics of the show]

♫♫♫♫

Were you at the show? How did you like it?


Samamidon Links: Stream All Is Well, Official Website, MySpace