Sunday, May 25, 2008

Black Moth Super Rainbow / Subtle @ Knitting Factory - Fri May 23, 2008

Black Moth Super Subtle

I usually do not review the opening bands of the shows I attend, but this time, having the hard work of opening for the very alive band Subtle, it would be stupid to deny how mind blowing Black Moth Super Rainbow were.

[Black Moth Super Rainbow][Subtle]

These two bands are not characterized for playing pleasant music for everybody. Black Moth Super Rainbow plays something I like to call electronic folk, with plenty of vocoder, and Subtle a very original mix of hip-hop and rock, let's say hip rock. To my ears, their best albums are their new ones, Dandelion Gum and Exiting Arm, respectively, and some of the most underrated recent releases that come to my mind (although Subtle's is very very new, but as with their previous albums I am sure it will be ignored by mostly everybody). But I guess if you are reading this you probably have heard of them already, maybe own some of their albums, and want to know how the tour is going. I am going to be brief cause I have another show tonight. In short words: It is going great, you gotta see BMSR asap and I think I missed one rapper in Subtle's lineup.

BMSR got on stage with a lot of equipment, this time with a couple of girls, one playing drums and the other one playing synthesizers, and four guys, one on bass, one on guitar (and a huge metal plate), one on keyboards, and the singer on the vocoder. It was seriously good. Most of the time I just closed my eyes and let myself travel in a gigantic gum bubble. I think their forthcoming free show at McCarren Pool, under the sun with a cool Brooklyn lager, will be one of the best shows of the summer.

Subtle was very good too, although not as moving to me as the opener, even tho they don't lack of energy and sweat . On stage they were a guy on manual drum machines, a drummer, a guy with an electric cello and Doseone, their frontman, on keyboards, samples and the craziest vocals you are to hear this year. Man, the guy has the sickest tongue around. Ah I almost forgot, Tunde (of TV on the Radio) showed up to back Doseone on vocals for one song, and "Hour Hero Yes" was present too. I have recently had on repeat their awesome Exiting Arm and comparing to that I think on record there is one more person rapping back and forth sometimes with Doseone, but that persone was not two days ago there. I heard about a van accident a couple of years ago, which left one of the Subtle guys quadriplegic... maybe that is that guy.

This gotta be the worst review I have ever writtien, especially for such a good show, but I gotta go to see Apparat (and Telefon Tel Aviv). [photos of the show]


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

Sutble Links: Stream For Hero: For Fool, Official Website, MySpace, Wiki
Black Moth Super Rainbow Links: Stream Dandelion Gum, Official Website, MySpace, Wiki

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hercules & Love Affair @ Studio B - Sat May 17, 2008

You Belong

If you follow dance music in NYC, then we were sometime in the same place, Studio B, on Saturday night, or you got sick drunk at the GBH anniversary party at Webster Hall and didn't make it to Greenpoint. Hercules & Love Affair played their first official show in support of their self-titled (awesome) debut album and it wasn't bad for a beginning.

After a painful waiting until 1:10 am or so, the band took the stage wearing oversized hercules tees with the word "banjee" stamped across in the middle, with a couple of trumpets, couple of synthesizers, drums, bass, H&LA's mastermind Andrew Butler behind synthesizers, keyboards and who knows what else, and two of the three H&LA's cool singers: Kim Ann and Nomi (no, Antony was not there). It's pretty funny tho, H&LA features a mix of cool homosexuals, or at least they look like them: Andy has the looks of a gay bear type, Kim is a girl in need of some dancing classes, who probably likes girls, and Nomi, well, she is the hottest transsexual I've seen in a long time. Ah yeah, she sings pretty well, and amazingly, she can pull Antony's vocals off when he is not on board, which is both not an easy job at all and will happen a lot.

Show started slow with True False/Fake Real, which closes Hercules & Love Affair (have I mentioned already how good this album is?). It was clear that the band hadn't been playing live. Both Kim and Nomi sang here. Kim initially looked timid and dancing awkwardly, asking permission to one leg to move the other one, but I guess it all was understandable nervousism. Her moves won me over shortly after though. Next Kim gave so much of her in Shadows, Blind's B-side, that her moves then looked cute to me. Her singing was great. I hadn't heard that song before, like mostly everybody else in the room because no one was really dancing or singing yet, just staring at the good interpretation, but it was so good that I am so buying that single when it comes out here, if ever.

The very sensual Nomi was a different story... she knows how to dance in short sexy outfits. It wasn't until hints of Blind, the best dance track of this 2008, were played that excitement was all over the club. Definitely, the decidable moment of the show. It was meant to make the statement of whether Nomi was going to suck taking over Antony's vocals or not. She surely did not suck tho, she was fantastic and looked great at it. Look, she even changed her dress along the show... very old style. She's a diva:

Later, when she sang Belong I fully realized she was indeed the voice behind that track on H&LA. Like her looks, she definitely sounds like a man with a soft voice or a girl with a thicker one... a really good one for disco style.

I thought the show was too short, but now that I look at the set list it wasn't really that short for a band with just one album... maybe I feel that way because the album is so good that you want to hear live all of it. This is what they played:

True False/Fake Real
I'm Telling You

Classique #2 (really good!)
Precious Little Diamond (a cover of Fox the Fox's?)
You Belong
Raise Me Up
Hercules Theme

There were two new songs to my ears, two songs that are not on H&LA: I'm Telling You and Precious Little Diamond. I don't remember how good Precious was, and in fact whether it was a cover or not (?), but I'm telling you, I'm Telling You was excellent. So, where can I find that song?

Overall it was a good show with some weak moments. Sound was not the best, there were several technical problems in between songs, Kim didn't do a great job singing Raise Me Up (understandable too because no one else has Antony's tubes!), Hercules Theme was too slow for my groove and sounded like if it were being dragged to be played (although the brass section was excellent and was more notable here), and well, Antony was not there.

I am sure next time they play their city again after their extensive European tour, they will sound much more tight and hopefully we will have all my three new favorite queers on stage. [photos of the show]


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

Hercules & Love Affair Links: Stream Hercules & Love AffairOfficial Website, MySpace, YouTube, Wikipedia

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Long Blondes @ Bowery Ballroom - Fri May 16, 2008


I wanted to blame Elron Alkan for how weak The Long Blondes' second album sounds, by coming to their show on support of Couples and seeing how they would rock the new songs out live. Unfortunately, it seems it wasn't Elron's fault.

Couples does indeed have several weak songs, and they sound even weaker next to their older stuff live. Long Blondes started ironically (or not?) with an almost non energetic Here It Comes the Serious Bit. Too serious perhaps guys? That song is one my favorite songs on Couples but live didn't translate as expected. Guilt, I Liked the Boys, Too Clever By Half, and Erin O'Connor are my other favorite ones and thankfully had better luck. Actually the very simple and interesting Too Clever By Half kicked ass.

Their old stuff still sounds fresh and as you can see below, there were plenty of good songs to help assimilate the other ones:

Here Comes The Serious Bit
Weekend Without Makeup
Autonomy Boy
Round The Hairpin
Erin O'Connor
Separated By Motorways
I Liked The Boys
Too Clever By Half
You Could Have Both
The Couples
Once And Never Again
I'm Going To Hell
Giddy Stratospheres
Lust In The Movies

but overall it was just OK. Are the Long Blondes let down? maybe disappointed that people are not responding the way they want to their new material? I hope the low sales don't discourage them of keep it going because even tho Couples is/was not a successful second album, at least it shows us they don't want to get stuck and keep evolving. See you next time for your third album... hopefully. [photos of the show]

Ah I almost forgot. The asshole that Long Blondes have as a keyboard guy/guitarist ate a banana on stage in the middle of a song and threw the peel to us. Some of it got sticked to my friend's glasses. What was that supposed to mean? that he rocks? that he is the most stupid fan of Velvet Underground? He apologized a bit later, but it was already too late... you suck big time dude.


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

The Long Blondes Links: Stream Couples, Stream a sampler of Someone to Drive You Home, Official Website, MySpace, Wikipedia, YouTube