Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Evangelicals @ Cakeshop - Tue Jun 18, 2008

Straaaange things keeep haaapenning...

In fact I was blown away twice last night. After seeing Sigur Rós at MoMA, I went to Cakeshop to see Evangelicals headlining a show. The place was half empty, but Josh Jones and his band rocked it hard nonetheless. Man, what a show! what a sound! what a new album! Evangelicals became since last night my favorite new band (for me) this year.

Josh took his scarf off, put it around his microphone, and asked us if we ever have had thoughts about committing suicide. No one replied. He then smiled for a second, and ferociously started the show with Another Day (And Yoor Still Knocked Out). I bought the first Evangelicals album last night, So Gone, and that song is on it. I hadn't heard it before, but as I listen right now, I can tell you these guys were on another level last night. Another Day sounded gigantic, much more alive than on record where it sounds maybe under too many dreamy layers. Here it embraced us all with two men driving the song with their guitars and pedals, one guy on bass, and a fourth guy hidden in the back of the stage taking good care of the drums. I hadn't started listening to the stuff I know and love from The Evening Descends, their new sophomore album, but I was finding myself with my mouth half opened several timess during the first song already.

Seriously, I am loving The Evening Descends by a lot. Out of the seven songs they played in total, five were from the new record, which made me pretty happy. One after the other one, I couldn't keep my smile at how fucking fresh these guys were sounding. They were sounding differently from the album too, but keeping the essence of their phantasmagoric songs. Yeah, phantasmagoric... listen to Bellawood and tell me you don't feel like in Castlevania. Midnight Vignette sounds like coming out from the same video game. It is probably my favorite song on the new album right next to Skeleton Man. They both sounded particularly different yet amazing. It was like listening to new songs you feel from the first notes they were going to amaze you because they somehow already did. Here it is the set list just because I am running out of words to keep describing how ridiculously good each of the songs I heard last night were:

Another Day (And Yoor Still Knocked Out)
Midnight Vignette
Party Crashin'
Paperback Suicide
Skeleton Man
What An Actress Does Best

No encore, but no lack of samples, keyboards, good guitars, smokey green atmosphere, and yeah, I almost forgot, the presence of a perfect front man.

His name is Josh Jones and he will one day be a big star. I think I fall in love. Anyone would have tho. He plays the guitar exceptionally well (I mean listen to Paperback Suicide), he smiles and has charisma without being a comedian, and when I congratulated him for the show, because they rocked, he asked for my name. That makes him the coolest. But no, seriously, the man has an unhinged voice he knows how to use with enough reverb, that couldn't be more appropiate for the sound they are pulling off. If you were there you would have felt like in a scary storytelling movie, if that makes sense. Probably not.

You better go to see them this Thursday (June 19) at Music Hall of Williamsburg before they blow up, because I heard they are gonna open for Connor Oberst (I know, that's pretty weird) soon. [photos of the show]


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

Evangelicals Links: MySpace, Wikipedia, at Dead Oceans, at Festival City Radio

Sigur Rós @ MoMA - Tue Jun 17, 2008

I don't own any Sigur Rós album. I don't even have any of their music on my computer. I wasn't dying to go to this show either. But I ended up going and thank god I did. I was blown away. I have no idea how many songs they played, which ones were new or old (except the very new one that sounds like Animal Collective). I didn't pay attention to those details. I just grabbed some free vodka, a free bottle of water, found a spot, and closed my eyes. Sigur Rós provided the soundtrack to the almost two hour trip I made during the time they played. This is some of what I saw:

Time has come... it is finally time to buy some Sigur Rós albums to catch up, starting with the new Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust.


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

Sigur Rós Links: Stream Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust, Official website, Wikipedia, MySpace

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jamie Lidell @ Bowery Ballroom - Sun/Mon Jun 08/09, 2008

I was afraid of you, because you know... I love you

Jamie Lidell wants to be Jim, but I want to be Jamie Lidell! Last time I saw Jamie, he came out solo wearing a sparkling jacket under a blazer, like hiding his true self, looking very very funky. Almost a week ago now, he came out this time with five people to join him on stage, wearing a similar looking jacket, but no blazer this time. No need of showing who he has become, the ultimate soul revitalizer.

Things have changed quite a bit on stage for Lidell. He doesn't have a sampler and a mic only anymore. He has guys taking care of keyboards, drums, bass guitar, saxophones and vocoders, and one guy processing live video as the show happens. He also has one small TV with a turntable where he fake-plays records as he goes from song to song, and one hilarious use you will see at the end of the show.

Not only the stage has changed, but also Jamie's approach to his music live. Multiply is one of my ten favorite albums of 2005 (yeah I already started thinking about my fave albums of the decade), I loved it instantly, and loved it even more after seeing the man doing his tricks live with that album for the first time. He totally re-interpreted his songs by using samples, pre-recorded tracks and manipulating his own truly awesome voice. That futuristic show of soul influenced music seems to be being left in the past. Lidell went back old school having a proper band sound and it fits him exceptionally well. I haven't seen Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse or any other people working these music genres, but I doubt any of them would make me smile and feel like I was at a show sometime between the 70's and 80's, thinking that I was seeing the future of the soul in front of my eyes.

There was not much difference between Sunday's and Monday's set list, but only one song, The City. Lots from Jim, crazy improvisation with some Multiply songs, and one of my favorite encores of recent memory. Here it is the set list for both shows:

Another Day
Figured Me Out
Out of My System
When I Come Back Around
A Little Bit More
The City (on Monday only)
Little Bit of Feelgood
Green Light
Where D’You Go?
Wait For Me
Game For Fools

hasn't transformed all of his songs to this old school approach. All of his new songs, from Jim, are already much more straightforward than the ones on Multiply, and they all sound very alive in the new live setting, but almost all of his Multiply era songs remain intact to their other original electronic essence, being his song Multiply itself the only song I have seen he has transformed.

There are two shows to be part of at a Jamie Lidell concert these days: one featuring Jim, the Stevie Wonder like singer with a full live band, and one featuring Jamie Lidell, the crazy beat boxer and electronic music experimentalist. Like I did/do, you are gonna love them both. [photos of Sunday's show][photos of Monday's show]


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

Jamie Lidell links: Stream Multiply, Official Website, MySpace, Wikipedia, YouTube, at Warp Records, on Pitchfork Media, a video interview on

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Field @ Studio B - Fri Jun 06, 2008

Four Tet wasn't there and it was great

I have been listening to Four Tet's music for a while now and so I was very excited of finally seeing him live, but I got an email during the week telling me that the guy was sick, or one of his relatives, and that he decided to cancel the show. He cancelled his show but the night was not cancelled. The Field was opening and even though I had already been dissapointed with his live show I went to see him again. I went mainly because I read online that he actually was going to play with a band, and if you have heard the great From Here We Go Sublime, then that at least should make you curious.

The Field sounded very very good. What a difference with last time I saw him. Really, there was good energy floating in the air. On stage he had something that looked like a very complicated mixer and sequencer, a guy on real drums, bass guitar played by the same guy and sometimes by Axel himself, and a guy on what seemed to be a Rolland.

He played pretty much the same stuff as last time I saw him. Some songs off From Here, some songs of a new EP he recently put out, and the moving remix of Annie's Heartbeat. The best moment of the show was reached when he played The Little Heart Beats So Fast and Everday... I couldn't keep the excitement those two songs were giving me and join the few people dancing on the next to the floor. The Field's music is ambiguous to me... I don't know if I want to chill with it or dance it like in a rave. Last Friday I did both and it felt good. I hope he keeps touring with a band and develop his sound around it. [photos of the show]


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

The Field Links: Official Website, Wikipedia, MySpace, at Kompakt Records

Sunday, June 8, 2008

M.I.A. @ McCarren Pool - Fri Jun 06, 2008

I fly like paper I get high like planes

M.I.A. is more than ready to take over the world. She can headline Madison Square Garden any day now and I am sure the show would sell out. Move over Madonna, there is a new queen in town.

Madonna is a suitable icon to compare M.I.A. to, merely because of her audience. Lots of gays were out in Brooklyn on Friday night having a great time. I was one of them even though I was not 100% into the show. At the moment I had a nice reason for not losing all my shit, like I did last time I saw her, but right now I kind of regret it. I should have got closer to the stage, dance as I always do without paying attention who was around me, and being more myself. M.I.A. gave almost everything of her it was just fair I had done the same, but I didn't. It seems I should not go out in a date to see one of my favorite artists. I wasn't paying enough attention to her to enjoy her fully and it seems things went wrong with the guy I went out with cause there's no sign of a second date. Bad luck, I wish I could change both because both are pretty nice.

In Madonna style, M.I.A. dresses up nicely, wears a white hair wig (thanks!), and now has a lot of people on stage, although not all of them are experienced dancers. She keeps having one backup singer, inviting people on stage to dance (which is getting kind of bad for the flow of the show), and a DJ to play her beats and samples. I do not really know how much M.I.A. actually does on stage besides singing, which she is doing perfectly fine anyway, but I was wondering. Is she still using the famous Rolland 505 she started with for Arular?

The stage looked like the stage of a play telling a story of a modern queen in Ghana. Tropical palms, everybody wearing multicolored clothes, and visuals on three big screens made me feel that way. The show once again started with the one and only Bamboo Banga, the track that made me fall in love instantly with Kala, the best song to start an album, and now a show. M.I.A. played all of her hits, that is almost all of her songs, but little details were missing for me. It's not that she has to play the same tricks for every show, but last time I saw her she played snippets of New Order's Blue Monday and Eurythmics's Sweet Dreams before and/or during a couple of her own songs and it was so much fun that I was expecting that kind of game on Friday too. Never happened, besides the known sample of Pixies' Where is My Mind she has in $20. Instead she blended her own songs like in a mixtape and sometimes it sounded disconnected.

For the encore Afrikan Boy showed up to sing Hussel with Maya and the show was over with Paper Planes. Something cool that happened for that song was that lots of people on stage were given actual paper planes and they started throwing them to the crowd. It was a fun way to end the show... why hadn't she done it before? [photos of the show]


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

M.I.A. Links: Stream Kala, Official Website, MySpace, Wikipedia, YouTube, Pitchfork interviews M.I.A. (2007), Pitchfork interviews M.I.A. (2005)

Quiet Village @ Cielo - Mon Jun 02, 2008


I didn't take pictures at this show because it was not necessary. Quiet Village gave me past Monday the most boring show I have ever been to in my life. In fact, it wasn't a show. The two guys just pressed play on an iTunes in their computer and on dvd player, chatted behind the decks, and once in a while checked whether the volume was right or not. I was lucky of finding a place where to sit without having to order a bottle (I was at Cielo), where to close my eyes and at least try to enjoy the music I like from their debut album Silent Movie. I would have been more comfortable in my apartment with my stereo on. Good album and very poor live show, if that is to be called like that.


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

Quiet Village Links: Official Website, MySpace

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Apparat @ Knitting Factory - Sun May 25, 2008

We are from Germany, btw

Apparently this was the concert to be at for the "in the known" German community living in NYC. They did not go to listen to Apparat, they went to be seen (and scene) and to annoy me. From what I heard, when people shut the f*ck up, Apparat put on a good show bringing some of his contributions to Orchestra of Bubbles and his own Walls to life.

Apparat's live show this time comprised three people: Mr. Sascha Ring, most of the time on guitar and synths, and two German guys, one pretty good at the drums and the other one on keyboards and helping with vocals.

Everything Apparat played off Walls sounded on point, especially its stand out Arcadia, but their best moment that night was definitely when they played Orchestra of Bubbles' Rotary. I gotta say that I am loving those Bubbles way too much. I though The Knife was the best electronica release of 2006, but I have been having a lot of doubts lately about that. Seriously. Anyway, yeah, that song was the best.

Sometimes the show sounded like a rock show with plenty of guitar distortion, something I was not expecting for a dance act. Sascha seemed to enjoy those solo moments tho. Maybe Apparat live is not a dance act. His sound live is definitely much closer to the warm Walls, than to the boombastic Orchestra of Bubbles. I gotta admit I was expecting more of the latter, but once the show got shape I fully realized it was not going to be an Ellen Allien & Apparat show and took the best out of it, despite of the annoying German audience. [photos of the show]


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

Apparat Links: Stream Walls, Stream Orchestra of Bubbles, Official Website, MySpace, Wikipedia