Monday, September 25, 2006

A Note To Anyone Who Cares

Since apparently I'm turning this place into CMJ central and since I've been busy recently with putting together KNOCKOUT! and other general randomness, many things have gone unmentioned. Here is a quick summary of some shows I've been to that I've been meaning to post about.

Friction lived up to my expectations. As good as Annuals were, I have to say it - Femme Generation stole the show. They were so excited to be back in NYC and all of the excitement was slapped across our faces. Fast paced hyper madness gets a big thumbs up from me. There were streamers, there was confetti, there were gigantic bags of candy, all of which got dumped on our heads. Got their album at the show and it's just as fun as their live show. Only negative thing about Femme Generation was that they were a hard act to follow. Is that even negative? Takka Takka were a pleasant breather after Femme Generation, and Annuals were very impressive, but Femme Generation is what I remember most from this show. Didn't get there in time for A Brief Smile (sorry guys, catch ya soon).

Slowlands / Margot and the Nuclear So & So's at Union Hall
. Union Hall is the best venue in NYC. Maybe anywhere, ever. I can't even begin to imagine what it took to put that place together, but Bravo! Everything about this place was class. The decor, the furniture, the beer selection, the garden/smokers lounge, the bathrooms, the bocce courts, and of course, the food. I'm still thinking about the dinner I had there. Always nice to see a brilliantly stocked jukebox too, with all these places switching over to those crappy electronic, touch screen "jukeboxes". Now about the bands:

Finally saw Slowlands. What a great show. The slow tunes were freshly shaved smooth and the faster tunes were all sorts of fun. Margot and the Nuclear So & So's are a band that you absolutely must see live if you have not yet. See them while they are still cramming all eight members on a 10' x 10' stage, because it's not going to last for much longer. This band knows how to take their songs and get everything they can out of them live. They nail the parts you want them to nail and they jam the parts that you want them to jam. Their songs graduate from college and head out into the real world right before your eyes. See this band.

Man Man @ Spiegeltent. First of all, showed up at the Spiegeltent to find out that the show was sold out. Many thanx to the guy who hooked me up with a tix.

Move over 'Beirut at Sound Fix', this show needs some room at the top of the list of my fav shows of '06. I felt like I was abducted by aliens and taken to another planet, where they worship this crazy pirate-punk band. These guys hypnotized the crowd, whispered in their ears "Go completely bonkers", and then snapped their fingers. There were people holding breasts over their head, people chocking each other while making out, and a guy from a barber shop quartet. I still have completely processed what I experienced at this show and I don't think that I could ever see this band in a more appropriate venue than Spiegeltent. It's true, Man Man just might be the best live band out there (after Radiohead, of course ; )).

Some quick thoughts about Mr. Beery's this past Sat. Josh of Slowlands pulled off a great solo set. Requests were played, hands were clapped. I love seeing bands/band members step it up and shine in different situations (Rogue Wave KEXP instudio, Matt & Ira of Nada Surf acoustic at Sound Fix), and Josh's set will be memorable for that reason. I enjoyed Other Passengers set even though they were a bit too loud. I need to get my hands on some of their recorded music and see how it compares to their live show. After Other Passengers, the crowd swelled for Aeroplane Pageant. The new songs made it harder to wait for the new album. I want it now. The singalong to "How Distant" was the highlight of the night. So glad I finally got to see Rahim again since seeing them last year for the first time when they opened for Les Savy Fav. This band is so tight live. They have their own interesting sound and I like it. I want to go see them again this weekend. More on that (and maybe more on this show) later.


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