Articles

  • Melt-Banana @ 7th Street Entry

    8 déc. 2009, 7h40m

    So last Tuesday, I saw Melt-Banana at the 7th Street Entry, and I must say that it was the most worthwhile thing I've done this year as far as recreation is concerned. The crowd was going crazy and the band was too -- it was an amazing show, despite the annoying lights thing they did at the beginning (which might not have been so annoying if I had any kind of ability to recover from bright lights in the dark). The performance aspect of that part was interesting. You don't really see that kind of inversion of visibility in live performances.

    Triclops! is not my thing. I thought the between song banter was pretty obnoxious but I can admit that moving around the ceiling is a pretty cool thing to do.

    Heart Shaped Hate was awesome! They are from Chicago, so hopefully I'll get to see them again. I totally appreciated the free CD and everyone else my house does too. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this band in the future. (OH YEAH! And they're really funny).
  • RNC Protests!

    3 sept. 2008, 7h51m

    So...while having the RNC in your backyard is a shitty thing, especially this year, and especially because St. Paul has reacted by turning the city into an overt police state full of super scary dudes in riot gear, it has brought good music.

    SEIU Take Back Labor Day
    This event was great and by far the most peaceful thing I have seen thus far in the city since the RNC kickoff. Why? Probably the lack of riot police. Labor-activist-extraordinaire/musician Billy Bragg kicked off the show, which was weird to me...but I guess that he's a lot less famous to most of the people in attendance than the other acts on the bill. The show was amazing and of course, Bragg's subject matter was appropriate. Furthermore, it was nice to hear someone not from the US talk about labor as an international movement and about the current political scene in the US.

    Steve Earle and Allison Moorer were next -- and this was especially amazing. Steve Earle is a recent discovery for me and his live show only helped cement my fondness for him. Earle covered Pete Seeger and Moorer performed a cover of A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke and this was also amazing.

    Next was Tom Morello (The Nightwatchman?). While I must say that I support many of Morello's politics as he tells them, seeing him live and solo only functioned to prove the degree to which the members of Rage Against the Machine need to admit that they really need each other--at least in a musical sense. The highlight of his set was a cover of Guerrilla Radio and a cover of Woody Guthrie's This Land Is Your Land.

    Atmosphere
    Love the band. Hate the crowd they bring in and I must say it kind of marred my day a bit. While I realize this seems weird as I was a part of the crowd, the kind of kids that tend to go to Atmosphere / Rhymesayers shows in the Twin Cities are kind of obnoxious. Still, the set was awesome, if a little slow, and I think Atmosphere has improved over the years--although their older material remains among my favorite music. More actual songs were played this time around and it was great.

    Mos Def
    There are some artists you just can't fuck with, and I think that Mos Def just may be one of them. The absolute highlight of the show for me, not least of all because many of the stupid Atmosphere fans got away from the gate and appeared to leave so I got up front and could see really well. The set seemed really short, but that could be because it was totally awesome! He did perform a Black Star song.

    I missed The Pharcyde. Why? I won't lie. I never wear practical shoes anywhere and my feet were super sore and in terrible shape. It was time to go.

    Or was it? I had problems leaving because the St. Paul police force for the RNC had shut down a bunch of roads, which caused a bunch of buses to be re-routed and was a general pain in the ass. If there are dudes who wear women's shoes on the riot squad, which I'm sure there are, they are definitely not sympathetic people! They were firing tear gas and pepper spray at a number of groups as I was leaving and it was pretty terrifying. I think that a city should warn you if they plan to unleash a bunch of maniacal, various weapon-wielding lunatics upon you. Honestly. Failure to do so is just bad form.

    Today there was a different show on the steps of the capitol. I only saw two artists and the Green Party VP candidate speak -- I had classes for the first time this semester today! UMI of P.O.W. performed and while I must say that his music was pretty cool, he was kind of frightening me with all the talk about hating police and rioting and whatnot. After seeing the lines of riot police and footage / photos of what they did to people in my city, I was all about avoiding riot situations because I don't like getting my ass kicked for no good reason. He has an album coming out in September, I think. dead prez played next and was amazing! The crowd was smaller than I'd anticipated, but this didn't put any kind of a damper on their performance. They stuck to really political tunes for the most part, which was awesome because a number of bands have seemed to be avoiding that.

    And no, I did not see Anti-Flag, nor did I want to but I can respect the political perspective they can introduce people to.

    After dead prez I walked downtown to the Poor People's Campaign for Human Rights rally and saw the police send horses dashing into groups of people, after they had arrested yet another reporter / journalist type (poor, poor Amy Goodman). Furthermore, I saw them chase like, maybe ONE person into a huge crowd while spraying pepper spray and causing a shitload of collateral damage that probably didn't have to happen. But I guess you don't need to think when you are wearing a helmet like that or one of those things over your junk.

    I followed the whole march, which was longer than the local news reported it, and was surrounded by riot police for most of the things. An enjoyable highlight after we got a bunch of people from the capitol was singing "We all live in a racist police state" to the tune of Yellow Submarine. And that whole, "This is what democracy looks like" chant is a good one. Particularly appropriate given the overall climate was the "Who's streets? OUR STREETS!" chant.

    The last few days have been an experience, sometimes totally terrifying, that I would never want to lose -- but not something that I would necessarily want to repeat. Hopefully things get better tomorrow because I'm surely heading back downtown.

    Democracy Now!The Nation and Air America Radio
  • Which decadent celebrity team would you vote for?

    5 août 2008, 5h44m

    In light of John McCain comparing Democratic rival Barack Obama to the likes of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, I've gotten to thinking about what kind of decadent celebrity team I think should run the United States for the next four years.

    I mean, George W. Bush has already turned the presidency into a three-ring circus, so why not?

    Anyway, my vote goes for a Ted Nugent / Courtney Love ticket on account of them both being somewhat psychotic, and an added perk in the fact that they'd probably fistfight a lot and make bad, caterwauling music together. Which we could be subjected to during raging press conferences. Wouldn't that be more fun than press conferences are now?

    Who do you vote for? Let's not bother with requirements about age / nationality, etc.
  • Kate Nash .... Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

    4 août 2008, 10h22m

    So. A couple of months ago, I saw Kate Nash @ First Ave. The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players opened, and they really sucked. They kept trying to do this humor thing with the audience, which was kind of nice because it meant they played less music, but still...they played too much. The band is totally gimmicky and not worth a whole lot.

    Kate Nash is not a live artist. Or at least not a live artist for a venue like First Ave. There were times, such as during Dickhead where you could barely hear the music over the obnoxious banter of the crowd. Furthermore, they sped up most of the tracks in what I think was an attempt at a more "rocking" show--and the songs suffered as a result. Maybe the only fault of Made of Bricks was that the songs lost some of their intimacy from their original form as seen on the myspaz, but the songs were still good, and pretty funny. Almost all of the charm was lost live.

    Tori Amos is able to get away with really altering her songs live, maybe because she seems like an alien and is always playing her piano bench with her labia, which makes for a good show no matter what she does to her songs. But Kate Nash is not Tori Amos. SO.

    Much more recently, I saw Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Steve Winwood @ the Target Center, which I had almost forgotten about as a concert venue. The sound quality there can be really bad, but this show was not bad at all. Winwood is, however, officially "that guy" as far as my brother, my sister, and I are concerned--we all knew that we knew who he was before the show started, but we couldn't think of a single song. Consistently throughout the show, we were all like, "OMG> Steve Winwood is that guy." And he and his band did these jam things in the middle of most of his well known songs that I had a real difficult time appreciating.

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were awesome. They played for damn near two hours and the setlist ran like a greatest hits compilation--although, the band did play End of the Line and covered Gloria, which was awesome. And they played Face In The Crowd, which was also awesome. All in all, the show was a hell of a time...you couldn't even really tell how old the guys must be getting from our nosebleed seats. The entire band seemed entirely too gracious and nice for such a big band--which was a nice break from some of the more common attitudes you see on a big stage like that.

    Furthermore, I didn't even burn anything down, kick anyone, ram a car, or anything disorderly like that. That's a pretty good thing!
  • Gogol Bordello / Dub Trio / DJ Dubta (What did they do to First Ave?) & Charlie Parr

    5 nov. 2007, 22h10m

    Gogol Bordello / Dub Trio / DJ Dubta

    My siblings and my boyfriend went with to this show, which made it kind of special because we are not all together like that very often. Generally, someone has to die or be giving us stuff to force this kind of 'togetherness'. Also, my brother and sister were in close proximity to each other for more than 3 hours, and neither of them farted on the other...and no one had a black eye!

    We also had a really good spot -- great view! The view did not matter during DJ Dubta or Dub Trio because they were not doing very much at all. DJ Dubta was fun, I would much prefer a DJ doing something before a headlining act than some band that no one really wants to see performing. That was kind of how I felt about Dub Trio, who had no stage presence whatsoever and were only slightly remarkable because they have an amazing, amazing, amazing drummer. To be only slightly remarkable in spite of having an amazing, amazing, amazing drummer is something a band would have to work for...so maybe someone should congratulate them.

    They were supposed to be playing at Nye's Piano Club, but they got a call from Gogol Bordello and canceled the show at Nye's. Which is a little factoid they shared with the crowd for Lord knows what reason because I certainly don't think anyone cared. I think that anyone who was at Nye's on Thursday is grateful, even if they don't have any idea who Dub Trio is.

    Gogol Bordello was very good. I think their live show may have moved into the arena of the hopelessly over hyped, because after all the spouting off about this band's live performance, I was kind of expecting a lot more. I don't know what more really, but it didn't seem that remarkable to me. The energy level was really good throughout the show and the setlist was awesome, but I have seen many bands accomplish this.

    Gogol Bordello did permanently cement my general idea that go-go dancers are worthless though.

    My boyfriend and I are feeling really old because we feel pretty gutted about First Ave removing the big screen over the stage -- the TV monitors that venues have been putting up on the walls suck in comparison. Granted, it is nice that venues are projecting the band playing on screens so people without a good view can kind of see...but from what I have seen, the video equipment mostly sucks and the video on the screens also mostly sucks. BOO to changing First Ave. Additionally, my boyfriend and I are also feeling really old because we can't figure out what these kids are trying to say by wearing such stupid shit. Hrm.

    I spent the weekend in Eau Claire, which was enjoyable. I caught a Charlie Parr show at The Mouse Trap bar. Or at least I think that was what it was called. They have their own Leinies brew there! That was pretty awesome. Charlie Parr was pretty awesome as well, which was relieving because bands playing in bars in the middle of Wisconsin are often not awesome. I meant to catch the show at the Turf Club on Sunday but was just too tired to go.
  • Regina Spektor @ The Myth (aka Shut the fuck up)

    9 oct. 2007, 4h02m

    First of all, I have to say that all of the bad things I have heard about The Myth are absolutely true. The venue sucks. I should have known that, considering I had actually been in the location when it was 'Just for Feet' or whatever many times--it is the kind of place that I knew would make any music sound shitty. But I went because it was Regina Spektor, and because my little sister is rad and I did not have to pay.

    For a tangent on how rad my little sister is...She not only gave me a ticket to the Regina Spektor show, she is also accompanying me to see Gogol Bordello and she got me a ticket to see M.I.A.. That's a pretty fucking rad little sister, I reckon. At any rate, I am thanking God that the next two shows I will be seeing are at First Ave.

    The crowd was obnoxious, per my expectations. If an artist has to ask you to can it at their show because if you are louder than them, that's a problem...it should be a pretty explicit hint that it is time to shut the fuck up. I would argue that most people went to The Myth to see Regina Spektor, not to hear drunken bar hags hitting on bartenders, and certainly not to hear tone-deaf motherfuckers trying to sing along. I guess that in a different venue (like the Ascot Room show), the singing isn't such a big deal because most people can't hear it. However, at The Myth, everyone within ten yards could hear one person singing...and it wasn't Regina Spektor.

    If you can write a song as well as Regina Spektor, sing it as well as she can, and sell a whole bunch of tickets to a venue like The Myth--than do it. DO NOT go to a venue like The Myth and attempt to hijack the Regina Spektor show.

    UGH.

    And Only Son was at this show too. I did not think much of him...again. It's too bad.

    The Regina Spektor show would have been amazing, I think, had it not been for the general shittiness of the atmosphere. It was neat to see that many people out to see a 'good' artist.
  • Ruthie Foster / Madeleine Peyroux at the O'Shaughnessy

    14 juin 2007, 18h33m

    So. I took my sister to this show last Friday. My sister is 18, but I still end up taking her to a lot of shows because everyone in my family thinks she is 13...which I suppose is kind of weird, considering the fact that no one is shocked that she has a driver's license.

    The entire place was full of really dressed up people, which was weird. It was also weird because they have no aisles...so if you walk in during the middle of a set, you need to step over tons of people on your way to the seat. And everyone was seated and remained seated throughout both sets. The acoustics of the auditorium were not bad or anything, which was a plus.

    Madeleine Peyroux headlined. Her set was a snore. She has no personality, and she didn't even try to engage much with the audience. Her and the band were also playing all of her really slow songs, and everything just kind of bled together after a while. Her voice is still really awesome and she sounds even better live, but there was nothing really exciting about the show.

    Ruthie Foster, on the other hand, opened the show and stole the entire evening. She was really lively and her songs did not all bleed together. She played some songs from her album Stages, which was neat. We were actually not expecting her show to be that exciting because the song Heal Yourself is boring and not at all representative of her live show. She even sold completely out of her CDs within fifteen minutes of her set --- at $20 each!

    I am going to bring my boyfriend to see Ruthie Foster at the Dakota Club in September, I think. It should be a really good time.
  • Rather random wanderings of my mind...

    27 fév. 2007, 8h49m

    I am too tired to sleep, which is a problem that has been troubling me lately. I'm just kind of restless as a general rule and I'm having a difficult time listening to songs that are over three minutes long.

    Even my new stuff does not excite me so much. For example, I got new CDs by Nicky Click and Die Cheerleader in the mail today--both of which I was looking forward to hearing, but I just cannot focus for long enough to listen to them.

    Weird. I listen to the most music now when I am at work. I am one of those lucky people that can bring my iPod to work and listen to whatever. I did have a resident complain after being subjected to Wesley Willis in my car though. And a particularly agitating resident asked me if Sonic Youth have designed their music to be as agitating as possible. I guess it is probably plausible, but I don't think it is the actual case.

    If any Elvis Costello fans can tell me why no one seems to like Mighty Like a Rose, I would appreciate it. I have heard dark talk of "beard years," but I do not get it. I think Mighty Like a Rose is brilliant and I have so much fun when I listen to it.

    I saw Scream Club, because they were the entertainment at a conference I attended. It was an unfortunate time for me to see them, because my patience had been entirely exhausted for the day and I was tired and crabby. I just wanted to go home. Sometimes I suffer at shows for bands like Scream Club because I feel too weird about dancing to do it in public (only sometimes). Then going to see Scream Club just is not as much fun.

    John Waters released a compilation album that I think is fantastic. My boyfriend does not find it nearly as annoying as he thought he would, but he has cultivated a seething kind of hatred for Elton Motello. I do not really understand it and I would be a liar if I said I thought I could figure it out.

    I need a vacation.

    If anyone has any musical suggestions, let me know. I'm looking for new, pretty light-hearted stuff to listen to. But if it is made for people with attention spans equivalent to the attention spans of kindergarteners on crack, it might help because that is how I've been feeling lately.
  • Pretty much spam..one of those silly spam-inducing 'games'

    5 déc. 2006, 18h07m

    So, the objective of this was to click on the link for your top played artist and the follow the top similar artist link until you have fifty artists. In order to assure fifty unique artists, if you run into an artist you already have, just move down the list to one that you don't have. Blah, blah, blah.

    I did this mostly because I am bored and wanted to see where it would end up. I tried to do the same thing for the same reason when 7 Year Bitch was my top artist...but, if you go to their page and try this, you'll probably find that you end up in japanese band name hell before too long.

    X
    Minutemen
    Husker Du
    The Replacements
    Big Star
    Teenage Fanclub
    Belle and Sebastian
    Surfjan Stevens
    The Decemberists
    Neutral Milk Hotel
    Broken Social Scene
    The Arcade Fire
    Interpol
    Bloc Party
    The Strokes
    Franz Ferdinand
    The Killers
    Coldplay
    Radiohead
    Beck
    The Flaming Lips
    Wilco
    Elliott Smith
    The Shins
    Death Cab for Cutie
    The Postal Service
    Bright Eyes
    Modest Mouse
    Iron & Wine*
    Nick Drake**
    Bob Dylan
    The Beatles
    Led Zeppelin
    Pink Floyd
    The Doors
    Jimi Hendrix
    The Rolling Stones
    The Who
    David Bowie
    The Velvet Underground
    Lou Reed
    Iggy Pop
    The Stooges
    MC5
    New York Dolls
    Johnny Thunders
    Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers
    Richard Hell and the Voidoids
    Television
    Wire

    The artists with * next to their name are artists I had to hit the "see more..." link for.
  • NEW!!

    1 oct. 2006, 2h08m

    I'm starting to think that buying CDs is the only thing I am really good at. I have consistently managed to get that particular task done over the course of the last ten+ years.

    Anyway, I got new stuff and I going to talk about it here.

    Ta-Dah
    I love this. I am so glad that it was finally released and I am more than a little sad that I missed the Scissor Sisters show in the area. I could have danced like a lunatic and felt happy. Another plus is that the residents at my work hate it! Double score!

    To the Confusion of Our Enemies
    Considering the kinds of bands I had heard of The Riverboat Gamblers opening for and how much hype I heard about this band, I was expecting a lot more. The CD is not bad. It is pretty solid, but it is not really what I was expecting. It will probably really grow on me someday.

    Alert Today Alive Tomorrow
    I know, I know. Shut up. This stuff makes me happy, and I am never going to get over it. So if you thought I was, you should probably get over that.

    Inflammable Material
    You CANNOT go wrong with this band. I am really happy to finally own a physical copy of this CD.

    Crocodiles
    I bought this because it was pretty cheap and I like the song Do It Clean, probably because I always really liked Hole's cover version. I am new to Echo And The Bunnymen, but I'm really digging this CD and I'm looking for suggestions as to what to look for next.

    I Love Rock 'n' Roll
    This is to make up for the fact that my vinyle version of this album will not play in my car. The album still rules and all that. I could not find this particular album on CD, so I was super excited when I finally found it.

    Get Up
    I bought this because it was cheap, I love Sleater-Kinney, and I really like the song "By the Time You're Twenty-five." It worked out well.

    Gorilla Angreb - Discography
    This was a really exciting find, as I had no clue it even existed. It was even more exciting because I only had one mp3 on my harddrive, but the entire discography is fantastic. Extreme noise compared it to X or said they were influenced by X or something like that...and I think you can definitely hear it. This is not to say that Gorilla Angreb is taking X's place in my mind or heart--but it is to say that they are a damn good band.

    Veruca Salt - IV
    I like Veruca Salt a lot more than "the next person," but I am not quite sure how I feel about this album. I like it a lot more after listening to it several times at work yesterday...but I think I need to listen to it more. Louise Post sounds really different on this album and I am not sure that I like it.