November 27, 2009
I love Diplo’s selection of songs to remix; the finished products are always impressive.
Circles (Diplo Remix) – As Tall As Lions
Reckoner (Diplo Remix) – Radiohead
The Perfect Crime #2 (Diplo’s Doing Time Remix) – The Decemberists
Helicopter (Diplo Remix) – Bloc Party
Shake a Fist (Diplo’s Noise of Art Remix) – Hot Chip
November 27, 2009
Who doesn’t love a good indie Christmas song?
1. Christmas Party – The Walkmen
2. It’s Only Christmas – As Tall As Lions
3. Happy Christmas (War is Over) – Damien Rice
4. Splitting up Christmas – Kevin Devine
5. Christmas Time is Here Again (Bring Out the Joy!) – My Morning Jacket
6. Did I Make You Cry on Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved it!) – Sufjan Stevens
7. Happy Christmas (War is Over) – Thrice
8. White Christmas – Bright Eyes
9. Jinglebell Rock – Arcade Fire
10. Happy Christmas (War is Over) – The Polyphonic Spree
11. It’s Christmas Time – Yo La Tengo
12. Holly Jolly Christmas – The Format
13. The First Noel – Bright Eyes
14. Get Behind Me, Santa! – Sufjan Stevens
15. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Death Cab for Cutie
16. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Daphne Loves Derby
17. The Christmas Song – The Raveonettes
18. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Bright Eyes
August 4, 2009
7/30: Irving Plaza.
It was expected that a show co-headlined by RX Bandits and Dredg, with As Tall As Lions opening, would be a night to remember- and it definitely was.
I wish As Tall As Lions could have played a longer set, but the seven songs they did play were wonderful, and I appreciated the trumpet solos in particular that took place several times.
3. Ghost Of York
4. Go Easy
5. Stab City
6. A Break A Pause
7. In Case Of Rapture
I didn’t like the fact that they ended with In Case Of Rapture – a new song that I do like, but can’t seem to really get into – and didn’t play Song For Luna, but then again, it is good that they always change up their sets and no longer have to play their most well-known song (Love, Love, Love) to gain approval from their audience. I’ve come to find that no matter which venue they play, who they play with, or whether they’re headlining or opening, As Tall As Lions never fails to impress me each time I see them live.
Even more impressive was Dredg. The cascading swirls over the backdrop of a parrot, the somewhat bizarre sound effects that occurred between songs, the great amount of distortion, and the reverb on the vocals made it one of the most interesting sets I’ve seen. They opened with the first track off their latest album, Pariah, the bass prominent and the crowd fired up; fists were pounding in the air within the first thirty seconds of the song, and “In Dredg we trust” was shouted many times.
2. Bug Eyes
3. Same Ol’ Road
4. R U O K?
5. I Don’t Know
6. Ode to the Sun
12. The Tanbark is Hot Lava
13. Down to the Cellar
14. Cartoon Showroom
Last was RX Bandits, a band I’ve been following for over a year, but hadn’t gotten the chance to see until this night. Having really been into Mandala lately, I was most excited for their set. The energy stimulated was like nothing I had ever seen- every person in the heart of the crowd, and even a good amount on the outskirts, were moving all over the place, singing along to every word of each song. It was impossible to keep my body from moving, and though I hadn’t planned on getting to the center of the crowd and eventually to the front, it happened anyway. Unfortunately, I had to leave just before the end of the set. It was hard to walk out of that crowd, knowing there was still a good 15 minutes left of music, but I’m glad to have seen most of it, as that set has made my love for the band grow tremendously.
1. In Her Drawer
2. My Lonesome Only Friend
4. Dinna Dawg/March of the Caterpillar/Dinna Dawg
5. It’s Only Another Parsec…
6. Consequential Apathy
7. Mientras La Veo Sonar
8. White Lies
9. To Our Unborn Daughters
10. One Million Miles An Hour Fast Asleep
11. Bring Our Children Home
12. Overcome (Encore)
13. Only for the Night (Encore)
Current music: Curtain Call – Owen.
July 31, 2009
7/28: Looney Tunes.
On Tuesday, I went to hear As Tall As Lions play acoustic in West Babylon at a CD store I’ve heard so much about over the past couple years- Looney Tunes. The only cost had been the pre-order of You Can’t Take It With You, which made it even more worth it, since I would have pre-ordered anyway.
2. Stab City
3. Sixes & Sevens
4. Go Easy
5. Song For Luna
6. A Break A Pause
8. Acrobat (Encore)
It was awesome to hear acoustic versions of songs like Stab City and Circles, and the new songs sounded great, too. Dan’s vocals sounded better than ever, Julio’s facial expressions were just as outrageous while he played his acoustic guitar as they are when he plays bass, and Cliff’s incredible drumming ability wasn’t any less apparent, even though he couldn’t go all out. In between songs, they made fun of each other and told stories about songs, making everyone laugh, as well as giving us beautiful music to hear.
After the short set, there was a signing. Saen in particular was very interested to hear what everyone had to say, and had no problem talking in length about things. That’s always so refreshing when talking to a musician who you respect so much.
July 3, 2009
I’m so psyched for this tour; As Tall As Lions, Dredg, and RX Bandits, July 30th, Irving Plaza. Though I’m going primarily for ATAL, who are only opening, I’m also really looking forward to seeing Dredg and RX Bandits as co-headliners. I just wish Good Old War were also playing the date I’m going..
Having mentioned Good Old War, I must say how incredible it is to watch their popularity grow, see their music spread as much as it has. Having listened to them since the start of their band, it’s a great thing to watch them succeed as much as they are. I’ve yet to meet a person who’s heard their music that doesn’t like it, probably because it’s impossible not to fall in love with their vocal harmonies. Bands of every genre seem to want them on their tour now, and I couldn’t be more happy for them; Dan, Keith, and Tim are great guys who really deserve it, and I look forward to all they have to offer in the future to us listeners; beautiful things are coming.
July 2, 2009
I hadn’t been to a general admission show since April, so this one really reminded me of what I’ve been missing out on these past couple months – dehydration, aching feet, ringing in my ears, and really being able to get involved and move around during the music; all of which being things I’ve missed.
Afuche opened, and were like nothing I’d ever heard live before – they had a tremendous amount of energy with facial expressions to prove it. Their sound was unique and seemed improvised at some parts, which I thought was great, and the transitions between songs, all with completely different time signatures, were smooth. They were smiling the whole time, making it evident that they were having a great time playing, and the crowd seemed pretty into them (I know I was). There was a great trumpet solo towards the end of the set that really got everyone going, and Julio from ATAL was jamming along with them on a percussion instrument throughout the set backstage. I was thoroughly impressed.
The Dig played next, and had incredible bass lines and pleasant vocals, but had a sound too familiar to me. I probably would have enjoyed the set more if they hadn’t taken such a long time to set up, making most of the crowd pretty restless. Not that I didn’t think they were good… just no better than good.
As Tall As Lions finally came on, well after 10:00, and opened with Circles, just as I had hoped they would. They had background singers all dressed in white who stood near the drums, clapping the beat to the song, but otherwise not doing much. It felt good to be one of the only people who knew every word to the new song. It was impossible to stand still, and I couldn’t help but throw my hands in the air at times, completely losing myself to the music. It was the perfect song to open with and woke up every person who had had an ounce of weariness in them prior to the start of the headlining set.
Rest of the set list:
-Song For Luna
-A Soft Hum (Maybe I’m Just Tired Hidden Track)
-Be Here Now
-A Break A Pause
-Ghost Of York
-Goonite Noises Everywhere straight into Into The Flood
-Milk and Honey
-Lost My Mind (Encore)
-Stab City (Encore)
As well as three new songs.
Surprisingly no Love, Love, Love (Love, Love), but that’s probably because everyone was screaming for Stab City throughout the entire show.
The bridge of Song For Luna, one of my favorite ATAL song climaxes, made everyone pound their fists into the air, and the crowd challenged Dan, carrying the tune even louder than he; “Sing into the moonlight, who could ask for more?” over and over again. Eventually, he stepped back from the mic and just soaked it all in, and everyone kept going, even when all the instruments stopped. It was similar to the feeling I always get at Anthony Green shows during Devils Song where everyone sings “We’re all in the same spot.” Afterwards, Dan joked that we would all have to get together before the next New York show to practice our vocals. Perhaps the most impressive part of the set, though, was when they played Ghost Of York, a song that everyone was able to sing along to and head bang to at all the right parts. At one point I just thought to myself, this is what happiness really feels like- and I was surrounded by it. Everyone felt it. It moved everyone. I closed my eyes and smiled, practically tearing due to the hauntingly beautiful vocals.
A set had never gone by so fast to me, and when it ended, I couldn’t believe it. I would have paid all the money in my pocket to hear just ONE more song, even half a song. It had to end at some point, though, and at least now I’m left with memories of one of the most enjoyable sets I’ve ever witnessed. I’m so proud to say I listen to this band, and look forward to seeing them again at the end of the month.