Friday, May 25, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
This unofficial video for Arcade Fire's "My Body is a Cage" sets the song against footage from Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West. While I've seen the Dollars Trilogy (thanks in large part to a former roommate's (you know who you are) ample collection of Westerns), I haven't seen this one. Though it seems to work rather well. Let me know what you think...
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Loved the Hold Steady and Craig Finn was so much fun to watch, as was the keyboardist. Really impressed with the lead guitarist too. Opening act, The Ratchetts, were pretty good and had some good songs in their 30 minute set, but the next act, the Wolverton Brothers, were the absolutely worst opening act I've ever heard; worse than the Angelistos*, or whatever that band we saw opening for someone who I can't remember at Bogarts... Anyway, still
pumped about the Hold Steady and have tried to spread the word at work today. They only played about an hour, but it was one song after another non stop, although they didn't play "Chillout Tent", one of my favs.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I also was amazed at the crowd. Although small, everyone seemed into the show. There were a few groups of people singing along to every song with fists pumping and heads bobbing. I was quite impressed.
As for the show, I would rate it strong to quite strong. Within the first hour, they played over 20 songs, many of which were played right after another. The songs were great. A few of my favorites included "Who Taught You To Live Like That?", "The Good In Everyone," and "Money City Maniacs." The highlight of the evening was when Chris Murphy and Patrick Pentland came out to start the encore and played an abbreviated "The Other Man" followed by a few more teases and then the whole band blasted into "Losing California." The weakest parts of the show were when drummer Andrew Scott came out from behind the skins, donned a guitar and took over the mic. He's a fantastic, engaging drummer and should probably stay seated.
What about you GH? I understand you have a different opinion of the Black Cat staff.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
The show that night was amazing, they played Funeral in its entirety (or very nearly), banged on a bunch of shit, and generally entertained the pants off every attendee. I was very impressed and very happy. I've probably listened to Funeral, like every other self-respecting indie popper, about a thousand times since. Years have passed and the Arcade Fire are now the biggest indie band in the world. As such, when I heard they were coming to DC, I didn't even think about trying to get tickets. Perhaps I was jaded or just plain old lazy, but I was pretty positive it would sell out in like half a second. Apparently it took 5 minutes, but all the same. GH somehow snagged a pair, but I had none. That is until my friend, the beautiful, lovely, gracious, and wonderful "SG" told me that she could not use her ticket and gave it to me. I was pumped.
DAR is a pretty cool place, a nice old hall/theatre type deal with a big stage and tons of seats. I thought the sound was great too, though I've heard reports to the contrary. The National opened up and though we only caught the last 6 songs or so, I really enjoyed them. They played a couple new ones, but "Abel" and "Mr. November" were exceptional (and the only ones I recognized). Then it was time for Arcade Fire. Besides a few more members (seriously, wtf?) and a cool stage setup, not much had changed since the last time we saw them. They still traded instruments like unwanted baseball cards, banged on whatever they could find, and sang and played impassioned indie rock songs with unparalleled energy. In a word: awesome.
The setlist was a good mix of both Funeral and Neon Bible songs as to be expected, and while my personal favorites from the night, "Neighborhood #2" and "Wake Up" were both from the former, I was very impressed with "Windowsill" and "Intervention". The songs off the new album retained their dark and brooding nature and felt very at home in a big room like the DAR hall. The big room really seemed to suit them well I thought, though if they keep adding members they may be playing the Verizon Center next...
Needless to say, I had a blast. GH, what are your thoughts? Are the Arcade Fire the U2 of indie rock?
GH: Yes sir, they certainly are, and the coronation is set for this summer, location TBA. GL gave you all the good background stories from our previous Arcade Fire experience (wait...HA...he forgot one: they covered the Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place" that night), so I'll just focus on this time around. They were, in my opinion, truly excellent. They've gotten bigger, bolder, and, while I have no idea where this huge stage budget came from, it makes for the best live experience in indie rock. It's the first time in a long time that I've felt a real buzzing anticipation in the crowd just before they took the stage, and, honestly, it was really refreshing to feel that after so many shows where you're just there to "check them out" and "see what their live show is like." As far as the music was concerned, it was especially nice to hear the weirder, slower tracks of Neon Bible in concert, especially the way the title track faded then came back for an a capella reprise. My girlfriend also now loves Win Butler for some reason -- I think she used the term "cute" but that's just because she hasn't seen the lyric sheet to "(Antichrist Television Blues)" yet (which they did not play). For those of us on the floor, the best moment came when Butler defied security and instructed everyone to move out of their seats and get as close as possible. It made for a really great atmosphere around the stage, and seemed to push the band to a new level for the last half of the show.
Let's see, what else? I did think some of the tunes off Funeral weren't quite as poignant as they used to be, but "Rebellion (Lies)" and "Neighborhood #1" were still highlights. I loved "Windowsill" and I love the mandolin/apocalyptic bounce of "Keep the Car Running", both from Bible. One other thing I did notice was that they split the stage up, males on one side, females on the other. I know this probably has something to do with what instruments go where, and Regine Chassagne's move to the drums did mess up that arrangement. But I'll stand by the theory that it creates this sort of familial, gender-divide feel up there, and a lot of the time that's what they're singing about. If you think I'm full of it, just send me an email and we can discuss more at length. The band came back from the encore and did a rousing rendition of "Intervention". Butler looked like his voice was struggling, but the other bandmates coerced him into doing one more -- "Wake Up", always a fan favorite. It wasn't the best song of the night, but it's always good to save your catchiest, most immediate song for last, and end a spectacular evening on a sure-fire high note.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Built to Spill - "The Plan" - Keep It Like A Secret
Probably one of the most powerful openers out there, it's major chords and driving drums set up probably one of the most powerful indie rock albums (in my opinion) of all time.
Field Music - "You're Not Supposed To" - Write Your Own History
What's a post without a Field Music reference? Although this isn't technically an LP (it's a compilation) the light harmonies and poppy refrain are quintessential Field Music.
Sugar - "The Act We Act" - Copper Blue
This is the oldest song on the list (As previously noted, I'm neglecting actual old stuff). Bob's Mould's first attempt after leaving punk is fantastic. Although "If I Can't Change Your Mind" dominated radio play, "The Act We Act" bridged Mould's evolution of genres.
The Bigger Lovers - "Half Richard's" - Honey In The Hive
These TRS favorites could actually have 3 on the list, but I'll spare you. Who knew a paternity test could sound so good?
Metric - "IOU" - Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
By far the shortest song title from the longest album name on the list, the switching beats and riffs make you curious what the rest of the album has to offer. A fantastic starter to this multidimensional debut album.
Ben Lee - "Cigarettes Will Kill You" - Breathing Tornadoes
Not only a song title, but also a public service announcement.
R.E.M. - "What's The Frequency Kenneth?" - Monster
Ok, ok. So this song was the first single off of The Greatest Rock Band of All Time's only all-electric album. What are you going to do? Mug me?
The Shins - "Kissing The Lipless" - Chutes Too Narrow
Let me map out the first minute of this song:
Yip! --> acoustic guitar/bored vocals --> BLAM!
Radiohead - "Airbag" - OK Computer
One of the greatest albums of all time (even though, as stated before, one Rockist doesn't agree) layed a new path for the band (and modern rock along with it). Ahhh Thom, you ARE back to save the universe.
The Hold Steady - "Stuck Between Stations" - Boys and Girls in America
Does this really need an explanation?
Mates of State - "Ha Ha" - Team Boo
Beulah - "A Man Like Me" - Yoko
The Arcade Fire - "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" - Funeral
Beck - "Sexx Laws" - Midnite Vultures
Wilco - "Can't Stand It" - Summerteeth
The Futureheads - "Yes/No" - News And Tributes
Monday, May 7, 2007
TRS has had the new Wilco album, Sky Blue Sky, for over a month thanks to a brother and friend of the Rockists. I'm a big fan, even though it's a departure from their good old days. It's just a record of songs by a band. Here's a trailer of the new album and DVD. (The Rockist Society doesn't receive any advertisement money because of you watching this... we're poor)