Saturday, July 01, 2006
On Saturday nightI decided to venture well beyond the smoky clubs of Atlanta and take in a show in quaint little Madison, Georgia. On that evening the Madison Chamber Music Festival hosted a performance by Christopher O’Riley and others. O’Riley is a pianist and has in the past couple years risen in prominence due to his affiliation with Public Radio International and his transcriptions of songs by both Radiohead and Elliot Smith. Saturday night found O’Riley performing both more traditional classical fare and a segment of his Radiohead catalog within a century-old schoolhouse in rural Georgia.
lap gia dinh
The show began with O’Riley playing alongside violinist Rachel Barton, with whom he played a violin sonata by Ravel. O’Riley and Barton handled Ravel’s material masterfully, with the second movement ("Blues [Moderato]") particularly gripping. After the Ravel piece, O’Riley and Barton were joined on stage by Jennifer Stumm (viola) and Christopher Rex (cello). They proceeded to play Faure’s “Piano Quartet in C Minor Op. 15.” While the Ravel piece was a jazz-influenced romp, the Faure composition was in a more traditional classical vein. Both were thoroughly enjoyable, but for me they were simply the warm-up for O’Riley’s set of Radiohead material.
After an intermission following the Faure piece, O’Riley took the stage alone and proceeded to play “There There” almost without warning. His set would include some of Radiohead’s best-known material as well as rarities and B-sides. The complete setlist:
July 1, 2006
Madison-Morgan Cultural Center
Like Spinning Plates
True Love Waits
Talk Show Host
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
- encore -
*with Christopher Rex on cello
As is probably apparent to Radiohead fans, the set included both the expected and some great surprises. O’Riley was also personable and chatty throughout, occassionally picking up a microphone to discuss the songs, his adoration for Radiohead’s music, and his interaction with Radiohead at a recent Madison Square Garden performance.
The unreleased “Lift” was a special early treat. After performing it without introducing the tune, O’Riley asked if anyone in the crowd could name the song—a lone gentleman rose to name the title and thoroughly impress the performer. O’Riley went on to explain that his transcription is based on performances of the song from the 1997 tour; apparently it saw the light of day only in that year and in a mellower form in 2003. This was the first of many moments when O’Riley demonstrated his expertise in all things Radiohead.
Impressive performances of “Pyramid Song” (with cellist Christopher Rex) and “Talk Show Host” were unexpected as well. O’Riley explained that he had been hesitant to play “Pyramid Song” on piano because doing so allowed little opportunity to mimic Thom Yorke’s vocal on the song; however, he and Rex had worked out a means of collaborating on the song recently and did so in Madison. They discussed on stage the on-going controversey over the time signature of the track, but it seems to remain unsettled. “Talk Show Host” was stripped down to its barest elements, with O’Riley explaining his version is highly influenced by the remix found on the soundtrack to Romeo and Juliet (1996).
The remainder of the set was equally impressive. While there is always the danger that a set such as this will become tiresome as the gimmick loses its novelty, O’Riley maintained the attention and admiration of the audience throughout. It should also be noted that a healthy percentage of the audience probably also had little to no familiarity with Radiohead at all—the average age in the crowd seemed to be well above 50. However, several of these older individuals said after the show that they were now curious enough to check out Radiohead, while one of the younger patrons described the show as “face-melting chamber music.” That, I suppose, may be the first time that phrase has ever been uttered.
While the show may have been particularly enjoyable for Radiohead fans excited about seeing the band’s work reinterpreted, O’Riley also demonstrates that modern pop and rock can find a home in a classical setting. O’Riley’s performance was as a whole fascinating and enjoyable, with his charismatic stage persona and skillful playing a joy to watch. He certainly won over this audience member despite initial concerns, if not skepticism. Catch him if he comes your way.
For a sample of O’Riley’s Radiohead material, check out his version of “Paranoid Android”:
Christopher O’Riley - Paranoid Android
Friday, June 30, 2006
In retrospect Depeche Mode comes off as terribly dated music – let’s not kid ourselves. But with the existing retro synth/eighties trend of the past few years, that works in the Mode’s favor, and none more so than their1987 album Music For The Masses. I came on board as a fan with the it’s follow-up, Violator, which also brought the band mainstream success in the form of a slew of Mtv-ready videos and promo spots. After digesting Violater I worked my way backwards and came to know Music For The Masses, which I received a reissue of a couple of weeks ago (complete with additional notes/photos/packaging//DVD w/ b-sides/etc).
How does the album hold up fifteen years after I first heard it? Actually, very well in all it’s painfully awkward glory. I can’t say I didn’t wince re-visiting the lyrics: “make my heart smile(??)” but then again no one ever accused Gahan and company of being master lyricists.
The extras, while nice, will mostly appeal to the already converted fan—personally, the big win here is the improved sound which for electro-synth based music is absolutely essential.
Note: Rhino has also released a re-issue of the Violator album which I have yet to hear, but would expect similar results.
Amazon: Depeche Mode - Music For The Masses
Posted by Aquarium Drunkard
on 06/30 at 12:12 PM
“Phoenix ... kind of f---ing rules!”
– Ben Bridwell
Band of Horses singer
June 29, 2006
If the increase in size of the crowd at Thursday night’s show compared to a March appearance at the same venue is any indication, .)
I gotta admit: I was a little disgruntled. Where was everyone in March?!? Ah, but that’s just indie-rock snobbery. A band like this deserves whatever sold-out crowds it draws. There’s not a more amiable and engaging frontman than Bridwell. His chatter in between (and sometimes during) songs is priceless, and he exudes a carefree feeling that there’s just no other place he’d rather be than playing for you.
His gratuitous use of the word “dudes” – ”Thanks, dudes!“ after about every song – is both humorous and endearing. “We’re just gonna have a good time together, dudes,” he said at the start of the show. And the overwhelming applause from each song made him jokingly cover his ears, as if he didn’t just get the same response the night before. No matter. For one night, Bridwell boasted on Phoenix and took a jab at his former hometown of Tucson, where they played to an apparently lackluster crowd on Wednesday night. (Memo to touring musicians: Phoenicians eat that up every time.)
Whatever, his “dudes” and thumbs-up and hang-loose hand gestures (seriously, hang loose?) make the touring rock-star life seem so appealing. If you don’t wanna be the lead singer of Band of Horses after you see Band of Horses, there’s something wrong with you.
Perhaps predictably, the group saved Funeral (?
For Funeral, Bridwell encouraged the crowd to sing along on the “ooooh, ooooohs” leading up to the song’s climax: “Come on, dudes. Stay in tune.” So when he botched a guitar note later on in the tune, he jokingly reminded us mid-song: “Hey f--- that; you guys f---ed up the vocals!”
Better were two versions of Wicked Gil: the album version (if you will) and a slower, more romantic rendition for the encore. My wife loves this song, even if she has no clue what the lyrics are (“they’ll be eating people to safety”?) so to have it played twice was gravy.
I bought Everything All the Time on vinyl last night, and I’m convinced it’s going to take a real strong showing from someone to supplant this as my Album of the Year. (And The Great Salt Lake (mp3) as my Song of the Year.)
(Originally published at So Much Silence.)
Band of Horses on KEXP.
Song of the year (so far): Band of Horses “Funeral.”
(FYI: This selection has since changed to Band of Horses’ The Great Salt Lake.)
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Grayson Capps’ bluesy, soulful, Southern literary storytelling has been a welcome treat whenever his album pops up on shuffle as we drive cross-country these past 2+ weeks.
I write songs which have the voice of dead prophets masquerading as town drunks screaming ‘look at us we’re pretty, too!’ I’ve been playing guitar and singing for nearly twenty years now. I’ve played theaters, festivals, radio shows, t.v. shows, whiskey-beer crusted barrooms, living rooms, and camp fires. Some people call me a preacher others a poet, a singer, a guitar player, a landscaper, but I am only an actor strutting and fretting across the stage.”“>“I write songs which have the voice of dead prophets masquerading as town drunks screaming ‘look at us we’re pretty, too!’ I’ve been playing guitar and singing for nearly twenty years now. I’ve played theaters, festivals, radio shows, t.v. shows, whiskey-beer crusted barrooms, living rooms, and camp fires. Some people call me a preacher others a poet, a singer, a guitar player, a landscaper, but I am only an actor strutting and fretting across the stage.”
MP3: Grayson Capps :: Get Back Up
Amazon: Grayson Capps :: If You Knew My Mind
Posted by Aquarium Drunkard
on 06/29 at 08:33 PM
I had been waiting for Tuesday night’s DeVotchKa show for some time - well, at least since I posted on them last month, having spent a good deal of the interim listening to their latest EP Curse Your Little Heart and generally craving something different from the usual indie rock fare.
Touring openers Norfolk & Western were no-shows on account of a van breakdown in Vermont so local country-gospeler Jon-Rae Fletcher got the call to fill in with a River-less solo acoustic set. I’ve seen Jon-Rae a few times and he’s never done anything for me - tonight did nothing to change that opinion. But he did pass the time and got DeVotchKa onstage a little earlier than scheduled so that was a plus. A pity about Norfolk & Western, though - I had really looked forward to seeing them. Alas, maybe next time.
While I generally try to avoid descriptions like this, I have to say DeVotchKa’s frontman Nick Urata is like the love child of Morrissey and Dean Martin, kidnapped and raised by Gypsies in the deserts of New Mexico. Everything about Urata and his band is strange and indescribable in simple terms, from their instrumentation - everyone is a multi-instrumentalist and broke out upright bass, tuba, violin, accordian and glockenspiel to name but a few, when called for. The band stuck to the more intense and dramatic end of their repetoire for the most part, only letting Urata slip into crooner mode a couple times on the night. Otherwise, it was a swirl of richly-textured strings, percussion, horns and unbridled romanticism that was something to behold. Their energy actually made the stifling heat in the El Mocambo part of the experience (though that’s not to say some air conditioning would have spoiled the mood). Superb stuff from certainly one of the most unique bands out there right now.
Photos were taken and if you get the chance to catch them on tour, do yourself a favour and do so. Hell, maybe even Norfolk & Western will be back on the job.
MP3: DeVotchKa - “We’re Leaving”
MP3: Jon-Rae & The River - “Come Back”
Originally from Chromewaves.net.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Beck at the Wiltern on 6/27 and 6/28. He got rave reviews for his set at Coachella so this in-store should not be missed.
Lidell is know for his genre crossing performances. XLR8R says, “A 21st century version of the one man band, he’s a bizarre amalgamation of Bobby McFerrin, Rahzel, Matthew Herbert and Prince—with the unhinged, wild-eyed manner of say, Iggy Pop or Darby Crash”
Here’s the title track from his most recent album Multiply
Jamie Lidell - Multiply
The in-store starts at 6 p.m. Be sure to get to there early, Lidell will be signing copies of his CD’s before his performance.
are a foursome from San Diego who play a type of indie rock that has Beach Boy-style pop elements crossed with a little soul, a little blues, even a dash of country and then a whole lot more fuzzy psychedelia. They draw lines of influence and comparison to bands like The Velvet Underground, Curtis Mayfield, Television, The Kingsbury Manx, Of Montreal and The Radar Bros. The songwriting is strong, the play is tight and I am loving this album more each time I listen to it...I think I’m on the 5th time through today!
They were recently on tour and opening for Said The Gramaphone
a couple months ago. Their Antenna Farm Records
, a growing favorite of mine.
The Donkeys - Come On Virginia
The Donkeys - In The Morning
Posted by Dodge
on 06/27 at 11:28 AM
DJ Never Forget - Team Summer Rations Mix
My homeboy DJ Never Forget
is back with a butt-shaking summer mix for you cool kids. You may remember my first post on his Enemy Infiltration Mix
, which kicked serious shitake mushrooms. I listened to that mix pretty much non-stop for a month. I can all ready tell this is gonna be the same way. Find out more about him and his DJ collective
at Little Radio
show - Fridays 7pm to 9pm EST.
Previous DJ Never Forget MOKB post
in which his Enemy Infiltration Mix
is still available.
Ah sweet summer. You are finally upon us with warm nights and roof top dance parties. Wine in bottles and 40s in bags. Where you press up against people with sticky sweaty flesh and sweat all over each other, and not doing bad things. Who doesn’t love this time of year? In honor of heat that July & August will bring, I made this mix to let us get through the rough times.
- DJ Never Forget
Team Summer Rations Mix Tracklisting:
Lo-Fi Fnk - City
The Gossip - Listen Up (tronik youth remix)
Mirwais Ft. Craig Wedren - Miss You (Thin White Duke Remix)
Tom Vek - If You Want (Playgroup Dub)
Walter Meego - Keyhole
Suicide Sports Club - The Last Ghost In Town (Redanka Mix)
Simian Mobile Disco - Hustler
The Knife - Pass This On (Hugg & Pepp Remix)
Revlon 9 - Someone Like You
Le Sport - It’s Not The End Of The World
Posted by Dodge
on 06/27 at 07:26 AM
I’m an unabashed fan of ‘90s female-fronted electronic-pop (the good kind: Massive Attack, Portishead, Mazzy Star, etc.) and the music of Sacramento’s The Evening Episode definitely recalls that aesthetic: organic, lush, sensuous, and impossibly warm. The band’s press materials draw valid comparisons to The Notwist, and Teresa Eggers’ sexy/sweet vocals also bring to mind Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval. And I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I have a thing for hot vocalists/thereminists:
Here are a couple tracks from the new album, The Physicist Has Known Sin, which comes out July 11 on Lovely Creatures mp3
The Evening Episode New Love mp3
Preorder The Physicist Has Known Sin Music is Art has a nice little write-up on Mazzy Star, as well as some live mp3s from a ‘94 performance.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Louise, also features a guest vocal by Daniels’ daughter Maddie that is just adorable. I’m particularly fond of the album’s opening track, “Nickel”, which you can hear below. Recommended if you’re fan of bands/tunes in the No Depression vein.
Here are a few tracks from Louise, courtesy of Foul Country Records:
Bouldercrest Singing Group - Nickel
Bouldercrest Singing Group - Louise
Bouldercrest Singing Group - Stay Away
You can purchase Louise from CDBaby. You can also hear more tunes and be their BFF on MySpace.
So you say you like the music of Broken Social Scene but don’t care for their songs? Or you dig Dinosaur Jr but wish there were twice as many members in the band? Then by gum you should have been at the Mod Club this past Friday night for what was billed as “Broken Mascis Scene”, with J Mascis leading a core lineup of Broken Socialites on a romp through the Dino Jr catalog with undeniably awesome results. The show, scheduled the night before both BSS and J Masics were scheduled to throw down at the annual Olympic Island fete, was a fundraiser for the Amma Foundation - a charity to which Mascis has not only written a song ("Ammaring") but also recorded an entire CD of devotional songs (J + Friends Sing And Chant For Amma).
While there were surely some in attendance strictly on the basis of the BSS component of the lineup, the night was unmistakably J’s. Call them whatever you want - as far as I’m concerned, that was Dinosaur Jr up there. Kevin Drew often doubled J’s vocals but only occasionally took lead and if he never strapped the guitar on at all, you wouldn’t have noticed. Also onstage were Brendan Canning on bass and Bill Priddle on guitar and two drummers - BSS’s Justin Peroff and Mascis’ Fog bandmate George Berz. Rather than take the dueling percussionist route, Peroff and Berz played pretty much the same thing beat for beat - probably unnecessary but they were so tight that it became that much more impactful. And in very un-Broken Social fasion, guests were kept to a minimum. Charles Spearin and Ohad Benchetrit added trumpet and flute to “Thumb” (probably added to the set just to get trumpet and flute in there) and Feist came out for chorus vocals on set-closer “Get Me”.
Unlike the Dinosaur Jr reunion tour last year which stuck to the Barlow-era material, this night’s set list read like a greatest hits package. Every album in the J’s discography was represented save for the bookends - Dinosaur and Free So Free - and were executed with the perfect amount of passion and slop. After all, no one wants precision and tidiness from Dinosaur Jr. But if you asked me even a month ago if I ever expected to hear “Start Choppin’” or “Feel The Pain” live, I’d have said no - how sweet it is to be wrong. Thanks to a curfew the patter was kept to a minimum as the band powered through a setlist on only three days of rehearsals but were compelled to return for an unrehearsed encore of “Alone” off Hand It Over. While not exactly a crowd-favourite, it’s three chords and a crapload of soloing so it wasn’t too hard to get the Scene up to speed.
I didn’t know what to expect from this show - it could well have been a karaoke-like disaster, an unrehearsed mess or just plain uninspiring, but instead it turned out to be one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. At the very least, as good as the two weeks ago and that’s saying something. I guess it’s been a good month for fans of super-extended guitar solos. Though the star attraction, J positioned himself on far stage left in the shadow of approximately 300W and 18 speakers of Marshall and Fender power, leaving most of the stage to Drew and Broken Social Scene. Somewhat surprisingly, even with all that firepower, he wasn’t nearly as loud as I’d heard the Dino Jr shows were, perhaps having to afford some sonic space to his bandmates necessitated backing down the volume a bit. I thought it sounded great, so I wasn’t complaining.
Tokyo Police Club were added as last-minute openers and I was pleased to see they put on a much better show than the last time I saw them, ironically by not trying to put on a “show” at all. By keeping their ultra-compact (sub-30 minute) set laser tight and focused and antic-free, they finally managed to impress me with their chops and songwriting. While not entirely up my alley, I think I saw what their boosters saw and will throw my support behind them as a band certainly worth watching.
But this show wasn’t about Tokyo Police Club or even Broken Social Scene. It was J Mascis and the works of Dinosaur Jr and it was amazing. I’d want to say a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but that’s probably overstating it and they did the exact same thing not 24 hours later on Olympic Island. Oh well. Once-in-a-WEEKEND, then. Or twice. Hmm. Anyway, thanks and cheers to everyone who made this happen. Look at the front-row photos and read the Chart article where Tokyo Police Club discuss what to expect of their first full-length album.
MP3: Dinosaur Jr - “Freak Scene”
MP3: J Mascis & The Fog - “All The Girls”
MP3: Tokyo Police Club - “Nature Of The Experiment”
MySpace: Dinosaur Jr
MySpace: J Mascis & The Fog
Originally published at Chromewaves.net.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
In a year that’s seen an influx of protest music (see also, Neil Young’s Living With War), we shouldn’t overlook a group whose made an anti-establishment platform its M.O., not just a trendy statement.
That would be the Coup, the Oakland duo of Boots Riley and Pam the Funkstress. Their latest (and fifth full-length), Pick a Bigger Weapon, is a jolt of activism, with its primary target (surprise!) the Bush administration. Head (of State) doesn’t mince words, imaginging Bush and Hussein as political bedfellows (to put it kindly).
Their message is wrapped in thick funk and they’ve enlisted the help of Tom Morello (ex-Rage Against the Machine) and former members of Parliament-Funkadelic, the Gap Band and Toni, Tony, Tone. Be sure to check My Favorite Mutiny, a front-runner for hip-hop track of the year with guest spots from Black Thought of the Roots and Talib Kweli.
The Coup My Favorite Mutiny
The Coup We Are the Ones
At the end of May, Nashville-based singer-songwriter The Angel for grub in between). Mead showcased the material from his new album Tangerine
during this stop, providing the good people of Atlanta a fine pair of performances. Here are a few choice cuts from the shows:
David Mead - Chatterbox [live @ Decatur CD, 5-27-2006]
David Mead - Choosing Sides [live @ Decatur CD, 5-27-2006]
David Mead - Hard to Remember [live @ Eddie’s Attic, 5-27-2006]
David Mead - New Mexico [live @ Eddie’s Attic, 5-27-2006]
David Mead - God Only Knows [live @ Eddie’s Attic, 5-27-2006; Beach Boys cover]
David Mead - Just Like a Woman [live @ Eddie’s Attic, 5-27-2006; Bob Dylan cover]
You can download my full recordings of each show from archive.org below.
May 27, 2006 - Decatur CD [.flac, .mp3, .ogg]
May 27, 2006 - Eddie’s Attic [.flac, .mp3, .ogg]
Visit MySpace for more info.
Buy Tangerine Posted by C&T on 06/24 at 05:18 AM
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Friday, June 23, 2006
One month ago today, local legend Clifford Antone passed away from an unexpected heart attack while at his downtown home. To those unfamiliar with the local music scene and Antone’s massive contributions (he is credited with bringing live music to the famed Sixth Street area, among other things), it was just another unfortunate passing. But to those of us submerged in Austin music, it was a day that will remain with us forever.
As cliche as it may sound, I’ll never forget where I was when I heard the news. Impatiently waiting at a stop sign for traffic to subside, news broke on KGSR and immediately my jaw dropped. Memories of Antone’s experiences raced through my head as my eyes welled with tears. Silent, respectful tears. His passing reminded me of the immediacy and finality of death and that the best thing to do, even as you watch a show or frequent a club, is to appreciate the moment.
Posted by Tara
on 06/23 at 09:50 AM
I got the MySpace alert Wednesday night announcing that Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis would be making a quick L.A. stop in support of her neo-folk solo release “Rabbit Fur Coat.” Minutes after the Thursday morning pre-sale, the Ticketweb allotment was gone.
The bummer is that I didn’t make it into the system during those first few minutes, which probably locks me out of the rest of the tour (L.A. is apparently a warm-up show for Lewis’ summer run through Europe).
For those who want to brave the night-of-show line, head on over to Spaceland on Thursday, June 29th.