Month: May 2010

All Is Said And Done

Friday night, I was fortunate enough to see The Very Best at the Biltmore. The first opener, No Gold, didn’t really do much for me and second opener, Love & Electrik, was pretty catchy, but The Very Best was phenomenal. The place was packed to the rafters with the hippest of hipsters drinking their PBR¹ and they got wound up nicely by the DJ, My! Gay! Husband!, between bands. By the time The Very Best hit the stage, the crowd went completely apeshit. There was dancing and jumping and general good time-ing all around. They had two inflatable palm trees to help set the mood which, by the end of the show, ended up surfing through the crowd in the balmy basement venue. They even played their remix of Yeasayer‘s “Ambling Alp” and closed the show with “Warm Heart of Africa”, before doing “Will You Be There” from their original mix tape as an encore. If you get the chance to see them, do it. The Very Best are pretty much a guarantee of a spectacular dance party.

Speaking of “Ambling Alp”, Yeasayer must have liked what director, Radical Friend, did with that vid because they had him do the one for “O.N.E.” as well

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Dominique Young Unique out of Tampa is pretty impressive, especially considering she is only 17. Keep an ear on this one.

1. R.I.P. Dennis Hopper

From Here to L.A.

Zooey Deschanel ups her cute quotient in this vid for “In the Sun”. Oh yeah, I guess M. Ward is in it too, or else it would just be She instead of She & Him.

You might recognize the kids that sang backup for Passion Pit as the PS22 Chorus – 5th graders from Staten Island’s Public School 22. They also have done some small gigs like the White House, and have got quite a following. If you check out their YouTube channel, you’ll see their director, Mr. B., makes some excellent selections for these kids, (despite the questionable cornrows,) and they seem like they are all legitimately having fun. Basically, they are amazing. Phoenix has been signing their praises, (eh? signing? pun? no?) on French TV for their rendition of “Liztomania”, which is pretty fantastic.

Since I was granted an extra day off last week, I had a chance to catch an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba!, and it just so happened it was the episode with Mates of State. If I were given any sort of babysitting-type task, I would totally watch this show with the kiddies. It’s a fun show, they have fantastic bands and other celebs on and they’re not pointless like other idiot kids shows I’ve seen. Sorry, Sesame Street, but YGG is the awesomest kids show EVER. They even went to Coachella. Big Bird and his crew got nuthin’ on these guys, son.

Phillip Morris Crematorium

So my beloved Canucks have been eliminated from the playoffs. I’ve had a little while to recover from the heartbreak of it all and I think I’m ready to get caught up on everything I’ve been neglecting, including this here bloggity blog.

Ronnie James Dio and Lena Horne both passed away this month. Tip a 40 and give much respect to both of these incredible artists.

Nearly 30 years after the frightening, childhood-trauma-enducing, The Dark Crystal, they have announced they are making a sequel. I have lived in fear of this day…

I mentioned that I recently got to see Freelance Whales and they are good stuff. Here they are performing live at Grand Street Studio, up in that current music hotbed called Brooklyn.

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Speaking of recently viewed bands, Passion Pit did a pretty spectacular remix of “Undercover Martyn” by Two Door Cinema Club, that you probably should be listening to.

And to keep the NYC connection going, here’s Darwin Deez‘s “Radar Detector”, which showcases his tendrils, headband, and righteous dance moves.

Heading north, Montrealers, Think About Life, have a great vid for “Havin’ My Baby”, featuring a dancing preacher who rides one of those 3-wheeled motorcycles. Oh, and there are also puppets.

And over in foggy London town, Goldfrapp‘s got a “Rocket”.

The lovely Bat For Lashes has been paying homage to some iconic Brits in her live show and, I might add, doing a stellar job of it.

Here Comes The Summer

It’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so I haven’t been doing anything except watching a ton of hockey for the last month or so. I have tons to catch up on here, and I know it.

It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow and Betty White is hosting SNL tonight, along with an insane amount of returning female, former cast members. Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, Molly Shannon, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, and Ana Gasteyer are all going to be joining the lovely Betty and it is going to be epic. Oh yeah, and some guy named Jay Z is going to be the musical guest. With all that star-power, this could be his big break!

So catching up on shows I have seen this year, in January I saw Asobi Seksu do an acoustic set with openers Friendship and the Fawn at the Media Club. It was a nice, mellow show – intimate, to say the least. There was no flailing drum solo from Yuki this time around.

Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard with opener John Roderick from The Long Winters gave occasion for me to take my first trip to Portland. They had a star-studded backup band, including Ben’s bassist buddy, Nick Harmer. “You Remind Me of Home” was a nice surprise in the set list that made me smile since I was there with my olde timey buddies from back home. Portland, despite the usual PNW showers, was pretty nice. We hit Voodoo Doughnut and partook of their fine fares at Burnside on our last morning before hitting the road back North. We had to take the opportunity to swing by Cannon Beach to hit Haystack Rock. This year is the 25th anniversary of the Goonies, so it was only fitting. It was really beautiful down there and I would love to go back sometime and just chill out for a little while.

Thanks to some last-minute plans, I got to catch the Stars and Hey Rosetta show. It was part of the craziness that came with the Olympics and it was a really great night. Hey Rosetta actually stole the show. I’ve never seen an opening band have such demand for an encore! They didn’t oblige, sadly, but they really blew everyone away. I’ve seen Stars before and, for some reason, this time it felt like something was lacking. Don’t get me wrong, they sounded great, but it felt like it was missing heart. It felt a bit empty. A good show and an awesome night, nonetheless.

Got to see Cymbals Eat Guitars in March at the Biltmore with killer openers Bear In Heaven and Freelance Whales. This was a wicked show. Both openers were solid and I have never seen anyone even come close to sweating as much as Jim Adkins before Joseph Ferocious. That kid is a youngin’, but he has done his homework on late 90’s emo stage-presence.

After two cancelled shows, Passion Pit finally played at the Commodore on April 11th. It was quite a night, as other bands with shows that night included Spoon and Beach House. I would have been really pissed if PP cancelled again, because I would have totally gone to the Spoon show, but they showed up this time so all was well. Bear Hands and Mayer Hawthorne & the County opened for this one. Let me just say, Mayer Hawthorne, you are real, and you are SPECTACULAR. They were so much fun and he embodies what the old  Detroit sound and feel are in my head. A super good time, all around.

PP was awesome, as expected. They had the heavily-hipster crowd jumping and singing along from the second they hit the stage. H&M and Urban Outfitters attire could not be avoided, no matter where you looked, but my friends and I couldn’t stop watching the meathead in the tight white Ed Hardy gear trying to grind on his girlfriend and “dance” in front of the bar. It was like a bad version of a Girls Gone Wild commercial. You couldn’t look away and you couldn’t stop laughing either. Lots of holding his drink in the air and thrusting of the general crotch area – you know what I’m talking about.

The one thing I did not like was that Michael Angelakos made mention of having to postpone their last show here, but said it was due to sickness. He could easily have gotten his wires crossed, but they did NOT cancel due to sickness – it was because they decided to play Jimmy Kimmel instead. Kind of a burn, but then to not only claim it was due to sickness, but ALSO to not even mention that the December show was actually a rescheduling of their October show on top of that was pretty lame. I know they’re huge right now and touring can turn into a blur of cities and days, but it definitely put me a bit off. Still a great show, overall.

More to come between games…