Thursday, April 30, 2009

May in Advance

The Harlem Shakes at Maggie Mae's (SXSW)

What you need to know about in advance this month:
  • Passion Pit and The Harlem Shakes are touring together, a/k/a the next step of The Shakes' impending takeover. Submit now. They play the Troubadour on the 28th and the Echoplex on the 29th. I insist that you go to at least one. I'm going to try to make it to both.

News & Notes: April 30

  • Casxio is playing some shows with Datarock in June. The LA date is June 13 at Key Club.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thursday: Silversun Pickups at Echoplex

This makes my earlier dilemma disappear.

I'm still skeptical of this band, mostly because I wasn't impressed by their SXSW showcase. But you can't turn down seeing them at the Echoplex. And I'll be able to hop over to Xu Xu Fang's record release show afterwards.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Notes from You, Me & Iowa at Spaceland (4/25/2009)

  • I caught the last 10 minutes of Avi Buffalo's set. They were a lot better than when I saw them at 3 Clubs in March, and enough to convince me to make it out to the Echo at least once in May for one of their Tuesday residency shows.
  • You, Me & Iowa are fun. Lots of energy, good crowd banter, seem like nice guys. Here's a video.

  • The Hectors are a solid band. They're not going to blow your mind, but you're not going to want to leave their set early.
  • We Are the Nights are new and have a lot of work to do, especially in the stage presence area.

Monday, April 27, 2009

W2G2: April 27 - April 30

Last week was a good week. First The Henry Clay residency, then I got blown away by Casxio, and wrapped up with a really fun set by You, Me & Iowa. Attending too many shows isn't getting old yet (although I am getting some Spaceland fatigue).

Wrapping up April . . .

Monday: Henry Clay People at Spaceland. Last chance to not miss out, and maybe the last chance to see them for a long time.
Tuesday: Castledoor's Record Release Show at Echoplex. The Parson Red Heads open, who will be celebrating their own EP release. Princeton starts the night right. (The show poster was designed by Matt Sohl.)
  • I hope Princeton brings their string section; they sound a lot better when they do.
  • Can you say strongest lineup of the month?
  • Castledoor videos:

Wednesday: Baskin-Robbins 31 Cent Scoop Night. It's not a show, but it will be cheap and tasty (and it raises money for your local fire department).

Thursday: Three good options tonight. I haven't decided which one to attend yet. If you have suggestions, let me know.
  • Pomegranates at Silverlake Lounge. "Art-pop" from Cincinatti. Wye Oak opens. I haven't been to Silverlake Lounge in awhile.
  • Xu Xu Fang's record release show at the Echo. Free. The Voyeurs open, among others. With four bands and a 10pm start time, this one's going well into the morning.
Recommendations for Friday and the weekend to come later.

Video Encounter: Auto-Tune the News, Army Navy

Auto-Tune the News: You must watch this if you haven't yet. You'll probably want to watch it more than once. The Gregory Brothers' EP Release show is on May 29 at the Canal Room in New York.

Army Navy: Video for "Saints"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Casxio at Spaceland (4/23/2009)

I had pretty high expectations for this show, but didn't know exactly what to expect. Casxio exceeded all of my expectations.

I walked in at the middle of The Nights' set. They sounded pretty good, but had a bit of a strange style to them. Oh Darling was up next, and they had the crowd up close and in front before they played a single note. I'm not sure if their live sets add much to their recorded output, but it was enjoyable enough.

The night, of course, belonged to Casxio. This band is an absolute treasure (especially singer/bassist Lucas Guerin). They painted a permanent smile on my face for the duration of their set. Whether it was the choreographed head moves, the seriously done (but utterly ridiculous) covers, or Guerin, bearded and obviously not a teenager, singing in falsetto "Only seventeen / but my love is for real," this is a band to watch, and to watch live. And that's not even mentioning their music, appropriately self-described as "religious funk." Add that to the list, too.

Casxio has won me over for good, and I won't be missing another show of theirs. How can you explain, in words, a band come out for an encore (an encore at Spaceland?) with the singer proclaiming in a deep, serious voice "Now you're going to get it, [fuckers or bitches--I can't recall which]," proceed to play a cover (and not a funk-ified cover) of Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares," and walk off the stage to nothing but applause? Incredible.

Videos (I'll be going back to HD quality; just wanted to try out HQ)

Video clip of Casxio covering Britney Spears' "Gimme More:"

Clip of Oh Darling performing "Just Love Anyway"

The Nights

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Henry Clay People, Residency Show #3 (4/20/2009)

Another Monday night trip to Spaceland. By the third show I thought I'd have have Henry Clay fatigue. I didn't. Maybe it was because I hadn't been to a show in a week, but I was still looking forward to it. At the end of the day, knowing that once a week you can drive over to Spaceland and see The Henry Clay People for free is something to be thankful for, and it's something that may never happen again.

Supposedly this was going to be their covers show. Nope. They only played one cover, Tom Petty's Mary Jane's Last Dance, in honor of 4/20 (video clip below). But the music still wasn't stale, and I'm not sure it could ever be. It helped that they played three brand new songs, but "Working Part Time" was still great to hear. And the band seemed the happiest it had been during the residencies. Joey walked off the stage into the crowd and there was a lot of smiling and finger pointing, which is to be expected when you're playing amongst friends.

The Whip played right before HCP with their brand of disco rock. There's not much distinguishable about their brand. Their drummer, though, is one of the best female drummers I've seen. They started off with a couple of unimpressive instrumental songs. About 15 minutes into their set they left the stage claiming technical difficulties, but returned 10 minutes later. To make up for it they said that if anyone tweeted them they would put them on the list for their show the next night at Cinespace. By the end of their set I had warmed to them, but only slightly.

Adeline & The Philistines closed the show at midnight. I enjoyed the 5 or 6 songs I heard (especially "where the bees don't bite"); it's pleasant, toe-tapping, girl-fronted indie pop. Adeline kept on thanking people for staying, and after each song smiled and giggled a bit, as though she was impressed or surprised that they sounded so good and that people were applauding. It was endearing.

Looking forward to next Monday.

Here's two videos from the show, courtesy of my new camera (you may notice an extreme quality improvement, especially in HD).

And some pictures.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

News & Notes: April 21

Albums of (varying) note released today:
Other news:
  • Silversun Pickups' Swoon will debut at #5 on Billboard with about 48,000 first week sales. [UPDATE: Actually # 7. Hitsdailydouble misleading me again!]
  • The Henry Clay People are playing Lollapalooza. It will be their first major festival appearance.
  • The Harlem Shakes are touring with Passion Pit and will be in LA on May 28 (Troubadour) and 29 (Echoplex). Now you just have to choose which one.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

W2G2 (What 2 Go 2): April 20-26

I passed on Coachella, more from simply ignoring it and letting it pass me by than affirmatively deciding not to go. I think I made the right choice. The heat is ridiculous; it's 99 degrees in Indio right now. Why don't they have it earlier in the year? From the reports on Coachella it seems I would have enjoyed Friday's show, though, with Cage the Elephant, Hold Steady, and Paul McCartney. I do need to see Cage again after their fantastic SXSW set, and I haven't seen The Hold Steady since their Troubadour show in Summer 2005.

Anyway, onto the upcoming week.

Monday: Henry Clay People residency, Show 3, at Spaceland. The covers show. Marvelous Toy opens at 9pm and The Whip at 10. HCP at 11, and Adeline & The Philistines close it out at midnight.
  • I want to see Marvelous Toy and Adeline, but I don't need to see The Whip. I'm also not sure how The Whip's appearance is going to affect the whole dynamic of the show. They're a dance-rock/electonica band from the UK, so they don't fit with the bill at all. They're not that great, either. To avoid the possible lines, though, I'll probably end up getting there for most of The Whip's set, so I guess I might as well get there earlier and see Marvelous Toy, in which case I may leave before Adeline.
Thursday: Casxio at Spaceland. Oh Darling, Vanaprasta and The Nights open. RSVP to for $5 guest list.
  • This should be a very fun show, especially if Mouse of Classical Geek Theatre is anywhere near accurate in his review of Casxio's January show at Spaceland. Prince backed by Talking Heads? Sign me up.
  • Oh Darling is girl-fronted indie pop from Portland. Think of a cuter, higher-pitched Kindercore-era Dressy Bessy. Maybe (hopefully?) they rock out live a bit.
  • The Nights sound good, too, and start the night at 9pm.
Friday: Tyrone Wells (acoustic) at Hotel Cafe. First trip to Hotel Cafe. I've heard varying things about the venue.

: You Me & Iowa, We Fly By Night, The Hectors, and Avi Buffalo at Spaceland.
  • I saw The Hectors on my first ever trip to Spaceland in December when they opened for Radars to the Sky and was quite impressed.
  • I'm hoping to like Avi Buffalo as much as some other people do, but I was underwhelmed by their show in March at 3 Clubs. Apparently they were all getting over colds, but I don't know if I've ever seen a band seem as uninterested in playing as they did on that night. But I'm happy to give them another chance.
  • I've listened to a bit of You Me & Iowa and they sound good.
  • We Fly By Night are a new band from SF (so new that they played their first show on March 23)
Sunday: This is a bit of a tough call. The Faint play at The Henry Fonda, while The Mae Shi play The Echo.
  • The Faint is always a good time, even if their new album isn't their best. I saw them at The Fonda in August and loved it.
  • On the other hand, I haven't seen The Mae Shi yet, and I probably should.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Video Encounter: Henry Clay People Covers

In anticipation of next week's Henry Clay People residency show, which will be all covers, here's some videos of HCP playing covers

Neil Young's Rockin' in the Free World (performing as The Ronald Reagan People)

Airborne Toxic Event's Sometime Around Midnight (with marriage proposal at the end)

[Deleted the embedded video because it's widescreen and jutted into the next column. Here's the link]

Rolling Stones' Honky Tonk Women

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Castledoor: One New Song a Day (and then it's gone)

In anticipation of the release of its new album, Shouting at Mountains, on April 21, Castledoor has been posting one new song each day at the top of its Myspace player. Each day the song is switched for another, so if you miss it, it's gone. I've already missed my fair share.

Skipping Stepping Stones, another new track, is a more permanent addition to their page.

Poll: Set Order Question

When you see this webpage, in what order do you think the bands are performing? [Assume the venue will not pick up their phone.] I've put up a poll at the top right of the page. Feel free to answer the poll or leave a comment.

Here's the relevant text:

Wednesday 04.15.09: WAVVES / FOL CHEN / VAMPIRE HANDS @ echo

[Big picture of guy in Wavves and blurb about Wavves]

Fol Chen
Vampire Hands

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Notes from last night's Henry Clay People residency

  • Ran into Evan from Steel Train outside Spaceland. They're almost done recording their album and will be on tour after that, with California shows in late May.
  • Ben Hoste screen printed the HCP residency poster and is selling them at the shows.
  • I really like The World Record. Besides the songs, I especially liked how they started their midnight set 10 minutes early.
  • No line this time, but I did get there 45 minutes earlier than last week.
  • Last night was my 25th show of 2009, not including SXSW. How did that happen.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

W2G2: April 13-18

Was out of town last week and missed, among other things, Local Natives and The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra at Bordello and Monotonix at Spaceland. The upcoming week should be good, though.

Monday: Henry Clay People residency at Spaceland. Extremely strong lineup this night. The Broken West is on at 10, HCP at 11, and The World Record closes it out at midnight. Get there early to avoid the line.

Wednesday: Wavves and Fol Chen at the Echo. [Remainder deleted so as not to conflict with the poll]

Friday and Saturday: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Nightman Cometh at the Troubadour. Both nights are sold out and I didn't get tickets. My mistake.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Video Encounter: Olin & The Moon

Olin & The Moon have a new album coming out on May 1 called "Terrible Town." Here's a teaser video containing SXSW footage.

They also posted five new songs on their Myspace page, including the title track. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

You Must See The Henry Clay People This Month

Don't ask questions. Just go. You're going to hate yourself one day if you miss this.

  • New songs ("Taste of the Tasteless" tonight and I'm sure "End of the Empire" will make an appearance next week) and newer songs (one brand new song each night)
  • Covers. The third show (April 20) is devoted to covers.
  • "Old" favorites ("Working Part Time," "This Ain't a Scene," "Andy Sings")
  • Destroying equipment by accident. Joey knocked over Jordan's (of Marvelous Toy) keyboard not once, but twice. The first fall killed it, the second time was just hilarious. Joey appeared to trip in the middle of the stage and tumble over, and then the keyboard fell over in almost slow motion.
  • Special Guests. Tonight Airborne Toxic Event joined HCP for "Honky Tonk Women."
  • They'll soon be too big for Spaceland, if they aren't already.
Waited on line 30 minutes for a 40 minute set and it was still worth it. Looking forward to getting there next week a little earlier. For some mediocre quality videos from the show, check out CER's YouTube page.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Video Encounter: The Voyeurs "The Night I Died"

The Voyeurs are a band you should know about. The video is Ben Hoste's directorial debut. "Playing with time and perspective it's certain that you will want to watch the video more than once." For Ben's concert photography, check out his blog.

The Voyeurs – "The Night I Died" from Benjamin Gauvain Hoste on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April in Advance

Two things you need to know about in advance about April:
  • Castledoor's Record Release Show on April 28 at Echoplex. Princeton and The Parson Red Heads (who are releasing a 7" of their own) open. Undoubtedly the show of the month. I have yet to see a full Castledoor set. That will end on this day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

SXSW 2009 Wrapup

SXSW was great. It's indie rock heaven, except it's not free, all your friends aren't there, and there's sometimes long lines (although the lines do a good job in moving you away from what you shouldn't be spending your time on). The closest thing I can equate it to is a very long Warped Tour that's not entirely outside, has better music, and isn't full of 12-16 year olds.

Best performances: Kittens Ablaze at Wave, Von Bondies at Vice, Cage the Elephant at Antone's, Ra Ra Riot at Parish, Local Natives at Central Presbyterian Church.

First Band: Future of the Left
Last Band: Ra Ra Riot

In between: We Were Promised Jetpacks, Harlem Shakes, Titus Andronicus, Nico Vega, Other Lives, Shout Out Out Out Out, Tigercity, Von Bondies, Decemberists, Natalie Portman's Shaved Head, Mean Highway & Magic [apparently I have their name wrong], Great Lakes Myth Society, Megafaun, Henry Clay People, The Grates, Cold War Kids, The New Wine, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Amanda Palmer, Elvis Perkins, Local Natives, Bishop Allen, We Have Band, American Analog Set, Harlem Shakes, Cut Off Your Hands, Ra Ra Riot, Trail of Dead, Future of the Left, ?, Dressy Bessy, Bear Hands, Gringo Star, Greg Lacewell, Honey Sac, 13ghosts, Kittens Ablaze, Alice Russel, Still Flyin', ?, Mason Propper, Cursive, Starfucker, Local Natives, Afternoons, Happy Hollows, Cage the Elephant, Duke Spirit, Silversun Pickups

Show that made me the happiest: Great Lakes Myth Society. I've been wanting to see them (and/or their previous iteration The Original Brothers and Sisters of Love) for 7 years. Finally.

Brooklyn representing: Kittens Ablaze and Harlem Shakes (whose album just came out last week). I'm really excited to see what happens with these two bands over the next year. Maybe I need to move.

Bands I got to talk to: Kittens Ablaze, Great Lakes Myth Society (Tim), Dressy Bessy (Tammy and Rob), Local Natives (Matt).

Biggest surprises:
  • Running into high school friends at Ra Ra Riot's daytime show at the Onion party.
  • The small crowd loving Dressy Bessy. They deserve that.
  • Liking Amanda Palmer's set.
  • How friendly people are at SXSW.
  • Cupcake truck. Mmm.

  • Peter Bjorn & John. They're dead to me.
  • Beer. Cheap, but what a waste.
  • Bands not identifying themselves often enough. I shouldn't have to ask people who you are after seeing the last 10 minutes of your set -- you should have told me already.
  • How infrequently I needed my badge.
  • Not seeing Oh No Oh My, Matt & Kim, The Morning Benders, Via Audio, etc.
  • AT&T Wireless

Goals for next year:
  • Attend no matter what (March 17-21, 2010)
  • Talk to more people randomly
  • Bring a real camera
  • Save money and not get a badge (it's a $100+/day insurance policy), but then blow the savings on hard liquor.
Related Posts:
CER's SXSW Plans
CER's SXSW Videos