Saturday, October 30, 2010

"I might never catch a mouse and present it in my mouth, and make you feel you're with someone who deserves to be with you. But there's one thing we've got going and it's the only thing worth knowing. It's got lots to do with magnets and the pull of the moon." ~frightened rabbit

This is kind of a family week. Which I love. On Thursday I celebrated Bess's birthday with some family members. It was good to spend time with them. Here I am with my cousins; Maureen and I are lamenting the fact that we are midgets compared to Bess (who is much younger than we are):

Today my brother is coming to visit. I'm excited because I don't see him much, even though he lives pretty nearby. For my birthday he got us tickets to see Frightened Rabbit together. I've seen them in concert twice before and they put on a good live show. The concert is at Terminal 5 and I love that venue. I know it'll be a good night. My friend Leah is joining us for the concert, which just adds to the coolness factor of the evening. If they play "Poke," it'll be even better. That's the one song I haven't heard them play live that I really want to hear. But I'll try not to get my hopes up.

Now I have to finish cleaning. My brother is allergic to cats. And I have two kittens. I'm worried.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"My life, you electrify my life. Let's conspire to ignite all the souls that would die just to feel alive. But I'll never let you go, if you promised not to fade away. Never fade away. Our hopes and expectations, black holes and revelations. Our hopes and expectations, black holes and revelations." ~muse

I love weekends like the most recent one. I started out with no real plan and ended up having a great time. I hung out with my friend Bill, who has taken me to quite a few concerts (because he's just incredibly cool and generous like that). On Saturday we went to see Cheech & Chong perform. They're a pair of comedians I'm not really familiar with, and the humor wasn't really my style, but I didn't mind. I got to hang out with my friend and that made me happy. Sunday was the best day, though. We went to see Muse. We both saw Muse for the first time when they opened for U2. It's amazing that they even opened for U2 because they're an incredibly popular band who headlines their own stadium tours in Europe. They're HUGE in Europe, but America has taken awhile to catch on. After seeing them open for U2, I got all their albums (and Bill did the same). Last night we saw them at the Newark Prudential Center. Seeing them headline their own show was such a cool experience. They're one of those bands that you have to see live; they put on an amazing show. They're really talented musicians, they have crazy energy, the lighting and set design was so impressive, and their music is really meant to be blasted at a high volume with a ton of people singing along.

I didn't record the show, but I wish I did. I filmed a few songs. It's awful quality, but whatever. Here are my two favorites. They played "Starlight," which I absolutely love. It's my favorite song of theirs. They also played "Feeling Good," a Nina Simone cover (as a Chuck fan I was thrilled).


Feeling Good:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees. I never married, but Ohio don't remember me." ~the national

Okay, I just went back and watched the "Bloodbuzz Ohio" music video, and I think I love it just as much as "Terrible Love" video I posted yesterday. It's absolutely hilarious. I love how Matt loves making fun of himself. I could watch this over and over and over and still love it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"It's a terrible love and I'm walking with spiders. It's a terrible love and I'm walking in it's quiet company. It's quiet company." the national

I know I've already posted once tonight (scroll down for my Avett Brothers post), but I forgot that I needed to share this. Immediately. Best video ever. I love this even more than the music video for "Bloodbuzz Ohio." I love them so, so, so much.
"From where I stand, I can see they've got the upper hand of me. Reminds me of this world at last, simply changes much too fast for me. And when they call out, will I hear them? And when they fall out, will I see them? This yellow light on the crowd and colors way too loud to see reveal their drive, we could change it, try to rearrange it. They call me a Tom Boy and I let them.'Cause only a Tom Boy could forget them and simply change it. They call me a Tom Boy and I love it.'Cause only a Tom Boy could stand above it by simply changing." ~bettie serveert

I love how AD is always introducing me to amazing new music. Of course that song's not new (it's from 1992), but it's new to me.

I know I'm late on my Avett Brothers post. I've just been too lazy to go through the tedious process of getting the music up here (trust me, it's a LONG process). I've finally got it ready, though. But I'm not posting videos now, partly because they're not very good and partly because it's too much work.

For me, the highlights of the show were "Murder in the City" sung by the two brothers (it's a song about being brothers, so it was fitting for the two of them to sing it alone, and it was touching) and "I and Love and You." I also loved hearing "January Wedding" and "Laundry Room." "Laundry Room" is screwed up on my audio because my battery died in the middle of the song. I didn't expect them to play for over two hours. I missed almost 45 seconds in the middle of the song while changing my battery, so when I worked on the audio, I spliced in part of the song from another live show. It was impossible to get right so it sounds awful, but it's such a gorgeous song that I still wanted to include it. I also loved Paleface's "New York, New York" (Paleface was one of a few guests who joined them), and "Kick Drum Heart" was great. The concert was a lot of fun, and it was a great birthday present.
Get Your Own Player!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"I wanna have friends that will let me be all alone when being alone is all that I need. I wanna fit in to the perfect space, feel natural and safe in a volatile place. And I wanna grow old without the pain, give my body back to the earth and not complain." ~the avett brothers

I don't have my concert post ready yet. They played for a LONG time (over 2 hours), and that's a lot of music to track and edit and upload. It'll be up by tomorrow, though.

For now, I'm sharing a commercial for The Scottsboro Boys, a new Broadway musical. It's based on a true story. I saw it last weekend and was very moved by it. The acting, choreography, and design are all very strong, and the story stays with you long after you leave the theater. It's Kander & Ebb's last musical, and it's a special one.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"The big sky that you see when you travel way out west, I admit that can impress. I love the space, man, it's insane, and the sage at the roadside, how it smells after the rain. But even though there's lots to see, the mountains and deserts are free, I still cannot escape the fact that I'll always be looking back at New York, New York. Now that's something to see. Yeah, it's special to me. New York, New York. It's where I came to be, where I came to be. The Bronx is up, Brooklyn's down, Brooklyn's down. There ain't any other town like this town. Some will always put it down, but they don't see that it's a crown, and they should count themselves lucky enough to have a place to see like New York, New York. Remember that you're free as a statue in the sea. New York, New York. They say it never sleeps; you should check that just to see." ~paleface

Well said, sir. Well said. Last night I went to see The Avett Brothers at Radio City Music Hall. It was Nic's birthday present to me, and it was a great show. Paleface was there and sang with them for a few songs (he also sang the beautiful song posted above). I'll have a concert post up within the next couple of days.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. In 1493, he came home across the deep blue sea. In 1494, he did it with the girl next door. In 1495, he barely made it out alive. In 1964, these sailors left me the door. In 1970, some people got their hands on me." ~counting crows

I liked Adam's tweets yesterday. Here are just a few:
There's justifiable dissing of Columbus but, mistakes aside, I admire a guy who defied accepted wisdom & sailed off the end of the world

Sure, he "knew" that there was no "end of the world" but his sailors didn't. Surprising they didn't pitch him over the side after awhile.

Columbus was a weird mixture of scientist and adventurer. He was smart enough to see the truth & brave enough to take the risks to prove it.

That said, he totally fucked up once he got there. That was not so good. But it's almost never good, is it? Sad thing is it always happens.

History's mostly about people's ignorance/abuse of each other. I still admire the part that's brave enough to sail off the end of the world.

I should point out that, in writing "1492", I was talking about the total degradation of a human being. I took a jaded view of his adventure

I'm just saying we ALWAYS look at the world as black or white & get it wrong. People live in the grey.

It's just so popular these days to dish Columbus. But we are a nation built on both idealism and genocide. The world is a complicated place.
He's a smart guy.

I want to honor another smart guy today. Yesterday might have been Bobby Cox's last game managing the Braves. They made it to the postseason but lost their series against the Giants last night, ending their season. Bobby had announced that this would be his last season. He spent 25 years managing the Braves, leading them to a record 14 consecutive division titles. He's the best manager in the game and I love him. I'm crying now just writing about this. After last night's game, the crowd gave him a standing ovation and chanted his name. The Giants even stopped their celebration to acknowledge him. He tearfully addressed the crowd and was lost for words for what seemed like the first time in his life. I really, really hope he changes his mind and returns next season, because the Braves will not be the same without him. His importance cannot be overstated. I can't imagine anyone else filling those shoes.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

"I'm pretty sure I wasn't your first choice. I think I was the last one remaining. I wish we hadn't gone and destroyed it, 'cause I was thinking we could pull another weekender. You've still got a bit of clairvoyance." ~the hold steady

On Thursday I saw The Hold Steady in concert at the Beacon Theater. It was a great show. First of all, I love that venue; it's probably my favorite seated concert venue in the city. They're touring to promote their newest album, Heaven is Whenever, and they played all my favorite songs from that record ("Hurricane J," "We Can Get Together," "The Sweet Part of the City," "The Weekenders"). My favorite album of theirs, though, is Stay Positive, so I was hoping to hear a lot of songs from it, and I wasn't disappointed. They played "Sequestered in Memphis," "Magazines," and "Slapped Actress," which are three of my favorite songs from that album. The only thing I wanted to hear but didn't was "Lord, I'm Discouraged." It's omission wasn't surprising but was still disappointing.

Craig Finn is such an engaging entertainer. He uses his whole body to draw the crowd in; he never stops moving onstage, and he uses the whole stage. You can't help but move along with him. I filmed some songs, but I skipped some because I wanted to move around. I wanted to film "Hurricane J" and "Sequestered in Memphis" because I love those, but I just had to dance instead. And I should have filmed "We Can Get Together," but I'm not sure why I didn't think of it at the time. I guess I was just so excited to hear the song. I did catch some of my favorites, though. There are more on my youtube page, but these are the songs I love the most:

Slapped Actress (I was SO psyched when they launched into this; it was the song I wanted to hear most):

The Sweet Part of the City (my favorite song from Heaven is Whenever):

Magazines (oh, how I love this song):

The Weekenders (the girl has clairvoyance; is this song for me?):

I also taped the show, and it sounds pretty good.

Get Your Own Player!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go. So make the best of this test, and don't ask why. It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time. It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life." ~green day

So I haven't written about Billie Joe yet. How do I even put into words how amazing he was? First of all, in case you don't know what I'm talking about, there's a fabulous musical on Broadway right now called American Idiot. It's based on Green Day's hugely popular and highly acclaimed concept album of the same title. Billie Joe Armstrong (the lead singer of Green Day) just appeared in the musical for one week as St. Jimmy. It was easy for him to just jump in for a week because A.) he created the character he was playing, and B.) he wrote all the music and performs it in Green Day's concerts on a regular basis. He knows it better than anyone. Even though we've seen the show more than once, Nic and I knew we had to see it with him, so we got student rush tickets to his last show. He made me see the character of St. Jimmy in a completely new way. He was absolutely brilliant. Of course just hearing him sing was incredibly cool, but his acting was really impressive as well. And the crowd was so excited, which always contributes to the overall vibe from the show. Billie Joe's energy was infectious. Before his first scene, we could hear him screaming backstage, and audience members started screaming as well. He got one standing ovation during the show (which is rare) and of course during curtain call as well. During curtain call he sang a short song that he wrote for us before launching into "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life"). Here it is (along with "Good Riddance"):

I have TONS of movies to write about as well. Maybe tomorrow? On Thursday I'm seeing The Hold Steady, so be prepared for a post about that concert.

Friday, October 01, 2010

"And we sing with our heroes thirty-three rounds per minute. We're never going home until the sun says we're finished." ~the gaslight anthem

On Thursday I saw The Gaslight Anthem at Radio City Music Hall. It was a really great concert. They seemed so excited and grateful to be there, and you could sense the positive energy coming from the band. They're from New Brunswick, NJ (very near my hometown), and this was almost like they were playing at home; there were a lot of Jerseyans there.

It was a solid setlist. No huge surprises, but they did play my favorite song of theirs, "Here's Looking At You, Kid" (I was SO excited), as well as a bunch of other favorites ("Bring It On," "Boxer," "The Patient Ferris Wheel," "The Diamond Church Street Choir"). Along with those, "We Did It When We Were Young" was particularly gorgeous live.

I didn't get any great pictures (I always have trouble taking photos at concerts), but here are a couple:
Here's my video of "Here's Looking at You, Kid." Unfortunately the video quality isn't great.

Spinner has a good review of the show here: Gaslight Anthem Play Epic Set at Radio City Music Hall

I recorded it as well. Radio City Music Hall is not a great place to record; the acoustics aren't great. Anyway, here it is:

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