Posts Tagged ‘concert’

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Pitchfork highlights: Friday, Mission of Burma

July 20, 2008

I’m not going to comprehensively blog the 2008 Pitchfork Music Festival; instead I’ll point you here and here and here (and I’m sure you’ll find others, if you’re interested). Rather, I’m just going to focus on one artist from each day.

Unsurprisingly, Mission of Burma was my personal highlight from Friday, playing their album Vs as part of the All Tomorrow’s Parties ‘Don’t Look Back’ series. The played a few non-Vs tracks to start (so that fans would have the ‘definitive edition’) and, as always, they were ferocious and compelling live. As that comment suggests, they also had a signal sense of humour about the artificiality of playing an entire album, in order, including starting each ‘side’ with the sounds of crackly vinyl.

The YouTube link above is of a live performance of the last track on the album, “That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate.” I don’t know yet if Pitchfork is archiving the live video; stay tuned.

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Concert notes: Ezra Furman and the Harpoons

April 17, 2008

[Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge, MA; April 16, 2008]

Ezra Furman and his band, the Harpoons, tie together down-home style tunes with angst-y, sarcastic Midwesterner lyrics. They performed an energetic 45-minute set at the Middle East on Wednesday night, opening for Cloud Cult. Give them a few more months and the concerts will be singalongs, I think – I’m sure I’m not the only person who bought the CD and has started learning the witty lyrics. I also suspect that twenty-year-old Furman – possessed as he is of a shy charisma – will be the target of many smitten fourteen-year-old girls (and boys) in the near future. (It’s not captured very well in my photo, I admit, but try this promo photo). And besides, how could you not like a band that passes out York peppermint patties to all their loyal fans?

MP3: Ezra Furman and the Harpoons – My Soul Has Escaped My Body

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Concert notes: Holy Fuck

March 22, 2008

[embedded YouTube video; if you can’t see it, click here]

[Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA; March 21, 2008]

I wrote about Holy Fuck the last time I saw them – they are utterly phenomenal live. You can look at the clips on YouTube, but they don’t really capture the experience (that’s why that’s a video above, not a live clip). Unfortunately, they are wrapping up their North American tour – but if you happen to live in the UK or Ireland, you should definitely try to catch one of their shows.

And I’ve decided that Rachael Ray can’t be all bad if she’s a fan.

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Concert notes: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

December 3, 2007

[Roxy, Boston, MA; December 1, 2007]

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists are amazingly fun live, and I’ve seen them several times in the last year or so. Ted Leo writes and sings tightly constructed songs, with literate and interesting lyrics, and the Pharmacists are an excellent set of musicians. But the real joy of a Ted Leo concert is in the way he talks to and interacts with the crowd. On Saturday night at the Roxy, he announced, “That was the most inarticulate forty-five seconds of heckling I’ve ever heard,” and proceeded to do his impression of what it sounded like from the stage, acting out the competing hecklers in Charlie-Brown-grownups-style voices. It was pointed and hilarious. I’ll keep an eye out for audio or video from the Saturday show, but in the meantime, here’s a video clip from Ted Leo’s previous Boston concert, in which he tells a story about visiting his hometown.

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MP3: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?

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Concert notes: Holy Fuck

November 30, 2007

[Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA; November 29, 2007]

Holy Fuck lived up to their name at their show last night. Their music is like the bastard lovechild of Battles and Dan Deacon – while less virtuosic than the former and less straight-out batshit than the latter, they possess a tremendous anarcho-punk energy. And they were clearly really, really having fun onstage. Plus they were handing out free 7″ singles – a split disc, with a Celebration remix of their song “Frenchy’s” on one side, and their remix of a Celebration song on the other. If you’re not lucky enough to catch their act and pick up your own copy of the vinyl at one of their shows, you can download both MP3s here.

Image: Holy Fuck in Philadelphia PA, May 2007. Photo by Oliver J. Lopena, reposted here under its Creative Commons license.

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Concert etiquette: miss debcha speaks

November 27, 2007

My inner Emily Post is struggling to get out and rant about polite behaviour at concerts, so here’s a few tips. Note that this is strictly geared towards small, crowded concerts at bars – we’re not worrying about showing up late and waiting for the intermission before the usher shows you to your seats.

Smell nice. At a typical show, you can expect to have a dozen people within a one-metre radius of you. Unless you ride the Tokyo subway regularly, this is probably the most people you ever have within smelling distance. Shower. If you normally use deodorant, now is a good time. If you use perfume or cologne, lovely, although you probably don’t want to reapply right before the concert.

Don’t push your way to the front. If you want to stand in front of the stage and flirt with the bassist, arrive early. That’s what everyone who’s already there did. Just because we’re too polite to do more than glare at your back as you shove us out of the way, it doesn’t mean you’re not being rude.

And on a related note, don’t hold hands as you move around. Attending the concert with a group of friends? Fine. Negotiating a crowded space is bad enough solo; you don’t need to hold hands as you move from one part of the room to the other. You are not crossing the Khumbu Icefall.

More tips, a link to more conventional concert etiquette advice, and an MP3 after the jump.

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Concert notes: The Pipettes

November 17, 2007

[Great Scott, Allston, MA; November 15, 2007]

The Pipettes are my guilty pleasure. They sing these sweet, catchy songs that almost exclusively about, as they freely admit, love and dancing. And they are this total retro throwback to the girl groups of the 60s, which I’m not particularly into. But somehow, they manage to produce wonderfully infectious indie-pop songs that I love. And, not surprisingly, the Pipettes (with a short ‘i’ if you are from the UK, it seems, but us North American scientists definitely go with the long vowel) put on a great live show, complete with matching outfits and synchronized dance moves. Their band, Cassette, did an excellent job of backing them up, but they aren’t really the point – they were as nondescript, in their grey, British-public-school-boy vests, as the Pipettes were flamboyant – and they are barely visible on stage. With their charming lyrics and memorable tunes, the Pipettes are a nice antidote to the mopey, dark music that I normally listen to.

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This MP3 is for Kate, who was curious that I knew all the lyrics to the song they described as ‘a bit naughty.’

MP3: The Pipettes – One Night Stand