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Showing posts from 2004

Slayer / Mastodon at the Warfield - 12/14/2004

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Slayer
with Mastodon
The Warfield
12/14/2004

Heavy Metal!!!  I hadn’t been to a rock show of this caliber in…well, ever.  But I have been listening to Mastodon so much these last few months that I wasn’t about to miss them, so off to the event I went.  And I do mean it was an event – The Lizard Man, one of those freak show guys, was the host, the whole thing was sponsored by Jägermeister with tons of posters and promo items everywhere, and there was even a barely clad stripper on the stage at one point.  It was a family event, after all – I saw one family there, two parents and two kids, all with matching Sammy Hagar perms...it was pretty cute actually.  The family that rocks together something somethings together.  The whole thing had been sold out for ages, and the fans were pumped – most of them expressed this by having their shirts off and displaying their prison-style tattoos at any chance.  The number of females attending was extremely low, but these dudes were there to rock out, no…

The Hives / The Deadly Snakes at the Warfield - 12/11/2004

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The Hives
with The Deadly Snakes
The Warfield
12/11/2004

I was almost as excited to see the opening band for this show, the Deadly Snakes, as I was to see the headliners.  These Canuck garage rockers are yet ANOTHER reason to move to Canada…the amount of great music coming out of that frozen wasteland is ridiculous.  They were all kinds of good, a bluesy-soulful-garage rock mess with horns, lots of organ and a boatload of catchy songs.  They were great compliment to the garage-schtick of the Hives, and likely won over a few new fans in the process.  Hopefully is they’ll come back through town soon and play a smaller club where I can actually see the band members’ faces.

The Hives were…well, the Hives.  If you don’t know what you’re going to get with them by now you’ve probably not being paying very much attention.  They are consummate performers, one of those bands I would take most anyone to see even if they didn’t like the music – Howlin’ Pelle and company simply know how to put on a sho…

Britt Daniel / Two Gallants at the Swedish American Hall - 11/4/2004

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Britt Daniel
with Two Gallants
Swedish American Hall
11/4/2004

Wow.  That’s really the only thought that passed across my brain during the duration of the set by Two Gallants.  Yet another in an endless list of local bands that I’ve been meaning to see forever - when I saw they were opening for Britt Daniel I made a point to get there plenty early enough to see their set.  From the outset I knew I was in for a treat, and the acoustics of the Swedish American Hall couldn’t have made for a better setting.  Musically I suppose the follow the tradition of any number of folk storytellers, Dylan probably being the most obvious.  But to me, they reminded me of The Pogues more than anything else, minus the tin whistles and Irish accents of course.  There was something innately “drinking songish” about all of their tracks.  The crowd was rapt for the entire performance – I’m unsure how many of them walked in there as fans of Two Gallants, but I would venture to guess that many, many, many of them …

Mclusky / Your Code Name Is:Milo at Bottom of the Hill - 11/6/2004

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Mclusky
with Your Code Name Is:Milo
Bottom of the Hill
11/6/2004

Your Code Name Is:Milo were opening for Mclusky, and I knew absolutely nothing about them other than that they had a terrible name.  It turns out they are from Newcastle (“land of the brown ale” I believe the singer quipped at one point), and they are seriously good.  They don’t even have a record out yet, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they started getting a ton of press if they always sound like they did on this night.  It was a winning combination of At the Drive-In/Mars Volta and Blur-ish Brit pop…just the sort of things folks nowadays seem to go ape for.  For this band, I’d probably join them in the apeness.

A but later those Welsh jokesters Mclusky were on the bandstand.  They were great when they came through the first time this past summer, certainly one of my favorite shows of the year.  This outing was even better.  Their sound is a combination of Les Savy Fav, Fugazi, The Jesus Lizard and The Pixies, wrapped up in …

Guided by Voices at the Fillmore - 11/13/2004

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Guided by Voices
The Fillmore
11/13/2004

I’ve seen Guided by Voices a bunch of times, and this is going to be my final show by them.  The band is retiring…Robert Pollard, the only "true" member these days, is shelving one of the most famous names in independent rock.  I’m sure he’ll probably tour under his own name, and he’ll probably even play some GBV songs since he wrote pretty much all twenty million of them, but will it be the same?  I doubt it.

I guess it is fitting that this was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen by them.  They played for nearly three hours, but there were only a couple of times when I really noticed I had been standing in that same spot doing my poor version of what most kids call dancing to some of the greatest pop music ever written for that extended period of time.  Time flies when you’re having fun and all that. 

But most notably was the encore – the encore alone was probably the best thing I’ve seen all year, it was a veritable cornucopia of all o…

Acid King at 12 Galaxies - 11/5/2004

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Acid King
12 Galaxies
11/5/2004

Stoner rock!  Yeah, I know, it’s a stupid name for a genre, but if you saw the bulk of the crowd that attends these shows it would make plenty of sense.  The music kicks ass regardless of what it’s called, especially if you have a love for things Black Sabbath-y. 

Acid King is a San Francisco institution, having been around forever (or since the early nineties, which practically is forever for a band to be together).  I’ve heard their name mentioned for a while now, but since I’m not terribly knowledgeable of this scene it took me a while to get around to finally seeing them.  And despite the fact that they made me sleepy (something about that deep bass rumble always tries to lull me into a slumber), they put on a very good show.  They sounded like the bastard step-child of Sabbath and Hawkwind, but without Lemmy’s mole.  Sonically it was great, managing to be clear yet distorted at the same time just as is necessary for this brand rock.  In fact, every sh…

Les Savy Fav at Slims - 11/12/2004

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Les Savy Fav
Slims
11/12/2004

A Les Savy Fav show will never leave you wanting for entertainment, even if you don’t like the music.  Lucky for me, they are both musically and visually one of my very favorite bands of the last few years, and this show only strengthened those feelings.  The band played a ton of their older singles, which I guess makes sense since their most recent release is their singles collection called “Inches.”  I was a little let down that “Adopduction” and “Blackouts” were left off of the set list, but I think they’ve played both of those every other time I’ve seen them so whatever.

I would say that the band's singer Tim Harrington was in rare form, but he always is. The show started with the man on the stage by himself for a good five minutes in a sea captain outfit, complete with pipe, talking in to the microphone as if he were dictating his sea captain's diary.  It was pretty damn hilarious.  Once the band came out, as the show progressed he got to more an…

The Delgados / Crooked Fingers at Bimbos - 11/4/2004

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The Delgados
with Crooked Fingers
Bimbos
11/4/2004

To be honest the main reason I was at this gig was for opener Crooked Fingers, and everything else was just icing on the cake.  I can’t say that I was surprised when it ended up not being Crooked Fingers "the band," but rather just Eric Bachmann himself.  You never know what line-up you’re going to get with that man and/or band – nearly every show there is a different arrangement of members.  I’ve seen him solo a couple of times, so despite the lack of a full sound I knew it would still be a damn good outing, and I couldn’t have been more right.  He played a number of songs that will be on the next album (out early 2005 I believe), and a few classics like “Black Black Ocean,” “Juliette,” and “Broken Man” if I remember correctly.  Surprisingly there were no cover songs, which has to be a first.  It was a short set, leave them wanting more and all that, but I was satisfied. 

I’m always amazed at how full and professional the Delga…

Operation S at Thee Parkside - 10/23/04

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Operation S
Thee Parkside
10/23/2004

I just wanted to get out of the house and see something, but I never expected that it would be this damned entertaining!  I heard through the grapevine that a French band called Operation S would be playing in town at Thee Parkside, and that they were worth checking out.  I wasn’t doing anything this fine Saturday night, so why not check out some new music?

The evening started off with a blackout in the club, and over the whole immediate area apparently – someone said some troublesome kids had been shooting fireworks at a power box/transformer/whatever and set it on fire.  The delay thinned the crowd out some, but I didn’t have anything better to do so I waited it out, and it was certainly worth the delay. 

They were definitely French – I didn’t understand a damn thing they sang except for their cover of The Avenger’s “The American in Me,” a fitting cover given their location (you think they play a punk song from a band based in each town they play in?…

Hot Snakes / The Husbands at Great American Music Hall - 10/3/2004

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Hot Snakes
with The Husbands
Great American Music Hall
10/3/2004

My unbridled excitement for the Hot Snakes was approaching a fever pitch by the time I reached the Great American Music Hall.  But before I could get a chance to see them, there was a matter of at least half a set by The Husbands until they would take the stage.  I was under the impression that this group was all girls, thus making the name of the band funny in the same way that knowing that The Girls, The Clorox Girls, and The Mystery Girls are all boys (that is to say, not funny at all really); but when I glanced on the stage there was certainly a dude back-up singer on the stage.  Well, so much for my sources, they apparently don’t know anything.  The group itself is very straight forward, simple, dirty garage rock, making me think of the bastard spawn of The Cramps and Thee Headcoatees.  Some songs were pretty good, some were just so-so…I would have been much more patient with them had I not been about to piss my pants w…

Eagles of Death Metal / Parchman Farm at Café du Nord - 10/11/2004

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Eagles of Death Metal
with Parchman Farm
Café du Nord
10/11/2004

Holy mother of donkeys and mangroves, what is this that I have just witnessed, and how could I have possibly slept on them for so long?  In this town, it can sometimes be easy to dismiss your friend’s bands, put off seeing them or whatever, especially considering that pretty much every person I know is in a band.  I’d heard some Parchman Farm songs on the Jackpine Social Club website, and while it was quite good it never quite motivated me out of the house and to a show.  But since Eric Shea and company were opening for the Eagles of Death Metal, I decided to stop being an ass and get the venue in enough time to finally see his band. 

And so I did; and let me say it was one of the best ideas I’ve had since I invented the wheel.  I think Parchman Farm is one of the finest purveyors of “floor tom rock” that I’ve ever heard; if you enjoy Blue Oyster Cult, Black Oak Arkansas, or really any three-word named bands that start with…

Explosions in the Sky at Café du Nord - 10/22/2004

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Explosions in the Sky
Café du Nord
10/22/2004

This was the first time I’ve ever seen Explosions in the Sky as a headlining band, and most likely the only time I’ve ever seen them at an all ages show.  Otherwise I wouldn’t have been so overwhelmed with wondering when/why/how are they so popular with really young kids?  I’d be highly surprised if very many of the folks standing around me were out of high school; it was really effective in making me feel even older than I usually do when I go out to shows.  But the band, they were terrific - they played a lot of material from their last two albums plus some of the soundtrack for the movie “Friday Night Lights” that they just recorded.  They would often let one song blend into another, culminating in sort of an uber-song of epic proportions that would go on for quite some time.  The kids ate it up; I’ve never seen so many photos taken - if you didn’t know any better you’d think some pop diva was gracing us with her presence.  Here’s to hopin…

Mono at Bottom of the Hill - 10/1/2004

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Mono
Bottom of the Hill
10/1/2004

The Mono show at Café du Nord was probably my very favorite live performance by any band all of 2003.  On their return to the States, would they be able to fulfill my hopes and desires created from such an outstanding first viewing?  Well, they came about as close as any band can come to fulfilling over-hyped expectations, without the element of surprise they had on their side the first time around.  As bombastic as they were last year, they were just as much if not more so this time around – when the entire group was rocking out, the sound was so thick and heavy it was as if you could actually feel the air moving around the room.  The tracks played seemed to be split pretty evenly between between their last two releases, “One Step More and You Die” and “Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined,” respectively.  Although they didn’t play “Com(?)” from “One Step…” and that was a wee bit of a bummer, it was pretty damn great nonethe…

Brother Danielson / Deerhoof at Bottom of the Hill - 9/18/2004

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Brother Danielson
with Deerhoof
Bottom of the Hill
9/18/2004

I was damn excited to see Brother Danielson.A few years ago, I saw the Danielson Famile open for Low without knowing a damn thing about them and left totally floored.  Since then I’ve become a pretty big fan of all of Daniel Smith’s work, both with the Famile and solo (although it should be noted that he writes the songs for all that he participates in, and the Famile help on the solo recordings, so the difference between the two is pretty negligible).  I had heard a few stories about his solo shows, and this lived up to it in both costume and spirit – the man was dressed from head to toe in an enormous tree outfit.  Outfit may not be the proper word, really, as the tree stayed put in one place with his guitar affixed to the front, and he inserted his head and arms through holes for the performance.  He was accompanied by two fellas who played a multitude of instruments, but just drums and bass for the majority of the time.  Not…

The Pixies at the Greek Theatre - 9/25/2004

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The Pixies
Greek Theatre
9/25/2004

After getting a chance to catch their gig at UC Davis during their “warm up” tour this past spring in a fairly intimate venue for a band this size, there was no way this outing of the Pixies would be able to compare.  Still, despite being a million miles away from the stage (my own fault for getting there too late after driving around forever looking for parking), it was a good time.  The band flat out rocked… you could tell that even from the nosebleed sections on the hill where I was sitting.  I heard a number of complaints over the weekend about the sound, but it sounded pretty great to me.  One of the major problems with outdoor venues is often the sound though, and can cary wildly depending on where you are located.  It was pretty mellow up on the hill where I was located, but the crowd standing in front of the stage looked quite raucous.  It seemed the entire section below swayed with the music like a rising sea, rarely stopping for a bit of respi…

Four Eyes / Harold Ray: Live in Concert at Hotel Utah - 9/3/2004

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Four Eyes
with Harold Ray: Live in Concert
Hotel Utah
9/3/2004

So I’ve had a few friends, folks whose opinions are usually worthwhile, tell me how awesome the Four Eyes are, so I thought I’d head down to the Hotel Utah and verify this information for myself.  All I have to say is what is in the water in Sacramento?  Obviously I have a Bay Area-centrist view, as I live here and all, but between these guys and The Bananas I have no issue in stating two of the best bands in all of Northern California reside somewhere in that enormous sprawl of the state’s capital.  Sure, the music was sloppy, but it was catchy and fun, which is all I ask for.  They bill themselves as both “Sacramento’s nerdiest band” and “smartest band in the world,” and I’m not willing to say anything against either of those assertions as they’re both probably right.  Their songs cover a whole slew of dorky topics, like Dungeons & Dragons, computers, video games, space aliens, and more.  Seriously, all you had to do was…

The Girls at Thee Parkside - 8/26/2004

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The Girls
Thee Parkside
8/26/2004

I had planned my evening around finally seeing the Girls – for once, I wasn’t either previously engaged or out of town when they would be playing in our fair city.  I went to the show thinking they would be playing second, the middle position if you will.  This was further communicated to me by the fact that the line-up listed at the front door listed the Girls in the middle slot (technically “The Swinging Gaylords - formerly The Girls” is what was listed).  Imagine my surprise, if you will, when they ended up being the last band.  Now I don’t ask for a lot of things, I’m pretty easy to please, but this sort of thing drives me insane.  This was only compounded by the fact that the band now playing in the middle slot, formerly the headliners, was incredibly terrible.  Even wasting some time playing ping-pong couldn’t save this catastrophe.

But enough dwelling on the negative, let’s look towards the light – and that is the Girls.  I’d fallen in love with th…

Merge Fest with Superchunk and friends at the Cat’s Cradle - 7/29/2004

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Merge Fest
With Superchunk, M. Ward, Richard Buckner, and the Rosebuds
The Cat’s Cradle
7/29/2004

This is the first of two parts chronicling my trip back to North Carolina to see the first two nights of Merge Fest, a celebration of fifteen years of Merge Records.  Yeah, I can’t believe it’s been that long either.  (Note: technically, it was the second and third nights of Merge Fest, as they added a last minute show that happened on the 28th that I couldn’t make it to…)

Kicking things off on this Thursday night was the Rosebuds, a husband/wife duo with a very good hired-gun drummer.  Ivan plays a sparkly Dan Electro guitar and sings, and Kelly plays the keys.  For lack of better terminology, or maybe because it’s unnecessary, these kids play pop.  Simple, straightforward, owing a bit of gratitude to the garage-pop of yore and the Spoon of today; they sound like everyone and no one at once, instantlyrecognizable even if you’ve never heard it before.  Just like their set, their songs were sh…

The Polyphonic Spree at Slims & the Apple Store - 7/18 & 7/19/2004

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The Polyphonic Spree
Slims & Apple Store
7/18 & 7/19/2004
I had no idea that experiencing, first hand, the musical output of the cult-in-the-making Polyphonic Spree could be so fun and rewarding.  If this is what religious zealotry is like, sign me up; I’ll have the tailor measure me so that my robe fits well.

I was simply blown away by the band.  I felt like I was attending one of those old–fashion tent revivals that still go on back in the south where I’m from; the band was giving the performance of their lives, the crowd was ecstatic, and there wasn’t a face in the house that didn’t have a huge smile on it.  The material was mostly from the new album (pretty much all of it, actually), with an encore of older stuff like “Soldier Girl” and “Light and Day”.  Curiously, and something that never occurred to me before seeing them live, is how much they remind me of the more recent Mercury Rev output; I kept getting Rev songs stuck in my head during the show, and then I’d think “I hop…

Merge Fest with Crooked Fingers and friends at the Cat’s Cradle - 7/30/2004

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Merge Fest
With Crooked Fingers, Camera Obscura, Radar Bros, Portastatic, and Double Dynamite
The Cat’s Cradle
7/30/2004

On the second night of Merge Fest, I had noticed Ira and Georgia from Yo La Tengo hanging around; then Ivan from the Rosebuds (who are on Merge) said they were somehow involved with the opening act on this night, under the moniker Double Dynamite.  We had no idea what to expect, but what we got was a cover band featuring Ira on guitar and a bunch of who-knows-what rounding out the rest of the act.  There were a lot of costume changes, insuring that the entire audience saw the singer’s cock-and-ball set at some point during the performance.  Songs ranged from ELO’s “Telephone Lines” to Queen/Bowie’s “Under Pressure” to The Chi-Lite’s “Ooh Child,” and a number of songs I either didn’t know or that were originals.  The whole event was sloppy at best, but highly entertaining – between the outrageous costumes and a lot of stumbling around in an unintentional manner by the si…

The Functional Blackouts at Thee Parkside - 6/3/2004

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The Functional Blackouts
Thee Parkside
6/3/2004

I’ve really been itching to see some loud, abrasive, unpolished rock music - the first choice for such entertainment is Thee Parkside, and it certainly didn’t let me down this go-around.  The Functional Blackouts took the stage and blew the proverbial doors off the place.  I only know a few songs by the Pagans, and obviously never saw them live, but comparing the Blackouts to them seemed like a reasonable choice to me from my limited background in this area.  It was a giant, snarling mess of a performance, with their skinny Chicago-bred bodies contorted into all sorts of positions, all over the stage, but it never seemed out of control.  They kicked the show off with the only song I really knew by them, “Tick Tick Tick Tick,” and this one track alone was worth the price of admission.  Words don’t really do justice to the performance, but the end result was a lot of sweat and a lot of smiles on the part of the crowd.

(Photo not mine, found ra…

Pleasant Grove / The Red Thread / Mark Mallman at the Make-Out Room - 6/16/2004

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Pleasant Grove
with The Red Thread and Mark Mallman
The Make-Out Room
6/16/2004

All I have to say is I’m glad I got down to the Make-Out Room early enough to catch the last few songs of Mark Mallman - that guy is a madman.  Imagine if you will a non-sexually fixated Har Mar Superstar crossed with Jonathan Richman playing songs that sound like they’re from “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”  It was just Mark playing the keys maniacally, a really fantastic drummer, and they were both playing along with an iBook that sometimes added guitar and/or bass lines to the mix.  At some point during the last song, when things were just going nuts, Mallman licked his fingers, stuck his hands in the air and said “this is why I get paid!” and then started banging away on his keyboard.  It was very entertaining to say the least.  I can’t imagine they’ll live up to the live performance, but I’m going to keep my eyes out for any of his recordings in the future; the songs were pretty enjoyable and catchy after on…

US Maple / Heavenly States / Black Ghost at Bottom of the Hill - 5/25/2004

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US Maple
with Heavenly States and Black Ghost
Bottom of the Hill
5/25/2004

Ah, a night of quality rock action at the Bottom of the Hill.  It had been quite some time since I last saw US Maple in all of their glorious weirdness, many moons ago at Kimos.  Tonight, I would remedy that situation.

First up in this trifecta of performers was Black Ghost.  Although I know both of the kids that make up this band, I’m not in the business of heaping praise onto anything I don’t feel worthy…if the music didn’t catch my ear or inspire me in any way I could have easily just left them out of the review.  Instead, they brought the rock in a much larger way then you might ever expect of a duo – I don’t know if it was because of the band or the soundperson or a little of both, but the size of the sound I was hearing did not match the two small people that populated the stage.  Very mathy, heavy, and mostly instrumental (and when there were vocals they were pretty much screamed), this group has improved by …

Jolie Holland at the Swedish American Hall - 5/14/2004

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Jolie Holland
Swedish American Hall
5/14/2004

This was my first time to the Swedish American Hall – let me say up-front that it’s the best place for a mellow, seated, intimate show that I’ve been to in the city.  And now that Café du Nord seems to be booking more shows there, the future looks bright for seeing more performances in this location.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was complaining (see this review) that seeing Jolie Holland in a rock club wasn’t really the correct setting.  With this venue, I really got my wish – a seated show, full of folks actually there to enjoy her music and not talk to their friends.  She played a great set, backed by a full band (including trumpet on most songs, and Holland breaking out the fiddle from time to time), and hearing her voice in the nice, quiet hall really made me happy.  Over the course of her set, she invited a couple of guest stars up on stage to perform with her – local great Sean Hayes as well as David Garza, who she noted as being a maj…

Clinic / Midnight Movies at Bimbos - 5/21/2004

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Clinic
with Midnight Movies
Bimbos
5/21/2004

When I walked in I’m guessing Midnight Movies were halfway through their set; I’d heard mixed things about them, but wanted to get there with at least enough time to form my own opinion on the matter.  The result: they were great.  The best descriptor I can come up with, and one that kept popping into my head over and over while they played, was Blonde Redhead with Nico singing for them.  There was a lot of Sonic Youth-influenced guitar playing, and the singer was also the drummer, always a great feat.  She had a nice, deep voice, the sort of voice I always love on a woman.  The group was rounded out by a third member who played some guitar and a lot of keys/organ.  They’re playing again soon at Café du Nord and I’ll definitely try to see them again, and for a whole set this time.

Clinic lived up exactly to the expectations I had set for them – come on stage dressed in medical outfits, play their short bursts of brilliant songs, and leave, comin…

Don Caballero at Bottom of the Hill - 5/18/2004

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Don Caballero
Bottom of the Hill
5/18/2004

He may be an asshole, he may be surly, he may be a bit full of himself, but one thing is for sure: Damon Che is never, ever boring.  Be it with either his absolutely amazing drumming for Don Caballero or his insane between song banter, he kept me rapt for the duration of the show, either in awe or laughing my ass off.  Introducing the band as “Broke Ass Sexual Chocolate” (taken from either “The Chapelle Show” or Eddie Murphy’s “Coming to America” or both, depending on who you talk to), making note that he was drinking a pitcher full of Mountain Dew Code Red and Tequila, or selling autographed drum heads and sticks, he never fails to amuse me.  And while the band shouldn’t really be called Don Caballero (Ian Williams was most certainly missed, his high guitar playing, asshole smirk and incessant gum chewing always added to the flavor of any old Don Cab show), they still rocked...the Creta Bourzia dudes are plenty talented all on their own and I c…

Iron & Wine / Holopaw at Great American Music Hall - 4/9/2004

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Iron & Wine
with Holopaw
Great American Music Hall
4/9/2004

Oh man, what an exciting line-up…two bands I’d be willing to go see about anywhere playing together?  Count me in!  I got there just as Holopaw was taking the stage, and weaseled my way up to the front between all of the scarf kids and old folks.  As expected, they sounded brilliant.  They performed some new songs as well as pretty much their entire self-titled album; I wouldn’t be surprised if they won over some new fans from a crowd that was obviously mostly there for the headliners.  Some may know singer John Orth’s voice from his work on Isaac Brock’s side project Ugly Cassanova, but it is in Holopaw that his vocals really shine.  The new songs, which they played a number of, were just great – I really cannot wait until the album gets released so I can fully immerse myself in the southern gothic sounds they so finely craft.

The headliner of the evening, Iron & Wine, has really seen a giant surge in popularity over the …

Britt Daniel at Hotel Utah - 4/19/2004

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Britt Daniel
Hotel Utah
4/19/2004

Britt Daniel playing a solo show at the ultra-tiny Hotel Utah? Man-oh-man, I was so there.  The last time I was at this place was a number of years back, not long after I arrived on this side of the country, to see Chris Mills perform for about five people and it was fantastic.  I’d always meant to go back, but rarely do they ever feature shows I’m interested in.  Until recently anyways - the Café du Nord crew has started handling the booking and things are looking up for the Utah, way up.

But on to Britt – it was just him and his guitar (electric, not acoustic), with a mic'd boom box to provide the occasional beat.  I was under the impression that the whole point of this solo mini-tour was so that he could try out some of his new songs on the road, but he only played a couple of unfamiliar tracks.  For the most part it was a “Greatest Hits of Spoon” type of night, where the song selection pretty much mimicked nearly all of the songs I would include o…

Belle & Sebastian / Vetiver at the Warfield - 4/30/2004

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Belle & Sebastian
with Vetiver
The Warfield
4/30/2004

I was excited for Vetiver when I found out they had landed the opening gig for heavyweights Belle & Sebastian – great local band done well or something along those lines.  The music of these two bands certainly have a similar feel to them on a base level – very mellow, introspective, that sort of business.  I could really imagine them going over well with the B&S crowd, but they seemed to be having nothing of it – a shame really, cause Vetiver sounded great to me, as always.  They were aided on stage by a fourth member known as “Soft Creamy Brick”, who I’m going to assume was Devendra Banhart (but I can’t be for sure since he was wearing a hooded cape/throw rug thing the entire time he was on stage).  

I’ve seen Belle & Sebastian a few times now, so I pretty much knew what to expect – lots of people in the band, string section, Stuart’s dancing, funny banter between songs; and it delivered on all of those measures.  I do…

The Pixies at Freeborn Hall - 4/29/2004

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The Pixies
Freeborn Hall
4/29/2004

For many, many years I’ve always wished for three reunions – the Clash, the Misfits, and the Pixies.  With Joe Strummer's passing the Clash will never happen; Glenn Danzig is highly unlikely to ever re-join The Misfits unless he gets very hard up for money; and I always thought that the egos involved in The Pixies would forever prevent them from reforming as well.  The sad part about never having seen the Pixies, though, is that they were actually still together when I was first becoming a huge fan, but they never played anywhere near the podunk town I grew up in, and too young to make my way to the far ends of the country to view them in a live setting.

Well, times have changed apparently, egos have lessened, money was (likely) wanted, so the Pixies reformed much to the delight of their ravenous fans.  Unlike most bands, the Pixies fan base seemed to grow stronger and stronger with each passing year that they weren’t around; this was made especiall…

Okkervil River / The Elected at Café du Nord - 4/4/2004

Image
Okkervil River
with The Elected
Café du Nord
4/4/2004

After a whole week of shows, going out on a Sunday and missing the Sopranos didn’t seem like the best idea.  But the ticket was bought, and my laziness is only overshadowed by my cheapness and unwillingness to waste something I already paid for.

Well, I couldn’t have been any happier that I actually made it out.  The main reason I was going to this show was to see the first band, Okkervil River.  One of my best friends burned me a copy of their newer CD over Christmas and I was intrigued with their sound.  It didn’t strike me as amazing, but made me interested enough that I wanted to see what it sounded like live.  I think they had just started as I walked into the band room, it was a slower number that had the audience in a hushed awe (a quiet and reverent audience at a mellow show such as this is always a good sign).  The singer for Okkervil River will never be confused for having a great voice, but not unlike Jeff Mangum of Neutral M…