CMJ Day 4 was my favorite day of the week. I attended a special screening of Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show, which opens in theatres on February 8, 2008 (more commonly known as my 24th birthday). Vince and star Justin Long were in attendence and did a Q&A afterwards. The movie is a documentary of a 30-day, 30-city, 30-show comedy tour that Vince took four comics on during the summer of 2005. It’s hilarious. Here’s a picture from the Q&A afterwards:
After the screening, BTR Music Director (DJ) Annie and I headed over to the Indaba Showcase on Bowery to see a performance of Wakey! Wakey!, which totally rocked. Lead singer Mike Grubbs brought the house down with his solo, piano-based performance in the middle of the set. The only thing that really detracted from the show was the sweltering heat, but even that couldn’t keep us from getting chills as we watched Grubbs sing his heart out.
Annie and I split up after the Wakey! Wakey! performance. I decided to try my luck getting into the Gramercy Theatre for the Blender Sessions performance of one of my all-time favorite bands, the Counting Crows. Yes, I realize that Counting Crows are totally not indie AT ALL, but they’ve been one of my favorite bands since August and Everything After came out, so the lure of seeing them was too tempting, so I made the call to head there instead of checking out the Macabees and the 1990’s with Annie. I showed up pretty early because I was determined to get in. Here’s a (admittedly pretty crappy) video of part of “A Murder of One.” If you want the set list, leave a comment in the comments section and I’ll post it.
Here’s the video, I know it’s crappy, but I’m putting it out there anyway.
Leave a comment in the comment section if you’d like the setlist and I’ll post it!
Thursday was a night of rock beginning with Loyal Divide at Banjo Jim’s. The club was small and packed, and it seemed like everyone was there to see the boys of Loyal Divide fill the air with their brand of psychedelic, electro, punk. There was no sound man until their tour manager stepped up to adjust the levels. The impromptu sound check only added to the real and raw attitude of the entire night.
The bar was serving PBR with a well shot for 5 bucks, and LD was serving emotional and sexy rock music with pounding drums and video game keys. Guitarist John Notowidigo bobbed his head while rocking his guitar and keyboard often at the same time. Singer Adam Johnson was only visible half the time, spending much of the set on the floor shouting and tweaking his effects pedals. Chris Sadek also took to the mic with his high pitch whaling. When he wasn’t singing, he was either rocking an acoustic guitar or his trumpet. The rhythm section was flawless and effortless, as bassist Siddu Chittajallu and drummer Thundar McCarthy drove the beat home.
There was no special effects, no changing lighting, shitty sound, and yet Loyal Divide rocked the house. The night was raw, and I got the impression that it was not very often that a band as good as Loyal Divide performs in such raw conditions. It was something special, and the buzz surrounding this band is sure to escalate very quickly.
Hello To All,
I’ve been in New York for three days now, and I’ve come to realize that sleep doesn’t come easy in this city. The bed in my hotel room is might comfy, but with so many places to walk to, so much food to eat, and shows upon shows upon shows to see, sleep is merely an afterthought. Eventually my body will crash, but till then….let’s party like it’s Prince’s birthday.
1) Chairlift – Drumming is handled by none other than our own DJ Pat, but that has no sway over my fondness of the band. They showcased electro-pop perfection, and lead singer Caroline was spot on with her vocals and dance numbers (not to mention she’s cute as a shiny button). After seeing bands where the music drowns out the vocals (damn you sound guy), it was a pleasure to be able to bask in chords.
2) …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead – Sweet punk glory, these seven chaps know how to put on a show…. and how!!! One guy (who shall remain nameless) started off singing and playing guitar, then he jumped on the keyboards, and for the next song he proceeded to bang on the drums. He was a living swiss army knife. All in all, the group displayed high energy, and had a usually stiff NY crowd jumping off the banisters.
3) The Undisputed Heavyweights – Crooner Casey Shea has stage game for days. It’s a mix between southern fried preacher and pushy, but lovable older brother. He adores his audience between and during songs, but he also berates his band members, even going so far as to declare this show the last one for his guitarist, “You’re fucking outta the band!!!” Don’t worry, it’s all an act and it’s one you should catch anytime you’re in New York.
October 9th brought Sunset Rubdown to the Bowery Ballroom last Tuesday night and what a show it was! In addition to a handful of backpackers hardly schlepping around rare indie finds but rather their leftover office work, a large bite of the 35+ year-old white male demographic slice was dominating the Ballroom’s floor. I realized long ago this may not be my dad’s music, but it was only slightly awkward to be drinking a beer and concertgoing with his friends.
At a perfectly chosen song break, one impassioned fan even expressed his emotion by yelling to the band “I have a man-crush on all of you!” Quickly, a skeptical Spencer Krug responded by asking “You have a man-crush on all of us?” referring to female bandmate Camilla Wynn Ingr. Spencer pointed out that a “man-crush” on a woman was just a “crush” and nothing more. Heads nodded, beers cheered, and some pretty good music followed.
Sunset Rubdown’s many-songs-in-one style made for an endlessly exciting, unpredictable set. Spencer’s vocals were especially yelpy, but no one minded, especially when the two-song encore ensued. Generally, I was left happy. What’s with all the stairs though.
Greetings, folks! We’ve got a special treat for you today. Our faaaabulous DJ Rachelandthecity has returned home from Austin City Limits (ACL) and brought back great live recordings from some of the shows there. Today, BTR presents the Indigo Girls live at ACL! The set list is as follows, so be sure to check it out:
Three County Highway
Get Out The Map
Shame on You
Closer to Fine
Rock and Roll Heaven’s Gate
Some pics from the show: