October 30, 2009

Friday Send-Off | Fever Ray | Live in LuleƄ

No album this year lends itself to Halloween quite like the self-titled release from Fever Ray. Not in a party playlist way (see: our mixtape), but in a dead-seriously haunting way. Fever Ray and its many visual aids have been silently transfixing fans since last winter. One by one, Karin Dreijer Andersson (of The Knife) has been dropping eerie videos for what seems like every track on her excellent solo debut. Each is thematically heavy and utterly perplexing. Really, I can't think of another musician/director pairing (director credits: Andreas Nilsson, Martin de Thurrah, Mikel Cee Karlsson) that has better captured the mood of an entire record.

First came
"If I Had A Heart", which took us from a torch-lit rowboat to a masonic lodge of terror. Then "When I Grow Up" conducted a swimming pool storm of paranormal activity, "Triangle Walks" cloaked Karen under lamps, and "Seven" sent vocals through a creepy old lady in a barn. And just last week, she teamed with Nilsson again on the deluxe edition bonus song and Nick Cave cover, "Stranger Than Kindness". Instead of starting an embed train, I'll limit myself to that last one:



Download | Fever Ray | Live in LuleƄ

All bringing us to today's giveaway. A notch above your average bootleg, this Sweden concert was recorded by The Guardian and features a full album setlist plus the cover above, all very much heightened in a live setting.



Highly recommended.

October 28, 2009

Shred Wednesday | A Skate Video Retrospective [Part 20]

The reason I called that Thomas clip my "personal favorite", was because the 'best skate part ever' title belongs to only one. On our 20th entry*, Ian finally lets us have it. He writes in brown, below.



Song: “I Am the Walrus” (The Beatles) cover by Gray Matter

Skater: Geoff Rowley
Video: Flip Skateboards; Sorry (2002)
Prospectors Top 10 (in sequence):
Front board (1:00)
Switch Ollie (1:16)
360 Flip over Roof Gap (1:35)
360 flip Lip-Slide (4:30)
180 Nosegrind down the Wilshire 15 (5:02)
Boardslide (5:19)
50-50 (5:32)
Ollie (5:45)
Frontside Flip (6:03)
Varial Heel-Flip (6:23)
I have never been more in awe of any part in any skate video than Geoff Rowley’s section in Sorry. Rowley proved that he was more than worthy of his Skater of the Year 2000 award. He’s skating’s version of a punk icon. Various interviews from teammates have confirmed that Rowley shows up thinking, “either I land this trick or I die trying,” and he means it.

This part is so good; it’s hard to believe that it's just one video part and not a compilation of highlights from an entire career. In my opinion, its been 7 years since this came out and the rest of the sport is still yet to catch up.

He combines the perfect amount of big (handrail/gap) tricks with practically unfathomable technical tricks. (see: heel-flip dark-slides (3:10) & (3:48). I know I usually do a top 3 above, but even a top 10 was kind of hard.

The song makes sense since it was written by a little band also from (Geoff’s home town) Liverpool, England.

Surely none of its many covers could ever top The Beatles original. What makes a cover great though, is not if it can compete, but rather if it can present a song in a different light. That's why Gray Matter's 1984 punk rendition works.

I don't need to hear its parent album (Food For Thought) to know that it's not my cup of tea. But for a segment this insane, no song could've done it better. Gray Matter's version plays with our expectations; we want to sing at a familiar speed, and it keeps rushing us, like Rowley's impatient outbursts at his rails/boards/obstacles/self, it simply psychs-out everything in its way. From Johnny Rotten's introduction to Rowley's bloody rawness, this clip is punk rock. Forgive me for attempting to draw another parallel but: "I Am The Walrus" changed popular music, and in a similar sense, skateboarding was never the same after
The Rowley part.

*Now you may be wondering when/if this feature ever ends. We initially planned on wrapping it up right here. Expect a little mixtape giveaway next week that does just that. Still, this has been too much fun, and there are plenty of shreds still in us, so that may be a lie...

October 27, 2009

Quick | Ay Ay Ay

Matias Aguayo has been around, but Ay Ay Ay is something entirely new, and will probably take him from the dance world to this one (achieving alt-crossover).

Matias Aguayo | Ay Ay Ay (2009)

This gem hit my inbox with a note:

"Combining the organic electronic experimental Brazilian funk of Glissandro 70 with the vocal playfulness of Animal Collective and the minimal-techno grounding of most Kompakt releases, you might say that it plays like you might expect an album to play by a guy who's spent the last few years throwing and DJ'ing public outdoor street parties in Buenos Aires. But that would disrespect all of its surprises."

Thanks Brett. So that had me prepped, and a first listen increased expectations for a second and second for a third and so on. "Menta Latte" thumps headfirst into a beatbox safari - one that doesn't let up over the next hour. Third track, "Rollerskate" is the jam. The download has already been taken down (since I started posting), shit is hot. Contact me.

October 22, 2009

Treasure Island Fest 2009 [San Francisco; 10/17+18]


To be honest, witnessing an end-all festival finale like the one captured above, was far from essential for someone to consider this weekend a success. That's less a strike to The Flaming Lips and more a testament to how solid Treasure Island's modest little lineup was, before the headliners, for both days (and also to how rad our crew was). By the time MGMT closed Saturday, and the Lips Sunday, we were effectively spent (and anticipating the logistical mess of getting shuttled off this alternate universe of an island).

Our photographer, Victoria, was part of that crew. So consider this a visual recap. Off we go:

[Saturday]

Passion Pit
We could hear the sugary falsetto howls of Boston's best new band from the cab drop off. And they still had the better half of their set to give, which meant we had started off on the right foot (despite transportation challenges).

Dan Deacon

Looking like your uncle on Superbowl Sunday, Dan Deacon brought his antics to a turnout that mostly expected and welcomed the drill. A maestro of electronic music, and of instructing crowds to do crazy shit, he went maybe three jams before the first 'exercise'. From dance-offs to human tunnels, if this was your first time seeing Deacon, it was surely like nothing you've ever done before (outside of summer camp). More pics at the bottom (including a cameo from our own Triple F). As for the music, this new ensemble Deacon tours with is pretty intense. Drummer overflow.

MSTRKRFT filled the grounds with gritty beats (including a field-wide "Bohemian Rhapsody" chant) as we planted in a good spot for Mr. Gregg Gillis.

Girl Talk

Oh mashups, how far you've come. I'd say they're somewhere in the maturity phase now, where backlash has passed and people again accept them for what they tend to be: the best parts of recognizable pop/rock/rap songs, mixed together in a fashion that can recreate the highs of house music and the rock-outs of metal, in under a minute. It's the hedonism of genres. And last time I checked, us festival goers are some pleasure seeking maniacs, so obviously when the master of mashups throws a party, we're there. It might get old on headphones, but you can't hate on a good time to its face. Gillis' nonstop toilet-paper-gun assault started with Nirvana, peaked at Kelly Clarkson, and ended with fireworks.

From the opposing main stage, MGMT was left waiting for it all to wrap up. We can only speculate what they thought of the firework display. "Time To Pretend" kicked in before the ashes hit the ground, and I found myself half-excited, half wondering if these guys should really be headlining festivals with one album under their belt. The latter thought continued as we watched from a tree off to the side. At previous shows, they've held off on playing the holy triad of psychedelia until the home stretch, but here they gave us all three monsters within 20 minutes. Perhaps a generous move on their part, it was also strategically risky, and proved to signal a mass hipster exodus (which is why bands with one album shouldn't be headlining festivals).

[Sunday]

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros


If we didn't all have the Treasure Island iPhone app, this one would have been circled, star-ed, highlighted, and underlined. What I like about them is that they've earned their rapidly growing popularity by being an undeniably memorable live act. OK, and I'm a schoolboy for Jade.

Alex Ebert never stopped moving, owning every piece of the stage, and every note hit, even with a voice reaching beyond its limit and a climate that didn't exactly cater to the shirtless routine. Up From Below standouts "40 Day Dream" and "Home" did their lovely thing. But this time, the supporting material convinced me that this band is getting better. Fast.

Grizzly Bear

An easy "best set" title to give, Grizzly Bear, was as perfect as a group of pure vocalists can be in high wind. I've been chasing this show for years and couldn't be happier to finally reach it in the company of good friends. For 45 spellbinding minutes, we said nothing. "While You Wait For The Others", which might be the song of the year, unfolded masterfully with its slow build, from Dan's kind intro to the band's triumphantly harmonized finish. I was stoned. "The Knife" kind of killed me.

Beirut
Like last Coachella, the ridiculously talented Zach Condon and his band of endearing fellows, drew an impressive crowd, probably the day's biggest. There's nothing fashionable and hardly anything showman-y about Beirut. You get the feeling these guys take their craft so seriously, that there's little room left for the selling of it. The music sells itself. Condon is a commanding frontman, but he's also careful with his words. Gazing across the skyline with a (Sunday) smile, he paused as if to nod towards the Bay Bridge, and then addressed us with, "It's nice to play for you at sunset."

Now officially freezing, our group huddled (some finding refuge in trash bags) for The Walkmen. A very good band (I say that when lacking other words). Backed by horns and pianos, Hamilton Leithauser leaned into an emotional set with his trademark vocals. Night had arrived.

Acts like Yo Lo Tengo are the reason festivals are special. Only familiar with their longtime indie-cred reputation and not so much their material, I was all ears, out of respect. Simply put: epic feedback.

The Flaming Lips

With one week to digest the overwhelmingly trippy new album, a few years of awareness for their zany live show, and a lifetime of admiration for The Flaming Lips, you could say my expectations were high. Shot out of a confetti canon, opener "Race For the Prize" had Wayne Coyne emerging from his infamous bubble while giant balloons fell from the heavens. So ya, it was all delivered right there, in one song.

Unfortunately, the next song wouldn't arrive until a sentimental Coyne was done telling stories. That would be the momentum-killing case during many breaks. As a die-hard fan, I held on, finding plenty to love in heavier moments like new track "Silver Trembling Hands" and the ultimate rarity, "Enthusiasm For Life Defeats Existential Fear". It's a two way street, and I'm not sure our frosted bodies had enough life for Wayne to really pull from. The glorious "Do You Realize" echoed on our way out, and luckily it's not possible for that one to miss the mark.

Anything after 5pm was just a bonus anyway. Speaking of extras:

October 21, 2009

Shred Wednesday | A Skate Video Retrospective [Part 19]

From a far away hill, a grey figure rocks his splintered chair against the country sky. He's old, and he's prospectin'. Today, Ian shares with us two legends. One shreds. The other rocks, artfully. He writes in brown, below.



Song: “The BOB (Medley)” by Roxy Music
Skater: Andrew Reynolds
Video: Baker Skateboards; 3 (2006)
Prospector Top 3
1. Frontside Flip down Hollywood High 16 Stair (0:37)
2. Caballerial down the Wilshire 15 (5:13)
3. Nollie Nose-Blunt (4:31)
Who is the best street skater of all time? Andrew Reynolds, Geoff Rowley, Eric Koston, Rodney Mullin, Chris Cole, or Ryan Sheckler? Depends on who you ask. Whether or not Reynolds is your choice, no one can argue he’s the best at what he does. Flip tricks down big staircases. He’s had the best “flick” in skateboarding ever since Tony Hawk discovered him and put him in Birdhouse’s 1992 video Ravers at age 14. Known simply as "The Boss,” Reynolds remains a very humble and unique personality in skating (surprising since non-humble Burt Reynolds is his uncle).

His music selections have always been interesting. Rather than go for the “big song/rock star” image, he often takes the non-traditional route and lets his skating do the talking. Here it’s no different. Art rock gods Roxy Music deliver with (yes it's all the same song) "The Bob (Medley)". This part is incredibly well edited to fit the music as it starts off with a bang and then transitions through multiple varying sections. A highlight being the experimental interlude with war sound effects and a trippy camera filter.


Download | Roxy Music | Roxy Music (1972)

Probably the coolest record we've featured to date, Roxy Music matched free-form art school stylings with classic rock 'n' roll. The two have been an item ever since.

Brian Eno, who shaped their early signature sound with synthesizers and tape recorders, would eventually leave the band for vaster pastures (like pioneering the ambient genre and producing legendary albums from David Bowie, The Talking Heads, U2 and so on). So the professional chemistry was short-lived, but the
avant-pop innovations of this debut continue to inspire.

October 20, 2009

Mixtape | Scary, Scary Halloween

As promised, more mixes from our new contributor, Nate. He's too good to us:
Scary, Scary Halloween is a collection of new songs mixed together to put you in the holiday spirit. Themes of death, darkness and in spite of those, celebration, fuse together to capture that mischievous evening in late October. Sure, our only lingering fear surrounding this supposedly frightening night is not knowing what to wear to all Halloween’s parties, but deep inside us all there is still that yearning to be scared of death in order to feel alive. This mix will appease all those fears of not being scared this year. Can you wear this mix to a costume party? No, but you can listen to it on the way there. Or maybe it is better suited for after the party… when you and your costumed friends are fuzzy from bobbing for beers and suddenly the road is completely dark, no one is in sight and the only sound is creepy howling reverb... Is it a ghoul’s cry or just an electric guitar’s feedback? On Halloween night, it doesn’t matter what the source of the sound is as long as the result is a chill. So turn the speakers up and the lights down and have a scary, scary Halloween.
Download | Mixtape | Scary, Scary Halloween

'Attention to detail' is an understatement. You might miss it because it works, but note the transitions - that stuff takes some time. And these aren't the type of flagrantly spooky tracks that hit your Trash on November 1st. They're good, moody songs (from some of our favorites, see: tags) that simply fit the occasion. Thanks Nate.

View the tracklist here. Enjoy.

Quick | jj

A few of us passed out to this dreamy album on Saturday. It was probably the first time I'd let all 26 minutes of jj N° 2 run through since cooling on it months back. Coincidentally today, the Swedes put out a video, not for a single, but instead cut to key fragments of the whole thing ("Things Will Never Be The Same Again", "Intermezzo", "My Love"). We'd expect nothing less from a collective that remains basically anonymous.



Download | jj | jj N° 2 (2009)

There's a quiet, unclassifiable, yet distinctive style to jj's debut LP. It's all parts chill, mixed with curveball references like Lil Wayne and 'country ass town". The summer ages well.


Nice call, Blaire.

October 16, 2009

Friday Send-Off | "Big Boom"

We're getting into some space-love this weekend.



Download | Windmill | Epcot Starfields (2009)

UK's Matthew Thomas Dillon is Windmill. And Windmill is really something. It's all in the voice (which may draw a line in the sand for some). Like a fragile Wayne Coyne or at times, Daniel Johnston, he's able to make a thought like, "We want our parents to live for always...they don't want us to be sad when they're gone", feel sincere, almost profound.

Epcot Starfields opens with a piano address, "Airsuit", and you can picture curtains starting to part. It's a setup. In comes "Big Boom", and we're going to Disney World, or least up there suspended with Dillon for a while, wherever that is.

How can anyone really resist all these Epcot references?

Time to fly to San Fran for Treasure Island (The Flaming Lips, Grizzly Bear, MGMT, etc).

Have fun. Be safe. Get weird.

October 14, 2009

Shred Wednesday | A Skate Video Retrospective [Part 18]

This week is pretty good. If you're into that whole "Radiohead thing".

Ian words, in brown:



Song: “The White Flash” by Modeselektor (feat. Thom Yorke)
Skater: Tyler Bledsoe
Video: Alien Workshop; Mindfield (2009)
Prospectors Top 3:
1 - Big Flip @ The Carlsbad Gap (2:36) (!!)
2 - Frontside Feeble (1:30)
3 - Big Spin Frontside Blunt-Slide (1:18)
By far our most talked about video is Alien Workshop's Mindfield. This part almost feels futuristic, with the HD quality and a song that’s best heard over good computer speakers (beat kicks in 1:28). Bledsoe is 18. Younger skaters are usually a good indicator of the industry’s next direction. And it seems the current theme is quality, not quantity. Bledsoe had enough footage for an entire second part, which can be seen on a “b-roll” bonus feature on the DVD or here.

Every trick that did make the part is done precisely, with solid style; no flailing arms, no awkward moments. He rolls away with speed after each one. His song choice is a dark and anti-climatic track featuring Thom Yorke (appropriate since we recently attended the Thom Yorke/Flea shows where they brought The Eraser to life). Give this one a few rewinds, the song/visuals will grow on you.

Download | Thom Yorke | The Eraser: Remixes + "The White Flash"

The track featured in the video was from Modeselektor's 2007 release Happy Birthday! It's been added to the folder above. 

Safe to say, Thom Yorke's 2006 album, The Eraser, was some folk's first experience with electronic music (excluding Kid A). Here was the main Radiohead stripping it down to beats and textures. Time and evolved taste has proven those nine tracks to be brilliant in their own right, and warmer than initially felt. As has the amount of remixes provided by some of the genre's most respected acts (Four Tet, Burial, The Field, Modeselektor, The Bug, etc). Last year saw another version of the album released which collected all the top tweaks. And what did we get from it?

More.

"Atoms for Peace" delivered by angels. "Harrowdown Hill" off a smoggy factory belt. Ultimately, the confirmation that there's a lot to work with on
The Eraser (case and point, the performances earlier this month). Thom can do no wrong.

Also, grab his two new ones here.

The Dodos @ MHOW [NYC; 10/13/09, in photos]


What we said last time, but at Music Hall of Williamsburg, with a better camera.

Thanks Victoria.




October 13, 2009

Quick | Neon Indian Day

After a deadbeat summer of love, Neon Indian's Psychic Chasms is officially out today. Weird to think about how much leak culture has shifted the impact of release dates. Where it once was a universal first-listen day, it now operates more as a near-past-tense reading experience, revealing how an album holds up in the eyes of reviewers (and ABC News). This did just fine and that makes sense, as it is one of the year's most re-playable records, with more than a few jams to get 'pretty excited about' (and yes, he samples Todd Rundgren and it works).

Along with this morning's write-ups, surfaced an LOL-via-motor-skill-FAIL take on "Should Have Taken Acid With You" by butterteam (not official video). Endure:

October 12, 2009

White Rabbits @ Maxwell's [Hoboken, NJ; 10/11/09, in photos]


Victoria was back home in the garden state last night for an up close and personal set with White Rabbits, a very good band. 'Friends and family' best described the vibe in Maxwell's tiny bar. She chatted with the bassist's mom about their upcoming tour which begins Friday. All were stoked and on-point, or as she puts it:
"They sounded fucking awesome."
If that sounds like something you might be interested in:
Oct 17 Rock N Roll Hotel Washington DC
Oct 18 Johnny Brenda's Philadephia, PA
Oct 20 Pearl St. Cafe Northampton, MA
Oct 21 Club Hell Providence, RI
Oct 22 Higher Ground Burlington, VT
Oct 23 La Sala Rosa Montreal, Quebec
Oct 24 Drake Hotel Toronto, Ontario
Oct 25 Magic Stick Detroit, MI
Oct 27 Firebird St. Louis, MO
Oct 29 The Blue Note Columbia, MO
Oct 30 Larimer Lounge Denver, CO
Nov 1 The Clubhouse Phoenix, AZ
Nov 2 El Rey Los Angeles, CA
Nov 4 Slims San Francisco, CA
Nov 5 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
Nov 6 Media Club Vancouver, British Columbia
Nov 9 Cedar Cultural Center Minneapolis, MN
Nov 10 Turner Hall Milwaukee, WI


October 9, 2009

October 8, 2009

Fall Mixtape | Pumpkin Moonshine

We should do more mixes. And we will do more mixes. I had one brewing for summer and never got around to finalizing it. Really what happened was our friend Nate built a beach mix so rad, I just gave up and listened to his. He's now back with another season, and on board with us. So, everyone welcome Nate, and his fall mix and his charming preface:
A summer mix is easy: take some fun pop hits and a couple sunny ditties and you’re bound for success. A fall mix is a bit more difficult. Fall is summer’s hang over; everything is dying, and it’s getting colder. It should be depressing, but for some reason, it’s not. In fact, to me, it’s the most exciting of seasons. In putting this collection of music together my goal was to place what that intangible feeling the autumn gives us. I think there’s a romance attached to this time of year that is undervalued compared to fall’s seasonal counter part, spring. The birds and the bees have all gone south and in their vacancy comes a more personal awakening. Some of the best, most visceral memories of our lives come from the next few months: First days of school, game sevens, last minute shopping for Halloween costumes, and going home for Thanksgiving are just a few of the Rockwellesque images your brain can easily conjure up. Those traditional rites of passage have created almost a Pavlov like salivation in the corner of our mouth upon seeing the first turned red oak leaf. So how can I come any close to construing those sacred memories with a mix of brand new* music? Well, I can’t…. There is no way a bunch of songs you never heard before can match the authenticity of hayride in a pumpkin patch or the awakening of your tastes buds upon drinking your first Octoberfest of the year. The best I can hope for is that I did manage to place that intangible feeling that fall gives us: nostalgia for tomorrow.

*
Download | Nate's Fall Mix 2009 | Pumpkin Moonshine

I've been getting lost in the leaves on this one (makes sense that Nate's originally from New England). May Moonshine's many reds and golds do the same for you.

It's a rather pleasant folk-flavored lineup, with some S&S regulars sprinkled throughout (including one of the best songs of 09', and dreamboat Ryan Gosling's strangely good band).

View the tracklist here. And sort your iTunes by album.

October 7, 2009

Shred Wednesday | A Skate Video Retrospective [Part 17]

Why don't we just worry about ourselves and leave the prospectin' up to ole Gus Chiggins. His findings are in brown:



Song: “Cherry Red” by Groundhogs
Skater: Dylan Rieder
Video: Transworld; A Time to Shine (2006)
Prospector's Top 3:
1 - Fakie Melon Grab (3:26)

2 - Kickflip Shifty (2:21)

3 - Noseblunt Alley-oop Revert (0:53)
This video was released during a period where skate videos encouraged skaters to attempt a meaningful and insightful introduction. This trend was soon discontinued.

It would be hard to say skatepark/mini-ramp footage went out of style, but it rarely dominates video parts (exception of the Anti-Hero team) like it does here. Street skating remains most popular. So much in fact, that typical 'ramp format' skateparks are now being replaced by ‘skate plazas’, built to mirror downtown street layouts with stairs, benches, and curbs.

Interesting though, trends and styles come back around as quickly in skating as they do in music. The Groundhogs song used here ‘circa 1971’ dates back to when rock was straight blues. Before Zeppelin put a darker, heavier ‘black magic’ spin on it. 67’ – 71’, was the best period for music, hands down. Maybe I’m just old-school, bands like Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear are still ‘growing on me'. But Rieder’s song and retro skate part are rad. There aren’t any switch kickflip back tails. He just skates fast and powerful. Everything comes back around. In with the old, out with the new.

Download | Groundhogs | Split (1971)

To Ian's good point (and great find) you can hear yesterday's Goundhogs all over today's acid-blues rock like The Black Keys, Black Mountain, or any of Jack White's bands. Dan Auerbach of the Keys especially, even has the vocals down. Unlike last week's giveaway, Split's sound quality holds up exceptionally well for a lost gem. It also runs like a complete album, with precision and purpose (see: schizophrenic 4-part title track).

"Junkman" abruptly goes way off the psych-deep end, which I like. And closer "Groundhog" is a toe-tapper so bluesy, it probably felt vintage right out of the box.

October 5, 2009

Thom Yorke @ Orpheum Theatre [LA; 10/04/09, w/Flea]


Thank you, Internet. And thank you, Thom Yorke.

Last Tuesday, the man blogged that he and his buddies (Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker, and Mauro Refosco) put a band together for fun and felt like playing some shows in LA. The outside world was instantly alerted via blog/tweet/text tidal wave. Tickets were made available less than a day later. And in one browser's refresh, sold out.

Thom Yorke, arguably the most vital and prolific artist of our generation (try me), can do that. He can rally four master musicians for a "jam" at the Orpheum Theatre. He can (generously) invite relative unknown art-house locals (and appropriately named), Lucky Dragons, to open. He can turn his own solo album from skeletal, electronic ice, to full-blooded, freewheeling fire. He can unite music nerds with Hollywood's elite** under one long, standing ovation, before the show even starts.

Yes, spectacle lived in the basic idea of Radiohead's frontman taking cues from the bassline of Red Hot Chili Pepper's greatest asset. It easily could have sorta-worked (a common fate for 'supergroups'), and we'd all still walk away with something memorable. Hardly possible though, understanding what these guys consider "par". Thom may have played it off to press that they'd be short and rough, but who really believed him? We got The Eraser from start to finish, an intimate Yorke solo set, and a grooving finale' of material, old and new. At no point was anyone 'off' or did anything sound like they hadn't written it together, 10 years ago.

To think, all this time, The Eraser was a sprawling dance-punk album in disguise. Its opening track sent a current up the theatre walls that was probably never equaled. It simply, shocked. Feeding off each other, Flea's crouching shimmy paired eerily well with Yorke's piano (and later, Yorke's famous kid-tweaking-out-alone-in-his-bedroom dance moves). Dueling percussion cracked each track's former synthetic shell wide open. And Nigel (who is to Radiohead what George Martin was to The Beatles) brought it all together sonically with a keyboard/mixer and some guitar shaping of his own. Bottom line: live instrumentation wins.

Serpent-charming "Skip Divided" showcased Flea on melodica (and Yorke on sex). Suddenly-funky "Harrowdown Hill" let Flea do what he does best, go slap-wild. And "Cymbal Rush" sealed it.

Yorke came back alone and contemplative with a few stunning new ones. The band then returned for a closing punch. Yorke dedicated "Paperbag Writer", a Radiohead b-side (and personal favorite) to Colin Greenwood, who was in attendance - sort of his way of saying: yes, I know Flea is owning it right now, but you're still our bassist, k love you :)

It was hard not to think the last two songs, some of the newest in the bunch, were composed with a translation like this in mind.

Per usual, I could go on...here's the setlist (linked to videos):
01 The Eraser
02 Analyse
03 The Clock
04 Black Swan
05 Skip Divided
06 Atoms For Peace
07 And It Rained All Night
08 Harrowdown Hill
09 Cymbal Rush

Solo encore:

10 Lotus Flower (Moon Upon A Stick)*
11 Open The Floodgates*
12 Super Collider*

Encore w/ band:

13 Paperbag Writer
14 Judge, Jury & Executioner*
15 The Hollow Earth
16 Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses

* NEWish
How it started (not my video or bro banter):





I'll add that experiencing this with Ian, a bigtime RHCP fan (that Old Prospector!), was a pretty cool step in the history of this here website. Stay tuned.

** Anne Hathaway, Tobey Maguire, Edward Norton, Woody Harrelson, Don Johnson, Cillian Murphy, Danny Masterson, most of Radiohead (and less confirmed, Bruce Willis, Jim Carey, Anthony Keidis...)

October 3, 2009

Little Joy + Devendra Banhart @ Webster Hall [NYC; 10/02/09, in photos]

Brooklyn Vic was on hand last night for what looked like a joyous family affair. There was speculation that opening act, Swami Shave-us Jr., was actually one of Devendra Banhart's silly pseudonyms, and it was (this is the guy with hypothetical side projects like Matchmaking Native Americans and the Nightlifes). 

Little Joy (who gave the west coast a stage-full of smiles a few months back), had something special as well: Fabrizio Moretti. An original part of their LA gang, the Strokes man returned and that can only mean good things. Victoria shot it, and blurbed it:

"LJ played a great show with some new ditties thrown in there. Binki is adorable! and the crowd and band, seemed toreally love having Fab there. (Rodrigo kept shooting Fab long lingering looks and smiles while performing...they had a few 'moments') Fab came down and danced in the crowd and made some ladies esp. happy :)

Their 3rd encore song was a huge crowd pleaser as Rodrigo had the crowd come up on stage and sing alone to 'Brand New Start' – the bouncers...not so pleased.

All around - adorable and fun."