Friday, September 26, 2008

Rachael Yamagata at the World Cafe

Rachael Yamagata at the World Cafe, taped "Sidedish friend":

And "What if I leave":

She was the best. This set was really emotional, her songs are no walk in the park, hence her hilarious banter in between songs that deflates it a bit.
Her voice live is just incredible, she had been playing NY the night before and was tired but you couldn't really tell.
Held a meet and greet after the show and she took her time with every single person, no hurry, was really warm and affectionate with everyone. Seems incredible that someone like her has had such bad experiences but I guess that doesn't really have anything to do with it most of the times.
Asked her about sheet music, she said other people had asked as well and she would love to release it but she needs someone to actually write it properly from her stuff and that she tends to stretch notes to the max (I know everybody knows this but just in case... music is Mathematics, and there's all this pile of rules and regulations under the name Harmony that all musicians must abide to if they want the sound to be acceptable, the chords to start and end a song, the transitions -not that musicians bear them in mind when composing but if it sounds good, 99.9% of the times it turns out they are following them... except that then along comes someone like one of the first music "anarchists", Debussy, and sends all these rules directly to the dustbin!. Most people follow them though, geniuses are not common. But Rachael shouldn't worry), she said she might tone it down a bit - really, don't.
Then chatted a bit about the Sidedish thing ( hrgg-ed together, unfairness - I have said it before, I hate unfairness, bad thing since there's tons of it around...and as she said "how can there be people like that?" /and as I say, how can one still miss them), got hugged, took a pic and "the end".
She moved to Philly some time ago so hopefully we will be able to see her onstage often. In fact there are 2 shows scheduled for October at the World Cafe, one with the Hotel Tour, the other one supporting the release of her new album, check them out at the World Cafe website, and don't miss them!. Her concert a few nights before at Johnny Brenda's was sold out, so hurry.
Listen to the show here.
The musicians with her:
Jason Kanakis ( guitar) / Kevin Devine ( guitar) / Jonny Flower (upright & electric bass) / Justin Saunders (cello) & Chris Giraldi (drums).
All of them were so great, Devine and Giraldi, all of them, really.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Electric Factory info

The Electric Factory is another quite popular concert venue in Philly. Here are some pics (taken April'08):
View of the stage from balcony, you can see there are bars on ground level and on the upper levels (there's like 3 different levels, those at the very top are like more private, covered with a white canopy, with benches, etc to sit). You can usually access the upper levels if you are over 21 (they'll put a stamp on your hand) and there's some pretty good seating there if you can grab it:

Another one:
And a view from the stage:

There's a food booth and a merch booth at the entrance.
The place has a parking lot just in front of the building (see pic), it's about $10. But you can also park in the street (there are parking meters in the ones closest to the venue, but not a little further up, though it's sort of a dangerous neighbourhood so if you park far don't go back to your car alone).
If the info here is useful to you, consider checking out the ads in this blog, you will be supporting it and they may be really helpful on Tower related stuff!! - thanks!.
PS Sept´12: about this, I've had 13.463 page views this year, guess how many clicks in the adds?: 1, no kidding. Not here for the money, but this ... 

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bell x1 + Duh

Some pics from this Friday's Bell x1 show at the World Cafe. Really nice lads. Beautiful voice, a show really worth listening to (at XPN's archives).

Oh, and I've come across this really lovely song, "Angel tangled in the telephone lines", by Amy Kuney. Check it out (am playing it all the time) - only link I can find is in her myspace redirecting to Rhapsody. There's this vid for this other song of hers though, which I also love: "Love is trippy" - third party in the mess? not me, ever, not good at sharing - its trippy part ...totally; hate to use smilers but... ;-)

....So after debating for quite a bit whether to head South to Alanis's concert or North to Stars' (or vice versa, not strong on cardinal orientation, in fact can you even say that? -guess not, whatever, I'm loosing focus here-) ended up spending the evening in home sweet home's couch. Duh-
Just finished up the totally unproductive first half of the weekend by doing something so stupid I can't think of it or else I'll wince so hard my lashes will curl - yeah, that bad...or worse (was an accident, but not that being so clumsy makes me feel better about it!).
This is one of those posts where I've practiced severe self-editing, it didn't look anything like this half hour ago. Will talk about self -editing and analytics in blogs, feel like it. Getting tired of concert posts, I've gone to a few shows lately I haven't even mentioned. There's something next week I definitely will though!

Monday, September 15, 2008

More Tower pics - view of stage from different seats + Row E

Ok, so "Cheech tix person" went to the Tower last weekend and sent me a few pics to post, different views of the stage from different seats, here they go (they're a little zoomed but taken with a phone):
1. Standing In ISLE in orchestra row FF:

2.LOGE CTR LGROW CC, seats 105 and 7:

3. LOWER BALCONY last row:

He asked me to "make sure you put you can see the stage amazingly anywhere and clearly!!!!!!!"
Thanks to "chech tix" once again, it's people like that one I made this blog for.

...And I went back to the Tower in October 08 and took this pic of Row E (right side), which is peculiar because of what it has in front of it, just so you know...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jakob Dylan at the Artist Den (NY) +Regina Spektor video

Just to have an idea how the Artist Den shows are you can watch this video of Regina Spektor, quality is great (actually I think it's the best of her I've come across so far) and she performs 2 songs, the first one a very short one called Halikha LeKesariya (a.k.a. "Eli, Eli"), of course the second one is easy to identify, they're the only available ones from her set there for now.
Who got lucky and scored free tickets???. Yay!!!!. (actually I entered the "contest" twice, once in my name and another one in someone else's, and then HE got selected! -he hasn't heard a single song from JD!!!- thing is anyway I went...) Pretty exciting and special!. A pic from cell, will complete post soon...
Jakob Dylan Artist Den
They played for about an hour and a half, and played most -if not all- "Seeing things", and also some of The Wallflowers songs ("Closer", "Here he comes", "How good it can get", "Empire of my mind", "I wish I felt nothing"...). Jakob played two of them solo: "War is kind" and "Here he comes" (changed his mind, I peeked at the setlist before the show started and the one written down was "Josephine"...not in the mood, I guess). I wrote before that he also played "Here comes now" but I may have imagined that one...probably, little sleep (quite a stroll from NJ)...

Another pic (looks almost the same, though).Jakob Dylan Artist Den New York
Regarding the music, since I've already done other 3 posts in the last year (2 of them in May), little more to add. They show the logic effects of months of touring....smoother playing...but not many changes. Some new arrangements I had not heard before (best of the night to me was Empire, really good version). But Dylan seems so be getting deeper into a more linear way of singing that I can't say I prefer.
Setting was really beautiful, sort of a Cambridge college dining room kind of thing, you can look at it at the Desmond Tutu Center website. The night was gorgeous, perfect weather, sea blue sky, almost full moon, a breeze... so the little while we had to wait in the courtyard was even welcome. Then doors opened and it was time to register, later stop at the vodka post (2 kinds: pink lemonade and kaipirinha - Grey Goose sponsored-. I don't think there were more than 3 or 4 drops of vodka on either, which was wise. Not fun a room full of too happy people for a tv show!!). Then up to the venue. The lucky ones grabbed seats, the rest stood by the back of the room. Pretty good sophisticated hors d'oeuvres passed around in trays (sushi, some sort of battered cheese thing, etc., I really don't know the name of these things in English, mmm. Really good).
Audience was a mixture of cool manhatanites -or however you call them-, a few of his usual fans and a number or undefined ones. Getting dressed for this one was tricky, since you were asked not to wear white or light colors, or anything with a logo or readable words on it - for TV's sake. Guys would go for suits or trendy t-shirts with jeans and tattoos (haha at least quite a few), girls a bit of everything. Fun to watch.
And cameras were everywhere. Not thrilled about it but if you wanted to be there you had to take it. They'd film the wait, the registration and then of course the show. There was a specially spooky one that would hoover over our heads or appear by your shoulder when you least expected it. Made you hope they hadn't given a real Grey goose to the operator - apparently not, or at the speed that thing was going a few of us would have left the place with our heads in our purses!.
The only bad thing was the noise, the people by the bar were far too noisy and you could hear them above the music at times. The people seating were a different story -apart from 3 silly hens bathed in make-up and pls-look-at-me attitude that unfortunately were a few rows from me, they should have been kicked out. I'd have volunteered!!. Lol.
Sort of telling silly stuff cool pro music blog this one- uff, I really try but...- not really. Anyway, it may be useful for others who attend the Artist Den in the future.
P.S. I didn't imagine it -I think-, they did sing "Here comes now", somebody else remembered!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ben Folds at the Mann Center

Ben Folds at the Mann Center with members of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.
Ben Folds Philadelphia
Sorry but the Mann Center never fails to make my camera very aware of its limitations!!
Uploaded this vid, "The last polka":

Setlist started with a rocking "Zak and Sara" followed by "Smoke" and then a number of songs that included "One down and 3.6 to go", "Landed", "Gracie", "Jesusland", "The ascent of Stan" and others and ended with only one encore, "Lucky". It literally poured with rain that night (hurricane Hanna), I was soaked as many others there, and towels and plastic bags turned to ponchos abounded. Thankfully it stopped raining before the end of the show... still I had never seen the Mann that full -though it wasn't totally sold out. People were real fans, constantly cheering and singing along. But too many wouldn't stay in their seats and spent the night leaving and returning, find that a bit rude.
He would talk in between some of the songs, telling really funny stories. Ben is a fantastic pianist, the orchestra sounded very good in some songs (loved loved loved the woman that directed it - he said too that she was his favourite), a little weird or excessive in others (like that song about parking problems, was kind of funny to hear with those luxurious arrangements...). Also the piano's sound was sometimes turned too low so it was hard to hear it at its quietest parts, specially at the beginning of the act. Speaks volumes about his humbleness but really, we want to hear him. Plus, as a result, it made him play it a bit too hard at times. He did play two songs alone: "One down and 3.6 to go", and "The last polka".
Anyway, he comes up with these tunes that you seem to already have in your heart. "Smoke" (a song I had never heard before that night, I'm a real Folds newbie) was the best to me, magic. Personally like it much more than the cd version.
When the show was over he left through the usual back door as quietly as possible, looking down at his shoes walking over the puddled pavement, looking like he hoped nobody would notice him. Somebody asked him where he was going for drinks, he answered "unless it's at the airport..". Then a group of people managed to take a photo with him -in a rush- and he disappeared into the night.