Monday, March 23, 2009

A.C. Newman at Johnny Brenda's (Philadelphia)

Some pics I took from his March 17Th concert:

The night's setlist is in one of the picsadamsjp2010's posted here on flickr (thanks for sharing!). Song before last was "Come crash", not showing in the pic. He made a "pact" with the audience and skipped the bit where they leave the stage to return for the encore, so the set was a smooth run of songs sprinkled with bits of banter all along... like, being a redhead on St Patrick's day he felt sort of compelled to explain he's not Irish but Nordic!, also joked about Neko being loaded...

Though he's not mainly known for his ballads those, to me, stood out in an impressive way and though I had not heard "Come crash" nor "The cloud prayer" before (am an AC newbie) I was mesmerized when he played them. Massively beautiful, had that something that live music has sometimes, like some magic something. I recorded a bit and uploaded it on youtube, but as usual it's not the same.
"The cloud prayer":

Sound in the room was overall a bit too loud, drums specially, but the peculiarity of this very special venue probably had a hand in it. And it was packed. There were a total of 6 musicians onstage and they played faultlessly, achieving a round sound, but the violin player's histrionics were a bit too much, at times it seemed she'd go and push AC off the stage to have more room!. But as far as musicality goes, fantastic. Show ended up hanging the "sold out" sign, and a curious thing was the proportion of males versus females in the audience, like 10 to 1 at least!
And lots of merch to choose from, like different arty prints made each for a different one of the cities of the tour (the one with the big white AC letters in the pic was Philly's). As per the pic, A.C. hung around the table before and after the show and made himself available for his fans.

Great show.

Labels: AC Newman Philadelphia, AC Newman Johnny Brenda's, AC Newman setlist, AC Newman prints, AC Newman posters

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shuttle riding bat

You can't miss this bat. Not a blog for these things, but it's kind of remarkable, the number of unthinkable things one gets see in life...
You know where you start, never can image where you'll end
Erin Mckeown's "To the stars" seems appropriate...
PS Apr'09 just back from a visit to FL that included a trip to Kennedy Space Center. Understandable that it would happen because, paradox enough, place is sitting in the middle of a wildlife sanctuary full of all kinds of birds, alligators ... (apparently they get pretty aggressive when there's a launch going on, can't be blamed). Merritt island, just around the corner, has hosts such as manatees, sea turtles and even cougars. A beautiful very tropical place with occasional rocket shows...

Friday, March 20, 2009

SXSW sampler

SXSW going on now in the US, lots of bands playing in Austin, lucky few get to go...but the rest of us can at least get a 10 song free sampler from XPN, click here and you can check it out and download it free from I-tunes! .Can't say for the most part those are the ones I'd have chosen out of the bunch but...

And this is a not very serious blog on music, so now and then I stray... -hate smilers but :)
So I'll just quickly make a note that my sister is getting married, congrats from here!!. And I've lately been neglecting my blog being as I was on a mission -more mentally than hands on 90% of the time!- to find a dress. Not one for that stuff but ended up being fun. And got one!!. So almost ready for my 14h airport marathon...-hate to fly-..
...And redirecting this post to music...I've actually discovered a few good songs while shopping in places like Macy's (Amy Winehouse's "Help yourself" comes to mind, a while ago when she wasn't popular), they go for unusual choices, which is really good. Yesterday as I was strolling around with my bag they played Erin Mckeown, then Alice Russell's "Mean to me" (this last one's not my thing though!). Shops are really getting rid of elevator music and I'm so glad for that.
And let's end this post in deep cheesy-land with a pic of sis and I and our dog Atila (was sort of naughty) from a long time ago. Lol. We are definitely not that cute anymore!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Kathleen Edwards at the World Cafe

Luckily Kathleen Edwards made a stop at Philly's World Cafe on Feb 20th. Had only seen her at the Noncomm almost one year ago and setlist was too short then (posted on that here) so a full concert...a treat.
Found many pics of this concert here through lastfm, good thing since this time my camera (has a great sense of opportunity!) started blinking a "low battery" message as soon as I turned it on (I had assumed it was charged...I assume too many things). So I was only able to take very few weak shots.
The setlist she used is also in one of the pics on flickr, but she made a few changes: she didn't play "Goodnight California" (my bad luck with setlists continues... one of my favourites of hers). She also did a cover of The Outfield's "Your love" which made many in the audience smile and sing along. The actual setlist can be found here (post #4) together with a link to a bootleg of the show (thanks Deanokat!, haven't heard it yet though, dealing with the flac file!).
Best to me was when she was left alone onstage to sing "Run" and "National Steel" (no offence to the band, pals Jim Bryson & Gord Tough, they were great!).
After the show she did a meet and greet, a veery long line of people. Invested my time in asking her about the amazing "The lone wolf", told her that to me it seemed quite a departure from all her other songs. She said she agreed it was so, but that she didn't know why. That people ask for it sometimes and she loves to play it. That she composed it when she was living in the country during one of her walks, and was coming up with lines as she was taking steps (afraid my English fails me, she was gesturing and I don't think I'm describing it well, bummer). You do get that sense of taking steps in the song's rhythm though, the song has a very particular structure. And as somber as it is, it's still most beautiful. I've come across a surprisingly good cover of the song on youtube here (by thebrooke). And there's only one clip of Kathleen playing it on youtube!?!. Strange.
If Kathleen's a fantastic musician, she's an even better lyricist, not afraid to deal with all kinds of stuff. In 3 minutes she can manage to perfectly describe the most difficult and complex feelings. A very special person.
The music I listen to keeps changing constantly, Kathleen's is one of the very few -if not the only one- I keep going back to. She certainly doesn't disappoint live.
Supporting act was The last town chorus, I was familiar with some of her songs and was looking forward to it but it wasn't a good night for her (had a cold, nobody's fault). I'm not particularly keen on lap guitars either. But she definitely has some touching songs. Pic:

Tags: Kathleen Edwards Philadelphia, Kathleen Edwards setlist

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stereogum - fresh legal downloads + Laura Marling's "Blackberry stone"

So I've come across this site -Stereogum- now and then but only now do I discover its 'Gum Drop: you subscribe (free) and each Wednesday they have a free new song you can download (so far some really good names). And once subscribed you can download past weeks songs too, many times exclusive versions (some names: Laura Marling's "Blackberry Stone" -a B-side not in her album!, Marissa Nadler, My brightest Diamond, Frightened Rabbit, Nicole Atkins...) Or A Camp's "Love has left the room" ** (side project of The Cardigan's Nina Persson), only listened to it once and somehow disappointed -hard to match some of the Cardigans' best material. But their mini interview is strangely strange (the questions too: "When love finally does leave the room, where does it go?" Uh, let's see... -Nina's answer's bitterly gooood)
Kind of great site with tons of interesting news you won't see anywhere else. Browsed through serious interviews and lighter stuff like Liz Phair's ad for Banana Republic, oops, everybody has a bad day, funny article, terrible vid- I really think she's great but... Well, Sara Bareilles' wasn't much better.
Anyway...Really good site.
Laura Marling's "Blackberry Stone": "I've no reason to reason with you", how sad is that. It happens.

** Oct'09 Actually I take that back, "Love has left the room" as well as other songs from the album are regulars in my ipod these days. Love the angle from which it talks about the end of a somewhere that one of the main excuses people use not to move on is their "need for closure". Like you're going to get a full report with all the reasons, all the answers to all the doubts regarding what happened, why it's over...well, wake up. The only reason you need to close the book is he's not here fighting for you, is all you need is to stop making excuses.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lisa Hannigan on tour

Lisa Hannigan Lisa Hannigan is wrapping up her U.S. tour with her final dates, if you can catch one of her last shows, do!!
She's definitely a much stronger set live than in her cd.
Saw her at the World Cafe on the 5Th, this is a bit I recorded that will give an idea ("I don't know", one of her lightest songs, the most popular too)- select high quality! (HQ):

Years of experience doing backing vocals for Damien Rice really show, she knows how to make the most of her singing, and her breezy, ordinary (in a beautiful and best of ways) voice soars and floats and keeps giving you unexpected goosebumps, specially with higher notes (she usually stays on lower registers though). Her music and her appearance go hand in hand, she couldn't be more natural, more up-front. No make up (at least looked like that), no "hair works", no crisp outfit. She pulls it off, seems like it's in her essence. I love that. And not to mistake that with obviousness, at all.
The only other person I've seen going onstage like that was Kate Nash. On the other hand the most put together would probably be Melody Gardot, I guess (& Coldplay!) (nothing wrong with either way, gives the show one more shade - I sort of admire it, could never do it!).

Anyway, best of the night for me was her cover of Air's "Playground love". Seriously, beats the original, wish she'd record it. In her version Air's "cold" edge is substituted by the most intense longing. Somebody uploaded it on youtube here, but it really isn't anywhere near the way it sounds live.
She played this curious (and temperamental, after her words) harmonium in most of the songs. The band playing with her (4) fit together really well, drums guy Tom Osander doing most of the backing vocals (TomO, does her photo blog, one smiling guy!).
The show was nearly sold out, which is so impressive for an Irish singer who's just released her first record, so congrats to her. Setlist:

And her lovely and most original video for "Lille" here.
BTW I've listened to "My one and only thrill" (thanks B!), GArdot's written some really beautiful tracks.
TAGS: lisa hannigan, Philadelphia setlist, lisa hannigan live, lisa hannigan i don't know, harmonium,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Compile pls! - Lily Allen and Elbow are game.

One more compilation I've come across that's pretty appealing (as opposed to its title, am afraid):War Child presents Heroes . People like Lily Allen, Duffy, Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Elbow and a brilliant idea behind it (and I quote) "We asked some of the biggest legends in music history (Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, David Bowie) to select a classic track from their own songwriting catalog, and nominate an artist from the next generation to create a modern reworking of that classic song". Released Feb 24Th. I've just listened to Lily's cover of The Clash's "Straight to hell" and sounds pretty well (for the dramatic story behind those cryptic lyrics go here), even features Mick Jones. Covers, in general, tend to be pointless unless you have your own style and make the song yours. Seems these people -most of them at least- have done just that.

Last but not least, it's for a good cause (War child). If anyone could be spared from pain, it should be the children.

Monday, March 2, 2009

And the story of the little backyard faucet that could...

There's this faucet in my backyard I wrote a post about last year. One day it basically dripped and made a most curious bottle shaped ice piece that I photographed, then the piece slid from my gloved fingers and ended up broken in hundreds of mini-ice cubes. It was a winter day very much like today, so this afternoon I went to check. Well, as it is always desirable, I had learned from my mistakes (two points!) and the faucet had not dripped a single droppp... but there's a second part to the story: incredibly enough this time around poor faucet itself was an ice piece: water had dripped from the roof on that very exact spot!!!. Well, our luck is one sometimes and there's just no escaping it, I guess. I so feel like my faucet.

Didn't want to post about this, but how could I not. To fix its non-musicality a bit I'll recommend a beautiful song and video that's been around for almost a year but I've just discovered. In a weird way it matches this post. Laleh, "Live tomorrow" (it's the one with the close up pic of her eyes).

Hell no

I was supposed to be doing some very cool music stuff this morning, but mother nature had other plans...see my window, take a guess...
So instead I get to stay at home and rant, and listen to this Regina Spektor and Sondre Lerche duet I just discovered ("Dan in real life" soundtrack, I don't usually go for that type of movies, but Juliette Binoche was in it, and it ended up being a sweet movie). Because sometimes in life you can't help going HELL, NO (and "you were such a jerk" too, btw !%&!?).
But spring is coming, right?. Not soon enough, "apparently".
And if blogger wasn't so messy and complicated, today this blog would have this song on autoplay. Yess.