Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Caribou and Born Ruffians at The Loft

Having never been to The Loft, I was in for a surprise. I didn’t really know what to expect, although I knew what it might be like. The venue turned out to be smaller than even the Gypsy Tea Room (R.I.P.), but the intimate setting produced by such close quarters is very welcome after seeing bands play on larger stages for the past few shows.

Born Ruffians were one of the best opening bands that I had seen in a while. I hadn’t ever given them a listen, but after hearing them open, I wanted to get my hands on whatever they had to offer. I still haven’t listened to them so I don’t know how well the live show translates to a recording, but they gave a fun opening to the night. They are also fans of the Nintendo DS, so they scored some points with my girlfriend and me.

Probably the most shocking item of the night was the crowd size for the show. By the time Caribou took the stage, the room was sprinkled with about 35 or so people and everyone had enough room to stretch out. This just proves how terribly underrated the band is, at least in the Dallas area. Dan Snaith led the band with his guitar, vocals, keys, drumming, melodica and plastic horn playing. Every cool element of Caribou’s sound was present. The electronics, dual drumming (which I didn’t know they had until their performance), the old school melodies, and even a crazy projection of hypnotizing, acid trip-esque images that played on the members of the band and a screen behind them for their entire set. Overall, I was truly impressed with the level of musicality that the band put forth. Everyone played with such precision, and the complex dual drum arrangements showcased that perfectly. Those who did not attend truly missed out.

Born Ruffians


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Modern 'til Midnight

The exhibit and the music at The Modern this Friday were both pretty good. The too realistic pieces on display on Ron Mueck were awe inspiring and worth checking out if you ever get the chance.

The surprise of the night was little know Sleeping States out of London. Their use of off-beat electronic devices like a portable T.V., radios, and toys gave their sound extra layers that fit in perfectly. The drumming was a bit off, but it wasn't too out of place with the feedback. I can't wait to hear more from them.

I had heard tales of Peter & The Wolf's live shows that ranged from good to bad, but I was ready to hear their warming songs on the cold grass of the sculpture garden at The Modern by the time they took the stage. They were dead on this performance and played pretty solidly. They are around pretty often, being from Austin and all, so we will probably be covering them next time they come around.

St. Vincent was obviously the performance that everyone was there to see. She is the darling child of the Dallas scene and everyone was looking up at her with such admiration as she took the stage, all by herself this time. Despite always being on top of her act, her set was riddled with problems stemming from her electronic trigger pad on the floor. Being the trooper that she is, she chatted with the audience and apologized several times for her technological difficulties. She even brought out some covers, including the beautiful version of Nico's These Days, which is probably one of my favorite covers by anybody. Her album material shines even more when it is stripped down and she is playing several parts all by herself. You can get the whole set here at

Sleeping States

Peter & The Wolf

St. Vincent

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Modern 'til Midnight This Friday

The Modern Art Museum of Ft. Worth is putting on a special deal for all of you cultured folk out there. Not only do you get to see some great exhibits after hours, but you also get to soak in some great music. St. Vincent and Peter and the Wolf will be playing in the museum's sculpture garden from 6 p.m. Friday night until, you guessed it, midnight. The price of admission is $15 for non-members and free for members, so you can't really pass up this deal. Here's the full description from the Modern's website

Modern '€™til Midnight: Declaring Space and Ron Mueck

Friday, October 19, 6 pm-midnight
Admission is $15; FREE for Modern members

This event is presented in conjunction with the special exhibitions Declaring Space and Ron Mueck. Ron Mueck is on view through October 21 and Declaring Space is on view through January 6. Tickets available at the door or in advance, call 817.738.9215 or visit the Museum admission desk.

Join us for Modern '€™til Midnight! Enjoy extended hours, live music, special gallery activities, late-night shopping, and late-night fare from Cafe Modern as we celebrate after hours on Friday, October 19, from 6 pm to midnight. This event is open to the public. Admission is $15; free for Modern members. Spend time in two critically-acclaimed exhibitions; Declaring Space: Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Lucio Fontana , Yves Klein and the last chance to see the popular exhibition, Ron Mueck which closes October 21!

Live Music
Enjoy live music in the Modern's Sculpture Garden
10:45 pm - St. Vincent
Featuring Annie Clark, former member of Polyphonic Spree.
"€œI came away impressed with her gnarly, minimalist indie rock".-Preston Jones, Star-Telegram

10 pm - Peter & the Wolf

9:15 pm - Doug Burr

8:30 pm - Sleeping States

7:45 pm - Tame..Tame and Quiet

7 pm - MOM

and live DJ entertainment in the Grand Lobby

6 pm-DJ Marcosis

8 pm-DJ Sober of the Party

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Radiohead's In Rainbows is Here

Yeah I know that you have heard so much about In Rainbows by now and you've probably even listened to it but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to post about this. From what I have heard of it so far, the album is great and it has been all over the blogs, TV, and radio. This thing is probably going to be one of the most talked about releases for a while and with good reason. Challenging the listener has been one of Radiohead's cornerstones since they first got started, but challenging the record industry at this level? I know that there has been much talk about them not being on a label and how they wouldn't even put out a record this year, but with this sudden announcement of the record and its pricing deal, it has taken the world by surprise. I am willing to go out on a limb and say that this is one of the greatest advancements of our time for art in general. The homespun ideas behind the album and not really caring what they get for it in return seem to be at the root of what makes music not only enjoyable to listen to, but also genuinely respectable. Labels will be chomping at the bit to get a hold of the rights to this and it will be interesting to see what happened next. but for now, download your copy of the album: www.inrainbows.com (Note: There isn't really any official artwork yet, but that's an idea)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Animal Collective at the Henry Fonday - 9.18

We arrived early on Hollywood Blvd. and got to the front of the line. I was excited about this show, being a fan of the Music Box and always relying on their good management. It is always a pleasure to go to AC shows since the fans are all share the same excitement and the same openness to each other and the music. Some twins in front of us were hopping up and down as the sun set and the line was formed in two before 8pm doors. Derek was heard during sound check and 5 minutes before doors video of the stage was thrown up onto the building adjoining so that the smokers ushered to the roof area could watch the show.

We were ushered in and made our way to the front to see a Social Distortion-like skeleton in a tutu hanging prominently at the back of the stage. It wasn't too long before the lights turned low and the first of two openers came out. Most of the fans were antsy enough to see their first AC show and the inevitable postponement through two acts was torture enough, at least, one would think so. But then Eric Copeland came out.

The risk that anyone takes with dabbling in the avant-garde is that you can easily find yourself in too deep. Animal Collective is admittedly novel and their music challenges conventions, blah blah blah. But, part of their genre easily gets deposited into the unapologetic bastard art of "pure sound." Eric Copeland was a fine example of this: his show began with overbearing cacophonous noise, unsupported by differentiations of tone, and continued on that way through thirty unforgiving minutes. There was no rhythm, there was no melody, there was nothing decipherable within his noise experiment that warranted the name music. He received mixed reactions from the crowd, but mostly negative. Those who cheered and put forth superficies of enjoyment simultaneously displayed their unabashed pretense.

But the night continued with little hope for a better act to follow. Stage hands came out and brought a semi-circular screen up to the front of the stage and began to set up instruments behind it. A band that takes such measures to separate themselves from their audience ought to give serious consideration to the qualities of their craft and the essence of art in general. Wizard Prison soon came out in robes and with visual display, appearing as shadows instead of men. The music was no less offensively untalented and any melodic song consisted in pedantic patterns that repeated themselves endlessly. Again, the crowd seemed to enjoy the novelty more than any virtue that lay in the artform. Someone in front of me tried to silence the objectors with appeals to "positive thinking" and "artistic license." He used earlier Animal Collective as his soapbox as if to say, "despite their maturation to the more melodic, AC is no different from that which offends your ears now." I wasn't convinced.

After an hour and a half escaped me forever, AC soon came on. The hanging ballerina skeleton was joined by two three-dimensional ones on stage, with matching tutus and light-up eyes. The band started Dancer, a new song, that gave a calming effect to the opposed crowd. Soon we were more unified in our admiration for these men on this stage and they brought us to a middle ground through the balance of dissonance, melody, tonality and ambience. This wasn't to last too long, however, as the rhythmic pulsing of Peacebone brought the crowd to riotous activity. The set was different from the first two times I saw them this summer. Next to each of their large monitors, which stood in the back like sentinels, were LED light bars, multi-colored, bright and somewhat overpowering. The band played for a full hour and a half ending close to 1AM. They played with energy and delight. The crowd took it in with enthusiasm and respect as they heard new and old. The sound at the Music Box was off, however, and there were moments of discomfort as high-end parts viciously assaulted the ear.

Were it not for the two opening bands, the evening could have been more worthwhile and much more enjoyment could have been put into AC's fantastic set. However, since this was not the case, I found my soul exhausted by the time they took the stage and when AC started Fireworks, my excitement was not what I had expected and I realized my emotional attenuation. I was sapped of vigor and could not enjoy so well the band to which I devoted my time, only to have it sabotaged by hangers-on, frauds and snobs. I don't blame AC. But, like always, I blame LA.

Song for Ariel
Am I Real
Leaf House
Walk Around (With You)
Material Things / Little Girl (I Don't Need)
Unsolved Mysteries
Brother Sport
Who Could Win a Rabbit