Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Had a Headache

Ideally, I would have been more excited and prepared to come back to my show after missing last week. Instead, I had a headache and didn't really know what to play after a long day of work and errands. I was lucky enough to see an intimate performance of a couple local bands that night in Gunnison, but even that was not enough to erase my headache and tiredness. I ended the show with at least half an hour of long electronic songs, mainly because I ran out of other stuff to play. I was not totally impressed with any of the new albums in the studio (Iron and Wine, Gravenhurst, Figurines, Two Gallants, etc.) that I had been excited about. Perhaps it was my mood going into them, so I will give them another chance. I did play some music from bands I saw while I was away, notably several Ra Ra Riot songs and one from the National and LCD Soundsystem.

While I was away seeing great concerts, the always great Josh Bock filled in for me. He tells me he played music that I turned him onto, so it must have been like listening to my show anyway. Josh had a regular slot now, Thursday nights at 10:30 Mountain Time. If you can, check it out.

I do have an mp3 of most of this show available. Follow this link and type in the letter code to access the download. It wasn't my best show, and the mp3 seems to skip a bit for unknown reasons. The recording goes from the beginning of the show through part of the Working for a Nuclear Free City track. Here's the playlist:

Artist / Song

Ra Ra Riot / Dying is Fine
Man Man / Van Helsing Boombox
Iron & Wine / Wolves (the Shepard's Dog)
Two Gallants / Miss Meri
Black Francis / Lolita
Throw Me the Statue / Lolita
Akron Family / Ed is a Portal
Ra Ra Riot / Ghost Under Rocks
Figurines / Let's Head Out
Belle & Sebastian / The State I Am In
Glen Hansard / Fallen From the Sky
frYars / The Ides
Jose Gonzalez / Down the Line
The Twilight Sad / And She Would Darken the Memory
Gravenhurst / Hollow Man
The National / Mistaken for Strangers
Ra Ra Riot / Each Year
Working for a Nuclear Free City / Asleep at the Wheel
The Rapture / Sister Savior (DFA Dub)
LCD Soundsystem / Us v Them
Nine Inch Nails / The Hand That Feeds (DFA remix)
Le Tigre / Deceptacon (DFA remix)
One-Two / O-Hot Brain (Pedro + Panama remix)
Matt + Kim / Yea Yeah (Bobby Evans ft. Jimmy Jamz final)
Ra Ra Riot / Can You Tell

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dear The National,

Notes from The National, live at the Ogden Theatre, Denver, September 18, 2007

Dear The National,

You are a band on the rise, and if your new release "Boxer" did not win over Denver, your show Tuesday night at the Ogden Theatre went a long way towards conquering another town. You brought a much fuller and rocking sound to your entire catalog, providing a memorable live set that was wonderfully different from your albums. I actually enjoyed every song better in the live setting, that is, except for my two favorite songs of yours: "Fake Empire" and "Slow Show." "Slow Show" was adequate and perhaps on par with the album version. "Fake Empire," however, seemed abbreviated for a song that begs to be stretched and was not nearly as exhilarating as the recorded take. Yes, you didn't have room for the grand piano that graced the stage of your Letterman performance, but where was the horn section? At the very least, lead-singer Matt Berninger could learn to play the small trumpet part as the song crescendos, seeing as when not singing he has little else to do (note: this is actually a good thing most of the time as he doesn't try to distract the audience from the band). On a more positive personel level, drummer Bryan Devendorf is a terrific whirlwind of activity who may somehow define the phrase "restrained relentlessness." Newcomer, multi-instrumentalist Padma Newsome provides a winning touch with his athletic violin playing that added another level of crescendo to many of your songs.

On a slightly sour note, your fans in Denver are absolutely annoying. Perhaps I spoke prematurely about winning over the town, seeing as a good deal of the crowd seemed to treat the show like a networking event, talking constantly throughout your set. Even two of your "friends" - girls who had band passes and talked to/hugged Berninger seconds before their set - were not above this distracting and disrespectful activity. Also distracting from your set was a pair of Dave-Matthews-fan-esque girls whose atrocious dancing lacked any form or beat. Also, also, distracting were the idiot twenty-somethings behind me who, although coming to like the band they knew nothing about, made smarmy, smart-alike comments throughout the show in a form of impress-the-girl-one-ups-manship. Oh yes: also, also, also, distracting was the ear-piercing whistling and poorly timed hollars of the above mentioned pass-holding girls. Perhaps your band show have a more careful screening process when admitting fans into the venue.


P.S. Regarding your opener, St. Vincent: I actually semi-enjoyed her album "Marry Me" but she sounded terribly grating last night. I could see your sound mixes being wildly different, but perhaps allow her some leeway in fine tuning her own mix. Otherwise she may alienate every audience to her talents, as she seemed to do Tuesday night. Of course, she may just not put on a very good live show.

Exernal Links:
Official website
the National - D.C. show review

Sunday, September 16, 2007

First Thoughts: Monolith Day Two

On Saturday, September 15th I returned to Red Rocks Amphitheatre eager for another full day of great music. On today's card: Art Brut, Spoon, Matt + Kim, Flaming Lips, Au Revoir Simone, and YACHT. Here's a quick rundown of my thoughts, which will be soon revised into a longer and more complete entry.

Art Brut won the day with their crowd-pleasing late afternoon set on the main stage. Frontman Eddie Argos is a joy to watch, and the band provides a more accomplished sound than their seemingly pedestrian songs hint at. Au Revoir Simone's set was coy keyboard bliss, and they provided what may have been the weekend's most endearing moment when they invited their young cousins up on stage to dance along to "Sad Songs" (if I recall correctly). Matt and Kim seemed to be the happiest people on Earth during their set. A bass-heavy sound mix could not deter the enthusiam from spilling over into the crowd. Cloud Cult sounded great for a band I know next to nothing about, and I will certainly look into their catalog in the near future. Spoon were better than I remember (from about 3/4 years ago) and sounded great, but were in retrospect nothing to write home about during a long weekend of music. The Flaming Lips put on an amazing spectacle, but their sonic contribution didn't match the visual wonder and I left halfway through the set to go see YACHT. YACHT was playing to a room of about 20 people who did their best to make him feel welcome as he sang and danced to his laptop beats and faught with the sound guys. Brian Jonestown Massacre played lackluster, dated rock to a crowd waiting for a fight to break out amongst the band. The mild bickering I heard almost sounded rehearsed. Local Denver band Nathan and Stephan put on a great show on the small Rock Room stage. Indianapolis natives Margot and the Nuclear So and So's presented themselves as a good-natured indie 9-piece who has yet to realize their sonic potential, but could be headed in the right direction. Earl Greyhound played loud, funk metal that attracted a large audience but didn't mesh with my tastes. Just when I thought I was a live hip-hop hater (after Friday's abysmal Kid Sister set), Lords of the Underground showed me just how fun and exhilarating rap stage veterans can be. Knowing nothing about the band, I caught the Swayback's final song and it sounded terrific enough to excite me about their music and prospects.

Previously unknown bands to explore: The Swayback, Nathan + Stephan, Cloud Cult, Lords of the Underground, Margot and the Nuclear So and So's

Personal Highlight of the Day: A group of guys saluted my Modern Lovers T-shirt as I left the Brian Jonestown Massacre set to seek better music. I found out seconds later that this group of guys was Art Brut.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

First Thoughts: Monolith Day One

Wow, that was a great day. You can expect a full report in the next day or two, but I just wanted to post some immediate reactions. Ra Ra Riot really made the day for me. I only knew one of their songs going into the set, but they blew me away. Go see this band now! Six kids who look like high school band dropouts with more raw enthusiasm and energy than the rest of the bands combined. Really a great show for them, as I think they stole it away from the big names. After their show the merch tent was swamped with people buying their EP and shirt. I bought both. Ran into them a couple times after their set and told them how great it was. I stopped after the second time so as not to appear creepy, but I really just wanted to talk to them for the rest of the night.

In other news, Decemberists and Ghostland Observatory were very entertaining in different ways. Cake was professional and acted like the headliner they were. Flosstradamus provided a great DJ set, that was unfortunately cut short for the overrated Kid Sister to take the stage. I had to leave her show early because I was worried about being the last one standing there as she aliented an audience that didn't know what to make of her. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah sounded great. Kings of Leon were ok, but have strayed far from the scratchy, Southern rock revivalists of their first record. Editors were like seeing an Interpol show. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were loud and not much else. Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band puts on a great show and even had a song about their cousin being on cops in a trailer park in Speedway, IN (they are from Indy).

I am thinking about doing a radio documentary of sorts about the Monolith festival. I think it would be really great and a way to thank KBUT for letting me go to the show.

Amazing thanks to KBUT and Erin Roberts for hooking with up with a Media Pass that allowed me to be extra cool for free.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The next 5 days are going to be great

In a couple of hours I will be arriving at Red Rocks Amphitheatre for my very first concert at this legendary venue. Actually, its not just one concert, but an amazing two-day festival (Monolith Festival) that features dozens of bands I look forward to seeing live. Among them: Flaming Lips, Decemberists, Cake, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Ra Ra Riot, Ghostland Observatory, Spoon, Kings of Leon, Art Brut, and many more! I am incredibly excited, and its all free! KBUT was able to score me a press pass for the event. Stay tuned for a long blog or two about the weekend...

Also, Monday night is the unparalleled Arcade Fire / LCD Soundsystem show and Tuesday night is The National. Hence, "the next 5 days are going to be great."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monolith Primer

For Monday, September 10th's MIMG, I decided to play solely artists who will be appearing at the Monolith festival this weekend at Red Rocks. It was a good concept for a show that I hadn't had much time to plan, and it worked amazingly. I had several happy callers, one of whom told me it was the best show she'd ever heard on KBUT. Thanks for stoking my ego, anonymous caller. Here's the playlist:

Artist / Song

Ra Ra Riot / Each Year (RAC mix)
Matt and Kim / Yea Yeah
Editors / An End Has a Start
Spoon / I Turn My Camera On
Decemberists / O Valencia!
Art Brut / Post Soothing Out
Flaming Lips / Fight Test
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah / The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth
Ghostland Observatory / Sad Sad City
Cake / Meanwhile, Rick James...
Cat-a-Tac / Needles and Pins
Au Revoir Simone / The Lucky One
Kings of Leon / Red Morning Light
Spoon / The Underdog
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club / Windows
Margot and the Nuclear So & So's / Queit as a Mouse
Decemberists / Perfect Crime #2
YACHT / See a Penny (Pick It Up)
Flaming Lips / Ego Tripping (Self Admiration with Blow Up mix)
YACHT / A Summer Song
Ghostland Observatory / Stranger Lover
Kings of Leon / Taper Jean Girl
Cake / Love You Madly
Art Brut / Emily Kane
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah / Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood
Flaming Lips / Do You Realize??? (Live CD101 version)
Ra Ra Riot / Each Year

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Stupid Fill-In Shows

Stupid Fill-In Shows! I used all of my new and terrific downloads on Saturday night filling in for the "Get Back to Radio Show" (see below). Oh well, I ended up playing a number of the same tracks Monday night (Sept. 3rd) as well as some of the more electronic and weird songs I have come across recently.

There are no links this time, but I might add them if I have some free time this weekend.

Artist / Song

frYars / the Ides
Ra Ra Riot / Each Year (RAC mix)
Band of Bees / Who Cares What the Question Is?
Manchester Orchestra / Where Have You Been?
Los Campesinos! / You! Me! Dancing!
The Beta Band / Dry the Rain
The Aliens / Robot Man
Caribou / Melody Day
Holy F*ck / Lovely Allen
Kanye West / Stonger (A-Trak remix)
M.I.A. / XR2
Architecture in Helsinki / The Whirlwind (YACHT remix)
The Tough Alliance / Something Special
SImian Mobile Disco / Sleep Deprivation
Studio / West Side
Working for a Nuclear City / Asleep at the Wheel
Explosions in the Sky / First Breath After Coma
Minus the Bear / Burying Luck
A Mountain of One / Ride
Devandra Banhart / Seahorse
Electrelane / Between Wolf and Dog
Electrelane / To the East
Fujiya + Miyagi / Ankle Injuries

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Get Back to Radio

On Saturday, September 2nd I filling in for the "Get Back to Radio Show" from 6 to 8pm. Twas a nice timeslot as many family and friends from afar were able to tune in. In particular, it was nice emailing back and forth with my uncle Dick. Nick Drake was his and his wife Susan's request. Also, Tom had emailed me asking if I could play the new Devandra Banhart epic "Seahorse". The song is about 9 minutes long, so when I played it and Tom called in I had a good chance to catch up with him. To close the show, I played the Rappers Delight Club, who are actually 4th graders from Maryland, as a joke to lead into Clyde's hip-hop show at 8pm. He didn't think it was very funny.

Artist / Song (Sorry there are no links today!)

Menomena / E is Stable (live)
Pseudosix / Under the Waves
A Mountain of One / Ride
Rogue Wave / Lake Michigan
Jose Gonzalez / Down the Line
The Shaky Hands / I'm Alive
Devandra Banhart / Seahorse *request by Tom
Elvis Perkins / While You Were Sleeping
Okkervil River / Our Life is Not A Movie or Maybe
Earlimart / 700>100
Ra Ra Riot / Each Year
Band of Horses / Is There A Ghost
Porlolo / Saw Your Head
Phosphorescent / A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise
Nick Drake / Blues Run the Game *request by Susan
Sparrow House / unkown title (live)
frYars / The Ides
Yeasayer / 2080
Black Lips / Cold Hands
Richard Swift / Kisses for the Misses
Benoit Pioulard / Triggering Back
Papercuts / John Brown
Celebration / Evergreen
Studio / West Side
Tough Alliance / Something Special
Caribou / Sundialing
Tegan and Sara / Back in Your Head *request by Josh
Rappers Delight Club / When We Were Kids