Monday, August 22, 2011

Outside Lands 2011, Day 1: The Commute Formidable; or Anger, MGMT

I may have broken my Coachella streak earlier this year due to a startlingly quick sell-out, but I have another festival streak to nourish, and this year marked my third straight at San Francisco's awesome Outside Lands. Last year I failed to review it, but two years ago I did a sort of running diary of Day 1, so I thought I'd give that another go. If no one seems to care, or if writing it just proves too big a pain, expect one large post for Days 2 & 3. But for now, let's dive right into the hills and fog of the Bay Area!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Summer Concert Catch-Up

As it seems I tend to do, I've fallen behind on my blogging again. As always, my response to any complaints (of which I have heard none, naturally): somebody please, please, please give me a writing job! Anyway, I've been to some awesome shows, and I shall now talk about them.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Morning Jacket at the Pantages, 6/22/11

Fantastic. Amazing. Mind-blowing. Heart-stopping. Earth-moving. Really not too bad at all. The superlatives seem kind of redundant after a while when trying to describe a band like My Morning Jacket's live show. That's not to say that the impact is less than before (well, maybe just a little, but there can only be one first time), just that talking about it eventually and necessarily devolves from coherent statements into enthusiastic but formless vocalizations, or even just a widening of the eyes. Naturally, that's not gonna stop me from trying.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

TV on the Radio at the Music Box, 5/11/11

It's not exactly remarkable or controversial to lay claim to TV on the Radio as one of your favorite bands these days, but sometimes obvious is obvious for a reason. They're really, really good, and their newest release, Nine Types of Light, certainly hasn't done anything to dampen my feelings about them. However, their live shows can be a bit more hit and miss. With five permanent members and a touring horn section, it's a lot of moving parts for the soundboard and acoustics to deal with--sometimes too much. At the Music Box though, they went back to basics and played probably the best set I've ever seen from them.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Potpourri: Holy Sh!t!

The last couple weeks have been loaded with exciting music news, and I thought I'd gather a bunch of it into one place for all you lovely people. I know, I truly am benevolent and wonderful. So, in roughly chronological order:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Smith Westerns at Detroit Bar, 2/12/11

Maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention before, but Detroit Bar has really been bringing in some good shows the past year. They've always been an excellent local showcase, but since 2010 I've seen Surfer Blood, The Hold Steady, The Besnard Lakes and now Smith Westerns there, to say nothing of bands like Sleigh Bells, Autolux and Yo La Tengo that I missed. It has occasional sound problems, but it's small, it's loud, it's cheap and it's close. On Saturday, it lived up to every bit of that description.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Against Me! at the Music Box, 1/30/11

As I get older, my concert experience changes.  A lot of that is just me being older and fatter (well, definitely older), but some of it is just the types of bands I'm into now as compared to back in my early concert-going days.  Back then, the idea of a mosh pit seemed, if not appealing, then certainly comforting.  I figured out early on that it distracted too much from my enjoyment of the show, but it was still fairly awesome to have one nearby.  Getting knocked over repeatedly by a skinhead during the Offspring, slipping on the beer-soaked Palladium floor during the mad rush to the stage when the Sex Pistols came out; even standing between the pit and my more timid friends at a Queens of the Stone Age set at Detour--these are some of my fondest concert memories. So it was nice to be back in that punk rock type of environment when Against Me! took the stage at this show.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Coachella 2011: Yeah, great, but where the hell is Kyuss??

It's that time of year again.  Hipsters all across Southern California start getting antsy with antici..........pation, wondering just who will be playing at their favorite desert hangout, at least when they're not focused on getting as pampered and drugged up as possible.  Ok, perhaps that's a bit cynical; they also care about getting into the parties.  But what does the Coachella 2011 lineup mean for all the people who go exclusively for the music?  Very good things, in this humble blogger's opinion.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Give Me Back My Keys!

I've just spent the last couple days grousing and griping about bands I used to love changing for the worse, usually for apparently commercial reasons.  Of course, sometimes it's not about that at all; sometimes bands just evolve from something we care deeply about into something we don't, and vice versa.  As it turns out, there were two releases this year that fit this description pretty well, one vice and one versa.