Lil Wayne @ mtv unplugged taping 05/12/2011

Short review : Saw Lil Wayne film his mtv unplugged taping at Sony and it was alot of fun.  I was two people from the stage and he played for an hour an a half.  He performed a verse from Tupac’s Hail Mary as a response to the question, “How was it?” addressing his jail time.  Played a lot of Carter III tracks, especially some random ones like Let the Beat Build, 3peat and Shoot Me Down and then some usuals like A Mili, Mr Carter and the most acoustic song all night, Lollipop.  Not very acoustic, just stripped away a little bit and played by a live band.  Felt good to watch a modern, cultural icon at work, expressing genuine gratitude and offering three bits of information about himself at the end of the show, <u>”1. I believe in god.  2. I wouldn’t be shit without yall.  3. I wouldn’t be shit without yall”</u>.  To me, it actually read as “I’m rich and I still fear death and I have yall’s support, but you all dont have eachother’s support, so I’d be shit without all you, and since all of you dont have all of yous’ support, then you all are shit”.  Well Weezy, you’re absolutely right.  I may be shit, but you believe in a weird imaginary friend haha, naw, j/k i cant cross Wayne that way, its was too good of a time for free to be bitter about anything!

Philip Glass @ Samueli Theater (Costa Mesa, CA) 03/12/2011

Glass Plays Glass: Solo Piano was the title of the night, and phew, he did!

My background with Philip Glass is as follows.  Firstly, I love depressed minimal, solo piano.  Secondly, I bought the Philip Glass Solo Piano album about 4 years ago after finding out about Koyaanisqatsi, a film Glass scored in 1982.  The film is a mantra on man’s relationship with nature and technology alike.  Glass’s score works as the language-less dialogue throughout and conveys a sense of urgency, futility and beauty alongside the visual translation of the impersonalization of the human spirit and man’s disrespect for nature.  The title actually means “Life in need of change” in Sanskrit.  Upon watching the film over and over in my senior year at college, I fell in love with Glass’s ability to convey emotion through simplicity.  For me, his solo piano works are the concentrated form of that ability.

I found out about the solo piano show, which Glass would be performing himself, on a classical radio station and immediately bought a ticket.  Costa Mesa is about an hour drive away from me, but my brain kept saying things like, “This is the most important modern-composer of your time” and “Philip Glass is fuckin punk” to get me to go.  

I showed up to the theatre and got my seat in the front row, specifically on the side of the piano where I’d be able to see Glass play, and not just a giant box of wood.  The crowd felt a mix of semi-formal adults and older people but when Glass arrived I felt like I had a friend in the room (besides my friends Sean and Anne who were also in the room, hehe).  He introduced his first group of pieces from the Metamorphosis which I know by heart.  His reproduction was spot on and sent the tingles down my spine and raised the ol arm hairs.  His playing has a manic mashing of rhythms with precise notes placed throughout.  

Later in the set he played Wichita Vortex Sutra, a piece he used to do alongside Allen Ginsberg’s reciting a poem about inner-peace via the Vietnam War.  Since Ginsberg died in 1997, he obviously couldn’t attend this performance, but Glass had a recording of the poem, read by Ginsberg himself, play along with him.  This was another moment amongst many that got me to the next level of appreciation for what I was experiencing.  It was a beautifully moving song.  

While my attention focused on Glass’s playing I began to over-think and wonder what I should be feeling while listening to this.  I battled with the dynamic of the temporary, especially fleeting experience of joy within a solo performance from such an epic composer.  Eventually I arrived at allowing myself to free associate images from my own life in my head as well as abstract on feelings of sadness and frustration.  My inner-chemistry shot buzzes of serotonin, or whatever induces personal euphoria and I got to a truly natural high…which I’ve argued in the past, doesn’t really exist.  Seems I’m full of shit.  

Watching and hearing Philip Glass play was a revelatory milestone for my appreciation of live music.  It was like watching  John Lennon play Julia, or atleast I hope you get the idea that I’m trying to convey - that it felt other-worldly to see a 74 year old minimalist composer play an hour and a half of sincerely affected piano music.  Someone (oh no, not me) could even call it a dream come true…thanks life!  And thanks Philip for the buzz!

Beach House @ The Music Box 02/16/2011

FUCK! Beach House was absolutely enjoyable.  They played as a three piece and still reproduced their sound to a T.  Their performance had such an observable ease to it, you could actually sense the attentiveness to finesse and nuance they were able to elevate themselves to throughout.  Production touches that sometimes get glossed over by a band of this stature were personified as necessary elements to their vision.  Three lit-up triangles behind each respective member provided gradual movement to their mostly still performances.  A minimal, starry-night backdrop strobed in time with their music and entered and exited, accompanying the band gracefully.  

Lush harmonies, giant walls of ambiguous synth pads and single-note guitar boogies dominated their auditory aesthetic - but the star of any Beach House show is Victoria Legrand’s giant voice.  Mixed higher than anything in the mix, she was as profound as anyone fronting a dream-pop band could be.  And how profound is that?  I’d profess to knowing, but I’m obviously not that profoud.  She just nailed it, every damn thing she tried all night, and it was a joy to watch.  A harmony-heavy backing track from an electronic suitcase next to guitarist, Alex Scally filled in any gaps the minimal three piece previously may have left out.  I’ll say this to the concerns over a band using a backing track somehow disabling their authenticity or serving as a lack of creativity…SHUT THE FUCK UP!  All preoccupations were removed from my mind when the band actively synergized with their pre-recorded tracks, dynamically poising themselves between big and small sounds, as well as lights and darks.  Drum machines do have souls, and they belong to the musicians who curate their orchestral effect.

The mix of songs in their set varied between pleasant older songs and most of Teen Dream.  Opening with ‘Gila’ was heavy and ‘full of the balls’ people might be afraid of the band not being able to exercise live, but it slayed (and i hate writing adverbs like that).  Heart of Chambers and Master of None were a couple older songs that sat well in the set.  Often times my attention went to the many little tasks their drummer and guitarist were tending to such as shifting between several kinds of shakers (in the same song), bass pedals applying an invisible 4th member and acoustic drums tastefully given almost second status to the ever-present drum machine.  Nothing was unnecessary, and I’m a critical bastard who can’t enjoy anything, but I enjoyed this!  Beach House did a great job headlining and I couldn’t be more excited to experience the life of this band!

"iiii see, whats comin on"

oct 14th - The Morning Benders @ The Music Box

I went to this show in a really cracked out / sober mood and just had that feeling of standing by people that couldn’t gel to eachother’s viewing advantage, and it got a little in the way of enjoying the show, naw mean?  I tend not to like just standing on the floor facing the back of someones head, feeling my legs get all sore….shit, anyways

The Morning Benders, I saw as recent as early summer 2010 at the Troubadour where they played almost the exact same set - their album BIG ECHO in it’s entirety.  The addition to this show was some old songs, reworked for current presentation.  I feel a little crabby about two things with this band 1) Their big Chris Taylor-produced album got a lot of buzz but underwhelmed me in the sense of how good it could have been.  Big Echo’s vinyl credits show that a myriad of instruments were played on each song but the live representation almost felt stripped down - unintentionally.  At the Troubadour they had an extra percussionist/keyboards and had they brought that guy, (and one or two others) their sound might have been closer to their album.  And I’m actually not a stickler for exact live representations of music, but when what’s being presented isn’t meant to be different at all, and then IS, I conclude that the dudes fucked up and aren’t on top of their shit - pretty intellectual huh? (i mean that last sentence though, i really do) 

AND 2) Chris Chu under-sings the shit out the material live and plays zero piano.  Granted, he’s under a lot of pressure fronting/singing/guitar/crowd, but he’s headlining the Henry Fonda Theatre, so, c’mon.  It’s not that they have different enough versions to adapt the vocals, or he was sick - he just slacked.  It was annoying when melodies that soar on record were cut to brief phrasings.  Maybe it’s the Grizzly Bear association?  That band delivers the fuckin goods by not only accurately recreating their material live but also expanding on them, or reworking if a live representation wouldn’t work.  I wonder if I’m being too critical, but there were unused assets at hand.  The Morning Bender’s bass player (whom has a heap of amazingly quirky and pleasant solo bedroom recordings under his own alias, Timothy Rabbit) is severely underused.  Dude can write interesting, personal songs, has a unique voice and should be heading second guitar/vocals/songwriting as a consequence.  Chu may be the band’s patriarch and songwriter, but you got talent just hanging out, slappin the bass.  

BUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTT Who am I kidding? I just wanted them to put some more gas in the tank.  But that isnt to say they didnt put on a good show, I think my ish was just a little too high on the maslows for me to get into it.  I’ll die before I add a negative review to THE INTERNET so really, dont take this as that.  I love this band’s material, and am glad they made the jump from their old music, to their new music, I just hope they refine, refine, refine, cause the spot they currently occupy as Brian Wilson’s 14th grandchild is something I’m really excited about.  You made the album, you wrote the songs, now be that band! 

Jan 23 - Sean Lennon @ The Troubadour - I didnt go to this show, but I had a ticket, it was just too much to get there, but i want to remember that the son of my liberator was playing in santa monica and I had a damn ticket, but didnt go, a bittersweet happening i feel half bad for, to be honest, its hard to feel bad about actual events, they dont have anywhere to pull me to, events cant make things worse, john was dead five years before i was ever born, and actually, when i write it like that, it doesn’t feel as long as it has to me, only five years

if sean is killed on the streets of new york and i only got to see him at the el rey and the roxy, and in london with his mom, and in oakland and la, eh, go ahead mark david, do your worst, you fuckin nut bar, “who the fuck killed john lennon?”

2010

I wrote little plops about different releases

1. John Lennon - 2010 - had a great year with the release of johnlennon:nyc, a pretty touching documentary on John’s time in New York, the remastering of his entire catalogue (which sounds way, crisper?), released a swamp-load more literature that I’ve grazed joyously and will probably read when they’re bought for me for some christmas.  He generally was dead all year but ya know, whats that mean anyway?  He turned 70 in alive-years and 30 in dead-years.  I’ve really felt Walls and Bridges and Double Fantasy this year, a few of his discography I haven’t given my best attention to until recently.  He was going through some shit on these albums that he’s less known for than most of the radical stuff and I’m beginning to appreciate that more and more.  Also the first year I’ve kept the Yoko songs in the same album grouping with John’s.  I saw Yoko and Sean play twice, once in oakland and once in los angeles (not to mention in london in 2009).  They played pleasantly different sets, one more their recent material and one a mix of old and new with funny guests.  I think Yoko’s doing alot to honor John and it can begin to look like a financial thing, but for once I’m not a cynic, and I buy every move of Yoko’s sincerely.  Considering how fucked his death was, she’s done a good job preserving his richness and character and by doing so exemplifies a dynamic of human spirit I can’t fathom.  I’m really hoping she plays Coachella in 2011, it’d be perfect.

1. Antony and the Johnsons - Swanlights and Joanna Newsom’s - Have One On Me- I’m still digesting these albums, these artists, this dude, this girl-of-my-dreams and how beautiful all of it is to me.  They’re albums I can only listen to alone as any other noise in the room crowds and halts my focus…great headphones-in-the-dark records!  They share a similar aesthetic throughout their duration by being both washy and full as well as elegant and sparse.  They touch on some of the deepest recesses of what I comprehend as love and both seem to exist solely there, maybe more of my reason to listen alone.  What could be a harsh reproach turns into an asset - this music is for people who long for a depth of connection with the person making it as much as the person making it is longing for that in their audience.  It’s fucking art.  I’ll get back to you in ten years once I’ve figured out anything else.

1. Baths - Cerulean - My insomnia album!  One that always seems to sound new and pleasant, no matter how many dreary nights I fell asleep to it.  I get a huge kick out of him being from Chatsworth and ending up on Anticon.  Liked the track, “Palatial Disappointment” so much I almost put lyrics abstractly on an unrelated-picture.  Dude loves Bjork equally as much as the texture-y electronic vibe going around LA these days and is an easy call at that.  I dont think he minds, I dont mind, good album, in the books.

1. MGMT - Congratulations - Having come out early this year, I’ve given it quite a few listens and thats really what it feels good for - repeated good times.  I got super drunk outside the Greek and watched them and it was beautiful.  My rant on this album is that it’s young dudes doing early seventies general psychedelia, and not being embarrassed about it.  That doesn’t mean they’re posing as someone else, it means they’re writing songs however the fuck they want - and I’ve been high enough before to see existing within a vague tradition as an okay thing too, or more specifically I’ve done acid and objectified my ego before too and if I got paid a bunch of money during that, I’d probably still be hammering away like these guys.  It’s like a Mashmakhan record written (please look it up) by two early twenties in 2010…an eccentric group of songs that make genuine eye-contact ever so sparingly while they get to fuck the hottest girls in the world; and probably dont.  I’m certain that once any residue buzz wears off and people stop expecting them to be what they want, we’ll all enjoy a drink and a smoke with our friends in MGMT.

1. Avey Tare - Down There andAnimal Collective - ODDSAC - On their off-time, after their giant 2009, the winners in this band put out a movie/album, one solo album, 3 seven inches, shoes, solo tours and reclaimed a crucial ex-member.  They’re looking at a big 2011 with Panda Bear’s Tomboy release sometime before the entire group’s 8th studio album as well as a solo album from Deakin, their George Harrison, if you will.  They’re also curating an All Tomorrow’s Parties that I’m crawling hand over fist to get to England in May for.  Avey’s Down There was a perfect release in the chronology of this band and in my life.  It’s intentionally mucky display of depression is always my favorite route for interesting artists to go.  Adore was my favorite pumpkins album, and they made The Infinite Sadness!!  The movie/album project, ODDSAC works as a tent-pole of interest in all things Animal Collective.  It’s heavy handed on the home made horror vibe and composes a jagged portrait of the band thats been missing in their recent releases.  The songs are an equal mix of full band compositions and solo bedroom contributions.  My song of the year is Panda’s semi-solo/acoustic appearance, Screens, a 3 and a half minute Animal Collective song Brian Wilson never wrote because he never actually made strides towards enlightenment like these guys have.  ’Screens’ is a loner’s lament about the unconscious impression made from general over-stimulation.  The portion of the film it occupies sees a dressed up Deakin paddling a canoe through Disney Land at night and the song becomes an introspection on what makes up who you are and who you’re not as well as about abiding by yourself amidst indecipherable noise; a metaphor that for once isn’t being used literally to describe an Animal Collective land.  A decipherable emotional lull after years of exuberance is just what I needed to see from this band.  A big part of my appreciation for their music is that it’s all so obviously in response to manic depression, or atleast they lend themselves well to that interpretation.  While alot of this era of Animal Collective is maximal electronic thing, so much of their vibe is about an expansion of what Nirvana was really mooshing through - and whatever I mean by that I dont want to spoil with more definition - its just asking us to be better, is all…Besides Deakin’s absence, these releases were the answer to the  question of where the ambience went on Merriweather?  It just took the following year to drip through the cracks during Down There and ODDSAC.  

1. Panda Bear - Tomboy (pre-release year)Panda released 6 recorded songs approaching the ever-eventual, now 2011, release of Tomboy.  I say recorded, because he’s been playing the whole, unreleased album live for almost the entire year!  The bootlegs that consequently surfaced were too available not to listen to all throughout 2010.  For that, Tomboy Live, maybe the Primavera09 boot, would be my album of the year.  After two mind-easing performances of pure bliss in September, the boots, the singles, the hype, the detachment from the hype, I’d pose Noah Lennox as my artist of the year (had Tomboy actually been released).  Over the year, I’ve immersed myself in all facets of his discography and resolvedly felt inspired to expand my own interests in genres from minimal electronic music and eccentric forgotten songwriters to mainstream stand-bys and the pop music canon at large.  They’re all there in everything the dudes in Animal Collective touch.  In Tomboy they’re there in the form of a beat, affected samples and guitar, and heavily layered vocals.  It can seem like a lot on approach but it’s actually a very minimal arrangement of elements and if you deconstruct it, it appears as a solo folk musician, creating his sounds not with an acoustic guitar but a tables worth of effects to turn his guitar and voice into entire walls of sound.  A standby of mine for years has always been the ambiguous statement about if something is done well…”I’d like that, if it were done well” etc etc and as far as a solo dude with loops, guitar, an amazing voice, soul and such things, its done well.     

1. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma - Loved this album.  I’ll say it, this is the album I put on when I wanted to feel cool this year.  I feel embarrassed saying something ‘feels cool’ but hey, shit on me man, this albums got a really cool feel.  I think I say that because it’s hard to say much else about it and feel accurate.  He’s a marquee electronic musician that your not meant to dance to.  I saw him at the Echoplex during which I shared a random embrace with a couple I didnt know and now hardly remember.  It was there for that, it welcomed that - it’s music that wants us to love eachother and everything, all while sounding like drills n shit.  If not just miles ahead of his contemporaries in technique and taste, FlyLo also sees a bigger picture.  It certainly is a cluster-fuck of an album, that’s been said, but the point of it being a cluster fuck album is it’s reaching to exist somewhere the rest of us cant go.  It’s place you can only get to if you can wrap your mind comprehensively around not just musical styles but musical wisdoms and exemplify the unclear benevolence awaiting inside of our greatest accomplishments…do all that, with a basically instrumental album that you smoked your head off in an Echo Park dungeon making, and you get to be Flying Lotus. 

1. Deerhunter - Halycon Digest - On blurry subway rides to the city, this album felt like breezy air.  The vocals playfully hover high above in the mix, making this deerhunter’s obligatory vocal-crossover-album, but thats not to say there isn’t a smoosh of every other hued noise that makes their albums so fulfilling.  Has the most randomly catchy melodies that I only remember completely when I’m listening to them, almost as if they don’t want to intrude into my mind otherwise, and a deerhunter fan appreciates that.  I missed out on watching them this year at the music box and I feel like that’s going to be one of my “concert mistakes 2010” (up there with seeing Spoon instead of Pavement/Sonic Youth/No Age at the Hollywood Bowl).  I made up for it though by seeing him play as Atlas Sound at the echo despite my fearful intuition to stay in and never leave my cave-home.  I’m sure the live show would have been 10 feet off the ground, but I basically am myself anytime I give this album a real listen.  The majority of time I’ve spent with Halycon Digest has been on headphones, late at night, but I”ll take it with me on every late-night-empty-freeway drive I ever go on for the rest of my life.

I’m gonna keep writing a part 2 to this list cause its fun but its 5:41am on christmas eve, not christmas, its just become the EVE of the grossly misinterpreted holiday!  ”2010 part deux" may include introspections on Sufjan Stevens, Wavves, Trash Talk, Ceremony, Spoon, Tame Impala, Of Montreal, Morning Benders, MIA, Menomena, Massive Attack, LCD Soundsystem, Gorillaz, Black Keys, Emeralds, Big Boi, Beach House, or an album I didnt just look at my phone to remember…we’ll see what i feel like! sbooz! - Jefff

"I feel summer creeping in and and I’m tired of this town again"

Oct 2nd - Tom Petty and ZZ Top @ The Irvine Whatever

Shows with my dad…always some variation of the classic rock amalgam I’ve come to know as my father’s taste - Aerosmith (when I was 14), Neil Young, Journey (like three times), Bob Seger, Paul McCartney, Heart - which I’ve returned in kind taste by, over the years inviting him to see Muse, Sigur Ros, Bright Eyes, Coldplay (+ my dad = Tom Petty and ZZ Top @ The Irvine Whatever, make sense?).  ZZtop sang about smoking weed and smoked on stage and were generally old bad asses who probably aren’t as old without those beards…and did you know one of them plays bass?  If you only listen to ZZ Top for one hour in your life, like I have, seeing them live is the way to do it, hehe. 

Tom Petty was a slick bastard and I dont know, played a shit load of songs everyone knew, that it didnt seem like they should have.  Just cause he’s all mr conservative stoner man, it feels like his vibe should be riskier than it is, but it plays out live as smooth as butter, or a baby’s ass, whichever smoothness you do.  I remember big red lights the whole time, and all the dude’s in the band looking like they we’re having a way good time not being anyone in the crowd.  It must be a trip to have crept in the back door of rock and roll the way Petty has and just have no gripes…I’m sure he’s had his fair share of tribulations, but, if he didn’t die by now, just getting to experience the past 40 years is enough to keep him humble - and he looked it.  My dad had a good time and I’m glad to be his show buddy when he decides to break out of the greatest hits and see live fucking music! 

"ooooooooooooooh yoooooooooo-oh-oh-ko!"

oct 1st - Yoko Ono and Plastic Ono Band @ The Orpheum

This was my third time seeing Yoko and Sean in 2 years and it felt like an appropriate finally to this incarnation of The Plastic Ono Band.  They played some old Yoko standby’s as well as plot points off the new album for the first half of the set.  The second half became a collaborative affair between the Plastic Ono Band (consisting of Yoko, Sean, Yuka Hondo, Cornelius and Nels Kline) and random celebrities doing guest vocals on associative tunes.  Yoko would leave and re-enter depending on the song or the guest, projecting a comfortable attitude of spontaneity and grace.  You could call what she does “crazy” but I’d fucking hate you if you did.

As for the guests I have to say sorry to my inner-hipster as my favorite addition wasn’t Iggy Pop, Vincent Gallo or the RZA (or Carrie Fisher, Nels Kline, Parry Farrell or fuckn Joseph Gordon-Levit) - The song that got my tear ducts swelling was Harper Simon and Sean Lennon honoring both John and Yoko with an emotive, “Oh Yoko”.  In covering this, Sean gracefully aligns himself with the ideology of his family - something he’s hesitated exhibiting outright for his entire artistic life.  Watching Sean embrace his dad’s priority in Yoko as an artist confirmed a lot for me and gave me a look into the full circle of John’s love for his son.  Sean’s played a tribute concert here or there for his dad but writing Yoko’s album with her, playing nice amongst her kinda bull-shitty and vaguely unnecessary celebrity friends, playing his dad’s songs with equal passion and praise - I couldn’t be more impressed.  Sean’s a good dude, I swear.  

Yoko was Yoko, freakin out the way I wish all old women would - pulling aggressive improv on her own material, pleasingly out of touch with pop culture at large (at the same time as fitting perfectly into it), dancing all over the stage, kinda gross and old, all kinds of cleavage, womanhood, life, art and ultimately an enlightened cherry on top of her own giant bowl of cherries.  At 77, this may be the last chance I have to see her play.  This saddens me…but then I think of the inspiration I’ve felt in response to her and John and I’m instantly put at ease - John’s been dead my entire life and we’re best friends…and just as any true admirer of John would say, “Theres always room for some Yoko”.

Thanks for the love Yoko, thanks

september, you f’d me good

so i went to a bunch of show in September and am sorta overwhelmed with life in general, so im just gonna write a quick anything about each show, yerp!

sept 4th - FyF-Fest @ LA Historic Park - a really fun festival that i hope they keep putting on in LA.  Saw Sleep, Best Coast, Wavves, Local Natives, Cold Cave, Ceremony, Ariel Pink, Panda Bear and others i cant remember, felt good, all day, even though i had no food or water the entire time (besides waters my friends graciously bought me and a bag of cheetos i stole, thats right, stole)

sept 14th - Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group @ The Troubadour - godamn the funk was alive and the groove was strong.  Got super blazed up and just watched a super amazing jam.  Drummer in the middle of the stage with Omar hanging behind him, it was a cohesive picture.  I wish it got weirder and noisier, but hey, whatyagonnado

sept 18th - Grizzly Bear/Phoenix @ The Hollywood Bowl - This show was too good.  Grizzly Bear were smooth operators busting their easy-big-crowd-setlist but luckily included Ready Able and I was sold.  I cant wait till they’re on deck again with new songs and bigger headlinging tours, itll do them good.  Phoenix was like what French people could do with Las Vegas.  It was bright, energetic, but also down to earth and heady…enjoyable as fug.

sept 23rd - Doug Stanhope @ Jon Lovitz Comedy Club - Got properly sloshed before I went and saw the man in the flesh.  I hold Doug Stanhope as the quintessential cynic - a man whose chosen that he’s not peeling back and conforming, ever, but also proves that it doesn’t mean being absent minded - that there is an alternative to burning out and/or fading away.  Doug expanded on aspects of his life and outlook that enable his passionate drive for disdain and resentment.  I respect that very much and it was inspiring to see an hour and a half of a truly unique life. 

sept 24th - Dirty Projectors @ The Wiltern - As far as live music goes, this was one of the better shows ever been too…or just to not be so epic, it was a really fucking good show.  Dirty Projectors ran through a long setlist of equally enjoyable tunes.  The girls in this band work magic and enter into my list of utterly engaging female musicians like Bjork and Joanna Newsom.  The counterpart to them though, was this pile of shit-clothes guitarist/singer, David Longstreth, who led the band like a post-apocalyptic tribesmen.  The words for their set were Vibrant and Balanced.   

sept 26th - Vampire Weekend/Beach House @ The Hollywood Bowl - A way way enjoyable show.  Beach House at the bowl was something i hope I get to see expanded, but even if i dont, it was perfect - vibe was purple as fuck and “Take Care” splintered my soul.  Vampire Weekend are my perfect working rock band.  They went through almost 2 albums of recently released material and never crossed paths with anything considered a mis-step.  “Blakes, got a new face” was a great jam.  No additional players, different light vibes for every song, 4 dudes bangin out bangers.  Non-aggressive music to my ears!  A rewarding band I’m glad to be present with.

sept 29th - Deakin & Fennez @ Eagle Rock Center for the Arts - Oy, going to shows alone/sober is a tough one, but it’s gotta happen.  This show in particular would have been perfect for substances too without a decipherable rhythm all night - pure drones…well, even the rhythms were drones, so yea, pure drone.  Prince Rama had a dude that looked too much like my friend Phillip for me to think of anything else.  Fennesz sounded huuuuuuuge and was wonderfully carried out besides a blown speaker giving unnecessary percussive pops the whole time.  This was my 2nd time seeing Deakin and he played with the two girls from Prince Rama, as opposed to the solo set I watched him play in April (or whenever).  I could have used more vocal during his set, but they were appropriately washed out…glad I got to see ANCO’s George Harrison do a set - I think its really beautiful the way each member is sorta doing something solo, enough to be able to pick apart what they each contribute to the comprehensive art vessel called Animal Collective…just drones for days.

sept 30th - Spoon @ The Palladium - Didnt play a bunch of songs I wanted to hear, kinda feel like saying fuck this show, but Spoon’s too tight of a band to say that.  But still, thats all I’m saying (wish I’d have gone to the friiiiikkkiin sonic youth, pavement, no age show at the bowl but i fawkt up!)

October round-up coming soon!

Panda Bear @ FYF Fest & The Glasshouse 09/04/10 & 09/05/10

I JUST LIKE TO BE BY MY OWN

Noah Lennox (panda bear) headlined both the FYF fest and, the next day at the Glasshouse in Pomona.  I’m always glad to be able to go to multple shows when I can, different experiences.  The Fest set was great for being a worthy pay off of an entire day in the beautiful, death hot LA sun.  The club gig had a much closer feel, only selling out half the venue because it was a semi-secret/non-conflictual-withthefest booking that got announced the day or so before, with tickets only available at random places.  Fun way to go about a show these days I suppose.

During the fest set I’d walked to about 7 or so people back, getting the full face/ears show that people standing way back might not have appreciated.  Consumed at this distance, Panda played a set without breaks, with visuals by a present Danny Perez, the ODDSAC director.  I’ve been anticipating this set for a while.  He’s been playing alot of new songs, long before his next albums suppose to come out and I’d be lying if I said I havent already listened to the live bootlegs a little too much.  So it was one of those sets for me.  It felt like my friend was playing later on in the day, and I was watching other people’s friends bands the rest of the time.  I’ve sorta keyed into a lot with this band that, internet kill-all or not, I’m hooked, and I’m now a deep believer that this is important music to me…and maybe to alot of other mes’.  Sorry had to get that off my chest.  The fest set was sweet, no encore, I guess some sound messed up that, and he even said he wasnt a fan of that gig, but I had no qualms.

Phew, well, the The Glasshouse the next day was a perfect show.  Friend DEWEY drove, so I had an even better time!  The club setting sat well with Panda’s new set, as did the open air festival the night before - which doesnt make sense, but it did, and it does.  He encored with three songs he didnt do the night before.  Two Animal Collective songs he originally wrote and then expanded on with the band, were cool to hear on their own, live.  He’s described his material as sorta summery R&B and every description by an Animal Collective member is just one part of the pie - I’m pretty sure they smoke/smoked mad weed etc, jus sayin…but I got that summery R&B vibe better live.  Lotta bass, lotta crisp simple beats with doses of weird dude brian wilson smults all over each track…thats what I get, or, how i can describe it, haha. 

I’ve described what he’s doing as a sorta reverse-modern folk set…like, a strictly solo set, with most of the performance being vocal/guitar/loops, all coming from one person.  Its like a DJ set, but with a perspective of a folk musician.  And not that I’ve ever been to great of a fan of DJ sets in particular, but PEOPLE MOFUCKN CHANGE, no j/k i just mean it works for me, it really mother fucking does mother fuckers. Love you Panda, quit manifesting more Paul McCartney comparisons, and dont break up animal collective, we cool?  Cant wait for Tomboy! 

edit-after i read these entries, i feel like I sound like im 15 and dont think much about this music and these experiences as if they are anything other than a my main gig right now.  Like, this music is in my brain, I care alot, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I feel defensive, for liking music, be ashamed of yourselves.