Monday, March 29, 2010

Spoon And Deerhunter Played The House Of Blues In Boston - Pictures, Review, Setlist

On Saturday night we trundled our way up to Boston to catch the Spoon and Deerhunter bill at The House Of Blues. Granted, the pair had played Radio City the night before, but if we can snag ourselves some GA action on an open floor, it's always preferred. What's more, we were curious to see what Boston's House Of Blues looked like since it was created from the ashes of a combined Axis and Avalon. We were glad we did: we managed to catch two of our favorite bands deliver an epic pair of sets that left us more than satisfied.

Seeing Deerhunter in an opening slot was a bit of a conundrum. The band are so fantastic, that seeing them relegated to a shorter set and a crowd that was partially uninformed to their music was a bit of a bummer. That being said, the response was unquestionably enthusiastic, and the band was more than happy to recruit some new members to their ever-expanding fan base.

The band's set was quick (45 minutes) and jumped around between Cryptograms and Microcastle. Of note was a particularly drawn out and fantastic version of "Nothing Ever Happens", and a mid-tempo version of "Microcastle" that never really kicked into it's rock section, but instead held back with a painfully large amount of restraint.

The acoustics for the band's set were fantastic, and all members seemed to be in relatively good spirits. In particular, Josh Fauver's bass parts took a comfortably prominent place, delivering melody as the two guitars battled it out for cacophony control. Perhaps our only regret was not getting to see a full set from the band: they're so enjoyable that it was one of those rare occasions when we were torn between wanting the opener to stick around, and wanting the headliner to arrive.

When the headliner did arrive, however, we certainly weren't disappointed. Seeing Spoon on this stage, we weren't quite sure what to expect: it's unquestionably the biggest room we've seen them play. What's more, after last year's Crystal Ballroom show, and this year's set at Mercury Lounge, we were far more used to seeing them in small clubs. But the fact of the matter is that the band had a handle on the big room, and managed to bring the energy needed to keep the sold out crowd engaged.

Over the course of a massive 21-song set, the band delivered tunes sourced primarily from their last three records, taking a handful of tangents into their back catalog. As such, the set offered up a solid emphasis of the strength of the band's recent material, and the fact that their now-massive fanbase has a far larger level of familiarity with post-2004 Spoon.

While that's certainly not a bad thing, we have to admit that we're champing at the bit for the band to reach a point where they want to cull a bit more of their set from their brilliant early records, most notably A Series Of Sneaks and Girls Can Tell. That being said, they did offer up some nods of appreciation to earlier material. Three tracks from Kill The Moonlight made their way into the set, including a killer version of "Something To Look Forward To", and a tripped out arrangement of "Vittorio E". The band also rolled out Sneaks' "Metal School", with its straight ahead garage rock attack.

The set definitely tipped it's hat to the band's most recent record, Transference. The record's minimalist opener, "Before Destruction", started the show, and gave way to a far more fleshed out version of the record's closer, "Nobody Gets Me But You". Five more tracks from the record made appearances, and all held up well for a willing and ready audience. In particular, we have to say that "Is Love Forever?" really delivers live, and we wouldn't mind one bit if the dubbed-out vocal at the close stuck around for some sort of extended breakdown of the song.

The rest of the setlist was fleshed out by a solid selection of tracks from the band's recent material, with some nods ("The Underdog", "I Turn My Camera On") to the hits, and some fan favorites ("I Summon You", "Don't Make Me A Target") that have become live staples for their energy and delivery. More than anything, the set was artfully constructed so that all of the audience, ranging from new fans to old ones, was kept on board throughout.

It was an education in just how Spoon has managed to become beloved as both an album artist and as a live act, and why their upward trajectory consistently continues, when for their peers it begins to lag. Put simply, they are a band built upon the fundamentals of rock and roll: composition, delivery, performance, and enthusiasm. Put on stage, even one this large, there are no antics, just four guys playing rock and roll. Luckily, that's exactly what the audience is there to see.

Many more photos at the HAD Archive

Spoon Setlist, House Of Blues 03-27-2010
Before Destruction
Nobody Gets Me But You
Rhythm And Soul
You Got Yr Cherry Bomb
Vittorio E
Don't Make Me A Target
Got Nuffin
Stay Don't Go
Who Makes Your Money
Written In Reverse
Metal School
The Beast And Dragon, Adored
Don't You Evah
They Never Got You
I Summon You
I Turn My Camera On
Trouble Comes Running
The Underdog
Something To Look Forward To
Is Love Forever?
Finer Feelings

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Broken Social Scene Drop Double A-Side From Forgiveness Rock Record

If one had to sit down and make a list about the things we're crazy-excited about this spring, Broken Social Scene's new record would be pretty damn close to (if not at the top of) the list. As such, we were more than a little excited that the band has released two more tracks from the forthcoming Forgiveness Rock Record, "Forced To Love" and "All To All", as a double A-Side single.

The first track is a straight-ahead rocker with crashing drums in the classic BSS vein of "Fire Eye'd Boy". The second brings in the ladies on vocals, and underlays it with a electro beat that takes the vibe of "Swimmers" one step further. Put differently, this is shaping up to be exactly the full-band delivery we had been hoping for, and we couldn't be happier!

Broken Social Scene is at Webster Hall 5/7 and in Central Park 9/18.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The National Played The Bell House: Pictures, Review

The incredibly lucky few who scored tickets to The National at the Bell House last night were treated to one of the better shows in recent memory. In the past few years The National have played BAM, Hammerstein, the vacuous Terminal 5, and they’re booked for Radio City Music Hall on June 16th. In other words, bigger and bigger venues to accommodate their ever-expanding fanbase. But in our opinion, the Bell House is the ideal venue for their brand of moody, literate chamber rock. Plus, this was a true hometown show: lead singer Matt Berninger gave a shout out to his wife who was unfortunately home sick just four blocks away.

The surprise show (which will reboot again tonight) was a chance for the band to try out several songs from their upcoming album High Violet - playing them live for the first time in front of a small group of hardcore fans. The band was loose, self deprecating, and clearly happy to be playing fresh songs. When Berninger stumbled on the lyrics to 2007's "Start a War" he laughed and said "that one's just so old."

His sardonic banter with brother guitarists Aaron and Bryce Dessner scored laughs all night, while he drank from two different bottles of white wine (handing what was left of the first to the crowd.). At one point Berninger picked up a stage light and cradled it while he sang. Toward the end he jumped into the crowd during a triumphant version of "Mr. November."

The National ended their encore with the first single from High Violet, "Terrible Love" which they played on Jimmy Fallon's show earlier this week. It sounded to our ears like an instant band classic ala “Fake Empire” and “About Today.”

New York City indie rock crowds can be cold, snobby and hard to impress: not this time. The mood was euphoric walking out into the Park Slope night, where a barbeque was fired up outside. Everyone was truly grateful they were there – which really was a little surreal given no one even knew about the show until just a few days ago. We envy anyone who will be there tonight for the second show!

Words and Pictures by Chris Goldberg

Many more pics at the
HAD Archive

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Plants And Animals Drop Video For "The Mama Papa"

After last night's show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, we were digging around for another fix of some new Plants And Animals. Success was ours to be had, as the band has just delivered a video for the super fantastic tune "The Mama Papa". You can check the vid (and the awesome new tune) above - it's a bit of an epic take on a film noir magic show, with the band joining in on the fun. Can. not. wait. for. this. record.

Broken Bells and Plants And Animals Played Music Hall Of Williamsburg: Pictures, Review

Unexpected duo James Mercer of the Shins and Danger Mouse have made an excellent album as Broken Bells, but after seeing them live at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night, it finally made sense as to why they've clicked so well.

Before they took to the stage, however, we were psyched to discover that Plants and Animals would be opening the show! Long a fave here at HAD, not only did the band deliver a rock solid set, but they also brought a bunch of material from their new record out to play. Needless to say, we were more than a little enthused, and can't wait to catch them when they return in a headlining slot.

Soon after, Broken Bells made their way on stage. Now, note: these are not your typical rock stars. They’re both stoic and serious-minded on stage. No frills. No showboating. Rather than yearning to be the center of attention, they seem to want to get out of the way of the music. In fact, the entire set was played in front of a trippy looped video-art projection, leaving the band in the dark practically the whole time. Only venturing from behind the drums for a few songs, Danger Mouse seemed elusive – and Mercer downright shy.

If the music wasn't so hypnotic and well-executed, the show might have felt underwhelming. It was very short, even though they played all ten songs from the album. For the encore they covered Neil Young’s "Don't Let it Bring You Down" and Tommy James and the Shondells’ "Crimson and Clover". Then Mercer said, "Okay, let's get a drink," and that was that. Still, it’s hard not to admire these guys. The show left us with the urge to throw on our good headphones and listen to the album again and again, which is exactly what we're going to do.

Words and Pictures by Chris Goldberg.

More pictures at the HAD Archive.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Plants And Animals Expand North American Tour To The US

Plants and Animals at the Rickshaw Stop, from the HAD Archive

It seems today is turning out to be a day of us playing catch up on our favorite Canadian bands' tour schedules. After catching Caribou's upcoming tour plans, we also noticed that Plants and Animals had fleshed out their previously announced Canadian dates to now include the US. What does that mean for you? Well, if you're in New York there's a date tonight opening for Broken Bells, as well as a show at Bowery Ballroom at the end of the tour. In San Francisco there's a show at The Independent. And well, if you're in between, from the looks of things there's probably something pretty near by to you as well.

It's no secret that we're pretty big fans of Plants And Animals here at HAD, and with the added bonus of having a record of new material to play with, we're guessing that this tour is going to be pretty killer. Translation: do. not. miss.

mp3: Plants And Animals - Tom Cruz

Plants And Animals North American Dates Spring 2010

Mar 10 Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn, New York
Mar 12 Lee’s Palace (CMW Billion’s Showcase) Toronto, Ontario
Mar 13 CMW Indie Awards at the Royal York Hotel Toronto, Ontario
Mar 17 SXSW - CIMA BBQ, Brush Square Park Austin, Texas
Mar 18 SXSW - Pop Montreal, Lovejoy Austin, Texas
Mar 18 SXSW - Soundcheck Magazine, Emo’s Annex Austin, Texas
Mar 19 SXSW - Official SXSW Showcase Billions, Antone’s Austin, Texas
Mar 20 SXSW - Under the Radar, Emo’s Annex Austin, Texas
Mar 20 SXSW - Brooklyn Vegan/M for Montreal, Galaxy Room Austin, Texas
Apr 21 Theatre le Petit Champlain Quebec City, Quebec
Apr 22 La Tulipe Montreal, Quebec
Apr 23 Babylon Ottawa, Ontario
Apr 24 The Red Dog Peterborough, Ontario
Apr 26 Varsity Theatre Minneapolis, Minnesota
Apr 28 West End Cultural Centre Winnipeg, Manitoba
Apr 29 Amigo’s Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Apr 30 Starlite Room Edmonton, Alberta
May 1 The Legion Calgary, Alberta
May 2 Habitat Kelowna, British Columbia
May 4 ugar Nightclub Victoria, British Columbia
May 5 The Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, British Columbia
May 13 Grog Shop Cleveland, Ohio
May 14 The Basement Columbus, Ohio
May 15 Lincoln Hall Chicago, Illinois
May 16 The Waiting Room Omaha, Nebraska
May 18 Larimer Lounge Denver, Colorado
May 19 Kilby Court Salt Lake City, Utah
May 20 Neurolux Boise, Idaho
May 21 Mississippi Studios Portland, Oregon
May 22 The Crocodile Seattle, Washington
May 25 The Independent San Francisco, California
May 26 The Cellar Door Visalia, California
May 27 Troubadour Los Angeles, California
May 29 Plush Tuscon, Arizona
May 31 Hailey’s Denton, Texas
Jun 1 mo’s Austin, Texas
Jun 4 Backbooth Orlando, Florida
Jun 5 he Earl Atlanta, Georgia
Jun 6 rey Eagle Asheville, North Carolina
Jun 7 Rock N Roll Hotel Washington, D.C.
Jun 8 Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jun 9 Bowery Ballroom New York, New York
Jun 12 T.T. The Bear’s Boston, Massachusetts

Caribou Plots North American Tour

Caribou at Slim's, from the HAD Archive

We were already pretty damned psyched about the prospect of a new Caribou record on the horizon. As such, we were even more stoked to learn that the band has gotten around to plotting a tour in support of the forthcoming Swim, and it's a doozy. Over the course of May and June, the band will cover the better part of the US and Canada, and even make a stop in Mexico! More importantly, they've lined up a one two punch at the Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg in New York, and a stop at the Independent in San Francisco. It's been a while since we've seen them out on tour, but we can assure you that it's well worth it!

Tickets for New York go on sale Friday at noon. (1 and 2)

Caribou 2010 North American Dates
5-03 Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix
05-04 Ottawa, Ontario - Babylon*
05-05 Montreal, Quebec - Tulipe
05-06 Boston, MA - Middle East Downstairs
05-07 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg ^
05-08 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom ^
05-09 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
05-10 Washington, DC - Rock N Roll Hotel
05-11 Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson*
05-12 Chapel, Hill, NC - Cat's Cradle
05-13 Atlanta, GA - Earl
05-14 Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon*
05-15 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live Studio*
05-16 Austin, TX - Emo's
05-18 Phoenix, AZ - Clubhouse
05-19 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey
05-20 San Diego, CA - Casbah
05-21 Mexico City, Mexico - Teatro Fru Fru*
05-24 San Francisco, CA - Independent
05-26 Portland, OR - Hawthorne
05-28 Victoria, British Columbia - Sugar
05-29 Vancouver, British Columbia - Rickshaw
05-30 George, WA - Sasquatch
05-31 Calgary, Alberta - Republik*
06-01 Edmonton, Alberta - Starlite*
06-02 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - Amigo's*
06-03 Winnipeg, Manitoba - Royal Albert Arms*
06-04 Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
06-05 Davenport, IA - Rock Island Brewing Co.*
06-07 St. Louis, MO - Firebird*
06-08 Louisville, KY - Zanzabar*
06-09 Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop*
06-10 Hamilton, Ontario - Casbah $
06-11 Halifax, Nova Scotia - Paragon

^ with Hounds of Hate
$ with Vowls
* with Toro y Moi

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Track From MGMT's New Record: "Flash Delirium"

If you've been paying attention to the interwebs, then you've probably gotten wind of the fact that MGMT has a second Sonic-inspired (see cover art, above) on tap for this spring, entitled Congratulations. Well now the band has released the first track from the record, and we have to say: not bad.

Rather than harping on the compositional feel of the first record's synthy pop goodness, the track manages an experimental vibe, while still keeping the band's signature instrumentation. Interestingly, the vocals are far more up front and less processed. What's more, the overall production is slightly more minimalist, which may allow for the band to more easily nail the track in a live environ.

In short, we have to admit: we were a little worried when we saw Congratulations' cover art, but this track has won us over. If the rest of the record is just as good, it'll be a winner.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Broken Social Scene: Major Label Debut (Fast)

Yes, there are lots of fancy new tunes out there. And yes, we know you're appetite for music is unrelenting. And yes, there's a new Broken Social Scene record just around the corner. But that doesn't change the fact that they're a band that's had some killer moments. In particular, some you may have missed.

Case in point: the "fast" version of "Major Label Debut", from the limited second disc that accompanied the band's eponymous record. Obviously we're not alone in our fetishism for the tune, as band took the time to produce and post an official video for the fantabulous track. Our favorit moment? The band doing an adlib of "Band On The Run" at the tail end of the video. Yes, it's that awesome. Enjoy.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spoon Played Letterman - Video

If you weren't too tired from an outing to the Guggenheim, then you may have caught Spoon tearing it up last night on Letterman. If not, we've got the vid for you above.

Joined by White Rabbit Stephen Patterson on floor tom and percussion, the band tore through a killer version of "Got Nuffin". Not only was the mix killer, but Britt Daniel continues his trend of seeming more and more comfortable on the tube. His machine-gun guitar antics were in full effect, and it was the closest we've seen him get to his concert persona on camera.

Our only disappointment is that that Dave didn't let the boys play a full show.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Animal Collective And Danny Perez Took Over The Guggenheim - Pictures, Review

Tonight at the Guggenheim the members of Animal Collective, along with video artist Danny Perez, took over the entire museum from head to toe. Obviously there was more than a little interest, as a last minute afternoon show was added, and the evening show was packed to capacity. And with good reason: Animal Collective have been pushing artistic boundaries for years now, and this latest site specific installation promised to be another compelling instance of their creative craftsmanship.

To start with, it's important to note that the event was not a concert. Rather, it was a site specific installation that included audio, projected video, and sculpture. While there were times when the audio sounded slightly as though it could have been from Animal Collective's most experimental moments, for the most part it was a largely ambient and generative audio experience. Speakers were placed throughout the space, and mixed to give the feeling of a transient, enveloping soundscape.

The sculptures were contained on the first floor rotunda, and were host to three costumed players, who we're guessing were the members of Animal Collective. The sculpture included mounds with lit reflective "eyes", and a central platform of inverted "icicles". The three players, looking like a bizarre cross between Bib Fortuna and a hooded organization we'd rather not name, stood on top of the mounds and made slight movements throughout the evening. At the rear of the rotunda was a larger mound that served as a recipient for projected images.

And those images are what made up the remainder of the installation. Not just on the rotunda mound, mind you, but spanning the entire museum from floor to ceiling. The projections ranged in the clarity of their pattern, but generally consisted of abstract colors and patterns that played well over the space and its occupants. In fact, one of the most fascinating parts of the evening was gradually taking note of how the light played off of the Guggenheim's unique architecture.

While we're not exactly sure if tonight's event had a particular artistic bent, we will say this: it worked. The acoustics were fantastic, the video yielded a unique and beautiful interpretation of the museum's architecture, and the audio/sculpture combination allowed for the interpretation of the bizarre for which Animal Collective has become known. What's more, the event attracted an incredibly diverse crowd, with attendees ranging from couples in cocktail-wear to kids in full on face paint. Suffice it to say, such artistic endeavors by rock bands are not only something we highly approve of, but something we'd like to see a lot more of in the future. Well played.

Many more pictures at the HAD Archive

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Neal Casal Delivers Book Of Ryan Adams Photos

Neal Casal, the other half of Ryan Adams' guitar onslaught, is also something of a photographer. As such, the man has taken it upon himself to document his time with The Cardinals, and release it in a book which dropped upon the consumer world yesterday (cover above). While we have yet to get our hands on a copy, we have to say we're pretty excited to see some personal documentation of The Cards on tour. Given the lack of recent musical activity from the happily married Adams, we're hoping maybe it'll inspire him to get back in the saddle. We can always dream, right?

Broken Social Scene Add Central Park Date

Broken Social Scene at Outside Lands, from the HAD Archive

If you weren't lucky enough to get in on the Webster Hall awesomeness, you're in luck: Broken Social Scene will be back this fall on September 18th to play a date at Rumsey Playfield. The venue (which earlier in the year is host to Summer Stage) is significantly large, but also offers up the opportunity to see the band in the great outdoors, which is pretty damn awesome. Combine that with a sparkling new album, and you've got yourself a winner.

Setlist, Videos Surface From Pavement Reunion

Yes, it's finally really happening, and not just as a press release: videos of the Pavement reunion tour surfaced after the band played their first show, in Auckland, New Zealand. While the temptation to scream like little girls is pretty overwhelming, we're going to restrain ourselves and instead hook you up with two tidbits: the first is a nice video montage, above. The second is the setlist from the show, provided by the same kind soul. If you thought this summer was going to be awesome, you were very, very right.

Pavement 02-28-2010: Auckland, New Zealand
In The Mouth A Desert
Trigger Cut
Shady Lane
Father To A Sister
Rattled By The Rush
Summer Babe
Kennel D
Silence Kit
Range Life
Stop Breathing
No Life Singed Her / 442
Fight This Gen
Box Elder
Gold Soundz
Give it A Day
Cut Your Hair
Spit On A Stranger
Conduit For Sale

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Shout Out Louds Played Music Hall Of WIlliamsburg - Pictures, Review

“We’re so glad to be back,” front man Adam Olenius told us early in the Shout Out Louds’ sold out set at Music Hall Of Williamsburg. The Swedish indie rockers have returned to the States for the first time in three years to tour behind their new album Work – and the first thing you notice are the beards. The band exudes a more “elder of the tribe” vibe these days. No longer the new pretty boys (and girl) on the block, they’re certified veterans at this point, and have the pro stage presence to prove it.

They ran through most of Work, despite the fact the audience was unfamiliar with the new songs (the album just dropped last week) But they were at their best – and the crowd happiest – when they hit the highs of their most anthemic and catchy tunes. Two of the new one,s “Fall Hard” and encore-closer “Walls” fit that mode 100%, but it was the older tunes “Tonight I Have To Leave It,” “Please Please Please,” and the occasion-appropriate “The Comeback” that really got the mojo flowing.

One guy in the balcony, covered in sweat, was going so crazy that he even caught the attention of the band. “Be careful not to fall off the balcony,” Olenius said. Then he smiled, “Not bad for a Monday night.”

Shout Out Louds play a “secret show” tonight at Piano’s, first come first serve. Then they’ll be back in New York on May 5th for a gig at Webster Hall. Fingers crossed ubersexy keyboardist Bebban Stenborg gets more stage time as she did on the last tour, singing lead vocals on the beautiful song “Blue Headlights.”

Words and Pictures by Chris Goldberg
More pictures at the HAD Archive