Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lindstrom Played Le Poisson Rouge - Pictures, Review

On November 13th, we stopped in at Le Poisson Rouge to catch a rare live set from Norwegian DJ Lindstrom. Given that it was a dance night, we probably should have known better than to show up right at 11, which left us waiting around until 1:30 for Lindstrom's set to start. Nonetheless, the wait was well worth it, and when Lindstrom finally did take the stage, it was a set to remember.

The set consisted almost entirely of material from Lindstrom's solo records, and (not surprisingly, given her absence), avoided tracks from this year's collaboration with Christabelle. The crowd was clearly populated by fans, as each track was met by cheers and rampant enthusiasm. Lindstrom's material played well to a live room, largely due to his stage presence and performance.

While it's hard to compare the vivacity of a DJ with photos, rest assured: Lindstrom's on stage persona is one that flirts with the audience and the sound board simultaneously, coaxing out beats that are beneficial to both. Each song in the set got more and more of the crowd dancing, and by the time Lindstrom called it a night (after about an hour long set), the crowd was left begging for (but unfortunately not getting), just a little more.

More pictures at the HAD Archive

Friday, November 19, 2010

Video: Ok Go - "This Too Shall Pass", Live At T5

We've espoused the awesomeness of Ok Go's live show on many an occasion, but for any of you doubters out there, we think we may have dug up a little video that may edge you closer to the converts. We took the video above at the band's recent Terminal 5 performance, as they closed the show with "This Too Shall Pass". Not only is it a fantastic rock video, period, but we think it captures the awesomeness, humor, and excitement of Ok Go's live show to T. Check it out and see what you think.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ryan Adam Delivers Two New Cardinals Records, New Website

We should have known something was up. Two weeks ago, Ryan Adams decided to appear on stage for the first time in quite a while at an 826 Valencia benefit. Then last week his website for Pax Am Records was completely remodeled, and included 5 free never before heard jams with the Cardinals.

Well on Friday, we finally got wind of what was going on: Apparently Mr. Adams has two awesome new Cardinals records in the can, and he's ready to deliver. Entitled III and IV, (ah, originality), the two pieces of wax are available in a wide variety of formats (picture above) and are available for preorder starting next Tuesday.

While we have no idea what the records are going to sound like, if the free jams are any indicator, it's going to be a guitar powerhouse. We're pretty psyched, because the Cardinals' big guitar live sound hasn't really found its way on record yet, and it's seeming like this might be the time. We've posted one of the jams below, you can snag the other four at the PaxAm website.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Spoon Drop More Transference Demos

Spoon at The Fillmore, from the HAD Archive

In a move that is likely to amount to an entire Transference Demos record, Spoon have dropped two more demos from their last record Transference through the "Bonus" section of their website. This time around, the band has delivered early versions of "Out Go The Lights" and "Nobody Gets Me But You", and frankly, they're awesome.

As is often the case with the band, the early versions of the songs are pretty vast departure from the final studio cuts. Largely recorded by Britt Daniel solo, the tracks are raw frameworks of what the songs will eventually become. "Nobody Gets Me But You" loses it's aggressive beat, and instead is driven by a driving acoustic guitar line and "na na" backup vocals. "Out Go The Lights" departs from the final version's gentle touch, and instead is built upon a fuzzy bass guitar line and a straining vocal from Daniel.

At the end of the day, stuff like this is one of the many reasons we love Spoon so much. Not only are they willing to expose their creative process for all the world to see, but they offer it up to their fans for free. If more bands would take a cue from these guys, it definitely wouldn't be a change for the worse. Check out the tracks below.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Land Of Talk and Suuns Played Bowery - Pictures, Review, Video

On Saturday night, we swung into a (justifiably) packed Bowery Ballroom, and caught Suuns and Land Of Talk delivering a completely fantastic night of rock and roll. It's hard to convey the visceral, frenetic nature of the awesomeness the show brought forth, but suffice it to say that both bands are nearing (if not at) the top of their game. Unquestionably, there are a lot of rock shows to see these days, but if you miss this one, you're doing yourself a real disservice.

Suuns (apparently pronounced "soons") opened the show with a set that was unquestionably tighter than when we saw them last in San Francisco. Maybe it's because they've been moved up to the number two spot, or maybe it's just that the road has done good things for their chops. Regardless, the band have really tightened up their live sound, and the crowd responded in kind.

The set was loaded with fantastic noise rock, most notably reminiscent of Sonic Youth at moments. Still, the band has a sound that is certainly their own, and it only solidified when they added some extras to the mix. First a bari sax player joined the band and positively killed it. Shortly thereafter, Lizzie Powell joined the band on bass for their last tune.

Clearly, we enjoyed Suuns set. But even more than that, we'll tell you this: if crowd reaction was any indicator, these guys will be headlining their own tour in the very near future. Their sound is accessible but edgy, and their live show is killer. Definitely a win on all fronts.

When Lizzie Powell took the stage around 11, she had changed from her more casual onstage garb with Suuns into a notably dressier white lace getup. She quickly informed the crowd that she had gotten dressed up "just for New York" because she gets so much damn love in the city. And she was right: the room is one of the biggest the band are playing on the tour, and it was packed with fervent admirers.

The rest of Land Of Talk soon took the stage, and revealed themselves to be half made up of Suuns members, which was definitely not a bad thing. Apparently taking a cue from her Broken Social Scene compadres, Lizzie Powell is rapidly expanding the band's live lineup, and Saturday night saw 6 musicians on stage. The result was a lineup that was tightly knit, but sonically diverse.

What followed was a rock show of epic proportions: The band delivered on every track they played, and more. The setlist was a solid mix of new and old material, ranging across Applause Cheer Boo Hiss, all the way to the band's latest Cloak and Cypher. Despite the fact that the records can at times be divergent from each other, the live context gave them a cohesive underpinning that solidified Powell's talent as a songwriter.

Powell was clearly dumbfounded by the size of the crowd and the unbridled enthusiasm. Every song was met with a wave of cheers, and as a result, the band got more and more into the tunes. It would be hard to call what Land Of Talk does "jamming", because it's far more concise and tightly wound than anything in that category. The band's onstage presence is simply one of musical rapport, where all the players are on the same page, and delivering in turn.

At the heart of this, of course, is Powell. On stage she is an exploding ball of energy, dancing, singing, laughing, and clearly in love with playing her music. More importantly, she is the musical core of the band, and acts as the center upon which all the other musicians build. Once that occurs, all bets are off: the other five are quite simply on top of their game, and allow the band to collectively take a creative leap in the live setting that is unparalleled.

In closing, it's always difficult to take in a rock show and put it into words. But in the case of Land Of Talk, it's particularly tough. So much of their onstage presence and excitement is based around an energy release that can only be characterized as magical. While it doesn't completely prove anything, we did snag a video that we think does a pretty good job. The band closed with "It's Okay", and we caught it in its entirety (below). We'd encourage you to watch the whole thing, full screen. But if you can't put aside 7 minutes for rock and roll, at least skip to 4:30. That's when shit gets real.

Many more photos in the HAD Archive

Pulp To Reunite In Summer 2011

We know, we know, we're just subjecting you to an echo of the internet's collective yammering about the latest hypetastic reunion, but frankly, we couldn't resist. The fact that Pulp is reuniting next summer caused a collective "Fuck yeah!" around these parts, and we couldn't be more excited.

Currently the band is only slated to play two shows, one in Hyde Park, and one in Spain. That being said, we're hoping they'll take the "our reunion is a tour" route, and at least give us a taste of Pulp for the duration of the summer. That would be very nice. Very nice indeed. Check the official announcement below.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

LCD Soundsystem To Release In-Studio Live Band Performance

LCD Soundsystem at the Treasure Island Festival, from the HAD Archive

You may recall that we were drooling over LCD Soundsystem's live show when we caught them at Treasure Island Festival last month. Given that, we were super excited when news came over the wire this morning that the very same live band holed up in a London studio back in June, and recorded a live show in the room. Entitled The London Sessions, the record features tracks across LCD's career. On a more bummer note, it's also "rumored" to be the band's last record. We certainly hope not.

Regardless, we were hugely impressed by the life that the live band brought to the recorded material, and we couldn't be more excited to hear what made it on to the tape (or disc, whatever, calm down). If it's anything close to the show we saw in October, this one's gonna be a doozy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lindstrom Undertakes USA Tour, LPR Next Weekend

If you have yet to hear Lindstrom & Christabelle's Real Life Is No Cool, then you're missing out. The Norwegian DJ paired up with the singer to produce a record that could arguably be the modern era's answer to Getz & Gilberto. It manages to take Lindstrom's killer DJ skills, and infuse them with a pop sensibility that is immediately both accessible and fresh.

The record dropped at the beginning of the year, and we've been digging it ever since, wondering if we'd get to catch it in a live context. Well, now our questions have been answered, as Lindstrom has planned out a brief US tour for next weekend. Touching down on both coasts and the midwest over a three night haul, Lindstrom is clearly in favor of touring efficiency. For right-minded New Yorkers, that means you'll be at Le Poisson Rouge next Saturday night, to catch the man in his element. Tickets are on-sale now.

On top of the tour, the pair have also gotten the remix treatment from Four Tet, on the track "Lovesick". You can stream it below to tide you over until the show next weekend - see you out there!

Lindstrom Fall 2010 US Tour Dates
November 12 - Mezzanine - San Francisco, CA
November 13 - Le Poisson Rouge - New York, NY
November 14 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ryan Adams - "Fix It" Demo (feat. Mandy Moore)

Ryan Adams live at the Catalyst Santa Cruz, from the HAD Archive

Yesterday, as we were enjoying a fantastic new video of Ryan Adams rehearsing "My Sweet Carolina" for an 826 benefit in LA, we also stumbled across the awesome track you'll find embedded below. Labeled as a demo version, this take on "Fix It" not only features some killer drum machines, but backing vocals from Adams' wife, the multi-talented Mandy Moore. We're almost always partial to the more raw takes on Adams' tracks, and this one is no exception. Give a listen and see what you think.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ok Go Played Terminal 5 - Pictures, Review

Ok Go is unquestionably on an upward trajectory. Over the past year, the band released their latest record Of The Blur Colour Of The Sky, and despite the departure from their record label, managed to make a huge success of it. Bolstered by some notoriously fantastic videos, the band has been steadily building a following, and with good reason. The videos are one piece of a band that is a self-proclaimed multimedia experience, and thankfully, their stage show more than lives up to those claims. Saturday night the band played Terminal 5, and more than demonstrated their comfort with the big time.

In a way, playing a big room is a given for Ok Go: Their show has always been bigger than life, and often was a bit shocking when seen seen in a small room. Many of the elements that are epic in small rooms simply became more so in a larger setting. Confetti streams, LED jackets and laser guitars; all of these elements played out well in Terminal 5's vacuous space.

The more showy elements, however, were not the only thing that translated well to the larger room. The quiet moments did better in this large setting as well. When lead singer Damian Kulash dragged his guitar and stool to the center of the room for an acoustic turn, his willingness to be out amidst the fans was even more notable. Put differently: it's a hell of a task to drag a stool and guitar out into the middle of a room of 500 people, but if it's 1800 people, it's even more so.

All the above being true, the bottom line is that Ok Go can simply deliver musically. Small room or big room, this is a band that has an extremely solid hold on their setlist, and isn't resting on the laurels of backing tracks, or some sort of reimagining of their studio material. That, and a set of killer rock and roll jams that are perfect for the big stage.

Interestingly, the material from Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky was just as (if not better) received than the band's older material. Earlier in the year, we'd say that the band's fans still seemed somewhat fixated on the back catalogue, but that's clearly changed. Whether it be from video publicity or just greater traction by the record, tunes like "This Too Shall Pass", "White Knuckles", and "End Love" were met with serious audience enthusiasm.

We left Terminal 5 feeling one way: that Ok Go are exactly where they should be. Terminal 5 often feels to big for a band, or leaves one feeling like it's an oddball space that simply wasn't really designed for rock and roll. Quite to the contrary: apparently you just need to know how to fill it. Ok Go did exactly that on Friday night, and left us with little doubt that the next room they play might be even bigger.

More pictures in the HAD Archive