the botticellis, pickwick @ bottom of the hill, photos, review

June 30th, 2008

On Friday, I saw the Botticellis (myspace) and Pickwick at the Bottom of the Hill.

Pickwick are an eclectic indie band with folk and alt-country leanings from Seattle. They play an eclectic set of instruments including the standard rock instruments, plus pedal steel, melodica, accordion and others. I liked some songs more than others–basically, I liked a lot of the songs that featured pedal steel. They put on a nice set overall.

I came to see the Botticellis. I’ve seen them play a couple stripped sets recently so it was cool to see them play a full rock set again. They opened with a newish song, “I Feel Betrayed” which I’ve heard (at those stripped down sets) and love. They played a set of songs from their album Old Home Movies and various other songs, like their cover of George Harrison’s “Awaiting on You All”. Overall it was a fun time.

four bands I don’t need to hear anymore about

June 29th, 2008

This is not to say I don’t like some of these artists (I like some, dislike others). I certainly don’t love any of them and I certainly hear more about them than I need to:

  • Radiohead
  • Björk
  • Spoon
  • Grizzly Bear

And the late June 2008 edition would also include Coldplay.

Alright, open the floodgates.

Two shows: Rademacher, Tigers Can Bite You, Light FM @ the Knockout; morning benders @ Puma

June 28th, 2008

I went to a couple shows in the last couple days sans camera–my first without in a long time–so I’ll do quick write-ups here without any photos.

On Wednesday, I went to Lower Class Revolt with Rademacher (myspace), Tigers Can Bite You, and Light FM at the Knockout.

I don’t tend to expect much from the first band on, but Light FM was thoroughly pleasant. They played a nice set of straight ahead indie pop.

Tigers Can Bite You was a bit more angular and a bit less pop but still pretty nice.

I’ve had some Rademacher tunes for quite a while now, but I’d never had the opportunity to see them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for their whole set but the songs I saw were good.

And last night, I saw the Morning Benders (myspace) do an in-store session at the Puma store downtown.

The fans there were of a variety of ages, but overall it was a pretty young crowd. I thought to myself during the set that when Sam Cooke died the headlines said “Teen Idol Dead”. These days, with a seeming growing love for Sam Cooke, no one talks about him in terms of a teen idol. Now I’m not saying the Mornings Benders are the same as Sam Cooke, just that the assessment or main audience of an artist can change.

The band played a relaxed, sit-down acoustic set. It reminded me a lot of their set on KZSU. They didn’t have a set list and mostly just took requests from the audience. They did a mix of new and old tunes. Perhaps a highlight of the set was the requested “Morning Fog”, which was on their first EP, performed solo by Chris. They also did “Damnit Anna”, “Boarded Doors”, “Why Don’t They Let Us Fall in Love” (Ronettes cover)”, “Excuses” (new song), “I was Wrong”, “Waiting for a War”, “Grain of Salt”, “Patient Patient” and “Loose Change”. Just about all the versions were solid.

Much of live music these days seems to be a big production–crowded venues, lots of buzz, people worried about the scene and bands who are thoroughly professional. It was really nice to have a couple evenings of music where it was just people sitting around enjoying some music.

song obsession friday! (for the week ending june 27)

June 27th, 2008

Song obsessions are those songs that we listen to on repeat. I noticed that my obsessions are often a week long. I also thought that other people might have similar obsessions. I’ve collected a panel of a few like-minded individuals and gotten their “song obsessions of the week.” Quite often it’s easy to explain why the song is good; it’s much hard to explain why we’re obsessed. Maybe you’ll become obsessed with one of these.

Adrian (me):
Al Green – Lay It Down (mp3) (buy)

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It was when I saw Al Green perform this on Letterman (see below) that I got intrigued by it. It was when I kept pressing back on the ipod that I realized I’m a bit of a sucker for these medium-slow soul ballads.

Keith:
Girl Talk – Like This (mp3) (buy)

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Just the rumour of a new Girl Talk mix sets off an obsessive vibe to unearth the mélange of samples he’s sourced this time around. When I saw this tune threw The Carpenters, Metallica, Yo La Tengo, The Jacksons and Beastie Boys into a sonic stew I knew it would be an early favorite for repeat button status.


Oz:
Lucero – Kiss the Bottle (mp3) (buy)

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Lucero is a personal favorite of mine. They embody my favorite genres and can only be classified as Punktry. “Kiss the Bottle” is a cover tune from 90′s San Francisco punk act, Jawbreaker,and it’s always a crowd favorite at every Lucero show. In case any of you SF readers haven’t seen this band live, head out to Bottom of the Hill July 26th or 27th and check them out. It’ll be an incredible night.


That “Lay It Down” video:

the Bay Bridged’s Low Red Land on a rooftop

June 26th, 2008


The Bay Bridged Video Podcast – Low Red Land – Part 1 from The Bay Bridged on Vimeo.

The Bay Bridged has announced a video podcast. The first episode was posted yesterday with a couple songs by locals Low Red Land (myspace). It looks and sounds pretty great with gorgeous views of sunny, blue day and San Francisco.

I was invited to the filming of that (you can see me in the video if you bite your tongue and squint at the right time) and the Bay Bridged quite reasonably asked me to hold off posting photos from that event until it was announced. Well here are some:

on sale soon (06.26.08 edition)

June 26th, 2008

Posted every Thursday On Sale Soon is a weekly series of the tickets going on sale that weekend.

Where to get tickets: The Independent, Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, Fillmore, Warfield, and other Livenation venues. Another Planet booked venues like Greek Theatre @ Berkeley, Palace of Fine Arts, etc. Bimbo’s.

On sale now/ Thurs June 26:
8/27 Yonas Media’s 2nd Annual Battle of the Bands @ Great American

Pre-sale Thurs June 26:
8/8 Martina McBride with Jack Ingram, Chris Young @ Sleep Train Pavilion

On sale Friday June 27:

On sale Saturday June 28:
9/6 Luis Miguel @ HP Pavilion

On sale Sunday June 29:
8/2 Gentleman @ Slim’s
8/4 Julian Marley & The Uprising Band, Blue King Brown @ The Independent
8/5 UB40, Maxi Priest @ The Fillmore
8/14 Idina Menzel @ Palace of Fine Arts
8/16 Forrest Day, The Shotgun Wedding Quintet, The Saurus @ The Independent
8/23 Zeromind, Flametal, Insolence, Pour Habit @ Slim’s

9/7 Dave Stewart & His 30 Piece Rock Fabulous Orchestra @ The Fillmore
9/8 Ratatat @ The Fillmore
9/12, 9/13 JJ Grey & Mofro, Hill Country Revue feat. members of North Mississippi Allstars @ The Independent
9/18 Hieroglyphics @ The Fillmore
9/25 Silver Jews @ The Fillmore
9/27 John Brown’s Body, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad @ Great American

10/2 Great Big Sea @ Palace of Fine Arts
10/8 From the Jam @ Slim’s

Double check all information as venues and promoters often change on-sale times and days up until the last minute.

MGMT: “Time to Pretend” sounds (too much) like other songs that were written before it?

June 25th, 2008

A commenter pointed out that there was a similarity between Styrofoam’s remix of “the Postman” by American Analog Set (off of 2002′s Updates) and MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” (off of 2008′s Ocular Spectacular and 2005′s Time to Pretend EP). Not overly familiar with the latter song, I went to check it out. The opening sequence does bear a passing resemblance.

When I listened to the song and once the vocals came in, I heard a much strong resemblance to another song I knew. Harmonically, rhythmically and melodically, parts of it are much closer to Her Space Holiday’s “Sleepy California” (off of 2003′s The Young Machines). Granted the vocal line in quested is pretty is someone monotonous–heck, even HSH acknowledges his singing limitations (“Like that kid who asked me if I knew I couldn’t sing/ That’s like asking a blind man if he knows that he can’t see”)–but “Time to Pretend” made me immediately think of “Sleepy California”.

But you can decide for yourself:

MGMT – Time to Pretend (mp3, 2008, also came out on a 2005 EP)

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American Analog Set – the Postman (Styrofoam remix) (mp3, 2002)

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Her Space Holiday – Sleepy California (mp3, 2003)

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If you would like, you may listen

June 24th, 2008

to my radio show, “I once was Canadian”, on KZSU from 3-5pm Pacific this afternoon. You can tune in at 90.1FM or online.

Want to see what I’m playing (during or after the fact)? Check out my playlist.

The new schedule will be announced next Monday so check on the schedule then if you want to see if I’ve moved time slots.


cred: me

update: For those that missed it, here’s a podcast version for you to check out (my show starts about 0:45 in):
KZSU – I once was Canadian (6-24-08)

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lost vinyl gem: Magnetic Fields – “Rats in the Garbage of the Western World”

June 24th, 2008

[This is possibly the first of a series of 'vinyl gems', songs that are weird or wonderful and can only be found on vinyl records.]

This is a total gem from the station’s music library. It’s from the b-side of “All the Umbrellas in London”, one of the best Magnetic Fields songs out there.

This song is just crazy and weird. It’s a bit strange if you know Magnetic Fields songs from that (Get Lost) era, but if all you know is the current Magnetic Fields stuff, you might be a little surprised. (Well, I suppose Distortion has come back around to more of this sort of sound.)

I’ll give one reason to take a listen to this and it’s the only reason you’re going to need: the chorus is “We are the rats in the garbage of the Western world…so let’s dance!“.

Magnetic Fields – Rats in the Garbage of the Western World (mp3)

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mini record review: Feed the Animals

June 22nd, 2008

As you’ve undoubtedly heard, Girl Talk released his latest album last week. Feed the Animals–yup, wikipedia pretty much has all the samples listed already–came out Thursday and like a lot of the bloggers, I imagine, I downloaded it that night. I’ve listened to it half a dozen or so times since then.

Like Night Ripper, it’s a wildly entertaining album. From start to finish, it’s really fun and I have a big grin on my face.

It’s not flawless–there are samples that annoy me and some good samples used in not the best ways (the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” is such is an amazing song and it’s use is so-so). And Lip Gloss with metalish music has been done before and better. But overall it’s great. I think his strength isn’t putting disparate elements together–there are so many good mash-up artists that can do that–but putting so many disparate samples together in a way that’s still good and musical.

You can pay what you want here.

Previously: