Friday, November 30, 2007

Brand New 11.29.07

Brand New at the Commonwealth Ballroom, Virginia Tech 11.29.07.

Brand New played a solo show at Virginia Tech on an off day from their tour with Thrice and mewithoutYou. The stage setup included two drum kits as well as a freestanding drum, and the lights were exclusively yellow and white.

The show began with a half hour of Jesse Lacey alone onstage with an acoustic guitar. He did not address the audience until a brief mumble about colleges and "We are Brand New" before launching into Soco Amaretto Lime.

Jesse solo:
Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself (Morrissey cover)
Play Crack The Sky
Two Headed Boy Pt. 2
Moshi Moshi
Soco Amaretto Lime

Jesse then exited the stage and returned with the rest of the band for the remainder of the set. The songs were delivered with much screaming rather than singing, but that style works for many of Brand New's songs, especially the tracks from The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me. The setlist was:

Jesus Christ
Welcome To Bangkok
Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades
Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't
Jaws Theme Swimming
The Archers Bows Have Broken
You Won't Know
Sowing Season (Yeah)

There was minimal band/crowd interaction, except for when Jesse expressed concern over the actions in the pit. He also introduced Limousine as a song about a tragedy near his home, and dedicated it to the school, as Virginia Tech is a "school that knows tragedy."

On a number of the songs, Brand New's crew joined them onstage to play extra instruments, often with multiple people per instrument. It's really incredible to watch them do so.

The band quickly left the stage after Sowing Season, and the belligerent crowd began chanting for Seventy Times 7. Eventually Vinnie Accardi came back onstage and began the slow buildup of Untitled. He left and then brought the rest of the band back out with him to finish the song. At the end, everyone left the stage except for Lacey, who remained at the mic to say, "Hey Chuck! It's Marvin. Your cousin, Marvin Berry! You know that new sound you're looking for? Well listen to this!" before leaving.

Overall, it wasn't the best show I've seen Brand New play. However, Brand New's average set is better than most bands' best sets, so I'll continue to go see them every chance I get.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

11/25/07 recs

Rosie Thomas.
Beautiful acoustic pop music. Her album These Friends Of Mine was recorded with Sufjan Stevens and Denison Witmer, and includes guest vocals from Jeremy Enigk (on a Denison cover), Damien Jurado, and David Bazan.
For Fans Of: The Weepies, Brandi Carlisle, Maria Taylor

The New Frontiers.
Formerly known as Stellamaris, these Texans play atmospheric pop rock that will completely envelope you while you are listening. Their upcoming full-length was recorded with Matt Goldman, and I'm sure it will blow many listeners out of the water.
For Fans Of: Nada Surf, As Tall As Lions, The Appleseed Cast

Cold War Kids.
Long Beach natives Cold War Kids are a pretty unique band these days. They play a blend of rock and blues, full of swagger and soul that's hard to find in our scene. The album released earlier this year, Robbers & Cowards, is probably going to end up pretty high on my end of the year list.
For Fans Of: The White Stripes, Spoon, The Strokes

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ryan Adams show review

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals At DAR Constitution Hall, 10.30.07.

There were no opening bands on this date, and people were still filing into their seats as Ryan Adams and the Cardinals took the stage. They began without fanfare, and played three or four songs before Adams even addressed the audience. Even then, all he said was a simple, "Hi, we're The Cardinals." The night was divided into two sets, with an intermission-like break halfway through. The majority of the material was from Adams' last two or three albums with The Cardinals, and included:

Beautiful Sorta
Cold Roses
Off Broadway
Rescue Blues
Why Do They Leave
Everybody Knows
[spacewolf's birthday song]
Please Do Not Let Me Go
The Sun Also Sets
When The Stars Go Blue
Peaceful Valley
Blue Hotel
Goodnight Rose
Bartering Lines
Shakedown On 9th Street
Goodnight, Hollywood Boulevard
encore: Easy Plateau

After about five songs, Adams stopped and announced that it was time for JG's nightly joke ("I went to a hospital cafeteria. They were serving broken leg of lamb.") and that it was also guitarist Spacewolf's birthday. So a punky birthday tune was sung, and then the set was resumed.

There was a lot of fake smoke throughout the show, and there was also a black backdrop with hundreds of pin lights that shone various colors during the night.

There were long breaks between many of the songs when Adams spoke into a mic to his band's earpieces. The audience took these opportunities to shout requests, eventually irritating Adams enough that he went offstage to get a megaphone. He then proceeded to shout at the audience, "No! A little more to the left. Cross your arms like that! Be a different color! Lean the other direction!" Unfortunately, the audience never took the hint. There was even one man who shouted for "Summer Of '69." The rest of the crowd immediately gasped and booed him.

Although Adams was not very interactive, his performance was perfect. Despite downing a number of beers and other beverages, he was on pitch and wonderful to listen to. I would definitely go see him again.