Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Killers @Webster Hall, Sept. 22nd

Ok, so I'm a Killers hata. I have not bought their first album, Hot Fuss, and haven't scoured the Net for a leak of their next album, Sam's Town. I liked "Somebody Told Me" a lot when it came out, and even found "Mr. Brightside" and "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" acceptable. But what I couldn't tolerate was the way they blew up all over the place. And I deemed lead singer Brandon Flowers a pretty boy (c'mon, his last name is Flowers) arrogant wanker without ever giving the Killers a real chance.

I'll fess up -- I bought tickets to their show in next month at Theater at MSG without any serious intent of going. Merely cos I could. Merely cos I know I can dump these tickets with ease on Craigslist to some surly former fratboy or his annoying chirpy shorty girl. So when news broke that the Killers were coming to play Webster tonight, a smaller venue, for a cheaper price, I became vaguely interested. In actuality, I should have caught them when I could have two years ago at the smaller venues, just like I should have done with Bloc Party. And so the tickets went on sale on Ticketweb on Wednesday, and they went on sale, and they were still on sale -- it took about 4.5 hrs for them to sell out. And I didn't bite then, preferring to giggle at the Killers' overestimation of their fanbase. Where were the zealots? They couldn't really all be Jewish and/or under 18!

Anyway, I guess my resolve to cut back on going to gigs was not so strong. I had been doing well -- only had caught The Dears and Pete Yorn so far this month, and both last week, thinking that would be it for September. Then I buckled and grabbed a free pair of Gnarls Barkley for Tuesday. Then a few hours later, I found out I won Stereogum's Yo La Tengo Contest, so I musta gotten the bug again. I'm such a fuckin' concert addict. What a short-lived break. So since today was quiet at work -- hooray for Rosh Hashana -- I was able to scoop up a last minute ticket to the Killers' "secret" gig.

Ok, ok, so they were actually really good live. Brandon didn't talk a lot other than mentioning the song titles, so he didn't annoy me nearly as much as I thought he would. The rest of the band is quite ugly, so it's a good thing he's the pretty boy frontman.

The Killers @Webster Hall, Sept. 22, 2006

They played for about an hour, which was kinda a gyp, but what can ya expect from a band with a short 1st album and a yet to be released 2nd one? The stage reminded me very much of the movie "Moulin Rouge" for some reason:

The Killers @Webster Hall, Sept. 22, 2006

And, yes, I sang along to the 3 or 4 songs I knew. The entire crowd kept bouncing, so it was really hard to take any clear shots.

I have to give the Killers their props. They play solid music and are fun to listen to, as long as you filter out the stupid shit that Mr. Flowers likes to say -- comparing their music to Springsteen's? Are you kidding me??? Now I can cross them off my list. And you can bet your buns I'm selling those MSG tix!!! Bring on Yo La Tengo!

PS -- The Red Romance opened up for them. They were fine. Just not memorable.

PPS -- after the show caught up with Rad and a few of his friends, including Matt from The Music Slut, whom I had met during Radiohead in the summer. Sweet!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pete Yorn @Mercury Lounge, Sept. 13th

Tonight met up with Andrea K. for Pete Yorn at the Mercury Lounge. (Bharat was supposed to join me, too, but he forgot his ID!) I felt like an interloper (not an antelope) for I am admittedly more familiar with Yorn's Richard Gere-ish looks than I am with his music, but I figured (a) it's the Mercury Lounge, (b) Yorn's from Jersey -- woo hoo!, (c) hot ticket, and (d) it'd drive Wawa mad that I got to go while he is traipsing across Europe for his beloved Pearl Jam. And while I was easily able to position myself within a few feet of the stage, I kinda regretted it slightly for we were standing in nutty fan central. Oh, I could see that Pete Yorn has his fair share of stalkers...ahhh, the uber fans...

Anyway, as for the music, I was pleasantly surprised...well, I guess I had no real expectations, so I wasn't really surprised, but maybe delighted. Yorn had a nice rapport with the audience, immediately starting off by saying, "Welcome to my basement!" cos the Mercury has that kind of feel to it. He and his band, which consisted of a bass, drums and keys alternating with 2nd guitar, stuck to the rocking tunes, playing old songs (songs that sounded somewhat familiar to me) along with new ones from his latest effort. He played a few covers including one of my favorite Smiths songs -- "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" -- and ended with Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds."

Pete Yorn played for a good 90 minutes easily. While his music may not be the most challenging or ground breaking, he's got a nice repertoire of solid rock with some country twinge (he played some blues as well as a song he did with Natalie of the Dixie Chicks). I really enjoyed the evening, especially since I preceded it with some pastrami at Katz's, a lemon cupcake from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, and a run in with the Grates on the sidewalk outside of Pianos ("Hallo, I saw you last night open for the Dears! You were G-R-R-REAT!!") It would have been perfect if Wawa could have been there, I suppose. Then he prolly would have been the recipient of Pete's harmonica rather than this married dude who stood right in front of Pete. And then the Wawa spazz attack would have made it all worthwhile. Did I tell you Eddie Vedder has tossed him not one, but two harmonicas this summer? I wonder what he'll bring back from Europe!

Anyway...time for bed! Thank God there was no opener!

Pete Yorn, Mercury Lounge, 9/13

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Dears @Bowery Ballroom, Sept. 12th

God help me, I fucking love the Dears. This was my 3rd time seeing them at Bowery Ballroom, and it only gets better each time. This time, they played a mix of their latest album, Gang of Losers (and why it's being released in the US two months after the rest of the world is beyond me, cos it's only gonna encourage pilfering from the Net and whatnot), and their last smash album, No Cities Left. I hear the song "22: The Death of All the Romance" and I just wanna break things and trash my apartment, melodrama at its finest. The Dears are all about passion and moodiness. Can't get enough!

The Dears, Bowery Ballroom, 9/12

I would have Murray's babies, I would!

The Dears, Bowery Ballroom, 9/12

The Dears, Bowery Ballroom, 9/12

And the Grates, a nice little band from Australia, opened for them. The lead singer had a little bit of the crazy girl PJ Harvey/Karen O. energy in her, but with a fun vibe -- I didn't feel like she'd eat me alive. I expect we'll hear more about the Grates in the future.

The Grates, Bowery Ballroom, 9/12

Julie1 came with me and dug the Grates, but she wasn't feeling the Dears this time as much as the last time we saw them last year, maybe cos she didn't know the new tunes. Ah well, not everyone's cup o' tea, I suppose!