Monday, November 19, 2007

Yo La Tengo @Music Hall of Williamsburg, Nov. 16th

Friday night after a fun, greasy barbecue meal at Fette Sau, Ste, Lora and I headed to the Music Hall of Williamsburg for Jersey's finest indie rock band, Yo La Tengo. This was my first visit to the venue formerly known as North Six; I quite liked the setup, which is akin to the Bowery Ballroom, except with more balcony space, and raised areas on the side, and nice bathrooms according to Ste.

When we got there, we happily discovered that the main floor was set up with rows of seats, so we plopped ourselves down in the center of the 3rd row. We sat through a sleepy opening set by this nervous trio called Metal Mountain (it could have been the barbecue-itis kicking in). Then, promptly at 10, our heroes got on stage for a lovely two hour acoustic set. The band played a loose set of songs from throughout their career, taking time to answer questions and tell stories.

While I love how much YLT can blow my eardrums to pieces, I enjoyed this gig immensely. It felt like a nice mix between the time I caught them at Prospect Park, and the time Ste and I were helicoptered into Jersey City to see them at the Loew's Theater. And despite it being mainly acoustic, Ira Kaplan, guitarist extraordinaire, still managed to use a distort pedal and rock out.


Here are a bunch of songs I videoed on my camera -- sorry about the guy's head sitting right in front of me!

"Deeper Into Movies"

"Tom Courtenay"

"Blue Line Swinger"

(And "The Summer," "Hanky Panky Nohow," "You Can Have It All," and "Big Day Coming.")

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Luis Guzman, I hardly knew ye!

I love Luis Guzman, but seriously, man, WTF?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Patti Smith / The Black Crowes @United Palace, Oct. 31st

Last night for Halloween went up to Washington Heights to catch Patti Smith and the Black Crowes. This was my second schlep up to the funky venue up north -- last time was for Arcade Fire back in May.

I always look forward to seeing Patti. This time she was an opener, so she did not play a long marathon set, like when I caught her at the final night at CBGB. Instead, she and bandmates played a nice set with some cuts off her recent release, Twelve, including a growly cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and closing with her seminal hit, "Gloria." Here's her song, "Beneath the Southern Cross":

The Black Crowes are a band I have always enjoyed seeing live. I may not own their records, nor do I know more than their biggest hits, but every time I have seen them, I have appreciated their amazing energy and ability to get a crowd on its feet, as well as their constantly shifting setlists. Perhaps the Crowes are the closest to a jam band I'll ever get -- I will always be game for their brand of rock 'n roll.