Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Andrew Bird @Riverside Church, Dec. 10th

Andrew Bird is one hell of a talented dude.  I saw him perform earlier this year at a tiny venue for which he stuck mostly to new material, which left me craving more.  Sapient assured me seeing him this time around for his solo Gezelligheid show would be wonderful, and indeed it was. I got in line an hour before doors and managed to sit in the second row, center aisle, making the cavernous Riverside Church seem looming and intimate at the same time.

(More pics, including a setlist, after the jump.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Stars @Mercury Lounge, Sept. 22nd

The last time I saw Stars, I was in the front row of Town Hall 5 years ago, so I wasn't motivated to catch them at Webster Hall for their most recent tour, figuring that memory would be hard to top.  But thanks to a nifty little iPhone app called Thrillcall, I managed to snag a pair of FREE tix to see the ever charming band at the itty bitty Mercury Lounge for their after-show gig.  And the late start worked out well, as it allowed me to go to a turntable.fm meetup in Williamsburg earlier in the evening and head back into the City with a few of my tt pals -- Angela, Just Dave and jessipedia -- for the gig.

(More words and pics after the jump.)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bon Iver @Radio City Music Hall, Sept. 21st

I had made up my mind a long time ago that I probably would never bother seeing Bon Iver again after the first time I caught him four years ago at the Bowery Ballroom.  Not because I dislike the band -- far from it.  That concert was so intimate, so perfect, that I knew catching Justin Vernon again in a larger venue would never recapture the magic we felt that night.  But when I randomly checked Ticketmaster a week before his four show run at one of the city's largest venues, Radio City Music Hall, I managed to pull up a front row pit ticket that was impossible to refuse.  So I bought myself an early birthday present and prepared myself to see him on night 3.

(More words, pics and a setlist after the jump.)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bahamas @The Bell House, Sept. 19th

Last night, hunkered down to The Bell House in Gowanus for some good tunes courtesy of Canadian sensation, Bahamas, the band of Afie Jurvanen.  I have to credit my turntable.fm friend Dave#4 for turning me onto this guy, whose sweetly languorous voice and clear guitar picking brings musicians like M. Ward and Bill Callahan (Smog) to my mind.

(More pics, words, and a setlist after the jump.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bob Mould @Williamsburg Park, Sept. 7th

A week ago, I remembered that Bob Mould was playing a free show at Williamburg Park that evening, and despite having to work the next morning at 5am, I made sure I was there because he was playing all of Sugar's Copper Blue, an album that was released twenty (!) years ago.  To give you some context, that album came out just as I was starting freshman year of college, and was probably one of the first 50 cds I had ever purchased.  Yeah, I'm that old.

(More pics and words after the jump.  Click photos to enlarge.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Beirut @Central Park Summerstage, Aug. 29th

I finally bit the bullet and bought tix to see Beirut.  Okay, well, I bought them back in January for a show that wasn't happening until the end of the summer, which seemed a bit ridiculous to me at the time, especially because I tend to dislike outdoor shows.  One might assume that such advance planning indicates a strong affinity for the band. Truth be told, I had dodged seeing this band for ages because I found their music a bit too twee for my tastes, but had gotten into their tunes a bit more last summer because of turntable.fm, so I figured I'd give them a roll.

(More pics including setlist, and words after the jump.  Click to enlarge.)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Afro Punk Fest @Commodore Barry Park, Aug. 26th

Bestest Boy and I wandered over to near the Brooklyn Navy Yard to Commodore Barry Park, the site of this year's totally free Afro Punk Fest, a two day affair that featured an amazing music line-up on two stages, as well as some amazing skateboarders and bikers, and met up with orange bear @eightrack.  We didn't have too much time there, unfortunately, but managed to catch the wonderfully entertaining Reggie Watts, who dazzled the crowd with his beat-boxing and improvisational stylings despite some technical malfunctions.  I wished we had more than the 40 minutes allotted to his set, but you take what you can get when it's free.  Before Reggie, we also caught a local band called Body Language, who, upon hearing them, I immediately thought they'd be good to spin in the turntable.fm room I help run called Indie While You Work.  And, yeah, I got home and spun some, and the song "Falling Out" went over very well.

(More pics and words after the jump.  Click to enlarge.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Morning Jacket @Williamburg Park, Aug. 19th

First time seeing My Morning Jacket live.  Face melted.

Rolled into the fan club line early courtesy of Wawa and managed to get up front on the rail very easily.  All the people around me assured me that it'd be a great time tonight in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for my first experience, and boy, they weren't kidding.  I also had the company of emmyjane and Angela from turntable.fm, so we awaited the entrance of Jim James and Co. like a bunch of kids on Xmas morning.

(More pics and words after the jump.  Click to enlarge.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

∆ (alt-J) @Mercury Lounge, Aug. 6th

Good times tonight.  Met up with Got Milk?, @eightrack and Angela (friend of bebe) from turntable.fm for ∆ (alt-J), a band OBPI has been thoroughly obsessed about for the last few months.  The guys sounded fantastic tonight, and we managed to snag Ellie the setlist and she got it autographed by the lead singer, Joe.  You go, girl!  It was a tight set, considering they only have the one album yet to be formally released.  But the crowd seemed to know every word. =)

(More pics and setlist after the jump.  Click to enlarge.)

Amadou & Mariam @Central Park Summerstage, Aug. 4th

I love summers in NYC because of the crazy amount of free shows out there, but man, it was a hot afternoon, baking in the sun. Bestest Boy, Jamie and I tolerated the opener, Just A Band, and barely got through Theophilus London, who was very entertaining, but I thought was a bit all over the place.  The payoff came in the form of the headliners, Amadou & Mariam, who were every bit as charming and wonderful as I expected them to be.  Such happy music!

(More pics after the jump.  Click to enlarge.)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Merrill Garbus (of tUnE-yArDs) w/ Roomful of Teeth @World Financial Center, June 30th

Tonight caught the mesmerizing Merrill Garbus, who is better known as her main project tUnE-yArDs.  I had slept on seeing her in proper form, so when I realized she'd be performing (for FREE) as part of an ensemble in conjunction with The River To River Festival Ecstatic Summer program, I made damn well sure I put that in my calendar and hustled over for some seats in the front row of the World Financial Center, which was a nice outdoor venue by the water.

(More pics and words after the jump.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I've been way backlogged in updating this blog.  Life has gotten in the way, including a wicked addiction to turntable.fm, which has been a great source of music discovery.  I'll slowly put up all my pics and link them in this entry.  Thanks for your patience!

Of Montreal, Jens Lekman, The Thermals & Beach Fossils, June 15th
Laura Marling, Michael Kiwanuka & Willy Mason June 14th
Graffiti6 & Yuna, June 7th
Radiohead & Caribou, June 1st
- Yellow Ostrich, April 12th
Ben Kweller, March 24th

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Of Montreal @McCarren Park, June 15th

After winning some free tix from My Free Concert, Bestest Boy and I headed to Williamsburg to check out a groovy foursome of bands playing together as part of the Northside Festival.  We got there in time to catch some of Beach Fossils, who seemed green but had good energy.  Then came The Thermals, who played a typically solid and tight set.  Third was the Swedish troubadour, Jens Lekman, whose band had visa problems, so he did a mostly solo acoustic set comprised of older songs.  He was charming and a good storyteller, though I find his music a bit lackadaisical at times for my taste.  Headlining the whole shebang was Of Montreal, who I found a hot, crazy, fun mess.  Thank god for free tickets.

PS -- Met the amazing Alex K. from turntable.fm.  So psyched!

(More pics after the jump.)

Laura Marling / Michael Kiwanuka, @Prospect Park Bandshell, June 14th

Bestest Boy and I went to Prospect Park to catch our first Celebrate Brooklyn! concert of the summer.  Tonight featured the lovely Laura Marling and soulful Michael Kiwanuka, both from the UK.  I have enjoyed their tunes on turntable.fm so I thought a free concert on a crisp night would be a perfect way to check them out.  Both played gorgeous sets, but I was not completely entranced, as their low key performances seemed better fit for a smaller venue, and I wasn't up front as usual.  I will say, however, that their music is perfect to listen to on a rainy Sunday afternoon while trapped indoors.

Graffiti6 @Highline Ballroom, June 7th

Met up with emmyjane and vin for this show.  We all had gotten hooked on Graffiti6's excellent album, Colours, and played many a track on TTFM over the last few months.  I even bought it on special edition vinyl on Record Store Day!  I looked forward to hearing these guys live and wondered whether they'd be able to reproduce the gorgeous sounds of dance and soul that resonated throughout.

(More words and the setlist after the jump.)

Radiohead @Prudential Center, June 1st

What more is to be said about Radiohead?  I knew I would love the show even before I saw it.

For this show, I made sure to get to the venue on the early side (around 2:30pm) to beat the majority of people coming from the City.  Sure, getting to Newark was more of a pain than going to MSG, but all in all, it wasn't bad.  I managed to get home in about an hour after the show let out.  The sound was superior.  I think I shall have to consider future shows at the Prudential Center.

(More pics and words after the jump.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Yellow Ostrich @Mercury Lounge, Apr. 12th

Met up with emmyjane and Lise for a cheap early show at the Mercury Lounge which worked great with my early-to-bed schedule.  We fell in love with the song "Whale" by Yellow Ostrich on turntable.fm, and sure enough, lead guitarist/vocalist Alex Schaaf kicked off the set with the lovely tune.  Being up front by the stage afforded us a good view of Schaaf as he worked his collection of looping and effects pedals, effortlessly creating harmonies with himself and layering rhythms.  He was backed by a drummer and  a multi-instrumentalist who filled in the gaps, but the real star was Schaaf.

(More words, and a pic after the jump.)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ben Kweller @Irving Plaza, March 24th

(Sorry for the late post! 9/9/12)

I won a pair of tix via Twitter to see Ben Kweller at Irving Plaza from My Free Concert, where I've found out about some fun free shows and won some tickets.  It had been almost three years to the date that I was last at this venue, when I saw PJ Harvey & John Parish.

I know some folks are huge Kweller fans.  He's got a loose, goofy charm and seems like a big, friendly kid who's eager to please.  His tunes are sunny and energetic, and I can see why he got together with Ben Folds and Ben Lee for their side project, The Bens.  I was only vaguely familiar with his stuff prior to the show -- his music, while well-constructed, doesn't particularly stick with me, but I enjoyed his performance, especially having paid nothing for my admission.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Andrew Bird @The Bell House, Feb. 25th

I have to admit, for the longest time I never paid Andrew Bird much mind.  I had seen him guest here and there with a few bands (including a notable time with Wilco), but thought his whistling thing a bit shtick-y and his singing voice unremarkable for my tastes.  But, cut to present day, and my infatuation with turntable.fm, and lots of listens later, I now have a newfound appreciation for Bird and his craftsmanship.  He is championed by some of my most trusted ttfm peers, so when mervdiddy and Sapient urged me to jump on tickets for a secret show happening that weekend under the pseudonym "Useless Creatures," I grabbed myself a ticket and convinced emmyjane to come along.

(More pics, including setlist, after the jump.)