Saturday, July 21, 2007

T.I.P. Comin live from the VIP

I wrote this post a while back after I saw T.I. at the hard rock cafe. Apparently I left it in drafts and never posted it, so here it is.

So last night, after standing in line for way too long, I caught T.I.'s show at the Hard Rock cafe. I remember that I had a blast, but I can't remember too much detail, so I'm just going to critique what I can recall.

6 Pack of Bluepoint Toasted Lager at Penn Station

Always refreshing, but trying to twist off the non-twist off cap I made myself bleed.

Styrofoam coffee cups of Bud Light and Heineken on line outside the Hard Rock Cafe

I can't remember ever having a heineken and not thinking, "ugh this tastes like ass." Standing out there for eternity in that line though, that Heineken hit the spot like nothing else.

Double Jack Daniels on the rocks at the Hard Rock Cafe

Apparently the laws of math don't apply inside the Hard Rock Cafe, where a single is 1.5 oz and a double is 2 oz. Most of this drank was accidentally poured down a friend's face.

Triple Shot of Patron on the Rocks with Lime

Never before have I ordered something just because it was mentioned in a T Pain song and I don't think I'll ever do it again.

Shot of Patron

Just unneccessary. Also costs just as much as a triple shot of Patron on the rocks.

Red Bull

Tasted more like grapefuit juice. Couldn't have been entirely grapefruit juice though, because I hate grapefruit juice.

Then the show ended and I wound up at some bar in Williamsburgh. I think there was a PBR, a magic hat #9, and a gin and tonic involved, but I can't even really be sure. As far as my goofy dancing ass could tell, T.I. put on a great show. He did "Big Things Poppin'" instead of "Big Shit Poppin", which I guess would make it easier for MTV to edit (they recorded the show). Come to think of it, I don't think he cursed at all. My only other complaint would be that he did an extremely abbreviated version of "Rubberband Man", which was basically the one song I've been looking forward to for weeks. All in all it was a great show, but it really made me want to see T.I. outside of an MTV setting.

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Bit of Grass-Stain Does Not a Ruined Pair of Jeans Make

Lil late with this review but the Green Hornet and I attended the Decemberists show this past Monday at Central Park Summerstage and it was pretty damn good. I had some déjà vu after seeing the Decemberists open for Death Cab at the Summerstage 2 years ago, and it was great to see them headlining this time around. This concert was also particularly special for me as it was the first show in a year I’ve seen due to my blown out ears and tinnitus I’ve been dealin’ with but the Decemberists lived up to my expectations. (PSA – protect your ears people, one day they wont stop ringing and you’ll go deaf - no joke) I missed Grizzly Bear who opened but from what I’ve heard on their Myspace page and what I heard as I was walking to the show through the park I didn’t miss much.

After I got there I grabbed a poster, done by Mike King and awesome as usual, and waded through the indie kids to find a spot towards the back. Central Park is nice because it’s wide but shallow so you’re not too far away from the stage and usually have some room to breathe even with a full crowd. The Summerstages’ boring lighting and notoriously poorly mixed audio didn’t distract too much although every time Nate would switch to his electric bass things got a bit muddy. That aside, the set list was awesome and highlighted a lot of songs they haven’t been doing this current tour since most shows have been with an orchestra. As Colin said, they were playing a collection of summer songs to fit the atmosphere and pulled out some of my personal favorites like July, July!, Oceanside, Billy Liar, and Red Right Ankle. They also played a chunk of tracks from the Crane Wife which supplied some of the lower points of the set for me, I could have done without the Island and would have rather heard the Tain or California One, but it was nice to hear these newer songs at the same time. There was some nice crowd interaction during Chimbley Sweep with Colin instructing the band and entire audience to sit down on cue as usual and Mariners’ Revenge Song is becoming a classic set closer for them.

The band was tight for the most part and this was the first time I had seen them as a 5 piece. Jenny and Chris Funk held down the various side instruments although the lack of a strong female backing vocalist was noticeable (Jenny sounded better when Petra was touring with them in my opinion). John lightened the mood by acting goofy although he must have been suffering from some mild ADD during Mariner’s Revenge with Jenny having to politely remind him that it was time for him to sing one of the verses. The amount of talking was kept to a minimum in light of the strict Summerstage curfew which was fine by me and resulted in a 4 song encore and nice full set. It’s good to see the Decemberists getting the recognition they deserve and all in all it was a quality show for Central Park.

Here’s a youtube video of the Chimbley Sweep antics for yah and the Infanta from one of their orchestral shows (unfortunately no orchestra in NYC). From what I understand Colin’s gonna be around for another solo tour this winter – lookin’ forward to that one. Until next time…

The Infanta (with orchestra)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back in the Day.... 2000

So once upon a time not too long ago, when the hornet wore Vans and lived life slow, I loved to hate on people who liked weezer. I thought liking weezer was the silliest thing ever. I thought Buddy Holly was so corny, even though I loved the video, and I took every opportunity I could find to make fun of my friends who liked weezer. The problem with this was that I really didn't do my homework too well. Sometime in the late summer of 2000, maybe the fall, I found myself sitting in a room with two ladies I was friends with. They decided they really wanted to listen to weezer, so the girl whose house we were in fired up Napster and started playing "Suzanne". Now I'd seen Mallrats, like any teenager with an affinity for nerd culture and crude humor, so I recognized the song instantly. The problem was I had professed my love for this song before. Before I knew it was weezer. After that it was like an avalanche. I found out that "Pink Triangles" was a weezer song. I found out that "Say It Ain't So" was a weezer song. All these songs I really liked were turning out to be weezer songs. It turns out I had had a pretty weak grasp on what songs weezer actually played. So I bought the Blue Album, my brother bought Pinkerton, and we rocked.
The thing is, even once my love for weezer had blossomed, I still hated the song "Holiday" off of the Blue Album. I used to program my CD player to play every track except that song. Something about the way they elongated the syllables in the word "heartbeat" just made me angry. I got into arguments with people over how awful the song was. Everyone else seemed to love it.
Today I came across the album and ended up listening to it end to end while I did my security rounds at work. I don't know what it is, maybe I've matured in some way, but I really enjoyed "Holiday" tonight. So much so that I listened to it twice in a row. I've always felt that even though I didn't like it, it set up the album perfectly to close on "Only in Dreams", but tonight it was more than that. I really enjoyed the layering on the vocals, the organs, everything just fit together. I'm even having trouble figuring out what could have made me hate it so much. That was always the one flaw that the Blue Album had for me. Now I guess it's perfect.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Blazin' Hip Hop + SYL

I've spent most of this summer in a pretty deep mainstream rap phase. It probably started with summer jam and the anticipation of summer jam, but so far it hasn't let up. Seeing T.I. on Thursday probably isn't going to do anything to slow it down (thankyou eBay), although seeing the Decemberists on Monday and Elvis Perkins on Saturday possibly could. Anyway, I bring this up because today was one of the rare occasions lately where I've really jammed on something you couldn't find on hot 97 or power 105. I was playing kickball and one of the base coaches shouted "run to the hills!" I don't know about you, but I don't think I've ever heard that phrase uttered without thinking of Iron Maiden. I spent most of the rest of the game singing in my metal falsetto (and making ill double plays) and when I came home I decided to sit down and listen to some Maiden.

Listening to Maiden brought me to listen to Strapping Young Lad, a band I don't even think I've thought about since I started working at WSOU almost four years ago. I believe I've missed them, though not too much.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sour Diez

For whatever reason, I can't stop listening to this song. Maybe it's because it brings back memories of my fondness for that lemon lime dank. Maybe it's because you could have a dime in the coin purse of your jeans and as soon as you pulled your pocket open a little, the whole room smelled like someone was burning already. Maybe it's those little yellow hairs on the plush fluffy green goodness. Maybe it's because of this production. I know it's not because of N.O.R.E. or Dame Grease's sub sub par rhyming. Maybe it's Styles. Whatever the reason, I can't stop listening to this song.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What You Know About Selling Out in 9 Seconds or So

So I was all excited to buy tickets to see T.I. at the Hard Rock Cafe. I stayed up till 9 after my graveyard shift and everything. I reload the ticket page from 8:59 to 9:00 and as soon as tickets are available, I start buying. I try to buy 5. No luck. I try to buy 4. 2. 1. Sold out. All before 9:02. Damn, T.I.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Wu Tang Wu Tang

So I've finally got something new to add to my list of "things that wasted six dollars".

If there's one thing you can count on, it's that any rite-aid / walgreens will have a bin of Kung-Fu DVDs. Inevitably, there is always at least one Wu-Tang DVD mixed in, not counting the actual Kung Fu movies with Wu related bonus features. Usually I spot them, glance at the synopsis, then put em back thinking I should buy one sometime. For whatever reason, I decided to pick one up when I saw U-God's (not) smilin' face on the cover. I've always liked Baby U-ey and I thought it might be interesting to see him air out the rest of the Clan. I thought wrong. The whole DVD consists basically of U-God bigging himself up, talking smack on Ol' Dirty, the Rza, and the Gza, and talking about how he'll punch anybody else in the face if they talk smack on Ol' Dirty, the Rza, or the Gza. There's one segment where the interviewer asks him about the rumors of Capadonna being homeless. Since the interview takes place as U-God drives around Staten Island, it just so happens that he drives by Cappadonna talking on his cell phone as he drives in the opposite direction. There's also a lot of screen time devoted to U-God's former crew, the Hillside Scramblers. They're pretty terrible. There are some bonus features that make the disc almost worthwhile, but at the end of the day I think I might've been better served by walking out of walgreens and hitting up the dollar menu at the other end of the parking lot.

In happier Wu Tang news, there's a great countdown at Urb Magazine of the top 20 Wu videos. Personally, I would've thrown "Ain't Nuthin Ta Fuck Wit" somewhere into the mix. Even though there's a lot of clips tossed in from other videos on the countdown, you'd be hard pressed to find something more badass than the shots of the huge crowd freaking out to the song's hook. Plus that dude in the white ski-mask is fuckin' terrifying.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Uuugh Hippies

If I learned anything from this weekend, it's that I can't stand hippies. Poser hippies especially (Real Hippies Don't Litter! Damn guys, pick up after yourselves!), but real hippies get on my nerves too. This Saturday, I caught Bob Dylan way the fuck upstate at Bethel woods. I guess it would've been silly of me to think I wouldn't have to deal with hippies at a Dylan show on the grounds of the original woodstock.

Hippies aside, I had a good time. I'd be a liar, though, if I said the show wasn't a little disappointing. Dylan's voice is completely shot, which worked out fine for certain songs. "Tangled Up In Blue" worked great with the rhythmic speaking thing he was kinda doing. "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'" didn't really work out so well. I was kind of bummed too about not hearing "Nettie Moore". You'd think that he would gravitate towards songs that he recorded after he lost his voice, since they'd come off the same as they do on record. The music was incredibly tight, but his voice was just completely devoid of melody. He also did the whole set in a blues-y style. Now I love the blues, but when it comes to Dylan, I've always preferred folk singer Dylan to bluesman Dylan. The musical highlight of the night was definitely when he closed with "All Along the Watchtower", playing it far closer to the Hendrix rendition than his own original.

Non-Musical Highlights:

-Watching a Tripping Hippie scream, "Fuck America!", while he was dragged out by 6 Security Guys.
-Realizing that Paul Sr. from Orange County Choppers was standing next to me in the mass of people walking to the parking lot.