VIDEO: Keane’s “Silenced By the Night”

Need I remind you that my mom loves Keane?

I’m sure she’s already seen the new video for “Silenced By the Night,” the first single off their upcoming album, Strangeland (May 8th), but maybe you haven’t.

See below for a complete list of Keane North American tour dates:

June 12th Boston, MA House of Blues
June 14th N. Bethesda, MD Music Center At Strathmore
June 15th New York, NY Beacon Theatre – SOLD OUT
June 16th Philadelphia, PA Merriam Theater
June 18th Montreal, QC Olympia de Montreal
June 19th Toronto, ON The Sound Academy
June 21st Nashville, TN. Marathon Music Works
June 22nd Chicago, IL The Vic
June 23rd Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater
June 25th Denver, CO Paramount Theater
June 26th Salt Lake City, UT The Gallivan Center
June 29th Los Angeles, CA The Orpheum Theatre – SOLD OUT
June 30th Oakland, CA The Fox Theater

James Blake @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 10/6/2011

I just came back from the James Blake show in Williamsburg. I now know what the sound of a room full of ovaries exploding sounds like: basically faint squeals of ecstasy for about 1 hour non-stop.

Master of the subtle, slow build, James Blake has you wrapped around his youthful, tiny little British finger without you even realizing it.

Oh don't mind me, I'm just blowing your MIND right now

As I Rock, I Roll so aptly described it: “James Blake shows are like being masterfully seduced by the most unassuming hot guy ever. SAHWOOON”

Swoon indeed! In addition to creating some of the sexiest music created in a long time, this dude is clearly a hit with the ladies. I swear, I could actually hear hearts breaking as he crooned. One girl screamed, “I LOVE YOUR HAIR!” about five times throughout the show. Another gave James a bouquet of flowers at the end of the initial set.

Are flowers the way to James Blake's heart?

I nearly DIED when I realized that for the encore he was doing a cover of “Case of You” — probably one of my most favorite Joni Mitchell songs EVER. UUuuuggghhh! Absolutely brilliant. Well played, James Blake, WELL PLAYED.

If you listen carefully, I think you can hear my brain exploding in this video:

There’s really only one way to describe James Blake: an extremely attractive musical angel sent down from heaven to remind us that God really does still exist.

Note the heavenly glow

Coldplay Live on Letterman in NYC – 9/20/11

Longtime readers of this site will already be accustomed to my undying, uncool devotion to the British “rock” band Coldplay.
But it is due to this broadcasting of affection that people end up being so generous whenever the band rolls into town.

Waiting to head into the Ed Sullivan Theater

Thanks to the unbelievable kindness of Product Shop NYC, last night I was lucky enough to attend Coldplay’s Live on Letterman webcast taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater right here in NYC.

Amazing lasers and lots of crazy colors filled the stage.

It was basically 50 minutes of pure joy for me. The band played a handful of new songs off their upcoming album Mylo Xyloto — “Major Minus,” “Hurts Like Heaven,” “Charlie Brown,” and my personal favorite, “Paradise” — as well as all the greatest hits (“Yellow,” “The Scientist,” “Viva la Vida,” “Fix You,” etc.).
Continue reading “Coldplay Live on Letterman in NYC – 9/20/11”

Hurting This Way: Sweating Through Friendly Fires @ Summerstage – 8/7/11

Sure I had back sweat, front sweat, side sweat, and butt sweat, but today’s FREE Friendly Fires + Naked and Famous + Cults show for Summerstage at Central Park was SO FUN.

I was dancing up a storm, making a fool of myself. If you were in the crowd, you may remember me from such things as screaming really loudly and terrifying The Music Slut at the start of “Hurting,” or doing a whirlwind dance past you on the way to the front of the crowd during the performance of “Hawaiian Air” during the encore.

Never ever before have I seen this, but guitarist Edd Gibson actually had REVERSE sweat stains on his denim shirt — as in, the entire shirt was drenched with sweat except for this 2-by-3-inch space under his armpit. SWEATMASTING! Ed Macfarlane was of course wearing a hideous printed shirt and dancing like a possessed samba instructor. There was a sax player and a trumpet player. I SAID, I SAID, I SAID THERE WAS A SAX PLAYER. Sax at a show = Brilliant. <3 [caption id="attachment_9254" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="I'd like to buy a "F" for $200..."][/caption]

Openers Cults were perfectly dreamy as per usual, and New Zealand’s own Naked and Famous were no where near naked, but good times nonetheless.

"So hey, I'm going to this show, do you want to come?" "Sure!" "OK, well just MAKE SURE you wear all denim. It's kinda a thing."

SETLIST: Lovesick, Jump In Pool, Blue Cassette, True Love, On Board, Chimes, Skeleton Boy, Show Me Lights, Live Those Days Tonight, Hurting, Pull Me Back to Earth, Paris ENCORE: Hawaiian Air, Kiss of Life

The Kooks Make Beautiful Music Once Again @ Bowery Ballroom – 6/27/11

Wow, it’s been just over three years since the last time I saw the Kooks perform live in concert. So I was pretty darn excited to see the British wunderkids at the intimate setting of the Bowery Ballroom.

Just before 10pm, the guys swaggered onto the stage, and the young ladies (let’s call them “Kookies”) in the front of course went mad — screaming and outstretching their arms before a single note was played. When I looked over at Luke Pritchard, I was pleased to see his burning love of V-neck shirts had not been forgotten after all these years — there he was in all his acute angle-loving glory, sporting a red V-neck shirt (seriously, this man has never met a V-neck he couldn’t love), skinny jeans, and boots (obvs.).

The Kooks hit the stage and the crowd went bezerkies.

I don’t know what it is, but there is something so magical about seeing The Kooks live. Without fail, I always have a great time and leave the venue with a smile on my face — and this time was no exception. I started off the show perched in the balcony, but (as anyone who has ever been to a concert with me) about 4 or 5 songs in I could barely contain myself — so I headed down to the floor to be with the “real” fans, and shake my groove thaannng.

The set was a mix of old favorites, like “Naive,” “Seaside” (encore), “Shine On,” and new songs off their forthcoming album, Junk of the Heart, like Lou Reed “Satellite of Love”-esque piano-based B-side “The Saboteur” and the extremely catchy “How D’Ya Like That“.

Pretty lights.

Continue reading “The Kooks Make Beautiful Music Once Again @ Bowery Ballroom – 6/27/11”

Hurts Just Blew My Mind

As I was taking a 1 am snack, I managed to catch the last 10 minutes of Graham Norton. Luck for me because I was able to witness the wonder that is Hurts performing an amazing song called “Sunday.”


They are so ’80s-licious. So poppy Interpol meets Depeche Mode meets Johnny Hates Jazz. Love it!

It looks like this British band’s only American date listed so far is at Coachella. You luck West Coast bastards!

Can someone please do something about this and have them book a NYC show before they get to Cali?

For Rachel: Hot Club de Paris Video for Free the Pterodactyl 3

Hey Rachel-

Remember when we went to Iceland and we literally stood inches away from Hot Club de Paris at 12 Tonar in Reykjavik? Remember how we basically had to dodge their guitars when they swung them while playing? Remember how we totally loved them and thought they were so awesome?

Well I’m happy to report that Hot Club de Paris is still making music. They just released Free the Prerodactyl 3, which is a compilation of EP releases from 2010. According to the HCdP website, you can get it on CD in Europe and download only in the US.

Here’s a video for their song “Free the Prerodactyl 3.” Yes, it reminds me a little bit of The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” meets the Polyphonic Spree, but I like it!


PS – The same day we saw Hot Club de Paris we also saw lenticular clouds. It all comes around!

The Vaccines Break Into Brooklyn @ Glasslands

This weekend, after a well-received debut US show at the Bowery Ballroom, young British “buzz band” The Vaccines gathered up some street cred by playing the hip hole in the wall, Glasslands Gallery, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Jan 22nd.

Taking the stage just shy of 1 AM, the quartet quickly hopped on the staged at the sold out show, and singer Justin Young thanked the crowd for sticking around, before launching into their ra-ra anthem, “Wreckin’ Bar.”

It almost seems a little unfair that it took me longer to write this blog entry than it did for The Vaccines to play their compact 30-minute set. Performance-wise the brevity of their songs works against them when played concurrently — with songs barely stretching into the two minute mark, my tired old ears could barely figure out when one charmingly punkish song ended and the next one started.

I’m finding it a little hard to come to a conclusion about this band — the set seemed to fly by in an instant, and the group’s onstage charisma was not incredibly arresting, but keeping in mind that this group has been together less than a year, and already produced some solid (albeit incredibly short) songs, I’d be really very curious to see them as they get more gigs under their belt and perhaps start playing around with their set lists and performance arcs.

All in all, a tasty debut — but one that had me wanting just that much more.

Setlist below.
Continue reading “The Vaccines Break Into Brooklyn @ Glasslands”

Who Was Sitting at Table 114?

So many shout outs to Table 114 on the Golden Globes. Who was sitting there? The Boardwalk Empire peeps, including Dougie Payne (bassist from Travis) and wife Kelly Macdonald (who I loved as Diane in Trainspotting), of course.

The legend that was Table 114

With those two amazing Scots, how could you go wrong?

Watch Steve Buscemi‘s win with a shout-out to “table 114”:

Other folks at the table, Buscemi’s wife Jo Andres, Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw, Tom Hanks (who later gave a shout out to table 114) and wife Rita Wilson.
Continue reading “Who Was Sitting at Table 114?”

First Music Boner of 2011: The Vaccines

I admittedly have my ebbs and flows when it comes to my interest in music, and 2010 was definitely a year in which I leaned upon my American sensibilities with interest in more homegrown talent, with genuine affections for groups that many would label “standard” indie hipster favorites — Best Coast, Wavves, Warpaint, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. — mixed with deliciously horrible pop loves like Bruno Mars. But something in the air is telling me 2011 is going to be a strong year for UK obsessions.

To start 2011 with a Brit-flavored beginning, I’m going to direct you to a band I just saw on MTVU (possibly the only MTV channel that actually plays music videos) called The Vaccines. Up until a few months ago, they didn’t even have a website or MySpace page and only just played their first London gig in October, but as soon as they had, the British press got themselves into a frenzy, hailing The Vaccines as the leaders of a new wave of (British) music.

With lead singer Justin James Hayward-Young‘s ties to successful acts like Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling, and Noah and the Whale, the band already has a head start in terms of respected industry buzz, but it remains to be seen whether the four piece will fare just as well here in the States. Sink or swim time comes in just a few weeks with their first New York City shows at Bowery Ballroom and Glasslands on the 20th and 22nd respectively. 32ft/sec is predicting a US win, while Soundbites is cautiously hedging his bets with a wait and see attitude. I’m on the hopefully optimistic side, their song “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra),” really winning me over with it’s fast, upbeat tempo, and the perfectly situated extremely British “crowd chanting section”. I’m rooting for these guys.

Mesmerizing twirling disco ball music video for “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)”:

More on The Vaccines: Drowned in Sound, My Old Kentucky Blog