Mike Skinner: Fit and He Knows It

The Streets show tonight at Webster Hall was beyond awesome. This show was 1000x better than the last time I saw them at Irving Plaza. First off, Mike Skinner insisted on getting the audience drunk, pulling out a bottle of whiskey, climbing atop the barricade and pouring it into the mouths of the kids in the crowd. Whhhaaatt??!?!

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Mikey was looking fit, decked out in a pristine pair of his limited edition Reebok Classics sneakers dubbed the “Streets Workouts” (see above — only 300 made, 50 for sale), a white undershirt, Levis 501 jeans, Gucci belt, and tastefully dripping in some impressive bling (see below). [EDITOR’S NOTE: Read my correction on the labeling of the photo]
the streets webster  hall

Pranging’ Out/ Don’t Mug Yourself/ Let’s Push Things Forwad/ All Goes Out the Window/ Same Old Thing/ It’s Too Late/ Could Well Be In/ Too Much Brandy/ When You Wasn’t Famous/ Never Went to Church/ Turn the Page/ War of the Sexes/ Has It Come to This/ Blinded By the Lights/ Weak Become Heroes/ Dry Your Eyes. ENCORE: Fit But You Know It

There were some snippets of “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” by Arctic Monkeys and “Don’t Cha?” by the Pussycat Dolls sung during the show, and Mikey kept mentioning various thoughts on the joys of poker and how he’s going to do the New York City Marathon this year in November. This was part of the reasoning behind pouring liquor into the audience–he was attempting to eliminate competition by getting other NYC marathon runners wasted. He also kept asking the audience, “DO YOU TRUST ME?” Yes we do Mike, yes we do.

Other memorable moments of this, the last night of the Streets tour, included Mikey demanding the audience on the ballroom floor to get “low” (meaning squat down) when the drummer stood up, and then leap up into the air and jump around when he sat. He threw a plastic cup full of vodka into the mezz, hitting some kid in the head. Later I heard the kid say it bounced off his head, but he still got alcohol in his mouth.

He put the mic up to some girl in the front row and asked her to give him some advice for training for the marathon. She slurred, “Your fit, but you know it!” Then Mikey said, “I have no idea what you just said.” Then he put the mic up to her again and she screamed something like, “WE LOOOOVEEE YOUUUU MIIIKEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYY!” to which he said, “You’re scaring me,” as he took the microphone back and launched into “Fit But You Know It.”

He proceeded to demand that the bottle of vodka and the bottle of whiskey be completely emptied out by the end of the song…No IDs necessary thanks to your friendly local bartender, Mikey Skinner.

During the song almost everyone on stage took of their shirts. When the backup singer threw his into the audience, the guy behind me caught it, and then when he threw Mikey’s into the crowd I saw a man LEAP into the air and snatch it. Mikey didn’t jump from the balcony, like he’s done a few times on the tour, but he did jump into the crowd from the stage…shirtless. Mikey Skinner is THE SEX.

BTW, the ladies weren’t the only one thinking that…I saw some dude throw his arm around the guy next to him and the side hug-ie stopped dancing and gave him a weird look. When I told Jeff about what I’d just witnessed, he said, “the guy behind me also did that.” Whatzup manlove at the Streets?

Speaking of “manlove”, check out more reviews over at Music Snobbery.

the streets webster  hall

Guillemots Cover The Streets

I absolutely LOVE The Steets and I absolutely LOVE the Guillemots. So you can imagine how stoked I was to find out that the Guillemots have covered “Never Went to Church” off of The Street’s latest album, The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living. It appears as the b-side to their new single, “Made-Up Lovesong #43”, which drops June 26th in the UK. [The Streets version drops today.]

The cover version is amazing. I know a lot of people don’t particularly care for Mikey Skinner‘s song delivery, but if you still cannot say that he is a fantastic songwriter and lyricist after listening to this very pretty version of “Never Went to Church”, then I have pity on you–pity on you for your inability to recognize greatness.

If you remember, I was totally bowled over when I saw the Guillemots at Bowery Ballroom in May. I am dead serious when I say that this band is amazing live. Start keeping tabs on when and where they are playing because you have to see it to believe it.

DOWNLOAD: “Never Went to Church” by The Guillemots

WATCH: “Never Went to Church” video by The Streets

WATCH: Mikey Skinner explaining why he wrote “Never Went to Church” or DOWNLOAD the zip file

Reading Festival: It’s Like Someone Sucked Out My Brain and Put Together the Lineup

Have you seen the lineup for this year’s Carling Weekend: Reading Festival? I nearly cried when I took a look:

Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, Belle & Sebastian, Fall Out Boy, The Subways, Panic! at the Disco, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, The Streets, Dirty Pretty Things, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Futureheads, The Cribs, Wolfmother, Placebo, My Chemical Romance, Maximo Park, The Rakes, The Kooks, and many more.

With a lineup like that I’ve got half a mind to attend…but I’ve never been to a festival before and I want to know more about what they are like. I think we’ve all seen those bonker photos of tents floating away in the rain, and mudcovered teenagers who look like they haven’t slept in a few days.

But for those of you who have actual first-hand experience, do you have any tips or stories to share? Did you camp? Where did you travel from? Was it just great fun, or was it just a big fat mess? Would you recommend attending, or skipping it in favor or something less…massive.

Or are you actually planning to be at this year’s festival? I’d love to read your comments.

“Stop F-cking Pop Stars, Michael” and Other Words of Wisdom from the New Streets Album

The tabloids are sure to be producing a nuclear-plant worthy smoke stack due to the amount of heat being generated regarding “When You Wasn’t Famous,” the first single off The Streets’ new album, The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living. The song centers around a supposedly true tale of Mikey Skinner trying to date an unnamed female pop star. (He also alluded to the pop star on the “Banquet” Remix (Bloc Party) he did as an apology for stealing Jo Whiley’s microphone during a 2003 interview.)

But hold up–it’s not all fuzzy wuzzies and romance. Skinner blames camera phones for impeding his ability to snort a line of coke in front of strangers and he remarks how “amazing” the pop star looks on CD: UK after a night spent having sex and doing drugs with him.

Want more? Grab the kids ’round the computer and check out the stylish video for the song which features Mikey checking into (and eventually out of) a rehab center. See him wear “Miami Vice”-worthy white- and an orange Creamsicle-colored suits, go to a group therapy session, try to pick up a pretty lady, text message for his getaway car, and have his manager scream “Stop f-ckin pop stars, Michael!” via his mobile phone.

Ok, don’t grab the kids.

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VIDEO: “When You Wasn’t Famous” by The Streets

Want to find out more about the upcoming album? Read this preview from The Guardian and check out this MTV UK article.

The Streets: Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living

Tonight I went to a listening party at Fontana’s for The Streets‘ new album Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living, which drops April 10 in the UK and April 25 in the US. See, the problem with listening parties is every time I go to one, I just end up talking to people rather than listening to the music. Bringing together publicists, label people, and music writers (not to mention the presence of alcohol) is kinda a bad idea if you have the intent of really taking note of the music playing. So basically I have nothing to report on the new sound of Mikey Skinner, who btw, is one of my favorite artists. I am a bad reporter.

However, what I can tell you is The Streets’ new single “When You Wasn’t Famous” drops in a month and 12 days. (I know this because the official Streets site has a countdown ticker.) One of the tracks on the album will feature a choir. And the video for “WYWF” was filmed with Skins in a rehab clinic. I know these things because I read the Streets blog on Myspace. You can too.

On a related note, you can check out photographer Ewen Spencer‘s show “Open Mic” for a return exhibition in London now until March 3, 2006 at the Social Sciences Building, City University, St Johns St, London EC1. It’s open 10am – 8.30pm Monday to Friday. Free admission. Can’t make it to the show? You can buy the book. It’s 64 pages and includes some words by Mikey Skinner.

This Past Week In a Few Paragraphs

The week that was started off last Thursday at Le Prom de Ultragrrrl thrown by SPIN (see right). Stepping inside Rothko, we instantly felt like we stepped into indie prom heaven. Boys in penquin suits and ladies in fancy dress. The Killers provided live music, all the while decked out in formal attire. It was awesome.

Mine, all mine

Let us note that Rothko has like no ventilation system whatsoever. Because of that, everyone ran outside as soon as The Killers played their last note. 45 minutes after we stepped outside we were thrown on top of a car and molested, had our ass grabbed, and had our ass kicked. This is what happens when you let friends drink vodka.

Friday it rained like a motherfucker. Just complete downpour which thrwarted plans to go see Farenheit 9/11. Instead watched Unhook the Stars and One Night In Paris. One Night In Paris was absolutely wretched. The dude, what’s his name? Rick Soloman? He does commentary before each of the four segments on the DVD. He’s all like, “Oh in this one Paris is real shy because it was our first time filming”, blabhalbhalbah. What an asshole! Paris darling, why you keep pickin’ up trash? (See Nick Carter.)

Saturday while eating brunch we gawked over the prettiest boy in a New York band then tried to see Farenheit 9/11 again. Unsuccessfully. We walked over 100 blocks and then we went to MisShapes for Karen’s Birthday/Open bar/Killers listening party. The moral of Saturday evening was don’t let us drink vodka, even if we look really cute doing it.

Sunday we finally saw Farenheit 9/11. Our “President” is a fucking moron. Later we watched the worst movie to come out last year, Love Actually. Who let that piece of crap get produced? Dear lord, it was awful!

Monday we saw Surefire headline Mercury Lounge, which was totally awesome. There were totally groupies up in the front. It was totally rad.

Last night we saw The Streets and Dizzee Rascal. We have no fucking clue about anything Dizzee Rascal said but it was fun. The Streets were superfly, and the last song of the encore was “Don’t Mug Yourself”. Mikey threw raw vegetables at the audience. Hooray.