PHOTOS: Best Coast + Wavves @ MHOW

More shots of last night’s Best Coast + Wavves “Summer is Forever” tour stop at Music Hall of Williasmburg:

Best Coast:


Bethany led a clap along to one of her songs. And flexed some amazing arm muscles covered with tats. Those barre classes are doing your body good, girl!

But you know what I just realized that just got me super excited? Bethany was wearing one of those crystal necklaces I used to wear when I was in middle school (see below). My grandmother gave me a few of them and I thought they were sooooo cool at the time. I wonder if Bethany’s grandmother gave her her’s.


I think Bethany definitely looks better with darker hair. Brings out her eyes and looks great against her skin tone. Keep up the good (color) work!

WAVVES:

I decided if I ever have kids and one of them is a boy I’m going to give him this haircut and make him dress like this. He’s probably going to grow up hating punk rock music and end up as a Wall Street banker. I’ll fail at raising a cool kid, but succeed at having financial security in my old age.
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Teenage Dream: Best Coast + Wavves @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

UPDATE: Catch more photos in PHOTOS: Best Coast + Wavves post

So after yesterday’s White Stripes shock, I decided I should probably do the opposite of what I was going to do — you know, sit at home and cry and listen to White Stripes albums all night long. So against everything my heart and body was telling me, I decided to haul my butt out to Williamsburg to catch the Best Coast + Wavves love bug tour at MHOW.

Surprisingly, it was just what I needed. I’ll try to write more later, but the show was super fun, with Best Coast opening up tonight. Best Coast set was littered with clusters of girls swooning and singing every lyric alongside groups of swaying (and possibly dry humping?) young love birds holding each other tight. During more upbeat songs groups of friends danced in circles and crooned the lyrics to each other as the bopped up and down. I think at one point during the show I turned to the gay (?) guy next to me and we both started singing the lyrics to “When I’m With You” to each other. Haha!

Bethany Cosentino was battling a cold, but nothing in her voice or performance seemed to hint at that. She perfectly sang every song, and even included a cover of Loretta Lynn‘s fiesty tune, “Fist City.”

Best Coast

Now to be fair, I was warned about what was going to happen when Wavves took the stage, but it wasn’t until a girl fell on top of me that I realized how crazy it was going to get. I guess the first sign should have been that one guy that came up right as the show was about to start and started screaming “GET ACTIVE! GET ACTIVE!” directly into my ear as he hoisted his arm up to the sky and the contents of his full beer started to precariously teetered toward the edges of the cup. I really I have to say, Nathan “Your Boy Wavves” Williams and his band totally brought it tonight. The crowd was amped as soon as the beach balls and silly string went flying. What ensued was basically madcap musical mayhem, with people constantly crowd surfing, jumping off railings (and at one point getting shoved off the stage by a bouncer for taking too long to jump off), moshing until their little hearts were content.


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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.
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Ariel Pink Brought the Crazy to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus — But Was No Match for PONIES!

Briefly — I went to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus tonight at Lincoln Center. All around the event was a bit uneven in it’s organization and planning, but there were some highlights. For about 25 some odd minutes, last minute headliner Ariel Pink totally confused/captivated the audience with his bizarre performance which was swiftly ended 30 minutes early when he simply walked to one of the tent exits and just kept going

With a pre-recorded music track, Ariel treated the crowd with what came across as part performance art part Ariel Pink doing Ariel Pink karaoke covers. Dressed like a one man drunken Where’s Waldo? pajama party, Ariel was a sight to be seen, slowly circling the ring with a lackadaisical walk, seemingly with no intended direction or purpose, other than to keep him from falling asleep during his own show. The act was basically exactly how I imagine it would be like if you caught Ryan Adams, during his drug-fueled days of the early 2000s, while sleepwalking and talking after a nights worth of Halloween shenanigans.

During one point of the performance Ariel decided the only way to go was up, so he started to climb one of the lighting rigs, much to the horror of the Big Apple staff:

Seemingly lost and possibly bored, Ariel also took some of the set to sit down and chat with audience members, give one concert-goer a hug, and eventually he made his grand exit by calmly walking out of the venue.


“I’ll tell you a secret — I’m not going to finish this set.”

Confounding, discombobulating, but utterly fascinating, Ariel Pink was the only act to bring a little good ol’ fashion intrigue and drama to the night.

Part of me wonders if he basically gave up on trying to compete with the herd of magical white ponies had mesmerized the crowd minutes before his own set. I’m not sure how someone is supposed to follow PONIES.

I’d like to take this moment to apologize to the girl sitting in front of me since I think I screamed “PONIES!” for 5 minutes straight into her ear while the galloping troupe of heaven sent ponies pranced around and around the ring.

Warpaint Woo the Women @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

If you were wondering where all the Brooklyn hipster women were this past Thursday, from what I observed that night, the answer likely could have been the Music Hall of Williamsburg waiting in anticipation for the four ladies of LA-based band Warpaint to take the stage. Although there certainly were men in the crowd, it was those of the female sex that really seemed to be letting out all the hoots and hollers around 11:20pm when the fierce foursome began their set.

With screams of “I love you!” and mummers of “they are so cute!” from the girls standing behind me, they ripped into their tunes. Their recently released full-length album, The Fool, is full of dark, haunting riffs layered with the sweet (and sometimes spooky) girlish vocals from founding members Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman, that I wasn’t sure would come off as particularly interesting live.

Warpaint

Warpaint

But what I found was the opposite — the women of Warpaint have an incredible band dynamic — it’s not in your face, but there is some sort of energy emanating from the group as they pound through their songs. I found their tunes had a lot more depth and power when performed live. Drummer Stella Mozgawa is a sight to be seen — a rhythm section powerhouse, churning out thumping, echoing beats that brings vibrancy and complexity to songs that seem to fall flat in the recording material.

Warpaint
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Vintage Photo of Gwyneth Paltrow Swooning Over Chris Martin

I’ve recently taken on the task of going through and tagging all my old photos, and it’s pretty hysterical the things I end up finding.

I’ve probably told the story about a very surreal Romeo and Juliet moment that all of Bowery Ballroom witnessed in August 2002, during an impossibly hard to get into “secret” show that Coldplay was playing at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom, about a billion times.

The setting was a packed Bowery Ballroom. Both Gallagher brothers were in the audience (Oasis was playing a few gigs at Roseland that week). The audience was PUMPED. And then towards the end of the set Chris Martin sang “In My Place.” The room was pitch black, except for one lone spotlight on Chris, who seemed to be singing to the folks in the balcony.

Then someone standing next to me motioned to the balcony, where future wife Gwyneth Paltrow was sitting, and we all realized that by some happenstance she was ALSO illuminated by the light — so basically the only two people in the entire venue that had lights on them were Chris and Gwyneth. It was a little awwwkkwaaarrrddd… it seemed like Chris was singing directly to her.

Well little did I remember, apparently I had snapped a photo while all this was happening. Here’s a never before seen picture of Gwyneth Paltrow swaying her hands to sound of Chris Martin singing circa 2002:

Why I never posted this photo I have NO IDEA, but I’m so glad I found it. It also calls into question the fact that on Wikipedia it says Gwynie met Chris in October of 2002, when she was at the show in August 2002. Who knows, maybe she didn’t actually get to meet him that night…but we all know what happened!

CMJ 2010: Day 4 – The Babies, La Sera, and Neon Indian

I’ll admit, by Day 4 I was hurting a little, so I took it relatively easy with a night filled with some low-key shows.

First stop was to catch The Babies, featuring Vivian Girls’ Cassie Ramone, at the FADER Fort on the Lower East Side which was sponsored by… er… hmm… I can’t seem to remember…

Next stop was Pianos to see another Vivian Girl with VG bassist Katy Goodman’s side project, La Sera, but with this group Katy gets the spotlight as front woman. Strongly influenced by ’60 girl pop, with lovely melodies and a cheery vibe, the three piece was truly charming.


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CMJ 2010: Day 3 – Braids, Lia Ices, Tamaryn

I dubbed Day 3 as “ladies night” since the three bands I’d planned to see were all fronted by women.

First up was an extremely early set by the Montreal, Quebec-based quartet, Braids, who were playing the opening spot at the showcase at Arlene’s Grocery. As the crowd waited for the show to start, they filled their bellies with cups of the Canadian comfort food poutine, which was being served in foam cups to the audience.

I absolutely loved their set. Lead singer Raphaelle Strandell-Preston kinda looks like an even tinier, dark-haired Alyson Hannigan, with a wide-eyed look and an innocent face. But when Raphaelle sings, she has a sweet yet piercing voice that can quickly turn a beautiful croon into a surprisingly edgy growl. Her voice seemingly skips, jumps, and hops slowly building swells of the keyboards, guitars, and drums. Their music is quirky and beautiful, much like the Dirty Projectors, but with a bit more playfulness.


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