Scenes from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Video Shoot in BK Last Night

The beauty of the internet is that you don’t have to actually go to events to know all about them or pretend like you’ve been there. Check out these awesome photos taken by Alix McAlpine and MyBlueWristband from the video shoot that occurred last night at Glasslands in Brooklyn for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Karen was decked out in a metalic paint splattered nudie bodysuit, Nick in gray, and Brain in black. The crowd was asked to wear black or dark colors, but it also looks like they were given black masks to wear as well!

yeah yeah yeahs video shoot

yeah yeah yeahs video shoot

Read more about the night over at Stay Cold.

The Modern Age’s Top 10 Albums of 2006

Ok, so here it goes. I’ve put on my armor. I’m ready for your biggest and best pot shots…

The point of this list is to single out the albums *I* enjoyed the most this year–this is not a list of what is cool in any way possible. It’s not an indication of what was the most popular or critically acclaimed. It may not even be my own definitive list of 2006–I don’t get to listen to every album out there, so who knows, there might be an album or two I’m missing. That’s what Top album and single lists are for right? Remember and discovering things… But just consider yourself lucky Fall Out Boy or Panic! at the Disco didn’t come out with an album this year…but just you wait for 2007…

10: First Impressions of Earth, The Strokes
It’s kind of obligatory for me to include a Strokes album on my Top 10 list every time they have a new record, isn’t it? The hometown boys thankfully redeemed themselves from their sophomoric stumble, Room on Fire, with this album full of “songs that sounds like Strokes songs…but not the annoying ones.”

Mainly produced by Grammy-winning producer David Kahne (after Strokes’ long-time collaborator Gordon Raphael removed himself from the project) this record tones down the band’s trademark low-fi, grungy sound in favor of a more refined, clean presentation–meaning the band no longer sounds like they have recorded with cheesecloth over all the microphones. The upside of the new production value is it causes the listener to pay more attention to the lyrics of singer Julian Casablancas, producing a more intimate and direct connection with the front man, but on the down side it makes the rest of the band feel like they are a removed, sterile session band dispassionately plinking and plopping down their notes. (Maybe guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. was just bummed Julian kept shooting down his songs.)

Wins on the album include the blistering “Heart in a Cage” which features guitar licks so slick they sound like they’re oozing out of your speakers and melting into your ears, and the upbeat pop number, “You Only Live Once”, is about…uh…well, does anyone ever really know what Strokes songs are about?

RELATED CONCERT REVIEW: The Strokes at Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC. March 3, 2006

9: Show Your Bones, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Where Fever to Tell was a hot sticky mess, Show Your Bones is a nice cool summer breeze–slightly warm, but refreshingly crisp. Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Brian Chase prove that they definitely have lasting power in the rock world with their beautiful album full of tragically twisted love songs (think “Maps” x10). Best tracks included the effervescent-sounding song about giving up on a damaged love affair, “Cheated Hearts”, and down and dirty interplanetary rock tune, “Phenomena”, an ode to a mind-blowing somebody.

RELATED CONCERT REVIEW: Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Maxwell’s, NJ. Feb 23, 2006

8: Through the Windowpane, Guillemots
I’m not sure what prompted me to go down to see Guillemots at the Bowery Ballroom on May 9th despite some impending death cold. I’d never heard one of their songs, and I’m not entirely sure how I heard about them in the first place. But all I know is that once I got a listen to the eccentric, ecelctic music of the multi-national quartet (members hail from England, Scotland, Canada, and Brazil), I instantly fell in love.

The song “Trains to Brazil”, sounds as though it was written and recorded by a roving band of incredibly enthusiastic tramps and scalawags as they travel by rail down the coast of some unknown land. “Quirky” doesn’t even begin to describe their sound, as they typically fill their songs with weird tweets and squeaks–all the while writing some of the most lovely melodies this side of the Beach Boys. A daring, richly layered album, Through the Windowpane gives you a glimpse into the up side of absolute musical madness.

RELATED CONCERT REVIEW: Guillemots at Bowery Ballroom, NYC. May 9, 2006

7: Spring Awakening, Original Broadway Cast Recording
The music to this album, written by pop star Duncan Sheik, with lyrics by Steven Satar, is beautifully touching, ungimmicky, and a joy to listen to–in or out of the context of its Broadway musical origin. I’ve found myself listening to this album non-stop since I’ve gotten it. Although appreciation for the music is heightened after seeing a live staged performance of the production, songs like the seductive “Touch Me” and explosive “Don’t Do Sadness” sound more like indie rock songs than they do “show tunes”. The songs’ main function is to conveyed emotion, not to show off the 8-octave range of the singer, therefore they ring truer and “straighter” than your typical Broadway fare.

RELATED SHOW REVIEW: “Spring Awakening” at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, NYC. November 27, 2006

DOWNLOAD: Interview and “Don’t Do Sadness” by Duncan Sheik (Live at Upstairs at the Square)

6: Rabbit Fur Coat, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
Jenny Lewis has the voice of an angel, and when bolstered by the smooth harmonies of the Watson Twins, her folk-country debut solo album simply soars. The melodies are simple and elegant, songs like “Rise Up with Fists” envelope listeners like your favorite comfy blanket–when you crawl up in them you instantly feel comforted and at home. Although Lewis does not have the most powerful or impressive singing voice and range in pop music, her delivery sounds honest and sincere–refreshingly removed of the hackneyed modern day crutch of self-mockery and irony. It’s a truly down-home record, and exactly the opposite you would expect from a girl who grew up as a child actress in LA, but Jenny Lewis dares to defy convention…and most importantly, dares to give us a little peek into her soul.

RELATED CONCERT REVIEW: Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins (with Johnathan Rice, Connor Oberst, Jimmy James) at Angel Orensanz Foundation, NYC. February 5, 2006

5: Broken Boy Soldiers, The Raconteurs aka The Saboteurs (AUS)
Homeboy Jack White of the White Stripes, and superbuddy Brendan Benson team up with pals (and Greenhornes members) Patrick Keeler and Little Jack Lawrence to produce an album of psychedelic 70s rock sounds and folky jams. In my personal opinion, the best songs are comprised of the “Jack White Show” songs–the slighly bluesy “Blue Veins” and the song that makes me want to blow my brains out because it’s so brilliant “Broken Boy Soldier”. With it’s use of hypnotic wailing guitar, jittery drum clangs, and Jack’s “crazy-man voice” it’s the perfect storm of ridiculously good music–a song that will haunt you in your dreams and provide the soundtrack to your most terrifying nightmares.

“Call It a Day”, a song about the painful end of a relationship, is probably one of the most heartbreaking songs of 2006–the “Dry Your Eyes” of this year. Sad, happy, angry, and lovelorn–this record has it all and shows that these four refuse to be refined to one genre of music or attitude.

The Raconteurs’ first US performance, Irving Plaza, NYC. April 7, 2006

DOWNLOAD: Interview and “Store Bought Bones” by The Raconteurs on Zane Lowe, BBC Radio 1

4: The Black Parade, My Chemical Romance
Who would have every guessed that My Chemical Romance was going to come out with an album that played like one big homage to Queen, resulting in one of the most surprising and satisfying albums of the year. My Chem manages to gracefully do a very tricky thing–stay loyal to their emo-loving fan base (the highly entertaining tongue-in-cheek anthem for teenage angst, “Teenagers”) while expanding their sound to entice an even bigger audience.

The songs are punky, but at the same time have a grandiosity that many of their peers would quiver at the thought of attempting. Gerard Way and co. went out on a limb with wacky guest singers (Liza Minnelli on “Mama” anyone???) and some crush-worthy ballads (“I Don’t Love You”) and win big time. The Black Parade is an incredible snapshot of a talented and versatile band with the completely attainable goal of becoming one of the biggest bands in the world… just wait and see.

RELATED CONCERT REVIEW: My Chemical Romance at Knitting Factory, NYC. August 31, 2006

3: FutureSex/ LoveSounds, Justin Timberlake
Just when you thought you’d gotten through all the crap, I whip out a double whammy, slapping you with the uberpop album of the year. Justin Timberlake DID bring “sexyback”, even though he admits that sexy didn’t really go anywhere, with his juiced up second album, where every track is a hit. It’s a non-stop booty bumper, with your favorite track changing every day. From the reverberating bass beats of “Summer Love/ The Mood Prelude” to the soul-flavored “Damn Girl”, to Mario-esque slow jams like “Until the End of Time”, to the instant panty dropper, “My Love” (featuring rising r&b star T.I.), there’s something for everyone on this record. It’s a crowd pleaser with innovated beats supplied by video cameo star of 2006, Timbaland. Cameron must be so proud.

2: Inside In/ Inside Out, The Kooks
From the moment I heard “Eddie’s Gun”, I was enthralled with The Kooks. Their catchy hooks and almost palpable nervous energy emanating from almost every measure. It’s simply just an infectious record of rock pop that doesn’t quite sound like anything else out there.

RELATED CONCERT REVIEW: The Kooks @ North Six, Brooklyn, NY. October 28, 2006

1: Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, Arctic Monkeys
Way back in early 2006, Arctic Monkeys was all the rage. Although they were unfortunately overexposed, and therefore a victim of backlash, a listen at their much awaited debut proved that you couldn’t deny the fact that the Monkeys had the musical chops worth the praise. Musically, the Monkeys might sound similar to many of their British peers, with vigorous guitar strumming (sometimes painfully tinny and out of tune) and spirited drumming, but who else but Alex Turner could come up brilliantly poetic lines like, “remember cuddles in the kitchen” (“Mardy Bum”) or the overtly working-class observations such as “Well oh they might wear classic Reeboks/ Or knackered Converse/ Or tracky bottoms tucked in socks/ But all of that’s what the point is not/ The point’s that there ain’t no romance around there” as described in the opening lines of “A Certain Romance”.

I think you’d be hard pressed to find an album with more unique and specific point of view of the world than the Monkeys’ first album–and to top it all off, they’re not even old enough to drink. It is for these reasons that I have to crown Whatever People Say I Am… as being the number one album of 2006.

RELATED CONCERT REVIEW: The Arctic Monkeys, Webster Hall, NYC. March 25, 2006

And honorable mentions to…

Yours to Keep, Albert Hammond Jr.
Duper Sessions, Sondre Lerche
Dying to Say This to You, The Sounds
B’Day, Beyonce
Loose, Nelly Furtado
s/t, Ben Kweller

Don’t agree with my choices? Too bad, it’s my web site. Maybe some of these other top albums lists will fit your fancy:

Brooklyn Vegan’s Top 40 (In no particular order)

2006 Gummy Awards
New York Times’ Kelefa Sanneh
SPIN’s Top 40
Pitchfork Top 50
Rolling Stone
Best of NY Music: Gothamist
The 2006 Music Bloggregate on Heart on a Stick
Product Shops Top 58’s Top Singles
Music Snobbery’s Top 10
Kelly’s Top 10
The Guardian Arts Blog Top 50

Karen O’s Favorite New “Bitch” Band and the Low Down on Simian Mobile Disco’s Coked Up “Hustler” Video

According to her blog post on Dazed Digital (a new website from the peeps at Dazed and Confused magazine), Karen O has taken to championing the all-female Austin, TX quartet, Finally Punk since she is “fond of kids without balls but spines–girls”.

Check out their cover of Nirvana’s “Negative Creep” on their MySpaz.

Watch their video for “Missile”:

Other cool stuff on the Dazed Digital site includes this vid that gives some behind-the-scenes scoop on some hip videos like “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” by LCD Soundsystem and Klaxons “Atlantis to Interzone” shot by video teamSTUSH.

I absolutely LOVE this description of the shoot for Simian Mobile Disco’s video for “Hustler”:

Simian Mobile Disco “Hustler”
Basically my sister seems to know every horny scenester in London and she managed to collect these girls together quite easily. They’re called Girl Core, but my sister calls them the international party crew. They’re basically a bunch of Spanish, French and Colombian girls who tour European festivals, take insane amounts of drugs, get off with each other and sprinkle glitter over scared indie kids. We had literally 2 hours to shoot this. The girls got drunk, coked and loved up off their faces. They said it was the best time they’ve ever had. I don’t know where the drugs came from. I’m really small and I can’t take drugs so I have to live vicariously through other people. My life is like sitting on iChat taking turns at trying to out do my friends with YouTube clips.

Want to see the results? Watch here:

Laura Sees David Frick, We See Karen O.

It’s official. Mike and I are commandeering this site. We are taking this site back to its roots of rock and roll and brit-pop and away from the pop stylings of such individuals as Justin Timberlake. From now on this site is about Lily Allen and other cute girls with British accents. We kid, we kid.

As you may know, Laura is having the time of her life over in Iceland. Nothing much is happening here in New York -, she’s only missed two of her favorite bands playing small venues in the span of three days. Tonight we report from the Rolling Stone Magazine 40th Anniversary at the Bowery Ballroom with Celebration opening and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs headlining. We will let the photos do the talking.

FULL SETLIST: Our Time / Honeybear / Pin / Phenomena / Gold Lion / Wayout / Art Star / Cheated Hearts / Miles Away / Warrior / Maps / Turn Into / Date / Y Control (by audience request) and Date with the Night – thanks Matt.

You can check out more photos at my flickr

– Bao

Your Chance to be Karen O, Brian Chase, or Nick Zinner

Got a DV tape recorder, a white background, and a love of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Then you could be featured in their video for “Cheated Hearts”:


We want to see what you would do if you were playing us in our video for “CHEATED HEARTS” off our new album. We know our fans do it like no other, now’s your chance to put us to shame.

1) Send it on DV TAPE
2) Dress the part!
3) Blast the music in the background and play or sing over it…
4) Get lost in the song make it YOURS.
5) Got guitar? mic? drums? Use’em! Got no such things? Fake it, use what you
got around the house, be resourceful yeah!
6) Do as many performances as you need, we will edit it! Try and make them
outside, etc. Do the Nick, do the Brian, do the Karen O.

Rules and video release form HERE.

I Know What I Know

And what I know is that Karen O is one of the most amazing women ever to be involved in rock ‘n’ roll. I can’t imagine anyone who was also at the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s first of two nights at Roseland Ballroom thinking otherwise.

For those who keep score, she was wearing the same outfit she wore at Coachella this weekend–which was made of the same fabric as the dress she wore when I saw the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Maxwell’s earlier this year. Karen also had some kind of gold glitter painted/stuck/glued onto the backs of her hands which looked so awesome. She also had little gold glitter triangles on her shoulders.

Phenomena/ Black Tongue/ Pin/ Gold Lion/ Honeybear/ Tell Me What Rockers To Swallow/ Mysteries/ Art Star/ Cheated Hearts/ The Sweets/ Turn Into/ Y Control. ENCORE: Maps/ Warrior/ Tick

Some may be wonder, “Was this show ANY better than those crap-tastic Bowery shows you obnoxiously moaned about a few months ago?” Well it’s kinda like comparing apples and oranges…the venue/ experience/ sound was of course 10x better at the Bowery shows, but the crowd was lame in the sense that no one was dancing or remotely excited.

Tonight’s Roseland show defo had more enthusiasm since many more people knew all the new songs, but the crowd was lame in that “Roselandy” way we are all too familiar. You know what I mean. Something about going to Roseland always brings out crazy dudes who just want to push little girls down to the ground. I saw two guys get into a fight as one guy was leaving. Seriously, who gets into fights just as they are about to go? Some drunk guy turned around, screamed at me and gave me a face full of his Jack and Coke scented breath as I walked out of the concert for no real reason. The wonderful Maxwell’s show it was not.

But I still love Karen, Nick, and Brian and their beautiful music.

I’m tired, but here’s my crappy cameraphone photo:

yeah yeah yeahs roseland

More at Music Snobbery.

UPDATE: I also want to mention that I got to see The Dirtbombs play this night as well (they were the second opener). As some commenters have noted, The Dirtbombs are a great band from Detroit, and I’ve seen them I don’t know how many times and how many different lineups. (Actually, the first time I saw them, the YYYs were opening for them at Bowery.)  But one thing remains the same, they always give a great, energetic show. One of the most memorable shows I’ve seen of there’s was at Bowery–last night of their tour. Drumkits got SMASHED, there was rafter climbing…insane.

Oh, and this week is official 2002 flashback week.

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.

From the Desk of a Bummed Out Nick Zinner

You know, sometimes I write stuff on this site and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always right. But FINALLY for once my theories have been validated by the actual band of which I wrote about. If you head over to the new Jane magazine Web site, they have some tour diary entries from your favorite e-mailing Yeah Yeah Yeahs band member, Nick Zinner.

In his entries from the Maxwell’s show and the first Bowery Ballroom show, Nick confirms my idea that the New Jersey show was great and the Bowery Ballroom show sucked balls. BIG TIME. So bad that everyone pissed me off enough to write this rant after the Friday show. To quote the guitarist:

MAXWELL’S: “Showtime. We’re escorted through the crowd, and of course, when we hit the stage, everything is fine. duh. why do i do this to myself? Its a rough, sloppy, and aggressive show, and people are screaming, jumping, dancing, sweating. We try playing an acoustic version of “maps,” which we haven’t practiced, and i butcher it trying to remember my parts on the spot, but the sentiment is there for us on stage, and seemingly strong in the crowd too.”

BOWERY BALLROOM [NIGHT 1]:We rock onstage, but unfortunately the crowd is stiff as nails, with heavy-duty lead in their shoes. The Bloggers in the front row keep their arms crossed for the whole show even though we are playing our bleeding hearts out, and sweating gallons. We’re trying out mostly new material for the very first time which could explain the collective reservation, but both the Maxwells Show and a few older songs disprove this theory. Its interesting how a crowd is always unpredictable up until the actual moment of the show, and there is always a unifying factor that spreads through the room like a bad case of herpes.

Dude, I’m still kinda disappointed by the lack-luster crowd-enthusiasm that night. The second night was slightly better–I even forced everyone around me to start 2 clapping rallies before the encore, but it still wasn’t as much fun as the NJ show or most of the past YYYs shows I’ve been to at the Bowery.

I just do NOT understand how a room full of 600 people who managed to get a ticket to the hottest show in town could just stand there for an hour and be totally unfazed and uninterested. Was everyone there just not really a fan of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and just wanted to be “cool” and say that the new stuff really wasn’t as good as the old stuff and that you much preferred the band when they weren’t signed to a major label? AUGhHH! Booo!

Oh and just let it be known I was in the 3rd row at the Bowery show, not the first.

yeah yeah yeahs maxwell's