Sondre Lerche’s Astralwerks Office Performance

Tonight I was lucky enough to be invited to an intimate performance by Sondre Lerche at the Astralwerks office here in NYC, where he debut material off of his new album Duper Sessions.

It was the first time he was performing the material sans his band, the Faces Down, so he was admittedly nervous. On top of that, he was working with a new guitar he bought in Japan (that the seller said was American) that refused to stay in tune.

But as per usual, Sondre made cute corny jokes and sang sweet-sounding songs, so it was all good. He commented on how lovely it was to perform in a place that had so many posters of himself tacked to the walls and that he was very popular in the office building for some reason. The best corny comment was when he intro-ed his cover of “Night and Day” by Cole Porter by saying “Cole Porter…he’s like the new…Bravery.”

SETLIST
The Curses/ Minor Detail/ I’m Not From Here/ Once In a While/ Dead End Mystery/ Human Hands/ Everyone’s Rooting For You/ Night and Day/ Call It Love

sondre lerche at astralwerks office

sondre lerche at astralwerks office

sondre lerche at astralwerks office

Sondre Lerche Plays Housing Works on March 10th

Hooray! Sondre Lerche is doing a special solo show at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe on Friday, March 10th at 7:30 as part of the “Live from Home” benefit series with proceeds going toward fighting AIDS and homelessness in NYC.

Tickets go onsale at the store and Web site tomorrow, March 1 at $25 a pop. Paul Brill is also on the bill. It is sure to be a special event in a great space!

Sondre Lerche Has a New Album and a New Tour

Yesss! My favorite Norweigan songster, Sondre Lerche, has got a new album coming out called Duper Sessions and he will soon be in NYC to help promote it. April 6, 2006 at the Bowery Ballroom to be exact. Tickets go onsale Wed at noon.

Here’s a track listing of Duper Sessions:

01. Everyone’s Rooting For You 02. Minor Detail 03. Across The Land 04. The Curse Of Being In Love 05. Dead End Mystery 06. Night And Day 07. Once In A While 08. The More I See You (US: Human Hands) 09. (You Knocked Me) Off My Feet 10. (I Wanna) Call It Love 11. Nightingales 12. I’m Not From Here 13. You Sure Look Swell

And here’s Sondre’s summary of how the tracks sound:

Track 1: up tempo, track 2: slow, track 3: very up tempo, track 4: up tempo, track 5: slow, track 6: up tempo, track 7: moderate, track 8: up tempo, track 9: really slow, track 10: up tempo, track 11: slow, track 12: up beat, at least, track 13: slow.

Ahh yes, that clears stuff up Sondre. 😉 Judging by the album cover (below) looks like a cute little crooner album. I look forward to hearing the Faces Down Quartet!

sondre lerche duper sessions

Sondre Lerche Plays at Sound Fix

I can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon than shleping it all the way to Williamsburg then sweating alongside 100 other people in a jam-packed room in order to see Sondre Lerche perform some great new songs at Sound Fix.

Right now I’m sweating too much and traumatized by the non-working L train to do a write up. Will tell all later.

UPDATE: Ok, now that I’ve had sufficient time to sleep and cool down from yesterday’s Brooklyn adventure, I can explain my experiences in a more level-headed fashion.

So I got up before 10 AM on Saturday in order to try to get tickets to Coldplay at MSG in September. (Unfortunately, Ticketbastard prevailed and I was unable to get suitable seats, so I’m going to have to throw my hat out to Lady Luck and try to score some tickets another way.) I went back to sleep around 11 and then didn’t get up until 2:30 PM. “Gotta get up to see the Sondre Lerche,” my internal monologue said. So I arose from my slumber and tried to get myself together.

I stopped to think for a moment where I was going, “How the heck do I get to Williamsburg from here?,” I asked myself. “Lemmi check to see if the L train is even RUNNING.” To my dismay, when I checked the service advisories the L train was in fact not running to Brooklyn this weekend. Malarky! When my friend arrived around 3 PM at my apartment in order to head over to the show, I told him of the transportation set back and he suggested we take the JMZ to Marcy Ave., so we did, seeing as how that was the only logical way to get to Brooklyn.

When we got out of the Marcy Ave. stop around 3:45 PM, there was a shuttle bus running to the L train stops. As I was on the bus, I got phone calls from my other two friends who were asking if I had arrived at Sound Fix yet. I told them no, and asked if Sondre had gone on yet. He hadn’t. I told one of them, “Well tell him he can’t start until I get there.”

When I got to Sound Fix, I could already hear Sondre singing over the speakers in the record shop part of the store. I headed to the hallway which leads to the café in the back, but there was mass congestion. Loads of short indie girls in tank tops and flip flops piled up against one another, none of whom who could seem to fit their small little frames into the performance space due to the fact that it was so crowded inside. On top of that, it was ridiculously stuffy and hot–I started sweating like Ruben Studdard.

As I stood in the hallway with the vague hope of somehow getting inside the back space, I could hear Sondre singing new songs like “She’s Fantastic,” an adorable song in which Sondre describes seeing many charming and pretty girls, but none of who can compare to his lady love because “she’s fantastic” and unlike any other. This song may or may not be about his adorable girlfriend, but it probably is about her. There was also another new song called “Happy Birthday, Girl” and loads of others who’s names I did not catch.

I eventually did make it inside of the performance space, first snaking my way through the packed back of the room and finally finding plenty of room available by the banquets along the side of the wall.

Sondre talked a lot about loving Williamsburg. He told a story about how he has a sign in his apartment that says “You’ll Never Leave,” meaning once you come to Williamsburg, you’ll never leave, and how it makes his guests a little bit nervous. He also asked the crowd who else is from Willamsburg, and surprisingly enough, there was only a smattering of applause. He asked one fellow, “Where are you from?” and the man replied, “Manhattan,” to which Sondre said, “You came all this way?” Somewhere during that conversation he said something like “I thought this was supposed to be a community thing.”

He went on to say that he loves Williamsburg so much and that he wants to do more shows out there and to look out for future performances in BK. He did two songs using a distortion pedal, a tool he said that he doesn’t like that much because it’s just another thing he has to remember to do so he doesn’t sound foolish while playing.

All in all it was a great way to spend the afternoon…Afterward we headed to Relish and had hamburgers and veggie burgers and delicious shoestring fries and then later to Clem’s for a drink before heading back to civilization–aka Manhattan. What a way to spend a day! Hooray!

Sondre Lerche at Soundfix. CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

Crowd at Sondre Lerche at Soundfix

Where Do I Begin?

Gosh, so much has happened in the last week, I don’t even know where to begin! So all of the following information is in NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

Sondre Lerche at Irving Plaza 2004

Here’s one for your datebook! I was totally stoked to hear that my favorite Norwegian pop star (sorry Kurt Nielsen!), Sondre Lerche will be doing a special in-store performance at Sound Fix Records in Brooklyn, at 4 PM on Saturday June 4. And as we all know by now, Sondre Lerche has been living in BK for months, so think of this as a “hometown gig.”

Check out the new Web site for Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. Please buy the new album, Cold Roses. I love Ryan Adams and I absolutely love this album. The song “Let It Ride” is fantastic.

The Shout Out Louds

The phenomenal Swedish pop band, The Shout Out Louds, returns to the Bowery Ballroom on June 8. I managed to catch them briefly in February and was totally surprised by how great they are live. And I suppose since The Dears are the headliner to this gig, there are going to be lots of sensitive souls in the audience.

This horrifyingly weird news broke while I was away as well… The Wedgie has married country singer Kenny Cheseny after a whirlwind courtship. WTF is going on there? I’m sure Jack White (who made a guest appearance at the LA Brendan Benson show–Link from Whatevs) is taking it in stride.

In other White Stripes news, they got themselves a new Flash-tastic Web site. Check it out! Link from the Tremelo. Also, the video for “Black Orchid was shot by Floria Sigismondi, not Michel Gondry…as the rumor mill reported.

Does anyone else find it odd that Natalie Imbruglia‘s latest song is titled “Shiver”? Am I the only one who remembers Chris Martin saying in a BBC Radio 1 interview many moons ago that the source of inspiration for Coldplay‘s song “Shiver,” off their debut album Parachutes, was Natalie Imbruglia? Chris said something about being a lonely sad student and sitting at home watching the Aussie soap “Neighbors.” He said he had a huge crush on Imbruglia, who starred on the show, and wrote “Shiver” based on some remote feelings for her–a girl he would never ever meet or have contact with, even though he felt like he fancied her quite a bit.

Of course after Coldplay became successful, Chris ended up meeting Natalie at Glastonbury in 2002, where they were quickly rumored to be a hot item. (Apparently false.)

Er…did I seem like a creepy Coldplay fan just there? Sorry about that, but it’s the perfect lead-in to my next item…

Coldplay are taking over NYC next week! The lovely British lads are dishing themselves out to ever huge conglomerate they can and doing shows for VH1 (Monday), AOL (Tuesday), MTV (Wednesday), NBC–for SNL…and playing a record 5 songs!!! (Saturday). I would love to somehow work my way in to the Monday gig. If you have the means, PLEASE LET ME KNOW by e-mailing coldplay4eva @ themodernage.org. I’m a huge huge CP fan…so much so that I actually call them “CP” in real life.

There are loads of other people begging for Coldplay tickets (and one dude just wants to impress his girlfriend), but I’m a time-tested fan…

Here are some CP moments in my life:

APRIL 2001

CP at Brixton

Here’s a picture from the first time I ever saw Coldplay in 2001 at Brixton Academy in London. It was the last date of their UK tour. I remember I was so pissed off that year because during the start of the year Coldplay toured the US for the first time ever, playing shows at Irving and Roseland, but I was studying abroad in London at the time, so I missed all of them.

JUNE 2001

CP at Radio City

Here’s a picture of Chris signing autographs after CP’s Radio City Music Hall gig. It was the last night of their US tour. Grandaddy, the supporting act were totally drunk and throwing stuff out of their dressing room windows onto the people standing by the sidewalk.

DECEMBER 2001

CP at Irving Plaza

CP did a great “intimate-ish” gig at Irving Plaza. JJ72 were the openers. They did two nights. One of these nights was also the first time I met two of the boys that would go on to be Surefire.

AUGUST 2002

CP at Bowery Ballroom

MAKE TRADE FAIR” pimping hits NYC for the first time. Coldplay’s amazing gig at Bowery Ballroom. Future wife Gwyneth Paltrow was in the audience, sitting in the balcony, and when Chris sang “In My Place,” he sang it in her direction. It was like Romeo and Juliet. I think everyone vomited internally. Noel and Liam Gallagher were also in the audience and were in a jovial mood. Chris did a cover of one of their songs.

SEPTEMBER 2002

Chris and Tim at Jones Beach

Awww…Chris Martin and Tim Wheeler after their Jones Beach show.

Needless to say…I love Coldplay.

Ny2LON at Bowery

The Ligers and The Hong Kong hit Bowery on May 20.

Also…Blogpoly.

The Golden Boy Had a Golden Guitar

Sondre Lerche @ Bowery Ballroom

Sondre Lerche was part of a CMJ-Week Astralwerks showcase at the Bowery Ballroom. And of cours we had to attend in order to cheer our favorite blond Norwegian pop singer along.

As per usual, CMJ was running late, so he didn’t come on at the advertised show time of 10pm. Maybe it was 15-30 minutes later when he finally arrived on stage.

He came out wearing a plaid shirt, and “vintage”-style jeans. He also had a collection of beaded bracelets on his right hand. Perhaps a nod to the popular trend started by fashion-forward pre-schoolers around the world? After a few malfunctions with his mic stand, he started the show with “Track You Down” which he played on his beautiful golden-colored guitar. It was an instrument fit for Elvis during his Las Vegas era.

Other songs in the set included “Dead Passengers” (which he called the song that was almost “Faces Down”), “Two Way Monologue”, “Wet Ground”, “On the Tower”, “You Know So Well” (which we think he introduced as the song he’s played most at Bowery Ballroom), and “Days that Are Over”.

He surprised the crowd with a new song, which he did not give an official name for–simply intro-ing it by saying “Here’s a song you probably haven’t heard before.” The lyrics consisted of saying things like “I’d like to call it love” and we do remember he said something about a “turtledove”. It was basically a very cute song about how to know if you’re in love and/or what feels like. Very Gershwin-esque. The song structure was pretty sophisticated, with an interesting sounding bridge. It was a very pretty song, and we totally loved it.

Toward the end of his set, The Golden Republic came onstage and played as his backing band. It was the first time they were performing live together. They kicked out songs like “Virtue and Wine” (which Sondre said he never gets to play when he’s a one man show) and they ended with the traditional Sondre closer song, “Sleep on Needles”. They sounded pretty good together. We especially liked the drummer, who had a sharp, crisp playing style.

Also check out Mediaeater’s pictures of Sondre Lerche and SPIN magazine’s review of Sondre and the rest of the Astralwerks night.