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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Deep Thoughts On the End of The White Stripes

Letting go of the past and looking toward the future can sometimes be a really tough thing to do. I know because I’ve been doing a lot of that recently. As I get older I see how important it is that we keep moving, keep changing, and not let fear or familiarity prevent us from doing something new and exciting. When you’ve had special times in your life — days, months, even years of happy moments, events, or milestones — you tend to put them up on this pedestal. Some of us like to think fondly upon those times as “the good ol’ days,” and I think, “man, it just doesn’t get any better than that!”

And there’s nothing wrong with remembering things as they were, as long as your can accept that part of looking at the past is just that — reminiscing at something that once was, but is no longer.

To me, the end of The White Stripes — a band I’ve both loved and admired for nearly ten years — is of course bittersweet. I think I speak for a lot of fans when I say that I am sad to see Jack and Meg announce the end of their remarkable run as one of the greatest American rock ‘n’ roll bands ever to exist, but I understand why they would want to call an end to the band. I’d rather have them go out on their own terms, while they’re still on top, rather than see them produce albums that their hearts weren’t into doing 100%.

These two kids produced six albums worth of some truly amazing music. I remember in the early 2000s I would literally listen to White Stripes songs over and over and over every waking hour of the day. The simplicity, the power, the raw energy of their tunes would take me to another place. I would pour over bootleg and live recordings, imagining myself there in the crowd.

When I listen to their early recordings I always get shivers down my spine and my heart thumps just a little faster. When I think of my favorite White Stripes songs like “The Big Three Killed My Baby,” “Expecting,” “Now Mary,” I can actually feel my body enliven itself. Over the last 10 years or so that I’ve been a fan, the White Stripes’ music has given me so much joy — I know that seems really very sappy, but it’s absolutely and honestly true.

I’ve also had so many happy memories from the many times I’ve seen Jack and Meg live. Probably my favorite show was when they did a free show on October 1, 2002 at Union Square Park here in New York City.

Here’s what I had to say at the time:

THE BIG THREE KILLED MY BABY!!!!!!

THEY PULLED THE PLUG AT 1 O’CLOCK, AT THE START OF “BOLL WEEVIL”, BUT JACK KEPT SINGING. THEN HE TOLD EVERYONE TO BE QUIET, AND SANG A TRUNCATED VERSION OF THE SONG TO THE CROWD W/OUT A MIC. THEN EVERYONE CHEERED. THEN EVERYONE BOOED NISSAN AND THE COUNTING CROWS. HOPE YOU ALL HAD FUN!

The weather was to die for today. It was like summer. It was beautiful. You were all beautiful. I love you.

And that’s how I’d like to end this post, “It was beautiful. You were all beautiful. I love you.

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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1980s Flashback: Puffball Popple

I have tons and tons of old paraphernalia at my mom’s house, and I’ve been going through some of it and some of the stuff I saved is just too good not to share with the rest of the world. So for your first installment of “Stuff I’ve Saved” I brought out the big guns — my 1980s Popple. This one was called Puffball — it was one of the original nine Popples that came out.


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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.

Happy 2011!

Wishing you the best for this brand new year! Raise a glass to 2011!

Last night I was told by several people that I needed to fuel my growing obsession with Jesse Eisenberg by watching Adventureland again, despite my hatred for Kristen Stewart. But much to my horror, it’s not on Netflix instant. A slight setback for 2011, but I’m still optimistic.