The Kooks Make Beautiful Music Once Again @ Bowery Ballroom – 6/27/11

Wow, it’s been just over three years since the last time I saw the Kooks perform live in concert. So I was pretty darn excited to see the British wunderkids at the intimate setting of the Bowery Ballroom.

Just before 10pm, the guys swaggered onto the stage, and the young ladies (let’s call them “Kookies”) in the front of course went mad — screaming and outstretching their arms before a single note was played. When I looked over at Luke Pritchard, I was pleased to see his burning love of V-neck shirts had not been forgotten after all these years — there he was in all his acute angle-loving glory, sporting a red V-neck shirt (seriously, this man has never met a V-neck he couldn’t love), skinny jeans, and boots (obvs.).

The Kooks hit the stage and the crowd went bezerkies.

I don’t know what it is, but there is something so magical about seeing The Kooks live. Without fail, I always have a great time and leave the venue with a smile on my face — and this time was no exception. I started off the show perched in the balcony, but (as anyone who has ever been to a concert with me) about 4 or 5 songs in I could barely contain myself — so I headed down to the floor to be with the “real” fans, and shake my groove thaannng.

The set was a mix of old favorites, like “Naive,” “Seaside” (encore), “Shine On,” and new songs off their forthcoming album, Junk of the Heart, like Lou Reed “Satellite of Love”-esque piano-based B-side “The Saboteur” and the extremely catchy “How D’Ya Like That“.

Pretty lights.

Continue reading “The Kooks Make Beautiful Music Once Again @ Bowery Ballroom – 6/27/11”

Anna Calvi @ Bowery Ballroom – 5/25/11

With the death of LCD Soundsystem and the re-emergence of The Strokes, of late I’ve been reconnecting/running into a lot of folks from what I like to call “the good ol’ days” — people who I met through going to shows, and being in that whole scene, during the early 2000s. For those of you who are younger, you’re not going to understand this, so let me say this very plainly — when you get old, you don’t go out to parties/concerts as much, so you don’t see people randomly all that often.

In any case, I’ve noticed that a lot of these old time friends have all been mentioning to me that they love that I still have my blog, which strikes me as extremely funny. Because telling me that it’s soooo amazing that I still do my blog is basically the internet equivalent of congratulating me on walking down a flight of stairs or being able to chew solid foods (I can still do both of those things — kinda). So yeah, you definitely realize you’ve been in the game for a long time when several folks start giving you props for doing something you don’t even really consciously think about. Don’t get me wrong, I love every person who tells me that, but it’s definitely a bellweather of my continued descent into the abyss of Old.

So as some feeble attempt to somehow rid myself of that mothball-y, musky “old people smell” I’m sure I reek of at this point, I gathered up all my strength to hobble over to the Bowery Ballroom alongside fellow old timer, Melody Nelson, to check out the hot new UK rock goddess import, Anna Calvi.

Maybe The Rapture was a couple days late?

Sitting downstairs until Anna Calvi’s 11PM set time, we reminisced about how during CMJ 2002 I fell asleep on the very black leather couch upon which we were perched, waiting for the late late show by The Walkmen. As I looked around at the crowd, it was a weird mix of lithe Lissy Trullie-type hipsters, bridge and tunnel-y people, and slightly older people of obviously discerning taste. (All the trendy kids must’ve been at the Friendly Fires show at Webster Hall.) The highest ranking celeb of the night was Mr. David Byrne, who was there with daughter Malu Abeni and some of her friends.

When the time came to head upstairs, for some reason it was impossibly hot and sweaty, despite the fact that the venue was not fully packed. But as soon as the lights went down, and the fog machine kicked in, all was forgotten and I was transported into the glamorous, dramatic, and enchanting world of Anna Calvi.
Continue reading “Anna Calvi @ Bowery Ballroom – 5/25/11”

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!

Leaked “Nobody Knows How to Talk to Children” Footage Reveals…Nothing

So long-time White Stripes fans who attended the 4-night stand at the Bowery Ballroom in 2002 may remember sketchy peeps in white lab coats running around the building, filming something. As it was revealed later, it was footage being shot for a documentary entitled “Nobody Knows How to Talk to Children” shot/directed/edited by one George Roca.

A still of Meg and Jack from “Nobody Knows How to Talk to Children”

The film only saw one public screening, at the 2004 Seattle Film Festival–despite the fact that the White Stripes did not give their approval to screen or distribute the film. A June 23, 2004 post on the White Stripes’ official site, the band made it known that they were extremely unhappy with the film, and that they had a signed contract from Roca that gave the band all rights to the footage.

According to an MTV News interview with Roca, after the band saw a rough cut of the footage, they extended positive words about the documentary–but only a short time later, the band released a live concert music video for “Black Math,” (below) which mirrored the style of the footage Roca had shown them, and the band cut off all communication.

“Black Math” (live) music video in black, white, and red.

I kinda forgot about the documentary, only hearing about it in passing–almost as it if never existed, gathering a myth of its own. I heard about a friend of a friend who had seen it, maybe, and said it was pretty cool, etc.

But it seems as though a few months ago someone had managed to get a copy of the documentary and upload some clips of it to the internet, and only recently did I become aware of it.
Continue reading “Leaked “Nobody Knows How to Talk to Children” Footage Reveals…Nothing”

Being Old Is Easier Than It Looks

As we descend further and further into old-lady-hood, we’ve discovered we’d rather watch “Miss Match,” Cody Banks, “Endurance 2,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” and the Kylie “Fever” DVD during our weekend downtime rather than partaking in the CMJ festivities by seeing The Cooper Temple Clause at Irving Plaza, trying to hit on hot boys at the Etnies party, or doing some ’80s dance moves to Grace Jones at the Paper, A|X shindig. (We do the ’80s dance moves at home anyway.)

So you can imagine everyone’s shock and horror when we dared to venture outdoors to catch British Sea Power on Thursday night as part of the Rough Trade showcase at Bowery Ballroom. True, we did leave before the set was done to (unsuccessfully) catch The Thrills at Mercury Lounge, but we were outside… so the rumors are untrue. WE ARE NOT DEAD!

Coldplay @ Bowery Ballroom, August 12, 2002 = Totally Amazing

So the Coldplay show… Gallaghers aside, it was amazing. I keep singing “The Scientist” over and over in my head (ok- that and the Nelly song, because IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE, SO TAKE OFF ALL YOUR CLOTHES).

Chris made 3 wardrobe changes… he was wearing the Chairman Mao jacket, then the Make Trade Free black tee, then he came out in the white long-sleeved polo. His hair looked hot. Chris was on fire, baby. I was hardly watching anything else but Mr. Chris Martin.

Jonny played the harmonica during “Don’t Panic,” yay!

We all held the vomit when they decided to do a Romeo and Juliet thing for Chris and Gwyneth during.. uh… what song was that? It was just so so fantastic. Wish you could have been there.

The Week of Death Continues…




The Faint @ Bowery Ballroom: Kinda Like Hell, But with Strobe Lights

The Faint @ Bowery. Ehh… Twas OK. It wasn’t exactly the best time ever. I tried to dance it up and get really into it, but just when I started to get into a song it would finish. WTF? I also got shoved around and knocked into a bit, but in a bad way. Dude- those people must have had SUPER POINTY elbows! Some girl behind me must have brought her whole entire fucking LIFE in her bag because it sure as hell was suffocating me. And there wasn’t a collective jumping up and down to the beat, it was just complete fucked up knocking into one another- not even moshing just “OW! YOU BITCH!”

The Faint

And then there was RED… When The Faint does a show, they totally believe in CREATING A SHOW. The lighting was pretty horrid. It was all red all the time because of the use of red floor lights. Kinda like hell… but with strobe lights. I almost had an epilectic fit and there was no warning! OK, not really… and the two buckets of dried ice wasn’t really working properly- which led to much on-stage discussion by the band members pre-show. The ice ended up on the sides by the stage exits. Although it was quite dark, I thought it was appropriate for their sound and look (all dressed in head-to-toe black- skinny as fuck and tall as fuck) and whatever.

The crowd at The Faint

The crowd looked like people who still think Orgy rocks. And a few hipsters. And people who probably took the train in from Long Island. And there was one punk dude with a pink mowhawk up in the balcony.

The Faint

I would have liked more audience interaction by the band. The bassist reminded my of my French teacher from last year for some unknown reason, so it was kinda bizarre watching him. I kept getting freaked out. But Phillipe wasn’t from Omaha…

I didn’t feel that connection with the other audience members or with the band, and that’s what I like and look for when I go to a show. I thought they did an OK job of like producing semi-good sounds and whatever, but there was definitely something lacking.

And their songs all start to sound the same after a while.

I should have bought an Out Hud CD. Duh.

Out Hud

Out Hud

I think I enjoyed one of the openers, Out Hud more than The Faint… with their keyboardist/guitarist that looked like the guy from Jimmy Eat World meets Jack White… and their electric cello player (ELECTRIC CELLOS LOOK FREAKIN COOL!) and that guy that did the entire intro in French, which everyone on stage found reaaaaalllyyy funnnnnnnyyyyy. There was also a plead from one of the band members that went something like, “I’M TIRED OF WORKING, GIVE ME MONEY! I know there are some of you out there with money. Trust funds, whatever….– Give us money. We’ll name a remix after you. Seriously.” I enjoyed that.

The weirdest thing of the night were the people handing out JJ72 flyers outside the venue after the show. JJ and The Faint? Not exactly the same crowd.

I miss Starsailor.

Was it cold in Toronto? Is that why James wore one of his simply GORGEOUS cord jackets onstage? Why do good people make bad fashion choices?

I’m gonna take a moment here to say TORONTO CHARLATANS/ STARSAILOR FANS TOTALLY KICK ASS! They all post pictures. I love them!