28 May 2009

No Doubt/Paramore/The Sounds @ Fiddler's Green 5/27/2009

First concert in awhile, how exciting.

The Sounds are a Swedish rock band fronted by a female (as with all bands on this tour), and a bit of an 80's synth influence throughout. In many ways they're sort of reminiscent of No Doubt in fact (when they ply the 80's style stuff). As an opener, they did all that could be asked for; though most of the crowd remained seated a few were already up and dancing, and most people were at least tapping their feet or bobbing their heads in time with the music. A few songs were really solid, a few were mediocre, but I'm inspired to grab a CD by them and check it out, and everyone I was with asked if I had any of their music I could get to them, so a good crowd response without a doubt.

Paramore seems to be a bit of a polarizing band. Some people see them as the epitome of the commercialization of music, another disposable band full of lackluster musicians selling the same songs corporations like to sell to mainstream America. Those people hate fun. Paramore is fun, so thus, this explains their hate of this band. I was a bit disappointed with the new songs they played, but maybe the album will be a grower just as Riot was (All We Know was an instant like though, interestingly). The crowd drawn by this band was an interesting mix by comparison to No Doubt fans. Hipster teen girls and ex-hipster 40-ish girls...always fun to see where people will end up in 10-20 years. I was also disappointed to find out Paramore has a (pretty good) song exclusively on the Twilight soundtrack. Now the question is if I will defile my computer enough to get the soundtrack. Oh and their failure to play Born for This was a sad let down.

No Doubt was without a doubt (no pun intended) the highlight of the night. From the entertaining and elaborate stage setup, to the crowd energy, just an amazing show overall. Gwen's ability to interact with the crowd is fantastic, and the band is entertaining while still performing well and not inhibiting the musical performance. Embarrassingly, I had not heard more than half of the setlist prior to this show, but thankfully those songs were all so catchy and enjoyable that I had no problem getting into them as if I'd heard them a dozen times. The middle of the set list did drag ever so slightly, but by the time they jumped into Don't Speak they were an overwhelming force that inspired the crowd to all but spark with the electricity in the air. Just a Girl was also a highlight of course, especially when she made the women shut up (for the first time all night hah) and just had the men sing. Quite entertaining. Of course, the women blew the men away when their turn came.

16 May 2009

Love Them Now and Love Them in the Future

After I finished listening Chester French’s new album Love the Future, I honestly knew that this album became part of my favorite albums of 2009 and possibly ever! Chester French managed to include hilarious lyrics, quirky melodies, hip-hop, and rock into a thirteen track album.

The magic of Chester French does not stop at just amazing music, but they have an amazing story to tell. The duo, D.A. Wallach and Max Drummey, met in Harvard during their freshman year and found that they shared similar philosophies and musical taste. Original, Chester French were a five-piece band, but eventually they became a duo after spending their summer in Cambridge writing and producing music. It took Wallach and Drummey three years worth of writing and producing before they were discovered. Their discovery in its self is an incredible story because they became the center of a tugging war between Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Jermaine Dupri. These men are some of the biggest producers in the industry right now, to be the “thing” they are fighting for must be an incredible accomplishment!

Love the Future has such a diverse grouping of sounds that it takes the listener through all kinds of goose bumps. We get some rock and roll with “C’mon (On My Own)”, “Bebe Buell”, “The Jimmy Choos”,” Time to Unwind”, but then we are thrown for a loop with the subdued track “Fingers”…wait it’s not over yet…we get intercepted with “Country Interlude” that is a schizophrenic instrumental track with spurts of vocals mixed in with rich orchestras and electronic mixers. After we kind of get a break, “Beneath the Veil” takes us back to the old Wild Wild West. The next track is called “Neal”, which includes certain elements of country keeping with the theme of “Beneath the Veil”. The last three tacks of the album bring the listeners back to the beginning of the album with “Not Over You”, “She Loves Everybody”, and “Sleep”. Love the Future is a non-stop album that is fun and exciting to listen to!

12 May 2009

Ida Maria Introduces Punk Rock to the 21st Century!

Finally! Punk Rock is making a comeback after being dormant for so long! Ida Maria is a Norwegian songstress with outrageous lyrics ranging from the incredibly blunt to the deliciously inappropriate. She will definitely be many girls' guilty pleasure! Her album Fortress Round My Heart will be released May 18th!

01 May 2009

Piles o' Promos, Part the Second

The Vaselines-Enter the Vaselines

Their entire (albeit short) discography's worth of horniness and Jesus-confusion, through the always youthful lens of twee. By turns brilliant and cloying. ("Son of A Gun, "Dying For It," "Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam," "Sex Sux (Amen)").

The Crocodiles-Summer of Hate

Is shitgaze already going stale? Fingers crossed on 'no.' Either way, here's your archetype. Crass garage rock takes turns with ambient yawning, resulting in a resounding "so what?"

Bill Callahan-Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle

Sometimes austerity is deceptive. Slowly meandering through organic strings and snares, Callahan's baritone eventually finds inner-peace--or something like it--in orchestral lushness. PB&J may have said it out of irony, but ultimately this one is quite literally a living thing.

Rating Guide: It's like eighth grade all over again!

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