Live music--what is it good for?

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Live music--what is it good for?

Post by legitimategolf » Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:41 am

I have had a rough year in concertgoing. I just got back from a "Julian Casablancas + the Voidz" show at the Hammerstein, fairly big ballroom. I am not kidding around when I say I only enjoy a few notes here and there. And I am a big fan of a lot of this dude's previous music.

The sound in the venue was bad, extremely muddled. Combined with a band that employs a lot of harsh fuzz tones, it was brutal. As usual the headliner took their time coming out on stage, half hour after the last opener. Sore back standing around on a concrete floor. The prices of all concessions are outrageous natch--$6 for a barely cooled can of coke over some shitty ice. Alcohol don't even ask.

I am so disillusioned with it all. I see most of the concert business now as just a play for the wallets of adoring fans. And why not, who could begrudge that, nothing wrong with making a living out of music, besides people genuinely love it. It's just not for me. The experience has become so tedious and stale. The same annoyances every time. Smartphones everywhere (in a darkened environment its really annoying), people singing really loud over the best songs, getting too drunk, etc. Attending a concert in 2014 feels more like work than anything. Most of the time the band itself is kind of going through the motions anyways speaking of work. If you like a certain performer it's very likely because they made a good record at some point and let's face it, for them to happen to surpass or even equal the magic onstage on a given night that was captured in the studio is rare and highly unlikely.

For me the concert I will attend will have to be something really special like McCartney, or Pete Townshend, some sort of godlike genius level performer.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by bkuehn1952 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:46 am

Living in Ann Arbor we don't get a lot of big names but there is a fair mix of different styles of music. In the last couple years I have attended everything from The Argentinian Tango Orchestra (after the first couple tangos they all start to sound alike) to Buckwheat Zydeco (hard not to get up and dance). I can laugh at my missteps since the tickets are not too dear and leaving the concert to go home is pretty easy.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by legitimategolf » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:33 am

Somehow I don't think we are butting up against the same issues in our respective live music experiences. I think my problems might be characteristic of the rock music type of shows. For me it might be an age thing. Getting too old for certain bullshit. Then again, I have always sort of felt that way inside. I can probably count on one hand the number of truly great live music experiences I've had. Often find myself bored at these events. It is a source of grief and consternation for me because I have such a deep love for music in general. Guess I just accept that I am more of a record-appreciator than a concertgoer.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:10 pm

Buckwheat Zydeco are cool. It's a fun sound that people from all ages can enjoy together. Bet it was a fun show.

Speaking of Louisiana, we are going to see NO based Quintron and Miss Pussycat on Monday at a dive soul bar up in Asheville NC (if we can get in, no advance tix) which I am hoping will be one of the best live experiences in a greasy way. Look up Quintron on Wikipedia, the guy is a genius. One man band plus organ and hi hat nf homemade analg synthesizers, his wife plays maracas and does puppet show. :)

On Tuesday going to visit the Moog factory hope to get a tour.

I'm definitely getting back into seeing live shows again, will write back after work about a nice experience about a month ago.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:58 pm

Quintron just played Ann Arbor two weeks ago - you missed it! Plus the day after his gig he had his synthesizer inventions at the Regional Library on display. I'm serious.

One of his inventions is called the Weather Warlock and it is a analog synth connected to weather reading equipment which generates a non stop droning hum based on the wind, sun, rain etc. It streams online basically non stop. I listened to it today for a short while, it was surprisingly soothing. His other main invention is the Drum Buddy, a analog mechanical/optical drum machine in basic terms.

They are in NYC (Brooklyn actually) this weekend. I know it's no Paul McCartney but its definitely is original. The first night the performance is his "other band" which is based on the Weather Warlock with additional guest musicians playing along - on the bill this weekend is (the awesome) Nels Cline on guitar and Sean Ono Lennon on drums among others. Again I'm totally serious. Tour dates: http://www.quintronandmisspussycat.com/tourdates.html
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:06 pm

Anyway, a few weeks ago I had a really great live show experience in Athens, GA at the famous Georgia Theatre. We saw a group called Tune-Yards. Very catchy and original stuff.

The Georgia Theatre is a classic old venue in downtown Athens, converted from a old movie picture house into a music venue and where many of the well known bands from that town called home back in the day. Trivia fact: REM shot the music video for Shiny Happy People (w/ Kate from B-52's) there.

The place burned down a couple years ago but has been rebuilt and remodeled and it the nice place to see a band I have been to. The sound system equipment was all new and very clear and not at all loud, just great "sound support". You feel a nice thump from the subs but at the same time you could hear everything naturally on stage. There are beautiful dramatic curtains and mood lighting around and it features multiple (four I think) balconies and it's really easy to see from so many places.

Tune-Yards is a music project based upon, again, a multi-instrumentalist which plays drums, ukulele, keyboards, vocals, vocal looping on the fly with pedals, and normally combinations at the same time. The backing group were fantastic - two backup female singers/dancers, another chick playing drums (also while standing) and a bass player/keyboard player. Very original and professional. Has kind of a african influence. They have several very popular videos on you tube.

edit: misspelled "Georgia" ... :roll:
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by JPJ » Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:11 pm

Gigs are great, but the audience can be a PITA. Last gig I went to was Anathema and I have to say the crowd were actually pretty cool.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jattruia » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:15 pm

I'm trying to get back into concert going. The past couple months, i pretty much went to two shows that were polar opposites. First we saw McCartney at Phillips Arena (home of the Atlanta Hawks.) It was awesome, as one would expect. Also, tickets were ridiculously expensive (also expected.) It was well worth it to see a loving legend.

Then, a couple weeks later, i saw my new favorite band, J. Roddy Walston and The Business at a little intimate venue called Terminal West (the were just at Brooklyn Bowl a few weeks ago, too.) There were only a couple hundred people there and the venue and acoustics were awesome. J Roddy put on a hell of a show. It was loud, energetic, in your face. Loved every minute, and i'd go again in a heartbeat. To top it off, tickets were $15 and beers were $5.

I'm starting to think that's the only way to get a really good show in. A lesser known band in a small venue. Once people catch on and they get super popular, something's lost in the concert going experience.

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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by legitimategolf » Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:28 pm

jattruia wrote:I'm starting to think that's the only way to get a really good show in. A lesser known band in a small venue. Once people catch on and they get super popular, something's lost in the concert going experience.


My experience suggests same. Not to say great shows don't happen at the big scale, corporate type venue level, but maybe they're more the exception.

jfurr wrote:They are in NYC (Brooklyn actually) this weekend. I know it's no Paul McCartney but its definitely is original. The first night the performance is his "other band" which is based on the Weather Warlock with additional guest musicians playing along - on the bill this weekend is (the awesome) Nels Cline on guitar and Sean Ono Lennon on drums among others. Again I'm totally serious. Tour dates: http://www.quintronandmisspussycat.com/tourdates.html


(testing out multi-quoting function) Speaking of Lennon, McCartney, Brooklyn Bowl... earlier this year saw Cibo Matto (NY japanese art pop band) there and saw Sean Lennon walk thru the lobby. I was starstruck. That's the power of the Beatles man. I don't even really like Sean Lennon, and I've even seen him perform before, but seeing up close was weird. He looks a lot like the dad. I'll be straight with you guys, I more or less worship the Beatles and in that moment I guess some reality hit me hard--oh, they were actual people.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:37 pm

Quintron show cancelled! I was so bummed. Was about to split out of work to drive up to Asheville when a friend up there went by the bar to check on tickets and found out it was cancelled. So we dropped the plans to go up. I'm getting killed at work. No golfing either.

We have tickets to The Black Keys in a few weeks in Greenville. Yeah I know they are kind of big and sold out but I like them. Caught the taping of their upcoming Austin City Limits show streaming live on You Tube and it was pretty cool. Dig those vintage guitars and riffs.

Might go see Of Montreal in January in Charkeston.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by MattF » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:34 am

Taking my son (7) to see AC/DC when they tour next year.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by legitimategolf » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:42 am

jfurr wrote:We have tickets to The Black Keys in a few weeks in Greenville. Yeah I know they are kind of big and sold out but I like them. Caught the taping of their upcoming Austin City Limits show streaming live on You Tube and it was pretty cool. Dig those vintage guitars and riffs.


That sounds alright. I have seen their archenemies the White Stripes perform, right as they were in the process of selling out. I have to admit I enjoyed that gig. However, it was a free mid-day show in Union Square--that might have had something to do with it. Even though it was a sponsored event (nissan z sports car) it had the feel of something impromptu and cool. For just a couple of people they made a pretty good racket.

Come to think of it, one other cool live music experience of mine was a free U2 show at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge while they were promoting that "Uno, dos, tres, quatorce!" record. I guess the free part goes a long way in my perception of a gig. No, but I think each of these, the bands were a little more inspired than they'd be at a regular old tour stop. U2 showed up to the venue after having driven through Manhattan performing on the back of a truck a la the Rolling Stones. We could see them driving across the bridge and heard Bono shout into the PA "HANG ON, WE'RE COMING!!!"
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by legitimategolf » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:43 am

MattF wrote:Taking my son (7) to see AC/DC when they tour next year.


That is totally awesome. I salute you and your kid. They are going to tour without Malcolm Young? Anyways look forward to hearing about that.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:54 am

It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:31 am

legitimategolf wrote:U2 showed up to the venue after having driven through Manhattan performing on the back of a truck a la the Rolling Stones. We could see them driving across the bridge and heard Bono shout into the PA "HANG ON, WE'RE COMING!!!"


Reminds me of my favorite AC-DC tune/video

http://youtu.be/ZDCs7ijNUVM
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by MattF » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:47 am

legitimategolf wrote:
MattF wrote:Taking my son (7) to see AC/DC when they tour next year.


That is totally awesome. I salute you and your kid. They are going to tour without Malcolm Young? Anyways look forward to hearing about that.


Yeah they are. Mal is done, he's in a care facility in Sydney. Their nephew Steve has taken over rhythm guitarist duties.

It should be a lot of fun!
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:44 pm

Well last night was The Black Keys and opening act St. Vincent at the arena in greenville. On a scale of 1 to 5 I'll give it a 3.

The sound unfortunately in the big arena was awful. Maybe it was just where we were sitting, which was not close but at least in-line with one of the speaker arrays. Just loads of bass drum, no cymbals, muddy guitars and keyboard sounds. Basically all mud except for the even louder boom of the subs on the bass drum. Too bad, as in a better environment it would have been so much better.

St Vincent are quirky and different, with a odd stage persona which was pretty neat. Clearly a talented writer and musician, I suspect Annie could win a Grammy this year.

The Black Keys played well and had an over the top lights and video screen setup. Big money. The annoying thing was, and was the same for St Vincent, that the video was delayed behind the audio by at least a 1/2 second. Clearly a technical glitch as if it were due do the distance the sound travels then the sound would be behind the video. It was disconcerting to watch, no pun intended.

The music of the Black Keys is catchy but hardly original. We left before they got to the end and I'm certain encore to beat the crowd out and plus we were sick of hearing the annoying high pitched "wooo" from the drunk stupid girls on the row behind us everytime something happened, like a light blink on Patrick the drummer to do a fill, or the singer Dan say something cheesy in to the mic, or the lights do a blinder strobe. It was cool but not THAT cool, lady.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by legitimategolf » Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:30 pm

jfurr wrote:The music of the Black Keys is catchy but hardly original. We left before they got to the end and I'm certain encore to beat the crowd out and plus we were sick of hearing the annoying high pitched "wooo" from the drunk stupid girls on the row behind us everytime something happened, like a light blink on Patrick the drummer to do a fill, or the singer Dan say something cheesy in to the mic, or the lights do a blinder strobe. It was cool but not THAT cool, lady.


This guy gets it. captures a lot of how I tend to feel at concerts. Another thing, that whole encore ritual seems so corny and rote by now. Who needs it. Just play the whole damn set, all your killer material and then BAM, leave the stage with people wanting just a little more. Instead of the whole stupid "ok, we're pretending to say good night now! but really, see you in a few minutes!"
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:37 pm

Yeah, but I really do like some of The Black Key's tunes, and their thick swagger and vintage guitars and riffs and guitar and vocal hooks. It is simple songs but they have a good package. Also they are recording enthusiasts and self recorded a lot of their early releases which I respect. Nice article about them in a recent Sound on Sound magazine I picked up. Anyway, they had a well done show. It was certain people on the crowd that were irritating. I did bypass the $20 parking lot guys waving the flashlight things and went to the public parking garage right next door for $5 which was a small win. Plus we had awesome Thai food beforehand.

A couple of my buddies went to the show the night before in Charlotte, talked to one of em he said the TV displays were in sync with sound the whole time so there must have been a technical issue at the show I attended.

Next show I plan to attend is the band of Montreal who are playing in Charleston in January.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:24 am

Going to see of Montreal in Chas in a few short weeks

[youtube]http://youtu.be/HCEPcCyBOrY[/youtube]
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by legitimategolf » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:08 pm

[youtube]http://youtu.be/0Mvm6KfJDE0[/youtube]
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:02 pm

(of Montreal steak house) Weird! that I did not expect... is that a real commercial?

p.s. One of the bands I dig, but apparently Mr Legit does not, SPOON, will be on Austin City Limits tomorrow night.... I saw a sneak preview of it online and honestly it wasn't that hot. I like these guy's studio stuff but under the honest no camouflage of the live television recording it was not as slick or cool as I hoped. side note... I'm not sure if the Black Keys gig on ACL has aired yet but it was pretty good.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:06 am

I take it back. Watching the show streaming on pbs, I dig it.
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:00 pm

hey @jattruia --

J Roddy Walston & the Business are playing our city annual St Pat's concert lineup... I'll likely check em out if I wander out for that crazy fest
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Re: Live music--what is it good for?

Post by jfurr » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:38 am

Really enjoyed the of Montreal show last night in Charleston. Sold out club, kind of a smaller venue for them I believe. Doors opened at 9:00 the line wrapped around the corner and we got in at 10:30! Surprisingly it didn't feel scary crowded in there, though. I was also impressed that the people at the show were all normal people, not freaks, obnoxious drunks, hipsters, etc- kind of just normal friendly folks. The sound is alright at this place and the band, in particular vocals sounded great. Real guitar playing alt-rock, not goofy programmed synth pop like Future Islands or something.

They had an amazing video projection, lights and stage show. I mean it was one of the best "shows" I've seen. Impressive illusions with bizarre puppets and (hard to describe) characters coming out on stage and really weird psychedelic video images projected over them. Costumed characters (devils, monsters, ghosts, shape shifting giant puppets... That kind of thing). We hung at the back where I got a peek at the tech they used to run the AV stuff being the nerd I am. After the show walked up close through the confetti, feathers, and crushed beer can covered floor and I took a peek at all the stage gear (real stuff, pedals and amps) and amazed what a tiny stage all this production just happened on.
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