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New York, New York, United States
"Life isn't divided into genres. It's a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shows 'n' Shows

I've been to an absurd amount of shows in the last month. And the best part of it is (though not surprising) they all pretty much knocked my socks off. I don't actually wear socks that often but if I did, they'd be lying in smithereens around my ankles.

First up: El Ten Eleven

I saw them at this great venue, 92YTribeca. It's part cafe, part art gallery, part music venue and part club. ETE is purely instrumental...two guys...one guy on electric guitar (with about a grillion pedals) and the other on drums. Great, smooth sound...more uptempo than Explosions in the Sky but not as funky as Ratatat. Thanks in part to the loop pedal, these two dudes provide remarkably rich melodies with danceable beats. Personal favs: My Only Swerving, I Like Van Halen Because My Sister Says They Are Cool

Arliss Parker

So this guy (Chris Parker) is actually a good friend of my chum, Manda the Panda, who's in the Eskalators. I saw him and his band play at the Glasslands Gallery in BK. The venue is cool...funky decor, cute bartender and I enjoyed slapping the free peanuts out of my roommate's hands. (seriously people, don't eat bar nuts, that's just foul.) Anyway, back to Arliss Parker. Manda played me some of his stuff and I was hooked. Like El Ten Eleven, it's purely instrumental. Smooth, dreamy and downtempo, Parker utilizes the guitar, synth, glockenspiel (nice!) Big, big fan and I hope he goes far. Personal favs: Taken to Antrim, Oh My

The Rub at First Fridays at the Guggenheim

This was my first Guggenheim experience and my first First Friday experience. Definitely a good time but probably not something I'd repeat anytime soon. I mean a) it's pricy and b) the crowd was a little....weird. They were all dressed to the nines and about 10-15 years older than us. And while people were dancing, it was really only a small contingent by the dj booth. I was expecting everyone to get down, PS1-style. (maybe they should have turned off the lights..?) The music in the beginning was great, but then toward the end of the night, they started playing top 40 bs. WHY?? Dj ayres even admitted to it in this blog post but didn't give a reason why. But anyway, besides that, the Gugg is a fantastic place to have a dance party...maybe we went on a sorta off-night.

Melpo Mene, Loney Dear

So this was an impulse decision on my part. These two Swedes played at the Mercury Lounge last week and I am so glad I went. To be honest, the stuff on their albums is kinda...boring. As my buddy Eugene so tastefully put it, they're just plain, acoustic, "vagina-music." Fine. But their stage presence is what really blew me away. They roped in the audience with their wit, charm and broken English. Erik Mattiason (Melpo Mene) didn't even have a backing band...the poor guy used his ipod but he charmed us all with his shy-guy act, the string of xmas lights he wrapped around the mike, and his lovely acoustic rendition of MGMT's "Kids." Emil Svanängen (Loney, Dear) is heartbreakingly guileless. He loves to play his music and he loves for his audience to sing along, to clap, to smile. A couple times I was actually moved to tears.

Tonight, School of Seven Bells is playing Mercury Lounge and I'm debating attending that. Their album, Alpinism, is hands-down awesome. (Personal favs: Conjurr, Half Asleep) Check out the promo video from their label, Ghostly International.

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