Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Regina Spektor - Hammerstein Ballrom 10/16/2007

What a incredible talent. Who needs a full band when you have a piano and Regina Spektor? My only regret is that this was my first time seeing her live. I am so jealous of the people who got to see her in smaller venues (with seats) before she was selling out 5000-capacity shows in NYC. If you are in love with music - with sound, really, and all its potential - you have to see this woman perform live. The way she dives inside sound and lingers to play around is pure joy. Oh, and she's just lovely in her quirkiness, sass and humility to boot. My Russian Jewish immigrant roots are radiating pride today.

Dan Lynch (nyctaper) was kind enough to post a really awesome recording of the show for flac download. Check it out. You can get the flac software you need here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Got An All Girl Band

VH-1, 10 pm, tonight. The Salt-N-Pepa Show PREMIERE. These ladies' music is rolled up with memories of everything from Young's Regency Roller Rink to high school trigonometry class and senior week to, oddly enough, Brian Boitano's 1988 gold-medal winning performance.

I've heard the VH-1 show is actually pretty good. It's been added to my DVR. No matter what, I'm psyched to hear that they might be reconciling and maybe getting back together to make more music after... what has it been, a decade!?

Friday, October 12, 2007

The National at Terminal 5 Last Night

Craig, Rich & I went to check out The National & the new venue, Terminal 5 last night... I had wanted to catch St. Vincent live too, but we only got there in time for her last song. Seems like she really did start on time! Bummer, but to be honest, the few minutes I did hear were disappointing. I don't know whether it was just that her mic wasn't turned up high enough or whether the sound was intentional, but the song was really electric, with her singing like an afterthought shadowing the guitar, in a not good way. I like her album, her voice, her guitar talent, her songwriting ... anyway, I think I'd like to see her in a different setting. The Terminal 5 (industrial, steel cold), two minute version of Annie Clark was not what I expected.

So, yeah, Terminal 5... industrial, steel cold, cavernous (3 ridiculously high floors), still kinda feels like a construction site, excepting the random chandeliers... the good news is that the soundsystem is MUCH better than say, ha, Webster Hall's. No, really, the system is good. The place definitely has an urban club feel. It's huge - bigger than I expected and bigger than I'd really prefer. Maybe I'm getting old or something, but I really go for Bowery Ballroom and smaller these days. The sight lines are good at Terminal 5 though - have to give them credit for that. Except of course when the 6'5" dude forces space for himself in the spot right in front of me, just as the set begins - which seems to happen to me at every show I go to lately. From afar, they don't see me and think there's an open space there and then claim to not be able to leave. Being short sucks.

SO, the National: it was the first time I saw them live somehow (they've only played like a hundred shows in NYC in the past year), and I enjoyed their performance. I expected to be blown away, because I love their latest album, and I wasn't exactly blown away, but they're definitely a solid band. Rich "liked them, but didn't love them". Matt Berninger kind of came across as mumbling many of his lyrics live - and sort of spill-speaking them instead of singing them more often than I would have liked. Rich's take is that he relies too much on the tone/style of his voice more than his actual voice/singing - that may be fair. Overall, though, the band as a whole is a great combo of Dylanesque, pared-down grit and substance and U2 larger than life orchestration and inspiration. Old and new. Crazy violinist, reliable drummer, guitars that can both wail and lullaby, and sometimes (my perennial fav), slick horns. I'm not obsessed, like some in the audience CLEARLY are - but I dig.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I Can't Help Myself

I know I know .... he should most likely be in jail, and I feel kinda guilty for posting this, but, for some reason, this song and this video just crack my s*t up. Thank you to Gawker and to Idolator for drawing the youtube to my attention. The song itself has been amusing me since the CD leaked... and now everytime I hear it I think of riding back from Lake Placid when it startled our half-marathon compadres Jeremy & Shoko in its popping up via my IPod shuffle.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Not Even Close To As Good As DIAB...

but still pretty funny: