Monday, September 26, 2016

Nick Waterhouse

Is it just me, or is anyone else curiously aroused by two women playing saxophone, especially when one of the saxes is a baritone and the other a tenor?  

I haven't been this excited since Lisa picked up her axe on The Simpsons back in 1989.

Image result for lisa simpson saxophone gif

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Venus In Furs

Venus In Fears from The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) evokes a lot of semi-repressed, early-70s memories.

I was going to post Heroin from the same album, but in light of the current opioid epidemic, it didn't feel right.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fear Of Men

England's Fear of Men are on tour in support of this year's record Fall Forever, and surprisingly, the tour actually does include dates in the American South, but unfortunately not in Atlanta.  The closest they'll come to these parts is a November 10 date at the 40 Watt in Athens, which a) is a Thursday night making the long drive back and forth less attractive, and b) the same night that Warpaint will be playing Terminal West, Daughter will be playing Variety Playhouse, and Sunflower Bean will be playing the Drunken Unicorn - another of those too-many-shows-for-one-night evenings, and I've already got tickets for Warpaint.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Dirty Projectors

Dirty Projectors at Variety Playhouse, August 9, 2012
Where the hell have Dirty Projectors been?  They haven't released new music since 2012, haven't toured, haven't anything.

Until now, but the new song, Keep Your Name, hardly answers anything.  Is Amber still in the band? Any of the other singers beside David?  Is the song a new direction for the band, or an outlier?  And most importantly, when will more songs be coming?  Will more songs be coming?

According to today's oracle from the I Ching. we slowly and gently weaves our own distinctive seal into everything we do. It is an unceasing process which gives our life and all our actions their own pattern. Even an unborn child is already shaping its life. The result of this process is a character and destination which can hardly be changed anymore, like the liquid metal which is very hard after cooling down. So we should be careful with the moments when we still can shape things.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Okkervil River at Terminal West, Atlanta, September 21, 2016

After all of the back-to-back shows earlier this month, it was nice to have a week off to recuperate, or attempt to recuperate.  But that week has passed, and last night we had Okkervil River at Terminal West, with the Brooklyn band Landlady opening.

We saw Landlady once before, during Hopscotch 2014 at a day party in Raleigh's Pour House.  We liked them then and we liked them again last night, with their quirky, impossible-to-categorize music, their two drummer attack, and frontman Adam Schatz' sincere-but-not-too-serious stage presence.

About that enigmatic banner that hung over Schatz' keys - what was it that made the banner so compelling?

Look, I took a course in Subliminal Suggestion at Boston University's School of Public Communication (SPC) back in the '70s, and I know how these things work.

Once seen, it can never be unseen.  

We entered SPC to major in cinema, our head full of Hitchcock, Wells and la nouvelle vague, but we quickly learned that we were in the wrong school - SPC promoted advertising, turning out probably the last generation of Mad Men, and journalism (this was in the years after Watergate, and Woodward and Bernstein were regarded as rock stars), although they favored television news over print journalism.  As it turned out, directing, cinematography, and dramatic acting were all being taught over in the theater division of the School of Fine Arts, and I only lasted a few years in SPC, even though my classmates included Howard Stern and Geena Davis.  I didn't matriculate to the School of Fine Arts, but instead somehow wound up a Geology major, but I took a few courses in Visual Communication at SPC, and to this day my eye for the visceral was probably honed in those few years at SPC.  

Anyway, yadda, yadda, yadda - you didn't come here to hear about me. You want to know about last night's performances at Terminal West (old men like us tend to ramble in our senescence).  As we were saying, Landlady are a great band, a fun band, and deserving of wider recognition.  Check them out live if you get a chance, and/or support them by buying something off of their Bandcamp page.

But wait, there's more! (as they taught us to say at the SPC).  After Landlady, Will Scheff and the current incarnation of his band Okkervil River took the stage and played a heartfelt, two-hour set. It was marvelous.

The former members of Okkervil River have largely moved on, touched by tragedy, dissolution, and adult responsibilities, as Scheff noted in Okkervil River RIP, last night's opening song (and the opener of his new album Away). The first portion of last night's show was largely a track-by-track performance of Away, with some older material working its way into the set list as the evening progressed. 

For my fetishistic collection of Fotos of the Footwear of the Famous and Fashionable, here's Will Scheff's cowboy boots (they taught us to make liberal use of alliteration at SPC, too): 

Last night's setlist:

It was a marathon set, far longer than the set list suggests, and the band even graced us with not one, but two encores.  A lot of the new material is more somber than previous Okkervil River music, but Scheff's obvious love for the songs shined through the darker material, and he and the audience shared an emotional moment or two - or more - during the course of last night's set.

A good show, folks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

New Kishi Bashi

Kishi Bashi's new album Sonderlust, may well be his best yet, and for the creator of 151a and Lighght, that's really saying something - the man set the bar high, and then cleared it (nothing but net) with his new record.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Delerium (Flashback)

One of the best antidotes to these pre-election days of open bigotry, racial resentment, and xenophobic fears of immigrants is to immerse oneself in an appreciation of other cultures, and to find through art the soul (for lack of a better word) we all share with others.  

Delerium are a Canadian duo and not themselves Middle Eastern, but they immersed themselves in foreign culture and brought us Swords of Islam in 1989, ten years before they delved into other cultures and hit it big with Silence, featuring  Sarah Mclachlan.