Records and Concerts and Life In General
During these past arctic weeks in New York, my CD deck has been keeping warm thanks to a heavy rotation of Tomahawk, The Damned, TV on the Radio, Cocteau Twins, Zappa, R.E.M, Replacements and Cure B-sides.
My new favorite artist is Kristeen Young (www.myspace.com/kristeenyoung). Wow. Imagine Kate Bush stripped down to a Dresden Dolls-esque presentation style and given an economical but modern production makeover, and you might be in the same room with this phenom. But she's really got her own thing. Plus she designs her own gowns, which make Bjork look like Martha Stewart. She's earned the breathless praise of Bowie and Morrissey (both of whom she has recorded with, btw). Big thanks to Joe W. for turning me on to this music!
I got a chance to see the great Marshall Crenshaw a couple of weeks ago at the Highline Ballroom and not only that, I sat right in front of the man. What a treat! To me this guy is as great a pop/rock songwriter as any other, and I grinned ear-to-ear, $7 Stella in hand, as he and his band (bass, vibes and drums) ripped through a set of solid gold tunes from past and present. Marshall burns on guitar, too. It's no wonder he's been playing for the post-millenial MC-5 of late. It's criminal that more people don't know this guy's music. I strongly urge you to pick up Rhino Records' flawless The Best Of Marshall Cranshaw: This Is Easy if you've never indulged.
On the opposite end of the quality matrix was Crystal Castles' New Years Eve shitshow at The Williamsburg Music Hall. What a waste of 40 bucks. I like CC's clever, cut-up garage electro recordings as much as the next guy but their "live" show was a farce; in the first song, the singer's mic went on the blink and nobody bothered to replace it. Not that it mattered; all she does is scream and the chorus vocals are all piped in from a laptop. So nobody, including the band, seemed to care. Pitchfork-approved Brittney Spears. I walked out after three songs. The band stole my money, but I wasn't about to let them steal the rest of my night.
Despite that dubious intro (and don't worry, NYE got much better), 2009 has been pretty swell so far. I spent the first three weeks without internet, which was curiously kinda great. Much more time making music, that's for sure. This portal to the world sure is dangerously addictive. It lures you in and it's hard to come out. You waste a lot of time. Anyway, here I am again.
Been busy playing gigs in NYC with my new band and a few with others as well. Gonna be doing some touring in the next few months that will get me out of town and probably overseas as well. Looking forward to that.
Loving the snow and the cold, making things, watching our new prez get to work. Things feel better already and the hangover's slowly wearing off.