Monday, February 25, 2008

Liars with guests No Age, Clubhouse Music Venue, Tempe, AZ 2/20/08

I am going to make this a brief review as I am writing during work break. First let me say that I don't think I could live in the Phoenix area. I like more extremes between the four seasons, and the desert atmosphere is cool for awhile but I'd rather look at trees long term than cacti. There aren't as many cacti in town though, as to me Phoenix seems like a sprawling mass of communities like Tempe, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, ect. And it has some heavy hitting major league traffic, too. But that's just my opinion. Obviously I'm in the minority.

That said, I dig Arizona for a few days, and I made it out to see Liars. Honestly, the venue was not my fave. It was practically in a shopping center/strip mall, with a sports bar to the left, a vacant area to the right for lease, and a 7-11 in front of it. And the name "Clubhouse Music Venue" seems too general to me, and I could never remember what order those three words were supposed to be in, but they are so vague and bland to be almost interchangeable.

Inside though, it was fine. I had heard of the openers No Age before, and I thought they were real good. Two guys, a drummer and a guitarist, and their songs were quirky to remain interesting despite the minimalism, and not just playing the same riff all the way through. I bought their CD inbetween them and Liars. I hadn't refreshed my memory of the Liars' material I own before I came, having been months since I listened to them. I didn't know what to prepare for, but they definitely exceeded any nebulous expectations. I am not a music expert or even a moderate critic, but Liars have the best percussion section of anyone I can think of lately. Their best moments to me come when the drums entirely carry the melody. They actually have two percussionists banging away sometimes, while the guitar seems to add cool feedback type sounds, and their lead singer in a red suit beats away at the air like a combination of a drunken sailor and a madman during these songs, and it comes across very primal, perhaps like a Tago Mago Can hypnotism, although there's dust on that album in my mind as well. When Liars try slightly more straightforward guitar based melodies (albeit never clean/poppy sounding) it doesn't do as much for me. My favorite Liars tunes I recall in my head by the drums and percussion bits.

Mystery of the night: What do guys carry around in backpacks at these shows? I see two or three guys at these things all the time with packs. If you told me to fill up a backpack with stuff I couldn't dream up 2 things to put in it. Last time I carried one was to tote my Magic cards around to tournaments and trade. Because I'm cool like that.

Antibears- 3.5. Solid show and probably exaggerated because I wasn't expecting such a good one. Unparalled drums. Cool frontman who was very entertaining. A great pulsing sound.

Bears- 2.0. Venue didn't have tons of character in my mind. I understand indie bands don't have tons of material but I could've taken one or two more songs.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Great albums

Every once in a while I completely lose my mind. This doesn't mean that I start freaking out and acting like an idiot, but instead that I think about nothing at all (except for thinking about thinking about nothing). Actually I think about a lot, or at least a few things over and over, but nothing I'd care to share on charz2k (I'm boring and you'd think me quite the lame-wad). What I do care to share are some albums that are definitely worth checking out:

The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms. Covering the Beatles and besting the original!? Yep.

Magazine - The Correct Use of Soap. I get into these stupid elitist fits where I won't listen to more albums from an artist who has an album or two that I really love because I think there's no way it could be as good as the best, let alone good. I tend to think this a lot about bands who were popular in the late 70s/early 80s, because a lot of them followed up some truly monumental albums with absolute shit. This is not the case with Magazine, or this album. It's a great complement to Real Life and Secondhand Daylight.

Magnetic Fields - Holiday. Seriously. I'll be on vacation when Merritt and his lackeys take up residence in Chicago for six shows. I'm bummed about that. I also play "In My Secret Place" a ridiculous number of times.

Ultravox - Vienna. This is one of those dark synthy early 80s albums that makes you wish you wore all black and walked around shady neighborhoods in the LES to get to some awesome club with purple strobe lights and crazy haircuts.

Now, a gift for you: mp3s of all of those albums!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I Just Had a Good Dream

Not sure if the clock on this blog will accurately reflect this, but it is about 5:45 this Saturday morning. I just woke up from a dream. It seemed like the best dream ever at the time but now I am half asleep, I can only remember a third of it, and I can't see to type. Anyhow....

I went into a partnered business with Garz and moved up to Wisconsin. He knew two girls from college who were going to go into the business with us, and we rode this gargantuan subway thoughout this metropolis to go meet up with them, and they were both really hot. Hats off to Garz for that one. Our job was to sit around and hang out in our office all day, and go to whatever concerts and listen to whatever CD's so we could review them for some publication that didn't specifically matter much in the dream. We went to a Black Lips' show first and I must have known how to actually operate a computer in the dream because I remember I even bootlegged recorded it and had it on iTunes later on so I could burn a CD.

We got a down period where there weren't many shows, so we went out exploring. I guess "Wisconsin" turned into "Wyoming" in my dream, because I remember being out in the middle of nowhere with mountains or something and thinking we had switched to Wyoming. It was Wyoming of old settlers days, and we (Garz, me, two women coworkers) ran into this drunken General on a horse. He kept galloping back and forth in the prairie trying to catch a hawk floating around in the sky, and I had to keep dodging him so he wouldn't trample me.

I guess the drunken General inspired me to try to catch a bald eagle in a butterfly net. I kept getting really close, up to a foot close to him one time on his perch, but never could get it. Then I guess I made the eagle really mad and he swooped down and was gliding straight towards me angrily, and that's when I woke up.

Sorry if this makes no sense. I don't know why I was so inspired to actually get out of bed and open my computer and write this right now. But I couldn't go back to sleep. I feel pretty lame so I'm going back to bed.