Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Sounds, Shiny Toy Guns @ Wiltern

Shiny Toy Guns
We arrived at The Wiltern just in time to catch them playing Ricochet!, which sounded great live. I also enjoyed Rainy Monday and Don't Cry Out. Honestly, I haven't really heard too many of their songs, but I like their style. The male vocals, Chad Petree, sounded great, just like on their albums. The only downside to their performance was Sisely Treasure. She didn't seem to understand voice control. Don't get me wrong, she was great on stage, dancing around all over the place. However, all that frenetic movement seemed to make her sound very out of breath on the mic and she just sounded like she was yelling all the time instead of actually singing. Turns out she's actually the third in the line of changing female vocalists. She's been with the band since last year. Maybe she still hasn't had enough practice coordinating her singing and dancing on stage?

The Sounds
were great live, especially compared to the only other time I've seen them, at The Palladium, which was kind of a craphole. I really hate that venue, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt because it just reopened after being shut down for renovation. The place did look nicer, but they seemed to have upgraded everything BUT the awful sound system. I even passed up a $10 Franz Ferdinand show (even thought I've been wanting to see them since forever) because it was at The Palladium. Also, I got stuck all the way in the back and couldn't really see anything. I know their performance was probably great and I enjoyed it because I like the music and the people I was with, but certain circumstances didn't make it their best show.

I know people might think I'm mean for the comment I made about Treasure's singing above, but honestly, Maja Iversson was dancing, doing high kicks, climbing on things and her voice still sounded fantastic live.

I loved everything they played off their first two albums. I honestly hadn't heard anything off their latest album, Crossing the Rubicon, except for what they previewed at The Palladium show. I have to say that I did like some of their new stuff, a lot. Note to self: get new album, put it on repeat.

I knew Maja was very sexual in The Sounds' music videos, but I didn't know that was part of her stage show, since I couldn't really see them at The Palladium. I was a bit shocked, but I think she pulled it off well. She has the right look for it. She was wearing this leather body suit that looked like it was painted on her and very high heels. I'm surprised she was able to do all that dancing and climbing without tipping over!

High Note: Great view of stage and great friends to enjoy the show with.
Also, seeing this ridiculously drunk / high (?) girl with her boyfriend who was merely there to prop her up. Extremely glad she was propped up across the aisle from us because she looked like she was going to throw up any minute. She was so hilarious, some of us watched her more than we watched The Sounds.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Moon Soundtrack Out

New Moon Soundtrack: Track List
1. Death Cab for Cutie—“Meet Me On the Equinox”
2. Band of Skulls—“Friends”

3. Thom Yorke—“Hearing Damage”
4. Lykke Li—“Possibility”
5. The Killers—“A White Demon Love Song”

6. Anya Marina—“Satellite Heart”
7. Muse—“I Belong To You (New Moon Remix)”
8. Bon Iver & St. Vincent—“Roslyn”

9. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club—“Done All Wrong”

10. Hurricane Bells—“Monsters”
11. Sea Wolf—“The Violet Hour”

12. OK Go—“Shooting the Moon”

13. Grizzly Bear (with Victoria Legrand)—“Slow Life”

14. Editors—“No Sound But the Wind”
15. Alexandre Desplat—“New Moon (The Meadow)”

Looks surprisingly decent. I know, I'm lame, but I just watched Twilight the other night out of boredom and it was kind of bad, but some of it was funny because of sheer ridiculousness. Embarrassingly enough, I'm a bit eager to see New Moon because that wolf boy is pretty hot (He's like a young Mario Lopez) and Edward is going to try to commit suicide.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thom Yorke @ The Orpheum

I don't know why there are "?????" when every Radiohead fan, or fan of good music, already knew who was playing there. I have to admit that being in the know was sort of cool.

Since my friend, W (aka Cymbalista of Crime Spree in Candyland fame), is a MUCH bigger Thom Yorke / Radiohead fan, and sat MUCH closer to the stage than I did (she was in second row orchestra, practically in front of Yorke's piano), I decided that she'd be the better person to write this review. So, here are her thoughts:

Being a huge Radiohead fan I was ecstatic when I heard Thom Yorke was going to have a couple of solo shows in Los Angeles. The only other time I've heard him perform solo was when he played "Cymbal Rush" as part of Radiohead's encore at Hollywood Bowl last year. Although it was amazing, I didn't want to have too many expectation for the Orpheum gig, especially after I learned that Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers (a band that I don't particularly like) was going to be part of his "supergroup". Turned out that I was worried for nothing. It was Thom Yorke, after all, and he wasn't about to put on any mediocre shows.

Aside from Thom Yorke on vocals / guitar and Flea on bass, the band consisted of Nigel Godrich on synth, Joey Waronker on drums, and Mauro Refosco on percussion. Unfortunately, Ticketmaster only allowed two tickets for purchase at a time, so I was only able to get two B-row seats, and one separate Mezzinine seat, which HeyHeyScenester kindly took (thanks again for being such a good sport!). We were surprised to find out how close B-row was literally right in front of the stage! Due to our slightly delayed dinner at The Must, we missed the opening act, Lucky Dragons; but that only meant we got to see Thom Yorke & co. that much sooner.

The performance, in a nutshell, was mind blowing. They played mostly songs from Thom Yorke's solo album, The Eraser. It was exciting to see how an album that relied so much on electronic beats would translate to a live, more rockish setting. The rhythm section was especially amazing. Joey Waronker was flawless on the drums; he made it seem almost too easy to bang out beats that were originally programmed on a COMPUTER. Flea did not become a distraction the way many people were afraid he would. In fact, his manic headbanging worked well alongside Thom Yorke's spastic dance moves. Yorke, alternating between guitar and piano, was perhaps even more alive here, with his constant dancing and jumping around, than when he played at the Bowl last year. He really did look like he was having a lot of fun. The fact that we were so close to the stage made it even better. We could even see the waistband of his underwear (ahem, black, Calvin Klein, in case you're wondering...).

My favorites of the night are "The Clock", "Black Swan", and a new song called "Judge, Jury, & Executioner". The setlist is below:

01 "The Eraser"
02 "Analyze"
03 "The Clock
04 "Black Swan"
05 "Skip Divided"
06 "Atoms For Peace"
07 "And It Rained All Night"
08 "Harrowdown Hill"
09 "Cymbal Rush"
(Thom solo)
10 "Lotus Flower" [New alternate title: "Moon Upon A Stick"]
11 "Open The Floodgates"
12 "Supercollider"
13 "Paperbag Writer"
14 "Judge, Jury, & Executioner"
15 "The Hollow Earth"
16 "Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses"

Last random note: it was surreal to see Flea play the melodica (a musical instrument I played often when I was little) during "Skip Divided". Who knew melodicas would become trendy? (I did, of course!)

In case you want more:
Awesome photos from Stereogum
Another review from Caroline on Crack
Setlist from Echoplex show