June 28, 2013

Chicks Rule!

Chicks Rule

Been digging the shit out of a couple of all gal bands as of late.

Heliotropes are NY based and have sort of a 60’s Pink Floydy vibe. Not really the Syd-Floyd era, more of the “Meddle” era Floyd. They've got buzzy guitars and also a sound that reminds me of early Smashing Pumpkins (in a good way).  The songs are well thought out and somewhat complex. They take their time to develop and have a sinewy bottom end. Yum… “sinewy bottom ends”!!!!!  They got a serious edge to them. Check out “The Dove” and “Psalms”. Good acid music!!!!

Savages are from across the pond and make dark, bass heavy post punk that reminds me of early 80’s bands like Au Pairs, Siouxie & The Banshees, and Delta Five. Throw in a little bit of the echoey production of the Factory Records bands and wrap it all up with some extra drama.  Not quite as dancey as the bands of that era, but very enjoyable and “different” than 99% of the shit that passes off as New Wave these days. Yeah, I said it. New Wave. Check out the songs “Shut Up” and “Husbands”. Good ‘lude music!

And… I am going to see Ms. Courtney Love tomorrow night. Hopefully, I won’t spend THIS show in the inside of a NYC jail cell as I did the last time she played these environs!!!!!!

June 20, 2013

Amnesia RockFest - Montebello, Quebec

The past weekend was spent in the urban wilds of Montreal, as well as the rural wilds of Montebello, Quebec at the Amnesia Rock Fest.

Amnesia Fest is a Punk/Metal music fest that was developed by a Canadian teenager about 7 years ago. It takes place in Montebello (about 70 miles North of Montreal) and for 2 days- was the Great White North’s version of Woodstock.

Not this this was a completely good thing! The festival reached critical mass this year and three hour waits to pick up tickets were de rigeur. Fortunately, your humble narrator took care of his shit long before the day of show, and J-Lo, Davey-boy and old Nazz sauntered in leisurely both days. And, since the last big crowd headliner's bore no real interest to us (Rise Against and The Offspring-  been there done that for both bands), we also were able to "get outta dodge city" both nites without too much bumping.

Black Flag
The good-
  • The people of Montebello (including law enforcement) could not have been nicer and more laid back. 50,000 plus punks and metalheads invading a town with more cows than people could have been a disaster- but civility was the name of the game. In fact, the only interaction we had with the long arm of the law was a photo op! The townspeople were wonderful- and as a result, the vibe between attendees, cops and natives was extremely cool.
  • $5 beer inside the venue (and lots of it!)- beer kiosks were everywhere (albeit Budweiser) and vendors were actually triasping thru the mud (more on THAT later) to serve us! Kinda weird that they couldn't get Canadian beer sponsorship- but, on the other hand, I guess Bud is exotic in Canada since it's an import!
  • Poutine- Inside the show- Pulled pork, gravy, fries, cheese curds…mmmmmmmmm – aside from a convenience store/ gas station sandwich that’s all I ate for the 4 days!
  • The bands!- Holy shit!!!!!!  Let’s see, the best bands of the 20 or so (there were 5 stages and about 100 bands that played) I saw were: FLAG (ie – the non Gregg Ginn version)- Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski et al brought it waaaaaay back to 1979!, our NYC homeboys Agnostic Front and Anthrax were great; DropKick Murphys, old skool L.A. band The Adolescents, old skool crust punks Subhumans UK, Alice fucking Cooper, Social Distortion, Rancid.
  • But the best band I saw all weekend was FUCKED UP. Lead singer Pink Eyes and his preppy looking band absolutely tore up the freakin’ place. Pink Eyes (all 250 plus hairy lbs of him) spent the entire show singing whilst being held aloft. After the show, he spent about an hour posing for pix and hugging anybody that cam within hugging distance. 

J-Lo, Pink Eyes & Davey-Boy

The bad-
  • Yeah, it was a lot like Woodstock- overflowing toilets, shit piss and mud rivers bisecting the festival grounds. Canadian kids must not have gotten the word on littering, strewn everywhere were empty beer cups, soda bottles etc- though this was at least in part due to the organizers, who did not have enough garbage cans.
  • Band cancellations and bad info- several bands such as Lagwagon and The Mighty Bosstones  got shifted around in times and stages- and no one was informed- so we missed them.
  • The lines- as said- waiting three hours to pick up my tickets would have been a disaster.
  • Old age - I overindulged big time too early Saturday & sorta had to take a rest for a couple of hours in a parking lot in the early afternoon– But that was cool- I arose feeling refreshed and ready to mosh!
  • Cookie Monster bands- Christ, is there some sort of Canadian law that every metal band has to sound like the Cookie Monster is their singer?

All in all- a great weekend. I hope to go back next year (it was a pretty long drive) but I am glad I went!

June 11, 2013

Paul McCartney 6-10-2013

Some thoughts on the Paul McCartney concert I was at last nite.

It’s Paul fucking McCartney! Nuff said

Paul played guitar and piano much more than he did bass.

His back-up band has been playing with him for more years than the Beatles were together!

He brought out several chestnuts never before played on tour: “Lovely Rita”, “Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite”, Your Mother Should Know”, “All Together Now”.

The dude is 70 years old and played non-stop for 2 ½ hours! He looks great.

That being said, the video close-ups on Paul were not that close up… high res 70 feet high does not make for a pretty picture for an old guy, no matter how well preserved.

Average age of attendees was probably about 45. After all, what young one could afford tickets that ranged from $100 to $500 (without mom and dad, of course!)

Great light show- “Live And Let Die” had lasers and explosions.

Emotionally tingling moments: “Hey Jude” (complete with audience sing-a-long), “Something” (dedicated to George and played on Ukelele, before th whole band joined in), “Here Today” (dedicated to and about John).

It was in Brooklyn… so the “Fuhgettaboutit Paul” sign was especially apropos.

He played “I Saw Her Standing There”- that song is 52 years old!

Cool Hendrix tribute!!!!! With a “Foxy Lady” jam in “Let Me Roll It”  -plus a great story about Hendrix playing Sgt Pepper live only 2 days after the Beatles released it!

“Yesterday” was played of course, but then Paul did a couple of lines from the original song title: “Scrambled Eggs”

When you think about the catalog of material that McCartney has, it’s absolutely staggering.  And when you hear 30 plus songs representing the best of 20th century music, it is humbling.

$10 beers and a horrible seating scheme (the upper deck is sloped dangerously steep) did not make for a fun customer experience.

Total dick move of the night- some old fuck ratted out a couple of people smoking some grass and they got tossed.

It’s Paul fucking McCartney! Nuff said

But the best part of the show was watching the joy my daughter displayed seeing the show!

The set list:
1.   Eight Days a Week 
2.   Junior's Farm 
3.   All My Loving 
4.   Listen to What the Man Said 
5.   Let Me Roll It 
6.   Paperback Writer 
7.   My Valentine 
8.   Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five 
9.   The Long and Winding Road 
10.               Maybe I'm Amazed 
11.               Things We Said Today 
12.               We Can Work It Out 
13.               Another Day 
14.               And I Love Her 
15.               Blackbird 
16.               Here Today 
17.               Your Mother Should Know 
18.               Lady Madonna 
19.               All Together Now 
20.               Lovely Rita 
21.               Mrs. Vandebilt 
22.               Eleanor Rigby 
23.               Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! 
24.               Something 
25.               Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da 
26.               Band on the Run 
27.               Back in the U.S.S.R. 
28.               Let It Be 
29.               Live and Let Die 
30.               Hey Jude 
31.               Day Tripper 
32.               Hi, Hi, Hi 
33.               I Saw Her Standing There 
Encore 2:
34.               Yesterday 
35.               Helter Skelter 
36.               Golden Slumbers 
37.               Carry That Weight 

38.               The End