the oh so quiet show

The Decemberists

Something is wrong with my Internet so that I cannot access any of my websites from my dorm room (and it’s been like that for…many days). THANKS, TIME WARNER. So it’s past midnight and I’m still in school using their computer. Then I will get to walk home and do laundry into the wee hours of the morning.

Uh. Yeah. Laundry. Oh, I’m supposed to talk about music.

The Decemberists

All the photos are kind of …CRAP! But that’s okay (much better/amusing photos by brooklynvegan). The Decemberists are great live, although I don’t think I would have taken the opportunity to see them outside of school where it would probably cost more than $6. They started with The Infanta and played lots of songs I didn’t know (which is anything not on Picaresque). So what I did recognize were “We Both Go Down Together”, “Sixteen Military Wives”, “Engine Driver” (one of my favorites from the album) and “Mariner’s Revenge”, which they played as an encore. I wasn’t really into the song before but they went kind of INSANE playing it live, which made it sound better and…funner (great way to end the show). We were informed beforehand that we’d have to scream at the point that the whale eats us (the screaming is weak in the album version–I never noticed it!), an act performed by the electric guitar player (sorry, I don’t know the band members’ names). The guitarist was a funny guy. Actually, the whole band seemed really fun and happy during their performance, more so than most bands I’ve seen. Or perhaps all of them. During the last song, the drummer kind of crawled on the floor and undid the bassist’s shoelaces to tie them together. Bwaaa. He didn’t succeed but it was an interested attempt. Everyone in the band performed very well because they’re all crazy talented or something, I don’t know.

The crowd was good. Large. Enthused. Lots of big fans, it seemed. My friend (that I met at the Doves concert and is in my writing class) and I started waiting at 7:30, which seemed to be the golden time when EVERYONE started waiting (there were two other girls who got there around the same time). My friend and I didn’t think the Decemberists were on Kill Rock Stars but they are. I dunno why I’m mentioning that. I never thought about what label they were on. I just bought Picaresque (from amazon) so I shall have CD…uh..yes. I hope the liner notes are cool or something, haha.

There were two openers. I wasn’t very into the first (all girl rock type band..thing..not really something I’d listen to) but the second was a girl playing a ukelele. SHE WAS AWESOME. Because she was insanely cute and funny. I wasn’t into her songs but her personality won me over. Her parents were in the audience and she pointed them out. I wish I remembered her name…oh well.

The Village Voice recently profiled the Decemberists. I’m afraid I forgot to mention the heartthrob-ness of Colin Meloy…hm. Um. I can’t say I swoon over anyone largely because of massive cuteness (no, really…) but I can see why Colin would get the ladeeez. I wouldn’t pick him as my swoon-ee but then again, I really like penguins. And that has nothing to do with that, but I just wanted to put that out there.

BC Camplight download

Go to The House of Leaf and Lime to download Blood and Peanut Butter by BC Camplight. Why? Because it’s a good song and it’s sitting there for you to download and you like downloading music, right? Right.

Here’s another song for you that used to be on his site:

BC Camplight – Couldn’t You Tell

On a totally unrelated note, it was a week ago that I saw Beck, yet I feel like it happened weeks ago and not just seven days. Strange. There should be more nights filled with Beck and Donut Pub-ing goodness.

Youth Group

cover of Skeleton Jar

I’ve been listening to the song “Skeleton Jar” by Australian band Youth Group for a few days now and it’s gotten to the point where I’ve decided that I really like it but if I listen to it too much I might get bored of it or dislike it. Maybe. As of right now, I still like it. It’s the kind of song that’ll make you want to toss your bags and twirl around and stare at the sky and …wait, maybe that’s just me.

They have the song and music video on their site so check it out (it’s in flash, doesn’t that excite you? HAHAHA! I mean, the website isn’t bad at all, but I tend to dislike flash sites that I feel don’t have to be made in flash). I think you can also download the song at Epitaph Records. Their album Skeleton Jar is coming out on May 24th, unless you live in Australia, in which case it came out last year. We can be a bit slow on the other side of the world/hemisphere…

On a totally unrelated note, Flickr has changed their account policies with double the bandwidth limits for free and pro accounts. I never even got close to the 1 GB limit despite uploading craploads of photos but mine aren’t high on the megapixel scale. If you like taking photos and sharing them with people, I highly recommend Flickr. It’s become a bit of an obsession (I wouldn’t mind taking more music-related photos but I don’t go to concerts nearly as often as I come across food).

the decemberists

Files this under “good things about going to college” (from nyu livejournal comnunity):


With Special Guests

Thursday, 4/28, doors at 8:00pm

Kimmel Center, E&L Auditorium, 4th Floor

Come check out this special performance!
It’s the last show of the year, you should be there!

On Sale Monday, 4/18 at Ticket Central!
Tickets are $6 in advance with NYU ID,
$7 at the door with NYU ID.

This concert is only open to NYU students with valid NYU ID.
Limit 2 ‘advance’ tickets per ID.

I think I first listened to The Decemberists a few years ago but for some reason didn’t get into their music. Lately I got to listen to Picaresque and …whoa, really like it. Or like it enough to buy it (which I haven’t done yet but I assure you, I’m one of those weirdos who illegally downloads albums and then actually buys them). A few weeks ago one of my friends told me they were going to play here but I filed that information in the back of my mind. Glad to see she was right.

I hardly ever go to NYU things, which is sad because I’m probably paying for it. When the Shins played here last summer for FREE, I actually got as far as waiting in line and then upon realizing they had huge fans (me = not a fan, nor an un-fan) sadly wandering around ticketless, I thrusted my ticket into some random girl’s hands. She obviously wanted the ticket but wasn’t thankful at all to my knowledge. More like “Duh, I want the ticket!” and that was it. Hooray for douchey NYU girls. (Luckily, perhaps, I don’t know many annoying people like that. I think it’s because people in the food studies department are happy, obviously because they get to study food.)

When Le Tigre came I actually bought a ticket for that because I was mildly interested in them and it was cheap. And then someone offered me a free ticket to see Phoenix that night and I went to that instead. I think I was better off doing that.

But I’ll see the Decemberists! Yes. This music video is awesome.

satan gave me a taco

I’m still happy from the Beck concert. Superb. Superduperb. I ended up listening to random old Beck songs and came across Satan Gave Me a Taco. As hard as I tried I could never memorize more than a few stanzas, but it’s a great weird song. Listen to it:

Beck – Satan Gave Me a Taco [mp3 removed]

I’ve finally gotten around to buying the deluxe version of Guero. Or…I’m VERY close. Even though shipping is $9 at the emporium, the price still seems better than at other websites I’ve looked at. I thought most places priced shipping based on THE ITEM BEING SHIPPED and not how much it costs, but that would actually make sense. Oh well, tax refunds get translated into Beck CD buying!

You can download the Boards of Canada remix of Broken Drum at scissorkick. The first time I heard the remix I thought, “I really like this.” I listened to it again while walking home tonight and thought “I LOVE THIS.” I don’t know why though. Maybe it was just a good moment; comfortable weather, clear black sky, bright moon, Verizon building looming nearby, airplanes flying overhead. It made me want to romp around the street if I hadn’t been hauling a laptop on my back.

Beck. Beck? BECK!

DSC05478 Beck. Is awesome. Obviously.

I arrived at The Maritime Hotel around 6:20 after trying one of City Bakery’s infamous chocolate chip cookies for the first time (I justified that City Bakery was “on the way” during my 50 minute walk from my dorm, and if you don’t know already, I’m obsessed with food). I was relieved to see that the line only stretched to the corner as I thought it’d be longer. Had I not spent the entire day fooding with my mum, I probably would’ve gotten there closer to 5 PM than 6 PM. While walking to the hotel, I thought “Why is this place…so far over? Where the hell am I?” Yeah, I’m really unfamiliar with the west side of Manhattan around Chelsea. I have no problem walking more than 2 miles north-south but tell me to walk to 8th Avenue from 3rd Avenue and I’ll think “Mrrh?” (Well, mainly because I never have to.)

There was a group of people standing by the entrance who needed tickets, most notably a guy holding a printed sign and another guy wearing a t-shirt with a hand-written plea for tickets (wonder if they got in). Guys would walk by the line asking if anyone had tickets, and when I say guys, I mean that. I didn’t see many women by themselves–was I the only one? The crowd looked older than most concerts I’ve been to but not necessarily old, if that makes any sense. Just a smidgen older. Smidge. It was 18+ so I’d assume the youngest people were 18.

After waiting in line for a bit (the doors didn’t open until maybe 7:30) I passed out some Guero stickers. I’m really hesitant about approaching people for some reason (fear of humans is a part of my DNA), but some of them seemed really happy to get the stickers. And then I eavesdropped on the conversation the guys behind me were having because I couldn’t really pay attention to nothing in particular, besides that it was much colder than I thought it was going to be and my hands were starting to freeze.


Hiro Ballroom lighting The Hiro Ballroom is a lovely venue–it’d be great to see other shows there. I have an affinity for Japanese things and there were lots of lanterns hanging about along with a “smoke” breathing dragon head above the stage. Lots of red, lots of wood, and huge Japanese things on the walls: a pleasing combination.

There were a few rows of people in front of the stage by the time I got there. Stationing myself behind a very tall guy in a brown jacket I thought “Dammit, I should’ve gotten here earlier. But what am I complaining about; I’M HERE!” As my absolutely dumb luck would have it, that guy was a photographer for Rolling Stone (I think?) and the guy next to him, a photographer for WireImage (damn them, always getting great photos). They could only stay for the first three songs so they informed the people next to me that they would get to move up soon. Sweet.

DSC05430 Finally at around 9 PM…BECK APPEARED. YES. IN THE FLESH! BECK! I’d swear he looks the same as he did the first time I saw him about 5 years ago. That is somewhat scary, no? Not like he doesn’t age at all; obviously, he changed from Mellow Gold to Odelay to Mutations, but after Mutations I feel like he’s looked pretty much the same. Ish. He is very cute–no wonder I was so obsessed with him (I don’t know if I’m still obsessed with him or if I merely like him). He wore a white t-shirt with a funky line-illustration, a brown jacket, jeans, and huge black sneaker-y shoes.

He started with Black Tambourine, which like every song for the rest of the night sounded great live. A guy in a red outfit on the left side of the stage (I stood by the right where Beck was) danced most awesomely. I’m not sure how to describe his “dancing” but it made an interesting impact on the performance because…it’s not something you see often. Note to bands: increase the awesomeness of your show by getting your percussion dude to dance like a maniac in a brightly colored outfit. I remember at one point he was playing a huge smashed can of cooking oil…or something. It kind of looked like this can. It’s a huge can. OF OIL. But it didn’t have oil while he was playing it or that would’ve just been disturbing/gross.

DSC05456 “Devil’s Haircut” was a big audience-pleaser. BECAUSE THAT SONG IS AWESOME. Just to warn you, I’m not going to be able to make descriptions that go much beyond AWESOME. Beck is awesome. His new band seems really good as well. I mainly remember the bass player was really going nuts at the end (nuts in a good way) and the drummer sounding tight. Few mistakes, if any (then again, I rarely hear mistakes during music performances). Besides playing electric guitar, Beck also dabbled on the turntables, a box thing (as in, it looked like a little black box, obviously that’s not just what it was) and a huge-ass maraca-type instrument.

Although I like Guero, I’m not as into it as previous albums. But of course, everything sounds so damn good live. He played “Scarecrow”, a song that didn’t really appeal to me the first time I heard it, but hearing it live (in addition to “Broken Drum”) made me think “Wait, I like this a lot now. Live at least.”

DSC05460 Live performances make everything better, or rather, live general admission in small venues performances make everything better. While my favorite Beck show was his acoustic performance at Alice Tully Hall (in which I sat somewhere near the back) nothing compares to being up front during his full-band performances (the first time I saw him was in a small general admission show, up front; yes, I was beyond lucky). My dancing abilities are in the negative range but I daresay I may have wiggled a bit last night. The dancing probably trickled down the further out from the stage but up front people were having a good time. The “guero” standing near me (Beck called him that) was getting spastic. Spastic = awesome. And after the show he LUNGED for a setlist on the stage, and when I say lunge, I mean he tried to rip it off the stage with with bare hands, probably still shaking from the fresh Beck vibes. The tall guy behind me taking loads of photos (I hope he was thankful for my height-suppressant genes) also went for a setlist right after but asked a guy on stage for it.

He played some songs I hadn’t heard before. Ah, here’s the setlist (taken from the photo I took of the setlist on stage):

  • Black Tambourine
  • Devil’s Haircut
  • Scarecrow
  • We Dance Alone
  • Guero
  • Girl
  • Knock You Out
  • Remain in Dark
  • Nicotine & Gravy
  • Broken Drum
  • Hell Yes
  • Where It’s At
  • E-Pro
  • Get Real Paid

“Get Real Paid” is one of my favorite live songs so it was great to hear that even though he didn’t use any effects on his voice like he usually does. “Where It’s At” is loads of fun (love that music video) because shouting “WHERE IT’S AT!” is fun for some reason. Also fun is shouting “Na, na, na-NA na na na NA, na” at the top of your lungs (“E-Pro” is great live). I think I may like “Hell Yes” better on the album than live but…good god, what am I saying? Everything was great. Something I really like about live Beck performances is his stage banter, which was largely nonexistent last night (I can’t remember what he said!) but I’m just glad he shoved as much music-playing as he could during his somewhat short set.

I was happy–really happy. That had to be the best experience I’ve had all year and I think other audience members could say the same. I was so happy afterwards that I decided I had to go to The Donut Pub. Now, I’m going to digress from music for a bit because my fooding habits definitely show there’s something wrong with me. I’m just a little too comfortable eating my way throughout Manhattan by myself. I’d equate it to an alcoholic bar-hopping alone, the only difference being that I go bakery-hopping. Concert veterans can inform me whether it’s a regular activity for friends to go out for a few drinks after a music performance. Well, the Robyn equivalent would be to go to a place like the Donut Pub for an apple-cinnamon filled donut and one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had (and as I mentioned before, I had gotten one at City Bakery just before the concert; if you’re curious enough, the one from City Bakery tastes better ingredient-wise but they’re both very good and I was not planning AT ALL to get a cookie from a place that specializes in donuts). This alarms me as my sanity will go straight downhill when I hit the stage of resembling a fleshy blob more than a normal human being.

That was a lengthy digression. Sorry. Oh, I’m not even that into donuts, but the Donut Pub is such a cute little place (and has a great name) that I couldn’t resist.

When I got back to my dorm I realized that one of the happiest combinations is a great Beck performance paired with late night calorie-dense baked goods. Eating such goods WHILE watching Beck would’ve been an awful combination but one after the other (or rather, cookies, then Beck, then back to cookies) is bliss. In my world.

Issues. So many issues.

DSC05518 Lastly, Beck makes me happy. I’m sad that I’m not as obsessed with him as I once was, but I’m still very much into him. It makes me wonder how obsessed I was with him before (here’s an indication: since 9th grade I had classmates who didn’t know me especially well besides that I had a great interest in Beck, causing them to give me Beck-related magazine clippings or inform me about seeing him on the telly).

Beck is great.

… …

Yes. Sorry if I ever doubted you, Beck.

Oh, last words (for real this time). I didn’t go into how I got the tickets, eh? Filter most generously contributed to the cultivation of my Beck obsession (in more ways than the concert), thus letting me off the hook of fruitlessly attempting to battle a gazillion other Beck fans on ticketweb with mutiple browser windows Thursday afternoon. Isn’t it nice to know that some guestlist people really are huge fans and not casual listeners? Filter is the nicest magazine ever. I bow to them, kiss their feet and thank them profusely. And stuff their promotional bags.

[Random note: Craploads of people were taking photos, such as the dude behind be shooting over my head, and I heard a guy say he got a lot of video footage. Damn, I’d like some of that.]

Related links:

music from Norway = mm

One of my friends refers to me as “the girl who likes music from Norway”. Well…the country has good music! From the blog for the eardrums comes norwegian eardrums, dedicated to alternative Norwegian music [via it’s a trap!]. If you’re like me, you’ll like this blog and be very excited about Royksopp’s upcoming album. WEE!

Oh, you’d also be excited about Magnet’s upcoming album. Yes! …okay! It’s done recording. I don’t know the title or the songlisting but I already know it’s good. I can feel it…[wiggles].


From the Notwist’s newsletter:

the debut record by 13&God, the super-group collaboration between Notwist and anticon`s Themselves out on April 18th. Shows in Europe will follow in June/July and in USA next September. For further information

You like the Notwist, right? Right. Yay, shows!


Beck. Tomorrow. Hiro Ballroom at the Maritime Hotel.

Excited? Oh yes. My 6th Beck show. 😉

…wow, that sounds excessive. No. No it’s not. [shakes head]

I never thought having a Beck site, a Magnet/Even Johansen site, and transferring schools to live in NYC (or rather, not live in Poughkeepsie) would pay off like this.

M. Ward + Coco Rosie

M. Ward at Bowery Ballroom, April 10th 2005 So tired, but quick thoughts…

M. Ward played for 90 minutes and his guitar playing-ness made me think “Maybe I should just burn my guitar and then chop off my hands for not being worthy of playing guitar.” His acoustic guitar-ness is much fun to watch. When I hear it on his albums I think “Ah, that’s pretty” and when I see it live I think “Jebus what’s he doing whaahATAHSDASD” in addition to “God, my feet hurt like a mother…”

Breaking into new shoes is not fun.

Okay, concert. Crowd seemed good, shouting requests every so often, not being annoying. I think there were two encores. Or. Three. For a long time the songs seemed pretty low-key, solo stuff with just an acoustic guitar and harmonica, but then the whole backing band came out and the mood completely changed. And then back to solo-ness. And then back to band-ness. I guess it’s good to mix things up.

It was hard to see M. Ward very well since he was wearing a hat. But I think he was happy or he wouldn’t have played so much. Uh. Yes.

AHragsdbrainmelt, I’ll update this later.

— many hours later —

Coco Rosie at Bowery Ballroom, April 10th 2005 (opening for M. Ward)

I don’t have much else to say, actually. I enjoyed the show and Rachel Blumberg’s drumming besides M. Ward’s (I always feel inclined to say “Mmm, Ward” as thought I’m about to say “Mmm, donut”) guitar playing. Drums, I love thee.

The second photo is of Coco Rosie (not a very good homepage, unfortunately), one of the openers besides Devotchka, whose music I’ve never heard before but really enjoyed. When choosing between buygin Devotchka’s album and Coco Rosie’s though, I picked Coco Rosie’s (or CocoRosie? Mrrh?). I heard that people either love them or hate them; I ended up loving them. Or really liking them. They’re pretty strange but not really. …Um. God. You know I hate trying to describe music.

I’ll attempt anyway. Their singing may be off-putting but I like it. AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY. It sounds kind of immature. And not. I enjoyed their use of children’s toys/keyboards to make sounds (or animal noises) but the Care Bears video in the background freaked me out a bit. It’s a matter of personal tastes but my overall impression is that they’re different from other stuff that’s out there and it’s refreshing. You can listen to a song at