the oh so quiet show

Stars and Magnet at Webster Hall

[Warning: This might be long and rambling. Can’t say I didn’t warn you.]

I rarely go to concerts primarily for the opener. Hell, I don’t know if I’ve _ever_ done that. It’s not the same as going to a showcase for a few musicians, of which one I’m mainly interested in (although there was that cool show with “Rufus Wainwright and Beth Orton”: The vibe was 99.9% Stars fanatics, which makes perfect sense since it’s a Stars show. Actually, Webster Hall told us differently:

Webster Hall

It’s just “STAR”, folks. They dropped the S. Too many consonants.

I sadly underestimated the crowd; when I got there at 7:00 (doors were at 6:30, which seemed pretty early…oh, oh, horrible timing, just as I was walking up to the entrance I watched Even + others walk riiight in, resulting in me pondering the slowness of my brain functions) there was a sea of people sitting down. Doh. I huddled on the right side of the stage with the gaggle of friends that I either convinced to come with me or were already planning on going. Huddle. Wait. Huddle…

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Ahhghr, Magnet (aka, Even)! I hadn’t seen him in more than a year! …Which is saying nothing since some of my friends had never seen him at all. Uber-fan “Honey”:, for example. I was happy to see her happy. Of course, I was happy to see all my friends happy, but especially Honey since …I just knew she must’ve been as happy, excited as I was, or maybe happier. That’s a _lot_ of happy. I mean, you gotta restrain that happiness, shove it in a bag and shoot it before it grows to mosnterous proportions and wipes out the entire human race through asphyxiation.

Even’s set ran for about 35 minutes, which felt pretty short to me. I think this was the setlist:

* Everything’s Perfect
* Believe
* Where Happiness Lives
* On Your Side
* I’ll Come Along
* Smile to the World
* Nothing Hurts Now

I was surprised that he only played one song from from “The Tourniquet”:, but didn’t mind at all since I loved all the other songs he played. If you’ve never heard his live material, it’s different from the album. That would probably annoy people who _want_ to hear the same thing, but…nah! It’s better! Or for what its worth, I like the live versions more if he’s playing solo. It’s just him sitting down, alternating between electric guitar and lap steel guitar, fiddling with the electronic-y things to give himself a backing beat. With my limited music equipment knowledge, all I can offer is this crappy description: he taps his guitar and controls the delay/reverb/loopiness of it, resulting in eerie sounds that would seem to come from more than one person. He minor-ifies “Where Happiness Lives”, a version I like as much as the original. If you haven’t heard the original, then listening to this one isn’t going to make much of a difference…but here’s an example from WFMU in November, 2001:


Magnet – Where Happiness Lives (WFMU)

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with guitar

The audience clapped during “On Your Side” (…I think it was that song), which he said is what the audience did during the show in DC the night before. You know you’re out of shape when clapping for a few minutes makes your arms feel achey. “Believe” was probably my least favorite of the set, but I liked it better live than on the album. Actually, I liked every song better than their album counterparts. “Everything’s Perfect” from his “live KCRW performance”: is great (and apparently, he’s going to play another KCRW set on Morning Becomes Eclectic, March 13th, and maybe appear on World Cafe). I completely understand how Even’s music may “make some people sleepy”:, but he’s so _into_ it. You can hear it in the strength of his voice, you can see it written on his face. Hopefully you can feel it too.

And then it was over. Well. Not the entire concert. You know something’s wrong with you when at the end of a performance, you just…your own brain kinda dies. And then you realize there’s another band coming up that you _like a whole lot_, but just isn’t the same. You want to focus on them, but you know you won’t be able to, at least not as much as if they had played with any other opener. I should probably explain the Magnet thing, but…eh, later.

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Star!…I mean, Stars! They give off happy, energetic, cute, genuine, fun vibes. Awesome, no? Torquil Campbell (for whom I choose to represent with this one googled tidbit from his resume because I can: “voice of the cartoon character Bill Badger”) endearingly expressed his love for performing, for NYC, for…being there. Adoring fans sang along, primarily out of tune, but it was still sweet (although if they were louder, I would think otherwise). I’m not a big enough fan to sing along, but I do it in the comfort and loneliness of my room. HOORAH.

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Amy Millan

I love Amy’s sweet, clear voice.

last song
last song

Besides all those songs, they played an encore that included “Calendar Girls”, “Elevator Love Letter” and a final Torquil-solo whose title I don’t know, but to me was one of the strongest songs because of its bareness.

I wish I had more to say. It was awesome. And then we were all shuffled out so that clubbers could come in and fill the hall with dance music. Lovely.

While watching Stars I was struck by how non-Magnet they were. Not that they’re the antithesis, but that their performances are totally different. Even can’t have that super-energetic feeling with blasting lights and whatnot. Of course, it’s not necessary to captivate an audience with flashiness. But. Just…sayin’.

“Honey”: and “Yetta”: are the _masters_ of meeting musicians. It’s not something I’d ever do, but these girls have a love for music that I could never match. Remember that time I almost met Beck? (whose website I almost never go to anymore, sadly)…well, it’s best if you don’t, because I didn’t, and I’m glad; god knows how that would’ve turned out (probably not as bad as I think, which is part of my own mental problems, annnd yeah, end subject). One reason I would actually approach a musician I admire is if I had something to give them, which doesn’t really happen. I mean, I’ve done it, but felt embarrased at the same time. “Here’s a piece of crap I made…just for you!” Yeah. Well. I’m probably overreacting again.

While it was warm-ish earlier in the day, by the time we left Webster Hall it was brain-freeze cold. It didn’t help that I was only wearing a short-sleeve shirt under my jacket and no hat to cover my skull as frosty winds gradually whipped our faces into the frozen masks they would become after we died from hypothermia (we wondered how the skimpily dressed club-goers were faring while waiting to get in). When there was no sign of tour buses, musicians, or other fans, we semi-panicked.

“This is the only exit! They have to come out through here.”

Wait. Some more. Yes’m.

Some more.

I tried to inquire about Even’s whereabouts, but didn’t get any uplifting information. Yetta commented that she didn’t feel any Magnet vibes; neither did I. Maybe the cold killed it. “Diana”: and Arthur stuck it out for a pretty long time, but had to leave since they had a long commute ahead of them. The other 7 of us waited some more. It was more than half an hour after the show ended before Nancy suddenly shouted, “There they are!” _Commence stampede._

…I’m kidding; we didn’t stampede. Maybe. Calmly walked over. Yes.

And thus becomes moronic lobotomized-Robyn rambling. If you don’t already know, I am pseudo-intensely asocial. I’m not a people person. Hell, I might not even be a…person. (The tests are still unclear.) But I can usually carry out some form of comprehensible conversation among people I don’t know well. Except…nah, I really can’t. As much as I’d like to forget all the stupid things I blabbed to Even and David (the “other guy”, aka “the tech guy”), I can’t. I’ll have nightmares for days. Seriously. I like my sleep. GIMME MY SLEEP, OH JEEZ. [fidgets] After the confrontation was over and giant buses seemingly came out of nowhere, rolling westward down the street to whisk the equipment away and let Even and everyone else hop on a plane to Canada, I just buried my face in my hands and though, “MRAHRHAfhdsinfdvsmash” or something equally incomprehensible (disturbingly, not very different from normal Robyn-babblings).

This is when I start wondering why I can’t just act normal. If I could adore them less, that would make life a lot easier. Like…I could find out that Even clubs baby seals!; that would decrease the adoration, right? WOULD IT? There’s no good explanation for the “obsessiveness” (I don’t like using that word, but there’s no better one), and it bothers me because 1) I can’t explain it and 2) it might be creepy and 3) baby seals. Is it possible that Even’s voice is on a certain wavelength that messes with my brain? He doesn’t sound quite like anyone else (in my opinion), so…so. Even before I met him for the first time (summer 2004), I already had this “I don’t want to call it creepy but it even scares me” adoration that I seriously need to repress, thus it’s probably a good thing that he’s from Norway and his uber-fan lives in NYC.

I’d love it if everyone got the same happiness out of Even’s live performances as I did, but I know it’s not possible. The people that really like him _reeeaally_ like him (I’ve come across a surprising number of dedicated fanboys, not girls so much), and the people that don’t…well. That’s alright. It’s sad being an American; I decided a while ago that the only way to experience a “real” Magnet concert is to go to one in Norway where the reception and fans would be more positive. Or even Japan; they seem to like him there too.

NYC-ers, don’t miss out! Go to his show at the “Living Room”: on “March 21st”:, his last show in the US before god knows when he’ll come back.

Anyone have other reviews?

* Ms. Frizzle
* presta’s flickr set
* mediaeater’s flickr set
* minaka’s flickr set
* The Big Takeover
* slapchar’s journal
* bag of rocks

Magnet reviews

Magnet in Boston

Check out Matt’s live Magnet review in Boston (with photos). It’s so nice to read a “Magnet”: review that is actually 1) written by a fan and 2) isn’t in Norwegian.

You know how sometimes you fall in love with someone’s voice and then you hear them live and you’re a little disappointed..? Yeah. That is the exact opposite of what happened with Magnet. That motherfucker can CROON. He sounded better live than he did on his CD’s, in my opinion.

I agree. …For the most part. Every time I’ve seen him, he’s sounded better than on his albums, but I’ve heard some of his live recordings that sound worse. Maybe the US gets lucky. 🙂

He’s playing this Saturday at Webster Hall, opening for Stars. It’s sold out, but there are probably tickets somewhere if you need one. I think “Janet”: has an extra. Magnet isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s my gigantic cup of tea (or since I’m not a bit tea fan, my gigantic bucket of “City Bakery hot chocolate”:

The Tourniquet

Magnet’s 3rd album, The Tourniquet, came out last Tuesday. I’ve already mentioned that I don’t like it as much as his previous albums, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. It’s just…different. I LISTENED TO IT A GAZILLION TIMES; I TRIED. Here are some recent reviews:

* “Transform Online”:
* “PopMatters”:
* “Eastern Echo”:
* “Spacelab”:
* “SouthCoast247”:

A “Hold On EP” will be available at his shows. Tracklisting:

# Hold On (radio edit)
# The Mute
# Good Mourning
# Grinder
# Hold On (Metronomy Remix)
# Hold On (Lindstrom Remix)

I gotta say…I dislike/hate most Magnet remixes. But the b-sides are nice.

Franz Ferdinand in Singapore

Check out “lots of photos and commentary of Franz Ferdinand in Singapore”: Pretty cooooool.

“ALEX KAPRANOS ANG GUWAPO MO!!!” — Translation: Alex Kapranos, you are so handsome

Reminder: Franz Ferdinand and Death Cab for Cutie (with The Cribs opening) are playing at Hammerstein Ballroom April “13th”: and “14th”: I shall gooo.

[thanks “Luis”:]

an opinion about myspace

bq. I really really hate MySpace. It is the ingrown hair on the armpit of humanity.

Hehe, I love “Susie Felber”: “Her thoughts on myspace”: are pretty much the same as mine, except funnier.

bq. Do you like all the world’s teenagers? Half-naked women of which half are porn stars and half are teenagers? A buggy, garish, ad-filled website that often looks like 1995 threw up on it? If you answered yes, then you’ll love MySpace! But don’t answer yet, as a member, you’ll also get countless bands and even a few real people you’ve never heard of wanting to be your friend!

Seriously. (sigh)

…Then again, we both have accounts. (double sigh)

Honduras benefit show

This could be an nice show to go to. And you will help people go Honduras to do things that are 100000% more productive and helpful than updating blogs! Yeah! Info from Levy:

bq. this tuesday LEVY is taking part in a benefit show for a humanitarian trip to honduras. all of the bands are donating their proceeds from the show to a team of people who will be providing medical care to people in the small town of Juticulpa, Honduras and helping to design and implement a literacy program at a school there for children with special needs. The proceeds from the show will go towards supplies for the town (both medical and educational) as well as expenses for the trip. it looks to be a great show for a great cause so you should probably get everyone you know to come along and join the fun and feel good about yourselves for doing it.

tues 21 feb 06
the knitting factory, 74 leonard st

The lineup is:
9 The Nightrats
11 Herbs

Buy tickets

where’s the “dog section”?

Nathan writes about “being a record store clerk”:

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to have a job that involves much human interaction. Mmmhmm, _can’t wait to be a hermit!_

Demetri Martin’s myspace primer

“Demetri Martin”: sings, “I’ve got 9000 friends on myspace.

Ahhhh…myspace…I’m sorry, but I just can’t like it. I’m on it, but I joined back when I had something lodged into my brain that impaired my comprehension. I think it was called a tumor. Yesss. Tumor. The tumor made me do it.

[I don’t mean to offend people with brain tumors.]

[…Also, Demetri Martin is VERY AWESOME.]

As for the whole “making friends online is bad for humans” (or something like that; a few tumor remnants still remain), I highly disagree. However, I really don’t like it when _random_ people friend me on myspace or facebook. I mean, “friend” me, considering I have no idea who the hell these people are. A little note of explanation helps ease the “you’re kind of creeping me out” factor.

Devics – Push the Heart

Devics - Push the Heart I’ve been listening to “Push the Heart”, the new album by “Devics”:, for the past week, over and over and over again, so that I’m quite sure that I love this album. But why? WHYYYY?


…Well, that’s a bit of a lie. The album is very pretty in that sad/eerie/happy way, if that makes any sense (probably not). Members Sara Lov and Dustin O’Halloran have beautiful, soft voices that go very well with the…beautiful, soft music (that makes more sense, but still sounds moronic). Sara sings solo on most of the songs except for the duets “Song for a Sleeping Girl” and “If We Cannot See”, whose words and music are written by Dustin, as opposed to the other songs whose music is by Dustin and words, by Sara. Take a listen:

Devics – Song For a Sleeping Girl [removed]

I _do_ want to fall asleep to this song. Outside. Breezy. Squirrels. …Wait, no squirrels; they’re annoying. Reminds me a bit of Yo La Tengo for some reason. This song eases the throbbing on the side of my head. That’s a good thing.

I’m going to pluck words from “Janet’s”: review at “kevchino”: Sweet, sad and bitter: yup. Mazzy Star: a bit. Waltz beat: sleepy goodness. Radiohead-esque “Just One Breath”: uber (Paranoid Android-esque to be more specific).

I’d upload more songs I like, but I like _all of them_. ALL. It’s probably sad that I’m genuinely surprised that I like an entire album, lead by a female singer (it’s much easier for me to get into male singers for whatever reason)…but I can’t explain it. Actually, if I do have to pick another favorite song, I’d go with “A Secret Message to You”, which features a toy piano, accordian, glockenspiel, and tappy sounding percussive objects. You don’t even have to listen to it to know it’s awesome.

The album comes out on March 7th. “Get a copy”:

**EDIT:** More places to hear songs from the album:

* “Their official site”: (click on “mp3 player” in the top navigation)
* “rbally”: put up two mp3s
* “Devics on myspace”: (OH GOD, NOT MYSPACE…I mean…yay, _myspace_)

stadium stampede

A stampede at Manila stadium killed at least 74 people and injured more than 500 others. “One survivor said some people in the crowd became rowdy when they could not enter.”: “Rowdy”? [via “Luis”:]

…Yeah, that’s old news; I’m slow. Obviously, there are many more tragic things going on, but that’s pretty bad.

Pleix – Birds

Pleix - Birds

Hello, new favorite music video. “Pleix”: took a “Vitalic”: song and set it to beyond slow-motion “video of dogs…doing stuff”: (called “Birds”, of course). Jumping over lazer beams. Shaking out water. Bearing teeth. I’m not exactly in love with dogs (favorite animals: penguins and bunnies, although I’m not sure if they go together) but I feel like I could watch this video ooover and oooover again. And oooooover. [via “lia”:]