The Faint, Tilly and the Wall, Fourth of July

December 21, 2006 at 11:55 PM | Concerts, Music, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I saw The Faint in concert at The Granada this weekend.

The first act was a local band called Fourth of July, who kicked the show off to a great start. There were many things of note with this band… first of all, my favorite was probably the guitarist who played this real interesting, slide-guitar sounding parts. I listened to the tracks they have up on their MySpace and I’m pretty sure they started the show off with the track “Purple Heart” (check it out, it’s hot), which really showcases the guitar part that I’m talking about. The next awesome thing about this band is the fact that they had the whole female/male vocals that recently stated that I enjoyed. And then the guy on the keyboards even played the trumpet on some songs! And finally, the bassist had this kick ass old school looking jazz bass from straight out of the 60′s (70′s?). It wasn’t an upright or anything like that, though, if that’s what you’re thinking. I don’t know a whole lot about bass guitars, but I know that what this guy was playing was not very common. In fact, if there is a missing link between the upright bass to the modern jazz bass, then this was it. Maybe.

Tilly and the Wall was the biggest surprise. I think that I had heard of them before, but I had never heard anything by them (seems to be the story with me and a lot of other bands), so I really didn’t know what to expect. It turns out, I probably should have heard of them, what with their being on Team Love Records, which has its connections to Rilo Kiley and The Faint, both top notch bands in my book. Anyways, their main lineup included 2 female vocalists, a guitarist, as well as… a tap dancer! The tap dancer was amazing. At first, I didn’t know what the point of having a dedicated tap dancer on stage was, but then I realized that she was very much an integral part of Tilly and the Wall’s sound, as her dancing provided the percussion for the songs! I was like “hold up, nobody’s on the drums… and yet… oh my godddd, it’s the tap dancing!” But their sound is some real upbeat, happy sounding stuff, like almost to the point of flowery, hippy-happy. But that may be an exaggeration… it was very happy sounding stuff and it made you happy to hear it and see them perform. The stage was lit up all bright, the booms from the tap dancing hitting hard, people singing together, the handclaps… it was so good. And the girls in the band were hot and stylish, that’s always a plus.

My only complaint about the show is that there was this fool in front of me, during Tilly and the Wall’s set, who kept clapping to the music, but waaaay off beat. It was extremely annoying when I was trying to watch this band that had caught my interest so. I feel bad for being harsh on this guy, because I know how it feels to be at a long-awaited concert of one of your favorite bands of all time, which is what I’m guessing this poor fellow’s situation was. When you find yourself in such a situation, the feeling is incredible. You do what you gotta do, my friend. I’m all for it.  But, please, just not at my expense.

I picked up two Tilly and the Wall records (Wild Like Children and Bottoms of Barrels) and while they are both excellent albums, I think their live performance was sooo much better. Check them out sometime.

And then The Faint. The motherfucking Faint. Now, I’ve seen them before, and I absolutely loved it so much, that it was a given that I was going to see them again, as soon as I got word that they were coming around. It was about 2 years ago when I last saw them, and their setup and show still follows the same format: the dual projector screens in the back, playing material in sync with the music, a wild light show display, and the band performing all crazy, for lack of a better word. And it was all just one big electro-punk dance party–people jumping around, moving to the music. This guy in front of us fell down. Twice. And it never ceases to amaze me the amount of sounds heard on their albums that are produced by guitars, you know, things that one might think were created by synthesizers, computers, or drum machines.

Partway through The Faint’s performance, this guy in front of me turns around and gets my attention. He pointed at something, as if he needed me to get somebody’s attention standing behind me. I turned around and looked but I couldn’t see who/what he wanted. But what he was really doing was pointing at the letters “SF59″ printed on the shoulder of my shirt. I looked back at him and he gave me the thumbs up. We had a Starflyer fan amongst us. That’s always a good sign.

And The Faint played some of their new songs. It’d been a few years, probably about 2 years, maybe more, since they put out Wet From Birth, so I would expect that they have some new songs to play. The thing is, I don’t recall really digging those new tracks that much. And the hottest tracks are still the ones off of Danse Macabre. But when they put out their new disc, I have confidence that it’ll be as hot as their other albums, I just gotta give it some spins.

The Hush Sound

December 2, 2006 at 2:56 AM | Concerts, Music | 1 Comment

The Hush SoundWaaay back in April, I went to a Fall Out Boy, Hawthorne Heights, All-American Rejects show at River Market. It was an OK show… I wasn’t particularly impressed with Fall Out Boy, the headliner (I find that they are a band best enjoyed in the format of a studio recording), but everyone else did alright. But what I was really impressed with was one of the opening acts… the trouble was, I didn’t know who they were. And it was killing me.

I remember there being a girl in the band. I remember her playing piano and singing, but there was a guy that sang too, doing the 2 lead vocalists thing. I remember them mentioning that they were from Chicago. I remember they were called ____ Sound. And I remember loving their sound–generally upbeat stuff, kind of a cabaret sound about them. Plus I’m a sucker for good male/female mixed vocals (The Postal Service, Stars, Rilo Kiley, The Kills, The Subways, etc.).

But, what is that?? That’s not a whole lot to go off of. You certainly can’t google “Chicago sound”. I know, I tried.

I had nothing to go on really and it was really frustrating because I have a fucking excellent track record for finding random music that I come across. If I just hear a little bit of the song, out at a restaurant, over a store’s PA, on a TV show, I can almost always find it. I once found the artist and title of a song some people were playing in a car across a parking lot on a ski trip. And why do I exert so much effort to do this? Why do I care? Because when a track strikes my fancy, I must have it. I’m always on the lookout for new music and I must say, random music exposure and discovery is one of the most gratifying ways to get it done.

My track record took a blow with this particular act though. I was really disappointed that I couldn’t find this mystery group that I had liked so much… I started to think that maybe they weren’t big enough to have sufficient internet exposure for me to properly discover them. I tried again every now and then but my searches turned up nothing. And the further the concert slipped into the past, it seemed the smaller the chance that I would find anything.

Until last night, by accident. I was looking around some random people’s favorite music in Facebook and lo and behold there it was… “The Hush Sound.” A little research and it was confirmed that that was who I had seen at that show so long ago. It’s funny because I actually did a search for it and it turned up on Sam’s favorite music list. As a matter of fact, he was the only Facebook friend that had it in their music list. The answer, it seemed, had been right here next doors and I had been oblivious. And Facebook isn’t usually a place where I find new music. I usually get that sort of thing done over at MySpace. That and looking up people I know to find out if they have kids now. I tell you what, that MySpace, it’s a one stop entertainment shop.

But yeah, if you get a chance, you should check out The Hush Sound’s Like Vines. I’ve been spinning that disc (read: playing the MP3s) all day. They also have an earlier album So Sudden that I haven’t gotten around to yet, but from what I’ve heard on Like Vines and reviews that I’ve read on it, it’s probably OK to go ahead and recommend that you check that out too.

The Legends

April 23, 2006 at 9:40 AM | Concerts, KCMO, Music | No Comments

So last night, a group of us went out to The Legends, which is a new shopping mall out at Village West. I saw something about it on the news, I guess the place is going to be like part museum, part shopping center. The place is called Legends because it’s in honor of the historical figures of Kansas, something that I have grown to appreciate since living in the hellhole known as Missouri (known as “Misery” by many). Anyways, that area is just blowing up… they got Dave & Busters out there (which we’ve hit up a few times already), they got some pretty good restuarants out there, Nebraska Furniture Mart, the Speedway, Cabela’s, and now all these new stores. For their grand opening, they had a free Counting Crows concert. I’ve never seen the Counting Crows before, but I really dig their music… I find myself listening to them off and on quite a bit. The concert was outdoors, the weather was perfect, and they played a pretty good show. Afterwards, there was a fireworks display. And then it started raining and hailing pretty hard, but that was after we got back to the car, so I suppose it was alright.

Upcoming Shows

April 12, 2006 at 8:46 PM | Concerts, Good Times, Music | 1 Comment

Through a strange twist of fate, I have suddenly found myself going to a number of concerts in the near future. In the very near future (AKA tomorrow), I have the Fallout Boy/Hawthorne Heights/All-American Rejects show. And then next month, another show with The Subways (who I actually saw not too long ago), and Imogen Heap… both shows in Lawrence.

That last Subways was so fucking hot, I can’t wait to see them again… I never got around to writing about that show, but let me tell you, it was a good one. I ended up going to that one with Kyle and this girl in one of his night classes. I have to be honest, it was probably one of the funnest shows that I’ve ever been to. The venue was just the perfect size, the band played a great set, and we were all nice and tore up. Here’s hoping the next one is just as good.

The Imogen Heap show, I really wonder how that’s going to go… I’m thinking it might be kind of a little different format than most shows, being a solo act and all. I’ve never seen any footage of her playing any shows but I did see the video of her performing live on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, hosted by Nick Harcourt. She did all of the music by herself on there. Now, I guess this really isn’t too far fetched, considering the number of Joy Electric shows that I have frequented over the years. While I enjoyed every JE show that I’ve gone to, the Ronnie Martin solo act just did not compare to the first time that I saw him perform with live drums. That was the same show that Ryan and I saw Goat Explosion… that was a good one. I’ve seen pictures of Jeff Cloud playing with Ronnie too, on the key-tar, if I’m not mistaken. A solo act is cool, but a couple more people on stage doing their thing is probably even a better time. Anyways, Imogen’s music is amazing. I enjoyed everything that she put out with Frou Frou and her solo albums are just as good if not better than those. I thought that she’d never come around these parts, but then again, I thought that I would never see The Cardigans either.

Of Christmas, Jam, and Death Cab

December 17, 2005 at 1:16 AM | Concerts, Food | 1 Comment

One of my favorite things about the holidays is the presence of oldies Christmas songs, which I can never really get enough of.

Also, my favorite kind of jam (or jelly… what’s the difference?) is strawberry because of those seed-looking things. Gives it a good, crunchy texture every so often.

Also… Death Cab For Cutie was amazing tonight… not only did they put on a great show, they even played a bunch of my favorite songs from the earlier albums that I didn’t expect! I can’t wait to see them again. Psychedelic Furs… apparently, I know a bunch of their songs on the radio from the 90s. I just never knew who they were til tonight. I thought they were pretty good. Forgettable, though. Hot Hot Heat was smoking hot, needless to say. I can’t say that I really cared too much for Alkaline Trio or Against Me. Well, no, Alkaline Trio had one or two catchy tunes, but I’ll never know what they were.

Ha HA!

December 15, 2005 at 9:15 PM | Concerts, Site/Personal | No Comments

Through a strange twist of fate, I have scored me a ticket to The Night The Buzz Stole Christmas, a show that I was previously unsuccessful in scoring tickets to.

Foiled Again

November 15, 2005 at 10:35 PM | Concerts, KCMO | 2 Comments

The Night The Buzz Stole Christmas #3I’ve missed concerts that I’ve wanted to go to before, no big deal. I mean, sure, it would’ve been cool to go to them, but sometimes things just don’t work out… like you can’t come up with the cash, the concert’s in another town impossibly far away… you know, these sorts of things I can understand.

Having a show sell out right in front of you, on the other hand, is not something that I can stomache too easily. And this isn’t the first time that this has happened to me, either. You think that I’d learn by now. Noooo.

I had a Death Cab show sell out on me. Death Cab is one of my top 10 bands of all time. OK, I said, they’re still a band, they’ll come back around these parts eventually. Then I had a Faint show sell out on me. The Faint is even higher up in the ranks, they’re like top 5. But I let it fly. OK, I said, I’ve seen them once before, it was a grand ol time… I guess I don’t have to see them again this time around. Maybe next time around. And then Death Cab came around KC again around the time that I started working in Kansas City. I missed that one too because it sold out. It was devastating.

What kills me about the show that just sold out on me (and just like the three aforementioned concerts) is that I know about them weeks in advance, I’ve got the money to go, and it’s at a reasonably close venue. All the variables are in place and it looks like there’s no way that I’m not going to go to these shows. The stars are aligned n shit. Until I try to buy the blasted tickets and TicketMaster tells me that it’s sold out.

And then get this!!: The show in question is “The Night The Buzz Stole Christmas #3″ featuring none other than Death Cab For Cutie!!! This is the third time that I’ve missed them! My GOD!! The show also features The Psychedelic Furs, Hot Hot Heat, Alkaline Trio, and Against Me. The show is going to be in KC on a Friday night. You couldn’t ask for a better time and place… Nevermind that I only care to see Death Cab and Hot Hot Heat… I reeeeally wanted to see this one because I just don’t think that I could die without seeing all of my favorite bands perform live at least once.

I understand that this is quite a feat, since I think it would be terribly difficult for me to see Love Psychedelico in concert. I actually missed their performance in Hong Kong by a few days, but who is to say that I could’ve even scored tickets to that one? Well, that’s another story I spose…

It kills me because just today, we were at work talking about getting tickets. Albert ordered some tickets along with 4 other people. Kyle bought a ticket. The image of me reclining in my chair telling Albert “naaah, it ain’t gonna sell out…” keeps running through my mind. It haunts me without end. I was waiting because I wanted to see if Sam was going to be able to go or not so I could order tickets all at once. I guess Sam’s parents are coming into town around then so he needed to see if he could even make it to the thing, so he was going to call them when he got home. Tickets must have sold out between that time and the when I checked again shortly after getting home. I’m not saying Sam is to blame… it’s actually TicketMaster, with their blasted “convenience” charges and “order processing” fees. It’s fucking ridiculous, these people at TicketMaster. Somebody needs to run up on them and shut down their whole operation with a competing service. I’ll burn that motherfucker down if I have to.

But yeah… Death Cab… they’re still a band, they’ll come back around these parts eventually…

The Show

July 6, 2005 at 12:22 AM | Concerts, KCMO | No Comments

Beach Ball IPerhaps the biggest shame is how they traded in that awesome stageshow “W” that some might consider synonymous with the band itself… for a big electronic, multicolor glowing thing that appears in the background of Make Believe.

Nice going, Weezer.

But seriously. I was excited about going to this concert all day. It was an OK show… Cake was a lot of fun and Weezer played about half and half in terms of Make Believe and pre-Make Believe. Hell, even the songs from Make Believe sounded decent live. Hearing these songs performed live, you kind of get a better sense of what Rivers might have intended them to be. But I’m still upset about the W. I ain’t even joking about that shit.

Also, I spent an hour and a half just getting out of the parking lot. That was a fucking riot. I must’ve used a quarter tank of gas just inching my way out of that goddamn grass lot. It’s not like I could’ve just waited it out… cuz cars were moving, just ever so slowly. They had to send in the police to regulate that shit. I almost remember the drive out better than the show itself.

Anyways, I guess I should explain how I found myself at this show so suddenly. I mean, I usually announce these sorts of things months in advance as being “on the horizon” but this one really jumped out of nowhere. You see, I had heard of this concert a long time ago but had been debating whether or not to go simply because I had listened to Weezer’s new album and was unsure whether supporting their release of such garbage was my best move. Plus, I had to work on the day of the show. But I do like Cake. And The Elevator Division would be there. I was pretty torn about the whole matter.

The first resolution came when I realized that I really didn’t know anybody interested in going to this show. I decided that if nobody else was going, then I wasn’t going to go. There are some exceptions, but in general, I probably wouldn’t go to a concert by myself. It kind of falls in the category of going to a movie by yourself or eating at a sit-down restaurant by yourself… you just don’t do it. Case in point, if The Cardigans come around these parts again, y’all can go fuck yourselves, cuz I’m going to that show regardless of my company.

The reversal came when I started talking to Mandy about the show and she was telling me that she might go and that she knew some people interested in going. Well that just about sealed the deal?I was going to the show. Nevermind that this all went down less than a week from the day of the show. Nevermind that nobody had tickets yet. Having suffered a recent series of missed concerts due to lack of planning, I wasn’t about to give up on this one so easily.

It was Monday, the day before the show. Due to unexpected ticket prices, I suddenly found it upon myself to get ahold of some tickets. I drove down to the local Price Chopper. They didn’t do Ticketmaster. I asked them where I could do Ticketmaster. They didn’t know, they just knew they didn’t do it. I drove down to the Hyvee in Gladstone. They did Royals tickets, but no Ticketmaster. I asked them where I could do Ticketmaster. The guy behind the counter didn’t know, pulled out a phone book to see what he could find under “Ticketmaster” in the business pages. The whole time, I’m standing there thinking “my god, what an idiot…” Another guy behind the Hyvee counter comes up, says they do Ticketmaster at The Jones Store at North Metro. I went to The Jones Store in North Metro. As I walk towards the entrance, somebody yells at me from their car: “They close in 5 minutes!” I ran inside, found the Customer Service counter (upstairs) and asked if they did Ticketmaster. “Yes, we do, but we stop selling at 6.” It was 6:58. The lady behind the counter informed me that everybody stops selling tickets at 6. There wasn’t another place for me to drive to, even if I wanted to. I didn’t want to, but I would have done it.

I must have been driving around town for like an hour. At least. Oh yeah, and while I was at Price Chopper, I bought some peaches and a big pack of chicken drumsticks. So I was driving around, trying to keep my chicken cool so it wouldn’t go bad. I honestly didn’t think I would be so long.

I know when I have faced my defeat. I called up Mandy and told her that I couldn’t get tickets. She went and picked up tickets at her local Hyvee less than an hour later. They got the Ticketmaster hookup in Lawrence, I guess.

On the horizon: Coldplay / Rilo Kiley, 09/21/05, KCMO

The Heat!

April 18, 2005 at 10:34 AM | Concerts, Food, Movies, Site/Personal | No Comments

Back from a weekend in Lawrence/KC. Somehow in all the shit going down, we missed the business hours of Uptown Theater by almost 2 hours. So now it’s going to cost just a bit more to get those Faint/Bright Eyes tickets, but oh well, I still think it’s worth it. I saw the movie Sin City… I thought it was alright. Then we hung out with my cousin and some of his friends, ate some food.

I came back to the house and nobody was home… I went upstairs and my god, the heat! It was so hot upstairs (or was it the relative humidity?), it was almost unbearable. I switched on my fan, but that only provided temporary relief in a thin zone in the room. I left it on for pretty much the rest of the night, hoping that the air circulation would somehow dissipate some of that heat. I dunno, it was still pretty hot. Is it that time of year already? I don’t think I got enough of that in-between spring temperatures that I like so much. As if that weren’t enough to be concerned with, I’ve got so much food in the fridge that I dunno if I can finish it before it goes bad… I was gone this weekend, and I’ll be gone once again Tuesday and Wednesday. I think I’d better not have that Gumby’s that I usually have every Monday.

Update: I called up Uptown on Monday morning and they were sold out of tickets. Looks like we won’t be going to that show after all. Also, I did have that Gumby’s pizza, even despite my food situation.

The Faint Concert

October 28, 2004 at 2:28 AM | Concerts, Music, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

So The Faint’s show tonight was bad ass. The band that played first, Beep Beep, was OK at best. They were pretty wild. It was some upbeat, crazy sounding stuff… it just wasn’t that good though. And plus one of the guitar players kept making these faces… like he’d smile real wide with his mouth open and waddle around, playing his guitar… it was very distracting. And he had on these strange clog-looking shoes…

But yeah, then The Faint came on and rocked the place with songs going all the way back to Blank-Wave Arcade. There were of course the new songs from Wet From Birth, and they played quite a few from Danse Macabre, which everybody seems to love. Those songs are hot, people know them and people love em and love dancing to em. They had these two projectors set up, playing these wild videos in the background, all synchronized with the music… I’d never seen anything quite like it. So the place up front near the stage was a large mass of bodies moving, people dancing, moving, pushing, dancing… it was a grand ol time. They played a cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”… I thought that was fun. My only complaint would be that they didn’t play more songs, in particular “Symptom Finger”, which I’ve taken quite a liking to. Oh yeah, and also there was this short girl in front of me; I kept accidentally banging my chin on the top of her head, that sucked. But then again, I guess having somebody chin the back of your head isn’t too pleasant either. What can you do.

Yeah, so I got back from the Faint show pretty late. There was one hell of a storm on the way back from Lawrence… like it was that type of storm that lets down rain so heavy that you can’t see a thing, even with the wipers going on max. The show itself got out pretty late too… like 11:30… that didn’t help much. So anyways there I was, driving like 45 mph on the way back because I couldn’t see and hydroplaned like 3 times n shit. I was scared for my life. When I finally got back, it was like 1:30. Took a shower and it was like 2:00 or so.

You might be thinking… hey didn’t he say this week was a busy week? What’s he doing going to concerts on a Wednesday night? Well, to answer that, yeah it is a busy week… I’ve got a 570 exam early tomorrow morning and I haven’t done a speck of studying. Maybe going to this concert wasn’t the wisest decision, but I don’t regret it, I had a great time and I’d do it again. Come to think of it… I could be studying right now. Hmmm…

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