Sunday, June 14, 2009
NIN and Jane's Addiction. The late 80's early 90's alive again. First, I used to really dig NIN along with every other angst teenager. And I really dug JA...especially their self titled album. But there came a time in my life with both bands just seized to exist, especially after NIN didn't surface with another album after 5 years and JA became a wannabe corporation.
This show was played out at Post-Gazette Pavilion, probably the worst place for any type of traffic control (with only one entrance exit). NIN went on first and played a crowd pleasing set to fans who probably didn't realize they were opening for JA. A lot of people were still out in the parking lot barbequing and drinking with many of the seats still open when NIN first came on. Slowly, but surely, a surge developed and the crowd showed up roaring and fist pumping and lyrics copying. Trent Reznor, with his massive biceps (can we please start questioning whether rock stars use PED's, Reznor, Eddie Vedder, Brett Michaels, et.al).
nin played a lively set and didn't stop even though we were still an hour away from dusk. Trent wanted the crowd to know he appreciated the support and hope to see us down the road. Evidently he is giving the NIN moniker to pursue other music numbers.
JA came out and out with a 9 minute diddy of their own. I really loved JA back in the day, and if the choice became NIN v. JA I would probaly say JA even with Perry FArrell and Dave Navarro became such tools. But these 2 were more than I could take...with their obvious facelifts and shirtless tats to show to all, it became clear that these 2 were just concerned about themselves and not who they were playing to.
Thankfully, I left 30 minutes before JA could ruin my past regard for them.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Seriously...fantastic show. I don't say that too often. If you missed the show Tuesday night (and judging by the crowd size a majority did) you simply missed out on one of the top 5 shows for me ytd.
Holly Miranda (by ways of Tenn. and now NYC)was the opener...I had listened to a couple of her myspace songs before going to the show and my reaction was just, "eh". However, she surprised everyone in attendance with her vocals and stage presence. She has one of the best vocals I have heard in quite some time. My companion compared her to Chan Marshall (Cat Power) and I can definitely see that, but maybe with Fiest as well. She sounded 100x better live than on record (or myspace in this case). Her backing band consisted of another 2 members who played guitar, keyboards and violin although Holly played by herself on several of her songs. She was having a lot of fun with it even asking the audience if it was ok if she played something goofy. I wish she had played for about 15 minutes more; after the show I saw every table pickup a copy of her new ep.
AA Bondy was next up and just killed. I thought maybe because there wasn't a huge crowd he might just blow through the set, but he showed why he has a reputation as a stellar live performer. He had no backing band besides his sets of harmonicas and a couple of guitars. Bondy is a very intense performer with a husky, booming voice that easily fills the room esp. at Club Cafe. He played a fantastic set of folk/rock with a majority of the material off his new record due out on Sept. 1 "When the Devil's Loose" (Fat Possum Records). The crowd was very attentive hanging each song before exploding into applause upon completion. Of course I forgot to bring my camera once again or I would have recorded a little snippet. After the show I went to say hi and overheard a newlywed stating that the first song they played at her wedding was one of his. I was wondering how often he hears that.
The only downside for me was a buzzing noise coming at times during both performances. I have experienced this a few times at Club Cafe...I am not sure if its the equipment or the sound man. Just wish it wouldn't happen. If either comes back around make sure to catch them.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Tomorrow night is a tough choice for music and sports fans in the burgh. There are 3 good shows that are well worth seeing on their own. First you have a free show with Apostle of Hustle + Donora at the 3 Rivers Arts Festival. Then over at the Warhol John Vanderslice is kicking it at 8p. And, as mentioned here before, AA Bondy at Club Cafe. Finally you have the Pens trying to push the series to 7 games. Sometimes you wish all of these wouldn't fall on the same date, but it happens.
You could make it double bill and catch Apostle of Hustle at 7p then hop over to Club Cafe or the Warhol. But my choice is AA Bondy. With respect to other happenings, this up and coming artist is just better than what is going on elsewhere (and the Pens will push it to 7). Check out my preview here: Bondy Club Cafe
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I didn't see the Black Keys the last time they were here (New American Music Festival) when I skipped out on the day. After seeing the Black Keys Friday night with an approximate crowd over 6000 people I wish I had. This duo of drums and guitars with their blues infused rock opened up the 3 Rivers Arts Festival with a huge bang. If you were there you know what I am talking about. If you weren't, you really missed out on a great free show in Pgh. There was a very diverse crowd on hand where I saw hippies dancing like we were at a Phish show, the Baby Boom generation (+60 standing on chairs) and a infused crowd of HS kids jumping and crowd surfing.
It bewilders me why these guys don't come to Pittsburgh more often since they had such a large crowd plus living only 1.5 hours from us. They bring the goods.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Next Tuesday at Club Cafe AA Bondy is playing an early show beginning at 8p. He is a fantastic singer/songwriter supporting his album 'American Hearts'. Another national act, Holly Miranda, will be the opener. Below is a brief preview of AA Bondy and the album with some mp3's to check out.
AA Bondy was in a band named Verbena from my southern roots, Birmingham, Alabama (although I have never heard of them). They were said to be the next coming of Nirvana (mainly because Dave Grohl produced their first record) in the late 90’s. Things never came to fruition for the band, so AA Bondy struck out on his own performing under his given name.
"There's a Reason"
Bondy’s first release, “American Hearts”, was re-released on Fat Possum Records (Andrew Bird, et.al) in 2008. The album has a very sparse indie folk sound that is both enchanting and mesmerizing given the right setting. It’s mostly an acoustic record that was recorded in a converted barn in the Catskills of New York. This adds to the production sound with a bleaker atmospheric feel. Bondy’s voice is often gruff and husky that adds another layer to the instrumentation on the record. There is an underlying theme of despair and spirituality throughout the album. On the title track, ‘American Hearts’ lyrics point to peace stating: “If your God makes war/ then he’s no God I know/ cause Christ would not send boys to die”
Bondy has been getting a lot of good press from the larger media outlets: Pitchfork, Stereogum, Spin, etc. plus getting amazing show reviews. Should be a great show in an intimate setting.