Sunday, October 31, 2010

Show Preview - Gogol Bordello - 11/4/10 - Mr Smalls - Pittsburgh


In August I caught Gogol Bordello's set at Lollapalooza in Chicago. I had heard of them, but never really bothered to seek them out. What a serious mistake. They put on one of the best show's I have seen in quite sometime. They play a manic variety of gypsy punk rock that keeps the audience in constant motion (not too mention themselves). They bring a mesmerizing combination of spectacle and musical mayhem, with a variety of musicians onstage. The traditional folk sounds and rhythms are accompanied by punk rifts, drums, acoustic guitar and scruffy vocals.




The band just recently released their latest album (and first on a major label) entitled Trans-Continental Hustle. GB are no gimmick, they bring the goods. Even though they are older and supposedly a bit slower, they show no signs of age. Lead Eugene Hutz has a relentless hunger to bring a party atmosphere onstage and a vision of how a band should entertain. The band just isn't for the young, they bring a number of of old punks, metal-heads and your normal indie attender where age and musical genre do not reflect the norm. This is definitely a must attend, if not for the music, then for the atmosphere.

Gogol Bordello will be playing at Mr. Smalls this Thursday, 11/4 at 8p.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Morning Glory Coffee House Closing


Just received some bad news, Morning Glory Coffee House will be closing its doors tomorrow 10/30. They are one of the more friendly independent shops around town and will be sorely missed. They put on a lot of great shows over the 2 years of existance, but nothing lasts forever. Here is the Dark Dark Dark video we captured from Moglo.



Tomorrow they will be open from 9a-9p. Be sure to stop by if you can. Everything will probably be on the house or close to it. RIP

Show Preview - Cloud Cult - Mr Smalls - 11/2/10 - Pittsburgh


Cloud Cult will be appearing at Mr Smalls next Wendsday, 11/3. They are touring behind their new album Light Chasers released in September. They have made a stop in Pittsburgh only 2 times before while being together for over 15 years.


From their press release:

With the release of Light Chasers (their 8th album in the past 15 years) this past September, Cloud Cult has returned to the indie-rock scene with what Pitchfork has called ““…Epic, millennial indie rock…”. John Richards of KEXP has also praised their latest effort, saying Light Chasers is "The best thing Cloud Cult has ever done, which is saying a lot as everything they've done so far is near perfection". The band will be heading out on tour this fall in support of Light Chasers, including a stop in their hometown of Minneapolis where they will headline First Avenue on November 17th and 18th. This comes after First Avenue honored Cloud Cult with a star on the side of their venue. Previous honors have gone to the likes of Aerosmith, Nirvana and Metallica.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Show Preview - MiMOSA - Mr Smalls - 11/3/10 - Pittsburgh


Robert Collado aka MiMOSA a dj/producer from San Francisco, CA brings his earth shaking, dubstep, glitch, crunk-step, electronic, dub-hop for the soul to Mr. Smalls Theater on Wednesday November 3rd opening for The New Deal. The 22 year old MiMOSA over his short two year career has released numerous EP efforts including "Flux for Life" and "Psychedelic Stereo" and just released his mini-LP titled "Silver Lining" which debuted in the Top 10 electronic iTunes section after only two days this month.

Word of MiMOSA's live experiences have spread like wildfire with him sharing the stage with the likes of Rusko, Flying Lotus, Bassnectar, Datsik, Glitch Mob, and Benga while also appearing at The Do Lab at Coachella, Burning Man, and Decibel Festival.

MiMOSA recently opened for the sold out, highly anticipated Pretty Lights' Red Rocks show.


Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/tigranmimosa

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/tigranmimosa

Wednesday November 3rd The New Deal with special guests Two Fresh, MiMOSA 8:00PM $17.50

-Jonathon Puff

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Show Preview - Interview - Plants and Animals - 11/2/10 - Diesel - Pittsburgh


Plants and Animals will be opening for Frightened Rabbit at Diesel Tuesday, Novemeber 2nd. They are a three piece by way of Montreal. They are touring behind their sophomore album La La Land which came out this past April. The three piece plays a bit of orchestral sound ala Polyphonic Spree with a 70's psych undertone. Below is an interview the band was kind enough to give us touching on their song writing process, time spent in Paris recording their La La Land and how their hockey team rules. Check out several tracks embedded in the interview from the new album.

Have you seen any differences in the past couple of years with the economy being so stagnant? Has there been a difference between attendance/sales in Canada versus the US? How has it affected you?

I like to think of us as a travelling stimulus package. But It's really hard to tell because there are so many factors that go into those things and I don't have the stats. On a gut level, I would say maybe it's affected things a little, but it doesn't seem to have lasted. That's with attendance, at least. As for sales, the hit has come from digital downloading, and that's a whole other issue, recession or not.

I read that part of your record was recorded in Paris. Why the change of venue?

We had done a good month in the studio in Montreal and were headed overseas to play a few shows in Europe when someone from our label brought up the idea of tracking for a few days outside of Paris. In a giant house, with amazing old equipment. Mais oui! So part of the album came from there and part from a studio in Montreal. There was no master plan--we just followed our instincts. We made some close friends at Studio La Frette and would love to spend some time there again.

Tom Cruz by Plants and Animals

Do you all share duties with regards to songwriting? Lyrics?

Usually Warren provides the spark - be it a riff to the skeleton of a whole song, and we shape it as a band. Sometimes the original shape sticks, sometimes someone pushes the song beyond recognition. Warren adds lyrics at the end. That's been the way so far anyway, but we've been talking about different approaches for our next recording.

How would you say La La Land differs from previous album Parc Avenue (first lp)?

Parc Avenue is a yard sale and La La Land is a shopping mall.

I read an interview where it sounded like you wanted a bit more recognition/album sales instead of the blog crowd. How have album sales been for your new album? Are you able to make a comfortable living right now from your music?

I'm not quite sure where that came from. I'm reluctant to draw a line between "the blog crowd" and sales. Of course we want to sell records and tickets, and for the past few years we've been lucky enough to live off of our music. We don't take it for granted. But whether you read about us on some obscure blog or you hear a song on "Chuck" doesn't matter to me. It boils down to connecting to people.

A lot of your publicity photos are very animated with different imagery of costumes, etc. Are you trying to make any kind of statement with these? Or are they just for fun?

There's a funny website out there of band shots with dudes standing in a triangle in front of a brick wall looking really serious. But it's just not us.

The Mama Papa by Plants and Animals

Did you all come up with the concept for your video The Mama Papa? Could you talk a little about it I really enjoy it.

The concept came from the director, Sinbad Richardson. It's based on Fellini's "8 1/2," and he apparently had been tossing the idea around in his mind for some time before we even approached him with the song. I thought the magician, Joe Cobden, killed it. He's a pretty prolific actor / doer of things, and Sinbad suggested we use him as the lead. We liked that idea - and it just so happens that Joey is one of our closest friends.

Is there an album or show that made you want to dedicate your life to music?

There have been lots of magical moments, but I really can't trace it all back to an epiphany. In fact I wouldn't even say I've dedicated my whole life to music. Just my liver.

American Idol by Plants and Animals

What are the goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish?

We want a cool red bus like Frightened Rabbit.

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?

Habs rule.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Show Preview - Interview - Frightened Rabbit - 11/2/10 - Diesel - Pittsburgh

Frightened Rabbit will be performing at Diesel next Tuesday 11/2. They are touring behind their latest album The Winter of Mixed Drinks which came out earlier this year to stellar reviews. The last time they were here was way back in January 2009 at CMU which made our third best show that year. Main man Scott Hutchinson was kind enough to answer a few questions, giving us probably one of the most honest interviews we've had. Scott talks about the current economy and how it has affected them, Ryan Adams as one of his major influences and how Pittsburgh needs to bring the 'motherfucking ruckus' Tuesday.

Was The Winter of Mixed Drinks more of conceptual album?

Perhaps, though I think the Midnight Organ Fight has it's own, very clear theme as well. I like songs to be tied together, so that the album has a sense of cohesion and you can feel time passing from track to track. I guess the Winter of Mixed Drinks follows a protagonist on a journey of sorts, but I didn't want it to sound overthought or 'storybookish' in any way.

You have been well rcvd in the ‘indie world’ of North America; how is it in Europe?


We get a rather varied response in Europe... The UK has finally caught up with the States, and we have played some great shows in Holland, Germany and Denmark. But then you can go to Spain and play to 16 people a night, which is a bit tough. But then you just think "fuck it, I'm in Spain, this is great!". Some places, you just need to work a little harder.

Swim Until You Can't See Land by Frightened Rabbit

Have you seen any differences in the past couple of years with the economy being so stagnant? Has there been a difference between attendance/sales in Europe versus the US? How has it affected you?

Well, we've been pretty poor for a few years, and in fact we have seen our financial situation improve over the past year. Attendance may have been slightly affected, because people have to be selective about what shows they see. If you are in town around the same time as a bigger band, they can take that ticket away from you. The whole online booking/processing fee bullshit is also killing sales in the US for everyone. That needs to stop.

How are the shows you play in Europe compared to the ones in the US? Are you getting the same attendance? How does the audience differ in responding to the music?

Everyone usually responds well to the live show - a fan is still a fan, wherever they live. Numbers fluctuate from country to country and state to state, but it tends not to drop below a certain level. We don't worry too much about it. We try to give out the same level of energy every night.

Is there an album or show that made you want to dedicate your life to music?

I think Ryan Adams has played a big part in my decision. I listened to his music a lot when I began writing, especially Gold. His writing is so simple, yet he cuts right through you. I saw him play once and it looked like he was having a ball. I admire his work ethic.
 
Nothing Like You by Frightened Rabbit
 
We saw you at Lollapalooza this year. How do you like playing the outdoor day setting compared to the club, evening?


They are very different. It's quite hard to create any sense of intimacy on an outdoor stage in broad daylight. It's a challenge we've been learning to deal with, and those big festival shows can be really rewarding. I still prefer the club shows.
 
You released a Christmas single in the past (2007-2008). Is this something that will come out in December or have you ceased this?

I think it's taking a year off, though I wouldn't rule out another release in years to come. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

Why did you decide to add a fifth member? How has that been working out? Does it change your live sound a lot?

It has allowed us to include more detail in the live sound. I can hang back on guitar a lot more because the spaces are being filled with other, more interesting elements. It's working out well, though I think we will cap it at 5 members.

Living in Colour by Frightened Rabbit

Your last album The Winter of Mixed Drinks was well received. Are you writing any new material for a new album?

I'm getting started, though I tend to need some solitude, space and time to immerse myself in a project like writing an album. These conditions are almost impossible to find on tour.

I read you were big fans of the Delgados (huge fan myself). How did they influence your sounds and lyrics?

I think they had a huge influence because their music came into my life at just the right time. Prior to this, I had been listening to some pretty riff-centric, testosterone fuelled music. Then the Delgados came along and I realised there was a depth in the music that I hadn't experienced before. I still try to create that kind of drama, poetry and depth in my own music.

What are the goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish?

I just want us to continue progressing, moving forward and making better records.

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?

Bring the motherfucking ruckus.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Show Preview - Dark Dark Dark - 10/26/10 - Helter Shelter

Back in April Dark Dark Dark played at the Morning Glory Coffee House. They were touring behind their new ep Bright Bright Bright which was a nice, brooding album that was in my player for quite some time. I mentioned in the review that when they came back through I hoped they would play in a more proper venue http://www.pghmusicreport.com/2010/04/dark-dark-dark-morning-glory-4310.html. I just received an email that they will be here on 10/26 playing somewhere called Helter Shelter. I have never heard of the venue but hopefully it's bigger than Moglo.

DDD is now touring behind their latest lp Wild Go. Below is a video of "Wild Go". Also checkout the video from the last time they were here. They put on a good show. If anyone has information on Helter Shelter pass it along.


City of Music: Dark Dark Dark from MPLS.TV on Vimeo.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Interview - Pomegranates - Show Preview - 10/20/10 - Garfield Artworks


Pomegranates will be playing tomorrow night at Garfield Artworks. Below is an interview they were kind enough to give us. See our previous show review here.

What is your goal with the band? How would you deem yourself successful?

To write music that resonates with people. If we can do that I would say we are successful on some level. It would be nice to be able to quit or day jobs.

Is there any theme behind your new album One of Us? Or are these songs that shouldn’t be grouped together?

Its a more personal album than the ones in the past. More earnest. They make sense together as a collection since they were written around the same period of time.

How did the new album differ from your first albums Everything is Alive and Everybody Come Outside? Was the recording, song development different as well?

Yeah, we had more time to record, and werent trying to come up with a specific set of songs. We just wrote what felt natural, and are much happier with the results.

Is this your first major tour where you were the headliner? How has it been going? Anything different from being a supporting act?

We have done some headlining tours, but this is the longest we have done. Its been fair. We have had some weird shows and started the tour out with a theft of a bunch of our gear which we are obviously still dealing with a couple weeks later.

How does creating your songs work? Is there one major writer and others bring in their take once they hear it? Or?

Most of the album is very collaborative. Someone will have a little idea and we build on it.

Is there an album or show that made you want to dedicate your life to music?

I dont think so. Not that I am aware of anyway.

How many people share vocal duties on the new album? And has this always been that way?

3 of the 4 of us sing on the new album. Yeah, we have always shared vocals.

So being from Cincinnati how is the music scene there compared to other small markets? I know Bad Veins and The National are from the area. Is it supportive?

Yes, Cincinnati is a fantastic place for music. One of the best we have encountered to be honest. We love it there.

Are you all able to do this full time or do you still have to work part time jobs?

Still working jobs.

Have you seen any differences in the past couple of years with the economy being so stagnant? How has it effected you?

Its hard to say... I would say we seem to sell less albums, but that could just be an excuse for people not liking our band as much as we would hope. Haha

Along the Cincinnati theme, what is up with the Bengals? They bring in TO and the offense is still putrid. You see this improving at all from a playoff team last year? Or will they be lucky to get to .500?

I could see them getting a wild card. Carson Palmer needs to go, and we need a new offensive coordinator.

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh ?

Hope to see you at the show!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Show Preview - Pomegranates - Garfield Artworks - 10/20/10 - Pittsburgh

The Pomegranates will be playing Garfield Artworks this Wednesday, 10/20. They are from Cincinnati and just released their latest lp One of Us.

Pomegranates - "50's" by Pomegranates

From their bio:


Pomegranates are a band from Cincinnati that began as a fun project between two friends, Jacob Merritt and Isaac Karns, eventually growing into a four-piece with Joey Cook and, most recently, Dan Lyon. Over a span of two years, the band released two albums, 2008’s Everything Is Alive and 2009’s TJ Lipple-produced Everybody, Come Outside!, both of which drew the immediate attention of independent radio stations like KEXP, WOXY, and KCRW, and critical praise from the likes of Spin magazine for the band’s very sudden and prodigious growth in sound.


Having notched off those tours, as well as further dates with Islands and Blitzen Trapper, the band recorded their third LP, One of Us, with TJ Lipple at The Monastery in Cincinnati. Having cited inspirations like Spiritualized and Talking Heads for their work so far, the band’s new “psychedelic dream rock” album looks to push further down experimental roads, with descriptors like “textured,” “unusual,” and “challenging” entering the conversation.


Pomegranates - "One Of Us" Test Pressing First Listen from Afternoon Records on Vimeo.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Show Review - Twin Shadow - Brillobox - 10/10/10 - PIttsburgh - Concert Review - Live Review


“I let my hair down for you, Pittsburgh” playfully protested George Lewis Jr., having earlier removed his ponytail while playing for the half-full crowd at Brillobox on Saturday night. We had demanded one more song when he had said it was their last after a great set. The band conceded to play a final number and finished the night with a rousing alternate version of “Castles in the Snow” off Twin Shadow’s debut album Forget. Part of the deal (with the audience) was that the guy dancing in front of the stage all night had to join the band onstage to dance out the final number. Jeff, the night’s “number one dancer,” thankfully complied, gyrated, and we got our encore.

This was an exciting show which introduced an artist who is at the beginning of something big. His excellent debut is a work made in the studio – lush with brilliant vocals and the clean sounds of synthesizers, drum machines, and surfacing guitars. The live show was something else entirely. A full band complete with drums, bass, live synth, and Lewis Jr. on guitar. It took on a rawer and more energetic feel from the album. While it’s evident on the album that Lewis Jr. sings beautifully and writes moving emotional lyrics, I didn’t expect him to be such an exciting guitar player. He easily traded between atmospheric strumming, discordant noise, and virtuoso shredding. For “Slow” he pulled out a white Fender and let us know that this song “has to be played on a white guitar.” The live drumming was faster and wilder to go along with the rock sound Twin Shadow uses in translating their music to the stage. It is a smashing success, making them one of those bands where the live music is not a reproduction of the recorded sound, but an organic complement to the whole.

It was clear that the band is still new to touring the record – they didn’t yet know how to play all the songs from the album. But even for an audience who seemed mostly unfamiliar with Twin Shadow, they managed to win a roomful of new fans.

--Daniel Hammer

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ticket Giveaway - Show Preview - Old Canes - 10/20/10 - Brillobox - Pittsburgh

Old Canes will be appearing at the Brillobox next Wednesday, 10/20. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. To enter, just send an email to pghmusicreport@gmail.com with your name. All entries must be received by Sunday.

Little Bird Courage by Old Canes

Old Canes is Lawrence, Kansas legend Chris Crisci (of Appleseed Cast fame) is hitting the road with Old Canes for a two week U.S. tour heading out to the Saddle Creek CMJ showcase in New York. Last year they played at the Brillobox (show review here) and performed one of my top 10 shows for the year, coming in at #4. The band is still touring behind their last album, Feral Harmonic, which also made my top 10 albums for 2009. You can find the album review plus show preview from the last time they were at the Brillobox in the link given.  There is also a great interview with Chris Crisci that we conducted the past year which you can find here. The point being, if you enjoy the music, they are even better live.

Trust by Old Canes

From the bio: Old Canes began in 2004 as a new project for Appleseed Cast front man Crisci. It was born out of a few acoustic melodies he had written and performed impromptu when Appleseed Cast was uncharacteristically asked to perform acoustically at an in-store performance in Europe. Inspired by a second creative outlet, and the reaction the fledgling songs received, Crisci began recording these and more, calling on a host of musician friends to fill out the parts. Old Canes’ debut, Early Morning Hymns, was released in July 2004 on Second Nature Recordings.

Take a listen to the posted songs and if you like be sure to enter for the ticket giveaway. If you don't win, still go to the concert. We promise you will not regret.

Ticket Winner - Jukebox the Ghost w/ Elizabeth and the Catapult

Congratulations to Athena A. for winning the pair of tickets to see Jukebox the Ghost and Elizabeth and the Catapult.

Just a reminder the show is tomorrow, Friday 10/15 at the Brillobox. AA Bondy canceled, so this is the show to see.

AA Bondy Canceled - Club Cafe - Tomorrow Night 10/15/10

Just received some bad news that AA Bondy is canceling his remaining tour dates due to an accident with his hand by a car door. I am sure all tickets will be refunded from Club Cafe.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Show Reminder - AA Bondy - Friday, 10/15/10 - Club Cafe

I know I have hyped Mr. Bondy a great deal on the blog, so let me try a different approach. It's this Friday at 10:30p. No work the next day, catch dinner in the Southside beforehand and only pay $8 for a charming entertainer. And trust me, it will make your evening. Can you really beat that?

AA Bondy will be playing with one opener this evening, the Justin Andrew Band. I see on last.fm that 13 people are already planning on attending. Mention the blog to me and I will buy you a beer.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ticket Giveaway - Jukebox the Ghost + Elizabeth & The Catapult - Brillobox - 10/15/10 - Show Preview

Jukebox the Ghost and Elizabeth & the Catapult will be playing at the Brillobox this Friday, 10/15. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. All you need to do is email us at pghmusicreport@gmail.com with your name. All entries need to be submitted by Thursday.

Jukebox the Ghost new video for "Schizophrenia".




you and me by Elizabeth and the Catapult

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Show Review - Fun. - Mr Smalls - 10/2/10 - Pittsburgh - Concert Review - Live Reivew

 
When you hear Fun. is coming to Pittsburgh, you buy a ticket. If you were not there on Saturday, now you know that it is mandatory to attend regardless of weather, sickness, etc. The reason being that Fun. is arguably one of the best bands that still tour. That being said, I was first in line at Mr. Small’s, two and a half hours before the doors opened. Words cannot describe how excited I was to see Fun., Steel Train (who dropped the show), Jarrod Gorbel, and my friends in Instead of Sleeping, even after several games of Go Fish and Old Maid and sitting outside in the chilly weather. Even after I learned Steel Train had dropped the show, I still could hardly wait for my night to begin.


Long before local openers, Instead of Sleeping, took the stage the crowd had grown to a decent size. By the time they started to play the room was nearly full. In addition to being young, talented local artists the members of Instead of Sleeping are my friends. I have seen them countless times in a wide array of venues as opening acts as well as headliners. The boys of Instead of Sleeping are hungry for success, they know how to connect with their fans, and are reliable for being consistent in performance. It was a joy to hear that they were opening for such a prestigious show. They deserve every bit of exposure. For those who are not familiar with Instead of Sleeping, their sound takes influences from Brand New, Minus The Bear, and Miles Davis. They are not your average local-Pittsburgh-rock-band as demonstrated in their percussion, trumpet, and keyboard features. To my surprise and delight, the crowd loved them. They were a great start to a fun night.


The crowd was alive after such an intense set, that when Jarrod Gorbel, with his single electric guitar, and his friend with her violin, took the stage we all kind of scratched our heads. We were ready for Steel Train, and Fun. We were ready for Pop songs about drug abuse and losing friends; after all, that's why we came. It was obvious Jarrod had talent, but it was undermined by the buzz created by Instead of Sleeping opening, and the excitement of what was to come next. Had Jarrod opened up for a band like Copeland, or I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business, it would be a different story entirely. His set dragged on a little longer than the people around me would have liked, but no one was disrespectful.


The time had finally come for Fun. to perform. The entire room was filled with energy. It's hard to believe that Fun. is only two years old when you look at the numbers they bring out to shows. I remember when I saw Fun. the first time open for Manchester Orchestra. They were nothing short of amazing, and equally unknown. This show, when Nate begins to sing the first few words of "At Least I'm Not (As Sad As I Used To Be)" there could not have been a person in the room who wasn't singing along. The set list was everything you could wish for, and more. They played every song from their only full-length album, Aim and Ignite, in addition to one and a half The Format (Nate's former band) covers ("Dog Problems", and half of "She Doesn't Get It") a new song ("What the Fu**") and a cover of the Rolling Stone's "You Can't Always Get What You Want." But wait! There's more! It's not just that Fun. performs all of their songs just as well live as recorded, it's that they bring a ridiculous amount of energy and character to the stage. It's the kind of show that the concert goers talk about for weeks, and months after.

-Laura Lee Burkhardt

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Show Preview - AA Bondy - Club Cafe - 10/15/10 - Concert Preview - Pittsburgh

What is there to say about Bondy that I have not previously said before? The last time he was here he played at the Brillobox putting on a very good show for the crowd. This past year he came out with a new album When the Devil's Loose (which I reviewed here) that made my top 10 albums of last year.


A.A. Bondy - "Slow Parade" - HearYa Live Session 11/21/09 from HearYa.com on Vimeo.


A.A. Bondy - "When The Devil's Loose" - HearYa Live Session 11/21/09 from HearYa.com on Vimeo.


The point is he's someone not to miss if you enjoy the music. He's playing next Friday night at Club Cafe. It will be the late show at 10p.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Show Review - Cymbals Eat Guitars - 9/26/10 - Brillobox - Pittsburgh - Live Review

Despite a modest crowd which barely topped twenty last Sunday night at BrilloBox, the members of Cymbals Eat Guitars spared no effort. The band has created a good bit of buzz in the past year, and this is the second time in a matter of months that their constant touring has brought them to Pittsburgh. Singer and guitarist Joe D'Agostino was literally panting for breath between songs, wiping the sweat off his face while he thanked the audience and tuned his guitar. He can be breathtaking to watch; viciously attacking the guitar and channeling enough energy for the entire band. I especially liked D’Agostino’s use of the whammy bar on his guitar. Rare in the indie world, but awesome.

The band opened the set with a few songs off their debut album "Why There are Mountains," and then moved on to songs that were either new or what they referred to as "not very new" – which meant that they had played them live enough that the sound was tight and the tracks will almost definitely appear up on their upcoming sophomore album. Songs often wander into cerebral musical territory, similar to Animal Collective, drawing on precise musicianship punctuated by crashing outbursts of sound. For my money, bassist Matt Whipple held it all together with steady groove that maintained the pulse of the song at least as much as the drumming. The band summoned forth enough enthusiasm for the small crowd that there was no encore tonight - but the true encore will come in the form of their sophomore release in the coming year. I'm looking forward to it.


-Daniel Hammer

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Consol Engery Center - Rant - Crowd Control

I have been to the new Consol Energy Center twice now. Once for Paul McCartney and more recently Roger Water's The Wall. For a state of the art facility that cost over 300 million dollars the crowd control is absolutely a joke. The facility has 3 entrances that probably have 6 doors each. Every time there has been a crowd of people trying to get in that are suddenly stopped at various points. You see, they do not have enough room inside to let everyone in. So, they literally stop people on the outside as others are allowed to go up the escalators. Plus, for whatever reason, they have the merchandise stands at the top of the escalator that just causes more issues. For Roger Waters specifically, the doors opened at 7p and show was to begin at 8p. They had to delay the start because hardly 2/3 of the seats were filled. Laughable.

I don't see this working at all if it's raining, snowing or with a bunch of drunk hockey fans. Everyone is going to want to get inside. I am sure the designers will have some excuse on why they did it this way, but seriously for a brand new facility that cost hundreds of millions? You couldn't find a way to accommodate the crowd? What would help is if they took the tickets at the door which they didn't do; instead at the top of the escalator. Getting out of there is a nightmare as well, but you get the idea.