Monday, October 29, 2007

The Mozzer, The Buzz and the Shock

Mr. Morrissey in the spotlight, Richard Burton in the back.

Uho - We are back after a short mishap with the template and glad to have not lost this little archive of shows and music in New York. Because there are great ones, still. Recently, Morrissey, last of the international playboys, held a series of triumphant shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom and easily entered my all time favorite top ten live shows, climbing as high as the top five. Highlights and a bawling 40 year old cynic writer in tears included fantastic renditions of Smiths classics like "Stop Me" and "Girlfriend in a Coma", but also powerful new songs from his two latest records like "You Have Killed Me" and "First of the Gang to Die". The man is so sophisticated in the best of senses, charming, yet distant, and, by God, sexy. Or, as my friend the bassman said, probably the only person he'd consider changing his orientation for. That good.

So much for the Mozzer, now to the buzz: We are glad to report that C. Gibbs is back from a most successfull tour with Lucinda Black Bear projects, playing sold out shows in Zurich and leaving merch and an excellent video for You Got it Blue all over Europe. Meanwhile back home,The Snow with long time C. Gibbs collaborator Pierre de Gaillande have started to take larger stages and developed into an experience somewhere between languid jazz and pop ballads - come see the less known but more impressive Hilarys of New York, with one l less than the senator, but decidely much more talent for singing. Good news also comes from Kinetic, who find their name more and more mentioned in the press, with their shows mentioned in Time Out now. We also checked out Overlord at the Delancey recently, and were impressed. Somebody should finally go and sign them and send the band on tour. They've got the songs, trust me. And on this note, one last buzz: The Palace in St. Gall, Switzerland has become the favorite stop on European tours for many a promising US band. Check out their MySpace Siteand look at the names they had playing there and what people say about this island of indie in Eastern CH. Then go and ask Jeffrey Lewis about St. Gallen after his show on November at the Crown Point Festival on the Lower East Side!

Below, you find my current list of top ten live shows ever. I excluded small and intimate shows, although they usually are my favorite and move me most - for example Television Personalitites in 1991 at Maxwells in Hoboken or Chris Bailey of the Saints at Ziegel Au Lac in Zurich ages ago. Here the more commercial ones. I'd be interested to learn of your favorite shows ever!

1. Paul Weller - London, Royal Albert Hall, 1992
2. Pet Shop Boys - New York, Hammerstein Ballroom, 2000
3. Morrissey - New York, Hammerstein Ballroom, 2007
4. Pyschedelic Furs - Outside Woodstock, Open Air, 1999
5. The Church - New York, Irving Plaza, 2006
6. The Finn Brothers - New York, Central Park Summer Stage, 2005
7. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - New York, Irving Plaza, 2002
8. Madonna - New York, Madison Square Garden, 2005
9. The Cure - Konstanz, Rock am See, 1991
10. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - Drahtschmiede Z├╝rich, 1985

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day? Alright, Alright!

Ok, it's blog action day today... The UN and Google and some NGOs for the protection of the environment want us to talk about climate change, so here we go: when I was a kid we spent days in the full sun without skin protection and barely got a tan. These days, playing soccer for an hour in the sun, you're burnt. I recommend George and Dick join us some Sunday here at Rodney Park for a game and experience the phenomenon themselves. They might even be able to stop traffic on the BQE to retrieve the ball.

Anyway. I know I been lazy posting lately, but that's just cause I've seen tons of shows with my sedulous buddies Martin and Marco from Rorschach, Switzerland, restlessly on the lookout for good concerts - we found plenty of promising names, but few highlights. Here's their list of New York Highlights:

1. Midnight Soccer against Morex Optimo in Greenpoint's McCurren Park (5:3 for Painhead)
2. Union Pool
3. Roast Beef Sandwiches
4. The Draft at the Knitting Factory
5. Arcade Fire on Randalls Island (incl. the Rock Sluts)
6. Queens of the Stone Age at WaMu Madison Square Garden
7. Animal Collective at Webster Hall (and on my wall)
8. Who the fuck is Biffy Clyro?
9. USA - Switzerland in Rodney Park (18:11 for USA)
10. Personality, Character, Style

There's some stuff that didn't make the list, too: The Klaxons, for example, did not impress my friends, as did the Black Angels who do a horrid ripoff of the Doors, mixed with, huh, Spacemen 3. There were some rather forgettable East village bands we saw and a great Falcon show we missed. They shot tons of photos which they promised to send - i will post some when i get them. For now I leave you with a shot of the Draft, the best concert we've seen this week. Martin and Marco were great guests, always uplifting and in the mood for every new adventure. They are officially proclaimed NNF - Not Non-Fillers!

Friday, October 05, 2007

British Girl Charm

God, I wish I had been writing songs when I was 19 instead of hanging out in dull bars not knowing what to do with my life. Kate Nash seems to know what to do with hers and appears happy to share it with us.

The Luna Lounge was enjoyably crowded on September 24 and they even managed to get the sound somewhat right. Even tough I couldn't hear the violin during the first song, but you can't ask for too much. Kate Nash was playing for free after not getting an US work visa like a few other British artists before her. She didn't seem to mind at all and impressed with her down-to-earth attitude despite her huge success in the UK. She was cute and charming and a bit shy and the three members of the band all visibly enjoyed playing with her.

Here is her performance of the 'Skeleton Song' including a very cute introduction:

More pics in my photodiary.