ILOVEYOUPJ

OK, it’s finally happening. PJ Harvey, in concert. April 20. Terminal 5. Tickets on sale this Friday. Noon. Too excited to form long sentences. So excited.1 I just pre-ordered her new album Let England Shake and got the first single as a little gift. So, here you are – “Written on the Forehead.” [audio:http://www.lifemusicblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/01-Written-On-the-Forehead.mp3|titles=Written On the Forehead] If this melodious gem is any indication, our PJ has gone in her usual different direction with Let England Shake. I’m prepared to be amazed a-fresh by her awesome talent. Since the first note2 of the first song3 on Dry back in 1991, I have been carrying on a wild and completely unrequited love affair with Miss Polly Jean. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, each time I see her live my “% Straight” goes down a few points4. I may be batting for the other team by April 21. _______________ 1 So. Excited. 2 I’m guessing a B-Flat 3 Oh My Lover 4 I’m hovering at...

The Gambler

Listening to Glasser (Ring) Listen/Buy Ring I have one word for The Joy Formidable show: OHMYGOD. Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmyGOD! Perfect night, perfect company, perfect show, perfect t-shirt, perfect everything. It was magic. The Joy Formidable, my latest musical obsession, played The Bowery Ballroom on November 16, and November 16 has now become a personal, practically religious, holiday for me. You’ll all be getting a Happy Joy Formidable Day card from me this time next year. They were tight, entertaining, soulful, cute, kick-ass, and loud, all in perfect proportion. They played like they meant it. They were amazing. I know I sound completely fan-girl right now and this could cost me some credibility. My charming friend B_ can back me up, I swear! Since they only have the one (incredible and awesome) album out (A Balloon Called Moaning – buy it) they played everything off it and still had time for a couple new songsa, all fabulous. Only one moment of panic when I thought they were finished yet still hadn’t played my favorite song (Whirring), but they were merely saving the best for last. [audio:http://www.lifemusicblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/TheJoyFormidable-Whirring.mp3|titles=TheJoyFormidable-Whirring] I about lost my mind jumping around like an insane person during Whirring, showering everyone around me with my cup of beer, so I’m making a blanket apology to anyone within 20 feet of me. I have to say, though, that I’ve stood behind so many obnoxious people at so many concerts I feel as though I’ve done my time and totally deserved my five minutes of annoying behavior. The show was capped off by me telling the drummer Matt Thomas in a cool...

Shut Up and Watch The Band

Listening to Dandy Warhols (Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia) Have a listen: Boys Better I’m not the type of person who wishes people dead.* I’m more the “live and let live” sort. To get Gandalfian about it, you can’t know a person’s full purpose in life, and I’d not want to bear the responsibility of deciding when a person’s path ends, no matter how harmful that path seems to be. HOWEVER, if I were someone who wished people dead, and had the power to make it happen, Maxwell’s on Friday night would have been a bloodbath. Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ has a long, storied history of hosting some of the greatest bands on their music industry ascent (and sometimes descent), and a lot of bands like to play there just for the cachet. That was certainly the case Friday night, when Freelance Whales started their first North American tour. Up to this point they’ve been the darlings of New York City, and have done well at music orgies such as SXSW. They’ve finally gotten enough press and support for a tour, and said it was an honor to be playing at Maxwell’s. Sadly, the crowd had no honor to return. It was like being thrown into the middle of a fraternity party hosted by the frat you most despise. I was penned in by a mass of 19 year olds drunk on illicit PBRs, dancing around like hippies, texting, talking loudly to their friends, and taking high-voltage flash self-portraits. I literally could not hear the band. I certainly couldn’t see the band because of the 300 pound knucklehead in...

Inert

Listening to Tame Impala (InnerSpeaker) Have a listen: Tame Impala – It Is Not Meant to Be Eels – Fresh Blood Was feeling crap on Saturday. The old bod just doesn’t bounce back from gin the way it used to. Nor is it as indulgent as it once was when I don’t get to bed until 2p. So I spent most of Saturday in the fetal position on my couch, feeling sorry for myself, and making up lame justifications for my inert state. I believe Newton had a formula for my condition, where F=the chance of me ever getting up, d=ounces of gin I consumed, over dt=the fact the F train wasn’t running uptown from Delancy Street at 1am, and mv being heinous cramps in my lady parts (m) times no good food in the house (v). It’s his Second Law, and my Saturday Fate. At around 4p I was talking to my dad, who had just the day before broken his wrist golfing. This man lives to golf, so breaking his wrist will cause a major disruption in his happiness equilibrium. In spite of his bleak, golfless near-future, he was what can only be described as ebullient. He had just gotten back from a wedding where he’d danced himself into a heavy sweat, removing the sling (which was holding his wrist in an unbroken position) for maximum dancability. I’m assuming painkillers were involved. In any case, this man should have been on the couch, too. But he got his broken self up and out, and had a great time regardless. I decided my self-pity binge needed to stop....

Over-choiced

Listening to my Blip.fm stream Check this – my Fall line-up: Eels in September Massive Attack and Thievery Corporation in October Joy Formidable in November Dandy Warhols also in November Then there’s Autolux playing at Maxwell’s later this month that I would lovelovelove to see, especially at an intimate, dark, rock-n-roll-beer-and-vomit soaked venue like Maxwell’s, except who the hell’s paying for it since I’ve already spent my 2011 concert budget on the previously listed shows. Joanna Newsom is playing soon, too, as is School of Seven Bells. I’m giddy over the embarrassment of choices, but it’s making me a little (more) nuts. I’m spending money on these tickets like I have it. I’ve been minding my budgetary Ps and Qs this summer, which I guess doesn’t exactly make me a financial hero as you can’t swing a dead hipster without hitting a free summer show in these parts. Speaking of, finally saw one of the aforementioned summer shows this past weekend. My first foray to Governor’s Island, formerly used for military evil, and now used for artsy good. [That’s a great idea – turn all the decommissioned military bases into artists colonies. I’ll be sure to pass that along to my ex-Army officer dad when next we speak. He’ll LOVE it.*] Back to Governor’s Island. The place itself is amazing – gorgeous view of lower Manhattan, good sight lines, sound was decent. The night itself was perfect weather-wise, plus any venue you have to ride a ferry to get to gets a couple bonus points for atmosphere. The headliners were Neon Indian, but it was two of the three...

Joy-Full

Listening to Flaming Lips (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots) My latest show deserves more than this quick post, but I have an overwhelming need to be prone on my couch with cold cucumbers over my eyes and my feet up. I swear I’m watching myself go gray in real time – kind of like Obama. I need to create a more spa-like daily life situation for myself with a Zen outlook to go along with it. My dear friend L_ labeled this year Two Thousand Zen. If I take that on as my mantra (even though it’s already June, and I can therefore only hope to achieve half the Zen I could have had as an early adopter), lay around at night with cucumbers over my eyes, and then pay myself $150 for it, Voila! instant spa. While my cucumber slices are chilling, I shall share with you my night with Josh Ritter at Town Hall. I went to dinner beforehand with four of the thousand or so “Future Mrs. Josh Ritter”s in attendance that night and listened to some good stories about past shows of his they’d been to, and how little his real-life wife figured into their plans to marry him. Some truly fascinating conversation about urban planning and NYC charter schools, coupled with yummy Greek food, made for a great set-up for the show. I’d seen Josh open for Swell Season earlier this year and really enjoyed it. He’s so easy to listen to. Beautiful voice, melodic songs – nothing challenging or aggressive about any of it. The January show was at Radio City and he...