Thursday, March 30, 2006

Gotham finally thaws

The weather is gorgeous in the city today. The sense of spring awakening is tangible and very very welcome.

This city still amazes me. During lunch, in a five minute span I witnessed:

1.) A man yelling into his cell phone: "Tell me, are all of you fucking retards or is it just you?! Fucker!" And then hanging up.

2.) An elderly woman walking down the street bawling uncontrollably.

3.) A toddler reaching into a sewer drain while his mother stands over him waiting for him to look up so she can shove a banana into his mouth.

4.) A homeless man in a wheelchair untangling his iPod headphone cord.

UPDATE (4/5/06): I may have been a little hasty with this post seeing as how IT’S FUCKING SNOWING!!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

One last time

In an effort to keep this blog from becoming completely pro-Gomez agenda pushing, I wont say anything about last night’s show at the Housing Works Cafe.

Instead I’ll showcase some of my own photography. Featuring Gomez.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Good ol’ Gomez

The three singers of Gomez played at the beautiful Hiro Ballroom last night. It was, as usual, a stunning concert that reminds me that I would’ve made a deal with the devil to have Ben’s voice.

The night started off with a pleasant discovery of David Ford, who’s style evokes the dark, dreamy landscapes (and arpeggios) of early Radiohead and the almost too weighty songwriting of Damien Rice. His vocals were impressive, but at times sounded a little too much like the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls. I was a bit annoyed that the guy looked like a Justin Timberlake clone with stage theatrics that would’ve rivaled that Coldplay guy. Nonetheless, the guy’s voice and talent are hard to ignore.

Back to the main event, I still have an intense love for this band that baffles and scares some onlookers. I completely relate to the band’s mentality. They tour constantly, love their fans, have no ego and enjoy each other’s antics. Imagine your college buddies getting their asses off the couch and playing music. Except that their music turned out to be really fucking great.

Plus there’s an appreciation for having three singers that share vocals and harmonize, probably rooted in my growing up listening to the Beatles and Beach Boys. You just don’t hear that nowadays. It helps to have three singers that can sing really well. Not just a frontman with another band member that thinks he can sing (the Stills, I’m looking in your direction here until you prove me wrong).

Here’s a sampling of one song that each of the Gomez vocalists took a stab at:

Silence: Ian solo

Silence: Ben live

Silence: Tom, album version

I also love these guys because they never stop evolving their songs. The live versions are always ten times better than the studio releases, but I’m amazed that they’re open to playing a bluesy version or a Caribbean version or a waltzy version. They find new sounds for old songs that they could just as easily and lazily horde for new tracks for albums. But instead they keep their fans excited and their old tunes fresh.

Yeah, I’m one of the crazy fans that stockpiles bootlegs but the reward is hearing new songs evolve and take shape. Here’s an early version and a live pre-release version of a song that’s on their upcoming album:

Working Title: Failure

Hamoa Beach

One of my favorite Radiohead songs, Follow Me Around, will probably never get released and there aren’t any good recordings of it anywhere. Yeah, that sucks but it’s also somehow still fulfilling to have discovered it.

Hopefully I’ve devoted enough of this post to ranting on Gomez that I wont have to do it ever again. But maybe not since I’m reliving the adventure tonight at the Housing Works Bookstore. If anyone can find bootlegs of these concerts let me know!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Out with the old, in with the news

I haven’t really had a chance to ponder much of what’s going on in the world lately, but here’s a stab:

Why is Bush so relentless in turning over several port operations to a Dubai company? Eyebrows are raising, especially when Republicans are starting to stand up in opposition to the proposal.

Meanwhile the talks to balk a nuclear capable Iran is not going well. The idea of a possibly antagonist nation aquiring nuclear power if definitely scary for the U.S. but it’s hard not to judge the U.S. critically as well. Like a bully who has a shiny toy but won’t let anyone else play with it, holding out on the rest of the world seems a bit selfish. But I guess it’s also a responsible approach. How could anyone realistically expect that everyone would not abuse this power? And if we’re so against the proliferation of nuclear technology then why openly assist another country in the matter? Eyebrows are raising a little more. I guess I don’t know enough of the details to completely condemn Bush for this matter but his track record hasn’t exactly been aligning in my favor.

Elsewhere, it didn’t take long for the issue of abortion to pop up after the realignment of the Supreme Court. South Dakota steps up to the plate to take the first swing at abolishing abortion. It’s a very obvious attempt at pushing the issue into the forefront of the Judiciary. I, for one, am very surprised at the blatant and bold maneuver of the South Dakota lawmakers. They’re definitely not fucking around. But if anyone thinks this is going to be swift and clean is delusional. I can see this as the first step in a long and painful journey for the whole country.

What scary and interesting times in which we live.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

There’s a ringing in my ears and it’s not tinnitus

Three down and and two to go! The Stills are releasing a new album on May 9th, and I already have tickets to their NYC show in April. Add that to the Gomez trio show at the Hiro Ballroom that I got tickets for yesterday, and it makes for a good couple of months coming up.

Sounds like Radiohead is slaving away as well, so if Gotan gets their act together I’ll have a grand slam for my anticipated bands with a few concerts sprinkled in. Rock on!

UPDATE: Also, not on my list, but Zero 7 is coming out with their latest, The Garden on May 15th in UK. Not sure yet when it’ll be out here in the US.