adrian is rad


not so cheap night

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:41 pm

On Friday, I went to Live 105’s Not So Silent Night on Friday. The line up was Taking Back Sunday, Muse, Interpol, the Killers, Franz Ferdinand and Modest Mouse. Tickets were expensive ($35) and it was in a large venue (Bill Graham Civic Auditorium) and, correspondingly, there were a lot of stupid people there. The sound sucked for many of the bands; the bass was far too heavy. It probably didn’t help that we were standing pretty much directly in front of the subs.

But let’s get to the music: we got there during Muse. Muse was bad. Killers were unimpressive. Interpol was above average, as was Franz Ferdinand. Modest Mouse was good, better than I expected. I liked their albums, but I’d heard that their live show wasn’t good.

I heard a little too much “oh I hope they don’t play their new stuff. their new stuff sucks. they were much better at the Fillmore. blah blah blah I’m dumb.”

adem, the mendoza line, jens lekman, and american music club (and others)

Filed under: — adrian @ 12:28 am

I said I’m give you some pocket reviews (so concise you can fit them in your pocket) for some of the CDs I am reviewing for kzsu. Well, here they are:

Adem Homesongs: a surprisingly good album of indie-folk. it’s probably most comparable to Devandra Banhart, but without the annoying. home recorded by Brit Adem (pronounced AH-dem) Illah, this uses normal sounds and sort of strange sounds together to make a nice blend of listenable but not always expected music.

the Mendoza Line Fortune: this sounds a lot like Wilco at times. At other times it sounds like country pop (aka mainstream country). By no means a bad album. This is listenable and there are even some pretty decent songs on it.

Jens Lekman When I Said I Wanted to be Your Dog: I was really surprised by this album as well and I’ve been liking it more since I turned in my review for KZSU. He’s a swedish crooner of sorts. He’s got some great instrumentation/ orchestration on this album, from piano-voice ballads to songs with clips of afro-latin bands or 70s theme music complete with crazy brass parts. It’s also got a miss of a track in “Do you remember the riots” which reminds me a lot of “How fucking romantic” from the Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs and is just as annoying. In the end, it’s probably most comparable to the Magnetic Fields or Belle and Sebastian.

American Music Club Love Songs for Patriots: Mark Eitzel’s band comes back after 10 years. Honestly it sounds pretty much like his solo stuff. It’s got a lot of varied types of songs on it and it’s pretty consistently pretty good. No great tracks from first listen.

Elizabeth Cotten Shake Sugaree: North Carolina African-American traditional/ folk guitar and banjo, some instrumental, some with vocals. Elizabeth Cotton is of a similar class to Leadbelly or Woody Guthrie—like them she started in the folk tradition but also wrote her own songs in that style; she also was “discovered” and did many concerts around the country during her lifetime. self-taught, she played right handed guitars (and banjos) lefty, just flipped around upside down so her thumb hit the high strings and her fingers plucked out the bass line. Thorough liner notes and the recording quality throughout is good. This is worth checking out if you like this sort of music.

Guided by Voices Half Smiles of the Decomposed: The one trillionth and last album by indie rock legends Guided by Voices. Robert Pollard has been quoted as saying “We are the kings of indie rock. When we quit, indie rock will die.” Might be a slight hyperbole. A listenable album, but not great. I’m not the biggest Guided by Voices fan. I always thought they were alright. If you are a big fan or used to be, this is probably worth checking out. They have been important, no doubt, in the last twenty years of indie rock; time will tell whether this album will be important as well.

So, in summary, I’d recommend checking out the Jens Lekman and Adem discs. The other discs are worth checking out if you’re into those bands or that sort of music.

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