Now that the holidays are over (!) and 2009 has begun (!!), I thought I would share my last two reviews of 2008: Bon Iver and Ingrid Michaelson, both at Town Hall. The Bon Iver show was one of the best shows I’ve seen in 2008 and Ingrid Michaelson wasn’t bad either, but her voice and the screeching of her fans did tend to wear on me. Dominick did a great job of taking photos under challenging conditions, so please do take a look!
I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about the Swedish group Love is All for the past few years and I was excited to check them out when they opened for Of Montreal in October. I was even more excited when I got the chance to review them properly when they were headlining at the Bowery Ballroom this past Sunday. Dominick and I were talking about our top five shows of 2008 and Love is All’s set are definitely on my list. They are legendary for bringing an intense amount of enthusiastic energy to their live performances and this one was no exception, even though it clocked in at just over 40 minutes! You can read my full review for Venus Zine and my thoughts about the Crystal Stilt’s opening set here and see more of Dominick’s lovely photographs.
On a freezing cold Monday I walked half-way across Manhattan to see Blitzen Trapper and Iron and Wine play at the cavernous Terminal Five. I had not heard of Blitzen Trapper before, though they hail from Portland, Oregon, a city close to my heart. For anyone who loves classic rock from the 1970’s, murder ballads and American roots music, they are a compelling new band. They were opening for Iron and Wine, who, while he certainly writes novelistic lyrics, is not that interesting. I honestly don’t see what the big deal is, and besides, it turned into a big, sickening swoon fest for the couples in the audience. To read what else I have to say and to see Crissy Lush’s photos, check out my review here on Venuszine.com!
The other week Dominick and I went to see Uh Uh Her at Irving Plaza. I personally do not like the name (though I do like the PJ Harvey album they are named for), but the crowd there was really into them and their shiny outfits. They didn’t seem to be phased by the radio-ready quality of the set either. You can read my review here and see more of Dominick’s super slick pictures.
Last week I went to see Abe Vigoda and Telepathe open for Diplo at my least favorite New York City venue, Webster Hall. I hear its a New York City landmark, but I cannot stand the fake “Egyptian” decoration. Go figure this would make a museum educator crazy. When I first saw these bands together over the summer at South Street Seaport I swore they were both like 18 years old, as there was gangly limbs and youthful noodling everywhere. Imagine my surprise when I heard one of the ladies in Telepathe is 32! Could have fooled me. Anyway, both bands were engaging in completely different ways and you can read my review here. I really love Telepathe’s circular, loopy drones. They are kind of the band version of the film Celine et Julie Vont En Bateau. Despite my curiosity and being a fan of his recorded work, I skipped out early when Diplo came on, as it was a little too house music for me and since he put his DJ booth on the floor, I couldn’t even see him twiddling the knobs.
October is rocktastic so far, with two show reviews in the past week and two more to go in the upcoming weeks. Last Monday Dominick and I saw the debut full band performance of Department of Eagles, which is one-half of (and sounds a lot like) Grizzly Bear. You can check out that review here (and see more of Dominick’s lovely photos like the one I used here). Friday brought some fairly tedious glam rock from Of Montreal, whose set included bringing a live horse on stage. After that, where can you go, really? You can check out the review here and see Natasha’s totally fab photos.
It had been a few years since I listened to Dressy Bessy, but I always enjoyed their sweetly catchy songs that packed a punch sass. When the chance to review them live at Arlene’s Grocery came up, I jumped at it and despite the late night it was well worth it! Their sound, while still rooted in 1960’s pop, has evolved over the years and I like it! You can check out my review (and Dominick’s great photos) on Venuszine here.