Cheep & Snail’s BFF honeymoon weekend, Part I: Atoms for Peace/James Holden @ Barclays Center 09.27.13
Great weekends aren’t exactly few and far between in our friendship, but this last one, our first BFF honeymoon in a long while, will go down in C&S history as one of the best. For 48+ hours we soaked in some of our favorite things: great music, crazy dancing, lots of laughs, lots of naps and art that is beautiful, wild and true and it all began with our possession during Atoms for Peace live.
This concert served as our first jaunt into the alien space craft that is Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The arena was a bewildering choice of venue, we thought, after seeing the band debut at Roseland where they gave new life to Thom Yorke's solo album, The Eraser, and we fell in love with this genial pentagon formed by Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Flea, Mauro Refosco and Joey Waronker. In the end we just chalked it up availability and got on with it.
We were looking forward to seeing Mr. James Holden open with one of our favorite drummers, Tom Page of Rocketnumbernine but missed it! Didn’t even have time to lament the loss as the headliners emerged and we proceeded to lose our minds to “Before Your Very Eyes” and beyond. It was absolutely mental! AMOK had transformed into a whole new beast on stage, Don Refresco and Waronker combined to fill our souls with their percussion power. In combination with Flea’s resonating bass boom and Nigel’s bleeps et bloops, these rhythms made us want this pumped up version of their debut in our ears forever! Thom enchanted with that incomparable voice, penetrating as always, and dancing like he just don’t care. In his jovial state T-bot introduced himself as Justin Beebah, inspiring a chuckle out of himself, his buds and the audience.
Highlights of the night include sighing at the beauty of “Ingenue” on piano, our energies percolating at full steam during “Dropped” then again during a version of “Unless” that kicked the studio take in the shins… and again during “Amok,” the crowning jewel where we falsettoed like the worst of them and at the expense of everyone’s ears within our reach. Oldies from The Eraser like “Harrowdown Hill,”the birimbaolious “The Clock,” “Atoms for Peace” and “Skip Divided” also had us in the heavens.
We were non-stop and it didn’t go unnoticed. Some nice guys, complete newbs to the band, just came to the show on their knowledge of Thom and Flea and their Daily Show appearance and quizzed Snail on how we knew all the words, when the album came out, etc. She schooled them and it was just plain sweet to have people just come to see what the fuss is about and on top of that stand next to us all night and not try to escape, ha!
Eventually we zombie crawled our old lady knees back to mine for a late-night-Jimmys-on-YouTube viewing party before bed only to spend Saturday blissfully in the comfort of The Boat, leaving that comfort center for nothing but provisions, impromptu dancing to Franz Ferdinand and bathroom breaks. Sunday we would prep all day before setting out for Massive Attack v. Adam Curtis where we would be forever changed… —Cheep
Click the photo credit for more pics and the setlist at BV
Listening to Mazzy Star's bluesy dream of an album, Seasons of Your Day, is making us really excited to levitate at their Terminal 5 show in November.
Last time we saw Ty Segall he was sharing a headlining spot with White Fence where they performed songs off their collaborative album, Hair. It was a crazy fun party, filled with as much chaos as a hazy garage rock band can inspire and it’s what people come to anticipate from the LA-based hyper active musician. For his newest output and tour, Segall takes a new direction, trading in electric fuzz for a stripped down acoustic vibe that inspires body sways and lighters up in the air instead of swirling mosh pits.
Riding on wave of complete ease, we walked into this show our first since May, where we saw and the gang play the blissful Sleeper album. For 40 minutes, we literally swooned through faves like title track ‘Sleeper’ and ‘Sweet C.C.,’ Segall’s drumming and mustachioed guitarist Sean Paul’s perfect whistles. The audience was mostly chill but to our minor chagrin some anxious heads couldn’t help but yell out requests for a jolt from the past. The guys complied eventually and everyone immediately popped into a headbanging, moshing, stage diving frenzy as the band kicked out the old school jams ‘til the end of the night.
We got some of or favorites from Melted, ‘Sad Fuzz’ and ‘Girlfriend’ while others had to go by the wayside (i.e. ‘My Sunshine,’ ‘I Bought My Eyes’ and so, so many more). guess that’s the price to pay for loving an unrelenting musician who cranks out instantly lovable albums like a speed demon! Ultimately, we’re just grateful to do what makes us beam with happy — seeing this riff whiz play, be it vulnerable acoustic songs or catchy shred fests that drive a crowd wild.
Words and shitty phone pic by Cheep
We are extremely excited to be saying farewell to our birthday week seeing Queens of the Stone Age (again) on December 14!!!!
The most decent of the shit pics we took during our week in shows. damn it was good! —Cheep
Summer made its weekend debut like a cheeky miss in a cotton dress blowing in the wind this past Saturday and Sunday and it felt as though the beauty of these days couldn’t be better celebrated anywhere other than Governors Ball.
Saturday was the laziest of days spent laying in the grass, taking a nap with a hat guarding our faces from the sun listening to Santigold, Major Lazer and others from a distance. It was the perfect summer day and spending it as packed into a crowd was not the way to do it. Sunday proved opposite as we shot into active mode darting between the two stages. Starting off with death by folk and adorableness via Devy Banhart to feeling too many feels with the soul-rattling talents of Fiona Apple and Explosions in the Sky back-to-back and putting the dot on the i with the wicked fun of Modest Mouse.
Overall, Governors Ball offered the most easygoing festival experience this city could ever give us. The smooth bus commute to and from the island, the wonderful food options HELLO WAFELS & DINGES!, free access to water, the choice acts, everything was just so well-organized and great we may just do it again next year.
Words & pic by Cheep
In my life as music obsessed person I’ve learned to come to terms with the fact that there are live shows, either real or imagined, that have no chance in hell of ever happening. Ideal lineups combined with venue preferences that shall live in the far reaches of my mindscape until I cease to exist. Seeing Refused live was one of those far-fetched fantasies.
Through most of high school and during three years worth of bus commutes to university, I listened to the Swedish post-hardcore band, picturing singer Dennis Lxyzen get on that James Brown tip doing splits and shit and me going buck wild to “Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine.” I could see myself going hoarse belting out “Rather Be Dead” or “New Noise.” All of this in vain, as the bittersweet reality that I would never see those four Swedes do their thing, front row as chaos reigns in the pit, always kept me in check. Watching their documentary, Refused Are Fucking Dead not only gave me a taste of the unattainable but solidified the fact: These dudes are never going to get back together and make my life by playing a show in NYC. This was true for very long time…until 2012 rolled in.
Announcement of a reunion tour included a show at Terminal 5. At ticket sale time, everything seemed to be against me. Scalpers scalped and credit cards malfunctioned, all seemed lost until it wasn’t. A second date was added due to popular demand and the deed was done: I was going to see Refused rip Terminal 5 a new butthole. On a Monday night, nonetheless.
My dream wouldn’t exactly be fulfilled as I imagined it. Much Iess daring than I was back then, I found solace from the impending whirlwind pit of sweat, skin and aggression that was bound to develop below on the last floor of the venue, with a bird’s eye view of the stage.
Nostalgia wafted through the venue as the pre-show playlist blared all the bands I fell in love with over a decade ago along with Refused: At the Drive-In, early Thursday, Glassjaw blared through the speakers until openers Ceremony hit the stage.
The California punks warmed up the crowd with a short set, highlighting the tracks on their punchy 2012 debut Zoo. The singer was absurd yet charming flailing across the stage like a contorted Smiths-era Morrissey — coif ye high in a stretched out worn white tee and faded black jeans — sideways inclined and falling short of oscillating wildly. The band inspired the semblance of circle pit that fizzled quickly (maybe they were just saving their energy for the headliners?). It didn’t phase them and they played on for what seemed like 10 minutes. We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to some guy named Robbie then next thing I knew the singer was blowing kisses at the masses and it was over.
The curtain went down for the last time and through the veil flashed “REFUSED” in amber, the crowd yelling the band’s name at the rhythm of the light. Once the veil dropped and the band got rolling it was full steam ahead. Dennis was just unstoppable. Owning the stage with complete finesse, he sashayed all over, got a few splits in, jumped off stuff and into the crowd. He’s got one of my most favorite stage personalities since Cedric Bixler-Zavala. These guys are soulful creatures with endless energy oozing out of their lanky bodies until they’re dripping in sweat. When he wasn’t being a choatic yet graceful swan on stage, his on stage banter comprised of gratitude and self-deprication. Especially before Lou Koller of Sick of It All came out and he said they were just a band trying to sound like the NYHC legends before going into a SOIA cover.
Needless to say, the band was loud, the whirlwind growing with the volume, reaching it’s apex when that solo introducing “New Noise” played. That was fun and expected and all but the most memorable moment for me was hearing “Rather Be Dead” live. It was cathartic, as usual, like a shot in the arm. I damn near lost my head yelling, “RATHER BE AAAALIVE!” it was as if everything was Millhouse and nothing hurt.
I walked out to buy some merch right after ‘New Noise,’ to beat the crowd. Came back to the floor for the finale and after Dennis shouted “Stay curious, stay wild and stay fucking hungry,” I walked out before the masses had the chance, heart warmed and full of hope and happiness much like I always do after a really good show, sad that I couldn’t share this with Snail but happy I could now say that the seemingly impossible happened and it was pretty damn sweet. —Cheep
Photo by Jonathan McPhail via brooklynvegan
EVERYTHING EVERYTHING IS COMING TO NYC IN EPIC OCTOBER!!!!!!
It’s time to resurrect excited middle aged Asian man because two years later our October will still be of epic proportions and Everything Everything is returning to New York City for CMJ. The fest runs from Oct 16-20 but the official schedule is TBA so we have no idea when they’re going to play yet!
I had a date with these three tonight, it was pretty fuggsin’ perfect. —Cheep
This is what we did today, plus exploring the city and its culinary delights… Earl grey gelato and glorious Tibetan dofu! All is possible here.
Tonight we say, New York we love you, and you’re not bringing us down. Love, C&S.
This weekend went in the books for many a reason, one of which was finally meeting our favorite New York City personality. For years we’ve called him Dress Vest, after one of first pieces of an ensemble we ever saw him in, admiring his sartorial creations and sass from a far. On Saturday, our lives reached a new high when after catching Snail trying to take a picture, our hero came up to us concerned the staples he was using to hold together his skirt bottom were showing in the photo. Relieved he was not angry —the last thing we want to do is disrespect this man — we assured him they were nowhere to be seen and ended up in a 20-minute conversation with this visionary. He told us how he made his current outfit, from his elaborate flowered and feathered hat to his slip and skirt to giving him input for changes. Starstruck and completely immersed, all we wanted to do was listen to him go on about his creations and ideas and forgot to ask him his real name. Either way, it was the best thing that could’ve happened while Moz was here.