Thursday, August 23, 2007

Urgent--fall concert update

I know you are anxiously awaiting my accounts from Day 3 at Lolla--but there is urgent business to take care of--concerts. There are tons and tons of upcoming concerts with more coming everyday. Here's my list as it stands today. '(Costs don't include any of the additional fees.) Let me know what you are interested in:

Monday, August 27 Milwaukee Rufus Wainwright, The Magic Numbers, A Fine Frenzy $40 Pabst
Monday, Sept 4, Chicago, Kaiser Chiefs, White Rabbits, $26, Metro
Tuesday, Sept 11 Milwaukee Bloc Party $23 Pabst Theatre
Wednes, Sept 12 Chicago Arctic Monkeys $27 The Riviera
Saturday, Sept 15 Madison The Sea and the Cake $13 High Noon Saloon
Friday, Sept 28 Madison Ryan Adams $30, The Barrymore
Thur, Oct 4 Madison Suzanne Vega, $25, The Barrymore
Saturday, Oct 6, Twin Cities, Regina Spektor, $22.50, Myth
Mon, Oct 8, Milwaukee Spoon, $18, Pabst Theatre
Friday, Oct 12 Madison Paolo Nutini $25 The Barrymore
Wednesday, Oct 17, Milwaukee New Pornographers, $20 Pabst Theatre
Tuesday or Wed, Oct 30-31, Chicago, The Hold Steady, $20 Metro--on sale 8/25!
Sun or Mon, Nov 18-19, Milwaukee The Decemberist, Riverside Theater ("Long of It") *
11-19 Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater ("Short of It")

Get your free Decemberists download by going to

Friday, August 10, 2007

What I learned last night at the Crowded House Concert...

Let me first start by saying that Crowded House is still hot, white hot. And those boys can most certainly rock, case in point "Locked Out" was so tough, crunchy guitar and everything. It was such a fantastic show. The concert was nothing but new material with a few gems mixed in, but they came back for two more sets playing nothing but the hits. This post isn't about the show, it's about the very valuable lesson I learned last night that I wanted to share because it might help you at some point.

A little back 8PM I was still in CT, which was when the concert started, and we weren't going to be leaving any time soon. I made a Production Assistant drive me to the train station (a luxury I have being an APOC) that way I'd at least get to NYC by 9:30PM. By the time I got off the train and subway I arrived at the venue 2 hours late, hoping that I'd only miss a few songs from their set and missing the opener entirely, which was the case. The kicker being, before I left for work yesterday I left the actual concert ticket at my apartment. I called the ticket outlet and they said they'd try to switch my ticket to a will call pickup but with it being the same day they wouldn't guarantee it. They told me to show up at the venue with my ID, Credit Card, and email confirmation. I raced to the concert not even knowing if I'd get in or not.

The lesson is as follows...if you show up at will call, but only after they close, you will find an employee waiting for any last minute arrivals. Start telling her your situation and wave papers in front of her, she won't listen nor would I say care. She just looked at the pile of tickets and gave me the top single ticket and sent me right in. I was prepared to be in the upper balcony, which was where my original ticket was located (I'm cheap). What I discovered when I went to an usher was that I had an Orchestra seat. Yes, Orchestra Seats!! She ushered me to my seat, which ended up being Orchestra Center, Row 3. I was directly in front of the stage, Neil Finn was literally sweating and I could see the beads. When I got home I priced out how much this seat would have cost and I scored for $300 seat for $65.

In conclusion, to score kick ass seats (that you may or may not have purchased) all you have to do is show up late, have an excuse, wave papers (I used my crew list actually), find an employee who doesn't give a shit and you'll end up with Orchestra Center, Row 3 seats. Utterly fantastic.

Lyn you would have been so proud and I even took a picture with my phone to prove my good fortune. Will send it later.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Lolla Day Two

After an excellent breakfast with Breeze and Sarah, I caught a bus down to Grant Park. Everything was working like clockwork. I got down in time to check out a band from AZ, Dear and the Headlights. They were very good and perfect for a Saturday morning. They remind me of Counting Crows but less self-conscious (an overall theme of the fest). I'm not a CC fan, mostly because I can't deal with Adam Durtiz, but it had a similar vibe to it.

From there, I buzzed over to check out a "band" Matt and Kim. Basically, a guy on keys and a skinny chick banging hard on a drum set. They had a ton of energy--really too much, but were kinda funny, though each song sounded exactly the same. They were thrilled to be there and were on a big stage, so I think overall, they were worth watching.

Next up, I'm From Barcelona--so in preparation for Lolla, I checked out a bunch on the bands the months leading up, on Rhapsody. I actually really liked this band and put their song, called "We're From Barcelona" on my most recent mix CD. So I was excited to catch a couple tracks. Little did I know they are a freak band like Polyphonic Spree! Now to be fair, they were probably a ton of fun and much less creepy than PS, but due to the PS experience the day before, this was a little too soon. 20+ on stage--they did bust in a Like a Prayer cover though, which did earn them some cool points.

I then hauled ass across the park to catch the Tokyo Police Club--a boy, am I glad I did. They are just a four-piece rock outfit from Canada--children really, but "Nature of the Experience" probably could have gone on my best of 2006. Good news though, their new stuff is just as good and their EP release this summer is very good "Your English is Good" in particular. Definitely worth checking out October 9th my Twin Cities friends.

I decided to skip Pete Yorn, since I've seen him three or four times before and instead went to see Tapes 'N Tapes right next door. They're Twin Cities band and their tune "Insistor" made it on my best of 2006. In fact, "Loon" has been a go-to disc for a while. I was glad to hear their new stuff was equally good, although their was one serious clunker in the mix. They had excellent stage presence and a bit of comedy--always welcome. Check out their blog--good little post about my guy, Prince:

By this point in the day, Breeze had met up with me and I met up with Holly's NYC roommate, Jen's sister, Michelle--how's that for random. Holly told Jen I was going alone and Jen told Holly that Michelle's friends had bugged out. So we exchanged some texts and met up before the Cold War Kids--my next big band. But before that, Breeze and I listened to Sam Roberts Band while eating lunch--and they are definitely one to look for again. In researching, I listened to their most recent CD and don't be surprised if "Bridge to Nowhere" makes it on the year end list. I'm obsessed with this song. Another Canadian band...

Okay--now on to Cold War Kids--a band I was really looking forward to. Michelle and I met up with her friend, Michelle, whom she plays volleyball with. Both super nice--and volleyball Michelle is a huge Chicago concert goer. In fact, she's a big concert freak in general--even going to Austin City Limits Festival this year, but I digress. So instead of being on one of the big stages, the Kids were on a smaller side stage. Bad move==there were soo many people there. The band sounded great, but it was really hard to get into with all the pushing and shoving and icky drunk kids. They've been touring forever, but I really hope to see them again. "Hopital Beds", "We Used to Vacation" and of course, "Hang Me Out To Dry" (another candidate for best of 2006) were fantastic and delivered with all the emotion those songs carry. Looks like they are opening for White Stripes--have to watch to see if they get any closer than Chicago on a school night:

The next show was really a toss up: Regina Spektor or The Hold Steady. The Hold Steady is one of the best concerts I've ever seen, but I've seen them--however, Breeze hadn't so I decided that would be the place to go. The Michelle's checked out Regina Spektor. Sounds like I made the right decision. Too many drunk college girls singing along to Regina. The Hold Steady weren't as ridiculous as they were at the Stage Door--but they still rocked. They were clearly excited by the huge attendance they had at their show, at that was infectious. They're opening for the Rolling Stones in Europe later this month--their stuff is so Midwest related, I'm not sure how that will fly--but best to them:

From The Hold Steady to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs next door--and man, Karen O is one cool cat. I was a little nervous, cuz she kinda scares me--but she was so awesome. I'm a major convert. And "Maps" was just as ridiculous live as on tape. Check out their MySpace and from their blog there's a nice MTVNews clip of the fest:

AAAhhh--the surprise of the day, Spoon. Was aware of them--put "I Turn My Camera On" is on one of my mixes, but I had just listened to their new stuff for the fest. I was digging the new CD "GaGaGa" but they are soo good live. Was definitely a highlight and they had a huge crowd, where everyone knew the words--but me. "The Underdog" has its eyes on my year end list...
Twin Cities friends--they're coming to you mid-October, but unfortunately, midweek...

End of the day--I checked out both Muse and Interpol. Muse definitely knew how to use a light show. It was a big, bad show and definitely bringing the energy. I really like "Super Massive Black Hole" and they did it up. Some of their stuff gets a little hard for me, but this one is really fun...well, fun for Muse.

Interpol was midway through their set when we got down there and we were pretty far away. The sound on that side wasn't great when you were as far away as we were, but I got to hear "Henrich Maneuver" so that was pretty exciting. Otherwise, they were a little too...intellectual after a long day. Still would like to see them again--and believe it or not, they're in TC the same week as Spoon and everyone else!

End of Day Two

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Day One--Lollapalooza

So I'm back and I'm going to blog each day individually. Shout out to Breeze and Sarah for letting me stay with them, feeding me a good breakfast, and generally making sure I was taken care of while in Chi-Town.

Okay, so my awful sense of direction got the best of me and I ended up headed on the wrong bus causing me to miss The Fratellis. Elvis Perkins is there at the same time, but since we already saw him, The Fratellis were my choice. I did hear he was good though people thought a smaller venue would benefit him. So cheers to us for already doing that.

I was super, super bummed as they were one of the 5 bands I was most excited for. Of course, I hear they were awesome, so my feelings are even more hurt.

I get there and decide I need to pick up my spirits and concentrate on all the good music I will hear, not what I will miss.

My first band of the day is Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. I checked out about 5 of their tunes and was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the heat and the overall scope of the place. So I walked to the other side of the fest and caught a few minutes of Son Volt--which I didn't know anything about and was impressed. Next up--Polyphonic Spree. Matt recommended them and said that they were something to see. That is true--but not something I ever need to see again. Very bizarre and culty. Their rendition of Lithium (Nirvana) while wearing their freaking black military outfits was creepy==but it was nothing compared to when they reappeared in their robes. Very strange--but interesting to see once.

Then the highlight of Day One--MIA. Seriously, this girl is sick! It was just her and another girl on stage with a DJ and they threw it down. Male MCs have nothing on her. Her new track Boyz was awesome and her new stuff rocks just has hard. 10 Dollar, Galang and Bucky Done Gun did not disappoint. She is one cool cat. Unfortunately, doesn't look like she's around again until a few fall dates. Definitely need to see if she comes to the States in 08.

After MIA I hustled to the other side of the park to catch the conclusion of Silversun Pickups. To my surprise, I got to hear about five tunes including Lazy Eye. They were very good and one to see again.

Up next, chillin'--so I grabbed some food and a spot on the lawn and watched The Black Keys. They are a two piece out of Akron OH. Lots of fans there who knew all the words. Everyone was super excited about them and I'm not surprised--they were a very solid band. You wouldn't know it was a two-piece without seeing it. And they aren't a self-conscious two piece like White STripes that put it in your face.

I then bust it to the other side of the park again to see what the big deal is with LCD Soundsystem. Can't get into their stuff and I've definitely tried. However, their live show was great. More melodic than their studio stuff comes off.

Then Daft Punk--not sure what to say other than I guess I don't really get it. Light show and techno--just not really my thing. It could also have been the effect of sweltering hear, excessive sweating combined with seizure inducing flashing lights. End of Day One.