What’s Left: 35 Days. 32 Bands.
Band #68: Dispatch
Expectations: Going into it, I was unsure exactly what to expect. I’d seen State Radio (lead singer Chad Urmston’s other band) live a few times, and they were always great. I had heard good things about Dispatch’s live show (quasi-legendary things, actually) so my expectations were rather inflated. Chad’s voice was really awesome each time I saw State Radio live, and I was excited to hear him singing with the rest of the guys in Dispatch. The show was outside at Chicago’s Millenium Park (AWESOME VENUE) so that added another element to the show. Perfect summer mood, perfect summer night.
Pre-Show: Just included this to inform you how I was feeling going into the show–the weather was perfect, it was a straight up majestic day in Chicago, and we were pre-gaming the concert on my buddy’s 40 foot, wooden, OG sailboat. So I mean, the concert kind of had to be amazing for everything to live up to my expectations/the glorious afternoon leading into the show.
Concert: I used the term majestic in my last paragraph. Majestic would be an understatement. Not only was Dispatch completely in tune and on point with each other as a band, but you could really feel an awesome connection between the audience and the crowd. A feeling like that really elevates any concert experience, and there was something truly tangible in the air that night between the crowd and the band. They played all of their classics and left nobody (at least none of my friends, who are all very big Dispatch fans) wishing they had played a different set. They did some awesome covers, and it was easy to tell how much fun the band was having onstage. They had a pretty big band, and some of the percussion instruments especially were pretty cool. Rain sticks, big African drums, etc…all of the guys were adding their own unique sound to every jam.
Concert Afterglow: One of my favorite summer nights to date. This is exactly what makes Chicago my favorite city in the summer. It is absolutely beautiful–just ask ‘Ye how he feels about summertime Chi. If Dispatch ever plays in your area code, or even somewhere remotely close to you, it is a necessity in my mind that you see them. Don’t pass the opportunity up.
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The applause at the end goes on for over a minute and a half, and every bit of it is deserved. A gorgeous take on the Michael Jackson classic from the wonderful Aloe Blacc. Check out the MADE blog for 5 more videos from the session.
For you impatient folk, the singing starts around 1:50…
Also, a new electrofunk remix of Aloe’s “I Need a Dollar,” spotted over at TMN
What’s Left: 73 Days. 39 Bands.
Band #61: The Elected
When/Where: June 22nd, Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC
Expectations:Who are these guys again? I literally had no prior knowledge of them except that Lydia recommended them. I was in the area, so I showed up, very little to no expectations.
Concert: I like finding new bands after I fall in love with them at random concerts, and since I’d never been to Local 506 before I was excited to check out The Elected in Chapel Hill.
The surly front man, Blake Sennett, former guitarist/co-songwriter for Rilo Kiley, has a hilariously dark sense of humor, which was a nice interaction to have between songs. He all at once reminded me of Jason Schwartzman of Coconut Records and a very sad Jason Mraz. Each track seemed to mirror both the darkness and the humor, conveying pain and life’s disappointments while maintaining an upbeat and earthy west coast vibe.
I was a bit worried I would be bored during the first two songs, which were good, but very slow and pensive. As the show got going, the band definitely hit it’s stride and surprised me with more driving tempos and intricate layers of violin over Sennett’s powerful lead guitar.
The personality of the band, heavily influenced by their use of violin, ukulele and steel drums on some songs is unique in the same way Vampire Weekend and Spoon are different from other pop-rock and indie bands, it’s almost unexplainable, but totally pleasing.
Concert Afterglow: Pleasantly surprised, 506 is an awesome venue, and the band was funny, personable and unique. I can’t wait to check out more of The Elected’s music.
Recommendation: I don’t know if I’d go see The Elected a second time, unless I become a bigger fan of their music, mostly because I suspect their shows to be very much the same in every city, however I’m glad I was introduced to them this time around.
View more Buzz Tour photos on Flickr.
What’s Left: 82 Days. 40 Bands.
Band #60: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
When/Where: May 29th, Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC
Expectations: I attended this show with some serious Grace Potter fans in the group, so this show could not have been more hyped up in my mind, I had no doubts that I was going to have a fabulous night out.
Concert: I don’t know much about Grace Potter, but wish I was her. Zeus himself could never dream of a more soulful goddess. She has the most beautiful hair and effortlessly cool bangs with talent to spare. The same can be said for the Nocturnals who sport 70’s reminiscent outfits; the guys rocked funky mustaches, and girl bassist Catherine Popper, who as Grace mentioned hails from Charlotte, NC, had equally cool, Potter-like bangs.
Though mustaches and bangs seem to be a requirement for Nocturnals membership, extreme talent obviously factors in as well. The Nocturnals are a serious band equipped with instruments and able hands and no sound effects, laptops, or auto-tune in sight. Each element of the band reminds me of the quality of music I listened to in the car with my parents as a kid while still maintaining a totally cool and relevant vibe.
After stalking Grace’s TwitPics of previous set lists from the Bonnaroo Buzz tour, and her nightly outfits before each show, my crew of boys and I were excited to see what she would pull out for her Raleigh show. When we first spotted Grace when she and the rest of the Buzz tour family sang “Happy Birthday” to opener and comedian Julian McCullough we were a little disappointed to see her in shorts and a cardigan. Not a good sign. But she quickly found herself back in our good graces (no pun intended) as she reappeared on stage in a sparkly outfit and mile-high stilettos. The set list included a few favorite Grace Potter songs, but lacked others I was excited to hear, “Mastermind” and “Apologies” were surprisingly absent in the line up. However, my hands-down favorite Potter song, “Tiny Light,” followed by an electrifying cover of “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones is what my boys and I agree to be the best musical moment of our young lives. Grace also broke up the set list at one point with a cute North Carolina version of Tupac’s “California Love.”
There were so many surprises in one night: laughing along to Julian McCullough’s jokes about a Duke psych professor standing behind me, hearing the Nocturnals cover the Stones, getting free “Bonnaroo Buzz Tour” ice cream, and getting some awesome souvenirs. This show is up there as one of my favorite concerts ever. It makes me hate that I had to miss out on Bonnaroo, graduating from high school is pretty overrated anyway.
Concert Afterglow: A drumstick, successfully obtained after flirting with a stage crew guy (totally unashamed), is all the proof I need to remind myself that this night actually happened. I vaguely remember kissing it and stroking it with my face after the show.
Recommendation: Why wouldn’t you go see Grace Potter? She is a must-see act, and she is a goddess. If you get the chance, go to a show, even if you’re not a huge groupie or anything, this woman does not disappoint.
Justin Vernon of Bon Iver performed live on Jimmy Fallon last night. He sang a beautiful rendition of Bonnie Raitt’s classic “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” mixing in a bit of “A Song For You” by Leon Russell via Donny Hathaway. His falsetto is absolutely breathtaking, as is his general demeanor, if you ask me. But all these things aside, what I loved the most about this was seeing local musical talent Phil Cook on the piano. That’s Durham, North Carolina right there! Phil is a member of local band Megafaun and is Justin’s best friend and former bandmate in a group that was called DeYarmond Edison. Beautiful instrumentation by Phil as well.
I have listened to the upcoming album by Bon Iver, self-titled Bon Iver, which will be released on June 21st, and let me just tell you that it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. 100 Word Review forthcoming.
Hit the jump to see the video.
So Childish Gambino is unreal. Period. Donald Glover? AKA Dong Lover?
Yeah. He runs shit. For some reason, we’ve posted this song twice. Now, my boy Sperry over at It’s The Bino releases a dope video of Donald performing his remake of Ye’s All of the Lights live in NYC, and Gambino absolutely kills it. Of course this is going to be posted–we love Gambino at SITR.
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Written by our buddy Marc over at Mostly Junk Food. Swag him the FUCK out.
In celebration of the release of his sophomore album Goblin, OFWGKTA ringleader Tyler The Creator announced a surprise concert in Los Angeles. I knew I had to go at all costs. As information about the show was gradually revealed, I soon realized I would be shit out of luck getting a ticket. In what was a really cool promotion and more of an exclusive show than a ‘secret’ show, it was announced that in order to get a wristband for entrance to the show, you had to purchase Goblin at Amoeba Records on Sunset Blvd. Tyler encouraged kids to skip school to get tickets, but at the ripe blogging faggot hipster age of 23 I couldn’t just skip work. Luckily for me and through the power of Internet magic, MJF enthusiast Zack drove on a whim from Santa Barbara and stood in line with a friend of his to get me a wrist band. SWAG ME THE FUCK out as they say. Follow that fool and atheist god bless him.
The concert was a total bro fest. Through all the crazy moshing, stage diving and shuffling of individuals you got up-close-and-personal with almost everyone at the show and I only saw maybe 5 girls in the whole place (which is really pretty tiny). Could it be that Tyler isn’t big with the female demographic? The video for “She” is definitely going to change that, if it’s the case. I’m going to venture to guess the reason there were limited girls was because the mosh pits are a DANGEROUS place for the soft and feminine. I was concerned about my iPhone’s life – I usually love tweeting about shows and taking videos and pictures but my phone remained safely in my pocket for this one.
One of the first things I saw on stage upon entering the venue was the guys in Odd Future cooking to Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” This was a true sign of things to come. Lex Luger, Based God, Waka Flocka, Rick Ross, Clipse and more got the crowd hype and practicing their moshing for the show. Tyler came out and immediately stage dived (stage dove?) into the audience, setting the tone for the whole show. You never know what to expect at an Odd Future show and you have to have sharp reflexes or you could lose a tooth, catch a nose bleed or both.
“By the way GOBLIN came out today,” Tyler said in his signature raspy voice. Then he pointed out a kid in the front center who was wearing a Tyler The Creator mask (provided in the line at Amoeba from XXL I believe). “Out of all the ugly motherfuckers in the world, you pick my face to make a mask of?” Then he said “Ah I’m not touchin that you probably jerked off onto it, faggot.” TREATED!!!! There were some microphone and sound problems throughout the whole show, which totally added to the crazy punk rock revival feel.
Tyler’s mom was on the second floor where family and older people too afraid of the carnage of moshing were found. I noticed she was really grooving to the piano chords under “Yonkers,” (despite the lyric ‘fuck my mom that bitch will never understand me’). She definitely wasn’t into Tyler’s Waka Flocka-esque collaboration with Jasper the Dolphin & Taco My Bitch Suck Dick.”
“My Bitch Suck Dick” was a crazy exercise into thrashing and yelling, at which point I escaped the dangerous mosh vacuum to get a drink of water from the Jane Lynch look-alike at the bar. I got my hipster faggot blogger on and scanned the audience, trying to take this whole cultural event in and process what the fuck was going on. As I sipped my water on the rocks, a young flanneled kid looked on blankly into the distance nursing a nose bleed and pondering how he would tell his parents he didn’t even get into UCSB.
Inbetween songs people would yell things like “FUCK STEVE HARVEY” and “Daddy, Nick Cannon is hilarious!” It was a true exercise in irreverence. Frank Ocean joined Tyler in his finest Bruce Lee linens for “She”, the follow-up single to “Yonkers” (video coming soon!). “Enough with that soft shit,” Tyler said after the song leading into “Transylvania”, another new song the crowd knew suspiciously well having just bought the album earlier today…
Other appearances – people looked at Domo Genesis like he was young Timbaland when he performed “Rolling Papers” alongside Tyler. Mike G did a few songs and it was disheartening to see how no one (with a few exceptions) knew any of the words or were showing him love. Some fuck boy in the crowd (who was even older than I am) said something to the effect of “well you see Mike G is the whipping boy of the group they always clown on him. He’s pretty good though.” Ugh. The young kid/dbag hipster mix is something that’s surely prevalent at all Odd Future shows.
After a weak crowd effort during a MellowHype song, Hodgy remarked “Wow that was a real ego boost – thanks for that guys.” Domo & Hodgy’s ’4th Chamber’ tribute Tang Golf had the few older heads nodding and manager Christian Clancy was more into this track than any other that night. “To Free Earl from the fucking Samoans.”
I really gotta give it up for Hodgy who doesn’t leave out a single word even in the most difficult songs. That and he’s great at rapping with his eyes in the back of his head and only the whites showing. Casey Veggies came out to do his verse on “Odd Toddlers” and killed it even though I would venture to guess most of these kids didn’t know Casey or Bastard. 30,000!
After “Odd Toddlers,” Tyler took the opportunity to call out the Based God look-alike who had been climbing on the side of the stage. “At our shows overseas we got mad bitches, but it’s all guys here tonight so why do you have your shirt off nigga,” he said. At another moment, Tyler paused to acknowledge a girl who threw up in the front row. “Get this bitch some water,” he said. “Ayo I dare one of you niggas to lick that,” he says and of course some kid does. “GOD DAMN, my nigga I feel like Usher in this bitch,” Tyler cackled. And the crowd offered friendly applause for the well-executed double dog dare. It was a total golf clap. We’ll call it the Golf Wang clap.
Then Tyler shared his story about getting arrested earlier in the day. He didn’t offer any specific details on what happend, but mentioned he’s got a pending court date and that Frank Ocean got hemmed up last week too. This lead to “Fuck The Police,” one of my favorites on MellowHype’s BLACKENEDWHITE LP. Wouldn’t you know it, the crowd didn’t really know the words to this one either. Bless their hearts.
For the final song of the night, Tyler performed “Radicals,” the track on Goblin with the refrain of ‘kill people – burn shit fuck school.’ He added that this song was really popular overseas and asked everyone to get on stage and go nuts. You should have seen the look on Taco’s face when everyone jumped on the stage! Tyler climbed a rig on the side and threw himself into the crowd of his admiring fans with reckless abandon. Speakers got knocked off stage and all hell broke loose. I don’t know how, but I got on stage and I touched Tyler’s OFWGKTA (no homo) tattoo trying to push him up and prevent him from falling off the stage. Not on no ‘I’ll never wash this hand again’ shit, but I figured it’s worth mentioning all the same. Also, he was wearing bright neon orange underwear. Ok that got a little gay.
Anyway, this show was a true spectacle and something I will never forget. That’s why I wrote this tonight so my memory wouldn’t lapse. Pardon all grammatical inconsistencies I was flowing straight from the survival scroll. Thanks again to Zach for making it possible. I’m very fortunate my iPhone didn’t get broken and that I didn’t even get kicked in the teeth. I’m glad I got to experience OFWGKTA, but next time I think me and my 23 year old blogging faggot hipster self will chill upstairs with Tyler’s Canadian mom. GOLF WANG.
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Two more awesome videos of Tyler, the Creator. I cannot get enough of Odd Future. Their raw energy is so enticing, their performances so intense and crazy–they are truly like nothing I have ever seen.
The rushing of the stage in the first video is pretty crazy–that must have been an unreal moment onstage. Gotta be a little frightening for the group though. I’d tweak if I saw a massive rush of people like that running at me.
Every era has a performer, or group or performers, who are completely revolutionary. Often times, they are misunderstood at the start of their careers: Elvis, James Brown, etc. Is Tyler, the Creator this decade’s Elvis?
Who knows. Fuck hipsters. Golfwang.
Also included this unreal picture of Hodgy diving off of something crazy.
Nick McCarthy || D Prep || Twitter ||
I think rappers sometimes get an unfair “rap” about their performances. I think there is a stereotype about them that people buy into too often; that their performances are boring, that they’re not true performers, that they don’t really rap or sing to their songs, etc. Well, from every hip-hop show I have ever seen, this stereotype is completely false.
Here is some footage of Wiz performing this past weekend at Bamboozle. It was a great lineup (Big Sean, Chiddy Bang, Weezy, Sam Adams, etc), and I very much wish that I had been present.
The good folks over at Heavy Hittas took some really great footage that, somehow, ended up with great sound quality. Capturing solid sound at a live performance, especially music that has bass as heavy as Wiz’s, is incredibly hard to do so kudos to those dudes. I included some of my favorites from the night. Enjoy.
Nick McCarthy || D Prep || Twitter ||
The other night, the fair gentleman over at Bro Bible teamed up with the Windows Phone to throw ‘From Austin With Love’ with Chiddy Bang, Hoodie Allen, and RJD2. People could tweet at Chiddy with the hashtag #WP to tell him what to say in his freestyle. Kind of a cool idea. Chiddy freestyles at all of his shoes, and him and Xaphoon Jones, aka Noah Beresin, always get words to say from the crowd. Chiddy always kills these freestyles, and it’s always over the same beat, Tinie Tempah’s “Pass Out.” I have footage from Lollapalooza that has been delayed for a looooong time but will be released on Sunset in the near future.
My only issue with this freestyle is the extremely annoying bleep out. Really unnecessary and totally kills his flow. Best part is the breakdown at the end.
Hold up hold up hold up, I’m done with the shit/ Cause when it comes to rap I spit that sick shit off the dome/ And it don’t really matter/ You know I stay flossin/ Catch me South by Southwest, what up Austin?
What’s Left: 227 Days. 62 Bands.
Band #38: The Love Language
When/Where: January 15, 2011, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Expectations: I’ve seen The Love Language live a couple of times now. They’ve recently been touring around the country, so I’m excited to see what tips and tricks they’ve picked up along the way.
Concert: The Love Language, a local band for North Carolinians, sold out Cat’s Cradle days in advance. Part of it was the fact that their opener was a “Special Guest,” kept secret until their arrival on stage, and part of it was that they are one of the most dominant bands in the Triangle area. Their sound can be described by some as indie-rock, and others as indie-pop, but the bottom line is, they are creating songs that are memorable, fun to sing along to, and are adored by not only the local crowd but by a large following around the world. It came as no surprise that they sold out this show.
The Love Language didn’t start until after 11 PM, when they took the stage that was decorated with Christmas lights formed into a huge heart set up behind the drummer. All of the other players took even spaces on the front of the stage. All members of the band had looks of pleasure on their faces the whole time. The standouts were frontman Stuart McLamb walking around stage encouraging and fraternizing with his bandmates, the drummer pounding away with a smile for the entire set, and Missy Thangs jamming on two keyboards and a tambourine while showing off some stellar dance moves. They had wonderful interaction without each other, making it appear that they love their lives, just as they should.
While on stage, The Love Language debuted a new song of theirs for this audience. They didn’t tell us the name, choosing to call it “New Song,” but it was great. It seemed rock-inspired more-so than pop. After finishing that song and admitting that they didn’t know what to follow it up with, they played a cover by The Sonics, which really showed their ability to rock. Throughout the whole set, the venue seemed to be shaking. I guess that’s what happens when you sell out a place that can hold over 600 people and everybody in there was a hardcore fan singing their hearts out alongside Stuart McLamb.
My expectations were met; I was hoping that The Love Language might have improved since the last time I saw them. Sure enough, the band that I credit for incredible vocals proved their savvy with instrumentals and rocking out last night. What’s more, their stamina was incredible. They played 13 songs up front, and then of course came out for an encore, during which they played three more. After that, nobody budged. The crowd started chanting “ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG!” And to nobody’s surprise, they returned and played two more songs.
Concert Afterglow: As I said, I’ve seen The Love Language a few times now, but with each performance they seem to improve by leaps and bounds. Their energy was extremely contagious. What a fun night!
What’s Left: 228 Days. 63 Bands.
Band #37: Archers of Loaf
When/Where: January 15, 2011, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Expectations: None. Honestly. These guys opened for The Love Language, who announced that they would have a special surprise guest, but the secret was never officially announced until Archers of Loaf stepped onto the stage.
Concert: As soon as The Cellar Seas stepped off the stage, the room started buzzing with rumors about who the “Special Surprise Guest” would be. The guy next to me in the front row turned to me and said, ‘Do you know who it’s going to be?’ I said I had heard rumors, but couldn’t be sure. He said, ‘Well, I drove 8 hours (from New Jersey) hoping that it’s Archers of Loaf, but I’m not positive that it will be. But I went to their concert in 1996 and have kept the ticket stub in my wallet with me ever since.’ Sure enough, he pulled out the ticket stub and showed it to me.
That right there was a smack in the face. I hardly knew anything about Archers of Loaf. If you’re on my boat, here’s a brief history: they formed in 1990. All four men are North Carolinians, and they had a great streak, including touring with Weezer. They broke up in 1998 after one member was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. Thirteen years later, on January 15th, 2011, they took the stage again, ironically on the last stage they played on, this time to open for The Love Language.
So. Here’s how it went down: the four guys took the stage while the crowd went wild. People started screaming, perhaps even shaking. The band’s movements immediately mimicked their music; all three guitarists would get low to the ground when playing the softer music, then absolutely rock out when it got louder. Bass guitarist Matt Gentling really was a sight to see. It almost felt like I was watching a real-live Guitar Hero performance. He was doing kick jumps, 360’s, pelvic thrusts…the whole shabang.
Before long, white things were being thrown toward the stage. It took me a second to realize that they were…marshmallows. I’m not sure if this is a tradition, though it seemed not to be when Gentling remarked, “For years, I used to dream about playing on marshmallows. It kinda sucks, kind of a let down.” Apparently having their feet stuck to the stage wasn’t as cool as they imagined it would be.
For the entire show, the crowd was outrageously enthusiastic. Fans were yelling the lyrics probably just as loudly as frontman Eric Bachmann himself. Despite a thirteen year hiatus, their fans hadn’t forgotten one word of any of their songs. But it wasn’t just the fans who were incredibly thankful, including one who belted, ‘You changed my fucking life!,’ the band members themselves were also very appreciative of the opportunity.
When the show ended, nobody knew if or when they would take the stage next. People were begging and pleading for an encore, though it wasn’t granted. They played an entire 12-song set, not such a small feat for a band that hasn’t played together in thirteen years! After they left the stage, fans continued to scream and cheer for them, some even diving onto the stage to grab the remaining set lists.
Concert Afterglow: I had never been to a punk rock show before. This was certainly an experience, and though I wish I could have been a bigger fan beforehand, this was absolutely awesome nonetheless. Wow. Still shocked.
Recommendation: Well, I’d like to say this is a must-see, but who knows if they’ll ever take the stage again.