Sleigh Bells @ Terminal 5

When you see a crowd jumping like at 1:50 of this video, you know something’s going right.

I saw Black Bananas and Sleigh Bells play last night to a sold out Terminal 5, and it was a hell of a show. This is the third time I’ve seen Sleigh Bells (1st: Gobi Tent at Coachella, 2nd: Mojave Tent at Coachella), and every time they seem to hone their craft even further. With music as fast-paced and aggressive as this, the show has to be super tight, not too long, and have perfectly placed mid-tempo songs. Without a doubt, Sleigh Bells are 100% aware of what their image is, what their ‘sound’ is, and how that sound should translate in a live setting. Flawless execution.

Antony & the Johnsons @ Radio City Music Hall

Antony with the incredible lazers and overhead installation (via Pitchfork)

I don’t have many words to do this show justice, so here’s an excerpt from the New York Times summarizing the show:

Wonderment and sorrow course through the songs of Antony Hegarty, who leads Antony and the Johnsons. Those are immense emotions, and on Thursday night he performed in a place to match their scale: Radio City Music Hall.

There he poured out his uncanny voice: a preternaturally sustained, androgynous croon, steeped in melancholy and awe. I’ve never heard a Radio City audience keep so silent during ballads.

The lasers sketched curvilinear phantoms, diagonal grids or a crystalline cage; in one song tiny red lights flickered like fireflies. Mr. Hegarty himself was a modest figure within the larger tableaus, sometimes very still, sometimes gesturing. The focus was on the music, not the performer.

Antony played with the LA Phil a few years ago, and I’ve beat myself up since for not going. When I saw that this event was happening, I jumped for joy.

It was spectacular to say the least.

This was my first time at Radio City Music Hall. When I walked into the main performance space, I was blown away at the size of the place. To me the hall is essentially an indoor version of the Hollywood Bowl with the domed shell of a ceiling. Because I’m still new to New York, I appreciate things here and there everyday, but places like this and events like this really only happen in a few places around the world, and I feel so lucky to be able to witness them.

The show opened with an abstract repetitive dance piece by Johanna Constantine, and then we were lucky enough to have Julia Yasuda (who’s voice is instantly recognizable from “Free At Last”, a track from I Am A Bird Now) introduce Antony. The summary above describes the show more succinctly than I might be able to, so I’ll leave you with a video of “I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy.” Watch it to the end to see one level of the transformations the stage made throughout the night.


Back home in Fallbrook, CA

So my summer travels are over. This isn’t any sort of retrospective post; I just want to list where I went for my own sake. Here goes:

  • China: Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Turkey: Istanbul
  • India: Delhi, Kolkata
  • Hungary: Budapest, Székesfehérvár
  • Austria: Vienna
  • Czech Republic: Prague
  • France: Paris
  • Spain: Madrid
  • USA: New York
I also was in airports in Moscow, London, Reykjavik, Dallas, Seattle, Abu Ahabi, and Doha. Needless to say, it was quite a trip.

New York, NY for a few

The Strand bookstore from the small second level

I’m in Boston for my last spring break ever. I promised a friend that I’d eventually come out, and although it took me four years, I’m here. We spent the past few days in New York. I lived in the East Village and Lower East Side during the summer of 2009, and I learned then why people never leave.

Also true.
Nowadays, this typeface gets more attention than anything it communicates
Because you never know all of the ways you can calculate 15%...
The stairs in Dylan's Candy Bar. Willy Wonka anyone?
Mother bird regurgitating its child. Or something like that.
Badass diorama.
Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger

The Field & The Juan Maclean @ Webster Hall

The Field: Axel Willner
The Field: Axel Willner

The Field

the field opened, if you consider the field an “opener”

minimal, but not really, comment from amg review

Willner’s productions are as minimal techno as early-’90s Field precursors Seefeel were minimal rock; they’re not the least bit minimal, at least not sonically, and his approach to techno continues to sound like that of a dream pop/shoegaze freak

four man band, bass/drums, really only needed two people though

about five songs, more from new album (two old, three new)

when the song I love kicks in, it’s amazing, rave-like (ie. over the ice)

people need to calm down when listening to it, you can dance, but please stop spazzing out

rothko is to the field as …. is to …..

John Maclean & Nancy Whang (of LCD Soundsystem)
John Maclean & Nancy Whang (of LCD Soundsystem)

The Juan MacLean

amazing, FAR surpassed my expectations

quintessential DFA sound.

four piece, everyone actually doing band stuff

theremin on stage, used to good effect and with real skill

nancy whang is DFA’s Alison Mosshart

played a good mix of new and old songs (I’ll admit I haven’t listened to the new album that much)

great groove “happy house” stretched to about twenty minutes long (from it’s typical twelve), rises and falls, tempo changes, as good of pacing as Daft Punk’s live show, really put the show over-the-top

did I mention there was a theremin?