Saturday, September 27, 2008

So Jenny Lewis played Denver...

Lou Gehrig once said "...Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth..." After seeing Jenny Lewis last Tuesday night in Denver, I have to disagree. That distinction 100% goes to the boyfriend of Jenny Lewis, Mr. Johnathan Rice. When not making great records of his own, Rice follows Jenny Lewis on tour, plays guitar, sings backing vocals, and then takes her home every night. If that's not the luckiest man on the face of the earth, I don't want to know what is.

Promoting her newly released album Acid Tongue, Lewis and company played a 75 minute set comprised of songs both new and old. I can honestly say, I have never had an hour and 15 minutes pass so quickly. I'm pretty sure my legs were made of jelly the whole time Jenny was on stage. The main reason for the jelly-leg-syndrome was when I heard the lyrics to 'Bad Man World'. Just hearing Jenny belt out:
It's a Bad Man's World,
I'm a bad, bad girl
That's reason enough RIGHT THERE to go see her live. Other highlights from the set included the self titled song from Acid Tongue, with the entire band harmonizing on backup vocals. It was quite impressive, and perhaps even a bit heavenly?

Also on the bill were Jenny Lewis' favorite band, LA based Whispertown 2000. Their style is actually quite difficult to categorize, but their 2 female vocalists tend to wear similar outfits on stage, and I got a bit of a Cat Power vibe from the vocals, and that's never a bad thing. They were very energetic, and I couldn't have asked for anything more from a pre-Jenny Lewis band. (Call me crazy, but I was even digging on the denim shorts...) Check them out when they come to a town near you...

As this is my first post on our soon to be AMAZING blog, I'd like to say thanks for stopping by! And I promise, soon enough, Russel and I will figure out how to share MP3's with you... It's a learning process, and I'm a slow learner!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Jenny Lewis and Conor Oberst in Omaha

my girlfriend and i took a trip to Omaha over the weekend and caught a great Conor Oberst/Jenny Lewis show at the Anchor Inn. the venue is a little sketchy (it's known as the place to go for midget wrestling and drunken biker fights), but a huge crowd of locals turned out.
after waiting through forgettable sets by Son, Ambulance and Matt Focht, who performed an unfortunate cover of "Long Black Veil", it was time for Jenny Lewis and her incredibly nimble band of hippies (they should probably go ahead and use that name). after listening to Acid Tongue a few times now, i have to confess that i much prefer the live versions of most of her new songs. some of the things that seem like small missteps on the album prove to be sparkling moments on the stage.

conor oberst and his mystic valley band took the stage looking smart in matching black track jackets and quickly ran down a list of songs from last month's self-titled release. the boys also played a few songs from the Nik Freitas and Taylor Hollingsworth catalogs, as well as "Smoke signals" which is one of the most incisive and poignant things Mr. Oberst has written ( i can't imagine why it wasn't included on the album). overall, the front-man seemed more focused and invested in the performance than in a typical bright eyes show. he even danced some sort of strange dead-Elvis jig.

the set ended with a raging version of "i don't want to die (in the hospital)" that prompted the first crowd-surfing attempt that i have ever witnessed at a show like this. for his efforts, the drunk surfer was rewarded with an elbow to the throat from the my lovely Sara.

the night before, we caught an impressive line-up of Nebraksa bands as part of the Lincoln Calling music festival. we stopped by a great venue called the Box Awesome to see Darren Keen (The Show Is The Rainbow) trip through a brief set of half-started, half-finished songs aided by his tiny keyboard and and, apparently, some psychadelics. it was fun and endearing in a Daniel Johnstony sort of way. we ran upstairs to see FTL Drive (shrug), then back to the basement to see the sweet and infectious Honeybee. back upstairs, I fell in love with Bear Country again, before returning to the house party atmosphere of the basement for a sweaty, piss your drawers set from Capgun Coup. i truly believe that those guys have limitless potential. disappointingly, Baby Walrus weren't able to perform, so we closed the night with UUVVWWZ, one of the most heralded new bands around. imagine Karen O fronting an art/noise band. . oh wait she does. well this band don't take themselves too seriously and they are all the more interesting for it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monolith Day 2

i made it to monolith on sunday and despite numerous problems with my camera, i managed to salvage a few pics:

Tokyo Police Club ran through a tight set of the best songs off of Elephant Shell as well as some older EP favorites. After TPC, the Avett Brothers took the main stage and i'm told that they were amazing. unfortunately, i was otherwise engaged.

after getting some vinyl signed and securing a decent burrito, we negotiated our way to the front of the New Belgium stage for Tilly and the Wall. an unexpectedly large crowd had packed the area to see Omaha's favorite indie pop juggernauts dance, scream, and tap dance their way through the most exuberant set i've seen from any band. ever. well, at least since the first time i had seen them in 2005 at the Larimer Lounge.

a vegan hemp ice cream sandwich later, we were back at the main stage awaiting Band of Horses. after an hour of Sharon Jones making hipsters dance like your favorite jackass uncle, the flannel-clad boys of Mt. Pleasant took the stage. I took a few pictures of Ben Bridwell's righteous beard, but i guess my camera just couldn't take that rugged awesomeness. We also caught most of TV on the Radio's set before running upstairs for CSS. TVOTR were impressive but not much fun,, CSS were fun, but not so impressive.

i know that Jake caught quite a few performances that i missed. maybe if he can remember something, he'll let us know about it. . .

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

i suppose our first post really should have involved Jenny Lewis in some way, but i guess post #2 will have to do. here's a slightly creepy clip of Jenny and Ben Gibbard, followed by the title track of her new record: Acid Tongue. the album streets on 9/23 and features appearances by Chris Robinson, Johnathan Rice, Elvis Freakin' Costello and many others. and don't forget about the shows 9/16 at the Fox in Boulder, and 9/17 at the Bluebird. she'll also be performing in omaha on 9/20 with Connor Oberst! i'd say that's worth an 8 hour drive.

Friday, September 5, 2008

i feel a little pressured to post even though i don't have much to say at this point. i suppose i could register my distaste for the idea that Tilly and the Wall appeared on the revamped 90210 this week. how did a band that has practically defined the low-key DIY aesthetic for the past few years become involved in something this soulless? the answer is here. i guess it's cute and i'm probably just an ass. no matter, their new, untitled album is easily one of the best of the year so far, and i'll still be in front of the stage with a giant grin next weekend when they play Monolith. speaking of, why the shit isn't Neko Case listed on Saturday's line-up? the date isn't listed on her official site either. oh well, there will still be plenty of swell bands to check out both days. if you haven't gotten your tickets yet, both single and 2 day passes seem to be going for a reasonable price on craigslist.