a day in the life of ...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10

Braids - Native Speaker
Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
Bon Iver-Bon Iver
M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Jay Z/Kanye - Watch The Throne
Austra - Feel It Break
Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing
Eleanor Friedberger - Last Summer
Cults - Cults

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fall 2011

09.22.2011 Braids

I got into the Braids show just before they got on. The Electric Owl is a venue I've never been in. It's a very cool venue. It almost has sort of a supper club vibe to it. The stage is located at the side of the venue with a decent sized large dance floor and dining tables in the outer areas. From a live music standpoint, this place shines due to it's vibrant stage lighting and high stage. Makes me wish I was able to go to more shows. Anyways, There's really not much I need to report. The only out-of-the-ordinary thing that occurred during this show was a photographer (actually there were a lot of photographers at this show) getting too close to the lead singer and in response having her show him away. She didn't seem to upset. They played for under and hour without an encore and if you like their album as I do, you'll find that their sound translates well to a live setting. I think there may have been a new song in there, but I can't quite remember.


09.25.2011 Pearl Jam/MudHoney

I was a pretty big PJ fan in my younger years and was even a Ten Club (PJ's fan club) member for 4-5 years. Some of my friends scoff at me when I tell them that seeing PJ in 2003 is in my top ten shows of all time, but I don't care. Nowadays I've almost entirely sworn off arena sized shows (my connection with the band weakens the further away I am from the source). So my motivation isn't really that high to pay PJ's $70+ ticket. Don't get me wrong I still want to see PJ, but can't really justify paying money for it. So how do I end up going to this show without jeopardizing my principals? Answer: On a technicality, via winning tickets via CFOX. It just so happens that on the week they announced tickets, they were having an all weekend phone in thing, caller 9, etc. I haven't listened to "modern radio rock" in years so this was a particularly cruel task. So on that Saturday while running errands, I would listen to the radio and if need be, pull my car over to call the radio station every time they cued. Luckily I only had to put up with about 2 hours of radio rock. I was actually pretty excited when I won and may even have dropped an F-bomb in conversation with the radio DJ, because our "winner" conversation wasn't broadcasted.

Oh yeah, the show. The seats were out in the back of the venue, lower bowl, 10 or so rows up. View wise, they're actually not bad. Distant, but could be worse. For Mudhoney, I think I would have enjoyed their set more in a smaller setting. I found their sound, like I guess most opening bands on an arena tour, to be very boomy. On a couple of their final songs they brought out McCready and Ament.

One positive consequence of 20 years of being an active band is a very deep catalogue. Bee Girl was a song I never thought I'd ever hear live. Midway into their set PJ reminded me why I'm not longer a Ten Club member. Vedder commented on the number of people in Seattle that had come up for this show. With the house lights turned up he asked to see a show of hands who was from Seattle. I kid you not, it looked like 85% from the first 15 rows were from Seattle. What's the point of keeping membership if you could never get under row 10? (I think when I saw them in 2003 I would have been able to get at best row 17 with my membership number) . If you've ever seen PJ, you'll know what to expect, a fair mix of old material with new material scattered about. Oh yeah and it's one long show. 20 years of being a band gives you the freedom of over 2 hour sets. I think they were approaching some sort of curfew/union time limit thing because the last song, Yellow Ledbetter seemed very rushed. Not that it was bad in any way, but after listening to hundreds of PJ bootlegs, you sort of pickup on it when you hear it.


09.09.2011 Explosions in the Sky/Twin Sister

I keep getting Twin Sister and Twin Shadow mixed up. I know I downloaded one of the aforementioned on a free leech some time ago and remembered liking it. I was hoping the opening band was one the ones I've heard of. I was wrong unfortunately. It wasn't the same band. It turns out the band I've heard before was Twin Shadow and the band I found myself trying to stay awake for was Twin Sister. Yep couldn't get into them at all.

Last time I saw EITS was at the Croatian Cultural Center and They didn't exactly fill it. This time around with another album under their belt they've started to fill out and in this case sell out small theaters. To fill out their (wall of) sound, they've employed the services of Esteban Rey, who I believe was their former merch guy. On most songs he plays bass while Michael plays guitar.

Yasmin the Light is probably one of my favourite openers. It reminds me of the days when I first discovered this band. On top of the new songs, other crowd favourites played included "The Only Moment We Were Alone" and "Your Hand in Mine". The band seemed to really be enjoying themselves. You could see Munaf with a big smile on his face as he was slapping his guitar pickup to make the "boom" noise in the intro of TOMMWWA. As always the Vogue sounded awesome. Honestly they're one of my favourite bands ever and they're shows that put you in such a good mood that even when Munaf came out at the end of the show my heart still skipped a beat hoping there'd be another song even though I know better.

Full Set


09.20.2011 CBC Midnight Music: New Pornographers / STARS / Midway State

This was actually a welcome surprise. CBC had this thing called "Culture Days" where they had a bunch of events celebrating the arts. Only notable thing I can remember from this even were open houses at the CBC downtown and this here program. It's called Midnight Music because it started at 10 pm here, but when broadcasted live, the east coast tv audience sees it at midnight. Anyways I get down there and it's pretty packed, mostly with people who are waiting for their friends to show up at the bars/clubs 10 blocks over. So yes a lot of disinterested people in the crowd. It's actually a pretty small space that they've taken over. About the width of a road and length wise less than a block? The whole show was pretty interesting seeing what goes on behind the scenes of TV taping.

Can't really say I'm a fan of Midway State after seeing them. I can certainly respect what they do, but I just couldn't get into them. Parts of their set reminded me of Patrick Watson.

Stars are always a crowd pleaser. I didn't enjoy their latest album as much as their previous ones, but their live shows are still decent. As with all their shows many a rose were thrown and there was lots of confetti filling the air. I'm still finding pieces of confetti days after the show.

No Neko or Dan Bejar on this show. Which is not really that unexpected as they don't usually show up on tour unless it's right after a new album release. Neko has an excuse as she doesn't really live in Vancouver (not that Newman does) but Dan Bejar doesn't. Newman playfully chided him, saying that he was probably just at home watching TV. Actually the cool thing about attending this show was the off air between acts segment. To kill time and keep the crowd from being too bored, several CBC personalities including Jian Ghomeshi and Strombo, would entertain the crowd with random banter and interviews with the bands. I don't know if he was trying to be a dick or was blissfully unaware, but Jian kept asking Newman Vancouver specific questions meant for someone who lives in Vancouver. Newman, moved from here to NY a while ago. Also, it was pretty weird seeing Mama Yama with the puppeteer visible. The puppeteer looks like Ellen Degeneres, I couldn't tell if it was a man or woman, especially since the puppeteer never broke character so we only heard the "Gilbert Gotfried" voice.

In case you're wondering each band played one song, short interview and then the next band would come on. When they went off air, each band returned for 2 more songs.


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