Concert Review: Iceage in Dallas 5/26/18

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Here is a review from the Iceage show at Club Dada in Dallas.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

Iceage
RIYL: Old Artic Monkeys, LIFE, The Clash
Pseudo Genre: Punky Post Punk

1. No other type of show is quite as much fun as a lively punk show. Moshing and dancing and sweating without a care in the world, makes for a great evening.
2. Iceage has grown and matured as a band, and with a charismatic lead singer, are ready to take the next step...to wherever that entails.
3. Iceage utilized a violin player to provide fullness to their sound, which had been provided primary by horns on their albums. We learned that a well mic’d up violin sounds great at a punk show and fills in nicely for horns.
4. A stuffed monkey doesn’t seem completely out of place in a mosh pit. ”
5. With their well paced set list and tight performance, Iceage did not require stage banter to build a bond with the crowd. The energy given was the same as the energy received.

Below is a video of "Painkiller" live from the show.

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Concert Review: TDE Championship Tour AKA Kendrick's Victory Lap

The TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) Championship Tour came to Dallas tonight.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

Kendrick Lamar
RIYL: Pulitzer Prize Winners
Pseudo Genre: G.O.A.T.

1. It would be easy to make sports analogies, especially since Kendrick performed in front of a Formula 1 race car. Despite that, we will not say that this performance was a victory lap for Kendrick.
2. Almost the entire TDE roster performed, but all the attention was on Kendrick Lamar and SZA with a lesser spotlight on Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock.
3. Pulitzer Kenny, AKA Kendrick Lamar, performed without a pause and without an encore.
4. The crowd energy of a Kendrick performance is simply, unmatched 5. Kendrick and TDE draw a racial diverse crowd, but very few fans were over 30 years of age.

Here is a video we shot along with a few pictures.

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Kendrick Lamar

Concert Review: 4/22/18 The Breeders in Dallas

Here is a much delayed review from The Breeders show in Dallas on 4/22/18.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

The Breeders
RIYL: The Pixies, Pavement, Sleater-Kinney
Pseudo Genre: Pre-Seattle (NorthEast) Grunge

1. Kim Deal is a perfectionist, in all the right ways. The Breeders performance is tight and yet very entertaining.
2. Having the original line up together made this tour more special than the previous.
3. Josephine Wiggs, the bassist, has a dry sense of humor and excellent comedic timing.
4. A crowd with the average age in the 40s is much more polite and a lot less energetic than a crowd with an average age in the 20s.
5. We hope that this line up puts out another album, because the new stuff is as good as any of the old.

We shot a couple of videos and some pictures (one from SXSW).

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Kim Deal SXSW

Concert Review: Matt & Kim

 Matt & Kim performed on 4/14/18 at the Bomb Factory in Dallas.  Please check out the video and photos below.

 Our review format  is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts with a bit of style and formatting borrowed from the old Larry King USA Today articles. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be runon sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

The enthusiasm expressed by Matt & Kim is more contagious than the flu on a TransAtlantic flight...Their shows are not about artistry and creative integrity. Their shows are about creating the most enjoyable and unadulterated fun performance possible...Matt & Kim get your body moving and your booty shaking. In fact, we both hit our daily exercise goals from our dancing at the concert...Crowd surfing, balloons, and confetti...A smile that lasts for days.

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Concert Review: King Krule

King Krule played with Kelsey Lu as the opening act at Granada Theater in Dallas 4/11/18. 

Kelsey Lu warmed up the crowd with a stream of consciousness set of beautiful music and vocals...The Granada Theater was muggy and warm, as if they did not expect as large a crowd as was present...King Krule performed with a full band creating a room filling sound that often seemed like it might burst out of the theater...With a muddled mix of sound vocals and even lead guitar were often lost in the bass and drums...Alternating between crooners and screamers, Archy kept the crowd enraptured throughout the night. 

 

Here is a picture of Kelsey Lu.

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Here are a few pictures of Archy Marshall (King Krule)

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Here is a video of "The Locomotive".

Concert Review: Titus Andronicus "Acoustic"

Here is our review of the Titus Andronicus "Acoustic" Concert from 4/6/2018 in Fort Worth, TX. 

..."Acoustic" is actually "Stripped Down" and the performance was with an electric guitar and electric piano. There was no percussion or traditional rhythm section...Even Stripped down, Titus Andronicus is a high energy show...Patrick Stickles, has a skill with stage banter that is on the level of Tom Waits, Dan Deacon, or Father John Misty. With a full band, or alone, Patrick's conversations with himself and advice to the crowd are always a highlight of any T@ show...The removal of the drums and bass guitar gave the vocals room to breathe. This enabled the crowd to focus on the depth and meaning of the lyrics, which is very different than a typical T@ show that would involve multiple mosh pits and crowd dives...They performed covers of rarity tracks by Velvet Underground and Lou Reed (and possibly a song or two others we did not recognize) along with the theme from Cheers...Patrick's mother is getting married and he has a future sister-in-law living in Texas, and though he supports his mother's marriage, he does not support marriage in general or procreation. 

Here are some photos followed by a video of Patrick performing while sitting at the bar opposite the stage. 

 

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Saturday of SXSW in Words and Pictures

This is a summary of the last day of SXSW 2018. At this point in time you are nearing the end of the marathon that is SXSW. There have been times of sprinting, drinking, eating, but mostly music listening for 6 straight days. It starts to dawn on you that you will soon be re-entering a world where there is not dozens of music showcases to chose from at almost any moment of day or night. Back in the real world, music is not as important, people are not as courteous, and free alcohol and food are much harder to come by. 

We started our Saturday at the Convention Center's Flat Stock stage to see the golden voiced Italian,  Fabrizio Cammarata. Though seeing him in a small club would have been more appropriate to his voice and lyrics, the show was a great start to our day.  

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We then headed to Cheer Up Charlies for the Brooklyn Vegan day party. 

Prior to SXSW G. Flip had only performed as a backing drummer for other artists. By the end of SXSW she had performed her first 8 shows as THE performer and was perhaps the most buzzed about new artist at SXSW. She sang, rapped, and drummed her way through a highly energetic set that raised our expectations for her bright future. 

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Outside, at the same party, Andrew WK brought the rock, the positivity, and the PARTY. Andrew WK is a part time motivational speaker, part time rock musician, and full time partier. There is no person that lives to party more than the incomparable Andrew WK. If you get a chance, see his live show. It will make you smile and dance and sing. 

 

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We headed down to the Showtime party and visited "The Alibi " where Kev and V from the show were pouring drinks. We got to see Tank and the Bangas and Shamir again. We also saw WAVVS perform. 

After dinner we headed back to the British Music Embassy one last time. This time it was to see IDER. Their tight harmonies and arrangements were mesmerizing. Their recorded music does not do justice to their live show. 

You can hear a great example of their harmonies in a video we posted on YouTube:

 

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After IDER we headed to the Parish to end our night and our SXSW. There we saw Tiny Ruins, Xyloris White and Ezra Furman. 

 

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Ezra's performance was a great way to end SXSW. It was truly a highlight with some great music, singing, and introspection by Ezra. We came away impressed. 

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We will continue to bring insights, discoveries, and images from SXSW in the coming weeks, but we will be transitioning to what we plan to be our routine postings with album reviews, music news, live show reviews, and lots of videos and music for you to check out. 

SXSW Wednesday Pictures and recap

We began our Wednesday at the Convention Center listening to Only Girl from London on the International Day Stage. The environment may be a bit sterile, but her vocal performance was emotional and beautiful. 

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Sudan Archives, is comprised of a solo female act that utilizes violins with guitars and loops to create a full band sound. Despite being From Las Angeles, she creates songs utilizing elements of traditional Sudanese music. 

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We took a break from watching performances and listened to Kim Deal and Steve Albini discuss Kim's time in The Pixies and The Breeders. They spoke to fellow recording artists, technicians, producers and fans. There is a level of comfort during these type of conversation/sessions at SXSW that are not replicated in other interviews.  Kim is still creating some great music with The Breeders. Be sure to check out their newly release album, 

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Wednesday night we went to the annual NPR showcase at Stubbs. Though there were no free bag this year, NPR did continue the tradition of putting together an eclectic and rewarding line up. 

The night began with the beautiful voice and lovely instrumentation of Lucy Dacus. 

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There were many acts on the small stage, but most we were not able to see. The next act on the big stage was a band that was united and formed via the internet, Superorganism. Despite their unusual origins, they put together are a great live performance. 

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The tempo of the show changed considerably with indie rock veterans, Low. 

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Okkervil River used their connection with Texas to help connect with the band. The set was filled primarily with newer, personal songs from their upcoming album.  They also hit some crowd favorites from their previous albums. 

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2017 NPR Tiny Desktop winners, Tank and the Bangas, brought New Orleans funk and flare to the stage. 

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    Following Tank and the Bangas we ducked inside for a quick, and quite dark set by WebsterX.    

 

Following Tank and the Bangas we ducked inside for a quick, and quite dark set by WebsterX. 

 

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The night ended with a performance by August Greene, the newly formed super group of Common, Robert Glasper, and Karriem Riggins. Common was an impressive stage presence and had the crowd, including the camera pit, enthralled. 

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Our Wednesday takeaways and recommended listening are:

1. If you like vocal pop, do yourself a favor and be ahead of the curve and listen to Only Girl now. Your friends and family will be listening to her by next year. 

2. If you like melodic vocals and music, Lucy Dacus is definitely your cup of tea. 

3. Expect big things out of Superorganism as they grow together as a band. 

4. Okkervile River has a very personal album coming out that touches on everything from having a tracheostomy to life in general. 

5. If you can, see Tank and the Bangas live. 

6. Common is still a powerful force in music. 

St. Vincent homecoming

Last night St. Vincent (née Annie Clark) returned to her hometown of Dallas, Tx for a show athe Bomb Factory. The opening act was Annie’s aunt and uncle, the veteran touring group, Tuck and Patti.  It was a turnabout from years ago when “Little Annie” was the opening act for Tuck and Patti.  From the beginning of the night on, it was a love affair between the performers and the audience.  

St. Vincent spent the night alone on the stage playing a multitude of different colors of her custom Ernie Ball guitars. She began the night playing an assortment of hits from all of her albums preceding Masseduction. The stage went black and Ms. Clarke returned to play her stellar 2017 album from front to back. Video screens displayed artistic and beautiful images of bodies and furniture. All the while, St. Vincent strummed, shredded and noodled expertly to the delight of the enraptured audience.

Here are a few pictures from the night. 

 

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Tuck and Patti

 

Tyler the Creator/ Vince Staples Feb. 8, 2018, The Bomb Factory Dallas, TX

If the Democrats are serious about winning the upcoming elections, they’ll hire Tyler the Creator and Vince Staples to instigate a youth-driven frenzy, just as they did on Thursday night at The Bomb Factory. Fans lined up outside the venue hours before doors opened, and by 7pm, the line zig-zagged around several buildings in Deep Ellum, forcing Bomb Factory employees to monitor street crossings in several areas. Once inside, fans anxiously sought out the merch tables, where they happily dropped $200 on one of Tyler’s signature hoodies or $30 on a pair of socks donning his “GOLF” logo. The merch was so popular, in fact, that it drew just as many fans as Tyler himself, with hundreds of people foregoing the show to wait in an hour long line to buy something-anything- made by Tyler. Those who chose to see the show were treated with a set from Vince Staples, whose expertly crafted multi-screen backdrop was a perfect accompaniment to his understated all-black aesthetic. Vince began his set with “BagBak” and “Rain Come Down,” with little pause in between the fourteen songs that followed. His typical all-business stage persona kept the crowd continuously jumping and moshing to the music (even to the slower songs). When he was finished, I was sure the crowd would be, too. But about 30 minutes later, when the curtain opened for Tyler the Creator, fans once again rose to the occasion. Standing with his back to the crowd, atop a life-sized fallen tree, Tyler seemed to be soaking up the moment, silently reveling in the adoration. As the music to “Where This Flower Blooms,” began to play, fans lurched toward the stage all at once, causing a wave of bodies to close in on each other as the anticipation built. Tyler followed his grand entrance with an even mix of old and new songs like “Yonkers,” “She,” and “November.” He walked along a fallen tree prop showcasing his uneven, contorted dance moves and lazily sat on a large rock during one of his slower songs, “Garden Shed.” Throughout the show, his honesty and at times awkward, introspective personality was on full display. Early on, Tyler asked someone backstage to order him some soul food, complete with a turkey leg on the side, and later, offered his musings on human behavior by asking why people scream when they’re excited. His verdict: “Humans are weird as fuck.” This stream of consciousness stage banter is exactly why Tyler’s fans love him so much…just like his music, it’s novel and most importantly, authentic. In a world where young talent is often manufactured and managed down to a predictable, packaged product, Tyler is different. That’s why his fans immediately obliged when, towards the end of the show, Tyler strongly encouraged them to put their phones away. “Have one God damn authentic experience in your fucking life.” And they did. For two glorious songs, “Sometimes,” and “See You Again,” not a phone was to be seen amongst the mass of bodies jumping up and down together, hands in the air, living in the moment, for once in their fucking lives.