(Usual rapidshare deal, scroll to the bottom and click "Free.") posted by Mike B. at 1:32 PM
Q: How can Annie make us all love her more? A: Play her first US show with a live fucking band.
Yes, that's right, a live band. We showed up last night somewhat reluctantly, assuming we'd see Annie do 2 or 3 songs to a backing track, but when we espied the stage, there they were: instruments! Awesome.
This is not to say there weren't minuses to the whole experience. The sound wasn't great (Annie's vocals in particular were too low), the band was sorta loose (Annie said it was only their fifth show), and the place was crowded with people who seemed, at times, only vaguely interested in seeing Annie play. Also, the promised open bar failed to materialize.
But these were more than made up for by the pluses. For one, her band is called the Anniemals! Obvious but awesome! For another: new song! New freakin' song! It was called "The Wedding," had a great little live groove, and featured Annie doing things like, "Will you be mine? I do" (point) "I do" (point) "I do!" The band was much tighter on this than they were on almost anything else, and it sounded fantastic. I don't know why, but I got kind of a Kill Bill vibe from it.
They started off with the intro from the album, and jammed it out a little, which was interesting--made it sound a bit psyche or something. I don't recall the exact setlist, but Matthew should have it posted as soon as he gets home. (He also has the best comparison for "The Wedding," which I won't spoil here.) They did not play "Me + 1" or "Greatest Hit" and some of the songs were a bit less killer than I'd like them to be (most especially "Come Together," which will hopefully tighten up a lot before her proper tour, because, man) but "Chewing Gum" was reconfigured and really, really good. The really cute, enthusiastic keyboardist actually sang the first half of the verses through a vocoder, and the more sedate keybordist/guitarist doubled her vocoded on the chorus. The band as a whole was very Nordic, in the modern sense--the aforementioned sedate keyboardist/guitarist had a blonde ponytail and a gotee and a flannel shirt rolled up to reveal tatoos--and very good. There was some backing track going on, but it did seem to be mainly live. This is good--I think if the Scissor Sisters have proved anything, it's that a good live act goes a long way.
And then she left, and we all yelled for "Heartbeat," and she came back on and played "Heartbeat!" Man.
So yeah. I'll definitely see her again when she comes back, and I assume the set she'll play then will top this one, but this gig will have a special place in my little fanboy heart. posted by Mike B. at 10:19 AM
1) The James Rabbit blog, which Matthew linked to today, is just a wonderful little look into the process of musical creation, and is certainly something I'd do here all the time if I wasn't afraid it would bore the hell out of y'all. The songs are good too, but wow! That blog!
2) This article on the Fiery Furnaces by Nashville Scene writer Jonathan Marx. I'm mentioned in it, but I think it's one of the best summations of the band I've read, and he makes a number of very good points. Well worth a read. (Note: this was not why I was complaining about Nashville yesterday.)
3) The forthcoming !!! covers disc, which has the Magnetic Fields' "Take Ecstacy With Me" on one side and Nate Dogg's "Get Up" on the other. I've never been the biggest !!! fan--actually, at one point I despised them--but this is good. I think they really benefit from having a pop song's focus. The Magnetic Fields cover is particularly interesting because of the way they use layering and effects to evoke the echoy, distant feel of the original track, but the Nate Dogg cover is fantastic too, starting groovy and slowly crossfading to noisy. posted by Mike B. at 11:29 AM
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Wait, what we were doing here? Oh yeah, that's right. Blogging. Look for some of that later this week, assuming work lets up any. Alternately, please call up Nashville and tell them to stop fucking bothering me. Anyone in Nashville will do, except maybe these guys.
In other news, I think I have tardanive dyskenesia, which kind of sucks. Stupid medication. (IMPORTANT NOTE TO MY PARENTS: I DO NOT HAVE TARDANIVE DYSKENESIA, EVEN THOUGH I'M SPELLING IT WRONG. DO NOT BE ALARMED.)
Also, my name is brought up in this Dissensus thread that dredges up a lot of old debates that I won a long time ago. (NOTE TO DISSENSUS: HAHAHA, JUST KIDDING, YOU GUYS TOTALLY RULED.) I'll be replying to it in some way at some point somewhere. posted by Mike B. at 6:34 PM
I shouldn't be selling these short, though--I'm pretty happy with my take on each, Beck as sad party, LCD Soundsystem as too LCD Soundsystemy. posted by Mike B. at 1:32 PM
Monday, April 11, 2005
I make my debut on the UK Singles Jukebox and an almost worrisome number of my comments get used. So, you know, check it out. The Juliet and Freeloaders songs really are good. posted by Mike B. at 10:55 AM