Tuesday, June 13, 2006

the loop machine is the new full band

Just got back from seeing Jeff Klein, After Hours and The Twilight Singers (in that order) at the Larimer Lounge.

I enjoyed Jeff Klein. He's from Austin. He played a couple of songs with a loop machine, which marks the 3rd artist in the past month that I've seen use the technology. It's a very cool thing, allowing solo artists to layer vocals and music to give the illusion of more musicians, but it just seems so prevalent lately. But what the hell do I know... I've never exactly been on the cutting edge of anything.

Since I like pictures, here is a picture of Jeff for you:

After Hours were good too. They had a saxaphone player, which was very awesome. The singer played keyboards with The Twilight Singers.

So, The Twilight Singers... I've only recently gotten into their music, and I was never that into the Afghan Whigs. Of course, their glory days were in a time before I started listening to good music...

It's not that I didn't enjoy them. Although I have to admit that I did leave early. It's just that the Larimer Lounge sometimes needs someone to tell them that they are a small club, NOT a huge arena. It didn't help that I was standing between 2 amps, but it was just TOO loud. I couldn't make out a damn thing that Greg was singing. So even if I was very familiar with the music, I may or may not have recognized anything. Although the folks around me had no trouble singing and dancing along...

I did really enjoy the few songs where Mark Lanegan joined them. He is a total badass, if not just a teensy bit scary:

So, not really a bad night, just a hot, crowded, loud night. At the risk of sounding very old and crotchety.... If I'd only remembered my ear plugs I may have been able to stick it out to the end.

I am listening to Powder Burns, so I feel better about leaving the show early:

And then sleep. I love sleep.

Oh, and I'm very excited for Neko Case on Friday...

I *heart* Neko...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

all i wanna do is rock this motherfucker all night long y'all

So, Bob Schneider. Who knew? I'd never heard any of his stuff until I listened to two songs on his website this morning. And those two songs in NO way prepared me for the spectacle that was this evening...

Matt the Electrician opened. I'm listening to his cd right now.

He's adorable, just look:

So adorable, in fact, that it was almost alarming to hear him sing a song about how we're all going to hell. Or telling us that he's got two kids then singing a kids' song including lyrics about how satan is his master. Or a song just about titties. He was great though. That thing he's holding in the picture, that's a banjolele. It's really cute. Oh, and Matt's a great whistler.

So, I arrived at the Fox just before Matt's set. The show was sold out, so there were a lot of people there. I went down to the pit in front of the stage just so I could see. After the set break, I somehow found myself two rows back, center stage, amid throngs of rabid Bob Schneider fans. I'm still not sure how it happened, but at least I got a great view. I overheard the people behind me talking about a guy who looked like he was getting ready to rush the stage. I turned around and must have looked a bit alarmed, because they assured me that they had my back and wouldn't let me get run over. Phew. Then they bought me a PBR. Rock on.

When Bob came out the crowd went absolutely nuts. Even though I was unfamiliar with all the music, and everyone else around me knew ALL the words, it didn't take me long to get into it. Bob is one of the most diverse musicians that I've ever seen - some bluegrass, some punk, some hip-hop, some reggae, and a LOT of hard rockin'.

Partway through the set, one of the guys behind me (Steve, I discovered) asked me if I like vodka. Well, really... who doesn't? So he gave me a drink but said that I may have to share it later. There's no complaining about a free drink. But, a few minutes later, Steve's friend - who apparently he'd been HOLDING the drink for - returned from a smoke break, so I had to give the vodka back. Easy come, easy go...

But, Steve's friend Leilani (who'd bought me the PBR earlier) offered to share her vodka with me, since she'd noticed that I hadn't had a drink since the PBR, and that I must be thirsty. She was very clearly plastered, but very sweet. Through most of the show, though, she seemed really quite out of it... I asked her a couple of times if she was OK, and she said yes, she just likes to watch people. Alrighty...

Midway through the set, we started to get some random people pushing their way up to the stage. Another of Steve's friends told me not to worry, that he was blocking people out of my space. Of course, he had to apologize later for doing a shitty job. It was all good, though - people were having a lot of fun. And even though the guy in front of me jumped on my foot a couple of times and the woman next to me insisted on yelling out requests (in a very piercing voice) between EVERY song, it was obvious that everyone was having a good time.

After about half a dozen people had pushed into our space, Leilani and I had a mini conversation, something like this:

Leilani: Have you ever seen Bob before?
Me: No.
Leilani: He has quite a group of people who follow him around.
Me: Yeah, I can tell. It's crazy.
Leilani: Of course, it's mostly because people think he's hot.
Me: Yeah.
Leilani: He is hot, though.
Me: Yeah.


Yowza. It's entertaining to see how people react to a good looking performer, though. There were two women to my left who I really thought were going to go into a tearful Beatlesque frenzy when Bob started this one song. I don't know what song it was, because I don't know any of his songs. It was funny though.

Bob rocked for a long time. I was actually hoping to catch Drag The River in Denver at midnight, but though they took the stage about 10 minutes past 10:00, the band didn't finish until nearly 1:00.

As crazy as the fans were, the only thing that really grated on me was with about 3 songs left in the main set, a few drunken frat-boy types pushed up to where we were standing, then proceeded to talk loudly on their cell phones and to each other. I just REALLY don't get that. Steve's drunk friend told me I should just start throwing some elbows. Then HE threw some elbows...

The last song of the regular set, apparently a recent tradition with the band, was a pirate song. Complete with plastic hook hands and everything. During the pirate song I danced with Steve's drunk friend who had such a hard time blocking people and who had advised me to throw some elbows. It was fun. Arrrrrrgh.

Before the encore Bob announced that they'd taped the show and would be selling copies after the show. So during the encore break, I decided what the hell, I'd love a copy, so I went back to the merch area, where a line was already forming. After waiting for a couple of minutes, some random guy told us that since they were only burning a certain number of copies, we had to go up, buy a ticket, then get back in line to wait for them to burn the discs. WTF?!? It was really weird. But the nice guy behind me held my spot while I went up to buy my ticket.

And as if the whole evening hadn't been weird enough, I am 99% certain that Colorado News 4's very own Jim Benneman was right in front of me in the merch line:

He's very tall. I mean, I know that I'm really short, but I didn't even come up to his shoulder. He was nice, though. I was jostled into his back and elbow several times. Good fun.

So in all, this was a great night. Awesome music & fun people. I think that Bob is coming back to town with Cracker in August. I imagine I'll be there...

Here are some more hoT Bob Schneider pictures to end this blog. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

that E really IS a crazy motherfucker...

I just saw my very first Eels show ever, and let me just say that my ass is now officially rocked off. E is amazing... tonight was as much a carefully choreographed production as it was a concert. And man, was it a blast!

Openers Smoosh were a nice surprise. Smoosh consists of 2 girls who can't be much older than 14. And if they aren't twins, they must at least be sisters. The drummer had a constant "deer in the headlights" look about her, but she kicked it nonetheless. The girls came out to dance/sing for the Eels encore - Cancer For The Cure, I Like Birds & Mr. E's Beautiful Blues. The encore rocked. Hard.

So now I'm spinning some Eels for fun -

Then I should really try to get some sleep. I've really been getting into Camera Obscura lately, so I think something mellow to drop off to -