Tag Archives: concerts

I Love Cold War Kids More Than You Do

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Back on April 3rd, Dr. Kamran took me to see Cold War Kids at Terminal 5 over on the waywest side. It was sorta weird to me that I was paying real money to see them, because when I saw them for a $3 donation last summer in Prospect Park, I felt fairly so-so about them. I liked their vocalist, but I didn’t care for their songs.

And then I couldn’t stop listening to them for weeks afterward and kicked myself for all the times I missed them playing $5 shows when I lived in Ohio. I finally understood why everyone was so gung-ho about “Hospital Beds” and “Hang Me Out to Dry“, and then their new album came out, and I couldn’t get enough of “Mexican Dogs” and “Against Privacy“.

So even though Kamran had spring semester law school finals the following week, he took me to the show, and it was amazing:

It just sucks, you know, because I’m to the point that I would say I sort of love this band, and yet their fans suck so hard. The people behind us were chatting through the entire show, and half of that chat was complaining about how they didn’t know any of the songs. When they started playing “Something is Not Right with Me” and everyone cheered for, like, the first time all night, I yelled, “Buy the album!” and the girl beside me who actually knew the songs turned and laughed.

But I’m a crochety old lady who should be ignored.

Tokyo Police Club, Born Ruffians, and Harlem Shakes at Webster Hall on 2/25

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I went to see Tokyo Police Club at a sold out show at Webster Hall on Wednesday night. For the past year, this band has been my go-to when I want to listen to something fun and familiar. And you need a lot of fun and familiar in a mean city like New York, so I’ve listened to their album about 1500 times. I love the lyrics, I love the vocals, and I love how dorky their sound is. This post is entirely an excuse for me for share their music.

I love to be in the balcony of a ballroom when it’s one of those that wraps around both sides of the stage, because not only do you get to be right on top of the band, but you also get prime viewing of anything nasty that goes on below. Like Wednesday night, when a girl puked all over the hardwood floors. I noticed that a group of people below suddenly formed a big circle around a certain girl who was on her hands and knees and couldn’t figure out why no one was helping her up until one of the security guards shone a flashlight on her and her pool of vomit.

I tried to play it cool for a while, but I eventually turned to the guy beside me and said, “Don’t think me gross, but I have to take a picture of that.” He said, “I was thinking the same thing. It’s too good to ignore.” I said, “I especially can’t wait until someone thinks such an awesome spot just happens to be open and goes and stands right in it.” He said, “I’m going to interview the band right after the show, and that’s the first thing I’m going to talk to them about.” I said, “Rock journalist?! BFFs for life!”

The first band was Harlem Shakes, and I was excited about them for about three songs, because their singer sounds like he’s been sucking on helium. Once the novelty wore off, I mostly just watched their bassist, who was wearing white jeans, red socks, and no shoes.

The second band was Born Ruffians, who I had never listened to but was quite sure I would hate. I was under the impression that they were nu-punk in the tradition of AFI and Sum 41, and my suspicions were confirmed when their bassist walked out wearing a red and black plaid hoodie with the hood up over his long, stringy, curly hair. Sure, their singer was wearing a blazer over a sweater and had side-parted hair, but I would not be swayed.

But no!, they’re actually indie pop, and they’re actually great. Especially live. Their vocalist is AMAZING. Like, seriously, I haven’t been so stoked while hearing a band perform for the first time since I saw Crystal Stilts a year ago. I was getting chills and all sorts of shit. The studio recordings don’t even begin to capture what was going on, but you should still listen to

“Badonkadonkey” and
“Foxes Mate for Life” and

And look how cute!
Although the drummer last night was black. WTF?

Tokyo Police Club came out and started playing some song I didn’t know, and I was like, “Oh, crap, they have a new album that I don’t know about!” But no, it was one of their old songs. And their old songs are not good. I love their album Elephant Shell like nobody’s business, but it sounds like a totally different band playing on their EPs. You have been warned. My favourites are

“Listen to the Math” and
“In a Cave” and

TPC’s singer lifts one leg when he plays, and their keyboardist pretty much has epileptic fits every ten seconds, and their fans were so into the music it was crazy. Even the stodgy record label types across the balcony from me were drumming their fingers on the railing. Even the 16-year-olds in frilly cocktail dresses were pumping their fists. Ahhhhhhhhh, the uniting power of music.

Speaking of which, for the encore, TPC brought out Born Ruffians for a brand new song that they collaborated on, which sounded much better live than it does here, but still, I’m glad someone got a video of it:

And then all three bands came out for a little Clash (also not my video):

Good times.

Yo, who wants to be my date to see a couple of Canadian lesbos?

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Ohmygosh, when did Tegan and Sara get so dykey?! Hothothot.

The first time I heard this, I thought she said, “I just want that kid of yours dead.” And I was like, “I totally relate, Tegan and/or Sara!”

Anyway, I’m going to see them with one of the fashionable German interns from my company on October 5th at Terminal 5, and we totally have an extra ticket that my asshole friend Sonya will sell at face value without any of the Ticketmaster nastiness. So who wants to come?

MGMT at the McCarren Park Pool Party

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So I pretty much live in the hippest neighborhood in all of New York City–and certainly in Brooklyn–yet I never actually do anything there, because I’m too busy hanging out with Kamran the Boyfriend in his richie-rich when-you-look-out-my-bedroom-window-you-see-the-Chrysler-Building neighborhood. But on Sunday, that all changed on July 27th when I finally went to see the band MGMT at

my very first McCarren Park Pool Party!

I was pretty pumped, because my friend Sonya had been forcing MGMT on me for weeks before that to get me ready for the show, and to see them for free seemed like such a I-am-poor-and-I-live-in-Brooklyn-and-I’m-seeing-a-Brooklyn-band rad thing to do on a Sunday afternoon when I’d usually be watching Kamran do laundry. Plus, what beats watching a concert from inside a drained pool?

The gate was set to open at 2, but knowing that a line would form before noon, we decided to show up late with the hope that we’d be able to walk right in. We leisurely ate some faux-chicken buffalo wings and strawberry/peanut butter/cookie “milk”shakes at my favourite vegan restaurant, Foodswings, near Bedford Avenue while some mean stormclouds formed overhead, and then at 3:30, we approached the park.

The line was still huuuuuuuuge. Like, down three blocks and wrapped around the park with eight people across on the sidewalk. Sonya and her boyfriend, Adam, had been waiting since 12:30 and had barely moved. So naturally we cut in front of them, and then two seconds later, Jesus punished us for it by making it pour. Seriously POUR. For, like, an hour. The line looked like this:

and at the end of it, we looked like this:

Almost too horrific to share, right? But I can’t help myself. Plus, we didn’t look nearly as bad as the huge group of girls (+ 1 pimply boy) behind us who had brought the bags from inside boxes of wine and were drinking the stuff out of the spigot. And screaming. Incessantly. This kid near them said, “You girls are drinking wine from bags, and that is fuckin’ badass.” And then they all had a big screamy orgy. They were approximately 16 years old but already had the haggard faces of their mothers, and that pleases me.

The Ting-Tings had played while we were still in line, which was a real shame, because they sounded great. Instead we had to endure Black Moth Super Rainbow, who I will not link, oh no I won’t, because they were that uninteresting. To endure their set, we bought some fruity beer and checked out the intense dodgeball game that was taking place off to one side of the pool:

This picture is cool because a guy is getting hit in the face with a ball in it, but you can’t really tell that at this size.

And then MGMT came on.

They opened with a really slow song, and I was like, “This is a weird way to start a dance party,” but I expected that they were just working up to the awesome stuff. And then they played another slow song. And another. But, like, people were cheering and clapping, and Sonya was smiling her head off, and everyone seemed to be having such a good time. It didn’t make any sense to me. Sonya asked me how I was liking it, and I couldn’t help myself; I blurted out, “This is BORING!” And then I felt bad.

It’s just that I was expecting this and this, and I wasn’t getting it. I had specifically not brought a purse just to be able to dance like a wild woman, and this was not wild woman music. Not liking it made me feel like one of those shallow teenybopper who comes to a show and only knows the words to the single.

With the lame music and the crappy weather, the day felt like this:

But then! They played this, and it was great! And then they played “Kids”, and then they played “Time to Pretend”, and it was glorious! Look at how happy we are, with our wrinkly foreheads:

So in the end, I totally loved the show, and I’m glad we stuck it out. Especially because we got to have Korean BBQ at Dokebi afterward:

And just because I can’t help thinking this is the awesomest thing ever, check out this amateur music video of MGMT’s “Kids”. Soooo good, right?

Cold War Kids in Prospect Park for Celebrate Brooklyn!

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My roommate, Wen, invited me to go see Cold War Kids play for $3 as part of Celebrate Brooklyn! on Friday night. The only song I’d ever bothered to listen to was “Hospital Beds“, and I didn’t loooooove it like everyone else I know seems to, but I figured a concert in the park would be nice. I listened to the songs on their MySpace that day in an attempt to form some sort of opinion of them, and I felt okay about their songs, but they didn’t move me or anything. I did come away thinking that their vocalist reminded me a bit of Jack White of The White Stripes, though, and that’s exciting.

My friend Beth accompanied me to the park, and we meandered along the tree-lined sidewalks of Park Slope and looked in the windows of brownstones filled with baby strollers and bookshelves that don’t have to move from apartment to apartment as the rent goes up and can therefore actually be filled with books instead of the Avenging Unicorn Playset and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurines that mine are.

We got seats toward the center, swigged from our $2 cans of Snapple, and set to judging everyone in sight. Our main target of ridicule was this girl right in of us with these really great maybe-vintage light brown sunglasses that took up her entire face. We mocked her mostly because we felt like she didn’t deserve them. Well, that and her half-hearted greasy female pompadour. And handgun earrings. Then we switched to deciding who I should sleep with while Boyfriend Kamran’s visiting home in Laguna Beach and no doubt ogling tons of blondes in bikinis: the guy with the excellent Bonnie Prince Billy beard or the really classicly-romantic-looking girl two rows ahead of us who might have very well been 15 years old. Wen’s arrival cut the conversation short, and I instead went about taking pictures of myself showcasing emotions ranging from shifty

to manic.

The first band up was Sam Champion, who were billed as “not local for long”, but we found them pretty much nondescript aside from the fact that their lead singer was hot, but even that was questioned once he took off his face-obscuring sunglasses. I think they thought they were kind of . . . The Doors-ish? . . . but we spent most of their hour caring more about the biracial lesbian couple next to us chasing their blonde-haired, blue-eyed toddler up and down the aisle.

The middle band was Elvis Perkins in Dearland, who we took to pretty kindly despite the singer’s all-white outfit and the inclusion of an organ in their instrumentation. I’ll admit that a lot of their music was drowned in our discussion about whether the P on the vocalist’s hat was for Princeton or the Pirates (I voted for the former, since I have a boyfriend who has a Ph.D. from Princeton and all and think I know what the Princeton P looks like), but we also genuinely liked the folksy guitar stuff they had going. If you’re checking out their MySpace, I think “While You Were Sleeping” is a really good representation of what we heard.

In between sets, we amused ourselves with the screen hanging from the back of the stage that showed messages and pictures people in the audience could text in to a special number. There were a lot of “hipsters go home” and “hi lux from axel and cooper :)”, but there were also some marriage proposals and one admittance to giving someone else in the crowd genital herpes.

When Cold War Kids came on, everyone stood up, the aisles filled with people, and the row behind us went crazy singing along (on key, thankfully) to every word of every song. And I found out that I actually liked the band quite a bit. Well, the singer, at least. In fact, I liked him so much that I wished he’d ditch his instrumentalists, get some better songs, and become the new Jeff Buckley. I got so mad that he kept wasting his voice on screaming, but now that I think about it, it provided a nice juxtaposition to his sweet crooning. I felt totally inspired by his singing and his stage presence and his completely soaked shirt. Listen to this, and you can imagine the effort that goes into it.

So yeah, it’s safe to say that I love him.

And the park at night.

And getting sauced at a Mexican restaurant that looked like an Aztec temple afterward with Beth.