Friday, August 12, 2011
I was starting to wonder if the hype on Jay Z and Kanye West's collaboration album, Watch The Throne, was going to be too much for it to handle. Well, I just finally watched the full length music video for the track, "Otis", the first single off the album that was released on Monday digitally via iTunes, and that will be the last time I ever doubt Rap's two biggest stars. If you talk the talk, then you have to walk the walk. Well these two are surely walking the walk, as well as driving it. In a chopped up Maybach no less that they took a power saw and blow torch to in the opening scene of the video, symbolizing they got more money then they know what to do with, they think they are the best at everything they do, and they can do whatever the hell they want. The self-indulgent cockiness of the pair comes through in every aspect of the video. But, what can you say? Is there any denying the fact that they clearly are the kings of the throne. I don't think so. They are both sick rappers. Period. I have a love hate relationship with the duo. I love Jay Z and hate Kanye West. But, I continue to respect them both and enjoy their music the same. And here's another reason why...
(Jay Z and Kanye West - "Otis")
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Valve Corporation, makers of the highly anticipated sequel to 2007's Video Game of the Year, Portal 2, teamed up with the band, 'The National', to hold a contest for fans of the game, and the band, to create the official music video for the single, "Exile, Vilify", a song which is featured in the game. This seems to be a trend lately. I have seen a lot of these types of contests, not just for videos, where bands are calling on the creativeness of their own fans. I can't tell you about the video game because I am not much of a gamer, and have never played it, however, I have really started liking the song after a couple listens. Although, the song has that trademark dark and dreary mood 'The National' is known for, I can still find some beauty in it. The winning video is a simple one. It stars a sock puppet that seems so depressed looking that it is on the verge of suicide. You almost feel sorry for the little guy. See what you think about the video below. I can't tell if the video has added to me liking the song more or not. I think I need to remember my new buddy is made from 100% cotton.
(The National - "Exile, Vilify" - Portal 2 Contest Winner)
Two weeks ago, I showed you a new interactive music video by, 'OK Go', made with the help of Google Chrome and the Pilobolus dance club, for their song, "All Is Not Lost". Well, now you can see how the video was actually created. Last night on, America's Got Talent, the band performed it live in front of all of America. When I first heard about the scheduled performance, I was quite interested to see how the video would transfer over to television. I think the result was pretty cool. It was clear who had all the talent last night. I can't imagine what these guys have planned next? Check out the video below...
(OK Go - "All Is Not Lost" - Live On 'America's Got Talent')
Don't forget about the evans|blue concert tonight at Pop's benefiting the Joplin, Missouri fund to help those who were devastated by this past May's disastrous tornado. All ticket sales will go directly to charity. So come out for a good cause and support an awesome band as well, featuring local hometown lead singer, Dan Chandler. It should be a fun night and an even better show! See ya there!
Evans Blue & Greek Fire
Pop's Nightclub & Concert Venue
Thursday, August 11th- Doors 7pm
w/ very special guest Clint Lowery of Sevendust performing songs off his acoustic side project, Shaman's Harvest (acoustic)
**All tickets sales will go directly to the Joplin MO fund.
Tickets are $10.57 adv, $11 dos; on-sale now
UPDATE: Videos from the show can be seen on my YouTube channel HERE.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Fresh off their Lollapalooza performance, American singer, Alison Mosshart and British guitarist, Jamie Hince, better known as 'The Kills', performed on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night. They were featured in a darkened down version of the Fallon studio, where they performed, "Future Starts Slow", off their latest and most successful album, Blood Pressures. If you missed the show, check it out below. I can't wait till this pair comes through town.
(The Kills - "Future Starts Slow")
The announcements just keep coming in! I love this time of year. Every day is like Christmas. Today's present came in the form of, 'The Vaccines', the English indie rock band that has been swallowing up constant play time on my iPod with their debut album, "What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?". The band who has also appeared in numerous blogs of mine, are blowing away festivals, and creating major buzz while building a name for itself in the States are coming to Saint Louis! And guess what the most exciting part is? They are playing at Off Broadway! I had been hoping and expecting this announcement, but I figured it would be coming from The Pageant. I mean they did probably just play to 50,000+ people at Glastonbury and Lollapalooza. What a pleasant surprise! This is one of those times in five years you can say, "Yeah, I saw those guys at little old Off Broadway when they first came out, along with a hundred other people while sipping on $2 dollar PBR's." I can guarantee you one thing. This will be the last time you can catch them in a venue like this. I felt like I was robbing somebody when I just bought my $12 tickets, so don't wait to get yours! You can purchase them early from HERE. You do not want to miss this show, trust me.
3511 Lemp Ave
St. Louis, MO
(The Vaccines - "If You Wanna")
(The Vaccines - "Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)")
UPDATE: This show has been cancelled due to impending throat surgery of lead singer, Justin Young. Bummer!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Well another music festival is in the books for the Concert Creep. I just got back from the Kanrocksas Music Festival, or as Matthew Shultz, lead singer for 'Cage The Elephant', likes to call it..."Kan-rock-my-ass." Whatever you wanna call it, whether you like the name or not, no one can deny the impressive lineup the promoters booked for the inaugural weekend event. But, as I said before in an earlier blog, to save on some cash, but still feed my music fix during Lollapalooza weekend, I only decided to make the trek across Missouri to Kansas Speedway for one day of the festival, mainly for Saturday headliners, 'The Black Keys' and 'Muse'. What I got was more than I could of asked for, and that which far exceeded all expectations.
The trip from Saint Louis is an easy one. I think my friend Sam, a festival rookie, and I made the straight shot in about four hours. I was prepared to wait in traffic or long lines on the way in, but was quite happy when none of the above happen. When we arrived at Kansas Speedway, the site for Kanrocksas, I was amazed at the sheer size of the place and the venue. Having never been to a Nascar event, I had no idea how gigantic these tracks are. Outside where the parking and camping areas were could have easily accommodated 50,000+ people I imagine. One thing was for sure, if the festival were a success and continued to grow each year, there would be no problem housing all these music crazed patrons. After an organized exchanging of our tickets for bracelets, we were directed where in the endless grassy field to park. Security checkpoint and entry was a breeze and we were in the grandstands in a measly ten minutes. Impressive. When I got inside, I could see why. There was barely anyone there yet. I guess they partied too hard on Friday and were not ready to brave the brutal summer heat yet. Which was probably in the nineties upon arrival. But I was prepared. Camelbak, sunscreen, hat, shades, wash cloth, change of clothes. If you can survive Bonnaroo and Saint Louis weather in August, this was a cake walk. Let's battle Kanrocksas!
The festival took place on the infield of the track. Which does not sound very big, but in reality could probably fit a small town in it. The set up of all the stages were great and well thought out in my opinion. They were far enough away from eachother for no sound bleed, but an easy enough walking distance to jump around to each show. First up on my schedule...Texas natives, 'The Black Angels', on the Ad-Astra stage. I have heard a lot about this band and since they are coming to Saint Louis later this Fall at the Old Rock House, I wanted to get a preview to help me decide whether to attend that show or not. Conclusion after two songs...I'll be attending. These guys (and a gal) can rock! It seemed fitting that it was the hottest part of the day. Their music sounds like it could be on a playlist streaming over the loud speakers in hell. Its a 60's inspired psychedelic garage rock with hard booming bass lines that rattle your eardrums. We were outside in a big open area, I can already forecast how awesome their sound will be at the small indoor venue of ORH. Be prepared Saint Louis, that house will for sure be rocking come October. I was really impressed with their drummer, Stephanie Bailey. That's right, the gal in the group is the drummer. And this chick with sticks was pounding the kit like she was trying to put out a grease fire! Pretty badass. Highlight and biggest crowd pleaser of the set, "Young Men Dead", off the bands debut album Passover. Look it up, your speakers may go up in flames.
Next up, possibly the most fun show of the day, 'OK Go'. I knew these were some cool dudes after all their outrageous music videos I have seen push the creative envelope, most notably the "treadmill" video for "Here It Goes Again", and their new interactive Google Chrome video of, "All Is Not Lost", I just blogged about last week. What I did not know was how much I would enjoy their live show. The band came out sporting full color from head-to-toe, red, blue, yellow, and green suits. They looked like an anorexic version of the Telletubbies. I immediately knew this would be a treat.
Front man, Damian Kulash, was quite the showman and did well directing the crowd through their entire set laced with several catchy tunes like, "This Too Shall Pass", White Knuckles", and "A Good Idea At The Time". I myself, like most of the audience, even helped with background vocals by shouting "hey" at the top of my lungs during the chorus of, "Get Over It". Another highlight of the set was when Kulash said he was going to do some "hippy shit" and jumped off the stage and proceeded to walk into the middle of the crowd clutching his acoustic guitar, where he played a solo version of "Last Leaf", surrounded by me and a thousand other camera wielding fans. Probably the coolest thing of the show though, was when the band said that they were going to perform a song with an instrument, "created by God himself". A table was then brought out with about twenty silver hand bells of all different sizes on it. The fellas each strapped on all white gloves and played the most unique version ever of the song, "Return". Watch the video I recorded below and you can see what I mean about pushing the creative envelope.
(OK Go - "Return" w/ hand bells)
(OK Go - "Last Leaf" - Acoustic)
(OK Go - "Last Leaf" - Acoustic)
After the 'OK Go' performance, I went to grab my first slice of many throughout the day, of pizza from the "I Love Spicy Pie" pizza vendor. I first fell in love with them at Bonnaroo and if you have never had their humongous pieces of pie for $6 bucks a slice, you should try it at your next festival. It will change your life. With a slice of pepperoni in hand, we took up some shade in the grandstands and listened to the set on Stageasaurus Rex from, 'Grace Potter & The Nocturals'. It was the perfect chill time to take a break from the sun, refresh from the surprisingly awesome 'OK Go' performance, and to ready ourselves for what I knew would be an energy packed set from, 'Cage The Elephant'.
I have seen 'Cage The Elephant' three times already this year and each time the show gets better and better. Lead singer, Matthew Shultz is becoming masterful in conquering the art of a crazy rock show. Sometimes you wonder if his wild antics, zombie drunken like stumbling about the stage, and the things he says are totally scripted and all an act. Either way, I could care less. The guy is ridiculous. He makes you want to dive right into the show and get your face rocked off. I think he must of been a professional surfer in his second life because he caught a killer wave for nearly half the show on the outstretched arms of the crowd. At one point he told the audience that if he passes out and falls in to just pass his lifeless body around for the rest of the show. I was actually hoping to see that. I along with most CTE fans, really enjoyed their debut self-titled album featuring mega hits, "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" and "In One Ear". However, I have really taken a liking to their latest album, Thank You, Happy Birthday. "Aberdeen", is a favorite of mine and the live version secured that. I think I got whiplash with that one. Luckily, they slowed things down just a bit with, "Back Against The Wall", in the video below.
(Cage The Elephant - "Back Against The Wall")
As much as I was loving being engulfed by the sickness from, 'Cage The Elephant', we cut out early before the very end of the show to beat the crowd over to, 'Flogging Molly'. We were putting our game plan in motion for securing a spot as close as we could for, 'The Black Keys'. The Keys were playing the set right after 'Flogging Molly' on the same main stage, so we took up a spot in the pit hoping to move up to the rail right after their set. I quickly realized for a guy coming off of ankle surgery that this may be a bad idea. These Guiness guzzling "Irish bastards", as front man Dave King put it, including a fourth of the crowd up front, were crazy as hell!
After three songs in, I was wondering if I would even survive long enough to catch the next show from my favorite Akron, Ohio duo. We were neck high in a mosh that would have made the heaviest of metal freaks proud. Having never caught a live show from these Irish rockers, I had no idea I would need to break out my pick and roll skills from seventh grade basketball. King littered his set with a political agenda telling the crowd how if they could find peace back home, peace could be found anywhere. I don't think the maniacs in the pit got the memo. But, don't think I am complaining. It is times like these where the most unexpected fun is had, and you find yourself livin life. Between the elbow drops and people watching, we were dancing the jig, stomping, clapping, and having the time of our lives. The Best of Show Award went to the two individuals we nicknamed, "the leprechaun" and the "mohawk man". The leprechaun was a 5'2, orange-haired, drunken Irish youngster with giant shamrocks tattooed on his elbows. The crowd spent half the time peeling his face off the ground and launching him back into the raucous. At one point, the shirtless blond mohawk man reached down and grabbed the leprechaun's lost shoe wielding it fifty feet back in the crowd. No worries from the leprechaun, shoeless Joe Jackson continued to party and assault his body with further chest blows. Great times. Below is a video of "Swagger", I was able to shoot before the chaos started.
(Flogging Molly - "Swagger")
Well we survived the war, and were handsomely rewarded with a spot as planned on the rail for 'The Black Keys'. I stood there for an hour staring at Patrick Carney's signature scribbled logo drum kit having time to reflect on how epic this was going to be. Ever since Bonnaroo, I was itching for some more live rock perfection from Dan Auerbach and his drummer buddy, Carney.
The set started with the album and song, "Thickfreakness". Even though I knew what was coming, with the first guitar drop from Auerbach's pick, I was going nuts. The Keys' performances are all business. Less talk more show. That is one of the reasons I like them so much. They come on stage and rip through song after song giving the audience nothing but pure rock goodness. One thing I was hoping for was a debut of some of the songs from their upcoming LP. But, unless I missed something amidst my wild fist pumping, I did not hear anything new. Most of the set featured songs from their grammy winning, "Brothers" album from last year. This was fine by me. I have said numerous times that I thought this album was the album of the year. The crowd was in a frenzy over, "Howlin For You", "Next Girl", and "I Got Mine". Some other highlights for me were, "Everlasting Light", "Ten Cent Pistol", and "She's Long Gone". If you have never been to a Black Keys show, you have to find a way. I don't think there is a better live band out there right now. They will leave you wanting more just like they did at Kanrocksas when they never came back for an encore even though the crowd pleaded for more for at least ten chanting minutes. Below are some videos and pictures I shot from my front row spot.
(The Black Keys - "Thick Freakness")
(The Black Keys - "Everlasting Light")
(The Black Keys - "She's Long Gone")
This is what I love about a good festival. After giving up on the encore with 'The Black Keys', I can turn around, walk two hundred yards, and be a 5 minute wait away from getting rocked out by 'Muse'! Where else can you do that at? I was equally as pumped about this show. 'Muse' was the other half of the reason we even made this trip. I had tickets for their cancelled Saint Louis stop last year. So I had been waiting for a very long time to finally catch a live show from these English alternative rock gods. I knew something incredible was about to take place because crews had been working on and setting up the stage all day long. There was only two shows scheduled for this main stage, 'Girl Talk', who went on right before, and 'Muse'. The great thing about Kanrocksas in this first year was that because it was not overly crowded, and because the space is so big, you can weasel your way up close fairly easily, and get a great spot to every single show. When the lights went down, and the smoke screen cleared, I must have been only 100 feet away. Pretty good if you ask me, having just come from the front row of, 'The Black Keys'. 'Muse' came out of the gates with guns blazing, opening with their mega pulsating hit, "Uprising", from their first ever Grammy winning album, The Resistance. The entire crowd, biggest of the day by far, was shouting and pounding their fists in the air letting all of Kansas know that "we will be victorious"!
The immediate crowd pleasers didn't stop there either. Just three songs in the volume was cranked up even further with, "Supermassive Black Hole" and the thunderous bass driven, "Hysteria", which bassist Christopher Wolstenholme, used his neon blue lit guitar to make my ears bleed with satisfaction. As a prelude to this song, Matthew Bellamy, sporting his own neon blue lit glasses, did an electric solo of, "The Star Spangled Banner". Freakin awesome! It was quickly clear that these guys were not messing around!
From there, the band ripped through jam after jam, leaving no time for recovery with songs like, "Citizen Erased", "Helsinki Jam", and "Resistance". Another highlight was an intro cover of, "House Of The Rising Sun" played straight into, "Time Is Running Out". At around this point in the show it was time to find out what all the set up was about. A lazer show probably seen from Mars started piercing through every inch of the race track. The visual explosion was met with a deafing approval from the 20,000+ crowd. I had forgotten all about that cancelled Saint Louis show and the mother of all festivals in Chicago going on two states away. I usually hate to compare bands to eachother, but I couldn't help but think that this band had all the makings of the next harder alternative version of 'Radiohead'. I was that impressed. They closed out the encore with a confetti filled, "Knights Of Cydonia", and just like that my first ever Kanrocksas Music Festival came to an end. As I walked up the grandstands and out of the track I had a feeling of victory in my decision to come to Kansas Speedway. I can only hope I can come back next year for round 2. Well, if there is one... You can view more photos of the festival I took HERE, and all my videos on my YouTube channel HERE. I'll see you soon out on the road!
(Muse - "House Of The Rising Sun/Time Is Running Out")
Joel Zimmerman, aka, Deadmau5 (pronounced "Dead-Mouse") is the biggest name out there right now in electronic dance music. He is known for his signature mouse head helmets that he wears during his live sets. Most recently his LED infused mouse head that flashes designs and images to the beat of his music. He is all over the place nowadays and has put the EDM dance community to the forefront of the music world. Zimmerman has been on a constant exhausting world tour, did an appearance at the VMA's, and has headlined every major festival for the last year and a half. I had a chance to catch his incredible show last year at Bonnaroo and it was one crazy party! The best show of the entire festival. It is visually appealing beyond imagination. This past weekend at Lollapalooza, Deadmau5 unveiled his new production for his next tour and I just watched a video of it. One word...outrageous! I don't know who thinks of this stuff but I want to shake their hand. One thing that is amazing to me is that on his Facebook page he said that they could not unveil the entire production because of the heavy rains that hit Chicago on Sunday. If this is only 50% of what Deadmau5 has in store, I cannot comprehend what the full show is going to be like, but you can be sure I'll be traveling to see it first hand. Check out this video...
(photo by RUKES.com)