Saturday, November 23, 2013
I spent one evening walking the National Mall between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. On the way there I ran into former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the architect of the Afgan and Iraq wars. No taller than me, in a rumpled overcoat, walking the street. How ordinary, yet he was the source of so much sorrow.
The Lincoln Memorial was busy even at this late hour. The Gettysburg address always moves me, one of the very best speeches in all history. The Vietnam Memorial was also very moving with all the names of the dead, sacrificed on the alter of war. In the end this loss was for nothing. It looked like students placed laminated poems at the foot of the black wall. I wished it were daytime so I could read them all.
The area where the hotel is located was very busy with people on this Tuesday night, walking the street and in restaurants and bars, mostly young professionals. I have no idea how they manage consider how expensive the cost of living in this city is ($14 for a martini!).
Where does it all go
The here and to be now
Right through his fingers
Glimpse into the past
There lives so ephemeral
Paintings in the sand
First time visitor
Walking through the door at dawn
Coming from the stars
Look into his eyes
Hoping that it will be the same
Handing off the flame
Oh how they've been fooled
We lead the revolution
While following orders
Sign the dotted line
Do if for the honor to
Lie in Arlington
Calm greets the evening sunset
Distant dog barking
Owls call to one another
Words softly spoken
Reaching out to my old friend
Just like yesterday
Surfer Blood at the Larimer Lounge, October 16, 2013
Surfer Blood is an American alternative rock band from West Palm Beach, Florida, signed to Warner Bros. Records. The band has four members: John Paul Pitts (lead vocals/guitar), Thomas Fekete (guitar/backing vocals), Kevin Williams (bass guitar/backing vocals) and Tyler Schwarz (drums).
Surfer Blood took the stage early, kicking off their hour-plus set with a melodic surf-rock tune “Neighbor Riffs,” which was heavy with instrumentals and catchy riffs and completely absent of lyrics.
Guitarist Thomas Fekete validates Surfer Blood’s reputation as a great guitar band, while drummer TJ Schwartz and bassist Tyler Schwarz kept the music tight and under control. Frontman JP Pitts brought more variation to his vocal range than expected, given his comfortable range on record. He kept his vocals crisp and clean until the carefully placed (and welcomed) guttural screams.
On its sophomore album “Pythons,” Surfer Blood collaborated with renowned producer Gil Norton, who constructed the early alternative rock and post-punk albums with the Pixies and Foo Fighters. The Denver show brought out Surfer Blood’s more refined and mature side, showcasing its ability to mix garage rock sensibilities with a whole lot of reverb to achieve a ’90s dream pop and surf rock love child.
The band’s sound is a less polished and brighter take on Interpol’s pulsing bass lines and low-growling lyrics. Some songs felt a little monotonous with the same general progression leading each song, but Surfer Blood did its best to vary tempo and volume to keep the audience’s attention.
Read it all here: http://www.heyreverb.com/blog/2013/10/17/surfer-blood-and-team-spirit-at-larimer-lounge-10-16-13-photos-review/79322/
Download the entire show here:
Thursday, November 7, 2013
I drove up to Boulder and got in line with many others at this sold out show. The place was packed by the time I made it in, taking my place in front of the sound booth, everything in front of that point filled with expectant people. I forget who the opening band was, but I was not particularly impressed, my aching knee causing me to hope they'd end it and pass the stage over to Tame Impala.
A fantastic show that kept me moving for the hour and a half they were on stage, pulling me into their dream state with their psychedelic sound. Loved it!
Waited out behind the theater for the band to exit. One by one they did emerge, disappearing into their tour bus. The leader of the band, Kevin Parker, was surrounded by a pack of young women the whole way.
It was sometime after midnight that I found myself asleep in the back of the truck in a dark parking lot blocks away from the theater, awakened only by the arrival of people pulling in to attend Sunday morning service at the nearby church.
Tame Impala is a psychedelic rock project of Kevin Parker, from Perth, Australia and signed to Modular Recordings. The band came to prominence in 2010 with the release of their debut album Innerspeaker, and received critical acclaim for their 2012 album Lonerism. Their name refers to the impala, a medium sized antelope. They describe themselves as "a steady flowing psychedelic groove rock band that emphasizes dream-like melody."
Far from replicating the songs from their two albums, the live takes were stepping stones to even wilder, often face-melting, musical forays of swirling, fuzzy, layered synths and guitars. The music was augmented by multiple effect pedals with a stellar light show. And, the icing on the cake – that voice! Parker’s Lennon-like vocals sounded even better live than on record.
Throughout Tame Impala’s set, you heard plenty of other musical references, besides the frequently cited Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles. At times, you heard “colors”: Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Pink Floyd, even Tangerine Dream. Tame Impala’s all-too-short regular set ended with a shattering “Apocalypse Dreams” that was nothing short of majestic — all the band’s elements crashed the notes like thunder throughout the song’s climax. They encored and took it even higher, leading it off with “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.”
Witnessing a show this sonic-minded, at a venue with near perfect sound, more than made up for the long time it took to get Tame Impala back to Colorado. Given Tame Impala’s rapidly growing fan base, let’s hope when they return to play a bigger venue here next go-round, it’s at Red Rocks … say, next summer.
Read it all here:
Download the whole 320 kbps show here:
Sunday, October 20, 2013
You could tell they were pumped to be on stage before such a large audience. John wife and his daughter were watching from the sidelines. Shortly into the performance I was overwhelmed with such good emotion I literally shed tears of joy. When they At one point John turned away from the mic and faced Peter and you could see him saying "This is awesome!" They all gave it 100% of their effort and the crowd responded favorably in kind. After the show I went around the stage where their tour bus was parked and ran into Peter who I congratulated for the amazing performance. I also ran into John's wife who I told was married to a great performer, and she agreed. This show was the highlight of the day.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Even though the crowd was small this evening, the place rocked when they took the stage. Lindsey announced that it was Julie's birthday the following day, at midnight. Happy Birthday to you! What's strange is that it was here husbands birthday on the day they performed at Lollapalooza! After the show I caught Lindsey at the merch table where she signed copies of their EP. When asked how this compared to Lollaplooza, she was nice and said that these venues allowed her to get close to the crowd. A great night of music, hoping they come through again after they release their album in October.
Monday, September 23, 2013
I toyed with the idea of following the band to Florida where they perform at a two day 80's music festival on the coast east of Orlando, easy to do, but considerably more expensive. But I decided to wait until the band performs again in LA. A dream would be for estranged brother Jay Aston (red hair) to go out on tour himself and put his spin on the music. Among the fans, the the debate is similar to the one for Van Halen: Dave versus Sammy. But instead it is Jay versus Michael. It's all good to me.
Just two hours away
Escape, both body and mind
Life of fantasy
Three long hours to kill
A room lit by the glasses
As the eyes grow dim
Wears a lions mane
Dressed in Neo’s black trench coat
Sings like an angel
Jumping off the edge
Falling so fast with eyes closed
Soft lands on the grass
Seeks an explanation
Follows the trail, like bread crumbs
Lost in the darkness