An Angelic Experience With The Veils

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Fan obsession with the band has at times been seriously fanatical, with three suicides in Japan allegedly caused by the splitting of the first incarnation of The Veils.–Wikipedia


Sweat and tears pour from his body as Finn Andrews quivers with intense emotion as words tremble from his mouth. The Veils sensational front man performs at such a powerful emotional state that some would say he seems possessed. That intensity enveloped the crowd at Bowery Ballroom on Monday. For the last show of their long American tour  (which began at Mercury Lounge), the New Zealand/English quartet put everything that had left into their performance. Finn Andrews, whose father Barry played keyboard for new wave pioneers XTC, remained the central focus throughout the entire set. Andrews must’ve been digging deep into his emotional recesses, because he sang with the same fiery soul as Al Green or Jeff Buckley. When you have that sort of power, you can stand alone on stage and come across as a God. And Finn did have an angelic appearance, as his hat combined with the lighting often created the image of a halo over his head. For their short encore, Finn came back out to the stage decked out in ridiculous stars and stripes pants. Along with the pants came a story/joke. Finn spoke of when he purchased the pants in LA, while on tour. “I asked the lady at the counter if I can wash these with my whites,” the young singer began. “She replied, ‘These colors do not run.’” With that the Bowery Ballroom erupted in laughter, and the band ripped through 2 excellent songs, and Finn Andrews ran into and tore apart the drum kit, leaving the stage in shambles.

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A Place To Bury Strangers On Ludlow St.

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If you ever wondered what it’d be like to see the city’s loudest band play out in the street, you had your chance on Sunday. Participating in the first ever Ludfest, Pichfork’s new favorite band, A Place To Bury Strangers is finally getting the attention they deserve, After a very positive album review from the kings of indie music criticism, the local band has started to see their name pop up in more and more places. With open space around them, the band cranked up the amps far beyond 11, surely terrifying those unfamiliar with their music. The crowd, which filled up a good portion of Ludlow St. between Stanton and Rivington, was a mix of fans, locals, town drunks, and other interesting characters. Some older women watched with disgust from windows in the buildings nearby, and not surprisingly the concert was shut down not long into APTBS’ chaotic set. With the concert shut down on the street, headliner Secret Machines, who had their gear set up next to the stage, had to find another place to launch their kraut-rock attack. Luckily, nearby venue Pianos took them in, and the band carried their gear down the street to their savior venue, where the fans from the street packed in tight.

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Modest Mouse Play Popular Kidz Bop Song At McCarren Pool

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Indie rock giants, Modest Mouse had the kids at McCarren Pool bopping when they played smash hit "Float On" on Saturday night. It's still weird to think that those crazy Kidz Bop people put a cover of that song one of their latest cds. It's one of the oddest things you can ever hear, so if you haven't, I strongly suggest checking it out.

As for Modest Mouse—Isaac Brock, Johnny Marr and co. rocked out for precisely an hour and half in front of the massive Brooklyn crowd. Nearly every song played was from their 2007 release We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. That seemed to please the crowd, much of which looked much too young to remember the pre-"Float On" days. Directly in the front row, it looked like the average age was 14. This is probably an exaggeration, but damn did they look young. At one point early into the set, Isaac Brock explained to the young crowd that getting there early and getting right up front may seem like a good idea, but the sound isn't set up for the front. With that said, the sound was great towards the back of the large abandoned pool. There were a few jokes about the pool, and Isaac joked about Kidz Bop, leading into "Float On." Longtime Modest Mouse fans were given a treat with the band's crazy, warped performance of "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes," during which Brock was at his most energetic, knocking over his mic stand and singing through his guitar (literally).

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England’s Editors Play Webster Hall

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While fans were at Webster Hall on Friday night  to see Editors, Ra Ra Riot opened the night like headliners. The young Syracuse band were full of energy, putting together a really impressive set in front of the small crowd were smart enough to show up early. Amazingly the band has recovered well after the tragic death of their talented drummer John Pike, and you can expect to keep hearing their name a lot over the next couple years, because they're destined for bigger things.

Ra Ra Riot was followed by Biffy Clyro who didn't really seem to fit the bill. Sounding somewhat like Foo Fighters and other '90s grunge rock, the band will soon be infiltrating alternative rock radio stations especially after playing gigs with bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

By the time Editors took the stage, Webster Hall was finally looking crowded. Under moody blue lighting, the band played moody music, filled with more punch than what comes across on record. Songs sounded anthemic, building up to sonic skyscrapers while singer Tom Smith's oddly erratic motions added to their stage presence. The high point of their performance came during the encore with the thrilling performance of the band's single "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors." Editors are just another example of a band whose albums, as good as they are, don't live up to their great live performances.

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New Venue Opens, Patti Smith Criticizes Its Carpet

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Tuesday night was supposed to be opening night for Bowery Presents’ new Brooklyn venue, The Music Hall of Williamsburg, with Patti Smith performing the event. For a number of reasons, the opening event was postponed. A day later, Against Me headlined the first ever concert at the new venue.

While it was no longer the first ever concert at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, Thursday night’s Patti Smith concert was a proper christening for the place. Patti was in a very conversational mood, beginning the night with a hilarious story about the postponement of the opening and her discovery of the blogger universe. Smith had come across a long discussion thread about the cancellation on BrooklynVegan, and she wanted to clear up all of the rumors circulating, to make it known that it was George Bush’s fault. Patti Smith & Her Band seemed totally relaxed in front of the crowd that contained many longtime friends and fans starting off the music with a cover of Jefferson Airplane classic “White Rabbit.” Smith continued along for another couple hours, telling interesting stories and playing all of the classics from her incredible career. Minutes after professing her love for the opera, Smith dedicated a song to Luciano Pavarotti. CBGB founder Hilly Kristal would later receive his own song dedication. Throughout her energetic performance, Smith made fun of the carpet on the stage—the only real criticism that could be made about the amazing new space.

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Are Your Ears Ringing?

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If you woke up Tuesday morning and your ears were ringing, you were probably at the Dinosaur Jr concert at Webster Hall. That ringing in your ears is the sound of you ear cells dying. It’s pretty ironic how the presence of a sound lets you know you’re going deaf.

So basically, Dinosaur Jr still play deafeningly loud, even after all these years. Even with earplugs in, the sound was as loud as going without earplugs at a non-Dinosaur Jr concert. As I looked around me at all of the future hearing-aid users, I couldn’t help but wonder how anyone could show up to a Dinosaur Jr concert without earplugs. All these young fans seemed unaffected by the sheer volume pulsating through the speakers. Were they already deaf? Probably. Aside from being violently loud, J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph put on a solid show, playing plenty of their early material, that opened the doors for grunge, as well as songs from their wonderful new album, Beyond.

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Doing Battles At The Seaport

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After giving us free summer concerts every Friday night, all summer long, the South Street Seaport saved the best for last. Two of 2007's biggest names, Battles and Deerhunter shared the stage for one hell of a concert. Unlike other nights at the Seaport this year, it was not too hot, or humid, and bugs weren't all over the place.

Deerhunter was on first. The band has been getting a lot of press, as much for vocalist Bradford Cox' crazy antics as for their hypnotic rock sound. Cox, who is insanely thin, was all about the music on Friday night, as Deerhunter swept into a psychedelic daydream loaded with distortion. Even though they recently lost one of their guitarists, the band sounded incredibly full, and left a lasting impression on the crowd.

Following Deerhunter, Battles took the stage and immediately blew everyone's mind. Their well-calculated math rock displayed exactly why they are the future of rock. The combination of the band's superior technical skills with their creative use of electronics could sway music in a whole new direction. At the Seaport they miraculously recreatied their complex songs, creating layers of loops and seamlessly playing over them, all the while remaining energetic enough to have stage presence. Most impressive was drummer John Stanier's inhuman abilities on the kit, keeping a steady beat despite constant tempo and signature changes. Battles are yet another band that New York can be proud to call one of their own.

Thank you River 2 River and South Street Seaport for giving us all so many good concerts this summer. We can’t wait to see what you’ll bring us next year.

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Feist Names Her New Guitar “McCarren”

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Last night was a beautiful night for an outdoor concert. Luckily enough, there was one going on at McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn. In support of headliner Feist, Grizzly Bear and Kevin Drew/Broken Social Scene set the mood for a relaxed evening. Within a very short set, Grizzly Bear was able to produce enough sunshiny ambiance to prove why they’ve been getting so much attention over the past year. It’s a shame much of the crowd had yet to arrive due to such an early start time.

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