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Another Pathetic Encore

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts



After a pretty lame applause from the crowd, Greg Dulli emerged to the stage. Smoking his hundredth cigarette of the night, the Gutter Twins co-frontman quickly confronted the crowd as to why the rest of the band remained hidden in the shadows on the side of the stage. Saying something like “We walk off stage, 5 people clap, and we’re supposed to come back out and play more songs,” he criticized the crowd for their incredibly weak call for an encore.

Encores have become an expected thing. Many bands even write out what songs they’ll be playing on their set list, so there’s no element of surprise. Encores are supposed to be an extra special treat for an audience so enthusiastic that they will stand and cheer all night until they hear one last song. But how can you clap when you’re busy sending text messages about how good the show was?

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So, How Was Wilderness?

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts


I don’t know.

I arrived at Union Pool at approximately 10:45pm, slightly intoxicated. The bar was more crowded than I expected it to be on a Thursday night, especially with so many music people down in Austin. When I arrived to the ticket table, there seemed to be a bit of confusion. One drunk fool seemed unable to grasp the concept of paying to get in, or more specifically, that money has to be handed to the right person. The fool offered me $10, and I accepted, warning him that I’ll take the money, but I can’t really do anything for him. With he and his friend totally confused, my lady friend and I slipped in front and I told the ticket guy that I was on the list. Not seeing my name, he offered to sell me the last 2 tickets left. We looked at each other and agreed we didn’t want t let that other fool and his friend get the last 2 tickets, so we paid the money.

Inside the space, it was crowded—a little too crowded. A colossal giant stood in front of me, and all I could see was the top of a stand up bass. As much as my sight line of Nat Baldwin was hindered, my ears were also disrupted by the constant chattering around me. Behind me, a guy with a rather obnoxious tone to his voice stated, “I like their sound.” With him talking about how much he liked their sound, I was having a difficult time developing my own impression of the seemingly avant jazz sound. Oh, the irony of not being able to hear something because someone else is jabbering on about how much they like it. But this is an ironic town, so I guess it makes sense.

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Frog Eyes, Drug Cakes and Café Yerba Mate at Mercury Lounge

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts



He just wanted a Green Tea, but what the kind people at Reboot gave Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes was a Café Yerba Mate.  That first experience of the popular health drink did not sit well, and left the front man in a very interesting mood for Wednesday night's show.

Usually headliners take forever to take the stage and start their set, especially late on Wednesday nights, when I’ve got work the next morning. This was not the case with Victoria, BC-natives Frog Eyes. Lead singer/guitarist Carey Mercer standing on the stage of the Mercury Lounge, waiting for the rest of the band to join him, began to perform on his own, seeming to be unable to contain his excitement to perform. Soon joined by the rest of the band, the frantically unhinged songs hit the crowd with a crushing blow. Always center-focus, Mercer played with the type of energy that was sure to sweat out that terrible Yerba Mate, which he complained about many times throughout the set. He also offered much-needed breathers between songs with really odd stories that acted as fake meanings for his songs. One such story was an amusing tale of a drug cake.

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Evangelicals Spread Their Good Message to Brooklyn

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts



It was Friday night and Headlights had just played a good set at Union Hall. Afterwards, I had managed to squeeze up front while Oklahoma’s Evangelicals were setting up. Being a short photographer at packed shows can be incredibly difficult, especially now that everyone and their mother is a photographer. I felt lucky to have managed a good spot to shoot from, but while Evangelicals continued to struggle to get one of their lights to work, a pair of drunk idiots pushed up to the front, right next to me. The one asshole managed to somehow maneuver to be partially in front of me. Evangelicals finally gave up on the problematic light and decided to play. Right as they were launching into their set, the asshole next to me turned to me and told me that Headlights are better. I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that, but I did notice him dancing like a maniac while they played earlier.

As the young band started sloppily, not seeming to have a tight grasp on their material, the asshole stood there with phone in hand, text messaging away. After pushing his way to the front he seemed to have little interest in what was in front of him. There’s probably nothing more disengaging to a band than having someone right up front more interested in text messaging than watching you play.

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St Vincent Digs a Pony in Brooklyn

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts



For the past couple weeks, bands St Vincent and Foreign Born have been caravanning across the USA driving pink Camaros, and stopping at gas stations to blast Huey Lewis & The News, while they tilt their sunglasses forward. At least that’s how the adorable Annie Clark described it, before she blew away her audience with a phenomenal solo cover of The Beatles’ classic “Dig a Pony.” Stamping her feet to create a beat, while she shredding her guitar into pieces, it was hard not to fall in love with her. Clark was once just one of the many, many members of Polyphonic Spree, always doing a great job of standing out, but now she’s proving that she has what it takes to be an indie rock star on her own, with St Vincent. She’s totally cute and has a genuinely unique charisma that is hard not to love, and when she plays she’s pretty angelic.

For all but her cover of “Dig A Pony,” Clark was joined by a backing band, mainly playing songs from her debut album “Marry Me.” There was also at least one new one. Many of the songs were given different treatments than on record, with the rocking version of “Your Lips Are Red” standing out as another major highlight to the performance at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. And when Annie so sweetly sang the words “Marry Me Jon,” it was hard to hold back from approaching the stage and answering to her proposition. Of course I then realized that I’m not the right Jon, and stayed back with the crowd allowing my heart to beat along with the music.

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Atlas Sound Lets It All Hang Out

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts

Deerhunter's Bradford Cox didn’t wear a dress and wasn’t covered in fake blood, but he and his new band, Atlas Sound, were more than amusing on Sunday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Cox, who was in a silly mood all night, thanked the small crowd for skipping the Oscars to come see them perform.

The set was looser than an 80 year old prostitute, seeming to go in any direction they wanted to take it, which sort of gave it the feel of an old high school basement performance. This is not a bad thing either. Some bands follow such a structured approach that they are unable to react and travel in the direction the crowd leads them in.

Midway through the set, Cox and guitarist Adam Forkner turned a joke about reverb sounding like “leather and wood” into an impromptu song about the same very topic. Cox joked that the song would be posted to his blog the following day. Just checked and it’s not there yet, but sooner or later he will post it.

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The Crowded & Sweaty Experience of Black Mountain at Glasslands

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts

Standing there in the crowd, I felt weak. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could last. It was packed to full capacity and unbearably hot. I was being pushed from all sides by people trying to squeeze through. These people who squeezed through never seemed quite happy with their position, pushing back and forth [&hellip
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The Magnetic Fields Ward Off The Pod People At Town Hall

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts

On Thursday night, we were introduced to The Magnetic Fields love for science fiction movies. While tuning before the first song, pianist Claudia Gonson introduced this topic when she commented on how the triangular lights above our heads looked like pods. Later on there was discussion about the plotline to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which [&hellip
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The Kids Are Alright

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts



Prior to Sunday night’s concert, my only real knowledge of Paul Green’s School of Rock came from Richard Linklater’s movie starring Jack Black. I’ve heard about them playing shows, and have always been interested in seeing the kids play, but not enough to get me out there.

On Friday afternoon I found out that they would be doing a show with Gibby Haynes as their guest instructor. Not only would they be performing songs with Haynes, but the set would be comprised of Butthole Surfers songs.

I never had the chance to catch the Butthole Surfers live, but the things I’ve heard and seen lead me to believe that they were something incredible to see live. A true rock ’n’ roll spectacle. Fire. Explosions. Strippers. Those are three things I would never associate with children—at least in a positive way—so the idea of kiddos and Gibby sharing a stage really sparked my interest. I couldn’t wait to see kids on stage with Gibby Haynes playing “I saw an X-ray of a Girl Passing Gas.” That would be priceless.

Tweens and their parents filled Highline Ballroom—a stark contrast to my usual room full of drunken twentysomething hipsters. Kids walked around with their guitars strapped to them, obviously passionate young musicians—the type who probably sleep with their instrument of choice some nights.

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