Friday, September 21, 2007

Tonight's Live Music Choices Friday 9/21/07

The Besnard Lakes Play the Troubadour Tonight
So many great bands in LA this week and last night I went to the New Pornographers. I was excited to see them. Even though they sucked the last time I saw them, I blamed it on the fact that Dan Bejar and Neko Case weren’t with them. But Bejar and Case are touring with them this time around. The excitement faded as they began; it sounded like shit. The sound man needs to fix this shitty mix. After a couple of songs it got better, but the bass player’s amp still needed to be turned down. I’m still not engaged. The New Pornographers have put out three great albums but they’re mostly playing stuff from the new one. What’s up with the replacement drummer? Great technique, but he’s rushing a lot of the songs. And what’s up with Carl Newman’s voice. He can’t seem to hit any notes and he forgets to sing directly into the microphone. Oh here’s a song with some upfront guitar work from Todd Fancey. Why’s it so flat? and what’s up with the tone? Doug Martsch sounded way better last Friday. What’s that male keyboard player doing? All he does is drink beer and occasionally pump his fists in the air. Now that you mention it, why’s the female keyboard player holding back so much? Oh yeah, probably because she doesn’t want to step on Neko Case’s vocals. The band completely gelled a few times, most notably on “Mass Romantic.” It made me thing that they’re capable of a great performance, but maybe they just aren’t well rehearsed. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was off, but it was a boring show (and most of the songs aren’t boring). Dan Bejar came out for a few songs and sounded just like he does on the album. And Neko Case doesn’t miss a note (but looks a little elegantly bored at times). When you pay $25 for a ticket (and $10 for a call bourbon) and you're skipping shows like Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, CYHSY you expect a lot.

Friday's Pick:
The Besnard Lakes / Starvin’ Hungry / The Minor Canon @ Troubadour ($14) – The Besnard Lakes latest album will most likely end up on my top 10 list this year. It’s epic and atmospheric and all around fucking awesome. There’s all kinds of pent up tension (a little like Low’s best stuff) that builds and breaks. Their show at the Echoplex earlier this year was blowing me away until it was cut short (all the way from Montreal, but they were given less than 30 minutes on stage). I’m very excited to see them again. They rock much harder than you expect. Not too familiar with Starvin Hungry but they sound like a messy punk band. One of the guys from Besnard may or may not be in the band. Try to get there at 8:30 for the Minor Canon. They put out one of my favorite local releases this year (but you already knew that).
Download Besnard Lakes’ “And You Lied To Me
Also Recommended:

Oakley Hall / Whalebones @ Spaceland ($10) – I really like the new Oakley Hall album (out last week on Merge), but I like them even better in a live setting. If you like rock ‘n’ roll with American roots, go see them. They break out the violin, lap steel and banjo but can shred on guitar too. I’m hoping they go on late enough that I can catch some of their set after the Troubadour.

Air / Sondre Lerche / Sea Wolf @ Greek Theatre ($50) – If you go to Ticketmaster right
this second, you can get Pit tickets. Pretty amazing that Sea Wolf’s already playing the Greek Theatre.

Cat Power @ Avalon ($27.50) – You know it’s a busy night in LA when Cat Power can’t sell out the Avalon. Remember that image of her on her first album? Now do a Google image search of her.

The Lucksmiths / Math & Physics Club @ El Cid ($10) – The Lucksmiths are in indie pop band from Australia that I’ve always wanted to check out. Unfortunately tonight will not be the night.
Not for me (at least not tonight):

Diplo / Switch @ the Echoplex ($25) – The producers behind the last two M.I.A. albums. Huge show for the indie dance crowd.

High on Fire / Mono / Panthers @ El Rey ($19) – For fans of heavy music.

The Rentals / Goldenboy @ the Fonda ($20) – I’ve seen them twice in the past year and they’re energetic. There are just too many other options tonight.

Over the Rhine @ Knitting Factory ($18)

Veruca Salt @ Safari Sam’s

Paolo Nutini / Jesca Hoop @ Wiltern ($25) – For the KCRW crowd.

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