Monday, September 25, 2006

Thank You Brooklyn Vegan: Raconteurs Opening Band

Thank you, Brooklyn Vegan! I was running around in circles (or at least the equivalent in the virtual world) trying to find out who was opening for the Raconteurs tonight. And then I thought to myself, "You know what? Brooklyn Vegan probably knows". And you know what? There it was, right there on the blog:
http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2006/06/the_raconteurs_2.html

And the opening honors go to... drumroll please... Dr. Dog.
Who?  Um, got me. I guess we shall see...

See you at the Roseland tonight! If you spot TixGirl in the photo pit or on the sidelines, mos def stop and say hello.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

THE VIEW FROM MY SEAT: Nouvelle Vague @ Webster Hall, 9/19/06

Note: Wait for the videos to load entirely before attempting to play them. You'll know they've loaded fully when the image goes from a blank, black screen to a full-color image.

Now close your eyes and picture this: A subterranean Parisian club. A thick haze of smoke hangs in the air, a floating veil between the audience and a cabaret stage. A waif in a lace slipdress serenades us, squeezing away on a classic French accordion. A long, lanky man in a cap finger-picks the acoustic guitar in a bossa nova rhythm, while the bassist, in ironic cowboy shirt, walks his way along the neck of the requisit beat poet's stand-up bass.

Nouvelle Vague in concert

Next, picture a faux Charlotte Gainsbourg fille, all long black tresses, pouty of lip and flounce-frocked in the miniest of mini-dresses. She's joined by a whisper-sweet brunette in white frills, playing the voluptuous kitten foil to the growling mod mannequin in black. One, the smoldering seductress, all sexy belting bravura. The other, the kittenish coquette, all flirtatious girlish promises. These are the two chanteuses hosting our Parisian cabaret evening.

It's an oh-so-French experience, with a sound straight from the tunnels of Le Metro, sidewalk cafes, and smokey cabarets, from Montmartre to the Champs Elysees. The bossa nova underpinnings of the accompanying musicians evoke the carefree beaches of Cannes and Nice.

But then you notice the lyrics. Wait a minute, that melody sounds familiar. Is that... Is that... The Clash?

"Guns of Brixton"

Yes my friends, it's The Clash. Not to mention songs by The Smiths, XTC, Echo & the Bunnymen, and even Billy Idol that follow. Reality check: This isn't a dancehall in Pigalle, but Webster Hall in the East Village. And onstage is Nouvelle Vague, one of the most brilliant concept bands to emerge on the live music scene in years. Far from Paris, the closest they'll come to France tonight is a Violent Femmes cover.

Nouvelle Vague -- its name an ode to the French 'New Wave' cinema of Godard, and an oral/aural play on words with the 'bossa nova' of Brazil, from whence its sound was plucked -- is the brain child of producers Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux. Their original concept was to perform covers of classic '80s Goth tunes, seen filtered through a bossa nova lens, and crooned in the classic French cabaret style by songbirds who had (supposedly) never heard the original versions.

"Sweet & Tender Hooligan"

No matter what the mythology, theirs is a fresh, creative, exhilerating take on some of the best (even if only in my view) music ever written. They truly transcend the strictures of the term "cover band."

With the gleeful abandon of circus performers, joyfully dancing and 'Expressing' themselves with a capitol E, they are wonderfully engaging performers. Everything is done with a playful wink and a nod to let us all in on the fun.

"Dancing With Myself"

Seeing Nouvelle Vague live is to sing along, laugh along, and even drink along -- as proven when wour angelic girl in white naughtily handed out shots of whiskey to the crowd during a particularly rousing chorus of "Too Drunk to Fuck."  Oui, c'est vrai!

Lucky ladies, they are backed by an accomplished set of musicians who each have the opportunity to shine throughout the evening. A particular standout is the drummer, who performed a mind-bending solo with nothing more than a tambourine, and later brought the bossa nova beat to a particularly Latin high, playing not only the kunga, but also the snare, toms, and the rest of his kit with his bare hands.

With half the audience speaking French and the music worthy of Serge Gainsbourg, it wasn't hard to get wisked away to an imaginary Paris of the mind. But when they broke out the Bauhaus, playing my personal favorite, "Bela Lugosi's Dead," we plunged from Paris cabaret to catacomb.

"Bela Lugosi's Dead"

Drenched only in red light with chanteuses writhing on the floor, singing a mournful refrain of "Oh Bela, Bela's dead," the band broke character -- even if only for a moment. With the stand-up bowed like an ultra-low cello, it was less French than full-fledged Goth fantasy. And a rare but welcome glimpse into the band's joy in the original material that they make a living covering.

Nouvelle Vague are both darknessand light, playfully covering the morose musings of rainy-day lads from Britain, in a breezy, beachy style from Brazil, with a French accent that is, frankly, all their own. Regardez, ├ęcoutez, comprenez cette Nouvelle Vague!

"Making Plans For Nigel"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: New NY Death Cab for Cutie Date @ Theater @ MSG!

Everybody deserves a second chance, right? Well, my friends (and friends of Death Cab), if you missed out on good seats to see Death Cab for Cutie at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 8th, fret not! (Like a fretless. But I digress...) They've just announced a second rollover date for November 9th. Ted Leo + Pharmacists open both dates.

Tickets go on sale for the new Nov. 9th show at the Theater @ Madison Square Garden tomorrow (Friday, 9/22) at 11am ET.

Here's a quick link for tix:
http://www.aoltickets.com/incoming.adp?pid=444&lid=518&perfid=101

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Must-See Artist: Madeleine Peyroux

The minute you hear Madeleine Peyroux's cover of Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars," you'll be forever a fan of this jazzy chanteuse. It'll pave the way for more melodically moody meditations on Billy Holiday for a new generation. I'm hooked.

Can't wait to catch her NY show at Town Hall on 10/25. Back in my home state of MI, I'd be catching her in Ann Arbor. If I still lived in Boston, I'd be making a bee-line for the Berklee Performance Center. Back in NoHo, I'd be catching up with her at the Calvin Theater. And with my peeps back in DC, we'd be on the list at Lisner. Wherever you call home, buy a ticket. You won't regret it, I promise.

Date                  City,  ST              Venue  
Thu 09/28/06     Vancouver, BC     Centre For The Performing Arts   
Fri 09/29/06       Seattle, WA          Moore Theatre   
Sat 09/30/06      Portland, OR         Crystal Ballroom   
Tue 10/03/06     Oakland, CA         Paramount Theatre   
Wed 10/04/06   Santa Barbara, CA  Campbell Hall   
Fri 10/06/06      Los Angeles, CA    Royce Hall UCLA   
Sat 10/07/06     San Diego, CA       4th & B   
Tue 10/10/06     Denver, CO           Paramount Theatre   
Fri 10/13/06      Minneapolis, MN   State Theatre   
Sat 10/14/06     Chicago, IL            Vic Theatre   
Mon 10/16/06   Ann Arbor, MI       Michigan Theater   
Wed 10/18/06   Toronto, ON          Danforth Music Hall   
Fri 10/20/06      Montreal, QC         Outremont Theatre   
Sat 10/21/06     Albany, NY            Kitty C. Hart Theatre @The Egg   
Sun 10/22/06    Burlington, VT         Flynn Theatre   
Wed 10/25/06   New York, NY      Town Hall   
Fri 10/27/06      Washington, DC      Lisner Auditorium   
Sun 10/29/06     Glenside, PA          Keswick Theatre   
Mon 10/30/06   Wilmington, DE      Grand Opera House   
Wed 11/01/06    Boston, MA          Berklee Performance Ctr.   
Thu 11/02/06      Northampton, MA  Calvin Theater   
Fri 11/03/06       Lebanon, NH         Lebanon Opera House   
Sat 02/24/07      Austin, TX             Paramount Theatre  

  Here's a quick link for tix:
http://www.aoltickets.com/incoming.adp?pid=444&lid=518&perfid=114031

Sunday, September 17, 2006

THE VIEW FROM MY SEAT: Zero 7

Webster Hall, New York, 9/16/06

Caught British trip-hop heroes, Zero 7 last night at Webster Hall, in New York's East Village. Playing to a sold-out crowd, their ambient dance tunes tracked just as well with the audience as their more recognizable tunes.

Zero 7: "Crosses"

The closing night on their North American tour in support of their new release, The Garden, their energy reached near ecstatic levels. Sia, the female vocalist featured on all the Zero 7 albums I've ever heard, was there to belt it out with feeling.

The pixiesque Australian vocalist is one part R&B diva, one part bouncy cheerleader. With unexpectedly gleeful goofiness, she bounded around the stage, embracing her inner 10-year-old. With that kind of voice, I totally hadn't expected the little sprite I saw before me. Get a load of exactly what I'm talking about here on this video clip from the show:

Zero 7: Encore

There to help Sia in her 'little dance' was Swedish Indie/Folk singer-songwriter, Jose Gonzales, who opened the show and sat in with Zero 7 on several of their tunes. Unfortunately, due to Webster Hall's bizarrely early curtain time, I didn't arrive in time to catch Gonzales. Who would have thought that when the ticket said "6:30pm," they really meant it??? What kind of club starts a show that early? Outdoor venue yes, but time-honored concert venue? Um...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Hot Tip: Listen to Brazilian Girls' Talk To La Bomb for free

You've heard me rave on and on about how much I love Brazilian Girls. (And, no, I don't mean girls from Brazil.) So now's your chance to hear for yourself why they are deserving of such high praise! You can catch their brand new sophomore release in its entirety, streaming entirely for free. Yo, check it:
http://music.aol.com/songs/new_releases_full_cds.adp 
(Scroll thru the album covers at the top of the page and you'll spot it. You just can't miss Sabina's legs, really, can you?)

Haven't heard me rave on and on, after all? Check out my review of the Brazilian Girls' show at Fort Greene Park this July, and consider yourself in the loop, in the know, in it good.

Feist: TixGirl's Ear to the Ground Pick for September

It's official: Feist, whom I discovered after every critic and musican whose taste I trust either wrote or raved about her, is my pick for the September edition of Ear to the Ground, on AOL CityGuide. Check it out:

My Past Picks Seu JorgeSoCalledThe Raconteurs Jenny Lewis Eagles of Death Metal Brazilian Girls Sarah Blasko Cut Copy The Faint The Notwist Amos Lee Martha Wainwright The Redwalls Ben Lee Snow Patrol >>Read 'Em All Here<<

Thursday, September 14, 2006

TixGirl's September Show Calendar

My September rocks. How 'bout yours?


TixGirl's September Concert Calendar:
9/14: M. Ward @ Webster Hall, NYC
9/16: Zero 7 @ Webster Hall, NYC
9/17: SoCalled @ Jewzapalooza Festival @ Riverside Park, NYC
9/19: Nouvelle Vague @ Webster Hall, NYC
9/25: Raconteurs @ Roseland Ballroom, NYC
9/26: Of Montreal @ Irving Plaza & later, Grizzly Bears @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC
9/27: Regina Spektor @ Town Hall, NYC
9/28: Ladytron @ Webster Hall, NYC
9/29: Sufjan Stevens & My Brightest Diamond @ Town Hall, NYC

If I could, I'd be catching:
9/29: What Made Milwaukee Famous @ Bowery Ballroom

You can get tickets to any of the above at http://aoltickets.com.
If you see me at a show, say hi! Won't recognize me? Check out my my AIMpage.

Hot Tip: Listen to Justin Timberlake's Futuresex/Lovesounds for free

   

I'm an unabashed JT fan, ever since his debut solo disc. (No, I've never even heard an *NSYNC album, thank you very much.) For all you other fans out there who've been chomping at the bit waiting for his follow-up release -- and all the haters out there who hope he'll fall on his butt -- I'm pleased to report that JT's new album is fantastic! Especially the first half. (Isn't that the way it always goes with R&B albums, btw? What's up with that?)

Timberlake and Timbaland are a match made in heaven. What is it with Timbaland? He's like Midas. Everything he touches turns to gold. He's the man.

You can get a free listen to the full album before it goes on sale, thanks to AOL Music's Listening Party. I've had it on repeat all morning. Yo, check it: http://music.aol.com/songs/new_releases_full_cds.adp
 

Friday, September 8, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Raconteurs Touring w/ Dylan - Tix On Sale

Felt proud seeing the Raconteurs' as house band at the MTV VMAs? Hell yes! Me too. Felt let down seeing how badly the producers punted it when engineering their sound? Hell yes! Me too. (Why is it that Beyonce sounded crystal clear, but their house band sounded garbled, like they were banging their tunes out through a garage door 2 blocks away?) If you're like me, it merely left you salivating and unable to wait for their upcoming dates at the Roseland Ballroom at the end of September.

Couldn't manage to get your sweaty little hands on tickets to those two must-see shows? Don't lose hope! Much like they did by playing with the legendary Lou Reed and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons at the MTV VMAs, the Raconteurs are set to blow you away by teaming with yet another legend.

Hold on to your hats, cats. This November, you'll have the opportunity to catch the Raconteurs with Bob Dylan! Check it, courtesy of their publicists:

Thu     11/9    Portland ME @ Cumberland County Civic Center
Sat     11/11   Boston MA @ Agganis Arena
Sun     11/12   Boston MA @ Agganis Arena
Mon     11/13   Uniondale NY @ Nassau Coliseum
Wed     11/15   Amherst MA @ Univ. of MA Mullins Center
Thu     11/16   East Rutherford NJ @ Continental Airlines
Fri     11/17   Fairfax VA @ Patriot Center
Sat     11/18   Philadelphia PA @ Wachovia Spectrum

Get tickets via the presale today, or grab 'em when they go on sale to the general public tomorrow (Sat, 10am)
Here's a quick link for tix:
http://www.aoltickets.com/incoming.adp?pid=444&lid=518&perfid=186542

Thursday, September 7, 2006

New Tour Dates: Amos Lee

I'm happy to report that Amos Lee, one of my favorite discoveries ever since seeing him open for Bob Dylan a year ago, is heading back out on tour. If you enjoy easy, laid-back, bluesy acoustic guitar (think James Taylor for our generation), then Amos Lee is your man. He's one of the best sunny-Saturday-morning-and-coffee soundtracks you'll ever find. Or road-trip soundtracks, for that matter.

Just glancing at his tour schedule, I'm convinced folks in Boston, Northampton, Ann Arbor & DC are going to be super-psyched. He's absolutely perfect for the Somerville Theater, the Iron Horse, the Ark, and the 9:30 Club. And you better believe I'll be at the Town Hall show in NY!  Here's his full schedule:

Upcoming Shows ( view all )
Oct 12 2006 8:00P
Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
Oct 13 2006 8:00P
Music Farm Charleston, SC
Oct 16 2006 8:00P
Orange Peel Asheville, NC
Oct 17 2006 8:00P
Attucks Theatre Norfolk, VA
Oct 19 2006 8:00P
Cat's Cradle Carrboro, NC
Oct 21 2006 8:00P
9:30 Club Washington , DC
Oct 24 2006 8:00P
Town Hall New York, NY
Oct 28 2006 8:00P
Iron Horse Northampton, MA
Oct 29 2006 8:00P
Somerville Theatre Boston, MA
Oct 30 2006 8:00P
HG Showcase Lounge Burlington, VT
Nov 1 2006 8:00P
La Tulipe Montreal
Nov 3 2006 8:00P
Danforth Music Hall Toronto
Nov 4 2006 8:00P
Starlight Club Waterloo
Nov 6 2006 8:00P
The Ark Ann Arbor, MI
Nov 8 2006 8:00P
Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH
Nov 9 2006 8:00P
20th Century Theatre Cincinnati, OH
Nov 11 2006 8:00P
Headliners Louisville, KY
Nov 12 2006 8:00P
Music Mill Indianapolis , IN
Nov 13 2006 8:00P
Shank Hall Milwaukee, WI
Nov 15 2006 8:00P
Park West Chicago, IL
Nov 16 2006 8:00P
Fitzgerald Theatre St. Paul
Nov 18 2006 8:00P
High Noon Saloon Madison, WI

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: All New Death Cab Dates

Death Cab for Cutie return for an all-new round of Fall tour dates

Joy! It's like a dream come true! Death Cab for Cutie are heading back out on the road with an all-new Fall tour!  (*gush*)  I couldn't be more thrilled about their choice of NYC venues, either: the Theater at Madison Square Garden. It's PERFECT for them.

For those of us catching their pre-Thanksgiving dates, we'll be seeing Ted Leo the Pharmacists doing opening duties. But you lucky bastards catching them between Thanksgiving and the first of December will see the merry pranksters, Ok Go, as openers.  Better yet, those catching their December dates will witness the lovely Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins in the opening slot. DANG! That's going to be an incredible show. So jealous. (No offense, Ted Leo.)

OK, so here's the important info you need to know. You can get tix before the general public for many of their dates. And their regular onsale dates for the general public are scattered across September. (FYI, New Yorkers: Our dates go on sale 9/15, so mark your calendars!) All the details are listed here for your easy reference, thanks to Death Cab's mailing list: http://www.deathcabforcutie.com/index_shows.php

VMAnia: Finally! TixGirl's VMA Memories

The pictures are in! And you won't believe the eye candy TixGirl was snapped with before the VMAs. (Well, at least I can't believe it.)

First off, allow me to say that Tyson Ritter is a sweetheart. The All-American Rejects frontman / bassist not only has the kind of baby blues that pop off the page, but he's also possessed of a winning personality -- an all-around great guy. Dig it:

Little did either of us know he and his boyz would go on to win later that night! So psyched for him. And I'm sure he lived up to his promise to go out and get trashed after safely stowing his prized Moon Man.

Also hanging out taking back schwag were the guys from Taking Back Sunday. Yeah, they're as fun as they look like they'd be. Tons of 'tude, but not too cool for school.

They did look pretty chill, though - despite the fact that they were up for a Moon Man for MTV2 Viewer's Choice Award later that night.

Sorry Tyson and Adam, the highlight of my afternoon came in geeked-out glasses. Yes, I just about fell over when Gideon Yago appeared, beard and all:

Ever since he so saucily held his own against my hero, Stephen Colbert, I've had oodles of respect for the MTV News anchor. When I confessed I was so impressed, he admitted he hadn't slept a wink the night before. Yeah, 28 years old and facing down Stephen Colbert, on live TV? Small wonder.

But it wasn't til later that night that the real headline-stealers came out. And did they ever! Everyone from Missy Elliott, Ludacris, John Legend, Lil Jon, Slim Thug, and the Doggfather himself, Snoop, were there to welcome the Queen Bee, Lil Kim, back from lock-down. Even Ron Jeremy was on hand to give her a sizeable welcome home.

  

While the hip-hop heavyweights who descended on Nikki Beach seemed never-ending, it was heavy-hitter Snoop Dogg who kept the party smoking until well past 3am.

 

Need More VMAnia?
--Miss the party? Get a recap of all the night's festivities at the many after-parties across town at AOL Music's 2006 VMA Afterparty Roundup photo gallery.
--Miss the show? It's not too late to catch up on the gossip and get a full list of the 2006 winners, too.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

While We Wait: VMA Madness

Well folks, I had hoped to have some exciting candids to show you from the VMAs by now. But, unfortunately, I'm still waiting on our photographer to ante up the images. ARGH! So while we wait for the aforementioned photos, why go completely cold turkey? My darling friend Jonathan, of AChimericalPlan.com fame, has provided some dishy divertisements on the Rock Plaza goings on.

Check out his fantastic photos, as well as his first-person accounts of what it was like to live (and work) in the middle of VMA mayhem in Rockefeller Plaza. It's all at AChimericalPlan.com: MTV Video Music Awards