Wednesday, March 28, 2007

THE VIEW FROM MY SEAT: Badly Drawn Boy Concert Review - Live at Webster Hall, NY, 3/7/07

Badly Drawn Boy at Webster 3/7/07

Damon Gough is an artisan of sound. He has a seemingly effortless gift for melody, which is bolstered by the lushly beautiful, rich arrangements he sprinkles throughout his albums. And these lilting, often complex arrangements presaged the current indie trend of incorporating traditionally symphonic (or even gypsy) instruments, like French horn, trombone and cello, that we see with newer artists like Beirut and Sufjan Stevens. It's the kind of music that folks wind up identifying with as the soundtrack of their lives. Hence, it should come as no surprise that one of his most accomplished and best loved albums is the soundtrack to About A Boy.

Considering the sweet quality of his voice, what you get onstage in Damon Gough the performer seems like a disconnect. In person, it's not the honey-sweet, melodic tone that we find personified in front of us, but something more analogous to the boyish quality of his voice. What we see standing before us is a husky man-child, capable of being by turns both adorable and gruff, like the changing moods of a boy.

Watching Damon Gough is like watching a changing tide. He goes from hushed storytelling, giving anecdotal background behind how he wrote a song, to annoyance with himself at missing a lyric or note, giving up on a song mid-way like a frustrated kid. Frankly, I find the honest lack of pretense appealing. It's as if he's saying, "Yeah, so I f'ed up, on to the next one. It was bollocks, so who cares?"

This is not a highly glossed performance, packaged for mass consumption with a veneer of slickly choreographed Top 40 sheen. No, we leave that to the Justin Timberlakes of the world. Instead, this is a highly personal performance, with none of the artifice.

The presentation of his public persona is far more moody than his melodies would imply. But that's part of the entertainment with Damon Gough. The reality is a small thread of gruffness and a modicum of discomfort in the spotlight in front of adoring strangers.

That's not to say that he's an inexperienced or reluctant performer. On the contrary. It just means the Manchester native isn't looking to become a superstar with a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Badly Drawn Boy at Webster 3/7/07

Case in point: After moving to the keys, the flash of the photographer next to me in the photo pit distracted him enough to botch the opening of a tune. So he stopped and addressed her directly, "You've thrown me off." At which point he stood and said, "Alright, let's have it then," as he struck his best GQ male model pose. Which was ironically remeniscient of his faux fashion spread in Rolling Stone, dissecting the scruffy style of the badly drawn boy. He just looked like an adorable, overgrown kid, giving the photographer a hard time, while simultaneously being endearing, giving her a great shot, and the audience a good launch at the same time. At which point he sat back down at the keys and resumed the start of the song.

Badly Drawn Boy at Webster 3/7/07

This is the Gough show, and so his touring band remained respectfully in the background. But what they lacked in flambuoyance, they made up for in their solid musical support. And this allowed Damon to let the strength of his songwriting shine through.

I'll be blunt -- I had wondered how he'd translate his lush studio orchestrations into a decidedly indie live show. I assumed it would just be him, solo, on an acoustic, as a standard backing band couldn't possibly convey the many layers of his arrangements. The fact that these tunes were everything an audience could have hoped they'd be is a real testament to his songwriting. No matter what the arrangement, lack of string section be damned, each song brought the same lyrical atmosphere, melodic tunefulness, and packed the same emotional punch as if he had all the strings and brass to back him.

Badly Drawn Boy at Webster 3/7/07

Pared down to its indie underpinnings, softly solo, or majestically wrought, Badly Drawn Boy's music is beautiful, and translates just as beautifully live. And the live show provides a rare glimpse of the man behind the music. He, who captures emotion in song, and wears his moods on his sleeve... or shyly peeking out from under his trademark hat.

P.S. And you know what? I've never heard Webster sound so good. It's the first time I've seen them get it right.

See More:
--Videos From the Show
--Photo Gallery From the Show
Badly Drawn Boy at Webster 3/7/07

NEW PHOTOS: Of Montreal at Irving Plaza

Of Montreal at Irving Plaza 3/9/07

Of Montreal, the outrageous Athens band about whom I've gushed so much, rocked New York's Irving Plaza on 3/9/07. Led by prolific frontman Kevin Barnes, they brought tunes from their new album, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer to an enthusiastic, sold-out crowd. And a drunken evening dancing our @$$es off was had by all.

Check out photos from the show:

Of Montreal at Irving Plaza 3/9/07 

Watch video of how they brought the disco to two of my fave songs from the show:

Gronlandic Edit

I Was Never Young

...and yes, that's a shameless TixGirl screaming in the background.

P.S. Thanks, Frank! Twas lovely to see you again. Hope life on the road is treating you well. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

HOT TIP: The Decemberists Add Tour Dates - Presale Tickets & Live Photos

Being one of the lucky audience members to catch the opening show of The Decemberists' new tour at Loew's Landmark Theater in Jersey City, I can assure you that this is one Summer tour you absolutely should not miss. 

DECEMBERISTS-032107061 (3) Decemberists-032107012 Decemberists-032107016

An ideal tour opener, the 3/21 show was informal enough to give Colin & Co. the opportunity to stretch their wings and experiment with the set list in an intimate setting full of adoring fans, save the odd meathead or two, yelling "Freebird" and embarrassing the rest of us on behalf of the Tri-State area. (I mean seriously, people. Why on earth would you bother getting off your duff to see Colin Meloy, the quintessential storyteller, just to yell "Shut up and play!"???) Meatheads aside, it was a near religious experience I can't wait to try and replicate. So imagine my glee when I discovered that they've added another NY show -- and this time at Central Park's Summerstage, no less! Best of all, if you buy tix during the presale, you'll be spared the usual handling fees. Details are below, courtesy of the official Decemberists site...

The Decemberists playing at Central Park Summerstage in July

The Decemberists are playing Central Park Summerstage in New York City on Monday, July 16th, 2007 with special guests Grizzly Bear! Presale tickets are now on sale. By buying tickets through the presale, you'll be able to get your tickets before anyone else and save some money on service charges. And unlike some presales, you don't have to pay fan club fees to participate!



>>MORE PHOTOS: See a gallery of shots from the show<<

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

HUH-WHA?: Proof Bob Dylan Penned My Humps, Fight For Your Right To Party, Gold Digger & More

Falling neatly under the "Aw, HELL no!" category, is the following hilarious little video, courtesy of the folks at SUPER DELUXE:

Saturday, March 17, 2007

TRAVEL ADVISORY: Ireland's Oxegen 2007 Festival Makes Clean Sweep & Sells Out in Record Time

Yet another reason to add to the "Why I'm moving to Ireland someday" list, County Kildare can be added to the likes of Glastonbury and Reading as holding one of the biggest, coolest festivals in the world. What makes it worthy of joining the pantheon of great European fests this year? The 80,000-strong audience is responsible for setting a record, selling out the 2-day festival in 1 hour and 10 minutes flat. Yes, that's 80K people all purchasing their tickets within a 1 hour and 10 minute window. And without even knowing the final festival lineup. Incredible.

They'll be rewarded with bands like Arade Fire, Scissor Sisters, Daft Punk, Muse, Bloc Party, Snow Patrol, My Chem, Babyshambles, and even Tori Amos.

And why a clean sweep? Oxegen is the first European Festival to feature hot showers for its attendees! Yes, that's a two-day fest with showers. Unfathomable, isn't it? Oh the bliss! (*sigh*)

Scissor Sisters at the Theater at MSG, 3/3/07
>>Scissor Sisters (photo by Ames Friedman)

Saturday, July 7th Lineup
--Snow Patrol
--Scissor Sisters
--Kings of Leon
--Amy Winehouse
--The Fratellis
--Wu-Tang Clan
--Tori Amos
--Goo Goo Dolls
--Erol Alkan
--Booka Shade
--Dr. Lektroluv

Sunday, July 8th Lineup
--The Killers
--Arcade Fire
--Daft Punk
--The Kooks
--My Chemical Romance
--Bloc Party
--James Morrison
--Deep Dish
--Frankie Knuckles

Tickets are sold out according to the official Oxegen Fest site, but you can try your luck with a ticket reseller.

>>Bloc Party (photo by Lauren Dobkin)

FESTIVAL NEWS: Memphis' Beale Street Festival Lineup Announced

Memphis is a music city. And so it deserves its own festival. And throw a festival it will.  On four stages May 4-6 at Memphis' Tom Lee Park, the fest is a musical tribute to the river city, featuring a diverse array of more than 60 acts with Memphis roots. Best of all, it avoids being genre-centric and embraces every musical form from Soul to alternative to blues, much like its host city. Even greats from the past, including the Allmans and legend Jerry Lee Lewis.

Here's the deets, courtesy of

BUY BEALE STREET TICKETS: A three-day pass costs $59.50 through April and goes up to $75 thereafter. Daily tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

The Beale Street fest is part of the month-long Memphis in May celebration, which also includes the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, International Week (this year honoring Spain) and the Sunset Symphony. Details about all the events are available at the Memphis in May website.

Beale Street Music Festival Lineup:

Friday May 4

The Allman Brothers Band
Three 6 Mafia
Koko Taylor
Gym Class Heroes
Gov't Mule
Social Distortion
Richard Johnston
Sharde Thomas and The Rising
Star Fife and Drum Band
Robert "Wolfman" Belfour
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Jerry Lee Lewis
Hubert Sumlin & Willie Big Eyes Smith
Plain White T's
The Derek Trucks Band
North Mississippi Allstars
Popa Chubby

Saturday May 5

Steely Dan
George Thorogood
Bobby "Blue" Bland
The Bar-Kays
The Ohio Players
Walter Trout &The Radicals
Kenny Wayne Shephard
Taking Back Sunday
Taj Mahal
Ryan Shaw
Kelley Hunt
Old Crow Medicine Show
Jack's Mannequin
The John Butler Trio
Keller Williams
Alvin Youngblood Hart
Eddie Floyd
One Less Reason
The Duhks
Daddy Mack Blues Band
Hawthorne Heights
David Honeyboy Edwards

Sunday May 6

Counting Crows
John Legend
Elvin Bishop
Barenaked Ladies
Corinne Bailey Rae
Tab Benoit
Edwin McCain
Project Pat
Backdoor Slam
Umphrey's McGee
Ann Peebles
Papa Roach
Watermelon Slim
Billy Lee Riley
Egypt Central
The Lee Boys
James "Super Chikan" Johnson

TixGirl @ VMA Style Studio with Taking Back Sunday
>>TixGirl with Taking Back Sunday at the MTV VMA Style Studio

BIZARRE TOUR LINEUP ALERT: True Colors Tour Boasts Lauper, Erasure, Debbie Harry, Dresden Dolls

How's this for a bizarre bouillabaisse recipe of a summer tour:
1 tbsp Cyndi Lauper
1 heaping tsp Erasure
1 heaping tsp Debbie Harry (Yes, she of Blondie fame)
1/2 tsp Dresden Dolls
1 pinch The Gossip
1 pinch The Misshapes

>>Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry, Erasure

What do they have in common? I guess you could say they all have sort of a glammy, theatrical take on presentation. The first half are retro, and the second half are neo-retro. But what really ties them all together is the rallying cry of Cyndi's support of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-and-lesbian advocacy group. A good cause, and a good cause to hit the road.

Tickets went on sale yesterday, 3/16!

Tour itinerary courtesy of
June 2007
8 Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
9 West Valley City, UT - USANA Amphitheatre
10 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
12 - Chicago, IL - Auditorium Theatre
15 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
16 - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavilion
17 - Washington, DC - Merriweather Post Pavilion
18 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
19 - Toronto, Ontario - Molson Amphitheatre
21 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre
23 - Dallas, TX - Smirnoff Music Center
24 - The Woodlands, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
27 - Chula Vista, CA - SDSU Open Air Theatre
29 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre
30 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre

>>Dresden Dolls

HOT TIP: Warped Tour Schedule & Updated Lineup

Hey Warped Fans, this one's for you: The country's longest-running touring festival has announced their tour schedule, as well as an updated (and greatly lengthened) list of bands.

Presales start for members of the Warped Tour online community on April 1st. According to, "Through the website offer, fans can get a concert ticket and a copy of the 'Vans Warped Tour' two-disc compilation CD for $19.99. The price after the pre-sale is $25."

Now how's this for something nifty and new... The
official Warped Tour site provides the usual tour schedule, but warps it. Click on the little people icon to the right of each date, and you'll get the concert details, a running count of Warped Community Members who are going, and a facewall of exactly which Members will be at the show. So spot a cutie on the list, and use the comments section to see if you can catch up with her at the show. Yo, check it:


Here's the full list of participating bands, followed by the tour sched, courtesy of

Vans Warped Tour lineup to date:
A Static Lullaby (July 24 - Aug. 25)
The Actual (Aug. 10-25)
Agent Orange (Aug. 23-25)
Alesana (June 28 - July 27)
Alkaline Trio (July 31 - Aug. 7)
All Time Low (entire tour)
The Almost (June 28 - July 15, July 24 - Aug. 25)
Amber Pacific (entire tour)
Anberlin (June 28 - July 27)
As Cities Burn (June 28 - July 15)
As I Lay Dying (Aug. 4-25)
The Automatic (June 28 - July 24)
Bad Religion (entire tour)
Bayside (entire tour)
Biffy Clyro (July 28 - Aug. 15)
Big D andThe Kids Table (entire tour)
Bleed the Dream (entire tour)
Bless The Fall (entire tour)
Boys Like Girls (entire tour)
The Briefs (June 28 - July 24)
The Briggs (June 28 - July 17)
Buck O Nine (June 28 - July 1, Aug. 23-25)
Cinematic Sunrise (July 24 - Aug. 5)
Circa Survive (entire tour)
Coheed and Cambria (entire tour)
The Confession (July 27 - Aug. 25)
Cute Is What We Aim For (entire tour)
The Dear and Departed (June 28 - July 26)
Drop Dead Gorgeous (July 28 - Aug. 25)
Envy On The Coast (Aug. 4-25)
Escape The Fate (entire tour)
Evaline (entire tour)
The Fabulous Rudies (entire tour)
The Fall Of Troy (Aug. 4-25)
Family Force 5 (July 1 - Aug. 10 excluding 7/11, 12, 20, 28 & 8/2)
Fishbone (Aug. 23-25)
Flogging Molly (Aug. 7-25)
The Fold (Aug. 4-25)
Funeral For A Friend (June 28 - Aug. 3)
Gallows (entire tour)
The Graduate (July 18 - Aug. 3)
Haste The Day (June 28 - July 27)
Hawthore Heights (July 18 - Aug. 25)
Hot Rod Circuit (entire tour)
Human Abstract (June 28 - July 27)
I Am Ghost (June 28 - July 15)
K-os (entire tour)
Madina Lake (July 18 - Aug. 3)
Mayday Parade (July 18 - Aug. 3)
Maylene and the Sons (Aug. 4-25)
The Matches (entire tour)
Meg and Dia (entire tour)
My American Heart (entire tour)
New Found Glory (entire tour)
New Year's Day (June 28 - July 15)
Norma Jean (July 18-22)
Paramore (entire tour)
Parkway Drive (July 7 - Aug. 12)
Pennywise (June 28 - July 25, Aug. 17- 25)
Pepper (entire tour)
Pistolita (June 28 - July 15)
Play Radio Play (June 28 - July 15)
POS (July 25 - Aug. 25)
Poison The Well (Aug. 7-25)
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (entire tour)
Scary Kids Scaring Kids (June 28 - July 27)
Set Your Goals (June 28 - July 15)
Spill Canvas (entire tour)
So They Say (July 28 - Aug. 25)
The Starting Line (July 3 - Aug. 25)
Straylight Run (July 18 - Aug. 5)
Supernova (Aug. 23-25)
The Toasters (July 18 - Aug. 12)
Throw The Fight (entire tour)
Tiger Army (entire tour)
Underoath (July 24 - Aug. 9)
The Used (June 29 - July 3, July 7- 15)
The Unseen (entire tour)
Valencia (July 26 - Aug. 5)
Vincent Black Shadow (entire tour)
The Vandals (June 28 - July 1)
Yellowcard (June 28 - July 19)

>>Flogging Molly

June 2007
28 - Chula Vista, CA - Coors Amphitheatre
29 - Pomona, CA - Pomona Fairgrounds
30 - Ventura, CA - Seaside Park

July 2007
1 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre
3 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Thunderbird Stadium
5 - Calgary, Alberta - Race City Speedway
7 - Salt Lake City, UT - Utah State Fairgrounds
8 - Denver, CO - To be announced
11 - Phoenix, AZ - Cricket Pavilion
12 - Las Cruces, NM - NMSU Practice Field
13 - Selma, TX - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Lot
14 - Dallas, TX - venue TBA
15 - Houston, TX - Reliant Center
18 - Atlanta, GA - HiFi Buys Amphitheatre
19 - Jacksonville, FL - Metropolitan Park
20 - St. Petersburg, FL - Vinoy Park
21 - Miami, FL - Bayfront Amphitheatre
22 - Orlando, FL - Tinker Field
23 - Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
24 - Virginia Beach, VA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
25 - Columbia, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion
26 - Scranton, PA - Montage Mountain Amphitheatre
27 - Detroit, MI - Comerica Park and street
28 - Tinley Park, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
29 - Minneapolis, MN - Metrodome
31 - Milwaukee, WI - Marcus Amphitheatre

August 2007
1 - Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Centre
2 - Cleveland, OH - Tower City Amphitheatre
3 - Camden, NJ - Tweeter Center
4 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Coliseum
5 - Englishtown, NJ - Raceway Park
7 - Noblesville, IN - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
8 - Burgettstown, PA - Post Gazette Pavilion
9 - Mansfield, MA - Tweeter Center Lot
10 - Darien Center, NY - Darien Lake Field
11 - Barrie, Ontario - Park Place
12 - Montreal, Quebec - Park Jean Drapeau
14 - Maryland Heights, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
15 - Bonner Springs, KS - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
17 - Nampa, ID - Idaho Center Amphitheatre
18 - George, WA - The Gorge
19 - St. Helens, OR - Columbia Meadows
23 - Fresno, CA - Selland Arena
24 - Marysville, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre Lot
25 - Carson, CA - Home Depot Center

Thursday, March 8, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Lollapalooza Secret Sale Tix Only $60! Plus On-Sale Date

Attention Chicagoans and music fans willing to travel for an amazing festival! The lovely folks at Lollapalooza have lost their minds. They're holding a secret sale where subscribers of the Lollapalooza Fan List email can get a 3-day pass ticket for only $60!  (Sign Up!)

Could it possibly be true? Yes it could, and it is!  Here's the dealio:

Readers of the fine print will note that tickets go on sale to the general public April 3rd.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

NEW PHOTOS: Scissor Sisters at Theater at Madison Square Garden, 3/3/07

Scissor Sisters at the Theater at MSG, 3/3/07

With their glittering retro-disco sound and trademark bawdy humor, it was outrageous fabulousness everywhere we looked last Saturday, 3/3 when the Scissor Sisters gave us a roof-raising night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.  Happy to be back in NY after months of globe-trotting, it was a night of rousing sing-alongs and "damn right, Sister!" cheer-alongs that the band called the best of their tour.

>>Check out a gallery of photos from the show<<
Scissor Sisters at the Theater at MSG, 3/3/07  Scissor Sisters at the Theater at MSG, 3/3/07

Sunday, March 4, 2007

NEW PHOTOS: Teddybears at Hiro Ballroom, NY 3/1/07

The mysterious band of bears from Sweden took over New York with a rowdy gig, live at a private party thrown by Filter, GBH & Music Nation at Hiro Ballroom, at New York's Maritime Hotel, 3/1/07.

Teddybears at Hiro Ballroom, 3/1/07 Teddybears at Hiro Ballroom, 3/1/07
>>Check out the full gallery<<

Teddybears: Cobrastyle

>>Watch video from the show<<