Amoeblog

arcade fire....LIVE!!!

Posted by Brad Schelden, June 3, 2007 03:35pm | Post a Comment
Every time I go to the Greek Theatre, I find myself thinking about "The Clash of the Titans."  I expect Harry Hamlin or Medusa to walk out and greet me at any moment. It really is a little majestic  and makes me think of old greek mythology. I just heard that they are actually remaking "The Clash of the Titans" into a new movie. I can only imagine that it will be horrible. But I would be really into a live stage production of the movie at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. I really do love this place. I always go up to the top and sit on the lawn. Normally this would be like the worst place to see a show. But it is not too far away where it is hard to see. Its the perfect view from up there. It was a bit cold last night but as long as its not raining its never really that cold with all those people squeezed in there.

So I had heard really great things about the first  Arcade Fire tour for their album "Funeral." Since I had missed the first tour I was really worried that this would not be the same. But my friend Joshua has assured me that they are just as good now. He was at this show as well but choose to experience the show down close.  The lawn is not for everyone. The band consists of ten members on stage playing various instruments. The husband and wife team of Win Butler and Regine Chassagne hold it all together as the ringleaders. Electrelane opened up  for the Arcade Fire. It was fun to see them on such a big stage. They are really a great little band and I'm glad everyone was into them. The stage set up was kind of awesome. They had 5 little circular monitors that looked like little portals. Each monitor was playing some different video. At times it was pre-recorded footage to go along with some of the songs. But usually it was live footage of the various band members. It gave you a slightly different perspective than you could see from just being in the audience.

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out today...the day after memorial day 5/29

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 28, 2007 10:12pm | Post a Comment
The day after a big holiday Monday is usually a very sad day for music new releases. All the music distributors and shippers shut down on Monday holidays. Because of this, the labels traditionally keep the Tuesday releases pretty slim the day after the holiday. So R. Kelly and Perry Farrell are both pretty lucky with two new albums out today. Without much competition, the albums might do a little better than they probably should. Most Janes Addiction fans would probably appreciate it if Perry Farrell just stopped making music. He managed to make some brilliant albums in the late 80s and early 90s. He even did pretty good with his post Jane's Addiction band Porno for Pyros. "We'll make great pets" is still repeating in my head after all these years. It was a super catchy song.

Perry Farrell started playing music in the brilliant but short lived band Psi Com. The band released one self titled album in 1985. He went on to create two excellent album with Jane's Addiction. "Nothing's Shocking" and "Ritual de lo Habitual" had a major influence on many of us who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s. Especially those of us growing up in southern California. These albums and their singles were heard everywhere. Everyone had the tapes blasting in their cars and I swear that I probably heard Jane's Addiction at least once a day, somewhere. The band became known as the symbol for alternative music. Back when alternative actually still meant something. Perry Farrell also went on to create the alternative music festival known as Lollapalooza. This was  a pretty exciting festival for kids who had never experienced anything like this before. Perry Farrell also released the movie "The Gift" in 1993. While this may be one of the worst films ever released, it remained one of my favorites for many years.

After a couple failed Jane's Addiction reunions, Perry has now moved on with a new project. Titled Perry Farrell's Satelite Party. The band release their debut album "Ultra Payloaded" today. I'm still regretting that I even listened to it. But the curiosity was killing me. I would not even be talking about it. But there is not much else out today to talk about. Perry Farrell does seem to be having some sort of party on this album. But it seems he doesn't really care if anyone else gets it. Or maybe he really does think this album is some amazing party album that everyone is gonna put on during their next party. The album includes great song titles like "Wish Upon a Dogstar" and "Mr. Sunshine" and "Insanity Rains." It really makes me a little sad. I would really love for him to make another brilliant and relevant album. But I just don't think it is going to happen. Within his songs you can almost hear the old Perry Farrell that you loved not so long ago. But it is buried deep within these horrible party songs. Try to imagine Jim Morrison singing with the Black Crowes  at some bad hippie trance rave that you don't want to be at. That is kind of what this albums is like. The worst of the bunch is for sure "Awesome." The song literally repeats the phrase "Awesome" over and over and over again. I actually made it through the entire album. And I think I deserve some sort of prize for making it that far. I dare anyone else to do the same. I only hope that he at least had a good time making the album. I am gonna try and forget this album so I can get back my memories of the guy that I did love. He made some brilliant albums that still have a hold on me.

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lisa gerrard at the palace of fine arts

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 27, 2007 08:50pm | Post a Comment
So I saw Lisa Gerrard last night at the Palace of Fine Arts. I can't really imagine a better place to see the magical Lisa Gerrard than the Palace of Fine Arts. Besides maybe the Paramount theater in Oakland, where I last saw Dead Can Dance perform a couple of years ago. I usually like to get to the Palace of Fine Arts early so I can walk around and enjoy it, but we didn't have enough time and it was really cold last night. My friend Rosemarie joined me for the show last night. I couldn't think of a greater person to join me for the show. I have not seen her enough lately so it was great to be able to hang out on such a magical evening. We both love the Dead Can Dance and Lisa Gerrard, so we were very excited for the show.

Seeing Lisa Gerrard is sort of like going to church. Her fans are all very devoted and would do anything for their Lisa. And it seems she would do anything for her fans. She really does give back all the love to her audience. You can just feel the love in the crowd. I really do love seeing Dead Can Dance perform with all their magical different instruments. Its also great to see the vocals of both Lisa and Brenda Perry go back and forth. But it was nice to see Lisa all by herself last night. She was joined by one of the members of Dead Can Dance, John Bonnar on keyboards. She was also joined by the guy who plays on the new album on keyboards and piano.

Her shows really are very magical. The feeling you get from the show stays with you years later. Her voice is amazing and really takes over the whole theater. I was literally staring at her trying to imagine how she makes her voice do the things it does. Her voice quickly changes tones and styles in mid song. Its like a whole chorus is coming out her mouth. She played a mix of her new album and her previous solo albums. The best of which is her first solo album, "The Mirror Pool."

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patrick wolf live at cafe du nord...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 23, 2007 10:23am | Post a Comment
So last night we went down to the beautiful Cafe Du Nord to see the brilliant Patrick Wolf. Curt had never been there! So I was excited for him to see it. The bastard has only been to San Francisco once about five years ago. I missed that show and have been waiting ever since to see him live. I have loved all 3 of his albums and have been waiting patiently to hear how they sounded live. I was a little worried that he would disappoint.  It was hard to imagine him pulling off the brilliance of the albums in a live setting. But he literally blew me and everyone there away. I was expecting some over the top outfit and of course he met my expectations in this regard at least. I thought maybe some suspenders and a jaunty cap with a feather. He came out with a blue wig, shiny gold suspenders and little school boy shorts. He reminded me of a young Liza Minnelli mixed with McCauley Culkin's version of Michael Alig. Maybe with a little Marc Almond and high school musical thrown in there. He even made a costume change half way through the show. He was joined by three young men on stage. Stand up bass, drums, and of course electronics. His violin player had gone back to England because of the "weather." The songs sounded great live and he was quite the little show man. He interacted with the crowd and told some great little stories.
 
He played a lot of my favorites from the first two albums. The live version of "To the Lighthouse" brought some little tears to my eyes. The highlight of the night was right before he came on stage. Five bears walked right in front of us to find their spot for the show. While a couple of them were obviously dragged to the show. The fact that they were there made me happy. It was overall a very stylish indie crowd. But its nice to know he has crossed the boundaries into bear territory. And I swear I saw George Lucas and Catherine Zeta Jones in front of me as well. The best thing about the show was how positive he was. He could have easily been a little mopey depressed emo goth on stage complaining about how horrible and tragic his life was. But he instead remained positive and optimistic. He shared not only his music with the audience but also a little bit of love. I left the show with a big smile on my face.

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the albums coming out today 5/22

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 21, 2007 07:29pm | Post a Comment
Out today is the new album by Erasure. Yes, they are still putting out albums. It seems like they are putting out a new album every year or so now. Almost as often as their best period in the late 80s and early 90s. Vince Clark, one half of Erasure, is for sure one of my heroes. After helping to form Depeche Mode and create one of the first brilliant synth albums "Speak and Spell,"  he went on to create two brilliant Yaz albums. Then  came Erasure with such brilliant albums as "Wonderland, "The Innocents," "Wild," and "Chorus." Erasure has actually surprised me a couple times over the past couple years by creating some still brilliant songs. They basically invented synth pop back in the 80s. I can't really imagine where I would be without them. They have wrote some of the catchiest songs of the period that still remain great songs.

 This new album is about their 13th full length album. Maybe their 15th if you count "Crackers International" and the brilliant ABBA cover album "ABBAesque." They have continued to make accessible dance albums over the years. However, with 13 or 15 albums there are bound to be some ups and downs. "I Say I Say I Say" really marked the end of the great Erasure albums, for me at least. Some might say it ended with 1991's excellent album "Chorus." In 2005 they ended up making a great comeback album, "Nightbird." I have to admit that I am still impressed with Erasure and their new album "Light at the End of the World." It may not have as many great songs as their albums of the past. But Andy Bell and Vince Clark still have the magic to make a catchy pop album. It is easy to find yourself singing along to most of the songs on the album. It might just be my memories of albums past that has kept me an Erasure fan after all these years. But they still have me under their spell. They created a lasting genre that has affected millions and influenced many.

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