Archive for the ‘Billie Eilish’ Category

[ATTENDED: February 22, 2022] Billie EIlish

Back in 2019, I bought tickets for my daughter and I to see Billie Eilish’s tour in 2020.  I was really looking forward to it because I’d heard that she put on an amazing show.

I was especially looking forward to the energy and the visuals.  Then COVID came in and we watched with bated breath as concerts were cancelled.  And then she postponed the whole tour.  Ultimately, she cancelled it.

And actually that proved to be not a bad thing in the long run.  The opener we had was much better than Denzel Curry.  And our new seats proved to be terrific.  When she announced the tour for the new album, we were given a pre-sale code since we had tickets for the earlier show.  Then in May of 2021 I grabbed tickets and waited nine months!

The only bummer was that this new tour was for her newly released, more mature album (she’s all of 18).  And I didn’t really like it.  I thought it was kind of bland.  I love that Billie is singing and not mumbling like she does on the first album–and I was really impressed by her voice.  But I found the album lacked the dynamics of the first one.

She was performing most of the album live.  Although I see that in the previous tour she did a whole middle section of covers, which I don’t really like, so that’s okay then.

I also thought she’d dress like the album.  But nope, as you can see she was good old punky Billie.  And she played 26 songs and performed for about an hour and forty-five minutes.


Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: February 22, 2022] Dora Jar

Originally Willow was supposed to be the support act for Billie Eilish.

My daughter and I were pretty excited about that because Willow’s new album is really good.  And, she had announced a headline tour, which we didn’t really want to go to.  This was an easy opportunity to see her.

Then a few days before this tour began, Willow dropped out of the tour.  She gave an excuse that, to my ears, sounds very lame:

Due to production limitations, I am unable to put on the show that I believe you all deserve.

It sounds noble, but let’s be honest, it’s not like the opening act’s performance was suddenly stripped down.

At the last minute, Dora Jar, an artist I’d never heard of, signed on.  I listened to a song online.  Thought it was fine and then forgot about it. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] Weezer: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

After The Interrupters, we decided to get some snacks.  Who would have guessed that snacks could take so long?  Well, any reasonable person could have.  But we waited for French fries (not realizing that Chickie and Pete’s was just down the way with tons of fries for the taking).  We gave up when it was a few minutes before Weezer was supposed to go on and then, as we were heading down the stairs, the unmistakable sound of Van Halen’s “Jump” playing over the speakers.

This was the key for the Weezer to come out on stage with six bass drums (spelling out Weezer), giant teal lightning bolts, a light up W logo and a video screen.

When I saw Weezer headline two years ago, the set was amazing–set changes, fire, lasers!  This one was a little less amazing, but, heck if you’re the first of three bands and you only have an hour, you don’t have time for fooling around.

The band released Van Weezer a few months before the show and it was clearly designed to let Weezer Rock out a bit more–or at least to give Rivers Cuomo an opportunity to sport a mullet and mustache.  He was also wearing a big black leather jacket and playing a flying V guitar.

And so the early part of the show was pretty heavy with the new.  “Hero” and “All the Good Ones” sandwiched one of my favorite songs from the early 2000s, “Hash Pipe.”  “Beverly Hills” also rocks and Brian Bell plays a fun talkbox solo, which everyone likes.

Then Rivers introduced “The End of the Game” by talking about the wicked riff that starts it (classic heavy metal hammering riff).  From there, the band dove deep and the fans went crazy.  The jacket came off around here and he was wearing a white ringer T (the video screens showed off his painted nails).

“My Name is Jonas” was one of five songs from their debut.  It was followed by a rocking “Pork and Beans” with a nice promo for Weezer’s own brand of pork and beans on the video screen.

For a set that was heavy on the first and last albums, they did manage to throw in one song from a bunch of other ones too.  The noisy “Feels Like Summer” from Pacific Daydream was followed by the new hit single “All My Favorite Songs” (off of OK Human).  I wondered if the band felt weird about playing the song that was essentially a Rivers solo song.  But it was fun and we all sang along.

Then it was back to the debut again for “Undone” and the rather surprising “Surf Wax America” (of all the debut album songs, I wouldn’t have expected this one).  And, this is the first time I’ve seen them play it in three shows.

I was pretty delighted when they started “El Scorcho” (because I’m a Pinkerton junkie) but had totally forgotten about the line “I asked her to go to the Green Day concert.”  How cool is that?  Obviously the crowd went nuts for that.

The Green album seems to be quite a popular release too, so “Island in the Sun” went over like gangbusters.  Then came the moment everyone was waiting for.  The hit single that was 100% ironic and is now 100% unironic as everyone sang along full bore to Toto’s “Africa.”  Rivers even got to hit the giant floor tom (which I thought was decorative) for a mini drum solo with Patrick Wilson (whose drumming skills are really top notch).

Interestingly, it started raining about 30 minutes after they were singing about the rains down in Africa–almost perfectly timed.

After one more dip into a different album (the black album) for “California Snow,” they ended with two more from the debut.  The crowd went nuts for “Say It Ain’t So” and even more nuts for “Buddy Holly.”

Rivers seemed to have a lot of fun with us–even if he didn’t smile very much (how can you tell behind that mustache?).  I assumed that this would be a kind of nostalgic set of all classic tracks, but they played six songs that I hadn’t seen them play before.  There were plenty of big hits mixed in as well, and it pushed everyone’s happy buttons.

Although both of my kids said it was their least favorite set.

Hella Mega, August 20, 2020
Jump [Van Halen taped intro]
Hero √
Hash Pipe
All the Good Ones √
Beverly Hills
The End of the Game √
My Name Is Jonas
Pork and Beans
Feels Like Summer Φ
All My Favorite Songs ⊕
Undone – The Sweater Song
Surf Wax America Bϖ
El Scorcho ρ
Island in the Sun
Africa (Toto cover)
California Snow Blϖ
Say It Ain’t So
Buddy Holly


PNC Bank Center, July 20, 2018 Sands Bethlehem, December 3, 2016
Buddy Holly California Kids [white]
Beverly Hills  Hash Pipe
Pork and Beans My Name is Jonas
Undone – The Sweater Song (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To [rad]
(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To [rad] Pork and Beans
Perfect Situation Wind In Our Sail (Live Debut) [white]
My Name is Jonas Jacked Up [white]
El Scorcho ρ Perfect Situation
In the Garage Bϖ Thank God for Girls [white]
Why Bother? ρ Beverly Hills
Happy Together with a snippet of Green Day’s Longview Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori (Live debut) [white]
Keep Fishin’ (Brian Bell sings lead) ≅ Undone – The Sweater Song
Island in the Sun (Rivers solo) Island in the Sun (with Rivers’ acoustic solo version of Kiss’ “Beth”)
Take on Me (Rivers solo) King of the World [white] / Only in Dreams Bϖ [white]
Burndt Jamb ≅ Say It Ain’t So
Hash Pipe encore
Feels Like Summer [pd] Φ El Scorcho (Rivers solo on piano for first verse) ρ
Africa Buddy Holly
The Good Life ρ
Say It Ain’t So
Paranoid (Black Sabbath, partial)

Songs from:

Weezer 1994
Pinkerton 1996
Weezer 2001
Maladroit 2002
Make Believe 2005
Weezer 2008
[rad]= Raditude 2009
[white] = Weezer 2016
[pd] = Pacific Daydream 2017

Bϖ = Weezer (blue album) (1994)
ρ = Pinkerton (1995)
Gϖ = Weezer (green album) (2001)
≅ = Maladroit (2002)
⊗ = Make Believe (2005)
Rϖ = Weezer (red album) (2008)
[rad]= Raditude 2009
[white] = Weezer 2016
Φ = Pacific Daydream (2017)
Tϖ = Weezer (teal album) (2019)
Blϖ = Weezer (black album) (2019)
⊕ = OK Human (2021)
√=Van Weezer (2021)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] The Interrupters: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

I bought tickets for this show in September of 2019.  I knew it would be a ton of fun for the whole family.  And I was right!

All four of us loved the show (even if we got poured on mid set).

We arrived plenty early, but didn’t realize the super long line was the merch line.  So we were a little late to get on line.  But since there were four of us, we could take turns and the hour (!) wait didn’t seem all that bad.  Especially since we snagged some Federal Donuts (yum) mid-wait.

The only downside to the wait (I mean, it kept us out of the sun), was that we missed the first two songs by The Interrupters.  Well, actually we could hear them just fine, we just couldn’t see them.

We headed down to our seats during the fourth song and really only paid attention to them when they started the song after that.  Which happened to be their cover of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” which was a ton of fun. (more…)

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: BORIS with MERZBOW-Gensho (Disc One: Boris) (2016).

In 2016, Boris teamed with Merzbow to create Gensho, a 2 CD package that was designed to have both CDs played at the same time.  Not the easiest thing for many people, but with the advent of digital recordings it’s now pretty easy to play both discs at the same time (this release is on Spotify).

Disc 1 was all Boris.  Disc 2 was all Merzbow.

When you play them together, you get the drumless Boris with all of the glitching electronica of Merzbow sprinkled around it.  The songs are set up in a very clever way with one of Merzbow’s songs being exactly equal to two or three of the Boris songs.

I played the CD of Boris and the stream of Merzbow on Spotify.  It was cool to be able to raise and lower the volunme of one to change the intensity of Merzbow’s glitches.

Merzbow’s “Planet of the Cows” plays over the first two Boris songs “Farewell” and “Huge.”  Farewell’s quiet drone tacks on Merzbow’s squeals and glitches which fill in the gaps quite nicely.  When “Farewell” ends, the Merzbow continues until the loud gongs heavy chords of “Huge” ring out.  The Merzbow chaos sounds almost like a solo over the slow low heavy drone chords.  Atsuo’s low growling even complements the spare noises.  Both parts ends with squealing feedbacking sounds–analog from Boris and digital from Merzbow.

Merzbow’s “Goloka Pt. 1” plays over three Boris songs “Resonance” “Rainbow” and “Sometimes” (the My Bloody Valentine cover).  “Resonance” is mostly percussion–kind of randomly hit in a slow rhythm.  Merzbow’s noises sound like static in a distance echoing signal from outer space.  “Rainbow” is a piece I don’t know.  This version features Boris playing some quiet guitar and a grooving bass with Wata singing vocals. Merzbow’s electronics sounds restrained here, adding louder noises when the vocals back out  This song has some tasty soloing from Wata with the electronics almost keeping pace.  It segues into “Sometimes,” with its loud thumping echoes and eventual wall of noise.  The vocals are pretty well buried but you can hear the melody of the MBV song.

“Goloka Pt.. 2” plays over “Heavy Rain” and “Akuma No Uta.” “Heavy Rain” starts out with noisy stabs of sound–it’s actually hard to tell who is making what, but then things mellow out as Wata sings.  The guitars drone loudly and the vocals mix in with the electronics.  It ends with the noisy guitar buzzing from Boris while the noises from Merzbow continue between songs–sounds of noise and electronic bleeps.  “Akuma No Uta” starts slowly with washes of guitar build up. The glitching Merzbow adds keeps it from being purely a drone.  The drone gets louder and louder and I like the way Merzbow’s glitches seem to back off as the man riff enters the song.  As it nears the end, glitching sounds to me like a menacing voice coming through the static and heavy riffage.

The final song is Merzbow’ “Prelude to a Broken Arm” which plays over “Akirame Flower” and “Vomitself.”  It starts out with watery sounds before the big chords and vocals kick in.  Merzbow’s noise is like a screaming train underneath the slow crooning.   The main riff from Wata has some electronic percussive sounds tacked onto it.  As the final chord rings out the song segues into the musch noisier “Vomitself.”   It introduces a huge wave of low chords as Merzbow’s noise amps up to correspond with a lot of low growling percussive sounds. As the song rumbles to an end the squealing intensifies like feedback added on top of the roar with the last notes sounding like a person raging.

It’s interesting how I don’t really like the Merzbow tracks, but how they add interesting textures to the Boris songs.

[READ: February 19, 2021] Caliente

Matu Santamaria is an Argentinian illustrator and his work is really stunning.

This book has a big warning: 18+ but it’s not fully explicit.  There are drawing of naked women and sex acts, but there’s only a few things that are NSFW.

Santamaria’s work is full of clean lines and and dramatic colors.  I really enjoy looking at it, regardless of the content.

This book contains a lot of his most recent work.  It seems to be split between positive messages about sexuality, body positivity and appreciation for frontline workers during the Coronavirus.  There’s also some celebrity pictures as well.

After some definitions of the word caliente, the book opens with series of pictures of women exploring the sexuality with each other.  Interracial women kissing and a woman taking her top off with the comment–“and without realizing it, it’s poetry.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

: BILLIE EILISH-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #71 (August 26, 2020).

There’s so much to say about this Billie Eilish concert.

The biggest artist in the world has just done a Tiny Desk Concert!

Somehow it looks like she’s in the Tiny Desk studio!

Why does she only play two songs?

My daughter and I were supposed to see her back in March and she cancelled her tour about three nights before our show was supposed to happen.  What a bummer!  Especially because who knew if people would even want to see her again in a year (I’m pretty sure they will).  And would her stage show and song style change over that year?

The answer to that seems to be a dramatic yes.  Especially if these two songs are anything to go by.

For these two songs Billie embraces her torch song inner child.  She has a really lovely voice–delicate and emotional.

These songs are personal and lovely–there’s no “Duhs,” there’s no snark.  Compared to what I expected, they were kind of dull, actually.  Very pretty, but kind of dull.

These are the two new singles.  For “my future” Billie plays keyboards and her “real brother” Finneas plays guitar and sings some backing vocals.

On “everything i wanted” they switch places, with Finneas playing the pretty piano melody and providing a lot of nice backing vocals.

These two songs seem like they would go very nicely in the middle of a set of bangers for a few moments of cool down.  I hope when her show is rescheduled that she still brings all the excitement I;d heard her shows typically have.

As for the background…at first I thought it was just a cute idea.  But after six months, it was really comforting to have musicians look like they were playing the actual Tiny Desk.

[READ: August 28, 2020] Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball

This is the book that started my resurgence into reading Wimpy Kid books. I bought this one for my daughter.  This story had me laughing out loud once again.

This book has a lot to do with the Heffley’s house.  I don’t know if middle school kids can appreciate jokes about household maintenance, but as an adult I sure can.

The book opens with Greg’s mom wanting to do some cleaning up.  That means going through the closet in Greg’s room.  He tells us that he basically just throws things into it, so it’s like an archaeological dig.

He starts sifting through things and finds old toys and things to feel sentimental about which is pretty funny.  But with all this junk, he decided that rather than throw it out, he should make some money off of it and have a garage sale.  Cue: Family Frolic magazine and their “great” ideas for a garage sale.  [I love when he makes fun of this magazine].

Greg has labelled his tables in creative ways: “Great gifts for your grandkids”(stuff from his grandparents that he doesn’t want).  “Pre-written birthday cards” (with his name white-outed). Mystery socks (which is just a pile of junk for 50 cents) and Rare Items (like an invisibility lotion and a freckle remover (an eraser or soap I guess)). (more…)

Read Full Post »

[POSTPONED: CANCELLED March 16, 2020] Billie Eilish / Denzel Curry

indexUPDATE: On December 3, this show was officially cancelled.  What a bummer.  I hope her future tour is as good as this one was supposed to be.

March was going to be a very busy concert month for me.  This was to be the third of four shows in five nights.  This show was going to be for me and my daughter–her opportunity  to see the biggest pop star in the world–Billie Eilish.

I actually managed to get us decent seats and I was pretty excited to see what this show would be like as well.

I have to assume that this show will get rescheduled.  It’s one of the few shows I go to where I actually have a seat and not just GA, so when it gets rescheduled I assume they’ll give us the same seats?  I also hope it’s not on a school night.

Opening for this show was a rapper named Denzel Curry who I don’t know.  I don’t really have an opinion about whether he opens next time or not.

This turned out to be the third of dozens of shows cancelled or postponed by the coronavirus.

Obviously, my main concern is for everyone’s safety, including the bands!

My selfish concern though is that once the shows are rescheduled that all of these shows will be scheduled on the same day!

Let’s hope the rescheduled dates also do some social distancing.


Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: BILLIE EILISH-“Bury a Friend” (2019).

A lot of the music I listen to is weird and probably creepy to other people, but I don’t necessarily think of songs as appropriate for Halloween or not.  So for this year’s Ghost Box stories, I consulted an “expert”: The Esquire list of Halloween songs you’ll play all year long.  The list has 45 songs–most of which I do not like.  So I picked 11 of them to post about.

There’s a ton of reasons why Billie is an unlikely pop sensation.  I won’t bother going through the myriad reasons, I’ll just talk about the music of this song–a suitably creepy song to kick off a series of Spooky Stories.

The song starts with a muted, almost musical drumbeat and clicks.  Then Billie’s processed voice sings with what I assumed is a slowed down version of her voice singing parallel with her.

After a muttered “come here,” and a screech, the verse starts.  It’s no less creepy and possibly more hypnotic.  It leads to a bridge in which at the end of each features a voice that cries quietly (and then reverses n the next line).

The repeated refrain of “I wanna end me” is probably the least creepy section of the song.

There’s one more part, a quickly spoken line ending with three thumps that lead to the next line.

Then it all repeats.

There’s no prettiness, no poppiness. It’s like a slightly more dancey version of Portishead.  It’s pretty darn cool.

I have no idea why it/she is so popular.  But good for her.

And the video is really freaking creepy too.

[READ: October 17, 2019] “The Foghorn”

Just in time for Halloween, from the people who brought me The Short Story Advent Calendar and The Ghost Box. and Ghost Box II. comes Ghost Box III.

This is once again a nifty little box (with a magnetic opening and a ribbon) which contains 11 stories for Halloween.  It is lovingly described thusly:

Oh god, it’s right behind me, isn’t it? There’s no use trying to run from Ghost Box III, the terrifying conclusion to our series of limited-edition horror box sets edited and introduced by Patton Oswalt.

There is no explicit “order” to these books; however, I’m going to read in the order they were stacked.

Gertrude Atherton had a story in the previous Ghost Box.  I was pretty impressed by it.

This story is also pretty twisted–fans of the macabre should really check her out.


Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: ADIA VICTORIA-NonCOMM 2019 Free at Noon (May 15, 2019).

I saw Adia Victoria do a Tiny Desk Concert back in 2016.  I liked her and thought it would be interesting to hear her when she wasn’t holding back for a Tiny Desk.  And here she is rocking out.

Her music is a little hard to pin down, she describes it as blues, but there’s a lot more going on:

her songs were structured like mainstream R&B hits, but in her most memorable moments Victoria turned away from the traditional styles of blues and soul, and turned instead toward something more macabre–like the moody trip-pop of Billie Eilish.

This sound is the direction she went in on her new album.

The set began with “The Needle’s Eye” as a pulsing synth morphed into a danceable rhythm (electric and acoustic drums).  Victoria sang in a breathy voice.  After the chorus, two saxophones provided a noisy distorted solo.  She sang “I’ve been a fool, I’ve been afraid, I’ve been asleep, but now I’m awake.”

She introduced herself “My name is Adia Victoria. This is my band. We done come all the way up from Nashville to play my blues for you.” Then, after a beat, “Lucky you.”

Her introduction for “Different Kind of Love” was brief and mirthless. “It’s about getting dumped,” she shrugged, without even a moment of heartache over the one who dumped her.

This song continues in that dark vein with rumbling drums providing most of the “melody” along with more sax.

Up next was “Bring Her Back,” which she called “a song for my ancestors.” This song used an organ to change the tone.

Victoria played “Heathen” at the Tiny Desk on an acoustic guitar.  I thought it would be better louder.  And it was.  Especially knowing its origins:

As she introduced her final song, “Heathen,” Victoria mentioned some of the frustration she experienced as a young woman with dreams of becoming a professional performer. “My little voice would break and my knees would shake, but I had this song and I made no mistakes,” she rhymed. Victoria explained that she wrote the song “after I realized that there were two sets of rules — one for men, and one for women. When it came time to gettin’ your freak on, I was very naïve. So I wrote this song. It’s a nice little ‘screw you’ to the patriarchy. We play it tonight for every single woman in Alabama right now who’s got these men trying to make moves on their body. We say, ‘That’s bullshit.’” Victoria had aimed her criticism at Alabama’s state legislature, which recently passed a highly restrictive anti-abortion bill…. “This song is called ‘Heathen’ and it’s about giving no fucks,” she declared before counting it off.

The song was much darker and more raw than the Tiny Desk version. It also felt a lot more bluesy than her newer songs (with a lot of sax blowing around the simple chord pattern).

She finished with a gritty chorus of improvised scatting; each syllable landed somewhere between a laugh and a snarl. Afterward, she addressed the Philadelphia crowd resolutely once more and gave a single deep bow. “Thank you, goodnight.”

Adia Victoria is an intriguing performer for sure and I’m curious how her sound will expand in the future.

[READ: May 20, 2019] “Taking Pictures”

Two days ago I posted a story about someone stealing pictures.  Now here’s the title “Taking Pictures.”  They are not related in any other way.

This story is about a woman who has just gotten engaged.  And her relationship with Sarah at work–the bitch.

Sarah is

a washed-out sort of strawberry blonde with fine bones and small features.  She is fading to white.  She is constantly insulted by men.

Sarah at work also has a personality problem

Which is to say her problem is that she does not like other people’s personalities.

The narrator is surprised that Sarah is seeing someone.  Sarah says he won’t “do Saturdays.”  Maybe he’s a bisexual. (more…)

Read Full Post »