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Archive for the ‘Quarantine’ Category

[POSTPONED: September 18, 2021] Sinéad O’Connor [rescheduled from April 5, 2020 moved to May 13, 2022]

indexI had heard a while back that Sinéad was postponing this whole tour for non-COVID reasons (or maybe they are, they were just listed as health reasons).  But there was no official word from the venue until April 14th.

City Winery must reschedule the Sinead O’Connor show originally scheduled for 4/4/2020 & 9/18/2021  The new date is 5/13/2022 (Next Year).

Which is fine.  I can wait.

I have seen Sinéad O’Connor four times. although the last time was in 1998.

I assumed I’d never see her again for a whole host of reasons.

I was pretty stunned to see that she announced a U.S. tour.  She was playing at City Winery in Philadelphia.  I have never been there.  Then I saw how much the tickets were!

I loved her voice back in the 90s, but since then she has gone all over the place (literally).  I wasn’t sure she even sounded any good anymore, so I balked at the price and opted not to get tickets.

I have since heard that her show was really good.  I’m not sure how upset I am about missing this, but maybe if she reschedules it will be at a larger (cheaper) venue.

sine

 

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[CANCELLED: September 1, 2021] Alanis Morissette / Garbage / Liz Phair Cat Power [rescheduled from July 1, 2020]

UPDATE: This show was actually cancelled because of the outrageous storm that was the remnants of Hurricane Ida.  Fortunately, they cancelled it long before anyone would have been heading there (I assume), because this rain storm was one of the worst I can remember–insane flooding and even tornados.

It will not be rescheduled because of previous commitments, so that stinks.

~~~

This show had been postponed once and since then, Liz Phair has been replaced by Cat Power, which seems like a VERY different dynamic to me.

I have two shows coming up this weekend, and it seemed like real folly to go out to a show on a Wednesday night as well.   But as I said, I did want to see Garbage again.  But now with the promise of serious rain and probably thunderstorms, it just seems silly to go out at all.

This was a show I wasn’t sure about.

I have seen Alanis Morissette a few times live way back in the 90s when she toured with Tori Amos.  I was there for Tori and I don’t really remember much about Alanis (which is sad, I know).

On this tour, I was more interested in seeing Garbage again (they put on a heck of a show) and for checking out Liz Phair who I once liked and now kinda don’t but who I’m curious about what she’s like live.

This was definitely a show I was going to get lawn seats and try to upgrade.

Concerts are now being postponed earlier.

On May 9, Alanis sent out this message

“Hi everyone.  My North American tour scheduled to begin in a few weeks is being rescheduled to Summer 2021 out of an abundance of caution. Please hold on to your tickets as they will be honored for the new dates which we hope to announce very soon.

So much going on inside and outside take care of yourselves and each other.  Thank you for understanding.  Can’t wait to see you when it is safe for us all to gather.  Hand on all hearts til then.”

Garbage wrote this message:

So the @Alanis tour that @garbage and @lizphairofficial were supposed to be tagging along on this summer got postponed yesterday. We are totally gutted and apologise for any heartache caused. We assure you that we have every intention of fulfilling our obligations to Alanis and to any garbage fans who bought tickets in support of us. We appreciate you so. Please head on over to the @Alanis socials in the days ahead for further info. Please note this is not our tour so we have no answers whatsoever about what happens next.
Looking forward to the days when we all get to hangout and play for you.

No official word from Liz Phair that I have seen.

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[POSTPONED: August 27, 2021] Deftones / Gojira  [rescheduled from August 22, 2020 moved to May 18, 2022]

indexI was pretty excited to see this show this summer. It turned out, however, that the show was the night that we returned home from vacation.  Ie, it would have been a pretty exhausting day.  So, the fact that Deftones decided to postponed until May was fine with me.

I’m bummed that Poppy is no longer part of the tour because I’d really like to see her.  But she is now headlining her own tour–which I don’t really want to see.  I’m not sure a full show of hers would be that much fun.  But hey, maybe she’ll be back on board

~~~

 

I saw Deftones at a lousy location (Sands Bethlehem hall), but it was one of my favorite shows that year.  The crowd was pushy and shovey, but Chino came within five feet of me and the energy was amazing.

Plus at the end of the show, when a roadie threw out a drumstick, I actually got it.

I knew I’d want to see them at least one more time, but wow was I surprised to see that they were going to play The Met in Philly, which I think of as a more “delicate” hall.  I’d be slightly afraid for the seats at a Deftones show.

The opening acts were really intriguing as well.

Gojira area French heavy metal band whose 2012 album I loved.  Heavy and very technical I’d imagine they put on a great show.

Poppy is an absolute mystery.  She’s an internet creation whose every song is is a different genre.  Her latest album was really really heavy but with that fake internet sheen on it (in a Babymetal kind of way but less sincere, if that’s possible).  I’ve been intrigued by here since I first heard about her, but I wouldn’t want to see her show if she was headlining.  This seemed like a great way to experience her weirdness.  I hope that she is still on the bill next year and that she is still into metal, otherwise it could be kind of awkward.

I really thought that this show at the end of August might go on but on May 19, they sent this note.

Due to the current regulations, and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we must reschedule our North American summer tour dates with special guests, Gojira and Poppy. We’re currently rescheduling the dates for 2021, and you’ll be the first to know once they are confirmed. All tickets will be honored or refunded upon our next announcement regarding the tour.

I’m glad they are promising to come back  And by then, their new album (due in September) will be familiar to all of us.

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[ATTENDED: August 22, 2021] Wilco / Sleater-Kinney / NNAMDÏ [rescheduled from August 23, 2020]

NNAMDÏ is Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, an American multi-instrumentalist born in California to Nigerian immigrants now based in Chicago.

I had not heard of him, but I was really intrigued to see what his set would be like.  I can honestly say it was nothing like I expected.

Earlier in the tour NNAMDÏ fell off a scooter or skateboard and broke his wrist.  He missed a few dates and then was back on the tour.  NNAMDÏ plays guitar but he had to get a replacement for the tour.  He told us the replacement learned all of his parts in like a day.  And the parts were all over the place.  Because NNAMDÏ’s music is about as unclassifiable as Thundercat’s.

I felt like he was digging into prog-rock territory and yet I guess it would be more accurately labelled as jazz with rapid time changes, incredibly fast parts and wicked jamming.   And yet the roots of most of his songs were a kind of pop/R&B vibe. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: August 19, 2021] David Gray [rescheduled from to August 20, 2020; moved to October 18, 2022]

My August was filling up pretty quickly so I assumed I wouldn’t be going to this show anyhow, but now that it’s in 2022.  Maybe…?

~~~

indexDavid Gray is pretty uncool–definitely “old person” music.  However, White Ladder is a pretty solid album.  When he announced this show, I asked S. is she might want to go.  We both had the same reaction.  Maybe… if it’s convenient.  Well, the Mann Center is anything but convenient, so there’s no way we were going.

I really shouldn’t even post it here, but since I’m including anything I even considered going to, here it is.

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[CANCELLED: August 17, 2021] The Decemberists: 20 Years Before the Mast [rescheduled from August 18, 2020]

indexOn March 17, The Decemberists officially cancelled this tour.  I had SUCH GOOD SEATS FOR THIS SHOW!!!!  If They are cancelling a show in August, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the summer.

* Tour Update * We were really hoping against hope to be able to bring this 20th/21st anniversary show on the road this summer. And while there’s every reason to be optimistic about the state of the pandemic and the possibility of live shows in the future, we don’t think it’s going to happen in July and August of this year. There’s so much uncertainty about playing these shows safely, especially the indoor ones, that we thought the best decision is to cancel. Yeah, we’re bummed. Refunds are available now at point of purchase. We plan on touring next summer; whether that will be in the vein of a similar tour or something new altogether, it’s too soon to say. We promise to be out there again, seeing all your shining, singing faces — covered or uncovered. In the meantime, we’re putting together a different kind of anniversary celebration, and we’ll be in touch on that soon. Yours, The Decemberists

I’ve been a fan of The Decemberists for years and I am surprised by how few times I’ve seen them.  We were supposed to see them two years ago and then Colin Meloy’s voice went out just in time for our show, so that was cancelled.

I was surprised that this tour didn’t include a stop in Red Bank, but a show at the Met in Philly is almost as good.

I was really really hoping that this show wouldn’t be postponed–it seemed like a milestone date somehow.  Plus, I had AMAZING seats.  Fortunately, the show was postponed to exactly a year minus a day away (as many shows tend to be) and my amazing seats are still good.

Here’s their official word on the postponement from May 27:

Adored Mailing List Recipients,

As you might remember from previous emails, there was some discussion over whether or not 2020 was *in fact* the 20th Anniversary of The Decemberists. Did the band start out in 2000? Or was 2001 our proper debut? There are recollections of Decemberists shows happening in 2000 in some form, and yet our first website and logo proclaimed us “Est. 2001” — for reasons lost to time. Well, we’re happy to report that that controversy is settled once and for all, and it only took a global pandemic to do so.

And so: Twenty Years Before the Mast, The Decemberists’ 20th Anniversary Tour will be coming to your town in the summer of 2021, not this summer.

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[POSTPONED: July 30, 2021] Built to Spill [rescheduled from July 31, 2020; moved to May 13, 2022]

indexI’m not entirely sure if this show was even scheduled.  It seemed to show up on their website and then was taken down.

Whatever the case, they are officially on the calendar for 2022, and I’m really looking forward to seeing this new line up.

~~~~

I’ve seen Built to Spill a bunch of times. The last time I promised myself I wouldn’t get too close to the stage, but I did.  The problem with being so close is the way Doug Martsch has his guitar set up.  His amp is right next to him and it is so loud.  From where I was you could barely hear anything else.  Of course I’m there to watch Doug play, so it’s not too bad.  But I promised myself I would stand back to fully appreciate his band.

On this newly announced tour, his whole band was going to be different.  In fact, I have seen at least three different lineups for the band over the years.  This tour was going to feature drummer Teresa Esguerra of Prism Bitch (who opened for Built To Spill last time) and bassist Melanie Radford of Marshall Poole.  I knew it would be a very different show.

Unfortunately, I had tickets to Kraftwerk on July 30 and tickets for The national on July 31 (not to mention we were supposed to leave for the Newport Folk Festival on the night of the 31st as well).  So I sure hope he keeps this line up when he;s ready to play again.  And I will stand back and take it all in.

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[NOT ATTENDED: July 29, 2021] Bright Eyes / Lucy Dacus [rescheduled from June 16, 2020; couldn’t attend, vacation]

indexThis is one of the first shows that actually went on as (re)scheduled.

It also happened to be the week that we took a vacation.  Oh well,

~~~~

I’ve never been much of a fan of Conor Oberst.  Although after seeing him in Better Oblivion Community Center, I gained a new respect for him and foudn I actually liked him.

I don’t know a lot about Bright Eyes (except that the songs sound strangely like The Replacements to me).  I wasn’t planning on going to this show (even though Steelstacks is a cool venue).

However, I kept getting notifications that Lucy Dacus was playing at Steelstacks.  I have seen Lucy a couple of times and would be more than happy to see her again.  When I got the notification, I assumed it meant she would be playing inside in one of the smaller venues (which would be outstanding).  I didn’t realize it was because she was opening for Bright Eyes.

This show was in fact postponed until next July–over a year away.  I have no idea what my calendar will be like then, but I think maybe by next July, I could be ready for Conor and Lucy again.

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SOUNDTRACK: BLEACHERS-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #235 (July 12, 2021).

People love Jack Antonoff and Bleachers.  I feel like I’m supposed to be blown away by him, but I’m not.  In fact I thought that I had seen him live, but it was actually Porches (not the same thing but sort of similar).

Both as producer extraordinaire and artist in his own right, Jack Antonoff has had an outsized impact on the past decade in pop. And yet, even with such maximalist aims, Antonoff clearly understands the effectiveness of scale: that the most enduring tracks are often intimate portraits.

Surrounded by greenery, the footage is interspersed with close-up angles filtered through an old-school finish (scan the wide shot and you’ll spy a video camera perched on the piano, plus one very tiny desk, too).

They play three songs.

The set opens with “91,” the album’s ambitious opening cut.

The songs opens with the two saxophone players standing really close to each other (where’s the social distancing guys?).  This song is a kind of story song with a lot of words.  The whole presentation reminds me a lot of Tom Waits (no bad thing) or Bruce Springsteen (which I guess makes more sense since Bruce sang on a song of his).

It’s followed by a bombastic revision of “Stop Making This Hurt,” which gets a slick saxophone rewrite courtesy of Zem Audu and Evan Smith.

“Stop Making This Hurt” opens in an interesting way with staccato sax from (l-r) Zem Audu and Evan Smith while Antonoff stabs some piano notes.  I suppose I would like this more if it didn’t sound exactly as it does.  Piano and sax are really just not my thing and that’s pretty much all these songs have.  Mikey Freedom Hart adds keys, but it’s mostly bass notes adding depth to the song.

Springsteen sings on the studio version of “Chinatown.”  Interestingly I felt like this version sounded more like Meatloaf than anything else.  Musically I enjoyed this song and Antonoff seems like a nice guy, but I’ll not be seeing Bleachers anytime soon.

[READ: July 15, 2021] “Old Faithful”

This essays opens with David finding a lump on his tailbone–never a happy discovery.  It was a cyst or a boil–“one of those words you associate with trolls.”

Just sitting hurt him–and forget about laying down.  He threatened that boil–“I’m going to go to a doctor if you don’t go away.”  It didn’t listen.

He says he didn’t go to the doctor because it would have been very expensive in London (really?  Don’t they have NHS?).  But mostly he was afraid of hearing that he had “lower-back cancer” and they’d have to “remove his entire bottom.”

He suffered with the pain believing he was setting a good example for Hugh who tends to moan and complain–a splinter gets into his hand and he claims to know how Jesus Christ felt. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: JAMBINAI-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #234 (July 09, 2021).

Why oh why oh why do all the best Tiny Desk Concerts have to be so short?

This show is AMAZING and it’s only 12 minutes long.  Meanwhile, some other bands have dragged theirs out for almost twice as long.  Alas.

I was introduced to JAMBINAI (like many others I’m sure) at the 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea.  Their set was spectacular and it blew me away.  In reality, the band is much smaller than that spectacle produced, but their sound is still huge and intense.

I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “fierce” to describe a Tiny Desk, but that’s precisely what JAMBINAI has created in this (home) concert. The show begins in front of a massive recreation of my desk and what happens next … well, no spoilers here. Filmed in an immersive media art museum created by an organization known as d’strict on Jeju Island, this Korean band contains multitudes.

JAMBINAI plays traditional Korean instruments, but adds rock guitars and bass.

At its heart, JAMBINAI’s music mixes elements of metal, noise and Korean tradition. There’s full-on distorted guitar, bass and drums, but also a haegeum (a fiddle-like instrument), a piri (a type of flute), a taepyeongso (a reed instrument) and a most appropriately named instrument, a geomungo (a giant Korean zither). We also hear some delicate vocals in the mix.

The two pieces performed here include 2015’s “Time of Extinction” and the more recent and epic “ONDA.”

“Time Of Extinction” is the song they played at the Olympic and while it’s only three minutes long it feels epic and really encompasses their sound.  It opens with a plucked geomungo creating the simple riff.  After 20 second Ilwoo Lee plays a feedbacking guitar note and then Jaehyuk Choi comes crashing in on the drums.  At the same time, the visuals blow your mind.

The basis of the song is Eunyong Sim’ geomungo rhythm and Bomi Kim’s keening haegeum solo.  The guitars add a terrific tension to the basic melody.  In the middle of the song when it’s just drum and Byeongkoo Yu’s bass playing, the thumping is broken by the fully distorted guitar You don’t expect Ilwoo Lee to bust out a taepyeongso and play a traditional and rather discordant horn solo on top.  Just when it seems the song is about to launch to a new direction it’s over.  Just like that.

There is something so unearthly about the geomungo–it’s percussive and stringed and you can feel it rumble and thump ta the same time

“ONDA” is 8 minutes long and opens with Ilwoo Lee playing a saenghwang an amazing looking wind instrument that I cant quite fathom.  He plays a terrific sounding melody with it –almost patronal. Except for the low electronic chords underneath it

Then comes the rumble–the thundering drums and bass and a fast repetition from the geomungo.

Then Bomi Kim sings a gentle, calming echoing vocal line that sound magical under the rumble. After a verse of so Ilwoo Lee joins in on harmony vocals and they sound terrific together.

The song builds in intensity, as lwoo Lee adds the guitar, then it pulls back as Lee plays a piri solo that becomes a call and response with the haegeum.

There’s a wild jamming solo section that grows super intense.  The way it builds to a climax and is followed by huge crashing chords (and great visuals) is monumental.  Everyone joins in singing for the last minute as the melody soars and soars.

Maybe 12 minutes is all we can handle.

[READ: July 1, 2021] The Whispering Wars

This book is related to The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone in that it is set in the same land (The Land of Kingdoms and Empires).  But it is set some thirty years before the adventures of that book.  Through some magic (this is a magical land), we do see Bronte briefly. but if she ever starts to give way anything about the future, she is instantly sent back to where she came from.

In the first book we are aware of the Whispering Wars as being a big event in the past.  This book explains how they started.

This book is told by two (sometimes three) alternating narrators.  There is Finlay, who lives at the orphanage and Honey Bee who lives at the fancy Brathelthwaite school.

How they wind up alternating chapters isn’t explained until much later, which I rather enjoyed (both the delay and the explanation).

As the book opens, Finlay explains that it is time for the annual Spindrift (the town where they live) tournament.  The kids at the orphanage looks forward to this event because they can show up the rich kids.  Finlay is a super fast runner, as is his friend Glim.  The twins Eli and Taya aren’t super fast but they are very strong and good with their hands (and can multitask like nobody’s business).  There’s also Jaskafar, a tiny boy who sleeps on top of the wardrobe–his storyline is very funny until he is the first Orphan to be taken. (more…)

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