(not so) Recent Concerts

Since my last update, I’ve been to two shows at the Middle East in Boston. I’ve been sitting on this post for weeks and weeks now, and in the interest of getting things off my plate, I’m posting it as-is without any images.

The first show took place downstairs and featured Freezepop, with The Information [myspace], The Main Drag[myspace] and Michael Hensley. The Main Drag’s performance was so much better then I had expected from such an early act. Their cover of LCD Sound System’s All My Friends is to die for. The Information is another great northeastern rock band that I really enjoyed. I’ve picked up “8 Track”, but I’d really like to get their other album as well. Freezepop played for an hour and a half and put on a great show. Their stage presence perfectly balances being larger-then-life rockstars and down-to-earth scenesters, and it feels like they show is a dialog with the crowd. Icy roads made it so I didn’t get home until 4am.

The second show was upstairs and featured Casiotone For The Painfully Alone [myspace], with Clue to Kalo [myspace], Musee Mecanique and Pants Yell. I went to the show for Casiotone and I wasn’t disappointed by Owen Ashworth’s performance (although he wasn’t set up to perform some of my favorite songs). The other bands weren’t my cup of tea, but the beer was good (Sam Summer and Harpoon Munich Dark on tap) and my friend Karl lives within walking distance of the club, so everything worked out fine.

Pile of Gold video redux

Pile of Gold Music Video Screenshot

Following in the footsteps of yesterdays post, I’m reposting the compilation I made of the videos posted for The Blow‘s Pile of Gold music video (which you can read about here). This time though, I’m posting the (mostly) uncompressed 163MB version. I can’t guarantee that will stay up forever due to the size, but I’ll be monitoring the traffic and I’ll update here if anything changes.

Name:Pile of Gold – Music Videos compiles
Size: 164MB
Download Link: Pile of Gold Music Video

The Blow at The MFA

Khaela Maricich, The Blow at the MFA

Adam and C2 came with me to see The Blow at the MFA in Boston back on October 6th. Although I am pretty biased towards The Blow, I think it was the most entertaining concert that I’ve ever seen. You can read Adam’s account here. For those that haven’t heard of it, The Blow currently has one member, Khaela Maricich who sings and dances to original pop music playing on a laptop.

A band called Saturday Looks Good to Me opened for The Blow and although their rock stood in contrast to Khaela’s pop crooning, I enjoyed them enough to pick up one of their albums after the show and I’d recommend giving them a listen if you’re into light, driven rock. You can download some of their songs from their webpage here, or if you just want a quick listen, check out their myspace page. Listening to their music feels like listening to The Polyphonic Spree and more recent songs by PUSA.

The Blow’s live show has changed quite a bit from when Jenny and I saw them earlier this year. In the earlier show, most of the performance was about putting each song into the context of a particular timeframe of a relationship. The performance this time was about still about relationships (since that’s what a lot of the songs are about), but Khaela also talked about how and why she writes songs, and even made use of some props.

Unfortunately, this was the last show of the last US tour where The Blow would be performing songs written in collaboration with Jona Bechtolt, who wrote the music for all of the songs on the albums Poor Aim: Love Songs and Paper Television. Jona left the band in oder to focus on his other band, Y.A.C.H.T. If that knowledge didn’t make everyone in attendance feel special enough, we were also made aware that Khaela’s mom was in the audience.

With the songs written with Jona not being performed anymore, I’m not sure how long I’ll have to go until I can get my next live The Blow fix, or even what it will sound like, but I really can’t wait to here what Khaela comes up with next.

Khaela Maricich, The Blow at the MFA

Both photos used in this post were taken by Steve McFarland (also check out his Flickr) during the show at the MFA and were released under a creative commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

The Blow, Khaela Maricich, MFA, Museum of Fine Arts, Concert, Music

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Mason Jennings and Jennifer O’Connor at Pearl Street

Mason Jennings Friday night I drove down to Northampton, MA to see Mason Jennings play at the Pearl Street Night Club. I hadn’t seen Mason perform since the summer of 2002 as best as I can recall, and to be honest I hadn’t been keeping up with his new releases. When I saw him then it was him with his guitar and a mic, and some sort of bass acomponyment (I’m tempted to say it was a cello). Apparently these days he tours with a keyboard player, a drummer and a bass player. I don’t want to say it was bad. It wasn’t. It was very good, it just wasn’t lone folk hero that I started listening to 5 years ago and not what I was expecting to see. I found myself questioning several times, “Who does this guy think he is, John Mayer?”

Jennifer O'Connor The opening act, Jennifer O’Connor, was fab-u-lous. She has a clean, folk rock sound that I found refreshing. Her performance was right on. The harder rocking songs rocked my socks and the ballads moved me. My only criticism would be that she doesn’t act like the rockstar she is between songs. Maybe it’s a folk artist thing that they’re meek and quiet between songs. I bought one of her albums, Over the Mountain, Across the Valley and Back to the Stars and got it signed. I would have bought both the albums she had that night if I had the cash on me… A couple $4.50 bottles of Magic Hat puts an extreme dent into one’s merch money. Anyway, I got home after midnight and had to listen to the entire album before going to sleep.

Overall, I give Jennifer O’Conner a 4.5 out of 5 and Mason Jennings a 2.75 out of 5. I’m sure he worried about ostracizing his fan base when he added the rest of the band. I’m just one of those fans who was a little ostracized, albeit belated, since I hadn’t picked up any of his new stuff in quite some time.