A two hour eclectic mix mixtape of new treasures.
As always the band were so tight, it feels like these guys grew up playing together. The fact that Max & I had been hooked up with front row seats didn't hurt the vibe either.
What's weird though, was In all the years I've been going to shows (which are too many) this was without question the widest spectrum of ages I've ever seen at a gig. Being 15, Max was definitely among the youngest, but there were lots of college kids too. The real shock was at the other end of the age scale - I swear I saw several couples way into their late 50's and 60’s, & maybe even a 70 year old or two. I totally knew the band was finding an audience in their 30’s & 40’s, due to sonic similarities of music that was huge in the 1980’s - Springsteen, Tom Petty, Dire Straits etc. However, I think original Bob Dylan fans from the 60’s & 70’s have found a new artist to embrace. Of course these older people were not at the recent Governors Ball or the North Side Festival shows, but I’m guessing someone smart figured out that Radio City is a comfortable & respectable enough venue to draw a generation who no longer goes to festivals and clubs.
Possibly the highlight of the show for me, other than simply geeking-out watching their incredible drummer Charlie Hall, was the live version of “Burning.” It was like a live remix that had a super funky, dirty, analog pulse running through it.
I was somewhat apprehensive about finally seeing Low live. I’ve been a fan of their music since their “breakthrough” album The Great Destroyer in 2004, and I was concerned that either the crowd would be talking & annoying the band (and me) or that I’d be bored, as they are not exactly visual or a high energy/dance-around type act. However the crowd was super respectful & as Sam & I walked in we got two seats right at the front of the mezzanine, we were blown away.
It’s really hard to describe how moving the show was. On the one hand, the delicateness of music & the beauty of both Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s voices actually made me cry, while the power of the distorted guitars were way heavier and far more transcendental than 90% of all the current slew of so-called Psych bands.
I’d not done a gallery hoping art-opening run-around in Chelsea for long time, and despite the crap weather & annoying people blocking the art, it was fun. First stop was Josh Liner’s packed opening, for the awesome Geoff Mcfetridge (too packed to photograph any works)
Then on way down to Paula Cooper Gallery for a new video project by my favorite moving-image artist Christian Marclay called Surround Sounds, I stopped into Jonathan LeVine Gallery. I discovered Stephan Doitschinoff back in 2007 or 8, because of a beautiful skull sticker, when he was simply know as CALMA.
I’m not normally attracted to art that has religious themes or overtones, but there’s something about Doitschinoff’s work that I am absolutely in love with. (Beyond the fact that he makes badass skulls) Below are a couple of the works I wish I owned, and a video of him living & working in a tiny village in Brazil.
VIDEO : The Art of Stephan Doitschinoff
The Christian Marclay exhibition is a little odd but very cool. Just a few paintings that look little like the 12" sleeves he designed for his collaborative live recordings made with Vinyl Factory, and a darkened room, where a fourteen minute video loop plays on four walls by what I’m guessing were 8-16 projectors. I sat on the floor and was mesmerized by the thing! Still photos & my words do not do it justice, but basically its every sound written in comic books, cut out, projected & moving. Krakkkk cracks, Rumble rumbles etc. What makes it even stranger is that video for Surround Sounds is completely silent.
Go see it!
I nicked these images from Paula Cooper Gallery's site.
Its been many years since I've stopped saying "It's crazy that I still haven't been to the MET!" I didn't give up saying it because I actually went, it just became a more ridiculous statement as time went on. I can't really explain why someone who loves art as much as I do couldn't get his ass uptown to one of the most famed museums in the world. The more time that passed, the more I would squirm whenever someone mentioned the damn place. I would just nod without response, letting them assume that of course I've been, and became skilled at quick subject changes and distractions.
This week the lie died! My shame and dirty little secret can be aired and put in the past. My sister Brie, visiting from London, took me on her guest pass, and it was quite a treat. Let's not discuss the fact that she lives 3000 miles away and has a pass but I don't.
Below are just a few of the works that moved me, arranged into reverse chronology, of fucking old, to quite old, to not that old.
A 90 minute mixtape of groove-based rock and electronic treasures.
When I got the alert that Spoon were playing at Kings Theater, like a typical fan-boy I got super excited, as they are possibly Max's fave band, and certainly in my top 5.
However, before clicking through the link to "buy tickets," I remembered being stung with my ticket purchases for TVOTR. So this time I thought I'd try and see if I could go the "industry route.” I googled Spoon's booking agent, and it turned out to be an old nightlife friend, Sam Kirby. Having not seen or spoken to her for over ten years, I thought it somewhat cheeky to be writing asking if she could sort my son and I out for tickets, so I didn't really expect a reply.
Within minutes of sending, she'd responded saying that when it's a family deal, she's always happy to help!
I felt like Seinfeld, with his Even Steven theory.
Come the night of the show, Sam greeted us at the door with wristbands to get us into the pit at the front of the stage. By halfway through the totally mesmerizing show, we had moved up to where we now literally had four people between us and the stage.
Spoon are an anomaly. I'm not sure there has ever been another band that's released nine albums over 20 years, and their most recent is their best!
The set included every song that Max & I love, as well as an awesome rendition the The Cramps "TV Set" We even got to hear a new song. (see iPhone shot video below)
After the eight encores Max simply complained that his legs hurt from dancing and he was going to lose his voice from shouting.
For those who find beauty, wonder, and even solace in dark tones.
To listen click HERE