Live Music Fiesta

For some reason after months of not really attending any shows regularly a bunch happened to occur all at once.  Of course, things were kicked off this Saturday past when


, and

and myself all had the extreme pleasure of seeing The Police at Fenway Park.  I was really excited about this show, but in the back of my head there was always this nagging fear that it would be a bunch of old guys who couldn’t quite play anymore pretending they were young again.  Beyond that, I generally avoid arena shows in favor of small clubs.  The odds of me seeing this band at a club are virtually nil, so I decided to make an exception to my rules…

As soon as they took the stage and kicked into Message in a Bottle, however, any fears were put right to bed.  They rocked so hard, it was such a great show, it has instantly jumped into the top 5 shows I have ever witnessed.  Their set list was great (I could have done without “Walking in Your Footsteps”, but you can’t please everyone), and hit just about every song I wanted to hear.  By the encore, I was thinking they were going to skip my favorite song, “Next to You”, but after the main encore they snuck back out on stage and kicked into it as their last song.  When they broke into it I probably jumped 3 feet out of pure excitement and adrenaline.  I actually for a split second considered trying to scalp tickets for Sunday’s show, but realized I’m not made of money.  =)

Last night I went out to Cambridge to see Negativland at the Middle East as part of their It’s All In Your Head FM tour..  It was also a great show, but in a completely different way.  The band was basically doing a live radio show from the stage, and if you’ve ever heard their Over the Edge radio show before, you know it can been a pretty crazy melange of samples, music, noise, and scripted weirdness.  They even handed out blindfolds at the ticket counter to enhance the “Radio Viewing” experience.  It was really enjoyable seeing these guys work, although by the 3rd hour of the show (as it approached midnight) I was getting pretty sleepy…

Tonight I’m returning to the Middle East and meeting up with a bunch of friends to see DJ Z-Trip.  His stuff can be real hit-or-miss for me, but his technical ability is simply astounding, so he at least possesses the chops to knock it out of the park.  I saw him a few years ago when he toured and it was a pretty enjoyable show, so hopefully he’ll pull it off again tonight.

Secret Chiefs 3 (live)

Last night I was finally able to see Secret Chiefs 3 live..  SC3 is a band with a rotating cast of players, but is the brainchild of Mr. Bungle founding member and guitarist Trey Spruance (He also played guitar on the Faith No More album “King for a Day….  Fool for a Lifetime).  Where as other members of Mr. Bungle, such as Mike Patton and Trevor Dunn are fantastically prolific, Trey has been somewhat reclusive, occasionally releasing an SC3 album and often doing limited touring behind it.  Anyway, I’ve long been fascinated by SC3’s records and have been itching to seem the live for some time now.  I was absolutely not disappointed..

Considering how infrequently the band plays out, it was amazing how tight they were..  Especially given the unusual time signatures and tunings they employ..  SC3’s music is a bit difficult to describe, and you can hear some samples over at their label, Web of Mimicry, who describes their sound as follows:

What does this all end up sounding like? You will hear a kick-ass surf band playing in Arabic/Persian tunings, and then switch over to a wall of Penderecki-style orchestral chord clusters accompanied by AC/DC. Then, perhaps the traditional sounding, pseudo-folk Turk/Central Asian imaginal band will hit center stage with Dhol, Saz, Rabab, Esraj and rock drums and start whacking out to the original, catchy songs that no one knows or cares are in 19/16 time. This might be followed by a totally pummeling, nightmarish, not-kidding one bit blast-beat Death Metal band that employs Boulez-ish atonal serialism, played in dastgah tunings, which of course will naturally segue into a band that specializes in Hindi Film Music from the second Golden Era… you get the picture. We’re scratching the surface here, not exaggerating.  And again, it’s no joke.

Anyway, the band played a song or two as a trio, and then expanded into a 7 piece group for the remainder of the show.  My view was partially obstructed, but I was very close to the stage..  They played for about an hour, switching instruments and roles throughout…  And even though they were the opening act, they even had an encore (perhaps that makes them more of a ‘special guest’ than an opening act)..  Afterwards, Trey was manning the merch booth, and I thanked him for the great set and bought a t-shirt.  He seemed like a very pleasant man and was very gracious. 

Unfortunately, I was too exhausted to stick around for the main act, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, who I hear is wonderful..  Fortunately, they tour all the time, so I hope to catch them in the near future.  But I went to the show to see Secret Chiefs 3, and I wasn’t disappointed;  It was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

Beside You in Time

Went out to the Middle East last night to see a screening of the new Nine Inch Nails video release Beside You In Time.  It was gorgeous, but I ended up leaving after just a handful of songs…  The problem was that the Middle East’s downstairs has a really low ceiling, therefore, the screen wasn’t placed that high, therefore, I spent most of my time looking at the backs of heads as opposed to the screen.   The video quality was really good, especially considering they were using a Dell projector, which probably wasn’t tuned as well for video as a nice HDTV set would be.  The sound was amazing, the one big plus for doing the screening at a club as opposed to a theatre.

There was a deal where if you preordered the DVD, you got a lithograph, but I passed on it..  Their preorder prices were way too high ($18 for the DVD, vs. $14 on Amazon), and since I’ll be getting an HDTV in the near future, I’d rather buy one of the HD formats.  Unfortunately, I have no idea which HD format (HD-DVD or Bluray) to support, so I think I’ll just hold off on buying this one until I actually have the gear available.  But once all those questions are answered, there’s no doubt that I’ll be buying this release, it is simply gorgeous.

Wow… It’s now official…

I officially accepted the offer from Rovia today, sending back the letter signed and all. So I guess I am now committed to living with Massholes. :) I will make sure to watch alot of The Sopranos, however, so I don’t begin to develop some annoying accent. And also, never fear, a water fountain will never be a bubbler.

The letter said that my start date was May 1st, which I can stick to, but I will be busy these next few weeks finding an apartment and moving into it. I might live in Brighton near Adam and Rory, or perhaps somewhere else, but wherever it is, it will be near mass transit, since I don’t plan on having another car for awhile.

I am going to break Boston in right, though, by seeing a concert less than a week after I start work. :) I am going to go see Autechre at the Middle East, which I guess is actually in Cambridge, but whatever. I have been wanting to see these guys for a long time, so it will be cool to finally do so (and to see another concert, which is something I haven’t done since I saw Moby in Rochester). The concert is on May 7th, which is a Monday (odd, no?), and for those of you not in Boston, the 2 prior days they will be playing in New Jersey and NYC.