Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Divine Inspiration

Tis the season. Well at least it used to be. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the true spirit of Christmas has somehow been lost, pushed to the back shelf behind the fruitcake that no one will buy. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to keep Christ in Christmas. To this end, I've decided to dedicate some megabytes to Our Lord and some classic tunes inspired by and dedicated to him.

We begin with one of my all time favorites, Neil Diamond's 'Holly Holy'. Hands down one of the most spiritual rock anthems ever created. Heavily influenced by gospel, Diamond released the song in October of 1969, It went on to reached #6 on the pop charts.

Ladies and Gentleman, without further adieu, one of Brooklyn golden throats.

Neil Diamond- Holly Holy (1969, Uni Records)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

'Cause you got the best of me

As the mercury approaches 90+ yet again, AM features another summer scorcher from days past. What I believe to be her best song, Madonna's Borderline. The final single released from her self-titled debut, this song and accompanying video really helped put her over the top. There wasn't a boom box or Blaupunkt that wasn't blasting this song in the summer of '84, and her lucky star, which had been rising was beginning to go supernova.

Written by Grammy winning writer/produce Reggie Lucas and mixed by Madonna's then boy- toy, John 'Jellybean' Benitez, the song was released as a single in the US on February 15, 1984 and slowly made it's way up the charts, peaking at No. 10 on the Billboard's Hot 100, becoming her first top ten single.

And you pretty much know the rest of the story.

I'm just sayin'.

Madonna- Borderline (Sire Records, 1983)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cruel Summer

About a week ago, while down in the Village and suffering another 100+ degree Manhattan summer day, I was reminded of the summer classic by the all girl, brit-pop trio Bananarama, 1982's Cruel Summer.

The video was filmed in and around Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side, back when it was sleazy, dangerous and fun (and gas was $1.48 a gallon).

I'm just sayin'.

Bananarama- Cruel Summer (London Records, 1982)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Those summer nights are callin'

One on my personal summer faves has always been Journey's 'Stone In Love'. One of the few non-charting songs from 1981's Escape, the song to me is both prophetic and ironic.Here I am almost 30 years later reminiscing about those crazy nights in my own youth.

From what I can still clearly remember about the summer of '81, it was the first year I didn't spend at our summer house in the Poconos, instead forced to attend summer school at what we affectionately referred to as 'Camp Mineola'. Now I can't remember who I was dating back then, but there is no doubt she was a blue jean girl.

Besides stewing in my own juices in July–in a high school–without air conditioning, I can recall feasting on a steady diet of power chords. And there was plenty to be had: Van Halen's Fair Warning, Billy Squire's Don't Say No, Ozzy's Diary of a Madman, Rush's Moving Pictures, Foreigner's 4, and Def Leppard's High and Dry rocked my summer of 1981.

But the album that got the most play was Escape. Between Steve Perry's explosive vocals, and Neal Schon's soaring leads, the album was an instant classic for me and AOR stations across the country. It could be argued that Journey and Van Halen (both at their zenith) shared the monarchy as kings of arena rock.

I recently fashioned myself a Journey playlist and have been listening to Escape over and over. A little over-produced (the style of the day) and a lot adolescent, it still holds up to a serious session of air guitar.

I'm just sayin'.

Journey-Stone In Love (Live, 1981)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And I say it's all right

Not exactly a 'summer song', today's selection is still in keeping with the one thing most closely associated with summer, the sun.

The story goes that Harrison, bored with an Apple business meeting and tired of the infighting that was becoming commonplace in the band, absconded to a garden at Eric Clapton's place and wrote the song. The original riff was lifted from 'Badge', a previous collaboration between Clapton and Harrison.

In George's words, from Anthology: "Here Comes the Sun" was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: 'Sign this' and 'sign that'. Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided I was going to sag off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton's house. The relief of not having to go see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric's acoustic guitars and wrote "Here Comes The Sun".

I bet he wrote it without even breaking a sweat.

I'm just sayin'.

Here Comes The Sun- George Harrison & Friends (Concert for Bangladesh, MSG, 1971)

Here Comes The Sun- George Harrison & Paul Simon (SNL, 1976)

George Harrison & Paul Simon - Here Comes The Sun/Homeward Bound

Rob | MySpace Video

Badge- Eric Clapton (Prince's Trust Concert, 1996)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Just a week into summer and caught in the grip of the first heat wave of the season, AM is dedicating a few posts to some of the all-time hottest hits of summer.

Our first track by R&B crossover sensations, Sly and the Family Stone scorched the Billboard charts in August 1969 peaking at #2.

Hot Fun In The Summertime- Sly And The Family Stone

And since we're talking summer and Sly, we had to include the band's breakout performance at Woodstock. How about 3:30 am, Sunday August 17th to be exact.

I'm just sayin'.

I Wanna Take You Higher- Sly And The Family Stone (Woodstock, August 1969)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dying to sell product

First time around it was warm, charming — even sublime. An entire new generation was exposed to the melancholy reverie of Nick Drake. The 2005 spot 'Milky Way' created for the VW Cabrio by Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami was actually refreshing. The intimate nature of the song perfectly complimenting the moonlight drive. ScarJo lookalike and other assorted hipsters notwithstanding, the ad is effective. I'm also of the camp that using my favorite music in ads is sacrilege, but in this case–nice job. Well played.

Now let's consider the latest commercial for communications behemoth AT&T—that asks us to 'Rethink Possible', makes me want to rethink my wireless provider.

The ad is a mash up of all things hip, but like three years ago hip. The Christo 'Gates' inspired orange drapery flung off monuments and stretched across beaches is a cheap visual cue to represent coverage. Last time I checked, my iPhone got spotty coverage, at best. And enough with the CGI already. No matter how hard it tries, this commercial fails to make me feel an emotional connection to my phone company.

And the use of Drake's dreamy 'From the Morning' is awful, a forced fit. They would have been better served using Lady GaGa. What was captured in the VW ad, as honest (or as honest as a car ad can get) trumps the superficial hubris of the AT&T spot.

As for Nick Drake. He is the innocent victim of some well-negotiated posthumous rights usage. The saving grace is all this is that his songs and legacy remain—eerily frozen in time.

I'm just sayin'.

'Milky Way'- VW Ad (Nick Drake 'Pink Moon')

'Rething Possible'- AT&T Wireless (Nick Drake, 'From The Morning')

Monday, June 21, 2010

No One Is Ever Gonna Love You More Than Andrew

From an exchange earlier in the day with Rockturtleneck's own, Stephen J. Walsh:

How was the hipster-palooza? Was it hard to hear the music above all the tweeting, uploading, foursquaring and microblogging via iphone?

Actually the most distracting part of the show was the corralling on the part of the event staff. You had to wait on one line for a wristband, then another to purchase drink tickets, and yet a third to actually purchase drinks. On top of that the drinkers were kept in defined areas along the sides of the stage, while people not imbibing alcoholic beverages were free to roam throughout the outdoor venue. So much for the liberal, free thinking, anti-establishment vibe that Brooklyn gives off.

The show was amazing. We missed Karen Elson and waited on one of the va
rious lines during Grizzly Bear’s set, which was lackadaisical at best. That touchy-feely harmony driven pop just doesn’t translate on the big stage the same way it does when played through headphones.

was amazing though. Ben Bridwell started off by saying it was the last show of the tour (or this current leg) which had been like 76 shows in 90 days. The band was loose and having fun. They powered through songs like Funeral early in their set, satisfying the frat boy crowd hovering around Brooklyn Brewery’s impromptu beer gardens.

t 4-5 songs in, there was some kind of altercation- an over enthusiastic fan near the front. Ben made reference to it and found out the guy’s name was Andrew. This would become the running joke of the night. Between songs and in place of actual lyrics, he kept referring to this ‘Andrew’ in the crowd. It became such a gag, that some quick-thinking hipsters in an attempt to be instantly ironic, crafted an ‘ANDREW’ banner and hung it from the window they were viewing the show from, part of an old warehouse building directly behind the stage.

They pretty much cranked through everything, I mean everything. They even added a few spontaneous little jams between songs with some improvised ‘Andrew’ lyrics. These guys are really a great band. I really like all their albums, no matter how simple. And they have definitely gelled into a tight outfit live.

Hipsters notwithstanding, the Waterfront venue was great. Reminded me seeing shows at Pier 84 back when I was kid. Just big enough to feel like a concert, but intimate enough to connect with the band. I like the stage setup at Liberty Park better though, where NYC is the backdrop to the stage.

'Cept the ratio of hipsters to musicians isn't nearly as high in Jersey.

I'm just sayin'.

BoH setlist, 06.20.10 Williamsburg Waterfront:
    1. Am I A Good Man (Them Two cover)
    2. The Funeral
    3. Ode to LRC
    4. Wicked Gil
    5. Blue Beard
    6. Factory
    7. 13 Days (J.J. Cale cover)
    8. Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
    9. Islands On The Coast
    10. NW Apt.
    11. The Great Salt Lake
    12. Laredo
    13. Older
    14. Marry Song
    15. Compliments
    16. The General Specific
    17. Encore:
    18. Is There A Ghost?
    19. Weed Party
    20. No One's Gonna Love You
    21. Monsters

A few clips from the BoH instant show last Friday at Grand Central Station, courtesy of AOL. Yes, AOL:

And of course, Andrew:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Do You Like Piña Coladas?

Hit after mellow hit, a few things have become apparent. There is a formula to Yacht Rock. All these easygoing tunes share the following:

• Groovy electric piano
• Vibraphone, flugelhorn and/or flute
Congas, congas and more congas
• A breezy sax solo
• Themes of love, boating, exotic locations or all of the above
• White men with falsetto voices, bad hair and ill-fitting clothes

I'm just sayin'.

Yacht Rock Vol.3- Sail On

If You Leave Me Now- Chicago
Listen To What The Man Said- Wings
Diamond Girl- Seals & Crofts
Dance With Me- Orleans
Please Mr. Please- Olivia Newton John
The Best Of My Love- The Eagles
Wildfire- Michael Murphy
On And On- Stephen Bishop
If You Could Read My Mind- Gordon Lightfoot
I'm Not In Love- 10cc
Thank You For Being A Friend- Andrew Gold
Smoke From A Distant Fire- Sanford & Townsend
Whenever I call You Friend- Kenny Loggins & Stevie Nicks
Love Will Find A Way- Pablo Cruise
Ride Captain Ride-Blues Image
Chevy Van- Sammy Johns
Tin Man- America
Margaritaville- Jimmy Buffet
Life's Been Good- Joe Walsh
Maybe I'm Amazed- Wings
Sail On- The Commodores
Where Is The Love- Roberta Flack & Donnie Hathaway
Breezin'- George Benson
Just The Two Of Us- Grover Washington Jr. & Bill Withers
Sailing- Christopher Cross
Minute By Minute- The Doobie Brothers
Give Me The Night- George Benson
Escape (The Piña Colada Song)- Rupert Holmes
Arthur's Theme (Best That You Ca Do)- Christopher Cross
I'm Alright- Kenny Loggins

If You Could Read My Mind- Gordon Lightfoot (Midnight Special, 1974)

I'm Not In Love- 10cc (1975, UK Records)

Wildfire- Michael Murphy (Midnight Special, 1976)

If You Leave Me Now- Chicago (Live, 1977)

Love Will Find A Way- Pablo Cruise (Live, 1978)

Escape (The Piña Colada Song)-Rupert Holmes (Midnight Special, 1979)

Just The Two Of Us- Grover Washington Jr. Feat. Bill Withers (Elektra, 1981)

Aviance by Prince Machibelli

Martini & Rossi

1975 Chrysler Cordoba

Friday, May 28, 2010

What A Fool Believes

After spending the better part of a week listening to and compiling the definitive Yacht Rock collection, it is undeniable that there were some truly gifted musicians playing on some of these tracks. Glossy production aside, these soft rock gems sport some shining moments of solid gold songwriting and musicianship.

Steely Dan, the pioneers of over-produced, over-indulgent jazz-rock fusion employed only the best studio session players to achieve their musical aspirations. Core members, Becker and Fagan quickly established a reputation of being control freaks in the studio who used, and subsequently discarded musicians as needed. Preferring studio recording to touring, they were expert producers, focusing on sound quality and absolute perfection in fidelity. They made music that begged to be played on pricey rack systems of the day.

AOR gods, the Eagles are often overlooked for their specific contributions to Yacht Rock. Mainstays in the Soft Rock arena, they released a string of easy listening classics. Between Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Timothy B. Schmit, Joe Walsh and Randy Meisner, there was no shortage of songwriters in the band, and they cranked out at least 10 Yacht Rock chart-toppers including "Take It Easy", 'New Kid In Town", and the signature ballad "Desperado". They were by far, the biggest selling Yacht Rock band in the world.

What I like even better than the established acts are the one hit wonders, the Yacht Rockers that possessed just enough gusto to go for the Schlitz. Exhibit A is Player's "Baby, Come Back", a perfect example.

As the decade progressed and Yacht Rock became an established and lucrative genre, more and more bands crossed over from wherever style of music they had been making to reinvent themselves and cash in on the easy listening craze. Ambrosia began as a Prog-rock band but by the end of the 70's they had released two quintessential Yacht Rock ballads, "How Much I Feel" and "Biggest Part Of Me". Meanwhile, the hard funk R&B sounds of The Commodores (with Lionel Richie at the helm) jumped on the slow jam band wagon with tunes like "Easy" and "Sail On". Lite FM would turn out to be a profitable venture for Mr. Richie, as he would go on to have a half dozen hits in the format.

As we continue to groove through the super mellow 70's, it should be noted that Yacht Rock has a laxative effect. If you listen at night, you're guaranteed regularity by morning.

I'm just sayin'.

Yacht Rock Vol. 2- Ride Like The Wind

Ride Like The Wind- Christopher Cross (Warner Bros. Records, 1980)

Steal Away- Robbie Dupree (Midnight Special, 1980)

Bany Come Back- Player (RSO Records, 1977)

I Keep Forgettin'- Michael McDonald (Warner Bros. Records, 1982)

Have You Never Been Mellow- Olivia Newton John (Midnight Special, 1975)

Easy- The Commodores (Motown Records, 1977)

Rosanna- Toto (Columbia Records, 1982)

Maxell Commercial (Scali McCabe Sloaves, 1980)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yacht Rock! Ahoy!

Easy listening. Soft Rock. Light Music. Call it what you will, but this genre helped define the 70's and the implications of it can still be heard anytime you're traveling in an elevator, waiting in line at the bank or just getting a root canal. So come aboard as we trim the mainsail and set off on a moonlit cruise, because this is Yacht Rock.

My earliest memories of these smooth, soothing sounds go back to my adolescence, I distinctly remember the soulful, husky baritone of Michael McDonald lamenting a 'somebody-done-somebody-wrong' song while waiting an eternity for my orthodontist to make the necessary adjustments to my braces. But that was 1979, and by then the Soft Rock boat had already left the dock on its quest to conquer the FM airwaves.

The roots of Yacht Rock can be traced back to the previous decade. As the rebellious spirit of the 60's gave way to the malaise of the 70's, the idealistic hippie movement settled into the reality of actually having to work for a living. Protest marches and sit-ins were replaced with desk jobs and mortgage payments, and the musicians who were trying to change the world less than ten years earlier were resigned to churning out feel good music that got lots of airplay, sold tons of records and really did nothing more then help take the edge off the busy work day.

Meanwhile, the refreshing rebellious exuberance found in cities like San Francisco was abandoned and replaced by the slick, sun-bleached dystopia of Southern California. If L.A. represented the good ship Soft Rock, it's captain was certainly Michael McDonald. There is no doubt all yacht rockers, at one time or another, caught a trade wind behind the master and commander of Blue-Eyed Soul.

Early on, McDonald served as first mate for Steely Dan, but it was only a three-hour tour. What followed was a more permanent gig with the Doobie Brothers and his emergence as Rear Admiral of Lite Music. By the mid-70's he was swashbuckling his superficial schmaltz across the seven seas, his credits reading like a who's who of MUZAK, including, but not limited to: songwriting, backing vocals and session gigs with the likes of Ambrosia, Carly Simon, Kenny Loggins, James Ingram, Nicolette Larsen, Poco and Toto.

I'll bet by 1978 there wasn't a single Akai reel-to-reel that didn't have 'Minute by Minute' cued up. Oh yeah, and there were yachts, boats and dinghies in every size and shape. From Key Largo to Papeete Bay, it seemed as though everyone adopted the nautical theme, weighed anchor and hit the high seas. On the starboard side of this musical love boat there was Jimmy Buffet, CSN and Loggins & Messina, while port side you'd find Christopher Cross and Looking Glass, to name just a few. It was completely possible to circumnavigate the globe from the comfort of your teak-inspired bachelor pad with nothing more than a pair of docksiders and a set of Pioneer headphones.

With that, I am dedicating a few posts the mellow magic of Yacht Rock. I guess you had to live it to really understand it, but for me it is truly a guilty pleasure. Some of the lyrics are incredibly cheesy, but the melodies are catchy, upbeat and relaxing, hence Easy Listening. So join me, as we crack open a bottle of Asti Spumanti and set sail for paradise, because my life, my love and my lady is the sea.

I'm just sayin'.

Monkey Mix: Yacht Rock 1-Summer Breeze

Baker Street- Jerry Rafferty
Lido Shuffle- Boz Scaggs
Feelin' Stronger Every Day- Chicago
Thunder Island- Jay Furguson
It Never Rains In Southern California- Albert Hammond
Summer Breeze- Seals & Crofts
Ventura Highway- America
Miracles- Jefferson Starship
Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)- Looking Glass
Crazy Love- Poco
I'd Really Love To See You Tonight- England Dan & John Ford Coley
Lotta Love- Nicolette Larson
How Long- Ace
Dirty Work- Steely Dan
Rockford Files Theme- Mike Post
Get Closer- Seals & Crofts
Midnight At The Oasis- Maria Muldaur
Moonlight Feels Right- Starbuck
Feels So Good- Chuck Mangione
Reminiscing- Little River Band
I Can't Tell You Why- The Eagles
She Gone- Hall & Oates
This Is It- Kenny Loggins

What A Fool Believes- The Doobie Brothers (Live, 1979)

Reelin' In The Years -Steely Dan (Midnight Special, 1973)

Baker Street- Gerry Rafferty (Capitol/EMI, 1978)

Summer Breeze- Seals & Crofts (Midnight Special, 1973)

Moonlight Feels Right- Starbuck (Midnight Special, 1976)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lord Only Knows

With the re-release of Exile on Main Street, I have been on a big Stones kick lately. I watched the entire week of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon dedicated to the revamped reissue due out tommorow. Not a big fan of covers or tributes (mostly because the artist covering the songs suck), I did find Sheryl Crow’s rendition of All Down the Line to be a standout. Mr. Nicole Kidman wasn't bad either.

I thought the Stones themselves were to perform on the show Friday, but I was gladly mistaken. Much better than seeing those old dinosaurs creak through Tumblin’ Dice was the excellent doc they showed about the making of Exile. What most would agree to be the end of the 'Golden Era' for the Stones, the Exile still kicks some ass. Two things I learned: Graham Parsons was a huge dope fiend and it is plausible to charge $140 for 40-year old music.

So back to the reason for this post. I am listening to the Stones non-stop and I notice while listening to ‘Jigsaw Puzzle’ from Beggar’s banquet, that it sounds an awful lot like a more recent song. Couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but after hearing it one more time I nailed it. Beck’s ‘Lord Only Know’ is almost a note for note copy, especially the end.

Kinda freaky, but not surprising. At this point, it’s impossible for rock to be original. Luckily, It’s reinterpretation is. I’ve attached the two tracks, decide for yourselves.

Even freakier is how healthy Keith looks now. He looks better now than he has in his entire life. Good docs? New liver? 12-step program? All of the above? He might look better but he's still somewhat of an incoherent mess, meanwhile Mick is all business.

I'm just sayin'.

Mick, Keith and Charlie- Pros & Cons (Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon)

Tumblin' Dice - The Rolling Stones (Live, May 21, 1972 Montreux, Switzerland)

Happy- The Rolling Stones (Live, 1972)

Jigsaw Puzzle- The Rolling Stones (Beggars Banquet, 1968 ABKCO)

Lord Only Knows- Beck (Odelay, 1996, DGC)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Welcome Back

I fully realize that it's already a cliche. I mean when NY Mag features their cover and bands like MGMT are headlining festivals, just mentioning Brooklyn is sooo 2006, but what the hell. It is worth noting that New York is and remains the music capital of the world once again (take that Seattle).

Since we are perpetually in an Empire State of Mind, it would be remiss of us here at AM to omit the musical and cultural phenomenon which is Kings county New York. Over the past ten years or so, the gentrification of rough and tumble neighborhood like Wiliamsburg, Greenpoint and Red Hook have given rise to a renaissance in indie music and helped establish Brooklyn as New York's other Ground Zero.

Once Manhattan's Lower East side became a hamlet of square-foot fortune, glass box condos, places like Williamsburg DUMBO, and Bushwick offered an affordable mecca where the next generation of artists, musicians and general hipsters could populate (try renting there now).

As the music industry experienced a major downsizing, the music scene flouished in Brooklyn. The DIY spirit that once rocked CBGB's and Max's Kansas City was reborn nightly at venues like Union Pool and the Brooklyn Masonic Temple.

And the most refreshing and important element of the whole Brooklyn thing? It has not been defined by one style of music. Except for the good kind.

I'm just sayin'.

A small sampling of the Brooklyn scene:

MGMT- Time To Pretent (Oracle Spectacular, 2008 Columbia)

Dirty on Purpose- Summer Dress (Live 2007)

Grizzly Bear- Two Weeks (Veckatimest, 2009, 52:02)

TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me (Return to Cookie Mountain, 2006, 4AD)

Dirty Projectors- No Intention (Live Sirius instudio, 2009)

The Antlers - Kettering (Hospice, 2009 Frenchkiss)

LCD Soundsystem- All My Friends (Live 2007, Later w/ Jools Holland)

Hercules & the Love Affair- Blind (Live, 2008)

The National- Fake Emppire (Live on Letterman, 2007)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

If he died in Memphis than that's be cool, babe

I read all the eulogies this past week on Alex Chilton. And while Big Star was a little before my time and I wasn't a die-hard fan, it didn't really sink in till I saw Wilco the other night. Their last song of a three hours set was dedicated to Mr. Chilton, a weighty and stirring rendition of 'Thank You Friends'.

I'm sure if you were to go clicking through, you'd find a link between Jeff Tweedy and Alex Chilton. Kindred spirits dedicated to good old rock and roll.

I'm just sayin'.

Big Star- Thank You Friends

Monday, March 29, 2010

Don't Make Me A Target: Spoon, Radio City Music Hall 03.26.10

So what do you do when some drunk hipster asshole touches your woman? I had the opportunity to find out first hand this past weekend. Me and the Mrs. were in attendance at Radio City for the Spoon show. About 15 minutes before the show, this drunken tool sitting behind us decides to compliment her on her upper back tat. No harm, no foul. But this dick head gets touchy and proceeds to move her hair out of the way to get a better look, then goes so far as to touch her, and run his hand across her ink. Creepy and inappropriate, but excusable considering he was totally wasted and his gf/wife was apologizing up and down for his behavior. So I do nothing. We continue to wait patiently for the Spoon to take the stage. About 5 minutes later, he's at it again. He leans in and reaches towards the back of her neck, and starts to touch her, again. Before you can say misdemeanor groping, I am all over this guy like a cheap suit. I proceed to grab him by the throat and push him back in his seat. He's so out of it, he hardly has any idea he's being throttled. His wife is panicked and begs for me to let him go. After telling him in so many words to keep his fucking hands to himself, I release my steely, death-like grip and turn around. Little did I know I had created a scene. I'm not sure if it was the intervention of security or by their own volition, but the blitzed hipster and his woman beat it outta there.

And now for the review.

On the heels of their latest release, Transference, Austin's darling Indie rockers Spoon have achieved a status that while often coveted, is also frequently shunned. After over a decade of being an 'it' band, they have become and 'are' band. Britt Daniels and the other guys whose names no one has ever bothered to learn have spent the better part of almost two decades sharpening their musical acumen, the results: riff driven and angular, geometrically precise to a point, akin to to an isosceles triangle. A few complimentary angles, but one side just doesn't fit. Ironically, This is what has allowed Spoon to maintain both its congruency and edge at the same time. The thing about Spoon, for me is, I don’t know what you call it, but it’s more than just being under the influence. In their songs you hear bits and pieces that you know you’ve heard before, just not this way. hard to explain, but great to listen to.

After a drawn out and over indulgent sonic assault by Deerhunter, reminiscent of Sonic Youth in their heyday (did they ever really have a heyday?), Mr. Daniels et. all took the stage and almost immediately ripped into the three most biting tracks from Transference; The Mystery Zone, Written In Reverse and Got Nuffin. Suffice to say they can rock, rock very hard.

Considering their incumbency in the pantheon of Indie rock, replete with seven albums spanning their 17 year career, they possess an uncanny ability to deftly move from tune to tune, without so much as a hiccup, or miscued reverb pedal slap. The band, with some help from Fiery Furnaces’ Eleanor Friedberger and Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner displayed the agility to rock a hall as cavernous as Radio City while keeping the affair intimate (and loud) enough to satisfy those of us in the second balcony.

The highlight of the night, outside of physically assaulting a total stranger, was the horn section. They added the necessary oomph required to deliver the goods at a venue such as Radio City.

All and all a good show, if you learn keep your fucking hands to yourself.
I’m just sayin’.

Spoon, Radio City Music Hall, 26 March, 2010:
Me and the Bean (Britt Solo)
The Mystery Zone
Written In Reverse
Got Nuffin
My Mathematical Mind
Don’t Make Me a Target
Ghost Of You Lingers
Love Song (The Damned Cover)
Is Love Forever?
Waiting To Know You (Fiery Furnaces) w/Eleanor Friedberger of the FF
Someone Something (w/ Eleanor Friedberger of the FF)
The Beast and Dragon, Adored
Don’t You Evah
I Summon You
Nobody Gets Me But You
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
Rhythm and Soul
Jonathon Fisk
The Underdog
Black Like Me
Trouble Comes Running
Modern World (Wolf Parade) w/ Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade
I Saw The Light (Dan Boeckner on guitar)
Small Stakes