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Live Review: The Dandy Warhols with Hopewell at Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD – 9th November 2010

 
By on Monday, 15th November 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Words and photos by Shari Fedak

Fresh on the heels of the release of their live album, ‘Hopewell Live: Vol 1’, Hopewell is currently on tour with the (pretty legendary) Dandy Warhols. Hopewell is most commonly described as psychedelic rock; although, for those of you inwardly groaning at the idea and the mental image of completely endless jams, let me assure you: Hopewell is instantly accessible. I’ve never added the genre to my list of things I enjoy (as my personal bias tends to veer to the less artful and more straightforward), but they’ve most assuredly converted me. I had the pleasure of seeing both bands at Baltimore’s Rams Head Live last Tuesday. Far and above my favorite performance of the night was their song ‘Over the Mountain’ – tons of near-tribal sounding drums and is, days later as I write this, still stuck in my head. Always a good sign in my book. Wish I had taken video – at the climax of the song, the floor of the stage was quite literally wobbling.

The set overall had a really excellent, rousing energy. I ended up a bit to the side, which was a fantastic vantage point for photography, but possibly not the best to fully appreciate the mix, which is a shame because Jason Russo’s vocals are excellent – shades of David Byrne, Richard Hell and Jonathan Richman (coincidently my personal favorites, as far as male vocalists go). If you aren’t able to make it to one of their shows on tour, I highly recommend you get the live album – it very much captures all the good moments of their live set.

Next up were the Dandy Warhols, who played an amazing set. There’s a reason why they have a cult-like following: despite the fact that it was a Tuesday, at possibly one of the least hip venues in Baltimore, they still rocked it. While at some point the set seemed a bit long for me (possibly due to the fact that it was an aforementioned Tuesday), it was still really well done – to the creepiness of ‘I Love You’ to the sing-a-long to ‘Holiday’.

It was after the actual concert, however, that was the highlight of my night – as Rams Head Live closes at about 11 and generally does not stay open for after-concert drinking, everyone who wasn’t quite ready to go home headed over to Mex, next door, which was hosting their weekly open mic night. While I’m not quite sure how this happened, eventually nearly every person who performed that night was up, at some point, on the open mic stage, with the addition of Dick Valentine from Electric Six, who, for absolutely no reason I can fathom as to why he would possibly be in Baltimore of all places, and especially at a concert on a Tuesday night.

While it was not actually confirmed it was actually Dick Valentine (perhaps there are Dick Valentine impersonators? He is pretty much the new Elvis), he was introduced as such, and at first played drums, then launched into a cover of Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria’ (which I totally didn’t own on cassette as a small child (yes I did.)). I’m very certain it was actually him. I’m not even sure how anyone can just give a concert then go next door and continue to rock. It was pretty much amazing. Zia McCabe is also my new hero. That is all.

Continue reading Live Review: The Dandy Warhols with Hopewell at Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD – 9th November 2010

 

Cast / November and December 2010 English Tour

 
By on Monday, 15th November 2010 at 9:00 am
 

’90s Britpoppers Cast will embark on a UK tour later this month. The tour will start on 24 November in Newcastle and conclude 09 December in Liverpool.

After this tour, the band will be heading into the studio to record a new album…but with a twist. They are working with cutting-edge, direct to fan music model PledgeMusic on this, which means that some of the money pledged by fans for things like upgrading tickets purchased for this tour to VIP packages (including a backstage laminate and a chance to watch the soundcheck and hang out with the band) will go to the charity they’ve chosen, Shelter, a UK housing and homelessness charity.

Wednesday 24th November 2010 – Newcastle 02 Academy
Thursday 25th November 2010 – Birmingham 02 Academy
Friday 26th November 2010 – Manchester Academy 2
Saturday 27th November 2010 – Glasgow O2 ABC
Monday 29th November 2010 – Liverpool O2 Academy
Tuesday 30th November 2010 – Liverpool 02 Academy
Wednesday 1st November 2010 – Leeds 02 Academy
Friday 3rd December 2010 – London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Saturday 4th December 2010 – London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Sunday 5th December 2010 – Oxford 02 Academy
Tuesday 7th December 2010 – Leamington Spa Assembly
Wednesday 8th December 2010 – Bristol 02 Academy
Thursday 9th December 2010 – Liverpool 02 Academy

 

Live Review: La Roux with Francis and the Lights at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 10th November 2010

 
By on Friday, 12th November 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

So far in my gigging life, I’ve never had to wait so long from the time of purchasing a ticket to actually seeing an act perform as I did for La Roux. I heard ‘Quicksand’ on Steve Lamacq’s show in the summer of 2008 and fell in love. So I was over the moon when I heard she was due to perform in Washington in February 2010. A snowstorm caused that show to be cancelled (her scheduled opening act, Yes Giantess, answered questions for us while they were stuck in DC, busy doing nothing). It got rescheduled for July, but a throat infection sidelined Elly Jackson from the July show and an appearance at Merriweather Post Pavilion at Lilith Fair.

So here we were, a full year after the tickets had gone on sale for the original show, waiting for a late show at the 9:30. Elly Jackson has taken a lot of heat for all the cancellations they’ve had this year, but I was not expecting her to give us a heartfelt apology: “I am so, so sorry. You [Washington] seem to be the target of the most cancellations…but the fourth time’s a charm!” Her admitting this in such a sincere way softened my impression of the gig in general (I won’t go into details here but several punters I encountered were downright rude and I am not eager to return to this place anytime soon.)

I had really wanted to see Yes Giantess open for La Roux but I guess there was a scheduling conflict, because the support was instead a New York duo called Francis and the Lights. I was very confused because when I listened to the song ‘It’ll Be Better’ on their MySpace, I thought, huh? Not a dance band. However, in the live setting, it was obvious they were chosen for the ’80s vibe and sensibility (sounding perfect, considering Jackson’s love of Heaven 17 and other synthesiser-led bands of the era). Lead singer and keyboardist Francis Farewell Starlite had a quiff like Morrissey‘s and was dressed vaguely like Adam Ant. (I say vaguely because he was posing like Adam Ant and I always associate highly stylised military jackets with him.)

Starlite introduced one number as “a song I wrote for Drake“. Did he mean Drake had commissioned him to write a song for him? Or this was a homage to the rapper? Not sure, but they have opened for the hip hop artist so maybe it was the former. They seemed to go down well with the crowd, but I wasn’t sure if this was helped by the fact that since it was so late (the opening band went on at 10:30, with La Roux to follow an hour later), most people there were already sloshed. Starlite also tried had some mad footwork moves, which made the girls squeal. Not my thing. I was very much anxious to see La Roux.

Continue reading Live Review: La Roux with Francis and the Lights at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 10th November 2010

 

This Week’s Gonzo – rising star rapper Devlin and Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith check in with Alexa

 
By on Thursday, 11th November 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

If you haven’t heard of Devlin, you soon will. Alexa Chung welcomes the up-and-coming rapper to the studio and he also graces the Gonzo stage to perform a cover of the Jam classic ‘A Town Called Malice’.

For you Doctor Who fanatics out there – and I know you are out there! – current Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith comes by the show to chat with Alexa about time and space. But the conversation does go into music, as when prompted, Matt Smith said, “if I could be anyone in the world, I’d be Thom Yorke“. I’d have never have guessed he was a Radiohead fan. There’s bound to be other interesting tidbits in this chat.

MTV Gonzo also has you covered on the video front. Marple’s Egyptian Hip Hop will give a exclusive commentary to the director’s cut of their new video. And the show goes behind the scenes of the new My Chemical Romance promo as well.

Watch this week’s MTV Gonzo tomorrow night, Friday, at 7 pm on MTV Rocks, with a repeat at 9 pm on MTV.

 

Live Review: Freelance Whales with Miniature Tigers at Black Cat, Washington DC – 6th November 2010

 
By on Tuesday, 9th November 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

I don’t know what’s been going on with Washington lately but the Freelance Whales show at the Black Cat Saturday night was the second that week (after the Script on Tuesday at the 9:30) that upon reaching the venue, I was in utter shock by the queue that awaited me. The show was not sold out prior to the evening, but there were some people in the queue that commented nervously, “who knows if there’ll be any tickets by the time we reach the front”. I sincerely hope they all got in. But for sure, the Cat was packed that night, if not sold out.

Brooklyn quartet Miniature Tigers were the support. I figured they’d be indie folk/rock like Freelance Whales, with the occasional synth effect or tambourine rattle by guitarist Algernon Quashie. But I definitely was not expecting a Ruby Suns, tropical dance vibe at all (listen to ‘Goldskull’ on their MySpace and you’ll see what I mean). At one point during the song ‘Coyote Enchantment’, frontman Charlie Brand jumped down into the crowd, the red hood on his jacket over his head so that he looked like a wizard from far away. He made his way across the floor, getting bemused audience members to sing with him.

The harmonies between Brand and drummer Rick Schaier approached Byrds-like beauty at times (‘Tell It to the Volcano’) and bassist Alex Gerber added another level of sophistication with his occasional – and may I mention spot-on – whistling. Another highlight was ‘Bullfighter Jacket’, which began with a funny “yah-yah-yah” lyric that just begged for audience participation. (I’m laughing just thinking about it – watch the promo for the song below.) What fun.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxPb5C1Y9P4[/youtube]

I should have automatically assumed that if TGTF favourites Fanfarlo chose Freelance Whales to tour with them in late 2009 (before anyone in the blogosphere knew who they were), this extremely talented quintet were worth my full attention. Fast forward a year later and now they’re headlining their own big tour of North America and judging by the crowd at the Cat, people adore them here. And who wouldn’t? Though glockenspiels are a dime a dozen these days in indie folk bands, Freelance Whales are great songwriters, weaving emotive lyrics through instrumentally complex yet enjoyable to listen to music. Some songs are swirly, almost lighter-in-the-air territory (‘Hannah’ [watch video as a VOTM here], ‘Ghosting’), while others demand you to sing along (‘The Great Estates’, ‘Generator 2nd Floor’).

Whenever there’s a local mention, there is bound to be punter appreciation, as was the case of lead singer Judah Dadone’s admission that he attended local George Washington University and one of the first gigs he ever saw was at the Black Cat. “DC is like our second home, really!” he also commented, leading the university kid-heavy attendance to hoot in approval. They played several new songs including ‘Enzymes’ (which you can snag from this earlier MP3 of the Day post), bassist Doris Cellar admitting, “we’ve only been playing these songs live for 2 weeks”. To be honest, had she not mentioned anything, I wouldn’t have been able to guess this. Guitars, banjo, glockenspiel, accordion, synths, drums – it sounds like a very everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of approach, but for Freelance Whales, it works – and works gorgeously.

Set lists and photos after the cut.

Continue reading Live Review: Freelance Whales with Miniature Tigers at Black Cat, Washington DC – 6th November 2010

 

Caitlin Rose / November 2010 English Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 9th November 2010 at 1:15 pm
 

The pretty and talented Caitlin Rose will be playing several dates in England this month. The Twisted Folk tour begins next Monday (15 November) at Brighton’s Komedia.

Monday 15th November 2010 – Brighton Komedia
Tuesday 16th November 2010 – London XOYO
Wednesday 17th November 2010 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Thursday 18th November 2010 – Reading South Street
Friday 19th November 2010 – Bristol Fleece
Sunday 21st November 2010 – Newcastle Cluny
Monday 22nd November 2010 – Leicester Musician

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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