Friday, December 20, 2013
The Breeders @ Webster Hall – December 19, 2013
Last night, The Breeders returned to New York City to play their last few shows in celebration of their 1993 album Last Splash, which turned 20 this year and was reissued by 4AD. That album’s lineup was fully intact, including both Kim and Kelley Deal on guitars/vocals, Josephine Wiggs on bass/vocals, Carrie Bradley on violin/vocals and Jim MacPherson on drums. Special to only select dates on their lengthy 2013 tour, the band returned to the stage after playing Last Splash in its entirety to also play the Breeders’ debut album, Pod.
The Deal sisters were in top form last night, as was the rest of the band, who seemed to be in excellent spirits. It’s kind of hard to imagine the Breeders playing a better setlist, with both Last Splash and Pod largely considered to be landmark albums of the nineties. I was only 10 years old when Last Splash was released, but you had to have been living under a rock to not hear “Cannonball” on the radio or on MTV for a solid year afterwards. Oddly enough, it was discovering Kim Deal’s other band the Pixies years later that actually led me to become enamored with how great the Breeders were. Compared to the Pixies in 2013, the Breeders come out on top.
Opening the show was Northampton, MA indie band Speedy Ortiz, who I had only recently heard due to their album Major Arcana popping up on numerous “best of 2013” lists. It’s hard to deny that the band knows a thing or two about writing catchy, complex songs. If it weren’t for the vocals, you could easily label Speedy Ortiz a post-hardcore band, but somehow frontwoman Sadie Dupuis’s singing turns them into a pretty unique noise/pop band. It was fitting that they were opening for the Breeders.
The band plays Webster Hall again tonight and tickets are still available. It was relatively empty right up until the Breeders took the stage last night (around 9pm), which was great considering Webster is generally packed to the brims. Check out some photos of the Breeders below…
Monday, December 16, 2013
|Mike Watt w/ Il Sogno Del Marinaio|
November 29 - December 1, 2013
Photos/Review: Rhona (Wiglet Bill) Aquilina
So this is it. The end of an end of an era.
I can wholeheartedly say that for me, this really is the end of an era. I have attended seventeen UK ATP festivals over the last thirteen years. I was here at Pontins in 2000 at the first ever ATP festival curated by Mogwai. Ever since then ATP's UK holiday camp festivals have been a fundamental akin to nourishment or warmth. And I genuinely mean that. Why else would I have repeatedly reached into my pocket, scraping together all my resources in order to purchase tickets for a just-announced event that had no announced line up? Needless to say when the End Of An Era events were announced it was a no-brainer. I was going to be there!
Having been here just a week earlier, with Fucking Nostalgic's head honcho Chris and his fiancée Jen (at End Of An Era Part One), our already well honed ATP travel routine runs like a dream and we make it to Pontins 15 minutes before they open the gates. There are no bands on for 5 hours or so, but anyone who's been in one of those chalets in December will tell you it's worth getting there early to warm it up before the sun goes down. That and the fact that I'm really going to miss this place, this experience and the feeling of community at these events. So I'm here early and I'm going to luxuriate in this feeling one last time. As I approach the check-in desk the lovely ATP ladies inform me that we are the first chalet to book in and snap a quick photo of my grinning mug. I win!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Photos/Review: All Tomorrow's Parties End of an Era Part One @ Pontins Holiday Camp, Camber Sands, UK
|Lee Ranaldo & The Dust|
November 22-24, 2013
Photos: Rhona (Wiglet Bill) Aquilina & Chris / Review: Chris
All things must pass. Even festivals that strive to provide an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience in addition to some of the best music lineups known to mankind. In the past thirteen years, UK promotors All Tomorrow's Parties have put on legendary festivals all over the world, but it's their original three-day series at Pontins Holiday Camp in Camber Sands that started it all, and set the template for what a music festival can and should be. And with good reason. Part one of their End of an Era series, curated by Primavera Sound and ATP, provided three of the most memorable days of my life.
Some background on our journey to our first UK ATP festival. My fiancee Jennifer and I decided to take the plunge and make a trip to London after finally meeting FN's London contributor Rhona and her wife Niki back in October, following a two year online correspondance with them. Of all the experiences I've had since creating this blog in 2011, getting to meet people as obsessed with music as I am has been the most rewarding. Rhona and Niki have been to numerous ATP Festivals, and considering the End of An Era series would be the last at Pontins, they were of course attending both weekends. Everything fell into place when Rhona informed me that there was room for the two of us in the 4-person chalet for Part One of End of An Era. Five weeks later we found ourselves on a red eye flight to London, the next morning driving to Camber Sands in a car packed with food, a couple cases of Sapporo cider and a big bottle of Apple Schnapps (more on that later).
Friday, November 15, 2013
As many are already aware, the much loved All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals are coming to a close this year, with the final two festivals taking place over two consecutive weekends at Pontins Holiday Camp in Camber Sands, UK. End of an Era Part 1 Curated by ATP & Primavera Sound goes down next weekend, November 22-24, while End of An Era Part 2 curated by ATP & Loop will take place November 29 – December 1. Both are now sold out.
For over a decade, the promoters at ATP have put together some of the finest and eclectic lineups in festival history, carefully selecting acts that cater to a very specific demographic, rejecting any form of corporate sponsorship, and maintaining a reputation for providing a highly enjoyable experience. I personally have only attended one ATP festival in 2011 for the Portishead-curated I’ll Be Your Mirror in Asbury Park, but it still stands as one of my favorite festivals ever.
We here at FN will be mourning the loss of ATP upon its conclusion, specifically our London contributor Wiglet Bill (who attends ATP festivals annually and its spinoff festivals throughout the year). The good news (at least for our readers) is the Wiglet and I are teaming up next weekend to cover End of an Era Part I, and will be photographing the event for FN, as well as tweeting the event on our Twitter account, @fuckingnostalgi. Be sure to follow us over there and on Facebook to see what kind of trouble we get into.
Today, ATP announced stage times for next weekend, which includes a meaty-looking Saturday lineup (Television, Les Savy Fav, GY!BE and Dinosaur Jr. in a row), with only a few time clashes throughout the three days. Take a look at the full lineup below, and we’ll be back with ATP coverage in a week!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
My Bloody Valentine @ Hammerstein Ballroom – November 11, 2013
A few days ago, in anticipation of my second time witnessing the spectacle that is a live My Bloody Valentine performance, I asked myself the question that any enthusiast of ear-shattering noise would ponder at some point. Who is the louder band: Swans or My Bloody Valentine? Both carry the reputation that seeing them live, and actually staying the entire performance, is something no sane doctor would ever recommend (even with earplugs). But they’re also very different bands, each with a different aesthetic and approach. Now that I’ve seen both bands twice, I can confirm that the winner of this battle make your ears bleed is Swans. But don’t let that fool you into thinking MBV have softened. It’s just that Swans’ music stings a bit more.
We entered the theater at Hammerstein Ballroom just as the opening band, Dumb Numbers, finished. I didn’t hear a note of their set aside from the two seconds between the time our tickets were scanned and the time I violently rushed down to the men’s room. Apparently Murph, drummer from Dinosaur Jr, is in the touring band, and Lou Barlow contributed to the band’s album. But that’s all I know about them at this point. And the audience, at least according to Twitter, did not seem too pleased. I wish I could shine some light on the subject.
My Bloody Valentine, who I last caught in Glasgow, at their second ever reunion show, took the stage at just about 9:10pm. Opening with what may be my favorite MBV song ever, and the song I credit with making me understand the band to begin with, “Sometimes,” was a pretty remarkable way to get things started. With each member, including drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig, strumming away on guitars along to that very simple drum track, the band created this long droning noise that, aside from breaks between songs, persisted throughout the entire show.
Other songs from the classic album Loveless, in particular, “When You Sleep” and “Come in Alone” were played much faster and heavier (somehow) than the studio recordings, sounding more similar to the band’s rawer aesthetic on their first album Isn’t Anything, which was interesting to hear live. The only songs that really stuck note for note to their studio recordings were songs like “I Only Said,” “To Here Knows When” and “Soon,” which of course all had the assistance of a drum machine. Songs from Isn’t Anything like “You Never Should” and “Feed Me With Your Kiss” were played at the speed and fury of an ‘80s hardcore punk band. It was incredible.
It’s also worth noting that keyboard duties are no longer handled solely by guitarist/vocalist Bilinda Butcher, who I don’t think touched a keyboard the entire performance. Adding an extra member to the band definitely seemed to fill things out a bit from the last time I saw them, which I assume gives Butcher and MBV mastermind Kevin Shields more room to focus on their extremely unique vocal harmonies. The new songs from this year’s m b v were particularly exciting to hear live from the first time, considering how stellar that album is. Songs like “New You,” Only Tomorrow” and “Who Sees You” stand right up there with the best of MBV’s catalogue, and hearing them live further proved that point. If there was any reunited band to set the blueprint for what bands should be doing once they reunite, it’s My Bloody Valentine. There is a purpose to the band now; a purpose that is missing from a lot of reunited bands.
The band, of course, closed with “You Made Me Realise,” the song that notoriously collapses into a wall of noise that can only be described as the most insane thing you will ever hear. It was loud, oh yes, it was loud, but it lasted nowhere near as long as the time I saw them in ’08 (which I believe hit the 20 minute mark). They cut it down to about seven minutes last night, and people were noticeably getting upset, even people with earplugs. I can’t exactly blame them, but I walked out of the show and my hearing did not feel particularly affected. Either way, it’s a scary thing to witness, but witness you must.
My Bloody Valentine plays Hammerstein Ballroom tonight with openers DIIV, the last night on their tour. Check out the setlist below.
MBV – Hammerstein Ballroom – November 11, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Guided By Voices' drummer Kevin Fennell lists drum set on ebay for $55k, Robert Pollard fires him via email
|Kevin Fennell with Guided By Voices @ Terminal 5 11/8/2010|
Fifty-five thousand dollars.
According to the listing, "These drums have played three US and three European tours including the 2010 Reunion Tour. They have played Central Park Summer Stage and The Jon Stewart Show. On top of that...they are simply good looking." For delivery options, Fennell also adds, "Hand delivered and set-up by Kevin anywhere in the continental USA. And if you're nice he might just jam with you."
Well, sounds awesome. Except for the insane amount of money he's asking for. And that's where things go sour in this situation. Apparently, GBV mastermind Robert Pollard is not too happy with Fennell's asking price, in addition to touting the Guided By Voices brand in the listing (which Fennell explicitly has done).
A post written on Guided By Voices official Facebook page this evening stated:
Facebook page, allegedly setup by Kevin Fennell, for the sole purpose of providing information on the ebay listing. Additionally I also found what ALLEGEDLY (must stress that) is an email exchange between Kevin Fennell and one Robert Pollard. You can read the cringe-worthy, and ultimately depressing, exchange below, posted under a comment from that page that reads:
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The second attempt came six weeks later when the seven of us drove back up to Amherst for the make-up date. We successfully got to the university (though I remember missing the first few songs), and Trent Reznor put on one of the most elaborate and thought-provoking arena shows I had seen up until that point. The imagery displayed on the screen behind the band (one particular image of George W. Bush dancing with his wife is still burned into my brain), gave me chills, but also made me want to crawl underneath my seat and weep. It’s seeing Nine Inch Nails live that truly makes you understand Trent Reznor’s vision. That show was a real eye-opener for me, musically and personally.
We drove back to some other hotel after the concert and attempted to pull off the same scheme of two of us asking for a room in the lobby, then sneaking the other five through a back entrance. It didn’t work this time. Within seconds of ushering in the group, the creepy guy from the lobby angrily knocked at the door, and when we opened it, he started screaming at us in this high-pitched wail I’ll never forget. “YOU LIED TO ME! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WOULD DO THAT! YOU ALL HAVE TO LEAVE, I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WOULD PULL THIS ON ME!” I remember it being simultaneously horrifying and hilarious, and to this day, we still randomly yell “YOU LIED TO ME!” to anyone else who was there when that happened.
Flash forward to 2013, and Nine Inch Nails have been through several new albums, side projects, tours, and even a hiatus. But NIN is back, and with their new album Hesitation Marks, their first major label release since 2007’s Year Zero, Trent Reznor and company are on a lengthy arena tour to support it. The four year hiatus didn’t have much of an effect on Reznor’s ability to plow through a 26-song career spanning setlist, clocking in at just about two hours, with virtually no breaks aside from just before their four-song encore.
Older songs like “Terrible Lie,” “March of the Piggies” and “Piggy” were reminders of why people fell in love with the band to begin with, but the newer material from Hesitation Marks stood up surprisingly well amongst the classics. And the light show on this tour, though it may sound hyperbolic, is one of the most elaborate light shows I’ve ever seen on a stage. With two screens that stretched the width of the stage, one in front of the band that was apparently also transparent, and one in the back that would intermittently switch between band silhouettes, abstract liquid lights and video footage, not to mention these insane hydraulic lights above the band that were doing all sorts of wacky things throughout the show… it was a sight to be seen.
But it was the moment that the stage went dark and all you could hear were the synth sounds of The Downward Spiral’s “A Warm Place” and the wave of applause that slowly grew to a roar in the completely packed Barclays Center, that I remembered why I fell in love with Nine Inch Nails’ music so long ago. Underneath all that grinding, static noise is some of the most beautiful music written in the past twenty years. When the band closed out the show with “Hurt,” accompanied by imagery of war, executions and a GIGANTIC snake head, it was impossible to not be completely in awe of what Reznor has achieved since he decided to start noodling around a recording studio in the late ‘80s. Reznor himself took a brief moment before the encore to admit he couldn’t believe that he gets to do what he does, and the moment did not come off as contrived.
We unfortunately missed opener Godspeed You! Black Emperor because of my own stupidity, but also because there was some conflicting information on Ticketmaster and the Barclays Center website that printed different show times. Godspeed was a great choice for NIN to take on tour though, and I can only imagine how their sound comes off in a massive arena.
Check out some far away photos of Nine Inch Nails, the setlist and tour dates below…
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Meat Puppets @ Brooklyn Bowl - October 12, 2013
First things first: it's been well over a year since a post has gone up on this here website. Here's a vague explanation of what happened: over the summer of 2012, life got a little complicated, all but forcing me to focus on things that were far more important than going to shows in New York City. I initially intended for the hiatus to be short term while I took care of shit, but I just never got it together enough to get full on back into managing Fucking Nostalgic. It was a full time job, and I already had one of those, plus a personal life that I needed to tend to. Keeping up a blog is not an easy thing to do, as many will tell you.
But then I started going through some of posts and photo galleries and, well, I got pretty fucking nostalgic about Fucking Nostalgic. We covered some amazing shows, interviewed some iconic musicians, and threw some awesome parties. The contributors to FN are some of my favorite people on Earth. It would be really hard to make Fucking Nostalgic as constant a thing as it once was, but if we have something to share with you, we're going to try and share it.
Which brings me to last night's Meat Puppets show, which incidentally was a part of the ongoing CBGB Festival taking place in New York City this weekend. I'll just get it out of the way: HOLY SHIT, the Meat Puppets are great. The first time I saw the incredibly influential band was only a couple years ago at Le Poisson Rouge. I was blown away by how incredibly tight a band they were, considering how archaic and raw albums like II and Up on the Sun sound. Not to mention the well-documented hardships bassist Cris Kirkwood faced towards the end of the Meat Puppets original run (though Cris has been sober since for over a decade). I wasn't sure what to expect, but that LPR show ended up being one of my favorite shows of the year.
Last night was no different. Curt Kirkwood (who was recently the subject of a great interview by Marc Maron on WTF), Cris Kirkwood, Elmo Kirkwood (Curt's son) and Shandon Sahm played a little over 90 minutes last night to a rather ecstatic crowd -- plowing through well-known favorites "Up on the Sun," "Backwater," and "I'm a Mindless Idiot" in addition to the later-made-famous-by-Nirvana trio of songs, "Plateau," "Oh, Me" and "Lake of Fire." Plus a cover of the Beach Boys' "Sloop John B" -- something I've seen them pull off each and every time I've seen them live. If it ain't broke, don't fix it I suppose. No encore, but Curt did return to the stage a cappella while his brother and son danced around and hugged each other. It was an adorable family moment we got to witness to close out the night.
If you haven't caught the Meat Puppets live yet, you're doing it wrong. They're easily one of my favorite bands to catch, and you owe it to yourself to witness a legendary band still somehow in their prime. Check out some more photos from last night's show below...
Thursday, August 2, 2012
|Girl Talk @ Catalpa NYC|
Photos: Geanna B. and James MacFie / Review: Geanna B.
Sunday. Round Two. No Mercy, Mr. LaRusso.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Catalpa Festival @ Randall’s Island - July 28, 2012
Photos: Geanna B. and James MacFie / Review: Geanna B.
Renaissance Fairs are great, we know this much is true. Where else can you eat delicious turkey legs while donning your favorite crushed velvet garments and lamenting the devastation of the Bubonic Plague? Probably nowhere, actually. But even in the midst of all this Humanist fun, there is one major thang that the Renaissance inarguably lacks: the presence of Snoop D-O-G-G and his historic album, Doggystyle.
Lucky for us, Catalpa NYC was there last weekend to fill the void. But what is Catalpa, exactly? And how did it get its name? And how are we to pronounce said name? And why were there no cats involved? AND WHERE WERE THE BRISKET TACOS?! All of these questions remain unanswered, but we did give it a Google, just for good measure: