Sunday, May 29, 2005

Matzah Reviews LIVE (The Icarus Line @ Troubadour)

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I expected to be blown away by the long awaited return of The Icarus Line at the Troubadour last friday night. With a lineup of Darker My Love, Jim Brown (of Bluebird) and Dim Mak Records' newly signed Icarus Line (The Like excluded), how could you go wrong? Right?

Wrong. Not to say that the night was a dissapointment, but I was surprised by several of the acts. Having reluctantly skipped Darker My Love, I began my night with Jim Brown. Originally expecting something similar to his band, Bluebird, I was immediately caught off guard. Jim looked more like the stage technician, until I slowly realized that he was performing, not testing out the instruments. Accompanied by a drum machine, a guitar, and a bass, Jim played each instrument by himself, recorded it, and looped it, creating a surreal ambiance of drum loop mantras, tribal like singing, and primitive dancing, complemented by equally strange lighting.

Next came The Like. I must admit, I had low expectations for them. I've had the priveledge (ha!) of experiencing similar (or so I thought) 3 piece girl outfits and have been thoroughly dissapointed time and time again. I half expected Z Berg and The Like to follow the same lines as the others. They didn't. Z's voice shines, backed by herself on guitar, Charlotte Froom on bass guitar, and Tennessee Thomas on drums. Their unique brand of introspective pop rock exploded into a full blown rock performance and I dug every moment of it. Oh my god, I just admitted I liked The Like. Fuck man.

Following The Like were the headliners of the night, The Icarus Line, who were introduced with a steamy performance from goth go-go dancers. After the girls filed offstage, primadonna Joe Cardamone and the Icarus Line entered. They were dissapointing, to say the least. They stuck with material from their upcoming album 'Black Lives at the Golden Coast,' which has turned me away from their music.

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(© Andrew Jacobsen)

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The Icarus Line (© Andrew Jacobsen)

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The Icarus Line (© Andrew Jacobsen)

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The Icarus Line (© Andrew Jacobsen)

Their entire performance wasn't exactly a bust. The Captain is still awesome after all these years and can still play drums the way they should be played under the circumstances - with no mercy. They also played 'Caviar,' 'On The Lash,' and 'Spit On It,' all from their critically acclaimed album, V2 Records' Penance Soiree. All the while, Joe Cardamone pranced around onstage, looking lost until it was his turn to sing. You could hardly hear the dude and his inaudible muttering in between songs didn't help the cause. Next time, turn the vocals up.

Here's the setlist:
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1. Golden Rush
2. Caviar
3. Better Tastin Teeth
4. Watch Your Step
5. On the Lash
6. Cut Back the Herd
7. Victory Garden
8. Fashion Fever
9. Frankfurt Smile
10. Slayer
11. Spit On It

Matzah's Ratings:

Jim Brown:
B

The Like:
B+

The Icarus Line:
B-/C+

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Matzah Reviews LIVE (400 Blows @ Knitting Factory)

It's official. I've lost my hearing and I couldn't be happier. Here's why:

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400 Blows (© Matzah)

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400 Blows (© Matzah)

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400 Blows (© Matzah)


Last night, I attended the 400 Blows Record Release show at the Knitting Factory. I couldn't have asked for more - an entertaining live performance with an energized audience. Mainly, 400 Blows played music that was unfamiliar (from their upcoming releases, GSL's "Angel's Trumpets and Devil's Trombones" and Buddyhead's "The Average Guy" 7"). Towards the end of their set, the band returned to earlier material with 'Root of our Nature' from Black Rainbow (GSL), which blew me away.

Amidst turbulent moshing (with The Bronx's Matt and Jorma in the heart of it), 400 Blows played twisted anthems meant to fuel your adrenaline. Coward that I am, I made sure that I was well protected from the chaos, enjoying the music from the corner of the stage. Never again! Next time I see 400 Blows perform, I plan to leave the camera at home and show up with nothing but unresolved anger and clenched fists. I suggest you join me.

Matzah's Rating:
A-/B+

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Matzah Reviews

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The Intelligence (© Tim Haynes)

The Intelligence - "Let's Toil" (Single)
from "Narnack Records Is...a Fist-First Sampler of New Music" (Narnack Records)

It's often difficult to find a musician able to succeed creatively in more than one musical endeavor. Yet, Seattle's Lars Findberg has destroyed the conventions of musical success (with little recognition ironically), from the underground no less! First with Sub Pop's critically acclaimed A-Frames and Omnibus' The Dipers, Finberg began The Intelligence with members of Double Fudge and Heroic. "Let's Toil," a track from the rich Narnack Records compilation "Narnack Records Is..." (which also features The Fall, Guitar Wolf, and Fast Fourier), is Finberg's homage to his underground success, where he sings reassuringly, "I've been made perfect from practice."

Using simplicity to their advantage, The Intelligence play music just long enough to grab your attention, but short enough to make you demand more. Set to a simple guitar melody and percussion varying between a drum machine and live drums, "Let's Toil" features Finberg's moaning vocals, reminiscent of Daniel Johnston. "Let's Toil" literally toils in a subtle, lo-fi sound, which is exactly why I like it. If you dig the A-Frames, make sure to get your hands on the Narnack Records compilation or go out and buy The Intelligence' 'Boredom and Terror LP.'

Matzah Rating:
B+/B

Friday, May 06, 2005

Matzah's Shows To Watch Out For - May Edition

Saturday, May 7 - Loretta Lynn @ Galaxy Theatre ($75, if you can afford it)
Sunday, May 8 - Red Onions, The Prix @ The Mint ($ @ door)
Sunday, May 8 - Har Mar Superstar (DJ), Kid Millionaire (DJ) @ The Standard Hotel - Rooftop (21+, $10)
Tuesday, May 10 - The Ponys, The Willowz @ The Echo ($10)

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400 Blows

Wednesday, May 11 - 400 Blows Record Release Party @ The Knitting Factory (Free, All Ages)

Thursday, May 12 - The Pope @ The Smell ($ @ door)
Friday, May 13 - Lion Fever @ The Smell ($ @ door)
Sunday, May 15 - M.I.A. @ El Rey (Sold Out)
Monday, May 16 - The Walkmen @ Galaxy Theatre ($15)
Tuesday, May 17 - M.I.A. @ The Echo ($ @ door)
Tuesday, May 17 - The Boredoms @ The Knitting Factory ($18)
Wednesday, May 18 - Mt. Egypt (backed by Simon Dawes) @ Key Club

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Das Oath

Friday, May 20 - Melt Banana, Das Oath @ Troubadour ($12)

Saturday, May 21 - Prefuse 71, Battles @ The Knitting Factory ($15)
Sunday, May 22 - Prefuse 71, Battles @ The Knitting Factory ($15)
Monday, May 23 - Darker My Love @ The Echo (Free)
Tuesday, May 24 - The Dears @ El Rey Theatre ($15.50)
Wednesday, May 25 - Red Onions @ The Smell ($5 @ door)

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Goldie Lookin' Chain

Wednesday, May 25 - Goldie Lookin' Chain @ Troubadour ($12)

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Wires On Fire

Thursday, May 26 - Wires On Fire, Year Future, 400 Blows @ Chain Reaction ($8)

Friday, May 27 - 400 Blows, High On Fire, The Pope @ The Echo ($ @ door)

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The Icarus Line

Friday, May 27 - Icarus Line, Darker My Love @ Troubadour ($10.00)

I'll continue to update this post if I hear about anything else. Feel free to post any shows that you plan to go to.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Matzah's Back from Coachella!

I'm back! I enjoyed Coachella and the freaks, indie children (and their parents), and scorching heat that came along with it. But, when I am forced to choose between bands, that is where I draw the line. With all complaints aside, here's the list of bands I saw during my one and only Day 1. Feel free to disagree.

COACHELLA!

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Buck 65 (© Matzah)

Buck 65 - Canadian rapper with raspy, Tom Waits-ish vocals, rapping about his abnormally large penis. I can dig it.

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Radio 4 (© Matzah)

Radio 4 - Gang of Four ripoffs play politically charged music, complete with bongo drums. Yawn...

Jamie Cullum - British songster covers Pharell's 'Frontin'' and Coldplay's 'We Never Change', accompanied by loudspeaker troubles. Thanks, but no thanks.

DJ Peretz (Perry Farrell) - Reaffirms Farrell's bout with insanity.

Eisley - Spent more time apologizing for the stage's technical troubles than performing. Oh well, it's probably better that way anyways.

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Razorlight (© Matzah)

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Razorlight (© Matzah)

Razorlight - Aside from 'Golden Touch,' the band represented an ego they can't live up to. Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell also displayed his poor climbing skills trying to scale a column on the left side of the stage, only to find himself trapped with a twisted microphone cord ten feet above the stage. Keep up the good work Razorlight (just not in the states)!

Wilco - Stuck around long enough for Jeff Tweedy and company to play 'I am Trying to Break Your Heart'. Goddamm, that is a great song.

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MF Doom (© Matzah)

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MF Doom (© Matzah)

MF Doom - Worth showing up early thirty minutes early for. The masked Doom, sporting a vintage Patrick Ewing New York Knicks jersey, rapped over amusing beats with vocals that were too hard to understand. Good shit!

Bloc Party - A fucking disaster! The overhyped NME posterchildren packed their Mojave Tent tenfold, prompting unbearable closeness and painful stampeding. Worst of all, I couldn't breathe!

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Coldplay (© Matzah)

Coldplay - Not my thing, but a strong performance nevertheless. Unfortunately, when I wandered over to the 'Outdoor Stage' to catch some of the Spoon performance, only to discover technical problems and anxious fans, I missed the 'best' part of the Coldplay set. While waiting for Spoon to perform, I missed a song Coldplay wrote for Johnny Cash and a short cover of Johnny Cash's rendition of NIN's 'Hurt'. Thanks a lot Spoon! And, not to mention, Chris Martin leaping offstage during the encore was fucking awesome!

Spoon - Started fifteen minutes later than expected, still boring as ever. Simply put, a waste of time. Should've stuck with Coldplay.

NOTE: I am fully aware I missed Bauhaus and I am not proud of it. Give me a break.

Before I end this post, I'd like to thank all of you who read my blog and encourage you to keep supporting 'Get the Door, It's Matzah'. I have new interviews to post, contests to announce, and even more Matzah to share with all of you.