Video: It’s Almost Halloween, Panic! At the Disco


Posting it this year and every year because: 1) I looooooove it – 2) they made it themselves, apparently using change they found under couch cushions on the bus – 3) It was the last thing they did – the last vaguely happy thing they did – before they split in half – 4) Spencer Smith playing the tambourine and/or awkwardly fall-spinning in circles while wearing a wolf mask: never not funny – 5) I miss Spencer Smith, a lot – 6) If you watch all of Panic’s pre-split “official” videos in order of creation, you can see a band gradually coming apart at the seams. Northern Downpour is beautiful and unbearably sad for this reason. It’s Almost Halloween is just them having dumb fun in the woods. 7) Ryan Ross wearing diva sunglasses with a mummy costume: also never not funny – 8) I miss Ryan Ross and his infectious pop hooks a lot, too – 9) Their boy-band-style dancing is hilarious year round – 10) I don’t grudge current!Panic! At the Disco any of their ongoing success, and in many ways the split was the best thing possible for all concerned, but: I miss those four goofballs being … Continue reading

Postcards from the Pit: Panic! at the Disco / The Colourist / X Ambassadors, Roseland, 2/4/2014


It’s a rare thing, getting to watch a band grow up. My first (indoors) Panic! at the Disco show was at Roseland Ballroom in May 2008. I say indoors because my actual first Panic! at the Disco show was at Bamboozle a few days earlier, and when I saw them I couldn’t really see them, because I had just broken my glasses in the Bouncing Souls pit. I could hear them just fine, though, and against all odds – they were in their hippie phase, wore lots of beige and had four tattoos between them – I loved them. But at Roseland I could see them, and they looked like sweet-faced deer in the headlights. Their stage presence was probably best described as “charmingly awkward.” But the songs still made me happy. And so, for good or for ill, I was in for the long haul. This past Tuesday night – six years, two records/style-shifts, and three line-up changes later – they were at Roseland again, one last time before the places closes down in the spring. The openers this time around were X Ambassadors and The Colourist. X Ambassadors had a dark dreamy-draggy-occasional-burst-of-thundering-drums vibe going, which I rather liked. … Continue reading

2013: A Year in Pictures


A full year of rock ‘n’ roll pictures, January to December, New York to Boston to Philadelphia to Brooklyn. They might not be the best pictures ever, but they are mine. Magic Trick, Webster Hall, New York, NY, January 14, 2013   Father John Misty, Webster Hall, New York, NY, January 14, 2013   Wildstreet, Best Buy Theater, New York, NY, January 24, 2013   William Control, Best Buy Theater, New York, NY, January 24, 2013   Andy Biersack, Black Veil Brides, Best Buy Theater, New York, NY, January 24, 2013   Andy Biersack, Black Veil Brides, Best Buy Theater, New York, NY, January 24, 2013   Ashley Purdy, Black Veil Brides, Best Buy Theater, New York, NY, January 24, 2013   Jake Pitts and Jinxx, Black Veil Brides, Best Buy Theater, New York, NY, January 24, 2013   Jinxx, Black Veil Brides, Best Buy Theater, New York, NY, January 24, 2013   Pete Wentz book signing, New York, NY, February 21, 2013   The Naturals, The Bowery Electric, New York, NY, April 6, 2013   Wise Girl, The Bowery Electric, New York, NY, April 6, 2013   Mud, Blood and Beer, The Bitter End, New York, NY, April 13, … Continue reading

Fanmix: Warren Ellis, Gun Machine


Fan mixes: collections of music created as both soundtrack and illustration for other works, usually works of fiction, intended as both appreciation of and enticement to read the work of fiction. This one is for Gun Machine by Warren Ellis, who is author of, among other things, Transmetropolitan and Crooked Little Vein, and is NOT the dude who plays music with Nick Cave. Gun Machine is a murder mystery set in New York. But not the New York you usually see on cop shows; the Financial District, which is older and darker. Down there you’re off the grid. The streets are narrow and twisty and reality can be very thin. Depending on how the wind is blowing off the water, it does feel like you could walk around a corner today and stumble into the 17th century, 1926 could be tomorrow and 2018 was last week. “Off the grid” would actually sum up the book as a whole. It is also bloody, startling, deeply lonely, occasionally bitingly funny, like watching my own city from the wrong end of a telescope, a complex puzzle, and very, very good. If you pick it up, be sure to both read and listen carefully; … Continue reading

Postcards from the Pit: Patrick Stump, Starland Ballroom, NJ, 11/4/11


To the left, in the snazzy teal suit: Patrick Stump, formerly of Fall Out Boy. To the right, on the bass, Matthew Rubano, formerly of Taking Back Sunday. Also present are Michael Day on guitar, and Casey Benjamin (HEAVy) on keys and saxophone. (Skoota Warner of Ra is playing drums on the tour, he’s just not in this picture.) Patrick Stump and friends – technically this is a solo tour for him – were the second of three acts in the show I went to last Friday. The  first opener was Foxy Shazam, the headliner was Panic! at the Disco, and I’ll get to back to them later. First I have to tell you that how Mr. Stump and his merry crew put on a defiant, triumphant, raucous roller-coaster ride of a show. I was actually really surprised at some of the pictures I was able to get, given the way the pit was heaving. Like this one, for example: The set started with a snippet of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”, which essentially set the tone from the evening. (We were jammed in too tight to really dance, but there was definitely a great deal of enthusiastic jumping up and down.) … Continue reading

Video: It’s Almost Halloween, Panic! at the Disco


Last year NTSIB-friend Joy and I went up to Poughkeepsie to celebrate Gothic Christmas with the Felice Brothers and Titus Andronicus; this year I’m headed even further north to visit with Panic! at the Disco and Foxy Shazam. And so in honor of one of my favorite holidays, I present to you Panic’s Halloween video, which they made themselves while on tour, back in 2008, before Ryan Ross and Jon Walker left the band. It’s perhaps a little bit bittersweet to watch now, but mostly sweet, and their attempt at boy-band style synchronized dancing will always be hilarious.

Postcards from the Balcony: Panic! at the Disco / fun. / Foxy Shazam, Terminal 5, 5/24/11


I was up on the balcony for this one largely in the interest of self-preservation; I don’t do well in large crowds I can’t get out of, and Terminal 5 was almost literally packed to the rafters. The first band was Foxy Shazam: I’ve seen this band four times now, twice on their headlining tour last summer (I went for one of their opening acts and developed an affection for them along the way), once when they opened for Courtney Love (!), and then at this show. Eric Nally whirled around the stage as he always does, but somehow they seemed a little bit subdued. And by “subdued” I mean Eric Nally did a headstand in the middle of a song – – but didn’t do the bit where he eats lit cigarettes (which I can’t actually bear to watch). Though I suspect that bit of business was sacrificed due to them being confined to a truncated opening act set. In any case, I was pleased to visit with them again. The next band was fun., which is Nate Ruess (vocals; The Format), Andrew Dost (piano, keyboard, fluegelhorn, and glockenspiel; Anathello), Jack Antonoff (guitar; also currently with Steel Train) at … Continue reading

Video Grab Bag: Panic! at the Disco, Christina Perri, Industries of the Blind and Empires


This video for Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind), Panic! at the Disco‘s second single off of their new record Vices & Virtues, just came out yesterday, and, you guys, I really just love it so much. Not only is it a great song (turn it up!), but the video is beautifully shot and lit AND there is fabulous choreography. There are also fun costumes, because the whole thing is a visual tribute to musicals, including Grease, Mary Poppins and Singin’ in the Rain. Oh and also SOMEONE GETS SHOT OUT OF A CANNON. It is just delicious.     Continuing with the movie theme, this is the lyric video for Arms, from the upcoming lovestrong by Christina Perri, which features words “projected” onto old-fashioned movie screens. I’ve already confessed to typography nerdery; what I especially like about this one is the way the letters shuffle and jump and sometimes arrive as snarled little knots that then expand into words and phrases.     Next up is music that sounds like it should be in movies, from Industries of the Blind. This video is a teaser trailer for their upcoming record Chapter 1, and so doesn’t contain a full … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Panic! at the Disco / Walk the Moon

This week, Jennifer reconnects with one of her favorites and discovers a new Ohio band. Last Tuesday, Panic! at the Disco played their first U.S. show in almost two years. It was an amazing evening, but before I tell you about it, I’d like to introduce the opening band, Cincinnati, OH natives Walk the Moon: I am not quite sure what the facepaint has to do with anything, but: they have hot funk grooves powered by two drummers – one whom is also the lead singer – and in addition said lead singer is in possession of a killer disco falsetto. They immediately engaged and kept the attention of a restless crowd, and the reason I took so few pictures of them was because I was busy dancing. I’d also totally go and see them at their own show in the future. You can listen to them on bandcamp and also they will be at SXSW. If you’re going down there check them out, you will not be disappointed. Spencer Smith and Brendon Urie But now, onwards to the main event, with some brief background: In July 2009, Panic! at the Disco split in half. Ryan Ross (guitars, lyrics) and … Continue reading