Postcards from the Pit: Fall Out Boy / NK, House of Blues Boston, 5/26/13

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In which I went to Boston for Fall Out Boy, and it was an awesome, sweaty, raucous festival of joy. But to back up a little bit: Up first was NK, which is Ryan Hunter and Brian Byrne (Envy on The Coast) and Billy Rymer (Dillinger Escape Plan), and they’re currently touring with Isaac Bolivar and Matt Fazzi (Taking Back Sunday). They have a heavy rap-rock Rage Against The Machine vibe going. I didn’t know any of their songs but I could nonetheless appreciate the barely controlled surge and snarl of their drums and guitars. I’m pretty sure it isn’t possible to listen to their set and not suddenly find yourself banging your head. Some highlights:   This really is Ryan Hunter (Envy on the Coast). He cut all of his dreads off!     Joe Trohman and Isaac Bolivar, headbanging.     The right side of the stage . . .     . . . and the left. And then it was time for the main event. Fall Out Boy came out in a burst of light and noise and kicked it off with Thriller – their Thriller, not Michael Jackson’s – which was an absolute perfect choice … Continue reading

Postcards from the Pit: The Felice Brothers / Yellowbirds / Mail the Horse, Mercury Lounge, 12/31/12

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And now, at long last, the promised pictures from the Felice Brothers’ New Years Eve show. Starting from the beginning, with Mail the Horse:               Yellowbirds were up next; they’re also from Brooklyn, and were an odd little burst of power-pop in the middle of a twangy, fuzzed-out evening:         And then, The Felice Brothers, who played a bunch of crowd favorites (ones I can remember: Frankie’s Gun, Cumberland Gap, Whiskey in my Whiskey, White Limousine, Run, Chicken, Run), surprised us with an appearance by Simone Felice, poured us into the New Year with Take This Bread, ceded their stage to a member of the audience for a (successful!) marriage proposal, and at the end shut the place down with back-to-back covers of Carry That Weight by The Beatles and Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Carry That Weight I sang along with out of . . . habit, for lack of a better term. It’s the Beatles, I’m not that keen on them but it’s a communal thing to do, rolling with the crowd-swell for the chorus, acknowledging that 2012 was rough and 2013 may not be much better but … Continue reading

Postcards from the Pit: Father John Misty / La Sera / Jeffertitti’s Nile, Bowery Ballroom, 10/24/12

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My post-show summary of Jeffertitti’s Nile was that they were loud and swirly, but pretty, and on reflection I think that sums them up pretty well. Their songs were almost entirely instrumental, and, were, well, psychadelic kaledeiscopes of notes. And yes, that is Father John Misty you see perched behind their drums; he was sitting in with them for the tour.           The second opener was La Sera. They started out kind of sweet and twee and then somewhere around song two or three abruptly kicked into gear, sprouted some harder edges and jumped several notches on my approval matrix. They also got bonus points for a partial cover / interpolation of an Elvis Presley song, because there really should be more punk/rockabilly Elvis covers.           And then Father John Misty (J. Tillman) re-appeared, having apparently briefly decamped to Tom Petty Fest and found it wanting. Here’s what I’m going to tell you about his set: what you hear on the record is what you hear live. He did some jazz-hands and a lot of shimmy-shake and hit all of those notes in achingly beautiful style, with occasional breaks for snarking on … Continue reading

Photos from the Austin City Limits Festival

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  Originally shot for Speakers in Code, our friend Nate Burrell has allowed us to share some of his photos from this year’s Austin City Limits Festival. The shots are so gorgeous, I’m not even going to begrudge him the fact that he didn’t shoot the Afghan Whigs. who played yet another stellar set at the fest. (Click photos to view larger versions.)     For even more great ACL Fest photos, visit Nate’s site.