Trampled by Turtles/The Infamous Stringdusters at the Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio, 11.6.10

Trampled by Turtles

Many times, when you hear one song by a band and are instantly excited
by it, the rest of that band’s repertoire can be disappointing. I
heard Trampled by Turtles’ “Wait So Long” a while back and loved it
instantly, so when they started off their set at the Beachland
Saturday night with a mellow number, while it was a lovely song, I
wondered if I was in for impending disappointment. But all misgivings
were completely wiped out by the second song when TBT launched into
the thrash-grass sound that’s been garnering them fans all over the
country.

TBT played a very good mix of slower tunes with their fast tunes, but
it was obviously the fast ones the audience had come for, and I don’t
think anyone was disappointed. Between the foot-stomping that was
going on out on the floor and the guy who was headbanging to my left,
for a moment, I wondered if a … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Titus Andronicus/The Felice Brothers

NTSIB loves the Felice Brothers. NTSIB also loves boys in dresses. Now we can enjoy our two great loves together! Hurray for Halloween!

Continuing my ongoing life-theme of music related traveling, last weekend NTSIB friend Joy and I drove up some twisty mountain roads to Poughkeepie to see Titus Andronicus and the Felice Brothers. Trivia: Joy first saw The Felice Brothers when they were playing on the subway platforms in Brooklyn; I only learned about them this past January, and for all of the times I’ve seen them this year, this show was the first one in an actual club. And it was wonderful.

IMG_3861

Titus Andronicus was once again amazing. The crowd was of course much smaller than the one at Webster Hall, and during the first song I thought they might be a little bit lukewarm. Oh, was I ever wrong. As soon as the second song started, they began moshing. And I do mean moshing; there was hair, beer and limbs flying everyehere, Joy almost got knocked over four times, there were dudes in tweed sport coats pummeling the bejsus out of each other … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Black Cards

Jennifer re-employs her uncanny ability to get killer shots of Pete Wentz as he broadens the current trend of bands with “Black” in their names. While my taste frequently diverges from Jennifer’s, and NTSIB would not have any Wentz-related content without her, I’m truly proud to be able to feature her great shots here.

Black Cards

IMG_3745

Pete Wentz amid a forest of hands and cameras

Apparently I have some mysterious talent for taking reasonably good but yet oddly blown-out pictures of Pete Wentz. I took this a week and a half ago in a teeny-tiny club in Poughkeepsie. The occasion was the last night of a three-show mini-tour by Black Cards, which is his new band. Blown out or not I’m fond of it, though, because, well, look at his little grinny face. He was having fun, y’all, and I was glad I could be there to see it. (Also, that forest of hands and cameras? They were there ALL NIGHT. I was three rows back from the stage and that was essentially my view!)

As for the music: it was great. Their sound … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Mark Ronson and the Business INTL

This week, Jennifer reveals the quirky interests of her childhood and sees Q-Tip! (Oh, and this Mark Ronson kid.)

IMG_3650

Mark Ronson and the Business INTL

I have spent a certain amount of time in the last couple of weeks listening to Record Collection and pondering the question of how to descibe the sound of Mark Ronson and the Business INTL. A potpourri made of hip-hop and synth-rock electronica? The soundtrack to someone else’s glamorous life? The kind of thing that would be playing the background of a Wes Anderson movie? All of the above? I finally settled on: a delicate, complicated game of vocal pick-up sticks with hot dance beats, though The Business’ Twitter bio says they’re “Nature’s The Traveling Wilburys”, which might also be a wholly accurate description.

IMG_3607

Stuart Zender (Jamiroquai) and Alex Greenwald (Phantom Planet)
Ronson has certainly managed to pull in an eclectic collection of musicians, representing multiple generations of multiple genres. I was at the Webster Hall show, where in addition to the Business – Rose Dougall, … Continue reading

Craig Wedren/Greg Dulli at the Grog Shop in Cleveland, OH, 10.16.10

Craig Wedren

Given my long-standing love for Greg Dulli (generally referred to in my world by his proper name: Greg fucking Dulli), it was a given that I would jump on tickets to this special acoustic show, Dulli’s first solo tour. When it was announced that Craig Wedren of Shudder to Think would be opening, my eyes nearly rolled back in my head. In the later 1990s, before bands began breaking up and band members died, my holy triumvirate of music was topped by the Afghan Whigs with Morphine and Shudder to Think anchoring the other corners. I was fortunate enough to see each of these bands play before tides turned, and I cherish the memory of those shows. To be able to check in with the frontmen of two of those bands in one night was a special treat.

Wedren looked exactly as I remembered seeing him back in 1997 when Shudder to Think toured in support of 50,000 B.C.: fresh, lean and handsome with a spectacular smile and a sparkle in his eye. Mixing his solo and … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Fall Mix

Not the Fall as in Mark E. Smith, but fall as in the season. This week, Jennifer shares some thoughts on her current favorite tunes.

School foiled my concert-attending plans last week, so today you get a selection of things currently in heavy rotation on my iPod, along with some pictures from my recent travels.

1. Love Hurts, Grievous Angel, Gram Parsons feat. Emmylou Harris – Yes, it’s that “Love Hurts.” You may be more familiar with the Nazareth version — I was — but this one is 90% less cheesy and ridiculous. The song is infinitely better as a country love song than as a heavy metal power ballad. The lyrics have a lot more oomph now that I can listen to them without laughing.

2. Slink (A Hymn), Theme song for The Good Guys, Locksley – This band signs off all of their news emails with a cheery “Be in love” which makes me both grin and half-roll my eyes every time. Oh, babies. I’ll work on it, okay? I’m a cranky old lady, though, so you have to give me a running start. Meanwhile: this song is a delightful … Continue reading

Henry Clay People/Drive-By Truckers at Musica in Akron, OH, 10.5.10

The Henry Clay People

The Henry Clay People took the stage with confidence and ease, and while the beginning of their set struck me the same way their album Somewhere on the Golden Coast struck me – decent but same-y – things picked up with a song dedicated to the Drive-By Truckers (“This Ain’t a Scene”, I believe) and only got better from there. Joey Siara helped endear the band to the crowd by soliciting requests for cover songs… though the crowd was possibly stuck in a time-warp as Siara’s guidance to suggest a band from the ’70s was met with a shout for Guided By Voices. After a creditable rendering of “Game of Pricks”, Jay Gonzalez was brought on stage to join the band for a stop-start go at “Space Oddity” that included audience participation in the form of countdowns and hand-claps.

After a couple more stand-up originals, the band finished out their set with a cover of “Born to … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Free Energy

Free Energy gets their own spotlight this week. Jennifer digs her some punk pop.

And now, as promised: Free Energy, who were so awesome they needed their own post. I came into the show knowing nothing about them and about three songs in I was up on my toes, grinning at them and clapping along with the rest of the crowd. This band is fun, y’all, in all of the ways pop-punk should be.

IMG_3220

Musically, they have big hooks and catchy choruses; it’s the kind of thing that makes you want to dance, and also sing along. Also, it was the last night of a long tour, and lead singer Paul Sprangers was still bouncing around the stage and dancing with a tambourine. I tried to get a picture of it, which didn’t work so well. The one below conveys the general spirit, though:

IMG_3231

When I checked their MySpace to see if they’d be back to visit New York any time soon, I saw they are starting North American … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Titus Andronicus

This week, Jennifer gets excited about some punk fuckin’ rawk.

The best way I can explain The Monitor, the new(ish) record from Titus Andronicus , is to say that it is like two photographs, one from the 21st century and one from the 19th, carefully overlaid so that their elements blend and the eye is left with the challenge of determining what is now, what was then, and what is both, eternally suspended on the thin webbing of successful illusion. Internet, I have listened to this record a lot. I was really, really excited to finally be able to see them live.

IMG_3272

Patrick Stickles (l) and Ian Graetzer (r)

Following opening acts Screaming Females (solid punk band; their singer can also really shred) and Free Energy (pop punk so awesome they get their own post next week), Titus Andronicus kicked off the show last Saturday night at Webster Hall with A More Perfect Union, a song which references, among other things, the Newark Bears, the Garden State Parkway, Born to Run as well as both the Battle Cry of … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Blake Mills

As I was nearly employed in nefarious plans to acquire the object of desire in Jennifer’s post today, I am glad for the happy outcome. Jennifer suggests those seeking to obtain the below-mentioned artifact for themselves contact the Venice Beach location of Mollusk Surf Shop.

IMG_2895

Internet, last week I did something I haven’t done since (probably) 1998: I bought music on a cassette tape: Break Mirrors, by Blake Mills, formerly of Simon Dawes, who are now just Dawes. (Trivia: First cassette I bought, in 1986: Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA and The Hooters, Nervous Night; last cassette I can remember, before this one: Jerry Cantrell, Boggy Depot.) You may, rightfully, be wondering whatever possessed me to do such a thing, especially since I had already acquired the actual music on the cassette in digital format and have been happily listening to it for some time now.

IMG_2906

The answer to that question, is, essentially, that this was less about the tunes (though they are very good; more … Continue reading