2014: A Year In Pictures

A year of rock n’ roll, in pictures, including two shows from late December 2013, which I shot after I posted last years’ Year in Pictures.

Tonight I’m headed out to dance the New Year in with Erasure (!); have fun and be safe, y’all, and I’ll see you on the other side.

The Districts, Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY, Dec. 30, 2013

The Felice Brothers, Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY, Dec. 30, 2013

Team Spirit, Irving Plaza, New York, NY, Dec. 31, 2013

Andrew W.K., Irving Plaza, New York, NY, Dec. 31, 2013

Fadeaway Friends Benefit 001, NGHBRS, Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ, Jan. 10, 2014

Fadeaway Friends Benefit 001, States and Kingdoms, Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ, Jan. 10, 2014

Fadeaway Friends Benefit 001, Frank Iero, Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ, Jan. 10, 2014

Fadeaway Friends Benefit 001, The Gay Blades, Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ, Jan. 10, 2014

Fadeaway Friends Benefit 002, Fred Mascharino, St. Vitus, Brooklyn, NY, Jan. 18, 2014

Fadeaway Friends Benefit 002, States and Kingdoms, St. Vitus, Brooklyn, NY, Jan. 18, 2014

Fadeaway Friends Benefit 002, Geoff Rickley, St. Vitus, Brooklyn, … Continue reading

Postcards from the Pit: The Used / Taking Back Sunday / tonightalive. / Sleepwave, Best Buy Theater, 4/15/14

Because better late then never, I guess?

Or just because this show took me a while to process.

Going in, I thought it might be an era ending, the last shot at getting near a pit before my janky spine forced me out into safer, less unruly pursuits. Or at least to attend shows in venues with chairs.

I say “near” because Best Buy Theater has three tiers, two stading, one seats, and there was no way I was getting on the floor for this show. I was still debating the issue with myself when I saw there was one last spot on the granny rail, between the seats and the real (soon to be constantly heaving) pit, and I took it.

Sleepwave were up first. Led by Spencer Chamberlain, formerly of Underoath, they’re so new they don’t have a record out yet – that’s coming later this summer – but they came highly recommended by the ladies at the front who had seen several shows on the tour already.

And they were indeed very good, playing the kind of gritty, grimy metal that is majestically uncomplicated, the kind of thing that makes the urge to bang … Continue reading

Daily Video: The Used, Cry

Cry, from Imaginary Enemy by The Used: Because Bert McCracken writes the best break-up songs and then performs them looking like he just left a pint of Haagen-Daz melting in his Blanket Nest of Pain.

Also because I am seeing them tonight, along with Taking Back Sunday, Sleepwave and tonightalive., and it’s the last real pit I’ll be in for a while. If not forever.

The Used – Cry (Official Music Video)


Watch this video on YouTube
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July Video Challenge: The Used, Pretty Handsome Awkward / Empty With You

Reasons I love Pretty Handsome Awkward: 1) the percussive guitars and roaring drums and 2) it sounds like one-half of every rage-fueled break-up conversation ever, the one you probably shouldn’t have with the actual person you are leaving / has left you because you might sound a tiny bit unhinged, but good lord does it ever feel good to vent your spleen.

As it happens I heard it for the first time in the aftermath of a split. I wasn’t angry so much as numb, overwhelmed, and directionless, and in many ways it was like a big blinking arrow that said When In Doubt, Follow The Sound of the Electric Guitar. Not long afterward I fell face-first (back) into rock and roll and, well, suffice it to say, I feel a lot better now.

The Used have been a band since 2001; Pretty Handsome Awkward is from their third record, Lies for the Liars, released in 2007. They are currently label-less, but still working on their fifth record, which may possibly be out later this year.

Other things to know: Pretty Handsome Awkward coincided with singer Bert McCracken’s blond period, and when he is blond, he looks startlingly like … Continue reading