Posts Tagged ‘music


Bon Iver.

No witty titles for this blog folks, just straight up Bon Iver.

I made the sojourn to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the Bon Iver show at the Pabst Riverside Theater, 7/23. There was a show that happened the previous night, but the 23rd was the original date that went onsale first for this tour. My friend Meghan and I both love Bon Iver, so we decided that our 1st Bon Iver experience would be together, in Wisconsin. She cracked under the pressure and went to the show on the 22nd, but I still love her,lol.

I made it into Wisconsin on little sleep and a whole lot of excitement!

Meghan quickly scooped me up from the airport, along with another friend of mine, Kat!! HEY KAT!

She had come down for the day for a “Waukee Hang” (LOL). A huge brunch later, we went back to a friend’s house – Jen! The majority of the time between brunch and going to the venue was spent playing with Jen’s dog, Gracie, and trying to bribe Meghan to tell me what happened at last night’s show. Yes folks, I was like a crackhead for information. I NEEDED TO KNOW!!!

Scanning the setlist, I was so happy to see “Beach Baby.” I had requested that song a few weeks ago, glad he included it! Also… BJORK! What!! Bon Iver covering a BJORK song?? Is this real life? The idea of it was so intriguing I snuck onto Soundcloud and found it. Brilliant. I suggest you all take a listen when you can 🙂

A nap later…lol… We decided to head on over to the venue. I was so excited I was about to burst! I think Meghan found my excitement hilarious! LOL. We got to our seats, which were about 10 rows from the back, but still had a great view of the stage. Of course I wished we were front row, but I was just so damned happy to be there, I didn’t even care anymore.

The opening band were The Rosebuds who Justin used to play in back when he lived in North Carolina. I’ve just recently started listening to them, and I do enjoy their songs, but something was off with their sound. At times Ivan’s vocals were way overpowering and loud, other times they were great, and then Kelly’s vocals couldn’t even be heard at all. Not sure what happened there, but it sort of marred their performance slightly…. slightly. I think they would have killed a smaller venue though, no question.

Intermission time was upon us then. Meghan stepped out to stretch her legs and wound up seeing some of the Volcano Choir boys out in the lobby! If you don’t know, Volcano Choir is another band that Justin plays in from time to time.

After a bit Meghan comes back, we talk a little to pass the time… and then…. the lights go down.

My heart immediately starts pounding. I think I grabbed Meg’s arm at one point too.

And then, the cheers start. The deafening applause and yelps completely fill the venue. And out they walked as a group. There were so many of them, they filled the entire stage easily. The backdrop was just a few simple linear lights spread across the stage horizontally. Not fussy at all which I completely expect from Bon Iver. What I didn’t expect was what Justin was wearing. A VEST… and omg… is that… what I think it is?? Justin, are you wearing a BOLO TIE?!?!?! Seriously? LOL. Then again, with him, I am not surprised, just amused. This is the same grown man who performed in a Bart Simpson shirt, and wears a tan fanny pack. And we all love him even more for it. Because it shows how much he’s not into pretenses and appearances. It’s so refreshing… Anyway, I digress….

Finally the tell tale guitar riff of “Perth” begins. The adrenaline in my body at this point has caused me to breathe so heavily I’m feeling a bit faint. Luckily, I managed to calm it down by the time he started singing. And ohhhhh boy, can Justin sing. If you’ve ever doubted the clarity and power of Justin’s falsetto, don’t ever do it again. EVER AGAIN. As a band, on this song, it was extremely overwhelming. They are so cohesive, and so… just… dead on balls accurate on execution that they make it look so easy. Sean and Matt’s dueling drumsets were a thing of encompassing beauty. It was marvelous. At this point I’m so glad they decided to bring all these musicians out on tour because anything less wouldn’t do it justice. Like I predicted, it sounded huge and fucking amazing live and I wanted to live in that moment forever. Those simple little lights provided such an accompaniment to the lyrics and cadence of the song, it was the most spectacular opening song I’ve seen yet, from any band.

And then a few songs later… “Holocene”. The one song I knew I would cry on, and completely on cue, it happened. I looked to Meg and said “Ohhhh nooooo” and felt my eyes well up. I spent the first minute of the song with my head ducked down bawling like a baby. Then I decided to get some audio at least so I can cry about it in the comfort of my own home later today, LOL. But seriously, that song live is just everything I’ve ever felt, every emotion I’ve ever had, every pain I’ve ever experienced. It was overwhelming and I needed to cry on that song to let it out. If you care to hear a fraction of what I heard that night:


After that crying bit, I wound up crying on almost every song all through the middle of the show. It was just 1 song after another, all relevant to me, all have spoken to me or helped me through a situation at one time or another in my life. I remembered these moments and I remember how the songs made me feel at that time, and it was just so cleansing for me to be able to let them go. It’s almost as if hearing the same songs that I heard back then, in a sense, gave me permission to leave it behind. Like I shouldn’t have to carry any guilt or sadness around with me anymore. Particularly gorgeous was one from the new album called “Wash.” The song on the album was already gorgeous, but the live arrangement was stunning. It was one of those moments where you are just so grateful for your life and to be in the room hearing it. I could not stop crying on this song. Meg wound up crying on this one too. The lady next to me probably thought I was completely mental, but I did not care. Justin voice… I can’t even explain… I looked at Meg after one part that Justin sang, just a small riff, but it was so damn gorgeous it hurt me. She felt it too because she had the same expression on her face, and the crowd must have as well because they immediately cheered and clapped.

For a short break in the waterworks department, the boys pulled out another new one called “Hinnom, TX”. I had heard rumblings that while Justin did the heavy lifting on the low parts of the song, the parts that Justin also sing in his falsetto on the album version would be handled by Mike Noyce. Now, I’ve seen Mikey sing only a handful of times, usually in 3 part harmony with Justin and Sean, or a few times taking the lead on some cover songs – “Tampa to Tulsa” and “Simple Man”. But when he bust out the chorus in perfect tune I was so happy. I could have kissed him for doing it so brilliantly. One thing is for sure – All 3 of those guys, Justin, Mikey and Sean can sing their asses off. Without any question. The crowd loved it too because the round of applause he received was certainly well deserved.

And then, tumbling back into the crying songs… the 1st one that ever made me cry upon first listen was “RE: Stacks”. UGH. Just him, alone in the spotlight, on electric guitar. It was so silent you could probably hear the collective heartbeats of everyone in the room, minus the few “woos” and “i love you justin!!”. It doesn’t translate well to this recording, but you can take a listen and see for yourself:


They then launched into the aforementioned cover of the Bjork song, “Who Is It”. Seeing Justin doing his signature 2-step with castanets in his hands will forever be burned into my memory. But the one who stole the show here was Reggie Pace, who beatboxed the entire song, perfectly. He also plays trombone, and the little bells and chimes you hear through the songs. I know that Meg recorded that one, so I suggest you scour YouTube for it. It was so unexpected, but so well done, it felt so so right.

The main set closer was a thing of beauty and something that I couldn’t wait to experience live, “Wolves”. By now, I’m sure you all have seen videos of this song being sang live and how the crowd reacts to it, but nothing, NOTHING, prepared me for it. It was so freeing to be able to hear and be a part of that song. This one I did manage to take some video of. Stealth video because we weren’t supposed to be recording it at all, but I had to capture this moment, if anything, for memories sake:


The encore brought out an old crowd favorite “Skinny Love.” By this time everyone was on their feet from the energy of “Wolves” and refused to sit back down. So at the top of my lungs I sang about loveable lies and forgoing the parable. I could only imagine how everyone on that stage felt with a crowd of that size singing a song that was written by a man who completely down on himself at the time. This is by far Bon Iver‘s biggest hit to date, and one that most anyone could identify with. At that moment in that room we were all equals, and a room of that size managed to feel like we got to share that tiny cabin with Justin for a few minutes.

True to form, he closed the night with “Beth/Rest”, a complete throwback to the 80’s musically, but lyrically it was the perfect choice to end the show. The arrangement of the song also changed a little bit too. For me, it came across a lot less 80’s and more “this is me, take it or leave it.” Justin declared himself, declared what Bon Iver is (or isn’t depending on how you look at it) and declared that there is so much more to come from him. His genius title is completely well deserved and the closing lines “this is axiom” is him outright telling us that he knows who he is and what he’s doing. “For Emma..” might have been his happy accident, but “Bon Iver, Bon Iver” is his huge footprint in the cement.

It’s obvious that I’m a fan, but if it’s possible at all to gain even more respect for a musician than you’ve already had tons for, this would be the man, and this would be the band. Bon Iver are a force to be reckoned with, as cheesy as it may sound. To translate such a lush and intricately orchestrated album into a more beautifully lush and intricately orchestrated live show is not an easy task, yet Bon Iver pulls this off flawlessly. This is by far the best show I’ve ever seen, and definitely a show I recommend everyone see.

For more on Bon Iver, visit the website at


Day 6: Farms and Facepaint in London

Today. Such a conglomeration of happenstance. I don’t even know how or why it came together, but it did.

A simple tweet alerting us of a Marcus Foster performance, a few more tweets later we got confirmation of where and when. Then… Walk the Moon was already on the agenda. Was turning out to be quite the day, lemme tell ya.

First, we lounged around til about 3 and then finally got up and headed to Hoxton. The farm was in the area, so we decided to grab some food nearby. We ran into this small little cafe, which coincidentally is a recording studio. There were pics of artists up on the walls to prove the point. Meghan and I both got the eggs florentine, and for the first time eating that, it was super delicious! Then we sat talking for hours and finally ended our brunch with some slices of chocolate cake, in honor of Meghan’s birthday of course.

Strolling a little bit down the way, we managed the find the farm where Marcus and Chris were to perform. Just one problem…. It was invite only. *cue horror music*

Meghan explained how Chris said we could come down, and they finally let us in, thank goodness. It wasn’t packed at first, but it did quickly fill up eventually. Free booze, and free food nonetheless, lol. We relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere and appetizers until it was time for Marcus to sing.

We made our way into the little barn like area, and lo and behold…. A cozy couch for us to sit on and watch. Odd thing is, the total number of people that actually came into the barn to watch the show was only 12. 12 people! So odd. I guess the wanted their free booze more than a gig… More for us then, because it was like a private party! Woo!

They did only 5 songs, but hey, after 2 years, that was more than enough to make it worth my while.

  1. I Don’t Mind
  2. Shadows of the City
  3. Don’t Need to Lose You To Know
  4. Tumble Down
  5. Kiss is a Knife

I recorded 2 of the 5, but the files are too large to upload now. Will have to do it when I get back home 🙂

Those guys certainly make a great team, and so happy to see Chris playing a cajon! Thats an instrument that needs way more love.

After the show, Meg and I chatted with them a bit, but we had to be on our merry way to see Walk The Moon!

Finally making it to the venue, there was about and hours wait until the got on. I had to partake in some facepaint. Sadly it was so hot in there, Meg declined… Maybe next time?

Finally the boys got on! The crowd is nowhere near as energetic as the last time I saw WTM in Brooklyn, but still a fun time. My favorites are Quesadilla,I Can Lift A Car and Anna Sun, of course.

Kevin Jones and Ben Lovett even showed up to the gig. I wonder if Ben already knew about them from Communion NY or if they are gaining a following in London… Ah well.

Afterward, Meg talked to Kevin, and mentioned Bushstock, and the exclamation of remorse for it getting rescheduled was instant, lol. Considering everything that has happened in place of it, I am not mad about anything at this point!

So now, sitting here in my facepaint, blogging. With the feeling that I don’t wanna wash it off, lol.

What a day.

Who the hell knows what tomorrow will bring.

Til then,
– L


Day 5: Derp Derp in London

Ok so this morning, we totally overslept. I’m talking after 12pm. Meghan still had leftovers from the Thai we ate the previous night, but I didn’t, so I decided to walk down to the fish and chip shop in town. I got the cod and chips, and by the power of magic he produced this, sprinkled with sea salt and malt vinegar in like 2 seconds. Hot, crispy, delicious. Then I headed over to Tesco to get some water and some more snacks! This time I got different bags of crisps: Wotsits, Doritos, and Thai Sweet Chili. Haven’t tried them yet, but I will let you all know how it goes.

Back at the pad, stuffing the fish and chips in my mouth, or at least as much of it that could fit comfortable, perusing Twitter, we found out that Walk the Moon have two more shows in London, today and tomorrow. Without nothing else on our agenda, we decided to check out today’s show in Kings Cross.but beforehand, we decided to catch a movie at Leicester Square.

We saw Water for Elephants! Ha! No, i kid. Really, we saw Limitless… A movie I’ve wanted to see forever now, but just now getting around to it. First off, what’s all this sweet popcorn business? Who knew that was so popular? Secondly, I ordered salty popcorn. I get the popcorn and I peer around the theater looking for it in earnest….


Do you all not believe in buttered popcorn? Wait, that’s blasphemy… But seriously,how can you Londoners eat dry ass popcorn? I was so baffled by this.

So toting my dry ass popcorn and slushie, we made our way into the theater. You could easily tell we were the only Americans in the place for the simple fact that Meghan and I totally laughed at the American humor on the previews. Mind you her laugh can alert the masses anyway (read: loud).

The movie in itself was good! Very good actually. I wish something like that existed in real life… Even though it might kill me, it’s worth it, lol.

After the movie, we headed to Kings Cross, but we were both famished, so decided to stop at the little pub before heading to the venue.

Here’s what happened. We get there at 7:30, there are supposed to be 2 opening bands, so we took our time and ate slowly. At 9pm we walk (ACROSS THE STREET) to the venue, and guess what… We see them packing up the van. WE MISSED THE ENTIRE GIG! I could have spat fire I was so disgruntled,lol. We chatted up some folks outside just to make sure we really botched this terribly, and yes, indeed we did miss the show because we were eating across the street.


So instead of new pics of Walk the Moon, I’ll just insert these pics from the last time I saw them, so you guys can just squint really hard and pretend they were taken in a London pub.

Thankfully there is another gig tomorrow, and we will not miss it. I will not leave London without a painted face.

Plus, tomorrow is Meghan’s birthday 🙂 Victory shall be ours!

Til tomorrow,


Day 4: Boot Stomping in London

So this morning we decided to head over to Knightsbridge to check out Harrods. It really is like a huge huge Macy’s. Neither of us purchased anything and we had hours to kill before the Mumford & Sons gig, so we went across the street to this restaurant where we sat outside and had tea, scones, clotted cream and jelly. Absolutely delicious. Must find a way to get this again when I’m back home.

And here’s Meg, drinking her coke and eating scones, while I had the tea 🙂

Anyway, after some hours of sitting and talking we got on the tube to Wimbeldon, to the New Wimbeldon Theatre to see Mumford & Sons. Matthew & the Atlas opened for them. I would have loved to see more banter from Matthew & the Atlas, but I did enjoy his voice, very unique. I will be sure to listen to more of their stuff. The venue was gorgeous too…

Meg and I tried to stand on the side near the railing but the usher sent us back to our seats immediately when the show began.
Anyway…. After some preliminary announcements and hoopla, it was time…. 1st person to come out:



And finally…

The crowd was energetic and eager to participate. Everyone stood up. Everyone clapped. Everyone danced. Everyone cheered. Old and young alike.., it was pretty spectacular. But when a moment of silence was asked for, this happened, and it was lovely:

Meg and I looked at each other like “OMG.” It was so silent you could hear a pin drop, I was very impressed that the silence lasted the entire song.

They also played another one of my favorites:

I love a multi talented man! Seeing Marcus on drums is invigorating, I was again… Impressed.

Overall I thought it was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in recent history. Winnie humped his banjo as usual, Ben smiled the entire time and whipped his hair back and forth, Ted was Ted, and Marcus left his heart and soul out onstage. It was inspiring and possibly one of the best nights of my life. Can’t wait to see them again.

Tomorrow would have been Paris, but since someone at the Eurostar website is smoking crack and trying to charge £400 roundtrip, Paris will have to wait. At least until I make my millions or the sugar daddy comes along, whichever is 1st.

So, more days in London, which I’m not sad about. Maybe some art… Maybe some sightseeing, maybe some more beer? Ok definitely more beer. Lol.

Til then,


The Reason Why MUTEMATH Will Always Be My “Favorite Band Ever”

So after 2 long years of waiting, MUTEMATH decided to have another tour and it was definitely not going to be missed by me! I opted for the VIP Package, and ohhhhh boyyyyy was it money well spent. Big thanks to MUTEMATH and everyone over at Teleprompt for such an amazing VIP experience. Seriously, this was the best band/fan relations I have ever witnessed in my entire life.

That said… onto the show.

As Tall As Lions

So when I found out that MUTEMATH would be returning to NYC, i decided to check out the opening band, As Tall As Lions. Turns out they are NY natives, and their music was another welcome refreshment for my ears. I enjoyed this band way more than the opening band that MUTEMATH picked for their last show here, Eisley. As Tall As Lions seemed a better fit with the energy that MUTEMATH emits when onstage. I must say, I was thoroughly impressed with the band as a whole!

ATAL1They did only 6 songs, which included my all time favorite, “Ghost of York”. Not too many people knew who they were, but by the end of the set, people were cheering and clapping along for them. I’m sure they made quite a few fans tonight. The lead singer has an incredible voice and range, I was impressed with them. Also, the two in the back took turns playing those keyboards, trumpet, and various other instruments. Highly entertaining. I’d pay to see them again, without a doubt.


Like I said.. 2 long years of waiting and they day had finally come when MUTEMATH was back in town. My adrenaline was coursing so high I had a slight headache from all the anticipation. I felt as if i would burst into tears or break into hysterical laughter at any moment. And this was all before they even came onstage! When I heard the first few notes of “The Nerve” I knew this would be a night I wouldn’t soon forget.

paulmeany1The crowd was quickly energized and transformed into a hurtling mass of bodies all bobbing up and down to the beat, myself included. This was what I’d missed. The reckless abandon of all care for your own person, and just letting the music guide your movement. MUTEMATH has always been that band for me, where I could just say “fuckitall” and rock out like nobody’s business. Their energy is infectious!

Their setlist was peppered with songs from their newest album, “Armistice” of course, while bringing back some crowd favorites like “You Are Mine”, “Noticed” and “Reset” from their self-titled disc. They even managed to squeeze in “Peculiar People” from their first EP! And yes, I knew the words to all of the songs they played. When I say i’m a huge MM fan, I mean it. I’ve listened to their albums repeatedly over the years and most recently “Armistice” for weeks, just trying to mentally prepare myself for everything I had witnessed tonight.

mm1Can I take a moment and talk about how insane Darren King is? Seriously, is he from another planet? Injected with some experimental drugs? Because how in the bloody hell does he play like he does? I’ve not seen nor heard a drummer that’s impressed me that much in so long! Darren has been my favorite drummer ever since I found out about MUTEMATH, and when you see him in action you really appreciate how talented he really is.

Exhibit A: The Duct-Taped Headphones

darrenducttapeI mean, seriously. He knows he is gonna be drumming harder than any man known to beat a drum, hence the duct tape. Notice the sweat? Yea, that was after like 2 songs. By the end of the show, it looks like he’d just threw himself into the nearest pool, got out and sat down to play. I’m not even kidding. He was so sopped with sweat, he was nice enough to put his blazer on before crowdsurfing so we didn’t get his sweat all over us. What a stand up guy.

Exhibit B- The Cymbal

darrencymbal1Do you see this? There were like 4 spare drumsticks out in the audience at this time, and he let whoever got one play with him. I was awed. Not only because I wish it were me who got a drumstick, but because he made sure those people actually stayed on beat and kept time with him.

I can’t even show you the craziness of the bass drum being held by the crowd, with him standing on top, then he takes a swan dive BACKWARDS off of it, is caught by the crowd and crowdsurfs back to the stage. Sorry, my camera died from all the awesomeness that previously happened.

So can I talk about the super awesomeness of Paul Meany now? Can the man have any more energy? Let me tell you, I saw him before the show at the VIP Reception and he is so laid back and calm. Put him onstage and you get instant Red Bull™ action. I can’t even begin to explain how he does it.

Exhibit A- Let The Crowd Sing

paulcrowd1Do you understand that one minute he was onstage, dancing and clapping and the next minute he was right next to me in the crowd? I swear it was like I blinked and he was right there! It’s almost like he teleported himself there. I don’t understand how he was able to propel himself + mic stand that far, that quick. LOL

I so wish I could have shown you the frontflips he was doing over his keyboard near the end. Yea, my camera had already died from the awesomeness like I said. *sigh*

Roy is a damned bass playing monster! He played the hell outta that thing!! LOVED IT!!! Greg was awesome on guitar as well. He even got on drums a bit! I didn’t know he had it in him!!

So yeah. This show basically owns my whole life,LOL. Absolutely, hands down best show I’ve seen EVER! EVER! I really don’t care what background you’re from, what music you like… you have got to go see this band next time they come to your town. Even if they don’t come to your town, make the drive to see them. There is a damn good reason why they were named “#1 Band You Need To See Live Before You Die” by Alternative Press. I certainly would have been ok with death after this show.

I swear afterward I just walked around completely amazed. I just kept shaking my head because I couldn’t even believe it! I still can’t believe it! I’m so physically exhausted right now from all the exertion tonight, yet I can’t seem to go to bed because I’m so wired from it! I guess you can classify this under the “Good Tiredness” category right alongside sex. LOL

I must say though, the song of the night for me was “Burden”. Every time he gets to that part where he keeps saying “i just can’t hold it together, i just can’t hold it together…” it does something to me. I remember Paul asking me at the listening party which one was my favorite and I instantly said “Burden”. I knew that song was something special, and boy was I right! Hearing it done live was even more breathtakingly mindblowing.

Sheesh, I could probably talk about this all day… err.. night? I suppose it’s technically morning now, since it’s 4:10am already.

I only hope they go on tour again sometime soon, because every other show will now pale in comparison to this one, and I still haven’t caught a Darren drumstick yet, lol. I did manage to snag Roy’s pick from a lovely woman who was kind enough to give it to me. I think she saw my face after I pleaded for something from the stage and had pity on me. LOL

Why do I want to keep writing! LOL I feel prematurely sad for anyone who talks to me in the next few days. The Gospel of MUTEMATH shall be preached.

BTW- the full set of pics will be up on my Picasa acct at: once the desktop uploader gets its act together. Can you believe I took 481 photos tonight?


Oi Bobbeh!!!

Bobby Long came from London to NYC and shared his music with us, and I couldn’t have been more grateful! You see, I have a wide range of musical tastes and he is definitely rubbing my folk/blues/country bone the right way. I admit i found out about Bobby from Rob Pattinson’s song “Let Me Sign” on the Twilight soundtrack, but Bobby can indeed hold his own.

I caught Bobby on both nights of his shows here in NYC; the 1st being at “Lakeview Lounge” – a teeny, tiny dive bar located on the Lower East Side. Sort of that hole in the wall place that kind of smells like your mom’s basement but has super cheap beer so it doesn’t even matter after a few, lol. When I tell you it was standing room only, it was standing room only. Me being smart enough to plan beforehand, i made my way up to the stage and stood there for the whole 3 hrs it took Bobby to take the stage. Yes, dedication. After 1 beer, countless hours, fan girls sqeeing in my ear and one nearly vomiting on me, here are the fruits of my labor: – video that i streamed live from the show 🙂

Bobby Long - Lakeview Lounge, NYC

Bobby Long - Lakeview Lounge, NYC

Click here for the rest of the photos from night 1

Onto night 2… Which i really wasn’t planning on going to, but i said if the “B” train comes, then it’s meant for me to go to this show, and lo and behold it came right then. This show was held at “Arlene’s Grocery” – an actual supermarket that was converted long ago into a club. This venue was far larger than the previous night, with a lot less drama. It didn’t seem as intimate though, and although he was still playful, he was a bit less than the previous night. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed both sets!!

You want video? You got video…

For the rest of the videos, click here!! (4 total)

and you know i got tons of pics…

Bobby Long - Arlenes Grocery, NYC

Bobby Long - Arlene's Grocery, NYC

For the rest of those pics, click here!!

See now, i’m not usually really enthusiastic about too many artists these days, but this is a newcomer that deserves my praise. I was blown away, literally. He sings with passion and emotion and it’s very refreshing to see someone so young (22) be that serious about his music in this day and age.

Check him out on Facebook and Myspace, I urge you, everyone!!!

July 2018
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What I’m Listening To: