Monday, March 30, 2009

Art is subjective

So my friend Bodie sent me a link to the Department of Eagles’ video for “No One Does It Like You” last week and it took me to the MoMA site. Turns out it was directed by Patrick Daughters and Marcel Dzama, and the costumes and sets were designed by Dzama.

You may know Daughters from his past videos: Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps”, Feist’s “Mushaboom”, The Shins’ “Phantomb Limb”, Interpol’s “No I In Threesome”, and many many more.

Maybe you know Dzama from his artwork gracing Beck’s Guero album or The Weakerthans’ Reconstruction Site. He has also had several exhibits here in the states, and a large number of his work in the Tate (London). He is Canadian.

Also in doing more research about the video, I found that the choreography was done by a member of Fischerspooner. My bet is Stephanie Dixon since she is their dancer.

I like, respect, and admire both of these men’s work. However, for some reason this video really bothers me. I find it a bit disturbing and haunting. Maybe like the war it is meant to portray?

This was part of MoMA’s PopRally program.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Yeah, I'm working/To make butter for my piece of bun..."

As I have already mentioned in my best of 2008 list, I was a recent convert to the church of Lykke Li: So when it was first announced that she would be playing the Metro I let the information roll past me. However, months later after being hooked on her album I immediately bought a ticket, and was excited to find out some of my friends were going too.

On February 7th me and some of my gal pals grabbed a drink prior to the show and then headed over to the Metro. Two of my friends had seen her the last time she was here at Schubas, and said she put on a good show. I started getting excited. We arrived in the middle of the opening act’s set. They were called Wildbirds & Peacedrums: and they also are from Sweden. I was not too impressed with them and felt that their singer was a watered down version of Feist. But it seemed like the crowd that was there was into it.

At the start of Lykke Li’s set the lights dimmed and the music started. You could feel the energy buzzing amongst the sold out crowd. Then she emerged. WOW!!!!! Such a hottie! Short shorts, super high heel boots, sassy bed head hair and bold eye makeup. Then she opened her mouth and her voice started the first line of “Dance, Dance, Dance.” AMAZING! My friends told me that when she played Schubas she looked more flower child hippie. So she must have gotten a makeover somewhere along the way.

The show was fabulous. She played pretty much everything off of her album including my favorite “I’m Good, I’m Gone.” She also did “Tonight,” “Little Bit,” “Hanging High,” “Let It Fall,” “Everybody But Me,” and ended the set with “Breaking It Up.”

She didn’t play “My Love” which I was really bummed about, but she did give us a few treats. One surprise for me was her cover of Kings Of Leon’s “Knocked Up.” I knew she had done it, but had not heard it yet. It was amazing. She also covered Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” to the crowd’s delight.

For the encore she started out with “Time Flies” and ended with Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It.” We all went nuts. Literally everyone was just moving and singing along to her sexy voice offering a new twist on an old favorite.

I really enjoyed this show and it just confirmed what a great performer Lykke Li is. I am so excited to see what she will do in the future. If you get a chance to see her live, do! She has a few more US dates left, including Coachella. Then hopefully she’ll head back home and start working on a new album.


P.S. Some great collaborations with Lykke Li:

“I’m Good, “I’m Gone” with some other Swedish all-stars

“Dance, Dance, Dance” with Bon Iver

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Our edges can never be found out/No, our edges keep moving further out..."

So I honestly have been putting off doing my last few show entries due to laziness. I know that sounds awful, but once 2008 was coming to an end I just got caught up in leaving for the holidays and slacking off. I debated not even writing about the shows, but then of course my Catholic guilt kicked in and I felt like I have this obligation to you, my loyal readers. The readers who will send me an e-mail or a Facebook wall post telling me to get my act together and write. Well, my lovelies, I will try and do my best. I mean it this time.

On November 7th, 2008 (See? See how far behind I am?!) I went to Schubas with my friend Natalie to see My Brightest Diamond (MBD) I didn’t know much about MBD except they are on Asthmatic Kitty, Sufjan Stevens’ label. In fact one of my first blog entries mentions Shara Worden (lead singer/songwriter for MBD) when she was touring with Sufjan for the Illinois tour. She sang the first part of “Sister” at the start of that show.

Well Natalie does street team work for Asthmatic Kitty and she encouraged me to go. At first I was reluctant, but afterwards I was really happy I went. One thing that really made the show was the intimate and comforting venue that is Schubas. And the crowd was pretty cool too. I mean who else goes to listen to a dreamy combo of rock, classical, opera, and cabaret? Pretty chill people.

The opening band was a group called Clare & The Reasons At first I was like, “Hey they are pretty good. Cutesy singer, sweet and honest banter…I like them.” But then they started playing a song and I was frozen in my spot, eyes glued to the stage. I was entranced and just felt it in the marrow of my bones. The song was, “Alphabet City,” and after hearing it I knew I had to go to the merch table and get the album. Which is rare, because I hardly ever do that. I knew it was kismet when I bough the last copy of the record. Score! Other notable songs they performed were “Pluto,” “Rodi,” “Can Your Car Do That?” and their version of Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.”

“Alphabet City” (not from the show)

By the time Shara and the rest of her band came out the crowd was pretty warmed up. Unfortunately, after a few songs in Natalie wasn’t feeling very well and had to leave. Sad face, since she was so excited to see them live. Even though I didn’t know much of her music, well really any of it, I was pretty pleased. I know that in the summer she had released a new album called, A Thousand Shark's Teeth, and would probably play most stuff from that. Of course she would add to the set list from her first album, Bring Me the Workhorse. She started out with “Golden Star” and then went into other song such as “If I Were Queen,” “Apples,” “Disappear,” “Dragonfly,” Gentlest Gentleman,” “To Pluto’s Moon, and “Inside A Boy.” In the final song, “From The Top Of The World” they entertained us with a guy and girl puppet and did a little show on the corner of the stage. It was very sweet. Here is the official video, including the puppets:

Even though I didn’t go to the show super excited or fully aware of MBD, I’m glad I went and saw her live. And I’m really glad that I discovered Clare & The Reasons. Their album, The Movie, has been on rotation in my iPod since that night.


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