Posts tagged ‘Cut Copy’

3/21/09: Cut Copy w/Matt & Kim @ Terminal 5 (58/100)

March 22nd, 2009

Picture 1 of 7

I’ve been trying to cut to the chase lately, and today is no different. So here’s the deal: I liked Cut Copy. I loved Matt & Kim. But I hate, hate, hate Terminal 5. I try to avoid it like I try to avoid the G train. Which is a shame really because it’s not a bad sounding venue, and the stage is impressive, and they book decent bands. I just hate how much of a fucking “concert” venue it is.

Rude security in yellow “SECURITY” jackets, a metal barricade between the crowd and the stage, outrageously priced drinks and how they pack as many people as humanly possibly inside. Plus, it’s out in the middle of nowhere, at least from the perspective of where I live downtown. But despite all of that, I was actually glad to be there because before Friday, I wasn’t going to this show.

The show had been sold out for a while, I think. Which I was bummed about because I really wanted Cut Copy and Matt & Kim to a part of the 100 bands project. So I took a stab at emailing Cut Copy’s PR company, PunkDaFunk. And they were sweet enough to put me on the guest list (thanks Neil and Rachel). Then I found out my friend Ryan and his girlfriend Erin were going to the show, too. Bonus.

I got to Terminal 5 just as Matt & Kim started. Wait, I forgot the best part: being on the guest list means you don’t have to wait in the long ass line and get frisked by the annoying concert sercurity who couldn’t care less about what band is playing tonight. You get to walk right through.

I caught about 90% of Matt & Kim’s set, and man, they are just as good live as everyone says they are. So full of energy, never without smiles on their faces, just having a blast while playing fun, poppy electronic/punk music to warm up the young, rave-hungry crowd (which I thought was weird, but I guess Cut Copy is an electronica band).

Here’s a taste

Before finishing, they busted out the intro from Europe’s “The Final Countdown” which was a fun surprise. Afterwards, I introduced myself to Matt, and told him about the 100 bands project. He thought it was great, and seemed super amped to be a part of it. Turns out the energy on stage isn’t an act. (Good meeting you Matt).

After Matt and Kim came Ryan and Erin. Not a band, my friends. I met up with them, we grabbed drinks and then headed into what became the largest sardine can in Manhattan. Seriously, we were smashed so closely together it was like whole crowd was spooning. And yet some people had the gall to bitch, as if they bought a section of the floor with their ticket. Seriously? If you’re voluntarily at a show like this, and you want to stand near the stage, you’re not allowed to complain, ok? Just sayin’.

The house lights went off, the stage lights began to flicker, Cut Copy took the stage and the place went fucking bananas. They launched into “Hearts of Fire” and suddenly the crowd wasn’t spooning itself anymore. It was jumping up and down like a 5-year old on its parents’ bed, instead. Check it out:

They kept the crowd amped like this for a few more songs, then slowed it down for a few, then we extracted ourselves from the “bed” and hit the sidelines. It was from here that I think I was able to make sense of this show, and the band. As far as the show goes, I think it was pretty good. Not amazing, and I think the set list could use some rethinking. They started strong, the middle was meh, and they ended fairly strong. Maybe they’re tired after a long tour? Or maybe it was because I wasn’t stoned? I don’t know, but the middle of the show glazed over me.

As far as the band goes, Cut Copy is kind of like the modern day Depeche Mode. I’m not sure that they’ll achieve the same level of success, but they’re pretty closer in sound. Problem is, after I realized that is when the band took a small knock for me because I sorta hate Depeche Mode – or more importantly, all that sappy, overly dramatic, British ’80s new wave bullshit. Except for maybe “Personal Jesus” and a few other songs here and there. Not that Cut Copy is Depeche Mode, mind you. But they’re definitely playing in the same sandbox.

But, the good thing is, they finished strong. And the better thing is, Terminal 5 has a curfew, and the show was over before midnight. And we were herded out the door like cattle, just as Terminal 5 sees us.

3/18/09: Isabella Lundgren @ The National Underground (55/100)

March 18th, 2009

Picture 1 of 3

I found myself strolling down Houston tonight, looking for a band to see. I didn’t have anything planned, and I was tired of the Bowery, Mercury Lounge, Cake Shop, Pianos, etc. Don’t get me wrong. I love those places. They’ve become like second homes. But I just couldn’t do it again tonight. I couldn’t stand around and wait until 11pm for another indie rock to hit the stage in a dark rock club. I needed something different.

And the thing is, there were decent bands playing, too: Clem Snide @ Bowery, Old School Freight Train @ Mercury. Either one of these would’ve been good show I’m sure, but like I said, I just couldn’t do it. I needed a night off.

Before I made it to the LES, I was walking around the Village. It was still light out, and I was hoping for a miracle in the form of music flowing out from a bar somewhere that would draw me in. Then, I’d grab a drink, and have a nice relaxed day 55. But I was coming up blank.

Nothing happening on Bleecker, damnit. Nothing happening on W. 3rd, damnit. Finally, Sunshine called me up and helped me try and find someone to see by playing music from Myspace pages of bands playing at The Living Room, Arlene’s Grocery, etc. But nothing seemed worth it. I had resigned myself to going back to Mercury tonight.

But then…

As I ambled towards the Merc, I passed The National Underground – a place I’d walked past a million times before, but never stopped into. From the sidewalk it looks more like a bar than a music venue. But there’s a small stage opposite the bar, and another room downstairs. So it’s legit, and just what I was looking for: soothing jazz flowing out from a club, drawing me in. I checked the window for a poster, to see who was playing. Looks like a female jazz singer named Isabella Lundgren. Good enough for me.

I’ve talked about my neophyte status as a jazz listener before (but I’m getting better, I hope). I didn’t recognize a lot of her songs, wasn’t sure how many were originals, standards, or what. I did recognize the classic “All of me,” but not to many more. But so what. This was just the kind of evening I wanted.

To stumble onto a band while it’s still light out, and be home before it got too late. I don’t want you all to think that I’m losing steam. That’s not the case at all In fact, quite the opposite. The second half of this project has totally re-energized me. I just felt like changing it up tonight. To go somewhere I hadn’t been, see something less predictable . Tonight was as much about retaining my excitement for the usual venues I love as it was about keeping the project diverse. How am I doing on that this week? Let’s see:

80s metal/rock on Monday.

Quirky Euro indie folk on Tuesday.

Jazz tonight.

Hip-hop on Thursday (The Roots).

Friday still TBD

Electro-pop on Saturday (if I can get into the Cut Copy show).

Now that I look at it, that’s not too bad at all. Here I was stressing about making sure the bands in the last half of the project live up to some standard, or at least help contribute to diversifying the total outcome. But I’m fine. This week is what this project is all about.