Tag Archives: dallas

Live Review: My Bloody Valentine

my_bloody_valentine

I have been dreading writing anything about last week’s My Bloody Valentine concert, not because it was anything less than awe inspiring, but because I don’t have the verbal aptitude to do the experience any kind of justice.  What I’m about to say will come off as cosmic hyperbole to those not in attendance and bland understatement to those who were.

Loveless, as it was to thousands of others, was a touchstone in the development of my musical tastes.  Like The Velvet Underground & Nico, Daydream Nation, and Wowee Zowee, it was an album that completely shifted the way I heard music as a kid.  Having the opportunity to see MBV live was not something I ever considered to be within the realm of possibility.  Kevin Shields seemed like a man way too far lost in personal mythos and perfectionism to ever pick up where he left off with this band.  So when it was announced that MBV would be playing a handful of dates in the U.S., including Dallas, I was ecstatic.

While waiting for the show to start, a guy walked over to us and, with a look of clear anxiety, asked just how loud this thing was going to get.  We couldn’t tell him for sure, but any time the venue’s staff hands out complementary ear plugs at the door, it’s safe to assume you aren’t at a John Tesh concert.  The entire day I had a mixed feeling of genuine terror and fantastical elation.

To be completely honest, I was disappointed when I heard that there were going to be opening acts.  MBV are simply too monolithic to give anyone else a fair shot of not sucking by comparison.  Josh Pearson, formerly of Denton’s Lift to Experience, did a decent job, despite his obvious nervousness.  However, the choice to play a MBV cover was a bit of a head-scratcher.

In the spirit of charity, and since I like his band The Lilys, I’ll keep my thoughts about Kurt Heasely’s set to myself.

Anticipation was ratcheted to an unbelievable level as we waited (and waited) for MBV to take the stage.  The Velvet Underground’s narcotic “Ocean” evaporated into the onstage fog and would’ve been the perfect overture for MBV’s entrance, but instead we were forced to wait a few minutes longer.

As per their reputation, the group’s stage presence was entirely swallowed by their massive sound and eyes-on-the-floor mystique, being the very definition of anti-charismatic.  MBV have never been showmen/women; they are rock’s equivalent to the obelisk in 2001: A Space Odysey.

The sound at the beginning of the show was certainly rumbling, but as someone who has had his hearing damaged by Sonic Youth, it wasn’t quite to the notorious jet engine levels.  However, the decibel range slowly crept up throughout the night, and wearing ear plugs made it easier to distinguish the intricate melodies being frequency fucked onstage.  I was almost lulled into believing the infamous “Holocaust” section would be manageable.  Almost.

The Palladium is notorious for being one of the least sound-friendly large venues in Dallas, but the reportedly doubled P.A. system seemed to work magnificently.  For a band with such a brief but consistently brilliant discography (ok, maybe minus a few really early tracks), there were sure to be a couple songs sadly missing from the setlist, but the territory traversed was impeccable.  There were a few murmured complaints about the submerged vocals, but vocals are not the primary ingredient in this sonic stew, so I had no problem with that.  I was utterly awestruck by Colm Ó Cíosóig’s drum pummeling.  I was even more blown away to experience elements of the songs that are imperceptible when listening on a home system.  The sheer volume brought forth countless additional tonal layers. The hypnotic “Soon” could have spiraled into the abyss for an extra twenty minutes and I still would’ve been in a euphoric trance.

All of this lead up to “You Made Me Realize”, the climax for which we had been preparing ourselves.  I began to brace myself for the aural ambush around the corner.  All of the sudden I was hit with an indescribable wave of very real and very physical sound; we were in the belly of the beast.  This is where all words will fail to describe the truly surreal experience of the next fifteen minutes.  All sense of time simply evaporated as the crowd was thrust into an intensely hallucinogenic state of consciousness.  I traveled through all manner of feelings, beginning with a dopamine rush that eventually ceded to an almost oppressive fear that my body would simply be crushed by the force of the sounds enveloping us.  Then I think the entire crowd simply gave themselves over to catatonic bliss.  When the coda came crashing back in, it felt as if my body was lifted into the air, the same way your arms float skyward after pressing against a door frame for a few minutes.  After the song ended the entire crowd stood dumbstruck before any attempt was made to exit the venue.  For a few moments I wasn’t sure my legs still worked.

We stumbled into the night as zombies, our brains feasted upon by one of our planet’s most justifiably exalted rock bands.  None of us will ever be the same, and some of us will never hear the same.  We had just survived the greatest sound sculpture ever erected.

“To Here Knows When”

“Come in Alone”

“Soon”

“You Made Me Realize”

Chris

Crystal Castles Cancel Concert, Put on Bitch Fest

defaultaspx

…and today Silence in Architecture morphs into TMZ Lite.

As was already reported by Gorilla vs. Bear, Crystal Castle’s scheduled concert in Dallas last night hit an Axl Rose-sized snag when said band decided to pretend they were actual rock stars.  That is to say, they kicked SiA-approved openers VEGA off the bill for allegedly jacking equipment and proceeded to cancel the show altogether, citing the Grenada’s supposed lack of an adequate sound system.  As someone who has witnessed a few (great) shows at the Grenada, I’m having a tough time swallowing that swill.  In addition, Alan Palomo of VEGA adamentally denies the former accusation.  Taking into account that the Grenada backs Palomo’s version of the story and he is a friend of Jezy, I’m much more apt to discount CC’s frankly ludicrous statements.

While I’m sure the crowd was quite perterbed by CC’s diva-ish behavior, we can fortunately report that the situation didn’t escalate into a Montreal-style Guns ‘N Roses riot; perhaps because the ironic mulleted fan is less hopped up on testosterone than the real deal.  In any case, the Grenada and VEGA appear to come out as the more mature participants in this rather silly, yet unfortunate, drama.

So here’s my brief lecture for Crystal Castles: It is unwise to begin acting like Rock Stars hopped up on diva juice before you prove yourself capable of actual stardom.  At least when Lars and Axl decided to shit on their fans they had already sold millions of records.  Most people stole your debut and the recycle bin is just one mouse click away.

Suck on that 8-bit shit, fuckas.

Chris

VEGA to Open for Crystal Castles

l_d303fdb9258748bb8325d1ac58ca60aa

As Jezy has already pointed out, Alan Palomo’s new project, VEGA, is way worth paying attention to.  “All Too Vivid” is the jam of the Spring and has been getting major love from allovertheblogosphere.  Now we have some more exciting news to report: VEGA will be opening for Crystal Castles at the Grenada in Dallas, April 14.  Doors open at 8 p.m.

Here’s a fan-made video for “All Too Vivid” to satiate your dreamlust:

[VEGA’s Official MySpace Page]

Chris

My Bloody Valentine Coming to Dallas(!)

up-1mbv

It’s on a Wednesday night, a three hour drive from where I live, but possible tinitus or exhaustion will not stop me from seeing My Bloody Valentine rip apart The Palladium on April 22.  Tickets going on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

Full Dates:

04-18 Indio, CA – Coachella
04-21 Austin, TX – Austin Music Hall
04-22 Dallas, TX – The Palladium

04-24 Denver, CO – The Fillmore Auditorium

04-27 Seattle, WA – WaMu Theater at Qwest Field

05-28 Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound Festival
05-29 Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound Festival

Chris

Friendly Lists: Tyler Dempsey

Today’s super special sauce guest list is by Tyler Dempsey, lead banjo-diddler of All These Teepees.   
Favorite Songs of the Past Year: I really liked “Tonto” by Battles, it reminded me of a math equation, you know, a sexy sort of math equation. “Bamboo Banga” by M.I.A. and “I Woke Up Today” by Port O’Brien got a lot of play too.

Favorite Older Songs of the Moment: It would have to be “Bring the Rain” by Neil Young. I’m not certain what album it was even on, I found it on this mix somewhere, but it kind of blends all of Young’s strongpoints. The version I have is a live recording, very tender, like the staring at a snow mountain sort of tender. Also, Michael Jackson has controlled some of my attention lately.

Favorite New Band or Older Band You Recently Discovered:
This isn’t so recent, but it is the most excited I have gotten in recent memory about a band. It’s this band Aphrodite’s Child and they are from Greece and recorded in the late 60’s and early 70’s if I’m not mistaken. Their opus was this experimental record entitled “666“, which is braggable. Anyways its like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Aesop sat around smoking pot and talking the Book of Revelation from the Christian Bible. A lot of the two discs is pretty out there, and some of it is just transcendental. A new band that I’m excited about is Fire on Fire, recently signed to Young God, they have a song called “Heavy D” that is the putting into song what you have always known. Timeless stuff.

Favorite Song Ever:
Can’t answer that…maybe “Comfortably Numb.”

Best Recent Concert:
Probably Justice at the Palladium in Dallas, TX. More of a party than a concert, and more of a best time had by all than a best show.

Last Great Film I Saw:
“No Country For Old Men” is the best film I have seen in quite some time.

Last Great Book I Read:
A book called “Too Loud a Solitude” by Bohumil Hrabal, might have to check the spelling on that, but it is about this guy who compacts paper and educates himself from the bits of books he salvages. It’s really about the indestructability of knowledge and all that, beautifully written and very intelligently done.

First Album You Remember Buying:
Green Day’s “Dookie” on cassette.

Favorite Band to Hate On That All Your Friends Heart:
I really hate to “Hate On” anything really, Kurt Vonnegut has a quote that I love about criticizing a work of art being like putting on a suit of armor and attacking an ice cream sunday. But if I had to pick it would be RJD2…never liked em’.

Best Purchase of the Last Year:
Nothing memorable, I really don’t buy a ton of stuff.

Best Thing I Did This Year:
The Justice show in Dallas…hands down.

Favorite Recent Drunk Moment:
All of them, why else get drunk than for moments.

Favorite TV Show at the Moment:
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”

Favorite Video Game at the Moment:
Haven’t played one in a long time, favorite all time would be “Final Fantasy VII”

Most Commonly Eaten Food Product:
Probably a burrito, but they give me graboids in my tum tum.

My Ringtone:
Some pre-setting.