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Internet Gold

There are some things you come across and thank the heavens for the internet. A special treat for our Jewish friends out there, Bob Dylan and Harry Dean Stanton singing Hava Nagila…..obviously. Too strange to not be real.

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Song Of The Week–Terror Pigeon – “Forget Everything That Makes You Want To Not Be This Band”

Don’t know much about Terror Pigeon? Don’t worry neither do we. But we have a feeling you may hear about them soon. The second single off their upcoming album Live It up Before You Die It Up, is a simplistic yet eccentric tune, sure to stick in your head for days. “Don’t worry man, we’ll be alright”. Referencing the hard times of being in a band.

Keep pumping tunes like this, and the previously released “Girl!”, don’t worry band, you’ll be alright. Check out both tracks below

The Nashville bands new album hits 9/23 via Stay Magical!

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Spoon – Concert Review – Rumsey Playfield New York, NY – September 10, 2014

Spoon is a band that has typically stripped down their live songs to really emphasize the talent that goes into making them. That they have always done a great job at. Throughout the few shows I have been to, live performances seen on the internet, and most notably the festival circuit, they have always presented an “Unplugged” atmosphere. Not Wednesday night in Central Park. For fans of the band this was a truly exciting thing to see.

This would explain the fact that they shelled out 3 out of first four songs from their booming new album They Want My Soul. Opening up with “Knock, Knock, Knock”, following up with “Rent I Pay”, and throw in “Small Stakes” into that equation and you have a hell of a way to start the night. Britt Daniels voice swooned over, as the music and effects came into play, as if you were listening to a Spoon album at a picnic. “Inside Out” followed suit which then was relayed by some more similarly produced songs like “Don’t You Evah”, and “Who Makes Your Money”. Before then breaking back to some good old rock and roll with “Don’t Make Me a Target” where Britt walks off stage and grabs new guitar just to hit the song home. It’s pretty absurd (check it out below).

Everything from Kill the Moonlight up to this years album was spread nicely throughout. Going back and forth between albums really surprised the crowd and added for great excitement. In my opinion, some key tracks like “Jonathan Fisk”, “Finer Feelings” “Written in Reverse” as well as some tracks from older albums A Series of Sneaks, and Girls Can Tell were missed. Inevitable when you have such an extensive catalog of music, so nothing can be done there. Furthermore, it’s been noted the band really feels “Kill the Moonlight” was their first real album where they felt like a true band, so with this night, as well as others, they played a great set from that album up.

Britt Daniel and crew kept rolling into the night with the guitar heavy “I Turn My Camera On”, “New York Kiss” and ” Got Nuffin”. Closing the set with Britt acoustically crushing “Black Like Me”.

Encore was pretty ridiculous and indicative if the night. Highlighted by the bombastic “Outlier”the crowd was all in unison singing “MMM Na Na Nah” all throughout. Finally, and not surprising, closing the phenomenal performance out with “The Underdog”. In what was a different arrangement, but all the more powerful, it proved worthy.

Overall, it’s tough to expect much from an outdoor venue, unless your crushing the festival circuit. However whether Spoon strips down or goes full force we know this: They will showcase, in any environment, the talent that makes them one of the best bands in America.

Setlist:
Knock Knock Knock
Rent I Pay
Small Stakes
Inside Out
Don’t You Evah
Who Makes Your Money
Rhthm &Soul
The Ghost Of You Lingers
My Mathematical Mind
Anything You Want
Don’t Make Me A Target
Do You
I Just Don’t Understand
I Summon You
I Turn My Camera On
New York Kiss
Got Nuffin
Black like Me
Encore
You Got Yr Cherry Bomb
Outlier
The Underdog

Opener “Knock, Knock, Knock”

“Don’t Make Me A Target”

“I Turn My Camera On”

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NYC, 9/11 and the Concert for New York City

September 11, 2001. Hard to believe 13 years have passed since the world was forever changed. It is a day everyone remembers where they were, what they were doing, and their initial shock of seeing the images from lower Manhattan. In the initial days following the attacks everyone did their best to help, in whatever way they could. Whether it be FDNY bucket brigades digging through the rubble, people cheering 1st responders on the west side highway, local communities holding candle light vigils, families posting photos anywhere and everywhere in NYC; everyone just wanted to help. There was still hope people would be found.

As it became clear people were not coming home, efforts were focused on helping the victims families. Ask any New Yorker and they have a 9/11 story. How they sat with a grandmother reminiscing through photos of their son or daughter, preparing meals for a grieving widow, or buying a drink for a cop or fireman because you knew they were dealing with loss in a completely different way.

NYC had been attacked and changed forever but the people rose above the tragedy and were at their best. Soon others would come from outside NYC to help. Whether it be church groups, individual business owners providing meals, or people just asking, “what can I do?”, everyone wanted to help. For many New Yorkers, help would come in the form of diversions; sport or entertainment. Baseball in particularly, became an escape for many in New York. The Mets and Yankees provided a much needed distraction. They also provided some of the most memorable nights of my sports life. The Piazza home run on the first night baseball was back in NY and the three nights in the Bronx during the World Series. Those nights were unlike any other sporting events I had ever seen.

Music would also play a major role in letting people know it was okay to cheer and celebrate again; you didn’t have to feel guilty about it. Personally I saw Wilco at Town Hall on September 27th, 2001. I stopped downtown before the show and the smell of burning metal and plastic engulfed lower Manhattan still. Photos were still plastered over plywood and attached to chain link fences. As I entered Town Hall I didn’t know what to expect or feel. Jeff Tweedy spoke at times about how grateful he was to be in NYC and to have fun. We all did our best to comply. It was a great emotional release to be around a large group of people that were all feeling the same way and all needed some release. Whether to shout along to a song or cry with a friend. It all helped. After the show me and my cousin went to Scruffy Duffys where they were playing Proud to Be an American. The thing about NY bars is that they will always give you a reality check. Someone was grumbling at the bar how this was a shit song for farmers not New Yorkers. At that point I felt NYC would be different going forward but definitely still NYC.

Music also played a huge role in making sure first responders had a night out to cut loose and remember their lost family and friends. The Concert for New York City was an amazing night. Not only did first responders get a break from the chaos of post 9/11 NYC they were being honored and appreciated by the biggest music acts of all time.

On October 20, 2001 MSG held a tribute concert for all the first responders and their families. Paul McCartney organized the show and invited a whos who of the music industry. The raw emotion of the crowd and performers was a sight to behold. It also served as a successful fundraiser with over $30 million raised for the families and other 9/11 causes.

By far the most emotional performance of the night was by The Who. For whatever reason at that moment, The Who connected more with the crowd then any other act could. The aggression in Townshend’s guitar, the soaring notes of Daltrey’s voice, Entwistle’s booming bass, and the driving drums created a sound unlike any other act that night. Following pacifist pleas by Susan Sarandon and Richard Gere, The Who gave everyone a chance to scream, howl, yell Fuck, and cry; all in their four song set. There were no pacifist pleas from the Who, their music captured all the aggression and anger that people were not allowed to express following 9/11. In more simple terms their four song set was absolutely electric. They performed Who Are You, Baba O’Reilly, Behind Blue Eyes and We Won’t Get Fooled Again. The crowd went wild, drowning out Daltrey’s voice. During Behind Blue Eyes, people held up all the Mass cards and photos of the fallen. This concert and performance is truly a time capsule of the emotion in NYC at that time. Watching these performances brings you right back to that time. Also this should be mandatory viewing for anyone that doesn’t know about 9/11 or has forgotten about what happened.

We all know Michael Moran summed it up best:

We all have moved on in some way or another, human nature forces you to. Unlike the rest of the country, New Yorkers are forced to deal with the ramifications of 9/11 daily. Whether it be the never ending construction downtown, seeing the failing health of many first responders, driving on streets named after the fallen, or being part of one of the unfortunate families that never got to say goodbye to their loved ones on that day. Here in New York it is different, it always will be different.

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Album Review – U2 – Songs of Innocence

So the wait is finally over. After months of rumors surrounding the release of this album, it just happened. And for free!! (granted you must have an iTunes account). At Apple’s launch of new products yesterday they also announced U2’s new album would be available for free on iTunes to over 500 million customers. It’s a change we have seen recently where large acts release their album for “free” behind some sponsor. As a fan that owns ever U2 album and some bootlegs this was a welcome gesture.

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As far as the album goes, on first listen it doesn’t seem to have that “signature” track. Unfortunately U2 is drifting towards an act you go to see the hits. Their last “great” album in my opinion is now 14 years ago, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, was very good but not great, too many uninspiring songs made that effort just short of putting that album with U2’s best work. That album is also 10 years ago believe it or not.

Back to Songs of Innocence. The stand out track seems to be Every Breaking Wave. Lyrically it differs from the rest of the album, not as nostalgic in tone. It is a great tune that should be wildly popular during their next tour. City of Blinding lights comes to mind as a song that was completely different live then on the album. I can definitely see U2 perfecting this as a live number.

Song for Someone is a nice song. It has that signature U2 build from a ballad but doesn’t fully go to that next level that makes so many U2 songs epic. The chorus seems restrained but overall it’s a very good tune.

The rest of the album is just ordinary and at times flat out bad. If this is the best effort U2 has left in them, it really is a shame.

The Miracle – decent song, but definitely not U2 single worthy. Sounds like it could be a standout track but falls flat. The Edge has some ripping chords but the song misses as a U2 anthem.
Iris – Hard to rip a song about Bono’s mother but it’s another track that gets close to being a great song but just doesn’t get there.
California – Just okay. Nothing grabbing you to hit the repeat button.
Volcano – Eh
Raised by Wolves – Not good
Cedarwood Road – Okay
Sleep Like A Baby Tonight – Bono’s falsetto is painful to listen to. Should have quit smoking years ago.
This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now – Described as their Clash tribute song. It’s a bad song. At best it will be a good upbeat song to run up steps at an arena to go to the bathroom.
The Troubles – Boring

And there you go. Of the 11 new tracks 1 Really good U2 worthy song
2 Decent tunes
8 Songs that missed the mark

Too be honest I really wanted to like this album more. I’ve listened all day hoping it would be a grower. Unfortunately that has not occurred. I hope there is one more special album in U2 but maybe that is wishful thinking at this point. I will most definitely be at every NY show I can get tickets to. At the end of the day the catalogue of tunes is still so great and the music live is transformative. I’ve always found a live U2 show an almost spiritual experience , it really is in a league of its own.

One of U2’s finest moments was a few nights at MSG shortly after 9/11. It was October and one of the 1st times people could let go and it was okay to have a good time. I remember at the end of the show they dropped a banner behind them and scrolled the names of everyone that had perished on that fateful day. Everyone understood that life would have to go on, we could have fun again but we would not forget those that were not with us. Most of the crowd walked out with misty eyes and an appreciation for U2’s respect of our city and the joy/healing they could provide through song. From that moment I would always be a loyal U2 fan. Even if this album is not my favorite I will always check them out and give them an extra listen. Walk on baby, and I look forward to seeing the boys from Dublin in NYC to give us a night everyone will be talking about.