Last week we saw some bands.
Photo from Flickr Alexistheo
Last Monday we went to the Highline Ballroom for the first time, to see Art Brut and White Rabbits.
White Rabbits were kind of OK, but the closing cover of Maggie's Farm that required an introduction/explanation, "it's a Dylan song that we're doing in the style of the Specials" kind of summed them up in the least flattering way. A six member band showing a bunch of influences but not really too much original. There didn't seem to be a dominant creative voice or anything really remarkable.
Unfortunately we didn't stay for all of Art Brut, as going to this show after going to the dentist proved to be a bad idea for my concertgoing companion. The second Art Brut album couldn't possibly be as good/fun as the first, but it's still pretty OK. The Eddie Argos comments to the effect of the "the first album I was 16 years old, now I'm 17 years old" is actually about right, I think. The show was a good amount of fun.
As for the Highline Ballroom, I would go back again. The wide stage and wide but relatively shallow room afford good views. The lights were a bit out of control during both band's sets and the in between sets music was terrible. It was also very loud. I see the Bill Callahan show on the calendar and want to go, but I'm not sure about convincing anyone else to go.
Photo from Flickr Forklift
Wednesday night we saw Spoon at Rockefeller Park. It was a short set that started late because of heavy rain. The show had a lot of new songs, which I thought played well. They had horns on Underdog and some other new and old ones. I'm very happy that I went to this show as I'm planning to skip the October Roseland show (because it's at Roseland). Spoon is probably the most consistently pleasing live band I've seen over the past few years.
The new Spoon album is really good, definitely in that unique territory that Spoon has marked out. The bonus disc has some good stuff too, and this preorder bonus from Merge is pretty neat: