Tag Archives: The Velvet Underground

Parquet Courts @ Webster Hall

Ive been noticing an interesting phenomena in some of the younger folks I’ve met recently…the thrall, the charm, the possibility, the obsession with, the love of the internet has worn thin. There is also an acute awareness of being targeted by marketing campaigns. This is made abundantly clear in the song ‘Content Nausea’ by my favorite band from this past year, Parquet Courts. Topics range from technology to panic and depression, the military industrial complex (Careers in Combat) and some good old fashioned story songs and all with a great sense of humor. They sound like a mix of The Velvet Underground, Pavement, The Soft Pack and Television. I got to see them last Thursday at Webster Hall. I saw a huge line down the block and wondered if I’d be in a crush. It turned out the line was for Thurston Moore who was playing in a small club next door. Two very strong writer/guitarists in the band make for some great angular melodic guitar exchanges like the band Television. I’m a huge fan of lyrics and these guys have them in spades! One is more of a singer and the other is more of a shouter/sing-spoken-word man. The bass player sang one of the songs too! On their website under a photo of Webster Halls Marquee proclaiming the show to be sold out whichever band member writes on their website wrote, Who am I kidding we sold out a long time ago… followed by a video of a drone-y, sludgey performance at a party? Not the stuff of sellouts http://parquetcourts.wordpress.com/ They release their albums on vinyl as well as CD (much respect) and they’re 4 albums in already (I didn’t catch the title of their first release in 2012 but they made a splash with Light Up Gold, followed by Sunbathing Animal and most recently Content Nausea) plus they do their own art work (respect again). They played songs from those three big albums:

Up All Night
Bodies
Black and White
Vienna II
Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth
Everyday It Starts
Dear Ramona
Master of My Craft
Borrowed Time
Careers in Combat
N Dakota
What Color Is Blood
No Ideas
Disney P.T.
Ducking & Dodging
Raw Milk
Into the Garden
Content Nausea
Light Up Gold II
Sunbathing Animal
Encore:
Pretty Machines
Yonder is Closer to the Heart
Always Back in Town
Instant Disassembly

Given the current demonstrations here in NYC and in particular in light of the Eric Garner murder the end of the song, ‘Instant Disassembly’ which closes with the repetition of the line ‘I can’t breath, I can’t breath, it’s hard to inhale yeah’ took on a heightened significance. My only complaint was that the rapid-fire words of ‘Content Nausea’ got lost in shouting and distortion. Regardless it was a great performance! I bought the t-shirt (ha ha) I see buying t-shirts from bands as helping out. I think it’s the only way bands make money. Anyway, listen to Parquet Courts I highly recommend them!!

Philip Lynch Band next appearing at Piano’s 158 Ludlow Street, NYC December 23rd (Festivus for the rest of us!!) @ 7PM

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Califone @ Le Poisson Rouge

Last Sunday I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of seeing and hearing the band, Califone, at Le Poisson Rogue, 158 Bleecker Street, NYC. Califone is led by singer, guitarist, keyboard player, Tim Rutili. His site is here: http://www.califonemusic.com/. He had been the lead singer of the band Red Red Meat in the 90’s. They produced hazy, fuzzy, atmospheres in their songs which suited the lyrics sometimes and sharply abutted against them others. I really love Red Red Meat’s final album, ‘Bunny Gets Paid’. Califone put out ‘Stitches’ last year around this time and I’m still not tired of it, a true testament to the ever-seeking listener. One of my favorite releases of 2013. This was a CD that would not be thrown back! ‘Stitches’ is a bit cleaner and more produced than ‘Bunny Gets Paid’. Not a bad thing mind you…it makes me think Tim has found more confidence in his lyrics and melodies or something (maybe just working with different people). In anticipation of the show I wondered if they would be able to create the edgy, rough bleeding into delicate sounds achieved on ‘Bunny Gets Paid’ or would they perform as close to the album (Stitches) as possible? I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome…it was a mix. The rough sounds they achieved without being too loud and yet that feeling of danger, of everything falling apart and having to let it go was in excellent balance with the melodies. It felt like luck that it worked! But it had to be orchestrated. I imagine what I saw and heard to not be far from a Velvet Underground performance. I don’t know why more people don’t move, physically react to music nowadays. Granted, Califone doesn’t write dance music but it’s music that you can physically feel. The arrangement was Rutili on Guitar or keyboards, 2 drummers, lead guitar player, and bass player. I recognized one of the drummers from shows I had seen in the past and couldn’t restrain myself after the show. I’ve seen/heard Rachel Blumberg over the years playing with The Decemberists, M Ward, and Norfolk and Western. Excellent player and creative soul, http://rachelblumberg.com/. I had the opportunity to thank Tim Rutili and all of the band members for an excellent show…they kind of regarded me as though I had two heads…either that or I was feeling self-conscious approaching strangers. heh. Anyway have a great week and thanks for reading! -p

Goodnight dark prince.

In keeping with the last post, the notion of proprietary rights to a particular artists music and pride in either discovering them or sharing their music, my introduction to Lou Reed was via my older brother and I held tight to The Velvet Underground and Lou. The album cover for Take No Prisoners (live album) of a bald man in fishnets, heels and leather jacket made an impression on me in my sexually formative years…sexual identity could be a form of expression! Plus the notion that different things work for different people really freed me to a world of my own. Tough and cool music that was also sensitive because it was revealing a world not dealt with openly publicly. I’ve always identified with the underdog, the misunderstood and the disadvantaged not because I feel that way myself but because those who can’t stick up for themselves need somebody to stick up for them and Lou was the soundtrack. Influences are important not only for artists to help further develop and understand who they are and what they are making but also to share with audiences to give them a context for their work. Lou Reed is one of my influences. He opened a door, lyrically, for the world….you can write about what society views as undesirable, degenerate, ugly, and or disturbing and reveal a world which said society was secretly curious about all along. Those who knew him best have eloquently paid tribute below:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/laurie-andersons-farewell-to-lou-reed-a-rolling-stone-exclusive-20131106

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/28/patti-smith-lou-reed_n_4171625.html

The tracks I caught at Lincoln Center today:

I’m Waiting for The Man
Warrior King
Venus In Furs
Leave Me Alone
Caroline Says
Heroin
Waves of Fear
I’ll Be Your Mirror
Satellite of Love
White Light/White Heat
Smalltown
I Want to Boogie With You
Candy Says
Street Hassle
Vicious

(Then I had to go back to work but it went on until 4)

The Who/The Buzzcocks

A couple of posts ago I wrote about a trip to the Princeton Record Exchange (https://philiplynchmusic.com/2013/06/03/princeton-record-exchange/). One of my acquisitions from that trip was Who’s Better, Who’s Best by The Who. When I was a kid I went through various infatuations with various bands after The Beatles. There was a Hendrix phase, The Velvet Underground, Prince, Tom Waits, The Cure etc etc. For some reason when I was going through my Who phase I was taking their albums out of the public library. Listening to their albums was like my love of serial stories, comics, radio shows. I plowed through them. My friend Gordon and I would listen to Chandu The Magician on the radio and discuss the episode on the bus before school. Chandu was a mystery radio show from the 30’s, must’ve been on NPR or something comparable. So, on Who’s Better, Who’s Best there’s a track called I’m A Boy which was a single released in 1966. The track was initially intended to be a part of a rock opera called ‘Quads’ which was to be set in the future where parents can choose the sex of their children. The idea was later scrapped, but this song survived and was later released as a single. In The City was the b-side. I’m A Boy hit #2 on the UK singles chart.

B-Side:

So while listening to the album I was gobsmacked (let me know if I’m using that term improperly heh) in the ear of my mind, THIS IS EXACTLY LIKE ANOTHER TRACK, WHAT IS IT??? I immediately decided it was a Buzzocks song, I Don’t Mind. As it turns out I Don’t Mind was also a single but it charted at #55 on the UK singles chart in 1978. Autonomy was the b-side. Unlike I’m A Boy both Buzzcocks songs appeared on their debut album, Another Music in A Different Kitchen. So at closer listen the only thing the tunes have in common is really a riff in the beginning but I was glad my realization of a similarity wasn’t so far off as to question my perception/sanity. Not sure if my sanity is reliant on my perception….I think it is but I think those who’ve done acid might disagree.

B-Side:

Thanks for tuning in faithful readers, tell your friends etc etc. James and I are in the exciting phase of album making known as sequencing! More to follow!! Have a great week all full of great listens!
oh…and dig this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZXy1vQF0fw