Friday, June 27, 2008

Listen to Little Red

Tonight after work Lucas and I headed over to Polyester Records on Flinders Lane for Little Red's in-store performance to celebrate the release of their debut album "Listen to Little Red." I last saw them play in March during a lunchtime concert at Melbourne Uni, so it was good to see the five boys together on stage again. Their 40 minutes set included many songs from the new album and it was one of the tightest performances I have seen them do. Everything sounded really great. I highly recommend that you go out and buy their album- those of you overseas can order it from JB Hi-Fi.

Here's the video for the first single "Witch Doctor."

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Black Keys

Last night I joined Danny to go see The Black Keys play a sold out show at the Palace Theatre on Bourke Street. The band consists of a drummer and guitarist (sort of an all male White Stripes) and they have a very bluesy/rock sound. Their backdrop was a giant inflated tire- an homage to their Akron, Ohio roots. I had heard a couple of their songs from appearances on Conan, but wasn't that familiar with their catalogue. Overall it was a good show. Dan and Patrick are talented musicians although at times the songs sort of blended together because there is only so much you can do live with drums, guitar and one singer.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Liam Finn and The Gin Club

Last night I headed to The Evelyn Hotel to see Liam Finn play. After touring extensively throughout the US for the first half of the year, he scheduled four dates in Australia and New Zealand as part of his "Better to Be Home Soon" tour. My first surprise of the night was the length of the line that greeted me when I arrived at the venue. Liam is obviously getting more popular as none of his previous shows had been this packed out. Opening band The Gin Club were entertaining as all the band members switched instruments and took turns on vocals depending on what song they were playing. They sounded great (sort of folk-rock) and are a talented bunch of musicians.

Liam and his lovely sidekick EJ Barnes opened with a crazy noise jam that was actually done to test out their equipment as they had been having technical issues at sound check. Unfortunately, EJ's loop pedal wasn't working so she couldn't do any vocal loops (although she did get it to cooperate once). Liam also had problems keeping his guitar in tune after he knocked it against a beam in the ceiling. Despite the technical difficulties it was a fun hour long set with lots of banter back and forth between EJ and Liam. Jokes about Liam's height led EJ to refer to him as Prince, and they created a jam about EJ's cowboy boots because Liam wanted to wear them. Liam nearly broke his drum kit when he used one of her boots to play. We got a new song that featured EJ on autoharp and Liam using percussion mallets to play the drums, and they closed the night with "Wide Awake on the Voyage Home." On my way to the tram stop I had my second surprise of the night when I passed Quang and Taka of Little Red sitting outside at a restaurant on Brunswick Street. Melbourne can be a small town at times.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Hondas

Since Monday is a holiday Belinda and I took advantage of not having to go to work and headed out to the Ding Dong Lounge tonight to see The Hondas play. The opening band The Moderns were nothing to write home about, and their lyrics were laughable (I went to LA/I drank a latte). I was glad when they finished.

The Hondas came out with great energy and played a fantastic and entertaining set. I should mention that this is the other off shoot band of Little Red, containing Taka Honda and Quang Dinh. Taka was really emphasizing the Japanese pop angle of the band (appropriate since he's from Japan), and it was good to see him out from behind the drum kit and up front with a guitar. He was very amusing throughout the night and had a good rapport with the audience. I was laughing a lot at his song intros and even the venue employees picking up empty glasses had smiles on their faces. Their set was short but they played a lot of songs- a mix of stuff from their album and some new numbers. I was very happy to hear "God Save Your Soul," which is my favorite song on the record. All in all I was impressed and look forward to catching them live again soon.
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