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Archive for Show Reviews

Mark Kozelek @ the Social, Orlando, Fl 9/23

I first heard some Red House Painters a few years back when I had just moved back to Florida. It was striking how stark and weathered the lyrics were, as if the songs had been written by a man crippled by loss. Katy Song, in particular, stuck out in my mind.

“I thought you’d come over. For some reason you didn’t. Glass, on the pavement under my shoe. Without you is all my life amounts to.”

I hadn’t heard emptiness conveyed so well before.

So I had the pleasure of seeing Kozelek play a solo gig at one of this city’s finer venues, the Social on Sunday night. It was a somber set that ultimately ran like a tragic comedy.

I sort of had this idea of what the show would be: quaint, intimate, candid.

On the part of Kozelek it was all of those things. When he spoke, his voice could hardly fill the room. So the mostly respectful crowd of aging hipsters kept quiet. Not a single clink of a glass (I felt like a dick when the ice in my cup moved). When he picked at his guitar it sounded gentle. When he poked fun at some audience members, it was amusing.

“What’s another one of your favorite songs from YouTube?”

But juxtaposed with this was the thumping hip hop bass from the Beacham Theater next door. During every second of the night, Kozelek was nearly drowned out by the club’s music. It was enough to make him pause between songs and seemingly hesitate to go on to the next. At one point he jokingly offered to bring the show over to his hotel suite instead. He refered to his set, bitingly, as the “Orlando, Florida version.” He took it with humor but it was obvious he was bothered, and rightfully so.

It was frustrating to try to get into his playing only to be distracted by the rattling and shaking of the walls between the Social and the Beacham. But when we could all tune in on Kozelek it actually proved to be an amusing set. From Sunshine in Chicago:

“My band played here a lot in the 90s when we had, lots of female fans, and fuck, they were all cute. Now I just sign posters for guys in tennis shoes.”

U.K. Blues, while a dull, kind of hokey acoustic track, was funny, even when relying on stereotypes:

“Bristol, Bristol, cobblestone streets. People missing teeth. Bristol, Bristol is this really what people eat?”

This element of humor was largely unexpected to me. I hadn’t been overly familiar with newer Sun Kil Moon and expected a pang of bleakness to his lyrics. It’s there but in a self-deprecating and assholish humor.

Some highlights included the banter with audience members:

“I know tomorrow you’ll be somewhere in London,” said a woman.

“No I won’t. Tomorrow I’ll be in fucking Nashville, which is better.”

To an enthusiastic guy by the bar:

“What are you ‘oh-ING’ for? You don’t even know the song. What song is it? No…fucking idiot. Hey! Pearl Jam!”

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Akron/Family @ Backbooth, Orlando, Fl 1/12

Every closed door is an opening for another…or something. Last week I tried to get an interview with Dinosaur Jr. but that didn’t work out. What did work out was their press guy’s offer: cover Akron/Family in Orlando instead. So I did and threw together a few words for the Dropp (along with photos by new addition Chris Ward.)

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M83 @ The Beacham, Orlando, Fl, Nov. 2

At the core of M83 is a massive ball of beautiful, extraterrestial light.

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Little Dragon @ Firestone Live, Oct. 23

Photo courtesy of John Prinzo
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Mount Kimbie @ Backbooth, April 12

Mount Kimbie put on a pretty solid set Tuesday night; nothing too exciting but nothing boring either. They don’t have a wealth of material and when the crowd of mostly drugged out hipsters erupted into shouts of “encore! encore!” one of the guys politely declined. Instead he thanked the crowd for the turnout and reminded them, “we only have one album that’s about 35 minutes,” though they could’ve played shit from Sketch on Glass or the other two EPs. Their sound translated pretty good live, actually a lot more echoey but very much pretty fuckin’ thumpin’ and trance-inducing. It was nice to see they don’t just press on buttons during shows; they also play the guitar, samplers and a single drum while also pressing on buttons. “Maybes” and “Ode To Bear” were my personal favorites and I really am looking forward to hearing future releases from these guys.

And a word to the wise… If you ever find yourself at Backbooth or anywhere in downtown Orlando and you get hassled by the bums outside (Central and Orange), tell them you know “Dave,” if you decide not to employ the ignore-and-walk-away technique. In fact, find Dave. He’s the coolest, friendliest homeless man down there and won’t let anyone fuck with you. His friend is a little off though. He will pull a box cutter on your new lady friend and one of his buddies, who I swear to God is a homeless man with full on, pastel-colored American Apparel garb, will try to take your shirt. But that is another story altogether.

Sebadoh at the Social, 3/29

Sebadoh played at the Social on Tuesday night to a pretty dull crowd, minus one man. This particular man appeared to be rollin’ and, before the show, told one of my friends that he had no idea who was playing but that he wanted to come inside to party, and party he did. Read the rest of this entry »

Broken Social Scene @ Firestone Live, Orlando, Fl 2/13

Broken Social Scene faced many obstacles during their set on Sunday night. Lead vocalist Kevin Drew had recently lost his voice and had to stop the band seconds into their opener. Guitarist and band co-founder Brendan Canning had been having sinus problems and couldn’t hear out of his right ear. The vibe from the rest of the band was that of one that needed a break. This could’ve easily been a disaster. Read the rest of this entry »