Nov 21, 2013

Mikal Cronin @ Goodgod Small Club

Short but sweet. Oh so sweet. Mikal Cronin wowed everyone lucky to be at Goodgod on Wednesday night with an 11 song 45 minute set that was guitar driven melodic bliss. To the extreme. I think it's always very exciting to see an artist for the first time. Especially if they are fresh off a really great album. The anticipation is always high. Thankfully the long haired Californian didn't let us down. "MCII" is easily one of my favourite albums of 2013 and it was an absolute thrill to hear these songs live. The short set was actually divided between that album and his self titled debut. I didn't hear "Peace of Mind" or "Turn Away", but no matter. It was all great!

Cronin is a prolific artist who churns out music that drives really hard, but he also has a great ear for melody. His music is of that great American garage band tradition, but it's not sludgy or one dimensional. He has really great song writing chops, his songs building and collapsing with ease and each one is slightly different from the last. Offering variety and stimulaton. I think my favourites last night were the near perfect power pop of "Weight" and the grinding, hard rocking closer in "Gone". His band were great too. All with shoulder length hair and bearded faces, they provided the bedstone for Cronin to lay his melodies upon. Like many artists I love it seems a shame not to have a bigger audience witness last night. But the enthusiastic crowd that was on hand will be sure to let all their friends know of the talent that was on display.

Set List
Is It Alright
Am I Wrong
Get Along
Shout It Out
See It My Way
Green & Blue

Nov 15, 2013

Neutral Milk Hotel @ Enmore Theatre

Dear Jeff,

Thank you. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you for being you and making music and making everything just better. You don't know me, but I am a big fan. I hadn't heard of your band Neutral Milk Hotel until about ten years ago. I was reading a Magnet Magazine article of the best albums of the last decade. Your wondrous opus "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" came in at number one, beating out such heavyweights as Radiohead, Pavement, Nirvana and Guided By Voices. With that recommendation I bought the record. It was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. From start to finish it was total perfection. Unlike anything I have ever heard before or since. But I then found out that not long after its release you went underground. The spotlight of success shone too brightly. For years there were rumours of your whereabouts. We all wondered if you were OK. Eventually we read about you making spasmodic appearances at friends' concerts. Then you announced some solo shows. The world went giddy with excitement. You were back. Seemingly in good shape and good spirit. But I had never really believed that I would see you perform live. Let alone your band. Then it was announced a few months ago that Neutral Milk Hotel was getting back together. Again it seemed too much to expect a visit to such a faraway country. But here we were. Thursday night at the Enmore Theatre. A fifteen minute walk from our house. It's really hard to comprehend. I don't have any photos of your band. I do love your exception to cameras at your shows. It makes it a singular experience. And this was certainly one.

After Superchunk and M. Ward warmed us up with two outstanding sets we were ready. The anticipation was extraordinary. I was amazed at how young the crowd was. But I guess that's a legacy of your influence. I imagine your music has touched and reached generations of music fans. From the opening chord of "The King of Carrot Flower" you had us. That amazing song and it's delirious switch from major to minor key was a signal that this night would be like no other. When you launched into "Parts Two & Three" a moshpit broke out. I was a little shocked, but again I guess that is testament to the effect your music has on us all. Quite frankly the night was perfect. No song was a let down. Even lesser known songs like "Ferris Wheel on Fire" and "Engine" were shining gems. Of course it was the big numbers that sent us into a frenzy. The impossible beauty of "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea". The emotional honesty of "Oh Comely". The sledgehammer of "Two Headed Boy". I also loved the instrumental interludes. They were perfection too. I love your band. Julian Koster looks like your crazy cousin and Scott Spillane looks like your crazy uncle. But the music they play is eccentric and strange and beautiful. Saws and a banjo. Horns that don't quit. And a kazoo! But Jeff it is you that we thank the most. You were so generous and kind. I even saw you smile a couple of times. Your voice extends forever, reaching through all our hearts. I really don't know what the future holds. Are you writing new music. Will the band continue to tour. Are you enjoying this. But I know this. Your music and your passion touches us all. And I will never, ever forget this night.


Set List
The King of Carrot Flowers, Part One
The King of Carrot Flowers, Parts Two & Three
Holland, 1945
A Baby for Pree
Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone
Everything Is
Two-Headed Boy
The Fool
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Ferris Wheel on Fire
Oh Comely
Song Against Sex
Ruby Bulbs
Snow Song, Part One

Untitled (Carnival)
Two-Headed Boy, Part Two

Nov 1, 2013

Neko Case Australian Tour

Oh yes!
This is happening!!!!