Friday, February 26, 2010

alkaline trio. regency ballroom. san francisco. 2/18/10

i got really drunk with a friend and had an in depth conversation about 'freaks and geeks' and wound up missing a few stops on the bart so we completely missed cursive, but we got to the show right before alkaline trio started. they opened up with their new single 'this addiction' and followed it up with 'armageddon'. matt told this really funny story about filming their first music video. he said that he had taken a bunch of shrooms and was at derby skatepark in santa cruz having the time of his life when mike park showed up and decided they needed to film a video. they then dedicated 'goodbye forever' to him. matt said he's tripping balls in every scene in that video. they ended the set with '97'. when they came back out for an encore matt skiba was on drums dan adriano was on guitar and derek grant was playing bass. they played a song off the new record and then played a cover of the misfits 'attitude'. they ended the set by appropriately playing 'san francisco' in san francisco and their hit song 'radio'. all in all it was a really good mix of old and new songs. the new songs are some of the best songs they've written since 'goodmorning' which came out in 2003. the new album comes out tuesday. i recommend it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

sean hood/your yellow dress. the carpentry house. 2/13/10

this was my fourth show at the carpentry house. it's definitely the most intimate setting for shows in berkeley that i've found. as soon as i arrived, i was offered a free plate of fried rice with fresh vegetables, which is never a bad way to start the night. sean hood played first. he played country/folk songs with a really tiny amplifier that attached to his hip. his songs were good, definitely worth checking out. your yellow dress played after sean. this is the third time i've seen them, and every time i've seen them play, they've had a different lineup with different instrumentation. tonight was the first night that i've seen them, that they had a trumpet player in addition to the standard french horn. this band is growing on me. i like them more every time. i would love to see them play electric with a drummer, but all of the shows at the carpentry house are small, quiet, acoustic living room shows. i recommend them to anyone who likes their folk with a lot of pop. i have high hopes for this band. check them out.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

thao with the get down stay down/the thermals. u.c. berkeley. 2/12/10

i was able to catch the tail end of thao and the get down stay down. i had never listened to anything by them before their set, but i left a fan. the thermals came on next opening the set with 'returning to the fold'. they played a good proportion of new and old songs. seeing them outside is not the ideal setting for the thermals. however, they played an enjoyable and entertaining set. as it began raining, they appropriately played 'here's your future' and ended their hour long set with 'now we can see'. a great set from a great live band. this is what indie rock should strive for. not to mention their bass player is in the running for my favorite female rock n' roll goddess.

Monday, February 22, 2010

the album leaf. berkeley art museum. 2/2/10

The Album Leaf celebrated the release of their fifth full length album 'A Chorus of Storytellers' by playing a free show at the Berkeley Art Museum. The Museum was showcasing Thom Faulders 'Bamscape' which was basically this giant orange statue you could sit on. The band started right on time with their equipment set up on the floor. They were accompanied by a string quartet which rounded out the band with a total of ten members. I have never seen them before and I am fairly unfamiliar with their recorded material, and so my only real complaint was that the band boasts the use of live visual projection art, however they didn't have a projection screen and so I imagine it would have been much better if they had. They played for a full hour before ending their set, and returning back to the stage for a half hour encore. The encore was nothing special, and I think they should have done without it. A few days after the show my friend Sam said something to the extent that the idea of them playing a secret show for U.C. Berkeley students was cooler then the actual show. I completely agree. I was sort of disappointed. If you’ve never listened to The Album Leaf, I would recommend Explosions In The Sky over them, and If you can’t do instrumental music and you need lyrics I think American Football is a better band. All in all they played a descent set, but to be completely honest it was not really for me.

the soft pack. amoeba berkeley. 1/28/10

the soft pack played a free instore at amoeba in berkeley today. they kept their set short by showcasing new songs off their debut self titled album due out february 2nd. the band opened up with c'mon demonstrating what they do best - loud rock n' roll. After three songs, lead singer matt lamkin put down his guitar to play synthesizer. by the time the band played 'pull out' it became apparent that the stage was not big enough for this up and coming band from san deigo. they proved themselves worthy of their opening slot of coachella in april. the band finished strong closing with fan favorite parasites. all in all, a great set from a great band. do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the new album next week.