Monday, February 11, 2008

Sioux at the Fillmore at Irving Plaza

February 10th 2008

One word. "Dumbfounded".

Siouxsie is the most beautiful woman ever to have graced a stage. I feel honored to have looked upon her in all her various incarnations. Once with the Creatures. Once with the Banshees. Once a splendid evening with her and songs from both incarnations. and now, solo.

She emerged 2 hours late- and my impatience waned the second she appeared. She stood, hair jet black and perfectly teased, eyes in their trademark decor, lips full and red, wearing a sleek spandex jumpsuit with a cut down in a gorgeous V between her perfectly FIRM breasts LOL. The Barbarella inspired space suit was black, silver, and light metallic pink V patterns, which continued downs to her perfect knee high boots. She was accessorized majestically with a black leather utility belt, and a silver bondage inspired belt.

She commences to put on one of the best shows I've ever seen. And even better I am flanked by the lovely Paul and Brian :-)! We were roughly 3rd row. I wish they allowed pictures. But alas- I do not own a camera phone and they wouldn't let cameras in :-( IF ANYONE HAS PICS PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD POST THEM!!!!!!

Highlights?? Sioux can do a STANDING SPLIT. Dude, I would TOTALLY go gay for her after that move LOL. She was so vampy, so full of life, passion, and energy, I can't believe her. I feel like a genetic pile of GOO compared to her.

I was and STILL AM speechless. I haven't been that dumbfounded by a performer in a LONG time. Not since I saw Trent Reznor 3rd row. Seriously.

Let's get to the meat of it eh? As we know- My memory is the BAIN of my existence... so here's what I can remember her playing (completely out of order....)

Into A Swan
About To Happen
Here Comes That Day
If It Doesn't Kill You
One Mile Below
Drone Zone
Sea Of Tranquility
They Follow You
Heaven And Alchemy

PLUS: HONG KONG GARDEN, Dear Prudence, Night Shift...

*Also VERY notable- Debbie Harry AKA BLONDIE AND ANNA SUI were in the VIP section looking on as eagerly as the rest of us! LOL! AWESOME!

WORD TO THE WISE (and my only complaints...) FANS OF SIOUX- I love her as much as you... I didn't and DON'T PAY 65 bucks to hear your drunk and/or HIGH ass singing. I love a good mosh when it's appropriate. "Loveless" is NOT The right song to do it to. these were the only factors that fucked up my otherwise PERFECT concert experience.

**NOTE** I do not know who took these pictures... but they are beautiful and I thank you for putting them out on the internet... I would like to give credit where it's due... please let me know. thanks!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Joanna Newsom=Heart Breakingly Beautiful Music

February 4th 2008

I can't talk about how good it was- because my inflection is lost over the internet... I laughed, I (mostly) cried, I fell in love, and I enjoyed EVERY minute of it. 

It is so rare to find music that actually MEANS something... and it is even more rare to find something that truly seems IMPORTANT to the world of music. Joanna Newsom has achieved both with such grace and dignified ease that it is unbelievable. 

Here's what the NY Times had to say:
"The orchestra slips in almost surreptitiously in "Emily," the first song on Joanna Newsom's 2006 album, "Ys," just as it did at her concert with the Brooklyn Philharmonic on Thursday night. Pizzicato violins joined the plucked strings of Ms. Newsom's harp, as if they might blend in, but they didn't stay incognito long. Soon the 30-piece orchestra was doing what her harp cannot: sustaining chords and gliding between notes, creating a cushion of harmony, stirring up extra counterpoint, placing the songs in broader vistas.

The Indie Singer-Harpist Who Met the Orchestra (January 29, 2008)

"Ys" (pronounced ees) was composed on a grand scale — five songs add up to nearly an hour of music — and it earns every minute with panoramas of love and war, nature and civilization, apocalypse and rapture. While the melodies have the concision of folk songs, the lyrics are cascades of storytelling, wordplay, free-floating imagery and fable. Ms. Newsom's perpetual-motion harp playing provides settings that encompass madrigals, Appalachian ballads and African griot songs, and her voice can sound piercing or intimate.

In the second half of the concert, when she sang older and newer songs, Ms. Newsom could have been describing her work in "Colleen" — about a woman who may once have been a whale — with the line, "artifacts of some strange dream which afterwards you can't decipher."

Ms. Newsom's two concerts with the Brooklyn Philharmonic (Thursday and Friday) were the final shows in a yearlong tour on which she has been performing the music with orchestras. (The arrangements on "Ys" are by Van Dyke Parks, who mingled the Americana of Ives and Gershwin with a cinematic gloss; they were revised for the stage by Ryan Francesconi of Ms. Newsom's Ys Street Band.)

Seeing the music performed brought out its ravishing details. Roadwork has made the songs even more expansive, not just in duration — "Only Skin," the album's longest composition, was a minute longer onstage — but in emotionality. Passages that were free-flowing on "Ys" took on a subtle rhythmic pulse. Instrumental cameos became more vivid, the voices of the winds and waters that course through the songs. The orchestra carried the music toward hymn or Orientalia, folk dance or rhapsody.

But nothing upstaged Ms. Newsom, who works nonstop: plucking complex arrangements on her harp, singing her copious lyrics, transmuting her voice from all-knowing to wide-eyed, witchy to devoted. Near the end of "Cosmia," the last song of "Ys," she sang, "I miss your precious heart" with a vehemence that was heartbreaking.

The second part of the concert had stark songs from her first album, "The Milk-Eyed Mender," in enriched arrangements for her band: Mr. Francesconi on banjo or the bouzouki-like tamboura, Lila Sklar on violin and Neal Morgan on drums. It also introduced new ones that promise further structural experiments: an untitled piece that started out almost countryish but turned into a fantasia of melody after melody, and another that was a suspended-time elegy turning into a waltz in which "kindness prevails." To follow through on the ambitions of "Ys," Ms. Newsom is taking different tangents.

Here is Joanna Newsom's set list: 

Set 1:


"Monkey & Bear"

"Sawdust & Diamonds"

"Only Skin"


Set 2:

"Bridges and Balloons"

"The Book of Right On"
"Inflammatory Writ"


"Peach, Plum and Pear"

"Untitled New Song 1" ("Barbara"?)

"Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie"

"Untitled New Song 2"

"Same Old Man"