Friday, February 20, 2009

Leonard Cohen at the Beacon Theater

Once, every couple of years, I will see a concert so incredible that- before the show has even ended- I know it is going to make music history. The show will be barely over, and aready I can feel its significance resonating with the audience... I can already sense the articles and reviews being written. Last night, at precisely 8 p.m. at the legendary and newly restored Beacon Theater, Mr. Leonard Cohen took the stage for the first time in New York City in 15 years.

The throngs of older eccentric men and women mixed seamlessly with their younger counterparts, but like a crazed pack of hyaena-everyone violently shoved their way tirelessly on lines in the crowded sidewalk on Broadway and 74th. It was even worse inside- more frantic more violent. I had orchestra seats- it took me half of the opening song (Dance Me...) just to get in. Why? People are rude maniacs- no matter how old or rich. I am still amazed I didn't see a fight break out... although there was a lot of shouting... but no bother...

As I entered the theater all the frustration I experienced quickly melted away. The deep-throated breathy voice of L.Cohen filled every nook and cranny of the Beacon. His words and music billowed out into the caverous venue and filled it with an ease that I have never sensed before. It wasn't until the end of the song that I took my seat and finally had the true opportunity to view the crooner and poet for myself.

74 years old, yet vital, Mr.Cohen wore a sharp suit, with a well placed fedora-reflecting the style and panache of his (and now our own) generation. He was gracious, and a true gentleman. He gave credit to every and ANY one involved in the production of this performance and tour. The supporting band was a group of extremely gifted musicians who added their own personal flair to the magic of the music.

Mr. Cohen shared the stage with co-conspirator Sharon Robinson, and the Webb Sisters, a duo who's vocals and HARP playing brought figuratively me to my knees. Also on stage was musical director Roscoe Beck on vocals, upright bass, & what looked like a 6 string electric bass, Neil Larsen was on keyboards & accordion, Bob Metzger on electric, acoustic & pedal steel guitar, the INCREDIBLE player from Barcelona- Javier Mas bandurria, laud, archilaud, 12 string acoustic guitar, Rafael Gayol on drums, percussion, and one hell of a breather- Dino Soldo on sax, clarinet dobro-keys.

Mr. Leonard Cohen has nothing but my utmost respect. His poetry, music, singing, and even his humor filled my heart with peace and joy.

THE Set lasted over 3 hours, and was extensive. Crowning moments and several standing ovations were generously sprinkled throughout... and though EVERY song meant something special to me...My special moments are in Bold Italics...

Dance Me To The End of Love
The Future wooooooo
Aint No Cure For Love
Bird on the Wire he went down on his knees- this was the first of many times he would do so... but this was the first moment.
Everybody Knows
In My Secret Life
Who By Fire- This is my favorite song. It's the instrumentation that always gets me- that deep resonating bass chord... sits in my throat and chest...
Chelsea Hotel Good GOD what a moment...
Hey That's No Way/Sisters of Mercy
Tower Song
Suzanne- I wept.
The Gypsy's Wife
The Partisan
Boogie Street
Hallelujah I have waited all my adult life to hear him sing these words that have inspired so many.
I'm Your Man- I wept yet again... then I grinned like a fool. I hope and I pray my husband will sing this to me at my wedding reception!
1,000 Kisses Deep (spoken word poetry, set to soft music)- more weepiness
Take This Waltz- OH MAN...

So Long Marianne
First We Take Manhattan

Famous Blue Raincoat
If It Be Your Will Mr. Cohen spoke the first few words like a prayer, then passed it on to the Webb Sisters to sing together, and play the harp... Incredible.

I Tried To Leave You

Whither Thou Goest

There were so many special moments for me... and I'm sure all those lucky people around me. I am truly in awe of the entire experience...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

So, they're calling it the NINJA tour...

Jane's Addiction and Nine Inch Nails have confirmed that they are indeed touring with each other in commemoration to Nine Inch Nails' 20 years in music...

They've dubbed the tour the "NINJA" Tour... and will kick it off at the Sasquatch Festival this May in Washington, of all places. I am excited as much as I am terrified. These tickets will be impossibly hard to get. I can feel the anxiety, nausea, and stomach spasms starting already- and they haven't even announced official tour dates yet! This nin concert ticket anxiety is something I will not miss.

I'm saddened by Trent's decision to put NIN on hiatus, but, I got to admit, I am a little relieved too. This hiatus will give me the opportunity to develop muscial tastes OUTSIDE the realm of Trent's recommendations . I know this may sound strange to you, but he truly is one of the biggest musical influences in my life. A good chunk of the music in my repetoire is due to Trent Reznor's persuasion. David Bowie, Queen, Bauhaus, Jane's Additcion, Marliyn Manson, A Perfect Circle, Queens of the Stone Age, Atari Teenage Riot, The Dresden Dolls, Rasputina, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, MIA, Sigur Ros, TV on the Radio, Ladytron... the list goes on and on people! The man has never led me astray... and for that, I am grateful. But now I want- no NEED to move on... I have been in this fanatical "relationship" with Trent Reznor since I am 10 years old.

Now, I want to expand my horizons beyond the scope of Reznor's recommendations and/or reference. I have my OWN tastes that deserve to be satiated. Pandora is one avenue that has been most helpful in the road to enlightened musical inspiration. Sirius XM is another powerful tool. I've mentioned acts that have inspired me before, so I won't bore you with mentioning more- I'd rather bring up other subjects and questions surrounding NIN's hiatus that are plaguing my thoughts...

Is Trent feeling the pangs of irrelevance? Is this the reason for the hiatus? Will he pursue solo ventures with a more varied sound and style? Will he walk down the path of the instrumental? Is he launching the Year Zero TV concept with HBO? Will he disappear all together, move on in his life, finally settling comfortably into anonymity? Will he return to the role of producer?

Surely, he can't stop making music all together?

The thing that I cannot get over is, once again, I am on the same page with my hero. We are both finally ready to move on and wave goodbye to Nine Inch Nails. They will always be my "favorite" group. Trent Reznor will always be my music man. I just want to say "thank you" to him. He has given me so much these last 16 years... but, there's a big world out there, and there are a lot of things I'd like to hear.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ho-Lee-CRAP... wait, what?

I am sad to announce that Nine Inch Nails may be going on a permanent hiatus. I never wanted to see this day come. I am heartbroken and shocked. I don't know what to say... except PLEASE GOD TRENT DON'T LEAVE ME! OH GOD NO WAHHHHHHHH!

There's SOME new developments to look forward to, however... apparently?

I WILL be attending these shows whatever the cost. JANE'S ADDICTION AND NINE INCH NAILS?

Well... it is at least one hell of a goodbye...

Now excuse me while I go cry myself to sleep.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I am having financial issues... as I am sure we all are. The recession is killing us. Everyone is pinching pennies and stressing over their increasing piles of bills. We try not to totally deprive ourselves of the little pleasures in life- I for one have been trying to attend more shows despite the recession. I try to keep the acts relatively local- and also more of the "indy" persuasion because they tend to be cheaper and more intimate. Well, I was reading the Brooklyn Vegan (it's like my morning paper at this point) and I came across some disgusting numbers... listed below are the top grossing musicians of 2008...

1. Madonna: $242,176,466
2. Bon Jovi: $157,177,766
3. Bruce Springsteen: $156,327,964
4. The Police: $109,976,894
5. Celine Dion: $99,171,237
6. Kenny Chesney: $90,823,990
7. Neil Diamond: $82,174,000
8. Rascall Flatts: $63,522,160
9. Jonas Brothers: $62,638,814
10. Coldplay: $62,175,555
11. The Eagles: $61,132,213
12. Lil Wayne: $57,441,334
13. AC/DC: $56,505,296
14. Michael Buble: $50,257,364
15. Miley Cyrus: $48,920,806
16. Taylor Swift: $45,588,730
17. Journey: $44,787,328
18. Billy Joel: $44,581,010
19. Mary J. Blige: $43,472,850
20. Kanye West: $42,552,402

Apparently, the answer to our financial problems could be solved if ALL these top 20 grossing performers would pool SOME of their assets together. They could quite easily bail out our government instead of spending 50K on Evian bottled water to wash their hair... or NOT spend a few million on bling and high end cosmetic surgery.

The bottom line is, there really is NO reason why consumers should be willing to spend this much money on these performers. They entertain you- they don't feed or clothe you, they don't help you when you're sick... apparently the cost of living matters NOT to your favorite entertainers. We seriously need to start boycotting these ridiculous performers.

Madonna in particular needs to be boycotted. I've listened to her music since I was a wee little babe- I shook my booty CLEAN OFF in 1984 to "material girl" at the ripe age of 2... NOW all I find myself shaking at Madonna is my fist! HOW DARE YOU charge 300$ a ticket at ARENA SHOWS! And now, we have proof at the absurdity of the costs- who the hell needs $242,176,466?!?! She better be employing, clothing, and feeding every sound tech, choreographer, and plastic motherfucking surgeon in the world.

Top grossing musicians of 2008:


Meanwhile, I'm sweating the costs of a $10 lunch... so sad.

Monday, February 9, 2009

M.I.A. performs preggars at the grammies

As a woman, I can tell you that we stare into the face of adversity every day for something we can not change or help: our gender. Women are an oppressed people. I'm not saying we're the "most" oppressed... but we certainly are discrimintated against everyday... and have been for thousands of years.

However, there is a VERY specific time of a woman's life where she faces even MORE adversity and challenges. She will be subjected to absurd social judgement. She will be looked upon with disgust, given unsolicited advice, and commentary. This occurs during her nine months of pregnancy.

I don't know WHY people get so uppity about a pregnant woman living her life as she sees fit. She is looked down upon if she wears something "revealing", if she behaves in a "unmatronly" way or whatever. Now, I don't mean it's OK for a pregnant woman to drink 8 gallons of vodka and smoke crack- what I DO mean, however, is she should be able to be herself. She may be carrying a little human inside of her and be a "plus one"- but this doesn't mean she has to sacrifice her own sense of individuality.

Would you like a prime example?

M.I.A. is nine months pregnant, and is at the height of her career. She is KNOWN for her eccentricity and her unapologetic attitude. She is political, she is intelligent, outlandish, and one of the most powerfully individual women in the music industry today. Her integrity is what makes her so fantastic (besides the incredible afro/indian beats). She is pregnant with her fiancees baby, and was in fact DUE the day of her preformance at the grammies. She had the opportunity to share the stage with some of the most prestigious hip hop artists of today- they sampled HER hit song. Shots like this don't come everyday. DAMN RIGHT she was going to perform! I've read a lot of comments saying that she had "no businesss" appearing on stage in "her condition"... and SHOCKING people in her outfit. All I can say is, THESE PEOPLE NEED TO SHUT UP. As far as I'm concerned, these people are just jealous. The women who commented negatively, are jealous because even NOT pregnant, they wouldn't look that incredible or have an iota of the talent that M.I.A. has! The men who commented are threatened by her power, ingenuity, and the fact that she is female- and unashamed of it- and they're male chauvenist pigs. I applaud M.I.A. for showing up to the grammies regardless of her "condition", performing, AND for dressing herself in the same off beat yet STYLISH fashion that she always has. All those haters with their brains stuck in the 1950's need to evolve already.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

WTF Music Festivals?

OK OK I've a bone to pick with festivals. WHY??? Well, for one, they're always a nightmare. the crowds. the overpriced water. the drug trafficking. the lack of freshly bathed people. oh, not to mention the fact that they always take place in THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE- but now, there's an EVEN bigger dilemma... the exclusive lineups.

In example, here's the Lineup for Bonnaroo '09:

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band • Phish (2 shows) • Beastie Boys • Nine Inch Nails •David Byrne • Wilco • Al Green • Snoop Dogg • Elvis Costello Solo • Erykah Badu • Paul Oakenfold • Ben Harper and Relentless7 • The Mars Volta • TV on the Radio • Yeah Yeah Yeahs • Gov't Mule • Andrew Bird • Band of Horses • Merle Haggard • MGMT • moe. • The Decemberists • Girl Talk • Bon Iver • Béla Fleck & Toumani Diabate• Rodrigo y Gabriela • Galactic • The Del McCoury band • of Montreal • Allen Toussaint • Coheed & Cambria • Booker T & the DBTs • David Grisman Quintet • Lucinda Williams • Animal Collective • Gomez • Neko Case • Down • Jenny Lewis • Santogold • Robert Earl • Keen • Citizen Cope• Femi Kuti and the Positive Force• The Ting Tings • Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 • Grace Potter and the Nocturnals • Kaki King • Grizzly Bear • King Sunny • Adé Okkervil River • St. Vincent • Zac Brown Band • Raphael Saadiq • Ted Leo and the Pharmacists • Crystal Castles • Tift Merritt • Brett Dennen • Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue • Toubab Krewe • People Under The Stairs • Alejandro Escovedo • Vieux Farka Touré • Elvis Perkins • in Dearland •Cherryholmes • Yeasayer • Todd Snider • Chairlift Portugal. • The Man. • The SteelDrivers • Midnite • The Knux • The Low • Anthem • Delta Spirit • A.A. • Bondy • The Lovell Sisters • Alberta Cross • AND More Artists to Be Announced!

Oh yeah, and here's COACHELLA'S '09 3 days worth of music lineup:

FRIDAY APRIL 17: Paul McCartney, Morrissey, Franz Ferdinand, Leonard Cohen, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Beirut, The Black Keys, Girl Talk, Silversun Pickups, The Ting Tings, The Crystal Method, Ghostland Observatory, Crystal Castles, The Airborne Toxic Event, We Are Scientists, N.A.S.A., Patton & Rahzel, M. Ward, The Presets, The Hold Steady, A Place to Bury Strangers, Felix da Housecat, Buraka Som Sistema, Ryan Bingham, Bajofondo, Peanut Butter Wolf, Noah & the Whale, White Lies, The Bug, Alberta Cross, Los Campesinos!, Craze & Klever, Molotov, Switch, Gui Boratto, Steve Aoki, The Aggrolites, People Under the Stairs, The Courteeners, Cage the Elephant, Dear and the Headlights.

SATURDAY, APRIL 18: The Killers, Amy Winehouse, Thievery Corporation, TV on the Radio, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, MSTRKRFT, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Atmosphere, Mastodon, TRAV$DJ-AM, Henry Rollins, Crookers, Turbonegro, Hercules and Love Affair, Superchunk, Glasvegas, Dr. Dog, Drive-By Truckers, Booker T & the DBT's, Amanda Palmer, The Bloody Beetroots, Surkin, Para One (Live), Calexico, Liars, Bob Mould Band, Zane Lowe, Electric Touch, Blitzen Trapper, James Morrison, Drop the Lime, Glass Candy, Thenewno2, Gang Gang Dance, Billy Talent, Ida Maria, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Zizek, Cloud Cult, Tinariwen.

SUNDAY, APRIL 19: The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Throbbing Gristle, Lupe Fiasco, Paul Weller, Peter Bjorn and John, X, Antony & the Johnsons, Roni Size, Public Enemy, Jenny Lewis, Groove Armada, Paolo Nutini, Christopher Lawrence, Lykke Li, The Kills, Okkervil River, M.A.N.D.Y., Clipse, Sebastien Tellier, Fucked Up, Perry Farrell, The Horrors, Late of the Pier, K'naan, Junior Boys, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Supermayer, No Age, Vivian Girls, Shepard Fairey, Themselves, Gaslight Anthem, The Knux, Mexican Institute of Sound, The Night Marchers, Marshall Barnes.

AND LET US NOT FORGET- TEXAS of all places and SXSW. taking place in March 18-22- with so many local and international acts playing it's making my head spin off of my neck! I will only mention, DEVO, The Decemberists, and THE TINY (one of my favorite new bands...), Andrew Bird...

WHAT GIVES??? I can't AFFORD to go all over the continental US for concerts... as much as I wish I could. Second- why can't these shows take place in a part of the world that I've been meaning to go? I mean, Texas? Tennessee?? (sorry... but I am a snot nosed bitch from NY). Ugh. Ok. Rant over.