Video: “Tony The Beat” live by The Sounds at Webster Hall

Posted by The G on April 11, 2014 under G Videos | Read the First Comment

HD Video, photos and words by G.

Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds

Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds

On April 10, 2014, Sweden’s The Sounds made their return to the Manhattan stage at Webster Hall.  The group’s music is part rock, part punk and part electronic and when you cook up those components coupled with lead singer Maja Ivarsson’s great rock and roll stage presence, that makes for one hell of a show.  They are on tour to promote their 2013 album “Weekend.”  But since this post was written on ‘Flashback Friday,’ let’s rewind and go back a few years for the video clip you are about to see.  After diving into the audience for a crowd sing-a-long (see photo below), The Sounds performed their 2006 single “Tony The Beat” which you are about to watch.

The Sounds

The Sounds

Just press play.

The setlist was:

The Sounds Setlist

The Sounds Setlist (click to enlarge)

 

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An Encounter with Ghost Beach

Posted by The G on under Encounters with G | Be the First to Comment

Photos by G.

Josh Ocean of Ghost Beach and Geoffrey Dicker

Josh Ocean of Ghost Beach and Geoffrey Dicker

On April 10, 2014, New York’s electronic/pop/rock duo Ghost Beach opened for The Sounds at Webster Hall.  If the truth be told, Ghost Beach were the highlight of the evening for me.  Their music had a Talking Heads meets MGMT vibe to me, and that is a very good thing!  You can check out their music on their official website, which I recommend you do.   After their performance (and prior to their DJ set – gotta love a band that knows how to multi-task), I met them and they were super cool, even clowning around in these photos!  Love that!

Eric Doc Mendelsohn of Ghost Beach and Geoffrey Dicker

Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn of Ghost Beach and Geoffrey Dicker

Thanks again Ghost Beach!  Look forward to seeing you again!

Video: “The Man Machine” live by Kraftwerk

Posted by The G on April 9, 2014 under G Videos | Be the First to Comment

HD Video by G.

On April 2, 2014, I finally got to see the legendary Kraftwerk live in concert at the United Palace Theater in New York.  It was worth the wait as the electronic pioneers blew my mind with their show.  If you read my “10 Observations” from the show, you saw that my only complaint was not from the band but from the audience!  Everyone around my section kept getting up and walking back and forth, and when being in the presence of so much greatness, it was unbelievable that these people would spend their money/energy going to a show and then not watch it!  I could of course go into a diatribe about how the definition of “retarded” should be changed because some people are merely physically challenged and others are deliberately clueless.  But I won’t.   Instead, I will show you a world exclusive video of “The Man Machine.”  Again, please try to disregard the number of heads that totally cock-block an otherwise perfect video.

Enjoy!

10 Observations about Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour

Posted by The G on April 8, 2014 under G Reviews | 2 Comments to Read

Words and photos by G.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

After seeing Lady Gaga perform at Roseland Ballroom on April 4, 2014, I thought I’d seen the biggest spectacle possible that weekend, but I was dead wrong.  Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz (sic) tour came to Barclays Center in the dreaded Brooklyn on April 5, 2014 and full disclosure:  I expected to despise the show.  From what little I’d heard Of Miley’s music up to walking into the venue, I was not impressed with it (despite giving credit where credit is due – she can actually sing).  I will say, that I left the venue not thinking very much more of her music (again, giving her full credit for singing live unlike so many other pop stars), but as far as the performance, it was probably one of the best shows of the year (and if this is your first time seeing the site, know that I see several hundred bands a year, so this speaks volumes).   As you read my observations about the Bangerz Tour, please note that I’m going to have to get up on my soap box a few times.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

1. Miley Cyrus doesn’t give a FUCK!  I think it’s commendable that she started off as a squeaky clean child star and not only did a 180 degree turn, but she basically has poured gasoline all over her old self and has lit the match.  Soap Box Alert:  While oldsters like myself were able to look at the show from an objective point of view, having a blast people watching and also observing the spectacle of the show itself, it made me seriously fear for the future of the planet.  The audience featured tons of girls (without their parents) who looked like they were seriously underage and who were all dressed like whores (low cut everything and leaving very little to the imagination).  I am not a prude.  If you want to dress like a whore or a nun, more power to you!  What is concerning is that I am smart and old enough to know the difference between self expression and self degradation.  I am not sure the majority of the concert goers are that fortunate.  As evidenced by the excessive selfie-taking instead of being present in the moment, if the audience by and large walked away from this concert feeling empowered in ANY way, the world is in serious trouble!

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

2. Before the show started, the music over the loud system had generous helpings of profanity-laden songs using the “N-Word” and explicit lyrics such as “suck my dick” and “motherfucker” and these songs were audience sing-a-longs.  So I am confused – as a white person, if I use the “N-Word,” I am going to hell, yet it’s perfectly ok to use it in a pop song and is appropriate to encourage young kids to sing it?!  If people are going to still use the word, the stigma that comes along with it either needs to go away across the board or stop jumping down people’s throats when you are not treated equally.   Playing this kind of music before the show started sets such a bad example to her young and impressionable audience.  I would have preferred “common sense lessons” being blasted over the loud speakers with phrases such as “IF YOU ARE GOING TO TEXT INCESSANTLY, YOU ARE NOT LIVING IN THE MOMENT” or “YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON ON THE PLANET SO PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS” or “THERE IS SO MUCH AMAZING ART OUT THERE ON THIS PLANET, EXPLORE IT AND QUIT WASTING YOUR TIME WITH THIS CRAP.”

Miley Cyrus Merch

Miley Cyrus Merch

3. The merch featured an inflatable banana (!!!!) that said “Miley Cyrus Bangerz,” low cut panties with a tongue sticking out over the crotch and a poster of Miley where she is pretty much showing her pussy, which appears to be clean shaven and makes her look even younger than her 21 years, according to the picture.  Hey, if she can show it, I can talk about it.  I am 100% guilt free.  I hate sounding like a prude, because I am one of the most liberal people out there, but showing that much skin when her body looks way younger than her 21 years is VERY CREEPY and encourages a lot of bad behavior from the young and old.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

4. The visuals Miley used were so good!  From the opening of the show, the visual presentation was damn near perfect.  A giant version of her face started the show on a screen and as she did one of her signature looks of sticking her tongue out, a giant tongue appeared from the screen which turned into a slide and then she slid down it and the show began!  Later on, there was every permutation of trippy visuals that would have not been out of place at a Flaming Lips or Grateful Dead show!  But of course, during a costume change, there was a several minute montage of Miley wearing next to nothing and in bondage gear (see below for a tame picture).  Again, very artful pictures and for someone like me, I think the pictures were very sexy, but I’m a gay guy who can appreciate fierceness.  To so many young kids in the audience who just want to emulate their idol, can you imagine how many extra nudie kid pix are going to be out there because of this?

Miley Cyrus - screen projection

Miley Cyrus – screen projection

5. Miley Cyrus’ dog died earlier in the week, and she was understandably and visibly distraught.  She paid tribute to her dog no less than 5 times, including a gigantic inflatable dog (see below for a glimpse of how large the dog was), which of course she dry humped.

Miley Cyrus paying tribute to her deceased dog Floyd but humping his leg.

Miley Cyrus paying tribute to her deceased dog Floyd but humping his leg.

6. Miley Cyrus delivers a stadium-worthy performance, unquestionably.  She interacts with the audience, gets them all riled up and has them eating out of the palm of her hand.  So many bands have forgotten what you are supposed to do when you perform in a stadium.  Bands like Arctic Monkeys who stand in front of a thin row of lights that are placed over the letters AM, clearly don’t need to have dancing midgets, but come on bands, give us a show!  And Miley’s show featured insanely cool visual projections, midget dancers, dancers dressed up as fluorescent teddy bears, movable parts on the stage (including a car and a bed), and of course my favorite part of the show – a flying hot dog (see picture later)!  The costumes were over the top and speaking of costumes, it’s a wonder why Miley even bothered getting dressed at all because she was practically naked and shaking her ass (which was visible) for the duration of the 2 hour show (except for one outfit, though that was sheer).  Again, as a 21 year old, her body is in great shape (I personally think she looks like a 15 year old girl, which is what makes her nudity so creepy to me), so I say get naked, live long and prosper.  But again (soap box alert), do the people in her audience know the difference of when it’s appropriate to express yourself and when you are inviting lots of perverts to stare at your way young looking body by exploiting yourself?  Miley has a team of people working with her (and exploiting her with her consent for assloads of money that she is surely raking in during this sold out tour), but do your children have someone to turn to when they set themselves up for the inevitable exploitation and the emotional scarring that is almost certain to come from emulating Miley?  And if not, you just have to think about all the negativity that puts out into the world whether that comes in the form of kids growing up with trust issues or negative body issues, etc.   It’s scary and completely avoidable.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

7.  Miley encouraged the crowd to express themselves too.  She encouraged pot smoking, same sex kissing and even had a song where she told the crowd to get naked and the more naked they got, the better chance they had of appearing on the big screen projecting out to the crowd.   I am all for pot smoking, nudity and same sex kissing, so it’s hard not to sound like a curmudgeon, but it only seems like Miley is trying to be controversial by being so extreme.  I recently saw footage of old interviews with her where she pretty much denounced homosexuality and drug taking due to her religious upbringing, so I feel like she is not only full of shit in her new found independence, but she is setting such a bad example purposely when she knows there are tons of young people looking up to her when she’s not going to be there for them when they develop complexes about all the things she encouraged them to do.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

8. She covered Bob Dylan (“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”), Lana Del Rey (“Summertime Sadness”),  Coldplay (“The Scientist”) and Dolly Parton (“Jolene”).  Amazing to me that she can dabble in music this diverse when her own songs sound completely generic, overproduced and unoriginal.  And the sad thing is, because her audience is so young and inexperienced, they don’t know that there is a world of amazing music out there because they are being force fed this auto-tuned crapola.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

9. Each number seemed to get more ridiculous than the one before it, and though it was visually amusing, it seemed like a desperate cry for attention.  In the two hour show, we saw Miley dancing with midgets, spreading her legs on top of a gold car, humping the leg of a blow up dog, Miley touching herself on a bed surrounded by all of her dancers, leotards creeping so far up her ass they were practically wiping her pancreas (to quote Andrew Dice Clay), twerking, inflatable animals, fluorescent life sized teddy bears, insanely trippy visual projections, people in the audience throwing masks on stage and Miley putting them on and singing with them on and last but not least, my favorite part of this show…

Miley Cyrus Rides A Flying Hot Dog!!!

Miley Cyrus Rides A Flying Hot Dog!!!

10. She rode a flying hot dog!!!!!    EPIC!!!!

Miley!

Miley!

Again, parents please talk to your kids and tell them what is up.  Please teach them common sense.  I’m not saying “right and wrong.”  Those are a matter of opinion.  Common sense is being cognoscente of the fact that YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON ON THE PLANET, SO PAY ATTENTION AND BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS! Please tell them when it’s appropriate to express yourself and when it makes you look like a fucking slut.  And foremost, please culture them in art and entertainment so this horrible music will die once and for all.

Twerk it!

Twerk it!

The setlist (spelling errors in tact) was:

SMS (Bangerz) / 4×4 / Love Money Party / My Darlin’ / Maybe You’re Right / FU / Do My Thang / #GETITRIGHT / Can’t Be Tamed / Adore You / Drive / Rooting For My Baby / You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go (Bob Dylan Cover) / Summertime Sadness (Lana Del Rey Cover) / The Scientist (Coldplay Cover) / Jolene (Dolly Parton Cover) / 23 / On My Own / Someone Else.

Encore: We Can’t Stop / Wrecking Ball

Encore 2: Party in the USA

G Rides A Flying Hot Dog!

G Rides A Flying Hot Dog!

For the record: Will I put any Miley Cyrus music on my ipod? Doubtful.    Will I go see her in concert again?  Absofuckinglutely.

10 Observations from Lady Gaga at Roseland Ballroom

Posted by The G on April 7, 2014 under G Reviews | 2 Comments to Read

Photos and words by G.

Lady Gaga at Roseland on April 4, 2014

Lady Gaga at Roseland on April 4, 2014

Lady Gaga is performing 7 shows at the iconic New York venue Roseland Ballroom shuts its doors for good on April 7, 2014.  I attended her show on April 4, 2014 and before I give you 10 observations from the show, I’d like to reminisce a bit about Roseland.  I’ve seen countless shows at Roseland from Radiohead to Lily Allen to New Order.  The venue housed The Black Party and it was also where I danced on stage with Grace Jones!  Such memories!  Roseland you will be missed and it’s tragic that the rumour is that the building will be turned into condominiums!  But anyway, here are 10 observations from the Lady Gaga show on April 4, 2014.

Lady Gaga at Roseland on April 4, 2014

Lady Gaga at Roseland on April 4, 2014

1. Lady Gaga performed for a paltry one hour.  Even new bands that barely have one album out play for longer.  I totally get that these are “warm up” shows for her ArtPop Ball tour, but that is ridiculously short.  Let the rumours start as to why she was unable to play for longer?  Is she on drugs?  Is she getting off drugs?  Is she just lazy?  The show should have been advertised differently if it was going to be that short.  For someone that loves her fans as much as she does, that’s a shitty thing to do to them.  Which brings me to observation number two:

Lady Gaga at Roseland on April 4, 2014

Lady Gaga at Roseland on April 4, 2014

2. The VIP package made you pay twice as much as a normal ticket cost for the show.  Though it did get you early entry to the venue (Entry at 5:30 pm.  She went on at 9:15-ish), you did not have a special section to stand in, so if you got there late, you were screwed!  In essence, the “VIP Access” made you have to stand there longer than everyone else and though it was nice that you were given a commemorative bag and poster (with poster tube), they gave it to you when you walked into the venue, so you have to schelp it around all night!  In the mob scene that was the “pit” at Roseland, that was not a nice thing to do to your fans.  However, as Roseland has notoriously bad sight lines, I guess it was either this or not be able to see at all.

Lady Gaga at Roseland on April 4, 2014

Lady Gaga at Roseland on April 4, 2014

3. Her voice sounds great.  If the drug rumours are in deed true, it hasn’t affected her voice.  She can genuinely sing!   In fact, you can see a video of “Born This Way” shot by yours truly at this link (which will open in a new window).

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

4. If you tried to sneak up to the front, the Little Monsters will cut you!  Granted, I thought that was kind of awesome because those of us in the front paid our dues for those coveted spots, but still – there ain’t no fury like a Little Monster scorned.  The people standing near me and my friend at the show were total characters – on our left, we had a guy with the best biceps I’ve ever seen arguing with his sister about family business all night and on our right, a woman who literally had brought a drug store with her to the show.  In the course of the evening, the woman drank mini bottles of alcohol which can be found at liquor stores, smoked several joints (she did share though!), had an E-cigarette and snorted coke – and ALL in plain view.  Go on, girl!

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

5. When Gaga addressed the crowd, she used a squeaky Olive Oyl type voice which was ridiculous and annoying.  When you are performing with your pussy out, it’s really hard to buy the “I’m so innocent” act.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

6. 4 of the 11 songs she played featured her sitting down behind the piano.  Also, one of the pianos was stationed in a spot where the over $500 tickets were, and while those people got a little extra value for their ticket price, the rest of the venue could pretty much not see a thing during that section of the show.  When 15 minutes of her 60 minute show are being cockblocked by bad sight lines, that is NOT COOL!

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

7. Performing in your panties and grabbing your crotch is all the rage!

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

8. Gaga looked bloated.  I’m not trying to start any blasphemous rumours, but as we all know, if you really break your hip, the recovery time is around a year and a half, not 4 months.  Just sayin’.

Lady Gaga Roseland Merch

Lady Gaga Roseland Merch

9. The Merch. – “Lady Fucking Gaga” T-shirts and cups.  Enough said.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

10. She lives for the applause.

As I got to the end of my list, I realized it sounds like I am complaining.  To some extent, I am complaining because I see A LOT of live entertainment, and I look at everything objectively (though I am completely grateful for the experience).    I feel it’s the job of the performer to make me leave with a smile on my face.  Gaga definitely did that and she puts on a good show (despite this one being criminally short) but in some ways the joy I felt was overshadowed by a bunch of douchey moves that her team concocted to torture her fans that have little or no basis in comparison to know the difference.

What was your experience like?  Tell us in the comments section.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

The setlist was:

Born This Way (acoustic) / Black Jesus – Amen Fashion / Monster / Bad Romance / Sexxx Dreams / Dope / You and I / Poker Face (acoustic) / Just Dance / Applause.

Encore:

G.U.Y.

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