On October 11, 2012 (10/11/12!), Portland’s indie rock band Menomena packed the house at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. Though the band has been around for a decade, this was my first exposure to their music and I am happy to report, I loved what I heard. Backed with trippy lights and a tight band, Menomena played for close to two hours!
Lead singer Justin Harris not only sang and played guitar, but he also played the sax on many songs whilst drummer Danny Seim also shared vocal duties. Though the internet describes them with the generic term “indie rock,” their music has a psychedelic rock element to it with a slight bit of funk thrown in for good measure. As a Menomena newbie, it was great to see the audience bouncing along to the songs. Audience participation was a big part of the show and after keeping the beat with clapping on several songs, the band told the audience that New York has the best rhythm in the country as most audiences clap too fast, thus fucking up the song. They also brought an uber-fan up on stage to dance and the guy seriously danced as if it was his last night on earth (and nobody was watching).
Justin Harris of Menomena
Menomena did their job as rockstars and I was at the merch table at the end of the night picking up their latest album “Moms.” It’s good. Get it!
The other day I was at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York where David Letterman’s show tapes and I met Emmy winning actor Jim Parsons there. He’s on “The Big Bang Theory,” and in 2010, he won an Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy. He was extremely nice and I thank him for being a cool dude and I wish him continued success.
As you can see/hear, this is a totally different version of “Strawberries” than I captured just a few short months ago. Of course, on this next video, my seats were much worse, but when it’s funky, it doesn’t matter where you are as long as you are in the funk!
Francis Farewell Starlite of Francis and the Lights
Every time I see Francis and the Lights live, the following things happen: 1. I love them more and more; 2. I cannot figure out why the word “and the lights” is in the title of his band as he often performs mostly in the dark; and 3. I crack up watching the crowd not know what in the world to think of Francis at first. Then he zaps the crowd with one of his awesome dance moves and from that point on, the crowd is in love. All of these thing occurred when I saw Francis and the Lights open for Mark Ronson and the Business Int’l at Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 11, 2010. I am praying that Francis and Mark Ronson had conversations about working together in the future because I think that collaboration would be nothing short of amazing! Francis and the Lights had a different set up last night using a 2 piece band (plus Francis) instead of the usual 5 members. What this meant was the arrangements of every song were dramatically different than I’ve heard before, which once again shows the talent this man has! I cannot remember the exact set list as there was none posted, but I know he performed a new song as well as my favorites “Strawberries” and “For Days.” A video of “Strawberries” will be coming soon, so stay tuned.
I love Mark Ronson so much!!! He’s a great DJ, producer and now he’s singing! His latest album “Record Collection,” was released 2 weeks ago and I’ve been playing it so much, I think it will earn a spot on my top albums of 2010 list. He doesn’t sing on every track, but he’s enlisted some heavy hitters to lend their voices such as Q-Tip, D’Angelo, Andrew Wyatt (of Miike Snow), Rose Elinor Dougall, Alex Greenwald, MNDR, Boy George and Simon LeBon! I am seeing Mark Ronson live for two days in a row (because I think he’s that good) and prior to first day activities, I met him! I had met Ronson over the summer, where he autographed two cds for me and took photos and he was super nice. He may have changed his hair color, but he is still so extremely nice. He signed his new album for me as well as one of a kind pictures I took of him when I saw him over the summer and I am so happy! He also remembered meeting me, which was also extremely cool. Thanks again Mark and I cannot wait to see you and the Business Int’l live in concert tonight!