Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Interlude: Rain, Redux


Maybe Al Gore does have a point.

When I exited the the 4 Train on Fulton Street, shortly after making Friday's post, I was bewildered that the weather had changed so dramatically during the ride. Thankful that I had been lent an umbrella, I made my way to the Seaport, dodging puddles. The rain turned out to be a mixed blessing; while I didn't miss anything, openers Takka Takka and the Forms played greatly reduced sets as the rain poured sporadically. From my brief impressions, I liked how Takka Takka was loose instrumentally, turning each song into a sprawling composition that broke out of the traditional song structure, but on the flipside, wasn't terribly taken with the vocals. The Forms were an even shorter acquaintance, but I can say that I enjoyed the sweeping, multi-part choruses, although their last song was a little abrasive.

MySpace: Takka Takka
MySpace: The Forms

The National - South Street Seaport, Aug 17th, 2007

The night belonged to the National. Thankfully, the rain abated, and the Brooklyn-via-Cincinnati band played a extensive fifteen song set, complete with encore. I was really taken with the richness of the set, as the band incorporated a violin, piano and a couple horns, albeit for only two songs. Singer Matt Berninger was a dramatic if not altogether dynamic frontman, his weighty baritone compensating for his lack of instrument. Alligator highlight "Abel" ("this is not a sad song") featured his roar, which was as ferocious as it was distorted. The nocturnal gloom of Boxer translated well in the dusk, with almost every song erupted into a full band onslaught that would've filled the gaudiest arena. But as packed as the Seaport is, the sense of intimacy remained, compounded by Berninger's evocative narrative. The band's material is kind of a downer, but it's delivered in such a way that I find exceptionally poignant.

Check out a bulky but worthwhile recording of the show at nyctaper. The National plays Terminal 5 on October 11, with St. Vincent opening. I'm leaning towards yes.

Here's the band's set at KEXP from April 5th, 2005, just prior to the release of Alligator. Enjoy!

1. Secret Meeting
2. Daughters of the SoHo Riots
3. Interview
4. Baby, We'll Be Fine
5. Abel
6. Interview

Buy: Here
Official Site: The National

Afterwards, in what's become almost second nature, I made my way to Greenpoint for an abbreviated by always fun stop at Crashin'In. I only caught the first band, but the DJing was pretty much hit after esoteric hit. Here are some of the the highlights.

MP3: LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum (Dunproofin's Not From England Either Mix)
MP3: The Jesus and Mary Chain - Just Like Honey
MP3: The Smiths - There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
MP3: Feist - My Moom My Man (Boyz Noise Remix)

Daniel Machado - Crashin'In, Aug 18th, 2007
Thanks to Maria for the picture.

Although the backing Guitar Show band wouldn't have looked out of place in, say, a Scandinavian Black Metal concert, Daniel Machado delivered a pretty melodic set. Although the guitars crunched frequently, Daniel had a surprisingly hook-conscious delivery. When he dispensed with most of the noise for his final acoustic song, I couldn't help but appreciate the sincerity. While not terribly distinctive, respect!

MySpace: Daniel Machado
Official Site: Daniel Machado

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