Posts Tagged ‘Lykke Li’

Spotify My Soul –

August 12, 2011

Hopefully a running item, here’s the albums I’ve listened to in the past few weeks on Spotify:

  • Bon Iver, Bon Iver – Was giving this a listen to start getting pumped for our September date with Mr. Vernon and friends.  Really good, a lot more musical depth than their debut.  Some may not like this change; the kind of people that didn’t like when Bob Dylan went electric.
  • Lykke Li, Wounded Rythms – Also gave this one a listen before Li’s show at the Greek this week.  The two opening tracks, Youth Knows No Pain and I Follow Rivers, are spectacular.
  • Little Dragon, Ritual Union – Had heard some touting of this band on NPR’s All Songs Considered.  As I said on Facebook, this is a relaxing, chill album.
  • Iron Maiden, Iron Maiden – Ok, this was the first cassette tape (yes, I’m old) I bought with my own money.  As a 12 year old boy, how could I resist this cover:

I was curious whether I would still like it as much as I did all those years ago.  You know, it holds up for me.  Great guitar riffs, and Paul Di’Anno’s pipes are sharp (I’d forgotten Bruce Dickinson wasn’t with the band yet).

  • Funkadelic, Maggot Brain – I’d never listened to this whole album.  The long instrumental-heavy tracks were a great soundtrack as we washed our car on a sunny weekend afternoon.

So what are people listening to (on Spotify or otherwise)?

 

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Get Lykke Li to the Greek

August 10, 2011

After the energy and banter that typified the recent Ben Folds show I attended, I was expecting a more relaxed and staid show from Lykke Li last week.  Expectations were not met.  But that’s not a bad thing.  More on that in a minute.

This was the first time to the Greek for me.  A historic amphitheater located inside Griffith Park, it has a much more intimate vibe than the much larger Hollywood Bowl.  It had a makeover in the past ten years, and it showed with nice concession areas, clean and large bathrooms, and a nice facade that apparently is true to the original facade of the theater.  The soundsystem was also more than adequate.

There were two opening bands.  First up was Fool’s Gold, a local band who mix African rhythms with pop music.  Think Vampire Weekend.  In fact, during a few of their songs, the resemblance was striking.  Musically, they were very adept, and gave the early arrivers something nice to listen to.  Unfortunately, the lead singer didn’t have anywhere near the voice of Ezra Koenig.  That took away a little from the rest of the band’s overall appeal.  As openers go, they were decent.

Next up was Best Coast.  We had seen them earlier in the summer in Pasadena, and they played a pleasant set of lo-fi “surfer” rock then.  Ditto for this set.  Armed with only one full album (and some EPs), the setlist was pretty much the same, if not identical, to the Pasadena show.  Singer Bethany Cosentino has a sweet voice that is complemented nicely by the rough guitar of Bobb Bruno.  I use words like nice and pleasant to describe their sets because they are.  But they lack a pop, ooomph, or some other adjective that separates a good live set from a great one.

Now back to Lykke Li.  I last saw the Swedish songwriter in a very intimate setting at the Sixth and I Synagogue in DC.  With only one instrumentalist and no sort of light show, the spotlight was squarely on Li, and she delivered with a powerful performance.  From the beginning, this show was different.

The first photo in this post was the stage as Li and her band entered the stage.  They had the smoke machines working overtime and the light display would have gotten a nod from Pink Floyd roadies.  Lykke had many more people on stage with her, including two drummers and a backup singer.  As before when I saw her, she keeps a drum and cymbal nearby, and occasionally beats on it along with her percussion section.

It was a really good performance.  She interspersed a lot of her more upbeat songs with some slower numbers, new songs and old.  She was a lot more energetic than the last time I saw her, dancing around the stage and going to town on the aforementioned drums.  Her voice is still great, though unlike the last time I saw her, a few times the music overpowered her vocals.  The crowd didn’t seem to mind, and there was a lot of dancing, even in the seated area where we were at.  The light show was nice and not too over the top (other than the smoke barrage at the beginning).  Only regret was that she didn’t play my favorite song, Tonight, during the encore.  But, all in all a very good show.

Concert Binge

July 19, 2011

Sarah and I went on a tear lately buying concert tickets to a bunch of shows we wanted to go to.  It’s been a little while since our last show, which was the Raveonettes at the Trobadour.  That was a super loud show, and quite different than when I saw them three years ago in DC.  I expect a much quieter affair when we go to see Ben Folds next Thursday at the Wiltern.  I’ll admit I’m pretty new to Ben Folds, thanks to Sarah.  I’m looking forward to the show, and to a new venue for me in LA.

We also got tickets to Lykke Li at the Greek over in Griffith Park.  I saw her several years ago at a venue suited for her musical style, the Sixth and I Synagogue in DC.  The Greek is an outdoor amphitheater, I’ve never been so I don’t know exactly how big it is, but I think it will be interesting to see how the experience compares to the previous time I saw her.  I’ve enjoyed the few tracks from her latest album that I’ve heard on XM and her webpage.

In September, we’ll be seeing Bon Iver, who has become very popular in indie circles these days.  After a critically acclaimed debut, his followup just hit shelves (servers is probably more apropos).  Haven’t gotten around to buying it yet, but have liked what I’ve heard.  Being a native of Sarah’s college town of Eau Claire, she’s enthusiastic about him and apparently saw him play in college while he was with one of his earlier bands.  I saw him two years ago at the Black Cat in DC.  It was a great show, and one of the only shows I’ve ever been where the entire audience was completely quiet while he played by himself on an acoustic guitar.  We were surprised we got tickets, because we totally forgot about the ticket sale date.  We checked the next day expecting disappointment, and amazingly found two decent tickets.  Maybe he’s too “small town” for LA?

And then the coup de grace for me came this Friday, when I secured tickets to see Portishead in late October.  They don’t put out albums often, and tour here in the U.S. even less.  They were on a short list of bands I wanted to see very badly but thought I’d never get to see in my lifetime.  So I was psyched when I heard they were touring the U.S., even more so when I saw L.A. on the list, and ecstatic when I got through to buy tickets on the first try last Friday.  Hopefully the show will live up to my expectations, but what I have heard on PYNC a few other recordings, I’m thinking I’ll enjoy it.

Also going to go to at least one day of the Sunset Junction festival in August, which is right in our hood and is going to boast a pretty good lineup of bands.  And at $15, a great value especially since outdoor festivals are usually a lot of fun.  Which reminds me, i forgot the actual last show we saw was the end of the Morning Benders set and Best Coast in Pasadena at the Make Music festival.  They were good sets, though obviously not the most memorable.  Will try and update the blog with reviews of the show, assuming I can remember them all.