Archive for England

Alt-J First Ave Sept 7,2013; An Awesome Wave

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Sunday, September 8, 2013 by sir minivan dad

Alt-J, By Terry Scott Niebeling

Alt-J, By Terry Scott Niebeling

Alt-J blew people away at the First Ave venue last night, expectedly.  So what I will tell you is, if you can see them live, and you don’t take the opportunity, you are missing out.  Not to be presumptuous, but it’s factual-sorry.  

And that is about all I can say.  I mean I could tell you it was spiritual, it was enlightening, and it was something of a great act to witness, but you already know that.  I could really, but who is going to believe me?  It was all of those things and more.  They simply put on a great show, there is no doubt in my mind as to the reason why Alt-J sold out the Main Room both nights; not to mention the latter added date of Sept. 8th, it’s because they are truly amazing artists.  They take a simple yet classical sound and make it new, heavy, complex, and refreshing.  Seeing Alt-J makes me think of, if it were somehow possible, seeing Led Zeppelin, or Radiohead, maybe even Pink Floyd, before they became über famous/timeless, and impossible to see live. The crowd at First Ave got a stand up treat from this band on the rise.  Take the time to listen, and check them out in person.  It is something I won’t soon forget.

***

(Take in my words and the mediocre photos my Windows Phone could afford, and enjoy. That’s all you need to know.  There are more amateur camera phone photos and words below about time leading up to the show, thoughts, and lucky people getting in.)

Lord Huron opened to much delight.  Starting slow and eventually garnering enough energy to bring the lion’s share of the crowd into their set, and possibly into their loins.  I tweeted, before LH started getting a bit flashy, the tweet read something along the lines of “opening bands are like commercials while you wait for your favorite show to start.”  I could give a shit less about an opener band, especially at an Alt-J show; however, I was almost eating my words 10 minute later.  Hit me up at on Twitter:  @sirterryscott.  

How I came to love Alt-J:  

The story goes I went to smoke some with a friend after work and she would play An Awesome Wave over and over again.  One night I caught on, I said, “Play that song again.”  She did, then I inquired as to who and what they were.  I was amazed.  She had ripped the song from a torrent and sent me a downloaded copy.  I never actually used what she had sent me, I was occupied with pressing play and repeat play on Youtube, of Breezeblocks.  In turn I had found out the meaning to the song, and I had become entranced by the harmony, wave of sound, and sonic power of Alt-J.  89.3 The Current started playing one, then two, then three of their songs.  Now they play most of the album.  A friend later Facebook messaged me and gave me the scoop on the First Ave show.  Knowing they would sellout the venue I waited til the moment they became available, and then I made my purchase.  I should have bought 6, the limit, but I bought 3 instead.  I could have doubled my money.  I didn’t have enough dough that day though.  A few hours later all of the tickets were gone and I sat in satisfaction at my quick choice.  And that is how I got into the show.

By Terry Scott Niebeling

Putting up the Triangles, By Terry Scott Niebeling

Standing outside in line people came up to me asking for tickets.  The interesting thing was there weren’t really any scalpers, but there were people asking for tickets.  A show so coveted that people bought the tickets for themselves and actually went to see good music.  Wow, some tickets online were as much as $200.  It must have been 5 people walked up and inquired.  By this time I had already bummed two cigarettes and a RedBull from some complete strangers ahead of me in line.  I was feeling great waiting in line at 7:30 pm, plenty of time to take in the hot night.  At home earlier while indulging in homework and horror films I sat on the couch sweating in our AC lacking one bedroom apt.  The fan blew its best, but it didn’t really help.  Sweat beaded and crawled down my face.  I changed my shirt a few times.  I took a shower and brushed my teeth.  I spoke German.  And then I went to wait in line.

????????????????????

With the extra two tickets I felt almost over prepared, which by my standards is almost impossible.  I waited until the day before to start the bidding.  Three people in all contacted me.  The tickets went to the most passionate.  Also, a few people whom I spoke with were too intimidated to bid on them, so I figured they must not have wanted to go really.

The lucky guests I brought drove two hours to get here on word of a promise to get tickets.  I thought of them as I waited in line.  I asked those who inquired about extra tickets how much they would pay.  They wouldn’t say, I am not sure if they got in.  I was about 15ft from the door when my guests arrived.  They were in disbelief, literally exalted at the idea they would see a band they loved.  Having been burned twice before T. was so happy.  I think as we came closer to actually getting in her spirits piqued.  She handed me the money the moment she arrived.  I enjoyed this.  The sky was pink, the line was long, and the day was cooling off.  Heat became a friend of every nook, cranny, and crevasse throughout the city proper.  The bike ride and the light material of my black button up were comforting.  The sunset stood aglow over the Hennepin Ave Bridge as I crossed 3rd Ave, over the Mississippi, past pedestrians, and aside cars.  A glacier like cloud hung over the sun; a sort of arrowhead array of bright lights contrasting with deep purple clouds shadowing certain parts for quiet a large puppet show etched across the darkening horizon.  A line of clouds, directly above, shown soft and full, as they slipped through the sky.  Planes took off going in two different directions.  I biked South-ish to First Ave. to wait in line.  I watched the ground below slide past; rocks and broken glass reflected on how they had come to where they lie.  They watched all appreciatively as I went by.  

Alt-j set list. Talk to your boy.

 

I was just biking to see a band I had wanted to see since I first heard a song.  

The Streets, Computers And Blues

Posted in Album Review, Life Perspectives from T.S. Niebeling, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, June 29, 2012 by sir minivan dad

Mike Skinner is one of my favorite artists hands down.  Why?  Basically, because Mike Skinner (The Streets) is unique, original, and you can follow his paper trail to where he is today.  He started at the bottom and worked his way to the top of the food chain.  Incredible.  We can actually see an artist evolve from a garage type setup, to a studio, to a super-studio facilitated album.

Evolution of The Streets is apparent and refreshing.

The Streets have done 5 albums, all of which are different, all of which are excellent, and all of which are incredibly interesting, conceptually, and aesthetically.  I prefer Original Pirate Material, A Grand Don’t Come For Free, and The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living.

I now agree that Computer and Blues is up there with the best of their albums.

With only 3 days of non-stop listening, I prefer this album to the others.  This album is fresh, relevant and very personal. The Streets’ last album is a sound-system banger and an artistic send off for Skinner.  I feel he wants to end on a good note, and I appreciate the respect for fans and music.  So many bands milk it to the very last drop and fizzle out while pumping out shit.  I respect The Streets and Mike Skinner; however, I hope sometime soon he can pull a reunion tour so I can catch the music live.

Apparently, he wanted to do 5 albums, that’s what his contract was about, and that’s it.  He has stated in interviews that he was satisfied with this decision because he wanted to find more time to spend with his family.

Dan gave me this album, mentioning that at first he did not dig it as much as the other albums.  This seems to be the case with most of The Streets albums for me, there is definitely a first listen and blah.  After a bit of thinking the album is thrown back into the mix and listened to over and over again.  Always a cult classic and a heavy listen.  Since Original Pirate Material I have been a Streets fan.  Most all of their albums to date are inspiring, completely original and massively progressive.

One thing I take away from The Streets is they make music that sounds like The Streets, they are not ripping off, copy-catting to hit the charts up, or going trendy.  The Streets just transpire and it comes out sounding amazing.  I love The Streets and the music they make, and the inspiration they flood the speakers with.

***

For days I have been listening to this album on repeat and I was trying to get a perspective and give you something in detail, but after listening I feel this CD deserves a listen.  Lyrics are spot on, the songwriting is out of this world.  The beats are heavy when needed, also, soft and chill when necessary.  I found my roommates awesome sound set up and took full advantage of it.  This Streets album is worth a buy, and definitely a good listen.  Streets fans won’t regret Computer and Blues and it is on par with, if not better than all his previous albums but Original Pirate Material.  You deserve to listen to this album on a really good sounds system.  The positive message is solid and the beats are innovative.  Mike Skinner did create a sound system banger, and an artsy bon voyage.  Cheers!  This Streets album has me with a smile on my face.