Archive for First Ave

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.  

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Local Love With Talk-O-Destiny

Posted in Life Perspectives from T.S. Niebeling with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, October 11, 2012 by sir minivan dad

 

 

In a land where musical diversity is a relative secret, a crowd of MC’s (and regional artists) have stepped out front to show what they have to offer.  Let’s take a look through some questions and answers- and have some Local Love with Roommate’s Talk-O-Destiny, as they celebrate their album Free Rent release party.

Talk-O-Destiny has been a hip-hop artist in La Crosse, WI for 3 years now…

Artistry and a passion for music comes to mind when concerned with (Brian) Talk-O-Destiny; having worked in a record store (Deaf Ear Records, of La Crosse) for 3 plus years and being a local artist himself (working with various groups of different genres, from Another Exoneration to T.U.G.G.).  He has been known to appreciate some underground greats, such as Northern Lightz, Big Zach, Kanser, and Atmosphere, some of these qualities have been conveyed on to Roommate’s new album.

Grab a listen,

You can get a sample of what they are spitting on the Free Rent here:  Roommates Official (Free Rent)

***

So, in my accidental drunken stupor of last sunday afternoon, I stumbled to my phone and emailed Brian.  He hit me up with prompt punctuality and we discussed an idea for an article, question and answer style…  To get the low-down on the music scene in La Crosse, the upcoming Roommates’ album, and anything of relevance in relation to having a good time all the time.

This is what transpired…

TS:  Who is/are Roommates?

T.O.D.:  Roommates is Talk-O-Destiny, Guess Prefontaine, and coming soon to Roommates albums, P.C.P. (Pontius Co-Pilot).  (Full details of artists and album construction can be found on the Roommates Official link above.)

TS:  Firstly, La Crosse has a huge bar/music venue scene-What are the pros and cons of performing in such an environment, what are the best bars to do a show, and what is your favorite venue thus far?

T.O.D.:  JB’s, I really like… It’s a good time; the sound is good, the drinks are good.  It can be hard getting people to come to the Northside, but it works out.  The Warehouse is also a great venue, it is a really great place for the music community in La Crosse…  The listeners are more clear-minded at The Warehouse because of the lack of alcohol at the venue.  However, lack of alcohol can be a good thing for an artist and a listener, better perception of the music.

The Pros are that people are about your shit, as an artist you want to hear you did a great job, but criticism is welcomed.

The Cons are you don’t always get free drinks…  You aren’t always getting paid, and its like wet my whistle (you know)…  I get that the bars have to make money too…

 

TS:  What inspires you as an artist about living in La Crosse, WI?

T.O.D.:  Being around local bands gives way to creating good music.  Also, there is a local community feel; everyone is working together, people are surrounded by great artists of differing genres, and that is inspiring.  La Crosse’s music scene has a lot of talented individuals.  They don’t tour (as much, outside the area), but they have great musicianship.  A place like La Crosse, has a good music scene, people at the top are blowing minds.  There is a diverse music community, support for multiple genres, and appreciation for music here…  La Crosse has the secret.  I may not know what the secret is, but La Crosse has it.

 

TS:  Tell me about the Album (Free Rent).

T.O.D.:  It’s the first album in a series of albums from Roommates, the album took a period of about a year to accumulate most of the ideas and material, recording took about 1 month.  At the end of summer I wanted something out by October 1st, so it happened.  But it took about a year, year and a half to create.

 

TS:  On a perfect day where can we find Talk-O-Destiny performing, or just hanging out…  Eating a burrito on your couch?

T.O.D.:  One day, I would love to rock First Ave., as a goal, I would love to set foot on that stage…  But, definitely, eating a burrito on my couch…

 

End of Questions.

***

To say the least, talking with Brian was enlightening; I am proud to be from a region where music is extremely diverse and positive.  Brian’s idea for creating music consists of promoting and helping others, while not hating on what’s around.  Rather, gaining from the differences, gathering material while being progressive in what you create as an artist next.  While reducing pressure and instilling an idea of just having fun Brian has inspired me to indulge in more local music from Roommates, and the La Crosse area as a whole.

The Free Rent album from Roommates is enjoyable, independently manufactured, underground, precise, and inspiring.  My head was bobbing for the most part; solid beats, diverse sound, with interesting and personal songwriting abilities are exhibited. Something new.

Good job, I can’t wait to hear more.  I would love to see Roommates live.

Next show:

Saturday, October 13 at 9:30 PM

Location: Jb’s Speakeasy
717 Rose Street, La Crosse Wisconsin

All information on Roommates (the artists and show dates and times) is within the link above.

Jay Electronica Preaches at The House of Blues

Posted in Media, Video with tags , , , , on Monday, August 3, 2009 by Tim Althaus

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here is some footage of the prophet Jay Electronica performing at the House of Blues in Chicago. I can’t tell you how upset I am that I had to miss his show with Mos Def in Minneapolis Saturday night. I can assure you that First Ave. was rockin’ like crazy that night. On the video you get to see him perform “Dear Moleskine” as well as “Exhibit A (Transformation)”. This guy is quickly becoming one of my favorites, I feel almost blessed that I’ve been able to put this many Jay Electronica posts up in the last week.

Spotted @ 2DopeBoyz

From The Rail: Sights and Sounds of Animal Collective Live @ First Ave. 5/20/09

Posted in Audio, Concert Reviews, From The Rail, Video with tags , , , , , , , , on Thursday, May 21, 2009 by Erik Burg

AC Avey tall close      It’s been a long wait since the release of Merriweather Post Pavillion, since this show was announced, since the tickets went on sale. May the 20th seemed like it would never arrive, and as I spun everything from Spirit They Came to their newest live tracks, the prospect of seeing Animal Collective live seemed more myth than reality. 

      But enough of the deification. The show has obviously come and gone, but the hype surrounding these guys both as a live act and on record is sure to stay. I got the chance to see the trio last year at the Pitchfork music festival, and they were good. But the set was very short and the band seemed a little passive with their enthusiasm of actually headlining the festival. Last night though, Animal Collective took the stage and commanded an energy from start to finish like few bands can. It was captivating and jaw-dropping while at the same time extremely fun and enjoyable. 

      The set list was great as well. Obviously playing plenty of tracks from Merriweather, the band also managed to open with the older “Chocolate Girl”, played “Chores” and “Fireworks” from Strawberry Jam, and also knocked out “Who Could Win a Rabbit” from Sung Tongs. Highlights of the night include the comparatively stripped down yet overly amazing version of “My Girls” and the five minute breakdown in the middle of “Fireworks” that came as close to a guitar or drum solo that you could ever see from Animal Collective. 

      Stage set-up was even stunning. The lighting for the show was spectacular, that is unless you get seizures easily. For the rest of us though, we were treated to strobing color almost constantly, making the sight of Panda Bear singing on “Guys Eyes” even more beautiful than I ever imagined. The giant ball that hung above the stage, along with the giant optical illusion, err, album cover in the background made sure that stage was completely utilized.

      It’s a tour and concert I want to be proud to tell my kids about someday. You saw Woodstock? You saw Hendrix? You saw Ringo? I saw Animal Collective, one of the most influential and boundary pushing bands of my age. Describing how important they are to music might be cliche, but Animal Collective might be one of the only bands from this entire subculture worth talking about years down the line.

      So there’s plenty of video and photos for you to check out of course. Please excuse my terrible half-singing half-yelling along to some of the songs, I apologize. Enjoy! 

 

AC Panda singing

AC Avey bubble

 

AC Geologist

AC Panda red

AC Panda and Avey flash

AC Avey side

AC Avery and Panda Green

AC Avey B and W

 

Fleet Foxes release “Mykonos” 7″ and plan tour dates

Posted in Audio, Concert Dates, Downloads, Music News with tags , , , , , , , on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 by Erik Burg

robin-pecknold     The beloved folk-pop group Fleet Foxes have already toured once in support of their chart topping 2008 release of the same name, and now they’re sketching out some more dates for this summer as well.

     The tour is fairly scattered, including many festival dates both here and across the pond, but the boys were nice enough to squeeze in a First Avenue show on August 9. Tickets are on sale now for $22 (get them here). If you’re a fan of their records at all they are certainly worth seeing live, when I had the chance to see them at Pitchfork last year the acoustics of an outdoor setting didn’t bog them down at all, and they still sounded amazing. So I know I’m certianly excited for a more intimate setting, but if you’re a big festival goer there are plenty of chances to see them at these fine gatherings:

5-25 Sasquatch

6-23 Hove Festival

6-26 Glastonbury 

7-31 All Points West

8-07 Lollapalooza 

     Fleet Foxes released a new single today as well. The “Mykonos” 7″ features the awesome “False Knight On The Road” on the Bfleetfoxes_mykonos2side. MP3s of False Knight have been floating around on the web for a while now, but here it gets a well deserved official release. “False Knight On The Road” is well worth the purchase, the echoing vocals recorded mostly by frontman Rob Pecknold are much more in line with his or fellow Fox’s J. Tillman solo projects, but the song could have just as easily appeared on their self-titled group debut. If you’re broke though, or out a record player, check the MP3 below for what you’re missing. Enjoy!

Fleet Foxes – “False Knight On The Road”

Concert Review: Junior Boys, Max Tundra, & Lookbook @ First Avenue

Posted in Concert Reviews, Mind Inversion Exclusive with tags , , , , , , , , on Saturday, April 4, 2009 by Erik Burg

Though the show may have been over-shadowed by the apparent pop culture phenomenon Britney Spears playing next door at the Target Center, the electro-pop world right across the street at First Avenue made up for what it was lacking in pre-teen girls in mini-skirts with awesome jams and a crowd ripe with energy. 

Duo Lookbook took the stage first, starting the evening with a wide variety of electronically infused pop and slightly slower tracks. Their faster songs got tons of people in gear for the rest of the night, but they cruised through a set so fast I swear some of their song were literally :45 seconds long. At any rate though, it was a good start, and they certainly played to the theme of the evening very well. 

Then came Max Tundra, the obvious pick to steal the show for the night. Did he live up to the surrounding hype? I’d say so. Withmax-tundra-guitarhis overly boyish dance moves, insanely paced tracking, and random plethora of instruments, Max Tundra was just as much the headliner of Friday night as Junior Boys were. Opening with the fresh “Which Song” which I had mentioned a few days back, Tundra got the floor grooving and laughing, the perfect opening act. 

By the time Junior Boys were ready to take the stage the crowd was overly-anxious, and thanks to a minor audio problem during their first song, we all had to wait a little bit longer. It was all worth the wait of course, as Junior Boys took to the stage for a second time, playing fan favorites and a few tracks off their upcoming album. Jeremy Greenspan, lead singer of the Boys, has to be the most lovable and affable lead man I’ve ever seen in concert. All I wanted to do was run up and give him a big hug, but that’s not the point, was is is Junior Boys absolutely killed it. Sorry if you missed it everyone, but don’t fret, I got some photos for you (even a Max Tundra video too!)

junior-boys-drummer2(Junior Boys)

junior-boys-guitar(Junior Boys)

junior-boys-blue-synths(Junior Boys)

max-tundra-vest(Max Tundra)

max-tundra-red(Max Tundra)

max-tundra-keyboard1(Max Tundra)

max-tundra-book(Max Tundra)

look-book-color(Lookbook)

look-book-flash(Lookbook)

Check out this awesome video I shot of Max Tundra as well, it was simply an awesome time Friday night, and hopefully this will take you right there if you had to miss it:

New Max Tundra video, touring through Minneapolis this weekend

Posted in Concert Dates, Video with tags , , , , , on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 by Erik Burg

Max Tundra, the glitchy-electro-pop one man show, will be heading through the midwest this coming weekend. Friday April 3rd Junior Boys will be headlining a show at the First Ave Mainroom, with Max Tundra opening. Both acts have the same sort of feel to them, and I’m sure the two awesome bands will be able to feel off each other and get the crowd plenty into it. And apparently Max likes to dance around on stage like a little boy when he performs too, so at least it will be entertaining of not mind blowing (hehe). 

He’s got a new video out too, for the the track “Which Song.” I’d discourage this to the people who got sick watching the Blair Witch Project, seeing as the camera has a liiiittttle  tendency to move around, but see for yourself:

And grab some tickets to the First Ave show if you enjoyed, only $10 bucks!