Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Avi Buffalo Residency Concludes at The Echo

As I arrived at The Echo on Tuesday, May 26, 2009, I was struck by the beautiful noise coming out of the venue even before I went in. The doorman said the first band had just gone on. I bolted inside to be overwhelmed at the gorgeous jangle of the many instruments assembled on stage.
It was Divisadero (above), and I was there early to see them play live, as I'm going to post a review over at Radio Free Silver Lake, of their CD Lefty, being re-released this very day on JAXART Records, I also wanted to speak to a couple of band members to get their thoughts. But when I walked in they were furiously hammering and sawing away on their instruments and the music was sublime. I think it was "The Boxer's Daughter".

Their dense swirling wash of sound was hypnotic, as they spun through selection from Lefty. Lead singer, Marco Montesclaros, vocals were pitched just right. On record, his vocals are carefully laid into the fabric of sound at just the right level and this must be duplicated live. I've heard them when Marco's voice was too loud and it threw the whole balance off, or too soft and he gets lost. This night was just right, and, apart from some clicking sounds, Ashley Jex pointed out to me, when the band got very loud, I found the mix to be, overall, very good.

Highlights included "Understand We Have No Understanding" and "Lefty's Lament" featuring Josh on electric saw. Speaking to Pauline Lay and Josh McCool after the set, I learned this was the first time Divisadero had played The Echo. I'll bet they're invited back real soon, as the crowd loved them.

Greater California (at left) were the next band and they impressed me with their solid playing and strong songs. In fact, they sound like a headlining band. Lot's of variety in the music, with sunny pop, undercut by big slices of psychedelia played on a wide array of instruments, with band members sometimes playing two or three of them within the same song.

The crowd seemed into it, but by the time Avi Buffalo took the stage, there was a restless element in the audience. To be sure, there was the faithful army of Avi regulars present, but

Avi Buffalo's reputation is beginning to precede them. There was undoubtedly a presence of those who have heard this band is the next BIG thing and had no interest in the music, only in being somewhere perceived to be"cool". Word has definitely gotten out as this was the biggest crowd of the entire residency.

Tonight's program was a "greatest hits" set that focused on their biggest crowd-pleasers, from "What's In It For" to "Where's Your Dirty Mind" with plenty of opportunities for Avi to get crazy and shred his guitar in between. The whole set was beautifully balanced and most got into it, but the constant din of conversations, where there should have been none, was frustrating for fans like myself...and for the band.

In spite of that, I would call the night a success, owing to the devotion of Avi Buffalo's many friends and fans. Actually toward the end of the set, I moved way down front and it pretty much obliterated most of the chatter and I noticed a marked improvement in my perception of the show. I wish I'd been down front for the full set. This is the first residency I've seen all installments of, and I can't think of a band more worthy.

There was a decided moodiness in the city that night and things were a little tense as I was making my way to The Echo on the bus, earlier . The L.A. riot police were out in full force at most major intersections expecting protests to the abominable State Supreme Court decision to let Prop 8 stand. It won't stand forever, it's defeat is ultimately inevitable. Just goes to show what happens when the Christian Taliban is allowed too much access into society or government. That always becomes, forgive the term, an "unholy" alliance.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gangi Wrap Up Residency at Spaceland

It was great to have the day off on Monday, May 25, 2009, so I was primed for the Gangi show at Spaceland that night. Also wanted to prepare myself for a week in which I could go out every night, there's so many good shows.

As soon as I got off the bus and began heading up Silver Lake Blvd. Scott Schultz caught up to me and he's brimming with good news, the basics of which I revealed in my last column. I'm so excited for him and for the city of Los Angeles.

I saw Lyle Nesse, half of Gangi, as I was going into the club and congratulated him on the residency. He told me last week's installment had been a highlight. I'm sorry I missed it. I asked what's next for Gangi, and he said he and Matt will be hibernating for a little while to finish up their next album.

Local Natives are a local band that play poppy indie pop, avoiding the saccharine by really strong playing and clever songwriting. (Pictured above in a photo by Benjamin Hoste) They also go for four-part harmonies, similar to Fleet Foxes, which they achieve quite readily. I was impressed enough to pick up their EP, which features a good sample of their range and includes their beautifully sung cover of "Warning Sign" by Talking Heads, which they performed to perfection in concert.

Gangi literally blew Spaceland off earth with their set. Going back to the original arrangements of "Ground", "Subject Positions " and a rousing rendition of "Animals" that had Matt Gangi leaping around on the counter tops, they sounded great and powerful. Then they launched into an astounding version of the new song, "Gun Show" and it's concussive beat which ultimately blew the sound out. It cut their set down to five songs, but each was delivered with such precision and passion, everyone in the very large crowd was impressed.

I waited around a little while, but it began to look like the sound was gone for the evening, so everyone politely cheered the band one more time and I made for the exit. I hope the Gangi boys aren't too disappointed, and on the last night of their residency, because what they gave us was pure gold. Above, the guys are seen hibernating and working on their next album (I suppose) in a shot by Sarah Forbes Keough.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Fort King at pehrspace and Other Notes

The above photo is from the pehrspace website, and it was the first thing I ever saw of the club, before my first visit there last year. You would never know that it is the site of some of the finest evenings I've had seeing live music in L. A. It's tucked back behind that short palm tree in the far corner. I just wanted to show how the most amazing things can happen in the most unlikely places.

I didn't know what to expect when I went to pehrspace on Friday night, May 22 to see a band I only just recently heard about. It was at the Tommy Santee Klaws show at Hyperion Tavern a couple of weeks ago when Donna Jo introduced me to their friend, Ryan Fuller, who gave me the CD, Naked Shadows, by his band, Fort King. I figured it would be worth a listen.

I've been obsessed with it for two weeks. Beautiful, melancholy ballads with a strong instrumental sense that recalls French film soundtracks of the '70's. I'm particularly reminded of the score by Arie Dzierlatka for the brilliant, melancholy Alain Resnais 1980 film Mon Oncle d'Amerique.

His use of the cello, played by Catherine Campion, is so subtle and underplayed, it's almost subliminal. I also wondered how his voice, low key and wistful, would translate live. So I was off to pehrspace to see if anyone else knew about this band.

Not expecting to find anyone I knew, I walked right in the door to see Matthew Teardrop and Ian Baumeister manning the admissions. It was a good night from that point on. I snuck in to hear Willow Willow perform a lovely set of two-part harmonies perfectly mixed by Pauline Lay, as usual. Recently relocated from the Bay area, they sing sweet songs with a country flavor, that are quirky enough to get the attention of the indie crowd.

Before they went on I got to have a nice chat with Catherine and Ryan, and tell them how much I'm enjoying the CD. When Fort King (at right) took to the stage, they treated the audience to a set of many of the best cuts off the album. What really pleased me was how Ryan sounded just like his recordings. This requires very careful playing and singing and Ryan on guitar, complimented by Catherine's spare use of the cello, for maximum effect, play with an admirable precision. Tonight they had the accompaniment of Aaron Robinson on dobro, which added a subtle air of country to the sound.

The beautifully understated lyrics fit the gently moving music so well, voice and instrument occasionally reaching a beautiful compositional counterpoint. The recorded versions include many wonderful sound effects that weren't present live, but the music is so strong on it's own, I didn't miss them.

"House Finch", "To the Moon", "Antique Dreams" were all played stunningly. The instrumental, "Tabanata", was a high point for me, and I always applaud a band with the courage to play an instrumental at a rock show. Good to see a band live up to the promise of their recorded work, and then some. I think most of the audience felt the same.

Also, congratulations to our friend, photographer Scott Schultz, who has been getting attention lately for his remarkable Skid Row photographs (see above). First, L.A. Record articles, then the Huffington Post radio interview, and now, tapped by the L.A. County Commission for the Arts to put on a music and arts festival at the Ford Amphitheatre on July 26 to raise funds for programs benefiting the Skid Row residents. There is also much more beyond this, including allocating funds for assisting the homeless through the arts, the support of "Food Not Bombs" and a coalition of South Central Farmers. It sounds so worthy and deserving of support, I'll do what I can.

Just wanted to mention a few CD's that I'm really enjoying lately. First, the Fort King CD, Naked Shadows I recommend for it's songwriting and evocative and moving melodies. Out of the Rain, the Thunder and the Lightning by The Faraway Places is
gaining rapidly in my estimation. I love the range of influences from
The Kinks
to The Beatles to The Brian Jonestown Massacre and their songs are stuck on constant rotation in my brain right now.

I got a copy of The Rhone Occupation's Would It Kill You To Talk This Out? EP from Jacob and I thinks that's pretty good as well, catchy songs and terrific vocals. Still getting to love Swoon by Silversun Pickups more and more. Those songs really grow on you. I picked up 2007's Soul Variations by AM when I saw them at Spaceland a week ago, in anticipation of their upcoming release. The song "Stepping Stone" is a real winner. And, of course, the Avi Buffalo Echo residency self release, which at last gave us something to hold in our hands.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Where Have I Been? Or, "A Bunch of Shows, Part V"

My final big push to finish catching up on show reviews caught the attention of Joe Fielder, who suggested it would be a good post for Radio Free Silver Lake. I concurred, and wrapped up the post yesterday.

I briefly review shows like this:

And this:
Or this:

For those wondering what I've been seeing lately, I urge you to check out my post here. The above bands are (1) Avi Buffalo, (2) The Faraway Places, (3) Amnion

As for Feed Your Head, I'm going to try to use it as a more journalistic type of site. Randon thoughts, music I'm listening to, upcoming shows, new bands that suddenly pop onto my radar, whatever I consider to be relevant. I'd like to post daily, but we'll see how that goes.


Friday, May 15, 2009

"A Bunch of Shows, Part IV"

I attended the last two April Monday residencies of The Henry Clay People at Spaceland and they were as much party as concert and I mean that in a good way. Both nights, April 20 and 27, The Henry Clay People filled the stage with guest musicians and the exuberant fun was contagious, as documented in these great shots by Scott Schultz. The local bloggesphere was well represented.

Both evenings featured strong sets by the band, but the final Monday, April 27, was a real cause for celebration. It seemed like at least one member from every band in L.A. was there and the place was packed. It was also a special day in the history of The Henry Clay People, who had been asked out on another cross country tour with Ben Harper and just that day, Andy and Joey Siara had quit their day jobs. That's a huge, scary step and I applaud them for taking the chance.

This night also had The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra on the bill, performing without a lead female vocalist. Hunter explained to me earlier they'd be performing new songs, and ones that weren't heavily reliant on the boy/girl vocal dynamic. I was very impressed at the set. Hunter is a fine singer and we really got to hear just how fantastic these musicians are. It was nice to hear so much unfamiliar material as well, and based on this show, the new songs show lots of promise.

Adam of Fol Chen took the stage next and sang a song of introduction for The Henry Clay People, much to the audience's pleasure. Then, augmented by guests like Hunter Costeau on vocals, Jordan Huddock on keys, additional guitar by Ross Flournoy and the fabulous back up from The Damselles, they roared through a set of their own material and lots of covers, like "Proud Mary" on which the back up singers took the lead, to a wildly approving crowd.

The costumes they wore elevated the festive atmosphere to a carnivalesque level with striped pants, suspenders, top hats, sunglasses and the brothers Siara, wrapped in day-glo feather boas. They began on a high note and stayed there throughout the entire set. It turned into a fabulous party.

On Saturday, April 25, I got over to the west side for a Death to Anders/The Happy Casualties show at Trip Bar. This bar is nice and friendly and low key. The Happy Casualties went on first, adding a jolt of energy to the room. Their classic anarchist rock style and Steve Sigl's irony-laden words make the brain work, while the feet move. I've waited too long to cover these shows so the details are sketchy.

Death to Anders played next and again floored me with their remarkable skill. They sail through their sets with such ease these days and always put together a varied and logical progression of songs. I know they're working on lots of new material so they always throw something new into the mix.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 was the joint 7" release for The Parson Red Heads and CD release for Castledoor party and with the addition of Princeton it was a show too good to miss. I arrived as Princeton were in the middle of their set, and though I've only seen them a couple of times, I can see why they have such a passionate following. They mix brainy lyrics with a strong indie pop sensibility to weave songs of intellectual complexity. And now the literary component of their writing has wrangled them an invitation to perform at the Virginia Woolf Conference at Lincoln Center in New York on June 5. Big congratulations to Princeton.

Castledoor, headed by newly blond Nate Cole, fired off a nice set in celebration of their new release, Shouting at Mountains. Actually it's their first 'official' release. The Parson Red Heads appeared in a full band incarnation singing their golden-throated rock and roll, highlighted by selections form their new 7" release, Orangufang, which is a good capture of their sound.

Thursday night, April 30, was the night of the Radio Free Silver Lake and Manimal Vinyl presented Record Release party for Seven Days Now by Xu Xu Fang at The Echo. Sharing the stage with Downtown/Union for their CD release event as well, were VoicesVoices and The Voyeurs. A really strong line up that was given a run for it's money when Silversun Pickups suddenly announced a secret show at the Echoplex, downstairs. It was also the night of a show with Avi Buffalo and Tommy Santee Klaws at L'Keg and another with Jack Wilson, Jr. Les Blanks and The World Record at Echo Curio. Truly, an embarrassment of riches that is becomming a norm in Los Angeles.A

I attended the Xu Xu Fang show as a member of RFSL and a huge fan of the band. I've also been listening to the new EP for a while now and was anxious to hear the new material live. But first Downtown/Union performed selections from the new CD, Aurora Ahora with album guest artists Joey Siara and Andy Siara from The Henry Clay People. Bo Bory ably lead the band through some solid rock and John Huerta of Seasons added some nice keyboard on a number. This is a really enjoyable band who played the best set I've yet heard from them.

Xu Xu Fang played a beautiful set mixing old and new material. Propelled forward by the chugging rhythm established by leader Bobby Tamkin's drums, the army of guitars add a stunning wash as Barbara Cohen slowly intinuates herself, her voice taking center stage and dazzling the listener with the range and power of her sound. Powerful stuff.

Friday night, May 1, 2009, was a weird night with a false start. I went to The Natural History Museum to try to see The Ruby Suns open for Wolfmother on a press pass. The place had sold out so there was no way to get in, even on a press pass, so I wandered the exhibits of the Museum and heard a little of The Ruby Suns from waaaay across the hall, and as Ryan McPhun only had one male accompanist (the rest of the band must have stayed home in New Zealand), I bolted the place for the ISGOODMUSIC sponsored Seasons show over in Highland Park. Busses and trains got me to Mr. T's Bowl by 10:30. Jon Hershfield was there as well as the bands so, ultimately, it turned into a great night with friends.

May 4, 2009 was the first of the Gangi Monday night residencies at Spaceland and it's been too long since I've seen this band. Matt Gangi and Lyle Nesse always impress me with their amazing technical proficiency coupled with their seemingly inexhaustible creative energy.

Opening band were a trip, called Head Like a Kite, who play machines and instrument in a similar genre to Gangi, but had their own unique voice and an arresting sense of humor displayed in the home made movies they projected, depicting graphic sex between plastics. I'm talking Barbie and Ken here, who, I gotta say, are better porn stars than actors. Very funny.

Then they got serious and sang a version of "Ohio" by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. And I didn't even realize, till the next day, that it was the 29th anniversary of the Kent State shootings. I find it really telling of the band's integrity that they never even mentioned it on stage, just sang the song and let it speak for itself. I was moved because I was actually in college in Boston when that occurred and was even among those who helped close the college for the remainder of the term by marching on the governor's house. Have to admit, every college and university did pretty much the same thing, particularly in the Northeast. I also think it's now a time most, who have lived through the Bush/Cheney years, can relate to.

Gangi played some new material I was excited to hear, and some older songs with smashing new arrangements. It was a really good set, but by now all these shows were taking their toll and I was sleepy. Will catch these guys at least once more during this residency.

Avi Buffalo's first Tuesday night residency (May 5, 2009) at The Echo was a good set up for a month of interesting bands and Avi, week after week. Opening band Deep Sea Diver amazed the crowd with her wonderful literary indie/folk rock. I suppose one could compare Jessica Dobson's style to Feist, but I wouldn't. She's too different and unique. Hook-laden melodies paired with jazzy, seductive arrangements give the cushion to her assured and natural singing. Another instance of the performer being flooded by people wanting her EP as soon as she stepped off stage.

Avi Buffalo won over another audience with their set, playing for a crowd of enthusiastic friends and many first-timers who had come because of all the buzz. It sounded good, but was really just a warm up for more to come. The highlight of the evening was to get my hands on some recorded music finally from this band. We have waited! It's only eight songs, but to have anything is a treat, primitive though some of it is, the raw quality makes it special to me.

O.K., I'm catching up. Some individual reviews coming soon, of Tommy Santee Klaws, Iron and Wine, The Shins and more. Some posted at Radio Free Silver Lake. Keep a look out.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

First Anniversary

Los Angeles: City of Dreams

It was one year ago today I started Feed Your Head and the rewards for having done so are both enormous and unending. What little trepidation I had about writing a blog involved whether or not writing and all that analyzing would squeeze all the pleasure out of the live music experience. My concern should have been in the other direction. It's added a new layer of enjoyment to my experiences. I feel like I'm really out in that audience for a reason. And it's only heightened my excitement about the great music scene going on here around us. Sometimes I think my feet are never going to touch the ground again.

Writing also gave me a reason to reach out and introduce myself to the bands I've met and gave them a reason to talk with me. And through that simple act I've got, probably, a thousand new friends. I've gotten to know people who I consider to be amazing musicians, a terrific community of bloggers and writers who really seem to support each other, and the various super talented photographers I run into every time I leave my house.

I would begin to name names here, but that would make this column go on for pages, so, suffice to say, thanks, everyone. I think the fact I'm most proud of, is that the majority of my readership is musicians and bands. My reason for starting writing was to get the word out to other music fans about what I was finding in L.A. everywhere I turned. But it had the unintended consequence of attracting the bands I was writing about.

Now, one year later, I'm writing for Radio Free Silver Lake and ISGOODMUSIC and that collaboration may catapult me into online radio. There should be news on that in the next month. Amazing new doors have opened for me at a stage of life when many people are considering walkers and canes. I think it's precisely because I am at that stage of life that I have little fear about stepping through those doors. That's a great thing for someone who has often erred on the side of caution.

What the next year will bring is anyone's guess, but I sure am enjoying the ride and highly recommend it to anyone wrestling with choices. Take a chance. I'm just going to end with another picture of Los Angeles because, were I not here, none of this would have happened.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pehrspace X 2 - "A Bunch of Shows, Part III"

Apparently, neither my ears nor my will were destroyed by My Bloody Valentine, because the very next night, I was back out, at Pehrspace on Friday, April 17, 2009. I wanted to catch up with The Karabal Nightlife, who I haven't seen play in a while, and see another Isgoodband, Nightfur, whose myspace samples were intriguing.

This was also the first night of Coachella, so there were only a few brave souls left in L.A. to venture out to the clubs. All of us misfits fit into Pehrspace and it turned out to be a most congenial crowd. In fact, no one wanted to leave at the conclusion.

Kissing Cousins were on when I came in and they turned out to be another great band I'd never heard of. The guiding force behind the band is Heather B. Hayward, who's remarkable life story is related on the band's myspace page, and who was anxious to form an all girl band of "femusicians". They played a strong set of driving garage indie rock featuring a nice array of instrumentalization which could be both eerie and seductive. A quirky, off-center approach to melody was also refreshing. I look forward to more from this attention grabbing band.

I couldn't help but fall for Nightfur's blend of guitar folk and '60's acid rock. Arresting songs and interesting cryptic lyrics highlighted by some terrific vocals grabbed me from the start. Nightfur is an Isgoodband I had heard about but not seen, and this set really impressed me.

They sang in front of a backdrop of black and white drawings of dismembered kitty parts, painted on Pehrspace's white walls, that was both disturbing and intriguing. One hoped the artist was not drawing from experience.

I've gotten to know Jesse much better than I know his band, The Karabal Nightlife (above), and enjoyed hearing about his musical heritage. The band plays a rangy take on garage rock with a bit of surf-punk thrown in. Basic , classic song structure lies at the heart of The Karabal Nightlife's songs, played well by the assembled band and highlighted by Jesse's uninhibited vocals.

The next night, Saturday, April 18, 2009, Elaine Layabout's "Hella Hipster Hoedown" was a smashing success. The crowd quickly swelled to capacity. Mississippi Man played real solid alt-country indie rock, very good singers, but I got there too late to see more than a few songs. What I was able to hear impressed me and together, with the bales of hay and a countrified Ms. Layabout, the atmosphere was definitely farm-friendly

I'm getting used to the tidal flow of Pehrspace. During the sets the crowd crunches inside, the temperature rapidly rises, the humidity increases, and everyone swoons to the music together, for there is no room to do otherwise. I'm surprised thunderstorms don't break out inside. The set ends and the crowd flows out through the door for oxygen in the parking lot. Actually the room airs out nicely and prepares for the next high tide.

Cobra Lilies came on next and, in spite of all I've heard I was not prepared for them. They brought the 'PARTY' to the party. Whoever is the brains behind this band has got to be congratulated. They pull in elements from hundreds of sources and make it all seem so easy. The Monolators' Eli Chartkoff sings and plays banjo, while Mary Chartfoff plays saxophone, among other things. Ema of Ema and the Ghosts handles primary lead female vocals, though everyone seemed to take a turn.

The music is like vaudeville crossed with an indie rock version of Hee Haw , except it was genuinely funny. I especially enjoyed the 'Indie Rockettes' (Mary, Ema and two others) who stepped out front and tap danced to "Tiny Dot in the Deep Blue Sea".

Final act, Leslie and the Badgers (above) is a folk/country outfit led by Leslie Stevens and her remarkable voice. Backed by a solid backing band which includes Charlene Huang on violin. I've been so impressed with Charlene's contribution of the semi-classical violin she plays in One Trick Pony, that it was startling to see her so adept at county fiddling. They rounded out a fantastic night of entertainment that no one there will ever forget.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Bloody Valentine Sear Paint Off Walls at El Rey or "A Bunch of Shows, Part II"

Thursday, April 16, 2009, presented me with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see My Bloody Valentine at their secret show at the El Rey. Not having been a music fan back when they first came on the scene, I only knew them as "that band that everyone cites as an influence" on every indie band's myspace page. (Above photo is by David E. Greenwald at the El Rey)

I'd heard the legends about the sonic assault of their live shows, how earplugs are mandatory. That the recent Santa Monica shows had pretty much punctured the eardrums of everyone present. I've listened to the CD's and enjoyed them, but the recorded work in no way prepares you for their live sound.

I'm glad their legend preceeds them, because it saved my hearing. No stranger to loud music, my ears, miraculously, survived the early years of psychedelic rock. Seeing Jefferson Airplane (below) in October 1969 was a sonic assault the likes of which I had never witnessed before. And I loved every minute of it. So much so, I even remember the first song they played was "Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon". And they played "We Can Be Together", "Wooden Ships" and "Volunteers" and that new version of "Somebody To Love" they had introduced that year. I even remember the light show. You see, anyone who says "if you remember the '60's, you didn't live through it" is full of shit.

Anyway, back to the band at hand. The El Rey was sold out and it took quite a while to get in, but once inside we managed to get pretty close and stayed put. It was just by chance that I had taken a friend from work to The Henry Clay People show that Monday at Spaceland. Introducing him to Travis from Web in Front, we learned about this show. My friend went on line the next morning and secured two tickets before they sold out. I'm grateful he gifted me with one of those tickets.

Eventually we were swamped in by the crowd, but they were a very "serious musician" kind of crowd, so the swamping was pleasant. I managed to stay put for three quarters of the show. A jumping troll in front of me finally got me to move. I enjoyed the final portion near the back, elevated slightly so that during the 12 minutes of white noise, I could observe the extreme reactions of the crowd.
photo by David E. Greenwald

When they began playing "You Made Me Realize", I knew this had to be THE song with the extended noise sequence. Well, I'm surprised there's any paint left on the walls of the El Rey Theatre. I mean, this was enough to clear your sinus', but it's really a fascinating exercise.

Some people ran for the exits, but most stayed and either rocked and swayed or stood stock still, absorbing every decibel. Some appeared to go all narcoleptic, and everyone was eventually induced into a semi-trance state where sound becomes visual and visceral. I reached my hand out at one point to grasp the brass railing and it felt liquid in my hand, it was vibrating so hard.

I think my intestines ended up somewhere in my throat, while my stomach fell to the bottom of my feet. I'm surprised I didn't end up genetically altered and leave the building with three legs and one arm.

As for the rest of the program, I'm not familiar enough to know the songs, but they sounded great. Though the vocals were sometimes smothered beneath the heaviosity of the band, the lyrics are not what's important here, just the sound of the droning vocals folded into the fabric of noise.

But complaining about not hearing the lyrics during a My Bloody Valentine show would be like complaining that your feet got wet on the Titanic. What really stood out to me was the energy and dedication the band put into the show. They played like a fresh new band, just out of the gate, enthused and totally engaged in their art. That was as impressive as their massive sound.